Wizardry 8 Vessels of Eye Candy

The official site to the mass-awaited RPG that has yet to announce its publisher (I assume because they haven't procured one yet), Wizardry 8, updated its page with a load of 8 new screenshots.

On a large tangent:
Interface can make a difference:

This game each time I see it is getting better and better. But the strange thing - it's also getting more and more outdated graphics-wise. And I just realized why I thought or think that. It's because of the interface art. It's more than adequate, but it's missing, not by much (the items are good) a professionalism that really can mean the difference in appearing outdated or modern. The slightly cartoony/ slightly amaturish icons (I mean no disrespect to the artists because I'm sure they are more than capable) and the background to the interface (the cartoony-marble black) to the way in which some of the icons are framed, can in my opinion look more polished. Take for instance the two radar-like pop-ups at the bottom left and bottom right of the new screenshots. One is of a radar circle, and the other looks like a circle of the different magic schools. Notice the empty space behind the circles... they are framed by two large squares, with nothing in the background except the cartoony marble.

Now, imagine those two needed circles completely without the square frame. Imagine them a little closer to the left and right, and behind them, nothing but the world view. Well, that's extra polish right there, and more world view. Yet they could take it a step further. Take a look at this Diablo II screenshot. Notice how the mana and health bubbles are framed... with the gargoyle and the woman embracing the bubbles. They didn't have to do this, but it adds such a polish to the interface that you enjoy actually looking at it... it serves more than just a function, but becomes aesthetically important in more than one way. First, it eliminates any negative feeling toward the interface getting in the way of the game being pleasing to look at. And secondly, it blends the two together, the interface with the game. Imagine something like that (doesn't have to be humanoid creatures, could be plant life, anything) surrounding the two Wizardry 8 circles. It would make a world of difference to how the interface looked.

On top of that, they could spruce up the bottom row of icons, the arrow keys, the two left and right bars and the very top bar. Right now, it's just a frame. But it could be so much more.