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Time again for the slightly-more-than-annual progress report. Things have been going pretty well. A bit sluggish, but well.

 

Panels

The game’s UI has been developed and designed a lot further. At present, we’re leaning toward maximum immersion –  having a full virtual console that the player sits in front of, instead of a traditional flat UI that overlays the screen. It’s been given an initial model and had some basic functionality prototyped, and it works pretty well. We may include an optional 2D UI in the end anyway, for those that would prefer that.

Here is the design thus far:

Control panel

 Most of the areas are self explanatory. The little up/down arrows on some of the panels are for switching between multiple available targets. The toggle switches turn that respective component on and off. The card on the Command Functions panel will have written on it whatever command groups you’ve designated for that spacecraft. Who changes the cards and writes the new text? It’s probably safer if that remains a mystery…

Most (if not all) items will be accessible via hotkeys of some kind, and the whole thing will be easily accessed from outside the game to make things simpler for anyone who might be inclined to build a replica one someday (I can dream).

Also, if/when we add VR support, this panel will be perfect.

 

Planets

And, more recently than that, I’ve been working at improving the visual fidelity of the universe at large. In particular, new atmospheres and terrain shaders. Pictures generally do a better job of explaining visuals, so have some:

Snowy planet

Lifey planet

This is still just a stopgap measure until the voxels come along, though, and they still don’t have normal maps or the needed triplanar mapping to avoid texture stretching. After those parts are done though, I think it’s  more than good enough to sit around for however long it takes to have the voxels ready.

It’s currently based off of vertex coloring on the mesh – red for the main texture, green for the secondary texture, and blue for the cliffs. With some magical and terrifying combinations of stuff, they have a sort of blend mask between the textures, although not a very good one. This led to some interesting results while it was being made.

 

Oh, I almost forgot. Each progress report will now have a gif attached. Here is today’s:

nyow2

 

2 Comments

  1. Very nice. I like the panel UI. Hopefully there will be a way to zoom into at least the main display. I really like how the labels look like the old school embossed vinyl labels.

    • @Matt

      Yes, you can move the view forward and backward as well as side to side along the panel. You also will be able to double-click the screen to get a fullscreen view of it.


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