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The creators of Shadowgate are developing a new, epic version of the first-person fantasy adventure smash hit. Help make it happen!
The creators of Shadowgate are developing a new, epic version of the first-person fantasy adventure smash hit. Help make it happen!
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3,468 backers pledged $137,232 to help bring this project to life.

UI Concepts!

Hey everyone!

As part of the pre-production phase of the game, we are working out how the UI might look and operate. Our goal is to make the experience immersive and the UI un-obtrusive yet accessible in every situation. We're in the middle of working out the command system (how you examine, take, manipulate, open/close, etc. the objects and environments) as well as the mapping screen but we thought we'd share some of the other UI concepts.

Main Screen

  • Full Screen environment: We definitely want you to feel like you are immersed in the game hence the room or environment will be full screen. In the past, the rooms were, at best, 1/4 of the game screen.
  • Command system: Like we mentioned, we are working on this now and determining if the commands spin up around the object when needed or are available on screen at all times (or both!) Shortcuts will be available as well.
  • Text box: The game is heavy on the narrative and the text box will most likely be available at all times and perhaps scalable.
  • Torches: You knew there were going to be torches. :) You will always have one available in your left hand and be able to tell how much life is left in it with a glance. The fire itself will also be subject to the conditions in the environment so keep that in mind.
  • Objects at Hand: Your right hand will contain the object you wish to use in any given situation. In this case, an iron shield.
  • Inventory/Spellbook: The ornamental object on the left of the screen brings up your full-screen inventory or spellbook. It is possible that we will show a subsection of your inventory/spellbook here as well for the convenience when using objects.
  • Map: The ornamental object on the right of the screen brings up your full-screen map that allows you to see where you are, where you have been and the layout of the rooms.
  • Yoric: The skull in the upper left is Yoric, the skull of a long dead wizard that provides you with important commentary and information that may be important in your quest.

Inventory and Spellbook

  • Objects: Based on the command system, objects are added to your inventory and are placed in such a way that they are easily accessible. In the case where the object in the room is very small (e.g. a key), they will appear much larger here.
  • Commands: The same command system can also be used here (e.g. You can examine an object in your inventory as easily as on the main screen.)
  • Text Box: The Text box is available here as well.
  • Torches: Your torch is located in the same place here as it was on the main screen. To light a new torch, simply drag an unlit one from your inventory into your left hand.
  • Objects at Hand: To use an object in the game, simply place it At Hand by dragging it from your inventory (or spellbook) into your right hand.
  • Spellbook: The Spellbook tab is available here as well. The Spellbook will contain all the scrolls and spells that you find throughout the game and operates similarly to that of the inventory.

There you go. Early concepts but hopefully it gives you a better idea of how the UI might work.

THANKS AGAIN for supporting us and sharing the campaign!

The Zojoi team


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    1. Missing avatar

      odienman on


      You can hold both at the same time.

    2. Missing avatar

      Ismail Saeed on


      Just a note that I sent a long, long, long message regarding this topic to the author before becoming a backer. And now I am a backer. I wanted to make sure they saw the feedback I sent separately so I thought I'd put a note about it here :).

    3. Matt on

      Never played the original but am excited about the preview. A bit surprised I can't hold the torch and shield at the same time, but I'm sure it will work out.

    4. Missing avatar

      odienman on

      I agree with David on his insight on giving available options to each object. It would really limit the abundance of explority possibility and as Jeremy said, its fun seeing the results/response of actions that you played around with. Although I'm not sure if I agree with Jeremy's wanting to keep all commands available for interacting (did you mean visible on the screen at all times? Or just option wise?). I like something about the fuller screen and perhaps implementing a command box that pops up on the bottom corner of the screen replacing the torch holding hand would be a good solution?

    5. Missing avatar

      Jeremy D. Smith on

      Two comments that I think have already been touched upon but I'll throw in as well:

      1) I definitely prefer you keep all the commands available for interacting with everything. While the action wheel may work for some point-and-click adventures, it would not feel like Shadowgate. Not only does the action wheel make the game easier, but I loved all the text that I would get from doing illogical actions (like speaking to a door "You appear to be wasting your time.")

      2) I prefer the inventory to be more of a scrolling list than a grid layout. Primarily because a grid layout would either make me feel like my inventory is either complete or incomplete depending on how many grid positions are filled. Also, I like being able to see the name of each item, so maybe make it so that you have the name for each item next to the icon for it? I wouldn't mind the inventory looking like the scrolling list in the NES Shadowgate but with an icon beside each item (and the icon being much bigger when in your "use" hand in the ui).

    6. Jeremie Lariviere

      Thanks for the preview & update!

    7. Missing avatar

      Cary Cornelius on

      I agree with odienman, I want to stay in the game and have as much as possible viewable while looking at the room.

    8. Missing avatar

      Timothy Rieder on

      First, and foremost: thank you so much for doing this guys! I loved Shadowgate as a kid and in the past few years I was looking into the feasibility of doing what you are now. I'm just glad that it's you guys who are picking this up and making it happen: no one better!

      Second, the comments below have hit some of this stuff on the head already, but I wanted to reiterate. Anything that makes the game easier should be optional in my opinion: I don't want to know how long before the torch is going to burn out and I definitely don't want to know what commands will have some effect (or ineffectual with written dialog) on the target. Perhaps you meant that it would bring up a spin wheel with all possible actions. I'd be okay with that; disabling that might allow for a nostalgic feel though.

      Finally, in the Shadowgate for NES I distinctly remember that the waterfall room had rocks covering a staircase and the map had a button to go in that direction. Was this a typo in the map data/mistake in map tiles?

    9. Missing avatar

      David Holmin on

      Cool! Just one comment/concern on this:

      "Command system: Like we mentioned, we are working on this now and determining if the commands spin up around the object when needed or are available on screen at all times (or both!) Shortcuts will be available as well."

      One problem with giving the available commands for an object is that there's a smaller action space to explore (making the game easier). I really like when you have to *think* about the different objects, your items, and what actions could make sense and progress, instead of just selecting from a list of things you know will do something. Thus, I prefer when an action *starts* with the command. Kind of like in roguelikes.

    10. Zojoi 2-time creator on

      @odienman, Thanks for the comments. Yes, we are also looking at how the inventory might be available on the main screen albeit smaller to allow for accessibility. A lot will come down to implementation and testing to make sure it feels good!

    11. Missing avatar

      odienman on

      Also simple life like sounds when you interact with the inventory could go a long way with immersion. Ultima games are a good source for this. You can literally hear and feel an item going into your leather pack as you place it there or remove it.

    12. Missing avatar

      odienman on

      Thanks for the info guys. Let me share my two cents. I like the concept and ease of placement of the map/inventory feature, however I find with a lot of these systems they can take away from the immersion of being in particular location/room. In the original Shadowgate you had a smaller view, but all the commands and items were on the sides of the screen still allowing you to see and feel the room. The new system seems to cover your view of your room when you go into the inventory or spellbook. I think a system in which perhaps you press those nicely embroidered gold buttons on the sides, and instead of the inventory covering your full screen, just the bottom 1/4 of the screen becomes your bag (replacing the word narrative spot) and two hands on the side. There would be little scrolly buttons allowing you to sift through the bag and perhaps a magically animated spellbook button to switch from bag to spellbook.

    13. Scott Strichart on

      It'd be awesome if you'd talk a little more how about you envision Torches! I haven't played the NES original in 20+ years, but as I recall, you could actually bork your entire game if you weren't careful about them.

      Such a divisive subject too -- you'll probably have a lot of players who would like to see overhauls to that system, while others will want the same life or death anxiety they caused in the original. Might even be worth exploring them as something that can be configured in the options.