April 3, 2007

UI Design for The Godfather

When I was a teenager I had a beautiful Italian language movie poster of The Godfather in my room. It was jet black with a red silhouette of Marlin Brando and text that read “Il Padrino”. Little did I know that years later I would have the opportunity to design and develop for The Godfather the video game.

As The Godfather was brought to the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii we added a handful of new UI screens primarily to compliment new game play features. It was very exciting to work on one of the first open world video games to implement controller based mechanics to initiate action within the game world. Our user interface faced a whole new challenge as we attempted to design intuitive controller tutorials and other UI tips to help teach a player how to effectively fight by gesturing with the controller being held in his/her hand.

If you like adventure/open world Grand Theft Auto style games you’ll have fun with this game. Give it a try, if nothing else you can watch my name go buy in the credits.


Red silhouette of Marlon Brando along side The Godfather logo with menu choices to begin the game.

Skill progression screen

Wii interactions for hand to hand combat

Using the Wii remote you can shove, punch or even give a head-butt. You do this by actually moving the controller around.