The Road to the Beta: Chapter 2
Well hello again...can you believe it's already (past) that time of the week?! I can't either! In fact, I've spent the last 46 hours trying desperately to let go of week 2 but...the end did not come easy...there's too much fun around every corner now, I'm really going insane...but...I guess it's a good insane? Anywho, you know how it is -- when the code calls, you listen :)
(Disclaimer: All jokes aside, I really am a "bit" on the crazy side right now from the past two sleepless days, in which I was inexplicably yet completely possessed by LT coding to the point of not being able to give it a rest...so please forgive me if I'm not so as coherent as usual...it's for a good cause! :P )
Alright...let's take a look at week 2!
Now Show Me More...
Last week we focused on making some of the basics more visible to the player via the HUD. But there's still a whole lot left to uncover. In week 2, I continued to focus my attention in the general direction of "uncovering that which already exists," but now starting to look towards things larger than the HUD. I wanted to reclaim higher visibility of the details of objects, cargo, hardpoints, assets, so on and so forth -- some juicy stuff! Show me the numbers! Show me the shapes! SHOW ME THE UNIVERS--eh, alright, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.
Since my mind isn't functioning at full capacity right now, I think pictures are going to speak more powerfully for my week of work than I can. So, behold, here's what an 'object' looked like in the UI at the beginning of the week:
Hmmm. Not too enlightening. Of course, some types of objects would have shown a little more, and there was a lot of stuff in progress under the hood. But this week, I am much happier to say that I can actually show you something that looks like part of a game:
Welcome to the new object interface -- this time, a serious push toward getting it in beta-capable working order! This particular 'overview' tab is intended to be a quick summary of basic information, as well as rendered depiction of the object. Much like the HUD, it offers a selection of smaller 'summary' widgets. Note that, also like the HUD, these summary widgets act as 'links' to more detailed information (clicking the cargo summary links to the cargo tab, clicking the location links to the object interface for the current location, etc.) Although I wasn't able to finish it this week, I'll have hardpoints overlaid on the hologram, so that subsystem information is available here as well. But there's more...I wanted to take a splash in as much of the object interface as possible, so why not...
Cargo! At least until something more exciting came up...
Reach Into Your Heart
The object interface is really the heart of all UI-based information and interaction in LT. Nearly every other major UI is, in some way, a part of (or related to) this one. For example, the market, with which we're all familiar from the work shown in the last video, is naturally a part of a (trading) station's object interface:
So the drive to complete the object interface is, in reality, a drive to bring together and finalize all previous UI work. I pushed hard into it this week, which resulted in a major explosion of new visible content. That being said, since the effort was spread, none of these pieces individually are perfect as of yet (hence the perhaps-unnecessary 'WIP' on the captions...oh man...letting go of perfection now on a weekly basis is truly the ultimate personal challenge...). Next week I'll no doubt be filling in more of the incomplete pieces. For me, the most important thing right now is to uncover as much of the game as possible -- to reconnect with the player-side experience before progressing onward to finishing the game itself.
There are so many details to talk about just from the new shots above, but the point of RTB is not details. So I'll choose one detail and call it a day...fair? You have to let me get excited about some small detail...! To make navigating the interface fast, I've chosen to go with these little circular icon 'tabs.' I'm obsessed with these things. They glow. They make a little click when you press them. It's relaxing. I could do it for hours. When you have a hard day at work, just come on home, boot up LT, and start flipping these things back and forth.
On a side note, won't it be a fun day when we can open that 'messages' tab and use it for AI communication? Not today I'm afraid, but hey, the icon is already there ;)
Well, week two of RTB has come and gone, and I'm growing ever-more-convinced that we're moving faster than before. Ultimately, I'd still like to compare one month of RTB toe-to-toe with the previous methodology, but at this rate, I think the answer is going to be a happy one :)
And of course, in closing, a shot of this new stuff in context!
See you all again next week! And, with any luck, I'll be a bit more rested and entertaining :T Thanks for bearing with me today!
PS ~ I don't know if you noticed, but I'm having a kind of mid-life crisis with respect to deciding on flowing, circular forms or hard edges :P I'll figure it out sooner or later...in the mean time, feel free to tell me whether you prefer the style of the market (more angular) to, for example, the style of the asset management UI (more circular / smooth)!