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 Post subject: Title screen ordering
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:28 am 
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From top to bottom, most NES games' title screens are title, menu (Start, Password, Options), and a copyright notice if one didn't appear on the previous screen. How jarring would it appear to have the menu appear above the title?

My boss proposed a title screen. I reordered it to the conventional layout, and he said the result was "a little out of balance. [...] the overall look is more important than where players expect to see things." I told him I had to respectfully disagree with the idea that look is more important than usability. I'm looking for pros and cons and whether it really affects balance that much at all.


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File comment: Original proposal
title-down.png
title-down.png [ 3.49 KiB | Viewed 2019 times ]
File comment: My rearrangement
title-up.png
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:46 am 
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To me the 1st looks weird while the 2nd look perfectly normal.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:36 am 
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First screenshot is completely non-intuitive. Not to be rude, but it's gotta be the second one. See Monster Party for an example.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:57 am 
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Second definitely wins.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:19 pm 
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Top looks awful.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:40 pm 
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The first one makes absolutely no sense. The interactive part (which is the most important part!) suffers from unintuitive placement and lack of focus (dark text over dark background). Bottom one definitely wins.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:19 pm 
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Ditch the top one.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:45 pm 
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We're going with the menu below the title.

Disclosure: My boss OK'd both this straw poll and the other before I posted them.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:11 pm 
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At the risk of being a devil's advocate, I don't quite understand the argument that this affects usability: you don't need to accelerate someone's first-time progress through a title screen. It feels like the only consequence here is that they might spend a few more seconds looking at it, once, and I'm not sure why that's a problem.

(Not saying that an unusual design won't be detrimental to usability elsewhere, but this is something that requires context sensitive judement. Specific to this title screen I don't think it's problematic at all.)


Aesthetically, I kind of like the thought of having the START / OPTION on top. Kind of unusual. I don't like the "large pixel" pumpkins, or that big ugly "2" eating space at the bottom-- the composition seems unbalanced to me, and I'd want to shift everything down. It didn't really sound like OP's question was about aesthetics though, and I'm not a fan of "design by poll", but my opinion seems slightly contrasting here so I thought I'd risk the comment.

Actually, regarding balance: was the START / OPTION added to the first image as an afterthought? The composition makes more sense to me without that text there at all.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:31 pm 
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On the subject of unusual title screens, though, Brütal Legend has one of my all time faves:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzPaw6Bu9vY


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:37 pm 
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You could also try lowering the whole thing down so that it is more like 2/3 black, 1/3 green BG. That would also leave room for a more centered start/continue. A little unconventional still to have the options above the title, but not a biggie in itself. Or you could cut the green in some fashion from below.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:25 am 
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I will go with the first look. It looks good and creative. The second one does not have good attentions to details.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:56 pm 
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"Haunted Halloween 86 2"? Why in the world isn't it just Haunted Halloween '87? Doesn't it deserve its own subtitle as well?

FWIW, I like the second title screen. Why are the pumpkins double-sized? Are you scaling them up when writing to CHR RAM to save a little PRG space?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:59 pm 
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mikejmoffitt wrote:
"Haunted Halloween 86 2"? Why in the world isn't it just Haunted Halloween '87? Doesn't it deserve its own subtitle as well?

In case you're not joking: I believe the "2" is the company logo.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:47 pm 
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mikejmoffitt wrote:
"Haunted Halloween 86 2"?

Thefox is right: That's an R for Retrotainment Games. We ended up cutting the R from the title screen and putting this immediately prior.
Attachment:
logo112.png
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Quote:
Why are the pumpkins double-sized? Are you scaling them up when writing to CHR RAM to save a little PRG space?

I don't really know why the artist chose to draw them that way. But World 4 of Super Mario Bros. 3 has a similar chunky aesthetic.


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