Minecraft Dungeons Redesign

I took some time off the industry but decided to take a class on UX/UI for gaming through ELVTR, a field I've long enjoyed casually. 
The Project
Redesign features of Minecraft Dungeons through a guided process spanning 7 weeks.
Gaming requires a greater level of interactivity and consistency between screens while also providing variety and eye candy. It's a different way of thinking and it even showed during user interviews with classmates where the expectations were much higher.
• Gameplay review
• Creating a user journey
• Paper prototypes from selected features
• Flowcharting screens
• Wireframing
• UI mood boards
• UI mockup
• Prototyping
Gameplay review
We reviewed ZacScottGames' Minecraft Dungeon gameplay and broke down his decision-making as things happened to him in-game. I wrote down each action, reaction, potential "why?" and assumptions we have as gamers, but they may be troubling for non-gamers.

User Journey
We were provided high-level features by the instructor and explored what each of these would look like, sound like and how we'd want users to react. At this moment 

Paper prototypes
With the features written down, I made quick prototypes as post-its and asked friends and classmates to navigate a potential flow by selecting actions in each screen. 

Flowcharting Screens
Next, I built a flowchart to account for all the individual screens I'd need to design. The paper prototype didn't prepare me for the intricateness of the screens I had built and the interactions between each other.
In hindsight, I'd break the different features as different flows over trying to have one big chart with multiple connections
My focus for the redesign was to make the game more casual friendly. To me, this meant making a storytelling experience that cut back on combat elements, loot collection, and MMORPG level stats management
Wireframes Round 1
I took the first pass at wireframes based on the work above. It was a challenge thinking a lot more visually as usually, wires are just text and gray boxes. Using blue to call out actions was helpful to identify what was clickable and not which would aid during user testing.
Character creation

Main Menu
I tried combining save files and the selection on the right side to keep the left side focused on the "Start game".

Character Selection
A simple carousel where you select the character you want by moving from side to side.

Character Selection (Locked)
Additional view to show locked characters.

Loading Screen
While players wait for the level to load they get some lore or art in the background.

Inventory Management

Inventory (Main)
Equipped items would be shown on the left with the full inventory on the right. Selecting an item would show additional controls to equip or drop which would allow for items to be shared in multiplayer modes.

Inventory (Swords)
Tabs at the top would allow for users to sort through item types for a more focused view.

Level Selection & Party Creation

Map View
The main view when a player needs to select a level. They'd be able to view all the different levels to see what's open, locked or see any relevant art that we may add in the end.

List View
For users who may find the map overwhelming we provide a list view that's more streamlined but has the same content. Additionally when starting a new party players can select from multiple options.

Level Select (Party leader)
Players will be able to select higher difficulties per level for additional items but these are not required to complete the game. If you're a party leader or playing alone you would have control over these settings.

Level Select (Party member)
As a party member you let the leader decide and "Ready" to show you're ok with the selection and waiting for the game to start.

Wireframes Round 2
We reviewed our screens with classmates for feedback. I realized through interviews that while the core functionality for my screens was clear, the organization felt awkward and not very game-like to my peers. They mentioned combining screens and cutting down on copy would be better
This led to the next round of wires.
Character creation

Main Menu
Left the right side empty and moved all functionality to the left. Save files are stacked and managing save files became the option to delete, copy or manage your file otherwise. Now selecting a game file would get you started.

Character Selection
This screen stayed mostly the same other than moving the disclaimer of skins not providing in-game buffs under the character selected so it's closer to where your eyes will be. Additionally added some button icons for clarity assuming an XBOX controller.

Inventory Management

A classmate mentioned the inventory seems to be going horizontally which I thought was interesting and decided to pursue it. Since stats management isn't the focus of the game, the best item will be closer to the left where it can be quickly selected. 

Level Selection & Party Creation​​​​​​​

Level Select (Main)
I combined the list and map view to streamline the experience. This also helped fill in the emptiness both screens had and kept things visually interesting and balanced.

Level Select (Online Play)
This stayed mostly similar other than adding a little more description to each action and resorting how the items were displayed to better match with the other party screens.

Level Select (Party Leader)
Cleaned up the party screen a bit to better clarify which character is yours and who the party leader is. To match the updated inventory I also laid them out in rows.

Level Select (Party Member)
Mostly the same interaction as before where if you aren't a party leader you're waiting for the leader to start the dungeon. I added a countdown for the level start to remove "Ready" buttons from everyone. One less action can mean a lot.

UI mood boards
I felt the Minecraft Dungeons was a little too different from the vanilla Minecraft. I wanted to consolidate them and took a lot of inspiration from vanilla Minecraft and mods for UI elements. 
Minecraft is full of passionate people making content and mods for the community and I felt this was a perfect way to honor them all.

UI mockup
In the end, I designed the UI for the wireframes. The only ones I didn't get to were the party screens as I still didn't feel fully confident in the experience. Something to revise for later.
Some attributions: Images were sourced from Minecraft Dungeons or promotional material along with the logo. Weapons pixel art was supplied by online artists.

Main Menu

Character Selection

Level Select (Main)

Level Select (Level Selected)


Here's a prototype with clickable states. I added a few animations and transitions to help deliver the feel of the screens and potential interactions.
Back to Top