Here's a preview of how the new UI will look. This is more to keep everyone in the loop as to what we're up to rather than to solicit much feedback at this stage. The UI has gone through enough concept iterations now that we know pretty much what works; in fact in this iteration we've stayed much closer to the present design than previous designs have.
The main changes are:
1) A consistent topbar across all the screens. This improves on the current design which only has 4 tabs on the Geoscape, and vastly improves on the previous "immersive" concept which would have awkwardly used a sign on the wall for navigation. It means that the navigation buttons and the date / money information is all in a consistent place on every screen, which is key from a usability point of view.
2) We've implemented a tabbed "speech bubble" menu type on most of the screens. This has two advantages - it keeps the UI clean as we don't have to have all the information on screen at once (the player can just click to the desired tab) and also it adds more character to the game. There's now a chief on most of the screens, which involves you in the organisation a bit more.
3) It looks a lot nicer. Our painted background are nicer than our previous ones and you can see more of them than before, and the light background works better than the dark one we currently use. It's just much more coherent than before.
Some of the art is placeholder. The topbar name is the same on each page because there was no need to update it, plus the background art repeats on the right-hand side.
I can't be bothered to go into details on aspect ratios, but if you have a 16:9 monitor you'll have the ideal experience from the game. If you have at 16:10 then the actual playable area will remain the same, but there'll be a band of background on the left and right of the screen that will be hidden.
So, here's the UI:
http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/2_Base_1610.jpg (this does not yet have a painted background, it's just a layout!)
There's also the Geoscape and Xenopedia screens, which are not yet complete. The Geoscape is being concepted up at the moment. Here's the current concept for the Geoscape screen:
EDIT - if you want to come up with your own alternative concepts (as I'm not tweaking these concepts any more) then you can download the Photoshop files for the UI screens here and have a go: http://www.xenonauts.com/devfiles/finalUI.rar