Overall I have managed to create many things for a driving simulator including speedometers, car logos, team names, maps, placement and lap time. Throughout the project I mainly used three programmes; Cinema 4D, CC Illustrator 2015 and CC Photoshop 2015. Before doing this project I wasn’t familiar with these programmes, the only one I had really used before was Photoshop and that was to do basic drawings and previous edits, such as ‘Edward Scissorhands’ and ‘Tilt Shift Effect’. The reason as to why I made my own car teams in the first place is because F1 and E1 teams like Ferrari and Ford have their own licenses and I would have to deal with the Copyright Law if I took their designs/ logos.
Name and Logos
For my different teams I wanted to incorporate things that could seems intimidating or scary to people, into the logos. In my research I ended up finding two animals (from different kingdoms) and fire, things that people may find frightening. My three teams are called ‘Hydraheat’, ‘Royal Lion’ and ‘Viper’, they all have colour schemes somehow related to their names- ‘Hydraheat’ had a blue flame to symbolise the excitement yet dangerousness of fire yet the combination of the colour blue which some people associate with water. The idea behind ‘Royal Lion’ was because lions are known to be kings of the jungle, so I tried to incorporate royal colours into the logo and colour scheme; yellow and red, the reason behind choosing a lion is because they are considering fast and deadly creatures, which I thought may be intimidating to other teams/ drivers. Lastly the idea behind team ‘Viper’ is that I believe that snakes are quick yet sneaky/ smooth animals that can travel undetected, as well as that, viper snakes can also be predators, this could be intimidating just like the ‘Royal Lion’. I believe that my logos could have been even better if I managed to draw out the logos myself instead of altering clip art images found on Google Images, however with the ‘Viper’ logo I did create the body of the snake with the paint brush tool in Photoshop.
The way in which I approached the designs of my speedometers were by collecting ideas from real life car, virtual cars and other students ideas, however at first I did create two different speedometers from looking at specific designs, before getting criticism for other students. The idea behind why I did a gradient on the speed line is because it could indicate to the player that they may be approaching dangerous speeds- my concept would be that the faster the speed, the more bright the colour to hopefully alert the player of their speed. I didn’t want the colours to be too bright because I didn’t want to distract the players from the track in front of them. Furthermore I didn’t want my design to be too complicated because one of the criteria was to make the speedometers look futuristic look so I wanted to make the design seem minimalistic. By making the speedometers minimalistic meant that I had to eliminate certain features such as a fuel gauge, turbo and gears, I would much rather have the basic elements rather than the screen being too over crowded. However I feel like i could have made the speedometers better by possibly adding a nitro gauge so then players could go faster if they wanted, considering most arcade/ racing simulators have nitro attachment to each vehicle.
A way I could have improved upon the map would be by changing the background colour of the speedometer because I feel like the speedometer stands out too much and that if I replaced the white with a dark grey, the speedometer would seem more subtle.
After getting a review I removed the spokes from the centre of the speedometer considering it seemed messy and too crowded. Additionally i moved the speed number from the bottom right of the circle, increased the size slightly and changed the colour to white to make the text stand out more. Personally after making all of these changes, I do prefer the speedometers like this because the text is easier to read and overall seems clearer.
Placement & Lap Time
My lap placement and time were placed on the top right of the players view, much like racing games like Forza, Gran Turismo and Need For Speed: Rivals. After looking at many different racing games I decided to put all the necessary text in the top right because it does seem to be the default placement. I wanted to ensure that overall design look was professional so I made both the text for the speedometers and the placement/ lap time, ‘Monaco’. I think that having the text matching across the screen will make the game seem more profession which overall may give a more serious feel for players. The idea of the colour changing depending on the background is a good idea however I believe the part of the lap time that says ‘Lap’ could be improved by having a box around it so then players don’t get confused between the text and numbers. However I feel that using a colour such as white would seem universal to all players and wouldn’t be biased to certain teams. When it comes to placing this interface on the screen whilst people are racing, designer tend to either put it on the top left or right, I decided to put it on the right because I already had the logo on the left and the majority of racing games have the players time on the right hand side.
The final idea for my map came from looking at various locations around London and getting opinions as to what one would be the best. I wanted to have a course that had quite a few twists and turns yet not being too difficult for the player to drive in. I decided on Windsor Castle because its almost roundabout there are some quick corners which would test players reaction speed and control. Additionally I feel that by having a map around a historical building because the players would experience more then just a ‘racing game’, they’d be able to see a medieval castle and possibly wonder about the history of Windsor. The disadvantage of having players race around Windsor Castle would be that the players may get distracted by the view and forget that they are racing in the first place. The map interface in the bottom left corner would move depending on the location and direction the player is facing, I decided to keep it a mutual colour because I thought it would be a good idea to not distract the players too much from the visuals ahead.
Checkpoints will only pop up on the screen when the player has passed the finish line. I designed this interface element by looking at various checkpoints created, especially in modern games because I wanted it to be subtle notification rather than a huge banner on the race track. Modern games tend to tell the player how far behind or in front they are so I wanted there to be a sign whether they were being faster or slowly- red would indicate that they are being slower however green would show that that particular player is the fastest. I could have improved the element if I had a darker colours such as grey for the text to match the speedometer so people don’t get confused between the checkpoints and time, but the use of colours does make it noticeable and contrasts well with almost every background. I feel that by doing this, it shows the generation gap in racing simulators because from retro games we tend to see the entire map on the screen, which can block the players view, however in modern racing games there tends to be a minimalistic look hence why I decided to crop the map.
Overall I am happy with the work I have produced even though I feel i could improve certain aspects of the interfaces such as adding boxes for the laps and a nitro gauge on the speedometers, however with elements such as the logos, the matching text and the overall look of the speedometers. On the other hand I am glad that i didn’t add that many aspect on the screen because i wanted it to look minimalistic, like modern games. I feel like these interfaces work well with the landscapes and look somewhat like a professional racing game like Forza, Need For Speed and Gran Truismo, even if I did change the final speedometer design.