dark tower banner
Client: Restoration Games
Role: UI • UX
Platform: Android • IOS
Players will undertake epic quests, fight fearsome foes, and test their mettle against the looming darkness of the tower.

Return to Dark Tower is the spiritual sucessor to the 80's cult board game Dark Tower, one of the first board games to contain digital components. My role in the team was to design the companion app, which functions as the antagonist of the game, spawning foes and challenges onto the board for the players to overcome.

camel intro
Visual Language

Using the existing physical design as a springboard to develop the UI themes and design, creating digital metaphors which would make sense given the exiting style of the paper components. capturing the essence of the paper designs, then extrapolating

dark tower sketches
Initial wireframes

I began with research into the current state of boardgame companion apps. Looking into reveiws and critiques of existing games, as well as playing many. Here I identifyied key design elements to include in the designs and potential pitfalls to avoid.

Early prototypes helped define the content for the app. From there I designed components which could be used as flexibly as possible, and presented them in a way that teaches the player how to interact with the app. I made sure interaction methods and the visual design catered to a range of accessibility needs, with additional options for further customization.

initial wireframe initial components

With the initial wireframes and UI library created, I made guides for the devs and worked with the designer to develop the UI more inline with the style of the non-digital components.

Once the initial version of the app had been built, we were able to conduct user testing. Meanwhile, the game design had been developing, so the app design was also developed to include new functionality.

visual development
Battle Concepts

One of the main challenges faced was how to represent a battle between the player and a foe in the app; it turned out to be quite a balancing act.

Battles needed to be a quick as possible, as it happens many times in a game and could greatly affect play time, however, they also needed to feel like a significant event. They couldn't be too exciting and draw attention from the board, but not too dull as to feel redundant.

We spent a long time ideating, testing and itterating until we came to a design which satisfied the most possible design constraints.

visual development

The wireframes included transition animation to help the player understand their location in the app hierarchy, and elements provide feedback to show recognition of input. Background animation is added for extra texture.