Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Good Morning, 

It's been awhile since I've posted anything but work has still been progressing, my two main focuses have been GUI for ship designer and the research system. This post I'll just do a quick summary of the ship designer changes and there will be a post later for the research GUI and it's system as there is a lot to that one :)

Here is what ship designer looked like before I started this work

Here is a mockup of possible what I'm aiming for, this is with a module selected to show the details of that module (not in-game yet):

This might be a little overdone with the lines and extras but would like to try it in game as they all actually show some useful info at a glance but they might be removed if it appears too much. 

Some of the main changes are adding backgrounds for the stats which I think really help and grouping the stats by type (Movement, Hull, Power, etc). I also moved the preview stats to the left which seems to work better as on some of the larger stat names it could overlap which was no good.

The hull selection list has also been updated, mainly focusing on the stats and how to display them. Now the research system adds a lot more variation to the hull options I needed to show more stats and in a useful way. I was mainly thinking if players care when the ship has 10hp or 100hp then realizing it only matters how much it compares to other hulls, i.e. "It's twice as strong as the cheaper one". So along those lines hull GUI has been changed to be bars (tooltips can still show the actual figure), these get the values by finding the highest value for each stat that any hull has that is available to the player and basically displaying it as 0-100% of the best available one.

Hopefully at a glace this will make it easier to choose what you are looking for. One thing I'll be paying attention too when testing is how it feel as tech advances and the bars actually change for hulls that haven't changed stats. For example if you get new hull for Battlecruiser that has twice the HP as your previous best design that previous design will now be half a bar (it used to show a full bar). So it should always show up to date information but it will be a dynamic comparison. I will need to see how it will feel as a player, as I can't think of information been displayed like this in other games but think it should work.

Here is a current screenshot of what I've been able to implement so far, very much a WIP and nothing final but starting to feel more developed:

I've also done a lot of work on research systems and the GUI. Halfway through it was redesigned as I began to see limitation to the initial approach, so I'll talk over that with some before and after screenshots next blog. 

Happy to answer any questions or feedback in the comments.
Til next time!