Friday, 12 July 2013

The... User Interface?

There have been so many setbacks with the user interface. Where do I begin?

Well lets start by saying first up, the suspense is over I finally have a working addition to the UI. Research, resources and building are in a semi-completed state or at least their base programming is down:

So in a way the user interface is 'working'. I can't honestly say I'm happy where it is at atm. What you see here is most likely not going to be the final product. But I did want to bring you guys something since it has been so long since I've released footage of Starbase development and since at this stage there arn't any fatal bugs, loose ends or broken codes.

I should now explain exactly what it is I am not happy with:
1) The Research bar could really use a graphical overhaul. I mean I like the staging system but atm it looks like something from a 1990's side-scroller.
2) Buttons at this stage are a too small, I would really like to make them double the ratio.
3) The Building tab, while working, needs a major overhaul. It's just so inefficient. Basically it's patch-work coding.
4) While spending resources are working, survival resources are not. My research tracking instance isn't actually doing it's job properly (yet to find out why). I need to get them up asap before I can add other types of buildings.
5) Hotkey system is looking terrible. I really wanna simplify the sprites used so they look cleaner.
6) Need to link the corridors to a button of their own, I'm still unsure of how to actually place other buildings onto the space station.

So what do I like?
1) The fact that the buttons are working, the tab system makes everything neatly fold away.
2) research bar, mini-map and research display work flawlessly.
3) The neat little notice that pops up everytime you place something.
4) Credit and ore restrictions work perfectly.
5) Colour to signify when things are available.

Alright so the UI is there, I need to leave that for a while or I will go insane. I'm moving right along to externalizing my sprites. That means I'm moving on to making completed graphics! Yay finally I get to do some really graphics which is where I am most comfortable. Externalizing in the early stages is also going to help me later down the track when it comes to implementing the content for the tabs. It would be a nightmare to switch 300+ internal sprites to external sprites, at the moment I'm only doing about 50ish. Most of which are just place-holder images anyways so I need not worry about saving them. Main issue will be trying to make animation strips from PNG files.

The main reason I am so excited about this is because this means people can make custom texture packs for Starbase, this kind of modding support is what I would love to include. It's also crossed my mind to externalise some of the script for people to alter, so they can edit different Starbase models details, names, etc. but it's not a huge priority (meaning I have absolutely no clue how to externalize the code xD). So far so good, I think once the graphics are done I can begin work on a pre-alpha Demo.

Btw if you have any comments please feel free to leave some.

No comments:

Post a Comment