A core part of Scrap Seas will be constantly making improvements to your ship. Therefore we have been iterating on the format of the item shop in the game.
Shop Layout Design
In all of our UI menus we want to keep the comic book aesthetic. So I've done my best to fit everything into comic book panels. At the same time we hope to create about 40 passive power ups as well as 40 slot based "Equipment" items that will consist of things like different cannons for your ship for the demo version of Scrap Seas. Each of the power ups and many of the equipment slots will require an icon illustration. Since I'm the only artist and we don't have a lot of money to be paying freelancers with, we've tried to keep the actual icon smaller so we can more easily crank out the amount of illustration. I've tried to make it as reactive as possible, both through cursor and icon animations.
Obviously we are taking a lot of inspiration from games like FTL, but I actually don't really care for the shop in FTL. Having to switch through multiple tabs to browse the shop's selection seems unnecessarily cumbersome to me, and if the shop doesn't have what you need, you are just out of luck. A shop I do really like is the one in "One Step From Eden."
The combination of its options to "Refresh Stock" as well as it's ability to take on pacts and remove spells allows shopping in the game to retain the excitement that random chance brings while at the same time making it feel like you have agency to spend your way out of difficult situations by outsmarting the shop. We have already incorporated the "Refresh" button into our game. I don't think our shop is quite there yet obviously, but we are continuing to work on the shop's features, as well as our roster of power ups in order to make our shop an engaging experience.
If you have any feedback, or just want to share your favorite video game shops, by all means leave a comment!