New theme suggestion

Hey there! So I love using gdevelop but it would be awesome if you could add more UI themes to it. My specific suggestion is some sort of a retro theme that mimics the Windows XP era and stuff with non anti aliased pixelated fonts and stuff. I think it would give the engine a really stand out personality like how asprite does it.
Right now it looks like yet another corporate software, but that might just be me.
I just really love the nostalgic retro look of old software.


Can you show an example of an existing modern game engine that has an out of the box theme that matches what you’re looking for?

Showing it in use elsewhere may help devs or engine contributors consider whether this is worthwhile for them to take on.

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At the very least we need to get rid of the purple UI. That is the smallest move with the largest effect.

Sure. Aseprite the pixel art editor has a UI that is very tactile and fun. Same with Pixelbox.js. There are several old versions of contemporary editors as well like blender, unity and unreal 3 and all. Construct 2 also comes to mind.

(I can only upload one pic since Im new so I have compiled some of the editors into one image)

I think also just changing the font to some sort of a pixel art font, adding a solid border to each window and a dropshadow effect to each panel could do a lot. Also changing the main and accent color to some sort of a warm grey. But if we can push it even further, I wouldn’t mind making new icons for all the actual icons since old software used to have these relatively colorful and expressive icons instead of the simplified versions we see today. If that can happen then just hit me up and I’ll get to work on designing the icons.

Just discovered this: Beef IDE (A new gamedev Language and editor) I really like its look as well. I think it’s the well defined almost 3d borders and the beef icon that I like in this one. The colors work well together too.

For Psychmandril: Just to clarify, none of these seem to match what I was asking for examples of (current game engines with the design aesthetic you are looking for)

Construct 2 hasn’t been in active development for almost a decade (and stopped being sold almost half a decade ago), Unreal 3’s last release was almost 20 years ago.

Asperite and Blender aren’t game engines.

Current release Unity doesn’t have any themes that match what you are mentioning out of the box either that I can find.

PixelBoxJs is specifically trying to have an aesthetic that revisits a bygone era, and Beef IDE doesn’t match your ask as it has fully aliased fonts and rounded edges, the only thing it might have close to your other examples is a grey title bar?

To be clear, none of this is a “this isn’t allowed” or anything like that, I was trying to get more context to hopefully help make it easier for anyone who might take this on.

Unfortunately, if there aren’t any current engines that match the design you are looking for, you are then asking the devs or a contributor to change to a design aesthetic that has been abandoned for over a decade in many cases, and in other cases doesn’t adhere to current visibility accessibility standards. I think you have given a pretty heavy ask for anyone who might take this on.

If you are willing to do the work, anyone can contribute a theme if they want, they just have to do the code and design themselves. Creating new themes for GDevelop - GDevelop documentation

For Per:

Not sure what you are asking for? Half of the themes in the editor theme setting today do not have any purple in them.

Remove colors from the UI. There is a reason no professional art software has colored UI. It throws off color perception. The shipped dark themes in gdev are heavily colored. This is bad for artists, without bringing advantage for anyone else.

I’m not sure what you’re referring to specifically. Where are you seeing extra color?

There is an accent color in the default theme for headers, calling out objects, variables, or parameters in the event sheet. All of which is normal for a game engine IDE:

For Defold it defaults and switches between blue and grey depending on the screen for headers, and colorizes all of their game logic in multiple colors (equivalent to event sheet).

For Unreal it defaults between a dark and light grey depending on the screen for headers, and colorizes the IDE headers all over the place in blueprints, and does similar colorizing of code in the typed code IDE.

If the purple contrast is too heavy for you, I’d recommend checking out “One Dark” and “Nord” theme, which is in the list of themes today:
One Dark


Oh you didn’t get my ask then. I was asking for a nostalgic theme and if it’s too much that’s alright. I was just giving a fun suggestion.
I guess I’ll try and do it myself.

No worries! Again, the info above was originally me trying to get an understanding of how common it was today, and then just clarifying on why it might be difficult, not that it won’t be done.

If you already have the capacity on making the icons and such for it, I’d definitely recommend looking into the theme documentation to see if that’s something you can implement. If not the ask will still be available for people to view.

Extra? Gdev has colored UI. It should be gray. This is not about personal preference. All high-end professional art software use dark and gray UI because designers on that level understand the well-estalished sciences. There is nothing original, controversialor subjective about the suggestion.

Stare at a purple image for a little while, then switch to a grey image. The grey now looks green. It is likely that you are familiar with this concept in the form of visual illusions.The brain compensates for ambient color. Color perception is critical for artists. So there is a scientifically-based and intelligent desicion to be made here which will benefit the end user without reducing the experience of anyone else.

Not talking about accent color, but the main UI itself. The entire screen, not minor elements. It is not neutral grey; it is colored.

I understand what you’re referring to now, and I think it’d be a valid ask. I’d recommend you make a thread specifically going over why you’d like a new theme that matches the color scheme you’re looking for and why.

While it is possible the engine maintainers may not view art tool standards as relevant for the game engine (not saying they do or do not here, to be clear), almost all of the themes included in the engine currently (other than the two defaults) are contributor created (Rather than GDevelop staff/,maintainers made) so another contributor may pick up your ask if the staff do not.

Hello per,
This is Luni. UI designer at GDevelop. I am in charge of using GDevelop’s pre existent UI Design System (which components are visible here) to create user flows and new screens.

Since 2023, GDevelop’s official brand colour is Purple, and that is why you see this colour used as the primary highlight colour. GDevelop’s UI is based on pre-coded components that come from a solution called Material UI which structured its code in a certain way (for example “primary” and “secondary” colour that applies to the entire UI), so that limits the shades of purple that can be used in the app.

To come back to your request, I understand that you don’t like that GDevelop’s UI has purple (or any colour really) as a primary highlighting colour?
What I understand is that you want GDevelop to be more gray like for example; Adobe’s Photoshop UI.

Did I understand correctly?

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Hi Luni, thanks for getting in touch.

The request does not concern accent color, which only affects isolated elements, but the main background color of all the other elements, which pretty much fill the screen.

The background colors are close to gray but not quite. This throws off color perception in a big way. It’s like giving our composer a headset with a imbalanced sound reproduction or with a constant hissing noise.

Replacing the near-gray with absolute gray ought only bring benefits. Few people would even be consciously aware of the change.

My background is 25 years in gamedev, mostly in AAA art production.

Oh right I think I understand now.
It is the grey scale with blue-is undertones, is that it? (image from the colour scales)

Thank you for the reply again Luni.

Yes, the greyscale is not actually grey. As seen in the below image, not a single element of the Gdev UI is neutral grey. I have filtered the colors automatically to demonstrate this.

This is what it looks like with panels being neutral grey. The other colors remain untouched:

Take a photo in a tungsten-lit room without white balance and it will come out shock orange. I’m sure everyone here has experienced this. However, to our eye, the room doesn’t look orange. This is because the brain compensates for ambient light. The background color of a UI registers as ambient color. This means that after looking at the blue UI for a while, then running the game, the brain will subtract the color blue from the image of the game, making neutral greys look yellow, which is not what the artist intended and they will likely try to “correct” it, thereby introducting even more inaccuracy. For a while, I thought there was a problem with the game renderer, but it was just the blue ui throwing off color perception.

You know, we use expensive monitor calibration tools to get the colors are precise as possible, but then that is invalidated because of UI design decisions.

Artists need neutral color perception just like a chef needs neutral taste buds and audio artists need to use reference headphones and studio monitors.

High-end art and games development software implement a neutral grey background. I don’t know any exceptions to this. These are fundamental and widely-recognized principles of UI design and color theory. It would be good to take gdev more in that direction. Colored UI background is typically a tell-tale sign of indie/unprofessional software. Don’t take my word for it; just look for yourself. Adobe, Autodesk, Pixologic, Blackmagic, etc.

Here, just as a nail in the coffin: The pac-man illusion. Focus on the cross in the center, and the moving grey spot will turn yellow. This yellow only exists in your brain. Gdevelop does the same thing, but unintentionally.

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Thanks for the supporting notes :slight_smile: