This week, we’ll be doing an overview of the new unit and upgrade menu system. Infinite has some elements of a strategy game in its DNA, the basic structure that is quite common in some real-time strategy games such as unit building and unit upgrading is featured in a light, alternative form in infinite. First, lets go over the unit system.
The menu system we wanted to be very simple, elegant, and match the overall feel of the game. Keep in mind, the visuals for the menus are not final, but is a step in the direction for how we want them to appear.
As you can see, this is the unit selection menu. On the left, there are five units, these range from planets of different sizes (for example, a Mercury sized planet all the way up to a gas giant like Jupiter.). There are more units available in the game including non-planetary units.
Beside the planets is a resource metre, unlike the resource metre that runs in the HUD, this will show the resource cost for each unit / upgrade that is required in order to build. Once you have selected your unit, tap once to show the units cost, tap again to confirm your selection (this method is not yet final).
This is the upgrade selection menu. Same concept as the unit menu, however, based on the upgrade mechanics. Once you have selected your unit currently in game, this menu will appear, allowing you to further upgrade that unit. As shown, there are currently four types of [planetary] upgrades available. Basic upgrades such as a single moon to orbit your planet, or advanced upgrades such as planetary rings. These upgrades have special bonuses and effects to each planet. The four shown here are just some of the upgrades available.
Once your unit or upgrade has been selected from the menus, we then move on to the build phase. For this phase, we’ve added a time based construction method. Select your unit and this build icon will appear on screen.
These build icons will replace the menu when it is time to construct or upgrade the unit (keep in mind both build icons will not appear together, only one will appear for its respective menu. We are just showing both for demonstration purposes.). Normally the circle will be empty with only a “+” symbol in the middle as the touch indicator. To build, hold your finger on the circle, the inner (gradient) circle will begin to grow larger towards the outside circle, if both circles meet, the unit construction / upgrade is complete and the result will appear in game. If you release too soon, you must start over again from the beginning of the build phase. Depending on the unit or upgrade, each will have a different timing variable that will determine how long you need to hold the build icon for, usually the better unit / upgrade will take longer to construct.
This is how our current unit and upgrade system works and looks, bare in mind this is not final and will probably change in the end product. One thing I would like to mention is that the menus will be hidden and tab on the edges of screen will allow you to bring them up anytime, this will allow the user to have more screen space to see the in game action.