May 15, 2013
Developer Diary - GUI Improvements
Work has slowed recently due to being sick and other non-game issues. Hence the lack of posts over the last month. I lost about three weeks where hardly anything was achieved. However, I’m now back at a proper work rate, and ready to try catching up. This is a quick post to let people know what has been happening – mainly little fixes to the GUI.
After camera movement improvements, the GUI was the most confusing part of the previous alpha release. It needed to be improved.
Improvements just completed include (other than just being generally prettier):
- The Tab key now cycles focus through the player’s ships. Pressing Shift-Tab cycles through all ships.
- The stats box for the selected ship is better formatted and displays different information depending on what has been selected. Rather than slide off to the left, hiding the stats box now causes it to fade away.
- Planets and moons can now be selected – displaying various stats like diameter.
- The message box fades away when hidden.
- When targeting many ships on top of each other, a set selection buttons for all ships present appears so the correct one can be selected (rather than automatically taking the one at the top).
- The goals have been removed and placed on the main menu, which is now accessible from a screen button).
- It is now possible to launch all drones with a single click on the “Launch All” button.
- Hardest (and I think best) of all, ship HUDs will now longer overlap. If two or more HUDs would normally appear on top of each other, they will move out of the way. No more annoyance as the button you want to press is underneath another ship’s HUD!
There is always more that can be done, but time is needed to reflect and focus on other things before attempting further improvements. Next up is improving the enemy AI and general gameplay balance. That will complete the planned work for Alpha3, so I will cut a release an see what the testers think.