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Trombone Champ devs explain new future-proof UI change

You can't be the Trombone Champ if your interface doesn't look good.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

April 25, 2023

1 Min Read
Key art for Holy Wow Studios' Trombone Champ.

Trombone Champ received a new update today, and developer Holy Wow Studios detailed one of its newest changes. The breakout game of 2022 has introduced a new "dramatically simplified" character select screen that's considerably more readable than its original incarnation. 

User interface (UI or sometimes UX) changes are nothing new in games, but on Twitter, Holy Wow went into its thought process with the change. It was done with future cosmetic content (like characters and songs) in mind, and the thread provides an interesting look at how interfaces grow over a game's lifetime. 

Redesigning the character select screen was called the "most difficult" part of the update to get right. As Holy Wow explains in its thread, Trombone Champ's original character select took up the entire screen, meaning eventual DLC would look rather messy. 

Beyond taking up so much of the screen, the original UI had readability issues. Among its issues were tiny text, trombones being split across two different sections, and lock symbols being the first thing a player would seen. 

Holy Wow has found the new iteration of its character screen to be less busy. Future characters and trombones (and the accoutrements of the latter like color) can be restacked once that DLC releases, since there's now "tons of space." 

"We're very excited to build on this [screen] in future updates!" concluded Holy Wow. Until those future updates come, a moment of silence for the original Trombone Champ character select screen.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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