Over the last week we have been working on determining the bg music feel and designing out the weapon select UI.
The original plan for the weapon select UI was to have 3 little plant pods that would "bloom" when you selected one to activate a weapon. That sounded really good, but in practice it was pretty confusing. The biggest issue was that each of the pods would need to somehow indicate to the player which weapon they contained BEFORE they were selected and opened. We discussed using different colors, or somehow etching an icon on the outside, but nothing felt right.
On top of being confusing for the player, having to design a proper state transition to "bloom" and "un-bloom" the selections was becoming fairly annoying to keep track of with the animation system we currently have in place. (NOTE: this is a limitation of our animation and state system, and not really a problem with the approach)
Lastly, these blooms also lacked a way to indicate to the user how many upgrade levels each weapon has obtained. To stick with the aesthetic we would have to either place some colorful leaves around the bloom, or "grow" some small flowers below them. Nothing we could come up with felt like it would be a useful indicator to the player, and would just look like over-designed animation on the gui.
What we fell back to was a simple circular button system, with a three-section ring around each indicator. Each of the sections will "light-up" as the weapon is upgraded (no upgrades: all three grayed out, and each upgrade fills in a grayed-out section). To indicate the current weapon selection, we have a "rotating coin" style animation on the button so that it is clear which item is active.
Loi has only created assets for the Pollen Aura weapon, but here is a rough screenshot of the layout:
We are still working on the BG music but we've nailed down a good direction, and Nathan ( @TheLucidBard) has worked up a great draft for us. You can catch one of our favorite riffs from the track in the vine below (as well as seeing the weapon UI in action). We've been playing with the tempo on the track a little and found that the play style so far is nice with the speed throttled to about 70% tempo.