May Dev Update: User Interface design & Galaxy Map features

maydevupdate

Over the past few months, we’ve been designing Predestination’s main races and working on core gameplay mechanics like ship design, tactical combat, galaxy generation, and planetary colonisation. A lot of really cool features are now in the game, but it’s difficult to show how they work without a user interface, so this month we’ve been working on building a solid UI framework into the game engine and rolling it out on the galaxy map screen.

Our goal for the Galaxy Map is to make it look and feel like an advanced astrometrics lab, with all of  the information your race has about the galaxy at your fingertips. We want you to be able to do most of your turn-to-turn empire management without leaving this screen, and to be able to immediately tell what’s going on in the galaxy by keeping an eye on the map. When designing the Galaxy Map interface, we had a few rules in mind:

  • Every window or information pane should have a specific place in the UI, so that your screen doesn’t become a mess of open windows.
  • The player shouldn’t be overwhelmed with information. Information should only appear when necessary and text should be kept to a minimum.
  • The UI must be scaleable and easy for players to mod.
  • Every UI element has to have a smooth animation or transition and a corresponding audio cue. The audio is not currently in the game, but placeholder cues have been inserted into the code for every action.

Dev update video:

 

Feedback:

We’re still finishing up parts of the galaxy map UI, such as the quick fleet movement and mini-map, and will then begin rolling out the new UI framework into the planetary colonisation and tactical ship combat parts of the game. Head over to the official UI feedback thread to let us know what you think of the UI so far, and to let us know ideas you have for the UI or problems you’ve noticed in other 4X game UIs that you’d like us to avoid.

Cheers!

— Brendan, Lead Developer

About Brendan Drain

Director @ Brain and Nerd
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