At 5pm I've decided to download the SpaceEngine and check it quickly - 5 mins max, before going to bed. (Black stars, galaxies, procedural planets...) At 6am SE crashed, so now I've finally decided to fall asleep.
Space Engine - Best pill against the restless sleep : ) Thank you for that experience!
Now I've decided to give something to the project. After 5 hours of tuning, and tweaking I've focused my efforts on a few logo concepts, UI, and fonts of the menu.
I really like the logo of the one in the center, with "ENGINE" typed with a lighter font, while I really like the background of the next one. The "SpaceEngine" logo is pretty standard though, I'm not sure if the developer wants to change it whatsoever.
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.
SkinTexture "interface_mod.*" // interface texture BackTexture "menu2.*" // main menu background texture and cubemap (extended to menu2_pos_x.*, menu2_pos_y.*, and so on) LogoTexture "logo.*" // "SpaceEngine" logo texture HaloTexture "halo.*" // halo (planet crescent) texture Force3Dbackground true // always use 3d background (cubemap), even in non-stereo/VR modes DualFont false // don't use old small font, use only new big font with downscaling
So you now can easily make a main menu mod, by simply adding a new skin config file and required textures. The new skin can be selected in the player settings menu. The modded font will affect all skins thought, but I can change that too.
My current build uses static background texture for some skins. There must be provided a skybox texture, captured in the same location as the background texture, with 2048*2048 resolution. Then user switches to 3D stereo mode, VR mode or fisheye/cylindrical/cubemap projection, the background texture in all skins changed to that skybox texture (because flat background cannot be rendered in those modes, especially in VR). Some skins uses forced skybox even in 2D mode, with camera slowly wiggles across the skybox (sort of a dynamic effect).
I am not satisfied with this system, so it may be changed before release. The major drawbacks:
Skybox texture is encoded into 8-bit image format, which in SE causes huge banding artefact on a part with a smooth gradients on the image (dawn, atmosphere top, milky way). Almost no scenes in SE has no smooth gradients.
Skybox textures are large, very large. One single 2048*2048 uncompressed skybox took 128 Mb of video memory. Compressing it into DDS reduces it to 32 Mb, but artefacts became even more worse.
Skybox must be at least 2048*2048 to make stars more or less "point" on 1080p screen. On a 4k screen, stars may start look blurry.
So I will probably change the static skybox texture to a full dynamic scene rendered by the engine. But this solution has also drawbacks, major of them is loading time. Each time you exit to the main menu, you will see nothing for at least few seconds (or maybe a blurred skybox?).
Great, thank you for the feedback! I really appreciate that! Ok, now I'm fully motivated to make an updated UI for the main menu. Thank you guys!
ps И на родненьком: Владимир, спасибо огромное за SE! Обычно очень занят (проф дизайнер в прошлом 12 лет Гугл и т.п. клиенты, сейчас свои проекты и команды. Иногда помогаю с интерфейсами инди разработчкиам как хобби - из актуального The Long Dark), но видно, что правки тепло приняты сообществом. Думаю имеет смысл "причесать" меню и возможно позже и интерфейс в игре (есть идеи как улучшить некоторые вещи).
Если не против, постараюсь найти время и разобраться с вышесказанным. "Подшаманить" интерфейс под современные стандарты. Возможно это все позже из мода перекочует в основную ветку разработки.
Source of the post So I will probably change the static skybox texture to a full dynamic scene rendered by the engine. But this solution has also drawbacks, major of them is loading time. Each time you exit to the main menu, you will see nothing for at least few seconds (or maybe a blurred skybox?).
Knowing now all these restrictions, I guess we can show the static blurred image first. Maybe even flat color or an image with minimal textures (that we know will be compact in VRAM and pleasant for users), maybe not a skybox (even for VR headsets) and fade it to the real environment when the engine is ready to show the real interactive beauty, let's say after 1-8 seconds.
Vladimir, you can PM me your skype, and we can hop on a quick skype call regarding UI / interface, etc.
Thanks exgamesadrenaline, for the awesome mockups, and Thanks SpaceEngineer for working on updates to the GUI! I've wanted that for quite some time now.
A while ago, on the old forum I posted my own re-skinned version of the menu interface that actually works. It's not quite as sleek as yours, but it's certainly an improvement on the default look in my opinion, at least until 0.9.81 comes out.
Here are some screenshots:
And I attached the download files. (To install, unzip the contents of loading_screen.zip into SpaceEngine/data/texture/common, replacing the files. And paste the file in menu.zip into SpaceEngine/data/locale, again replacing the current file.)
As a follow-up to my previous post, I also redesigned the main GUI of the game. (Just a mockup, however, it doesn't actually work)
In my design, I simplified the layout a lot, and made it look a lot more modern. The current SE design has all the tools and all the information right there, so it's hard to understand for people who are new to the game, and it's not very aesthetically pleasing. In my design, all the less-used tools and information are hidden in menus, allowing it to be much cleaner and simpler.
Here is screenshot, and a YouTube video a made to showcase my design:
After I made the video, I realized a few things that should be changed about it:
The button in the lower left should go to the planet, not center it on the screen
The side bar on the right is missing a few important buttons that should be there, like time control and exposure control
(By the way, I posted this a while ago on the old forum website as well, so some may have already seen this - Sorry for the noob question, but does anybody know if all the content of the old forum was moved to this one? I can't seem to find my old post anywhere on the new site.)