Bioshock: Infinite Lead UI Developer Interview

Bioshock Infinite Main Menu Screenshot Featured

While creating another Bioshock: Infinite video that was basically a display of the main menu’s, someone who turned out to be the lead UI developer left me a comment. I got in contact with him outside of YouTube and got to ask him a few questions! I tried to keep them simple, but interesting. these are the questions I wanted to ask the most. Since it’s just about the UI of the game, there’s only so much I had to ask.

1. What group are you a part of, or leader of that you mentioned?

The first question I asked was who he is, but I figured he might want to stay anonymous. However he did answer, “I was the UX Team Lead – which will show my name in the credits.” So it turns out we’re talking to Joshua Davis! Huge thanks to him for taking time to answer these questions.

2. Besides the main menu, what other pieces of in-game UI did you make? What was your favorite?

In partnership with my team, we owned the entire in-game UI experience. I had my hands on every aspect of the entire UI from the HUD through to the vending machines. I did the illustrations in partnership with another designer on my team and then animated them.

3. You mentioned you had some technical challenges to create certain parts like the sign-boards and transitions. What were some of those challenges, and how did you overcome them?

This is a follow up to a comment he made to me before I asked any of these questions.

We had to create a new way of rendering UI which included putting another level under the level you see with a camera pointing at 2D UI that then was rendered onto a texture of the signboards in real-time.

We had to create a camera rail system to fly the camera throughout the UI scene. I built the scene based on a collection of assets used elsewhere in the game.

Key people involved in pulling it off included Seth Rosen, now a well respected indie game maker, and Jonathan Grover, a sound designer on the team. Spencer Luebbert created our special shader that transitioned from the sign-art to the UI.

I did all the animation and many of the key aspects of the UI including the primary visual targets, custom fonts, etc.

All of the icons in the game where created mostly by Mary Yovina whose gone on to do super rad game UI’s for LOR-Helms, Deep Mecha Match, Alone in the Dark, and more.

4. Is there anything else you’d like to mention that fans of Bioshock: Infinite would find interesting?

There is so much more game that never made it into the wild but the team is proud of what they shipped. The story and the outcome are just awesome, and I’m extremely proud of what the UX Design Team created and shipped. As for my favorite UI elements… The main menu experience is what I’m most proud of.

5. What about the multiplayer features that never made it into the game?

Sadly I’m not able to share any additional details, but we loved playing it and it had some pretty rad features, but unfortunately it didn’t make it.

Check out the interview and more of my response on the YouTube featured video!

Leave a Comment