Our programmer Lotta writes about the development with User Interface (UI) of our Weapons Station.
A User Interface (UI) is the space where human-machine -interaction happens. When talking about UI we often think about a menu of an app or the main view of a video game, when in fact physical interfaces – like button boards – are just as much UIs as the on-screen ones. The development of our Weapons Station UI to the stage it is now: working, but waiting for some reorganising.
First there were just some post-it notes to determine what we actually wanted from the board. Then the hardware side solution was tested with tiny little buttons. After the buttons arrived we made another cardboard test layout – only using the actual buttons this time. They are quite impressive, but most people will ever see the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Only barely 1 cm will be above the desk. One of the buttons arrived without those small metal nodes connected to the LED inside. But with my favorite office supply that was easily fixed.
Planning the wiring and then actually doing the wiring are, at least to me, a never ending “Expectation vs. Reality” -meme. These are different stages of that process, neither represents what is actually happening underneath the button board. After an inspection of my very competent assistant the button board was tested in test games. Without the LEDs, though.
During the playtest our hastily planned button layout got some very valuable feedback and will go through some drastic changes on the arrangement of the buttons. This is an ongoing process that has now relocated into the actual location of the game room. The finalised button board will be beautiful. All buttons are beautiful. Especially arcade buttons.