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As a big Star Wars (and also Lego) fan, I was sure to pick up Lego Star Wars: Skywalker Saga as soon as it released. I really enjoyed my overall time with the game, however I noticed that some menus unfortunately turned out a little clunkier than I had hoped.
One of the most clunky and unpleasant to use menu is the character selection – the images of characters are too small and not motivating me to switch characters, and the navigation of it is a bit tedious as well.
Since the rest of the game is so superb, I decided to give the character selection screen a little revamp – doing some explorations based on other titles, as well as the previous Lego Star Wars -games, and come up with multiple examples as suggestions for improvement.
Goals / Objectives
While I wanted to re-design the character selection screen, I wanted to stay true to the game itself – use elements similar to those present already, as well as nods to the older Lego Star Wars games.
Easy to use
My main goal for this was to make something more accessible, and easy to use – not something more complicated for the sake of looking cool.
As a fan of the older Lego Star Wars -games myself, I still fondly remember the classic character selection screen: a classic grid of rounded character portraits put in front of a backdrop of space and stars. The sensation of collecting new characters and filling the grid was very motivating back in the day!
The new character selection screen in Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga visibly attempted to replicate the character grid to some extent, having an offset grid of character portraits.
However, characters are now split into different roles, each having different abilities that are important to traverse levels and solve puzzles.
I started this project off by rebuilding the character selection screen currently present in the game as a low-fidelity (greybox) version, identifying the core elements of this menu.
With this menu rebuilt, I stripped it of the character portrait circles and started exploring.
The two versions that I came to like the most was the full-body cards and the big character portrait circle with their costumes as smaller portraits around it.
Both of these menus are horizontally scrolling, different to the grid-approach that is present in the game currently.
In the end, I preferred the version with the full-body character cards the most – players would be able to see characters in their entirety, and also be able to change their costume right on this screen, and see the change live on the card.
I worked out multiple versions with different characters for this screen, showing off the background (card) colour change based on the category/faction of the characters!
To conclude, I can say that I really enjoyed working on this.
As a huge Star Wars fan, these characters are near and dear to my heart, so I want to do them justice and present them as good as possible!
While I am very happy with the outcome of my case study, I am not sure how much it improves usability of this screen, since the player may need to scroll through a lot of character cards until they find the character they are looking for.