UI/UX Artist: "We're In The Lobby, Where Are You?"

UI/UX Artist: "We're In The Lobby, Where Are You?"

Hi all. This is your UI/UX Artist Paul. This week I have the Multiplayer Lobby screen to show off for overhaul. This time I borrowed design elements from an older screen I had made, the Asset Screen, for its wide bands of tightly clustered horizontal text frames. Keeping in with the Config Screen, the Multiplayer Lobby isn't exactly a "themed" screen as the in-game screens such as the Factory, Research, and Asset Screens are, and so a neutral, machine gray was selected for the text backdrops.

Below is the old version of the lobby, scheduled to be replaced once the new one has been finalized. There are still finishing touches to be added, but over all, the new face of the Multiplayer Lobby is coming along nicely.

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Ship Weapon launchers and next ship

Ship Weapon launchers and next ship

Creating weapon launchers that can be customized to ships. As usual I'm starting out with silouhettes. The ends of the models will be rounded or capped off so even if the launcher passes through the ship's model, it'll look intentional and blend with the design.  Also added are some concepts for the next ship to be created. 

Multiplayer almost in parity with single player!

Multiplayer almost in parity with single player!

The Multiplayer has expanded a great deal.  While building buildings might be nothing new, what you are seeing in the screen shot is the AI building buildings during multiplayer!  

As the title says, it is almost in parity with the single player experience.  What does that mean?  The last multiplayer test livestream on youtube we were testing out missiles in multiplayer.  The reason that was such a milestone was having something AI controlled that could spawn in after the initial gamestate was sent.  While it might sound that should be easy, it isn't.  Mostly because the gamestate makes sure everything is all hooked up to each other, so making sure something created has everything needed took a large bit to get running. Getting buildings running in multiplayer required so internal fundemental shifts.  Mostly of ownership of different things that should have moved a long time ago.  So it was either finally moving them or do a lot of crazy work arounds, which isn't a good idea in the long run.  Current, building the city works, and whoever put down the first building owns that city in the same faction/corporation.  Power distribution works, as does research...mostly.  I'm still working out a few syncronization issues.  Shouldn't take long.  The last big thing would be to have factories working.  I would expect the mines and refineries to not be a problem.  I hope to have all this resolved by the next multiplayer test!  That will be a giant milestone since the main game in multiplayer will finally be realized!

 

Please check out our youtube channel and if you want to contact us, we do have a discord of course!

UI/UX Artist: Faction Logos

UI/UX Artist: Faction Logos

Hello, this is your UI/UX Artist Paul here. Another small update but one that's undeniably useful nonetheless. Today I have Faction Logos! 

With a whole solar system full of hostile parties constantly leveling against you in real time (and multiplayer support coming along nicely) it is important to be able to distinguish friend from foe. Hence, the corporate/faction logos. When you're trying to take over the local star, gang signs are a part of the package. A reticle over a ship in your cockpit viewport alone doesn't say much. And if you've seen the multiplayer tests or screenshots here, that view port gets messy quick. The logos will serves as an easy way to quickly establish who's who, especially when there's more than one "who." How they will be implemented is where things can get a little creative. Maybe they will overlay the reticle at a distance? Maybe they will appear in the targeting computer. Maybe they will appear as decals on the hulls of the ships themselves. It doesn't stop at ships however. These logos can appear on any object or piece of technology. An abandoned research lab? A derelict satellite lingering in orbit around a moon? An exotic engine of unknown design found crashed into the sandy dunes of Mars? A strongly worded ultimatum with an insignia for a "Sincerely, ____" at the end? Anything man-made can make both practical and creative use of these logos.

Finished red ship

Finished red ship

The final textured version of the red space ship.  Now onto creating the shields to call the ship finished and ready to be put into the game. 

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UI/UX Artist: Config Screen Update and a Touch Up on the Factory!

UI/UX Artist: Config Screen Update and a Touch Up on the Factory!

Hi all. This is your UI/UX Artist Paul with further updates to the Configuration Screen.

A backdrop has been agreed upon. The circuit board pattern fits the general theme of adjusting the in-game settings, and so it is now the official backdrop of all Config subscreens. The Resolutions Subscreen has received an additional subwindow for other more general options such as the Hyperthreading shown in the preview.

UI/UX Artist: Config Screen Update and a Touch Up on the Factory!

 

The Audio Subscreen has additional background effects, in this case a loosely tiling rounded block pattern, gradiented to resemble audio levels, an effect that worked out quite nice. Additionally numerical slots have been added to the right of the sliders to allow for precise digital readout of the current level setting.

UI/UX Artist: Config Screen Update and a Touch Up on the Factory!

Lastly, the Factory Screen has been given a brief update, with color palette coded to its over theme of manufacturing and construction. As the aesthetics of all the screens come together, each one is emerging with its own distinct color style. This is both artistically pleasing but also practical, allowing even a blurry glance at the screen to communicate which one is being viewed without reading any text. In the case of the Factory Screen, colors of Martian red-brown and construction equipment yellow dominate. The Config Screen by contrast, is a mostly white-gray, reflecting the colorless machine settings it is devoted to.

UI/UX Artist: Config Screen Update and a Touch Up on the Factory!

Always Room For Refinement

Always Room For Refinement

Every piece of art has a moment when it's complete, when we have to move on to work on something else. Until then, we keep polishing, keep refining; for an interface, that means making things easier to see, more distinctive, more of a pleasure to look at. We've added some of these details to the asset screen: selected icons are now highlighted in a color that matches their bar type, ranks now have their own unique icons, and building bar icons match their building type. Simple changes when taken individually, but put them together and they add up.

Color progress of a ship

Color progress of a ship
Color progress of a ship
Color progress of a ship

Unlike my last post, this one is more colorful. The ship has started to get a paint job. Texturing is being done in 3D Coat.

Controls overhaul and Squad possession

Controls overhaul and Squad possession

Sometimes development doesn't yield a screen shot because it's behind the scenes. This is mostly one of those cases. The entire human input system was overhauled to be far more flexible and support more devices at the same time. The controls before while being able to be personalized, were universal. Different screens really needed their own set of defined controls, and with the main simulation/piloting screen taking up most of them, very few keys were left for other screens, and certainly not ones that made any sense. Also, the joystick support was rather hard coded, and really only supported the first two buttons. It was one of those situations that was "good enough", but now isn't. Now each screen can have it's own unique set of preferences for each button on the system, and a specific command can have more than one button from difference devices assigned to it. So if you wanted Keys "J" and "K", Mouse button 3 and 7, and joystick buttons 3, 5, and 32, you could do it. Why would you want to assign so many buttons to the same command, who knows, but you can. Also, Axis support being assignable is a big add to the system. This includes mouse button axes (which includes the mouse wheel). They can be assigned like the buttons so there is overlap if you want. The main reason for the flexibility is because everyone's layout is different and their own personal play-style is different. Someone on the livestream said they got a mouse with a lot of extra buttons for a different game but never really was able to use it for another game until now. I have been aware of people fighting the controls, and this update has greatly helped.

To that end, fleet control, or more specifically, possession has been made far easier. The targeting of an enemy has also been overhauled. Using that overhaul, it can now target the nearest HEALTHY friendly ship. There is no point in possessing a ship that is critically damaged. There are also now one button possessions that can allow the player to instantly jump to another one of their own ships that is healthy, and have the option to keep their old target, or switch to the target that the AI had before the player took over. This allows the action not to be interrupted in the middle of a giant battle in space. Instead of being the old two step process of finding a ship (which usually meant scrolling through all the ships to find one that works which took a while) and then possessing it, now it's a simple button. Which can, of course, be assigned to an extra joystick and/or mouse button. Also, the addition of how many ships are left in your squad is now in the readout in the upper right (self-damage monitor). This is to show you how many ships you have left that are in action. It will disappear if your ship is the last one. Personally, I have one joystick button for targeting, and one button for the instant possession. It really keeps the game action flowing!

UI/UX Artist: Config Screen Visual Update

This is your UI/UX Artist Paul. I've been touching up the visuals on the Config Screen, which we've just seen from our coder Matt. Without further ado, here are a couple of preview screens:

UI/UX Artist: Config Screen Visual Update

Extrapolating from the blue glass text field motiff, a simple recolor was a nice way to make umbrella categories stand out from specific data fields.

UI/UX Artist: Config Screen Visual Update

Experimenting with new backdrop patterns. A subtle "crosshatch" is showing some promise. More textures will be tested out.

UI/UX Artist: Config Screen Visual Update

A little gradient transition can go a long way. It's an interesting excersize making a screen backdrop for a window with relatively little in it compared to a lot. What do I fill in empty screen real estate with? Negative space is an artistic tool in and of itself. ;)