Mike Bithell is the developer behind Thomas Was Alone and the upcoming Volume, and he's shared his thoughts on mindful stealing in the past. He's now taken a look at Destiny's interesting, and in some ways innovative, menu system.
"Basically, Destiny’s UI does a lot of very clever UI stuff, some of which I’ll probably steal for Volume, some of which are just really great examples of UI design in general, and some of which I hope to learn from for future projects," he wrote in a recent blog post.
One of the most interesting aspects of the game's design is its manner of creating a real-world metaphor for many of the game's interactions. If it happens in the game, it happens in a way that makes sense for that world.
"Messages received must be picked up from the postmaster on Tower, bounties are carried in the inventory, not held as sub objectives. Part of this is to create busy work and force regular returns to the social hub, sure, but it goes a long way to simplifying and better communicating interactions," Bithell wrote.
"We understand the idea of collecting a slip of paper and taking it to a man, we understand ‘going to a specific place on the moon’ better than ‘going to the moon and selecting mission 4’... this gives the game a sense of bedded reality, and breaks understanding into little chunks, preventing the player from feeling overwhelmed."
The entire post is worth reading, including thoughts on parallax scrolling in the menus and how the cursor is used. It's fascinating stuff, and it all adds up to make Destiny one of the more interesting games when it comes menus and how you interact with the world. We'll be seeing many of these ideas picked up by other games in the future.