What is Tribal & Error?

Tribal & Error is a game about learning a language from cavemen and using that language to help them survive the ice age. Apart from this fictional language no written or spoken language features in the game. A big design challenge therefore was to create UI that communicated its function without text.

Unclear function of UI elements

Without having text to explicitly state the function of UI elements we decided to put a heavier emphasis on affordances. We tried to use established conventions of visual metaphors where we could. Examples being the play or quit icon. In other cases when we presented the player with more unique mechanics we had to start from scratch in finding the right visual metaphors.