Short Exercise: Visual Design of Games – Pannisy

Categorizing Elements of Cheese or Font


  • Font or cheese question
  • List of cheese/font names
  • Input box for cheese or font


  • Labels for columns
  • Hints indicating the number of cheese or fonts


  • Score percentage
  • Blurb corresponding to score percentage
  • Average score percentage
  • Score in fraction form
  • Wrong answer comments that don’t include hints
  • Give up button
  • Countdown timer
  • Different colors to mark distinct columns


Thumbnail Sketches

Core Elements

One Huge Element

One Color + Black

Exploring Type


As illustrated in the thumbnail above, core elements of the game should be grouped together which includes the cheese/font name and buttons for the player to select font or cheese. This bounds gameplay to the top 2/3’s of the thumbnail and is seen first by the player due to visual hierarchy. Other supportive or extraneous elements should be grouped together such as score or the countdown timer.


Stardew Valley + Use of Graphic Design Principles

I played Stardew Valley with friends throughout the pandemic and always thought that the graphic design aesthetic was the main thing that kept my interest over time. The illustrations are simple yet beautiful and provides a sense of nostalgia by replicating the design of games common in the early 2000s.


As shown in the screenshot, the sizing of elements in the Stardew Valley reflects reality. For example, the house is massive relative to the player’s character and crops. However, the player perceives the game from a bird’s eye view, so the house still appears to be small since the screen is filled with fields of crops. This point of view almost makes the player feel small in their surroundings which encourages them to explore.


The color palette is warm-toned which provides a comforting, inviting atmosphere. The tones are muted and earthy though pops of color are intentionally used to draw players’ attention to elements they can interact with.


The designers implemented the use of proximity well by filling most of the screen with the player’s farm or other environments. One of the main task of Stardew Valley is to expand and build your farm as well as explore other environments to collect resources or complete missions. Smaller details and features that players interact with less frequently are grouped together on the borders of the screen. For example, on the left, players can access their tools, and on the right, players can see the date, time, and their energy level. When festivals are held in Stardew Valley, proximity among characters is also used to build a sense of community and belonging.


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