When Debug UI Ruins Game Design (and what to do about it)

One of the quintessential hallmarks of a ‘work in progress’ game is debug text. Floating gibberish flickering in the foreground of gameplay, occasionally catching your eye with an <ERROR> or a ‘Missing_Texture’.

Thinking about the design of debug UI seems like misspent time. It is, by its nature, only to be used by our development team, and never to be seen by our eventual players.

Why spend more than a single moment considering practicality, or utility, or legibility of UI destined for the trash?

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