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Soldier equipment screen improvements (Picture!)


Skitso
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There's always been something that really bugged me in the soldier equipment screen that I just couldnt put my finger on. Today, for some reason I woke up really early and while all others were still asleep, I decided to make a quick photoshop and see if I could make it better.

Changes:

- Moved role and armor controls to soldier card on the left (only inventory related stuff in center screen, more visible background art)

- Changed medal location and size and removed empty medal slots

- Made subtle dividers to soldier card on the left

- Moved dismiss and relocate soldier to bottom screen

- Recolored inventory screens (not sure about this)

- Remade weight bar to differentiate it from unit stats and to simplify the looks (AP penalty doesnt need it's own bar. EDIT: Oops, they are TU's ofcourse)

- Tried to achieve overall more cohesive look.

- Tried to achieve better overall UI logic (Soldier related info and actions are left, equiped items at center screen and base inventory is right.)

Hope you like it, here it is:

http://i.imgur.com/MEp6Msu.jpg

Edited by Skitso
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You could go into the scripts and make the adjustments.

You can switch items around to various parts of the screen, change fonts, add or remove buttons etc.

I believe you want sequip.lua in assets/scripts although you may also want to alter roleedit.lua, roleedititem.lua or rolemenu.lua if you want to play with the role menus and links.

The files are pretty self explanatory although remember to check your changes in different resolutions as scaling may be an issue.

*edit* You can also adjust some of the image files to fit your own preferences.

I have made all of the white areas a darker grey and the greyed out medals transparent for example as I found the white to be too bright.

http://i.imgur.com/QcNqGYp.jpgQcNqGYp.jpg

Edited by Gauddlike
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love the medals under the name and role location change. In fact REALLY like these! But I prefer the original inventory colour scheme and weight bar, the 2 bars work well, especially at the moment when you can overload before losing TU :P also think the dismiss/relocate soldier fits in better at the top. So a blend of the 2 is my prefered option, might mod it up closer to final release when im sure nothing is going to get changed :)

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I think the most important change would be to move the armor and role controls to left. Their location as they are now is unintuitive and their color doesn't match anything else. They are simply ugly.

Equipment screen's biggest problem is the amount of different ui element styles, colors and sizes in one screen. Why for example are the dismiss and relocation buttons (blue underlined text) different look and color than weapon/equipment buttons (light gray buttons with black text) at the right side of the screen? And then there are the next and previous soldier buttons that are, again, visually completely different compared to former ones. And why is there a rename soldier button, when clicking the name itself could easily do the same thing. There's still lot to be streamlined in the base UI, eventhough the new is lightyears better than the old one...

Edited by Skitso
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The whole ui suffers from the same problem.

There are at least three different methods of highlighting text, four or five different buttons and text link types.

On some screens you even have different display methods for similar information, for example your roster and the available troops to hire.

For some reason the xenopedia works completely differently from the other screens and throws you back out to the geoscape.

I think sitting down and deciding what the overall look of the ui was going to be, which buttons to use and so on would have improved it immensely.

If it wasn't such a pain positioning things manually by guessing at co-ordinates I would consider reworking much of it for my own preferences.

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The methods you have to change the UI layout etc are exactly the same as what the team have to do it...manual, trial and error movement or reformatting of the screen elements. There's no visual UI editor in the engine (there's not even one in Unity). Game UIs are a huge amount of effort in general.

Personally, I don't like your update much Skitso. I think the original works better, and I don't think it's logical to have the armour away from the rest of the equipment? Why does it make more sense to have it next to the soldier stats rather than next to his weapons etc? And the roles are primarily about equipment loadouts, so why move them away from the soldier equipment too?

Generally I think removing some of the colour from the UI screen makes it more boring, too. I think Gauddlike's reskin is better, but I think it's gone too far. Maybe some kind of halfway point between the light of the current backgrounds and what you have there would work better, but ultimately I spent quite a bit of time choosing the colours and I'm reasonably happy with what I came up with.

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I tried one simple trick to add a more oppressing mood to base UI screens by adding a strong vignetting (reducing brightness and saturation at the periphery compared to the image center). At least in my opinion, they now look much more brooding and the mood is more omnious.

The difference might be difficult to notice here, but with full screen in game the effect is strong.

If anyone wants to have the whole "mod", i have a .RAR including all the files but no place to upload it. Any ideas?

Edited by Skitso
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The methods you have to change the UI layout etc are exactly the same as what the team have to do it...manual, trial and error movement or reformatting of the screen elements. There's no visual UI editor in the engine (there's not even one in Unity). Game UIs are a huge amount of effort in general.

Personally, I don't like your update much Skitso. I think the original works better, and I don't think it's logical to have the armour away from the rest of the equipment? Why does it make more sense to have it next to the soldier stats rather than next to his weapons etc? And the roles are primarily about equipment loadouts, so why move them away from the soldier equipment too?

Generally I think removing some of the colour from the UI screen makes it more boring, too. I think Gauddlike's reskin is better, but I think it's gone too far. Maybe some kind of halfway point between the light of the current backgrounds and what you have there would work better, but ultimately I spent quite a bit of time choosing the colours and I'm reasonably happy with what I came up with.

No wonder it was such a big task to get it right, especially when scaling has to be considered.

I don't envy you that job at all :P

The brightness of the screens is completely personal preference but will likely be linked to that persons hardware.

My monitors are pretty bright and due to space constraints also quite close to me so white screens practically give me a tan.

On a better hardware layout or someone less sensitive to the brightness then it probably doesn't matter at all.

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Its been about 2 weeks since i played but from looking at your screen shots and thinking about what bothered me about the soldier equip screen I really only see 2 things wrong.

1) background image is hard to see, I really like the opacity in one of the above images (this goes for a lot of the screens but opacity is the only easy fix without a ui redesign that will never happen)

2) I'm not sure if this has changed but the empty medal slots drove me nuts. It felt more like my soldier was missing medals than they had accomplished anything worthy of a medal. Gave the opposite effect a medal should have, Having one you should enjoy seeing it there not say damn look at all those medals I still need.

not a big deal but why not equip armor from the right side of the screen like you do weapons and other gear? totally get rid of that equipped armor menu and replace it with drag and drop armor and an armor slot for a more uniform ui and equipping style. where to put the armor slot? right below the weapon, there's nothing interesting to obscure there just hangar floor. Like I said that's not really a big deal and the ui being different in many parts of the game doesn't even bother me, you learn whats what quickly enough.

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