top of page
sim header.png




SIMULACRA is a found phone horror series.
I worked on the first 3 titles in the series; SIMULACRA 1, SIMULACRA: Pipe Dreams and SIMULACRA 2


Kaigan Games


Game Artist


Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects

project includes

UI UX Design

Game Art


2016 - 2020

Big grdi 2_00000.png


Game story

The SIMULACRA series is a spiritual successor to the first variation of the game (Sara is Missing) which started as an experiment using the phone interface as a storytelling device. The entire game mimics a phone and players have to discover story details by going through the phone aka the game.

The problem

Sara is Missing emulated an exact copy of an old IOS version which presented itself with some immersion problems. With the UI being too realistic, some players were taken aback by the game, with several even trying to reformat their whole phone.

My solution (tldr)

I designed around the areas that were causing confusion and frustration for players. With that, I created an all-new intuitive UI that replicates operating systems used by phones but with tweaks that help support the game narrative while making it believable enough for the players to feel like they are playing the game on someone's phone.

Reviewing the issues

The first few months of the design process were figuring out issues that were frustrating for the players and what could be done to improve them while also conceptualising an entirely new interface that was easy to use without needing a tutorial.

Things that were identified that can be improved:

  1. The notification bar was too similar to usual phones players might not know which were in-game chats and which were real.

  2. There was no back button for ease of use.

  3. The similarities in app icon design were causing publication issues on IOS stores.

1. Notification bar

Since the old UI mimicked real phones, the notification bar was small and thin and did not have the space and flexibility to host some important information in the game.

My tweak was to extend the notification bar and flip it from top to bottom (like usual phones) to right to left so it still carries the familiarity of a swiping motion but it's a horizontal movement instead.

Not only does the bar act as a notification when pulled to the left the players can access their last used "APPS" for ease of use navigating within the space.

Sara is Missing notification bar compared to SIMULACRA 2

Big grdi 2_00000.png

2. & 3. Back button and app icon shape

An essential tray was added to the bottom of the screen that houses a back button, home button and another contextual button that can be used to fit the game's needs are added and for future additional features.

The app icons shape was changed from a symmetrical rounded corner square to an asymmetrical square with a notch on the right corner to differentiate itself from other phone interfaces.

Understanding the platform

One of the more challenging aspects of designing for UI in SIMULACRA was trying to merge our familiar everyday apps and phone space with gamified elements like puzzles and story-moving plot points.

Moreover, unlike regular 3D horror games where jumpscares and characters can be hidden in the environment, SIMULACRA’s limited design space meant that we could not utilise these horror tropes. For this game, the environment is the phone and the phone is the UI. I had to plan out UI design and scare elements to play with one another.

Examples of gameplay and scare elements using the UI

Branding materials

Limited Run PS4 Illustration Cover

SIMULACRA 'Game of the Day' IOS Illustration

Directed SIMULACRA 2 intro sequence

Created SIMULACRA 1 title announcement in 3D blender

Big grdi 2_00000.png


SIMULACRA: Pipe Dreams


Big grdi 2_00000.png


Examples of animation work

Big grdi purple_00000.png

Front end

Examples of main menu work

© 2022 by Me (Leeying Foo.) Created on Editor X.

bottom of page