Author Topic: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!  (Read 2025 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2017, 07:55:38 PM »
My big problem with icons is still that they are neon.
Even the diamond/triangle ones I used for the triangle ships in there? I only touched fighter/bomber/missile-corvette. I just used a flat color with a very thin outline so I don't understand the neon bit here. Is it the color itself? Or is the hsv shader (that transmutes the file's raw red to the team color) doing something else?


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Ps.: I really want to emphasize, when I say non-shaped, I mean the shapes for all ships should be the same (non edgy at that)
That would be doable, I was just following something like the supcom example someone had posted, which did have some distinction based on what the unit was. I'm guessing there will be some who want one, and some the other. And some who want the detailed icons everywhere, though it's more obscuring.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2017, 12:03:06 AM »
mhh, maybe it is an artifact of your screenshots, but your outline isn't black, it's additive white (and fringing) ;P

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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2017, 07:44:35 AM »
Yea, the images I put together aren't the best (in the file itself those outlines are black, but there might be some transparent fuzz around them), was just working out the modding pipeline and checking to see if it was in the right ballpark.
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Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2017, 10:34:50 AM »
Aren't those screenshots a bit excessively big?

I just didn't have time to size them down.  That's the resolution I took them at.

Is it possible to handle the wormhole names under the new icon system?  Perhaps the two mantis issues I opened regarding difficulty reading the names on a bright background(0019056) and how the wormhole names don't rotate when you rotate your view(0019057) can be easily fixed with it.

We could do that if we switched to a bitmap font for those names, but you run into potential clarity issues with that.  It was one of the things that always held us back in the fonts in older Arcen titles.  That said, needing a stroke around them pretty much requires bitmap fonts, and given that it's a pretty good bet we should use our old system.  Trying to do a stroke in realtime is a suuuuper slow operation for fonts in particular, so it's pretty much prerendering or bust.  Which means that you're basically right -- we have to go to that other system for that bit at least.

I do think the readability could be improved a bit more just by thickening the borders of the icon glyphs with a darker shade of the same color. That way, when you have a pile of multiple icons they remain a bit more distinct. Sort of like how right now, when you select them, you get a white border; if the unselected state had a slightly dimmed orange/blue border rather than just having a single color, I think that would help somewhat.

There actually are already borders that are there, but not super clear.  But... that said, using the borders that we see for selections is a great idea!  I was going to do something way more complex. ;)  I agree that should help a lot.

It looks amazing! It's a wonderful improvement over what we had before, and I am a huge fan. I'm sure I'll have useful feedback going forward, but the icons look wonderful as a first pass.

Thank you!

the icons are still "too uniform" and bright, frankly, on the black background my eyes water a bit when I try to make out details.

Too uniform in size or in gradient?  I'd like to get more done in them with gradient for sure.  That was something that I'd been aiming for from earlier in the process, but it's something that was really hard for Blue to shoot for with no way to visually see the end results.  Now she can see the results, so that should help a lot. :)

Eh, seeing this, I definitely want non-shaped colored blips now as an option more than ever....

We can potentially make a settings option, since what you're asking for doesn't sound that complicated.  You're an artist -- can you give a rough mock of what you have in mind, or point to some other example?  Do you just mean literally little dots that are colored?

Okay, I understand what you want, you explained that further down in the thread.  The white artifacting is something relating to the shader and mostly-transparent pixels.  I need to look into that bit more.

The bright green neon wormhole could be toned down a bit.

I'll see what I can do -- I'm looking at bloom in general first probably, so we'll see what that does to start with.

I would definitely want to see options that we can customize to our own tastes. E.g. for the person who thought AI War had a good sidebar (not me mind you), and one for someone like me who would like to see ships grouped up like Bombers: Me# Friend# Enemy# in one row, so I don't have to hunt for the particular bomber that is mine, I can look for bombers once, and see immediately which is mine.

This is a decision for Keith, not me, but I would like to give my support to this idea.  If he thinks it is feasible, I would also appreciate this sort of thing.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2017, 10:58:38 AM »
Oh, sure, I'm certain there's no everybody-will-be-happy-with-this sidebar design, and by default the whole implementation will be in external code anyway. What I'm aiming for right now is trying to lay a better foundation for the UI's usability, before the game gets too usable (hah) and it gets hard to change, etc.

@eRe4s3r here's another screenshot with simpler&smaller blips. The white edge thing is still there but ignore it if you can; judging from what Chris said I just wasn't careful enough to make sure all the pixels were completely non-transparent. Also, this is only for the triangle ships; the turrets (and probably guardians) would need their own simplifications, etc.

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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2017, 11:31:57 AM »
Looks much better, assuming the border is not fringing, it can even be non-black, as long as it's perfectly anti-aliased. You decided whether toggle (press button = see magic) overlay MK levels would be possible? I don't mean laying them "over" the blip, but as an additional "blip info" element.

And if you already got this in, there is nothing for me to mod which is obviously great. ^^

The real challenge will be the sidebar though :D Tons of disparate opinions await you.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2017, 12:57:35 PM »
You decided whether toggle (press button = see magic) overlay MK levels would be possible? I don't mean laying them "over" the blip, but as an additional "blip info" element.
Sure, that would be fine. Right now I've got a flag in the external-visual-constants xml for suppressing mark level display (and the mod sets that). But it could be un-suppressed by a particular overlay (triggered by a while-pressed key, a toggle key, or a toggle UI button).

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And if you already got this in, there is nothing for me to mod which is obviously great. ^^
I'm sure there'll be plenty for you, over time ;) And again, I used the modding framework for these, and it's not enabled by default. A side benefit was making sure there's a concrete workflow for creating and using icons that works without paid texture packing tools, etc. I haven't tested it with Unity Free but I don't see any reason for it not to work. Anyway, once it's clear we're not going to have another major icon architecture overhaul in the next couple weeks I'll go back through the workflow to document it for y'all.

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The real challenge will be the sidebar though :D Tons of disparate opinions await you.
Lots of opinions, yes, but I'm hopeful that folks will be sufficiently able to try the different approaches to see why they should all agree on one system ;) Or, at least, that most folks will each find a system that supports their enjoyment of the game.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2017, 02:37:05 PM »
I want to put together--or help--assuming I have time, a UI that is very stripped back and minimalist. Not quite the blips just here, but a half-step back up.

Just don't have the time right now to mess with it.

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2017, 11:04:43 AM »
The white edge thing is still there but ignore it if you can; judging from what Chris said I just wasn't careful enough to make sure all the pixels were completely non-transparent.

It's partly that, but in looking at your import settings for the textures it was actually more than that.

Settings of relevance for anyone keeping track at home (as they deviate from the defaults):
- Generate Mipmaps OFF (otherwise it may downsample them)
- Wrap Mode Clamp (otherwise you might get some edge artifacts)
- Compression High Quality (otherwise you'll definitely get fringing and other quality loss bits)

Anyone having trouble remembering it can just look at the official textures that are in the Icons folder in the AIW2ModdingAndGUI folder, so it's right there if anything ever changes, too.  But anyway, that was part of the issue with the fringe.:)
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2017, 12:05:55 PM »
- Compression High Quality (otherwise you'll definitely get fringing and other quality loss bits)

AKA "Truecolor"
Often times I find that the 16-bit compression works pretty well although there is some compression of color-range (obviously) but for UI elements it's often unnoticeable.  You lose some alpha detail as well as it gets squished down, but if you're working with an on/off level of alpha, it's fine.

But yeah, truecolor for most 2D objects for sure.  Also probably want to set Interpolation to Point, bilinear goes a little blurry (and trilinear only differs from bilinear for 3D objects: it reduces the interference artifacts on textures as they get really far away or heavily perspectived).
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 12:08:16 PM by Draco18s »

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2017, 12:14:55 PM »
It's either truecolor (DirectX9) or BC7 (everything else).

If you're doing pixel-perfect drawing of GUI elements, then point is definitely the way to go.  With things that are being scaled a lot, it's kind of a judgement call between bilinear and point. Overall I've had better luck with bilinear filtering when alpha transparency is involved and rotations not introducing a flicker, but YMMV.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2017, 12:47:52 PM »
It's partly that, but in looking at your import settings for the textures it was actually more than that.
Ah, ok. The compression (and I think mipmap) controls in Unity were grayed out for me so I couldn't change them to match the existing files. On the Wrap Mode I tried to copy what was on the existing files; clamp for normal and something else for borders.

Anyway, good to know what settings it was :)
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Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2017, 12:54:02 PM »
That's kind of concerning that they were grayed out!  But I guess we'll deal with that sometime later.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2017, 01:23:37 PM »
Quote from: kasnavada on April 01, 2017, 02:40:06 AM

    the icons are still "too uniform" and bright, frankly, on the black background my eyes water a bit when I try to make out details.


Too uniform in size or in gradient?  I'd like to get more done in them with gradient for sure.  That was something that I'd been aiming for from earlier in the process, but it's something that was really hard for Blue to shoot for with no way to visually see the end results.  Now she can see the results, so that should help a lot. :)

The outline is very nice.

Not sure what you mean by gradient or size. I don't have qualms about the icon sizes in any case :-/ . What bothers me a bit is that the icon itself is just "one color" as far as I can tell and it's very bright. That said maybe it's just not finished =).

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 Alpha v0.114 "Major GUI And Icons Overhaul" FINALLY released!
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2017, 01:31:29 PM »
New build coming later today, and I think you guys will like it.  We shall see! :)
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