Style Guides

There has been a lot of excellent discussion about the GUI up to this point.
And I am actually really impressed with where it is now from where it was way back when!

And also some discussion of things that are cross sectional between GUI and gameplay:

It would be nice to centralize the things we like into a ‘source-of-truth’ GUI style guide.
The same should be done for overall visual direction too, in my opinion.

With an official record of the font, logo variations, color palette, aesthetic preferences, visual philosophy etc… future design additions would at least seem consistent. It seems especially important for a non-centralized team like this.

For example, a color pallet would be my first priority to put in the style guide.
Here are the colors I found after inspecting the current GUI.

Look how many different shades of green there are. My guess is these colors were added piece meal, one at a time. And it makes the overall look feel scattered. If we crafted a style guide, the color scheme (and other art) might look a little more unified.

Just as an example, take this:

Wouldn’t the compounds look better with more consistent contrast between the colors?

If there is appetite for this, let me know. I can start gathering things that have already been posted and try to put something together.

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It would be very useful to display the hex colours in the colour palette as it will be much faster to use than downloading the image and opening it up to grab the hex codes from it.

I found the previous colour palette only posted on discord by @Narotiza

I totally agree, Hex values would be the right format for the official guide. The images we just an example of a way that I believe the current color scheme could be improved.

There’s already an UI guide in the GDD: Microbe Stage GDD - Thrive Developer Wiki

Thanks for sharing that. That is an excellent start! In my opinion, a more comprehensive document is needed.

  1. The guide should live outside the design document for a specific stage of the game. It should be global and cover GUI, 3D modeling style, background art, font, logo treatment, color scheme, design philosophy and mood boards to match, etc.

  2. It should be readily apparent as a featured page on the development wiki (and in the Discord Links channel) since it will drive all visual efforts.

And lastly, I do think I am conflating two issues here. The one is having a prominent, fleshed out style guide. The other is the fact that I think some tweaks could be done to better the GUI. Apologies for double stuffing this topic.


I definitely understand where you’re coming from with the desire for a more unified color palette, but it’s tricky because there’s a lot of compounds, environmental variables, and other bars that all need to be visually distinct from each other (otherwise, something like hydrogen sulfide might be the same color as ATP, which I believe would be ultimately more confusing), while also having meaningful colors in many cases. For instance, hydrogen sulfide’s yellow-green color references the color of sulfur, which also sets it apart from ATP and nitrogen. Furthermore any blue compounds will have to be distinct from oxygen and CO2, and any red compounds will have to be distinct from oxytoxy-NT and the player’s HP bar.

Definitely agree with starting a better style guide though! I’ve been stressing out too much about stuff that’s way out of my area of expertise and it’s been a while since I’ve thought about anything actually graphics-related

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Glad to hear you agree with the need for a global style guide!

I tried to create the page “Visual Style Guide” on the wiki to start collecting things, but I was denied permission.

Could someone help me get the permissions necessary to start working on the style guide?

The first step is to simply gather what has already been decided/written/produced into one central place.

That error doesn’t look like one from mediawiki. Are you sure you are on the right site ( There’s a link to login in the top right.

I actually think we should side bar the unified color palette discussion for another thread…but let me just say this: we are placing too high a burden on the colors to communicate things. We also have a set of awesome icons. Let them do some of the heavy lifting. If we expect every single feature to get its own UI color, it’s going to end up looking really muddy.

The color section of this article is a great inspiration for what I mean:

I wasn’t on the right site! We should update the links channel in the discord. Right now it leads here:

OK. I have created this page on the wiki.

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