Hunted Cow and HexWar knew of me from my time at Shenandoah and approached me to do the UI for some of their soon to be released iPad wargames. The first was Rebels and Redcoats .. a digital implementation of a boardgame by Dominion Games.

Since their UX, the UI flow and the mechanics were already set in stone it was essentially a reskinning project. I’d of liked to develop a lot more ideas and much of what I did do wasn’t implemented but it required a quick turn around without any testing.

So after a period of historical research and technical R+D I settled on using the flamboyant uniform details as the central theme. Getting the look just right proved quite a challenge. I experimented with 3D modelling and sculpting in Zbrush but non of it was fast enough or easily editable enough to risk using. I eventually settled back in plain Photoshop as it made it far easier to itterate and and provide for quick changes.

This was the first, main screen, with a background image supplied by Hunted Cow. The menu icons were based on a previous HC game for continuity.

This is one of several sub-menus, the start New Game.

Once you’ve chosen your faction, you’re asked to choose the difficulty. From here on in, the colour of the background is based upon your initial faction choice. Red for British, Blue for American, Green for the Tutorial. White wool backgrounds are used for generic, non faction specific items.

This is where you choose one of a number of (blue = American) campaigns. The partially visible panels, left and right edges, acting as suggestions of more choice. Being an iPad game you swipe left and right to choose the campaign. It displays the number of scenarios you’ve completed, the cumulative number of points as well as the campaign name and unique illustration suggesting the main story element of that campaign (not fully implemented).  The black-painted-metal design was based on the British Grenadiers bear-skin hat decoration. The embroidary based on British and Hessian uniform embelishments.

Once you’ve chosen your campaign you can decide which scenario to play (the Green background reinforcing that yo’re doing th etraining scenarios). Completing one to a particular level unlocks more. Each panel has a unique illustration (suggesting the theme of the the scenario), the scenario name and number.

Providing you did well enough, you were awarded a medal on completion of the scenario. Your score determining which medals you recieved. I wasn’t willing to just throw in a generic medal graphic, but it proved tricky as they weren’t routinely given out to combatants for another 100+ years. However I did discover that the Americans often gave out metal plaques to notable leaders and that while the British only gave out the Order of the Garter under exceptional circumstances, the Hessians, British allies, did have a wider selection of military orders at the time. So, within reason, I could maintain some theme.

Choosing your scenario provides you with a brief description and your orders.

At stages throughout the game you also have the option to load or save your games locally or to the cloud. The state of the button indicates whether its full or empty.

This is the main view during gameplay.  The American turn.

The British turn. Notice that to all intents and purposes its the same as the American (apart from the colour and metal badge). I was playing with the idea that until this war was concluded, the British (European) and American identities were very much intertwined. In future games I used the interface to show how America made tentative steps during the War of 1812 – still under certain European influences – towards fully fledged independence, but by the end of the American Civil War America had its own distinct identity.  However a theme that progressed logically through multiple games proved an issue for marketting who needed each game to look totally unique rather than as part of the series.

The panel at the top right indicate the faction (in this case the British red wool with George III cipher and Kings Crown), the coloured loss-bar indicators, the turn number and the button to turn on or off the combat Analysis panel.

Some of the additional buttons that would slide in when specific units were selected.

The in-game menu provides you with a list of your objectives, achieved, failed or neither and a number of sub-menu options.

A selection of in-game icons and modifiers.