Persona 5 – The Essence Of Stylish Design

Introduction

Persona 5 is a great JRPG that was released on 4/4/2017 in the United States and has sold over 1.5 million copies. The game focuses on a group of teenagers that take up the mantle of Phantom Thieves to stand up to the adults with their own sense of justice. And, one of the elements it gets the most praise for is its sense of style, which is the topic of discussion in this post.

Persona 5 has a ridiculous amount of style in the game’s UI, including the loading screens and menus. Both are animated and take on a life of their own starting with the loading screen.

The Loading Screen

The Persona  5 loading screen features almost cardboard cut-outs of people as you transition from area-to-area. This screen adds to the experience of the game; the experience of being in Tokyo, in a place with millions of people, crowded on all sides. Now, because the game is a high school setting in Japan, it really conveys that feeling, and carefully masks the loading screen with clever transitions that inform the player of what’s going on. Now, the next part is the menu.

The Menu

Persona 5 Menu

The menu in Persona 5 takes on a life of its own. The protagonist is displayed as you can see above. Now, one of Persona 5’s strongest design features is the use of diagonals, which is constantly featured in the game UI. As you can see, the menu is separated completely by a diagonal, which every menu option sits on. Diagonals in design create a sense of separation, chaos, and disorder.  For Persona 5, this is important, because the game is about the teenage experience and about justice; a great example of a game’s UI design complementing the story theme and characters. Next, is the use of color in the game’s UI.

Persona 5 has a black, red, and white color theme. For all the UI elements, this is strictly followed. These 3 colors also complement each other quite well, which go along well with the game’s overall darker and chaotic theme.  As you can see, the black and white are primarily used, because of they contrast each other well. The red is primarily used to make certain parts of the UI pop when your eyes cross over them, or to highlight any black on-screen. The last part of the UI I should mention is that everything has an animated transition.

Animation

The animation used in Persona 5’s UI takes on a life of its own. This is a key feature that keeps the dialogue and menus interesting. When choices appear on screen, They’re slanted (diagonals) and jiggle as you select them. And, transitions to each submenu in the main menu move the main character around the screen from pose to pose. When creating your own game, adding some animation to your UI will add more style to your game depending on your theme. For example, if you want chaos, go with jiggles and diagonals. If you want a more modern design, you want flat squares and a reduced color palette.

With that said, I hope you enjoyed this part. If you want to buy Persona 5, check it out here: Persona 5 – SteelBook Edition – PlayStation 4 Finally,  tune in for a post on the importance of shape in your design.

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