Sunday 14 April 2013

Improved Colony Interface

Over the past month I have been mostly working on lots of smaller tasks and bugfixing which wouldnt have been particulary interesting to blog about, although I have made some nice improvements to the colony user interface which I can now show.

Improved Colony Interface

This is the same screen that was shown in the earlier blog post about colony development but now looks a lot more interesting and compacted.
(Colony information interface screen)

The planet view box at the top will eventually be used to display any special bonuses that the colony may have. They can also be viewed by hovering the mouse over a planet.
(Planet stats and bonus tooltips)

Below is the updated interface for building facilities and expanding the colony. You can see the older window design with some more information about facilities here.
(Colony facilities interface screen)


Next is the interface screen for building ships. It still needs some more work but the layout should stay mostly the same. Hovering over each design on the list to the right will show stats, build cost/time and details for the ship.

Designs are added to the build queue by dragging them from the list or by double clicking them. The build queue can also be rearranged by dragging items around with the mouse.

Adding some extra columns to the designs list showing the build cost and time would be useful, but I dont think there will be enough space for so many columns. Unless I take away space from the left half of the window. The "Resources Required" box also needs some slight changes as its not really clear what the values mean. Example: "4192 / 12000" (resources required / available)
 (Shipyard interface screen)

Each of the default ship designs currently have 5 variants (basic, standard, enhanced, advanced and prototype) This is determined by the quality of the modules that are fitted to the design. At the moment you can still build the obsolete designs after researching more advanced modules (more advanced modules cost more and take longer to build) So its a quantity vs quality / cheap vs expensive tradeoff when deciding what to build.

This may possibly change to something simpler as I'm worried its too confusing and increases the number of designs you need to create and keep track of. I had thought about having single designs which are updated to use the latest modules as you research them, but then the costs and build time would probably have to stay the same and the ships using the design would be instantly upgraded.

The other pages I didnt show (defence, refinery, research) still need some more work before thay are finished but are a lot more simple as they dont require much interaction.

Thats all for now.
Let me know if you have any good suggestions!