Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
09-27-2011, 08:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan_Kent View Post
I mean the LCARS textures that go on panels within the maps themselves.
Draft of 25th Century non-smurf LCARS;
http://i54.tinypic.com/msd36c.png

/\ That was a half-hour's worth of work to come up with some mild elemental changes and draw the shapes, then another hour to agonize over a new color scheme.

Kitbashing the elements of that + creating any specific new ones and putting it all over an existing set of LCARS (map asset) textures is actually the easy part.
Once upon a time I had multiple eras and sometimes multiple race iterations of computer panels for every elite force map I had. (Mainly for machinima use that I never put them to)

Re-skinning the HUD in this style would be a pain though probably, but assuming the HUD doesn't have to mirror map asset LCARS textures... *shrug*.

I'm just not a fan of solid blue LCARS within the maps themselves.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
09-27-2011, 08:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallingSky
I am one guy with graphics programming knowledge and I know our UI system intimately.

Basically it would take at the very least two weeks of artist time to just build all the new art assets (not including the overhead of getting the new design approved), another week to get it into the game, and a month of testing on top of that to find all the places that were missed. And that's just for a single new skin into the game.

It is possible to do a slapdash HUD skin in a day or two (we did it as an internal April Fools prank), but it was only the HUD, the bare minimum to get it working, not functioning, and five of us working on it. Later three of us (two programmers and one UI artist) did a complete UI skin/redesign for one of our other projects and it took about two months of work to get it in a built and tested state.

Even building a brand new UI from scratch takes awhile, the new Ship Store took about two weeks to get the rough implementation finished, and another month after that to get the UI to the point where it is now.
Soo... we understand, it takes Cryptic programmers/artists a long time to get things done.

Nevertheless, a complete UI overhaul of STO might be a worthwhile project within the next 6 months (possibly as a Year 2 anniversary project?!?)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
09-27-2011, 08:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallingSky
I am one guy with graphics programming knowledge and I know our UI system intimately.

Basically it would take at the very least two weeks of artist time to just build all the new art assets (not including the overhead of getting the new design approved), another week to get it into the game, and a month of testing on top of that to find all the places that were missed. And that's just for a single new skin into the game.

It is possible to do a slapdash HUD skin in a day or two (we did it as an internal April Fools prank), but it was only the HUD, the bare minimum to get it working, not functioning, and five of us working on it. Later three of us (two programmers and one UI artist) did a complete UI skin/redesign for one of our other projects and it took about two months of work to get it in a built and tested state.

Even building a brand new UI from scratch takes awhile, the new Ship Store took about two weeks to get the rough implementation finished, and another month after that to get the UI to the point where it is now.
I'm actually a little surprised it'd only take that long to rebuild things like that. I'd figured it would take at least a month with everything.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
09-27-2011, 11:15 PM
After posting this and seeing the great discussion. I must say that after playing for a bit, the actual UI is fine. (having just the one color doesn't distract from the play view) However what about making the in-game menus the traditional LCARS. Just like you are interacting with terminals on your ship?
If we cannot control our ships from the inside, how about bringing the next best thing?

Some examples:
Map window - Call it Astrometrics
Missions
inventory- Call it Cargo bay
...and any other 'Window" you have to call up.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
09-28-2011, 12:51 AM
i don't mind the blue color of LCARS
for some odd reason i like blue.

BUT... i would prefer if...
well...

if the Screens, Monitors and Consoles on my Bridge and in Ship / Station Interriors would at least LOOK functional.

A Navigational Console should look like a Navigational Console.

The game has like one Texture with random LCARS panels and those 5 panels are just randomly copy&pasted all over the place, without any thought to functionality.

The consoles have no blinking lights, if you have 20 screens with an animated LCARS graphic, that means the whole screen switches from graphic A to B to A to B after a few seconds, than ALL 20 screens on the Bridge simultaneously switch the screen in the same second.


Sorry but that ain't good enough quality for me.
If it takes 2 weeks to change that stuff, then please do so.


For the record, the graphics on the Homepage are functional and therefore fine as is.

The UI needs a serious overhaul as it is, because it eats more Framerate than all the 3D Graphics combined -> http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=228866
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
09-28-2011, 02:50 AM
This reminds me of all the errors in lazy / rushed ship designs that launched with the game. It turned a lot of Trek fans off. They didn't fix any of their previous work for a long while, not wanting to spend the time and resources on it. After a while they realized their error (thanks to CapnLogan) and committed resources toward making ships more accurate and more Trek. That change in direction was a huge improvement to the game and still resonates with the fans to this day.

They need to realize the same thing with LCARS. Drab monotone colored panels, lazily flipped or placed backwards on our bridges. It doesn't look Trek - It makes a lot of the ship interiors look bad - it has been like this since launch - A real shame.

Someone on environment artist team needs to step up like CapnLogan did and make an effort to correct and improve existing displays in game. Make them more colorful, more accurate, and FIX all those backwards panels on our bridges!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
09-28-2011, 07:30 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3R0B4NG View Post
The UI needs a serious overhaul as it is, because it eats more Framerate than all the 3D Graphics combined -> http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=228866
^ Very very much this ^
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
09-28-2011, 10:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketch5430 View Post
Do you mean to tell me that you don't have a magic wand that does all that for you?

I get what you're saying, people always think things are easier and quicker than they are.

I tend to think of it like this:

Time = (Quality / NumberOfWorkers) + Bureaucracy;
If (committeeApproval.needed)
{ Time *= 10; return Time}
else
{return Time;}

*Hope that's not WAY to nerdy to post on a Star Trek forum...

I would LOVE to have a shot at designing or refining the UI myself, but i'd assume that's probably against the rules.

just came home from work, read this and lmao.
Thank you for this, made my day.

one slight adjustment to the formula maybe,
Bureaucracy²

I would lke to have a real lcars interface also, to get on topic
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
09-28-2011, 11:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallingSky
I am one guy with graphics programming knowledge and I know our UI system intimately.

Basically it would take at the very least two weeks of artist time to just build all the new art assets (not including the overhead of getting the new design approved), another week to get it into the game, and a month of testing on top of that to find all the places that were missed. And that's just for a single new skin into the game.

It is possible to do a slapdash HUD skin in a day or two (we did it as an internal April Fools prank), but it was only the HUD, the bare minimum to get it working, not functioning, and five of us working on it. Later three of us (two programmers and one UI artist) did a complete UI skin/redesign for one of our other projects and it took about two months of work to get it in a built and tested state.

Even building a brand new UI from scratch takes awhile, the new Ship Store took about two weeks to get the rough implementation finished, and another month after that to get the UI to the point where it is now.
Improving the textures on the consoles themselves wouldn't take that long, would it?

I'd really love it if the in-game computer displays could be customized, both by color and UI type, and I think ThomastheCat would do a great job.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
09-28-2011, 12:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkthunder View Post
Nevertheless, a complete UI overhaul of STO might be a worthwhile project within the next 6 months (possibly as a Year 2 anniversary project?!?)
That seems unlikely with what needs to be done before F2P, and then all the bug fixing/polish the next few months afterwards.

As to actually creating a more LCARS appearance, while we're gradually moving towards incorporating more LCARS elements (you'll notice it in the Duty Officer UI when it makes it to Tribble), good usability design will likely prevent us from incorporating more elements.

Though, if Lexeme gets his way, you could possibly see UI modding support in a year or so, of course, that's probably just my wishful thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Sol
I'm actually a little surprised it'd only take that long to rebuild things like that. I'd figured it would take at least a month with everything.
Deadlines are a helpful motivator. Though since most of the UI is data defined we are able to iterate on it fairly quickly, however, because it's data defined, it's very easy to introduce non-obvious edge cases which take awhile to iron out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3R0B4NG View Post
The UI needs a serious overhaul as it is, because it eats more Framerate than all the 3D Graphics combined -> http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=228866
The UI suffers from being CPU bound, and single threaded. Both of those problems are non-trivial to solve and changes we can trivially make don't typically achieve noticeable gains. With that said, we do know about it and we are looking for solutions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sketch5430 View Post
Do you mean to tell me that you don't have a magic wand that does all that for you?

I get what you're saying, people always think things are easier and quicker than they are.

I tend to think of it like this:

Time = (Quality / NumberOfWorkers) + Bureaucracy;
If (committeeApproval.needed)
{ Time *= 10; return Time}
else
{return Time;}

*Hope that's not WAY to nerdy to post on a Star Trek forum...

I would LOVE to have a shot at designing or refining the UI myself, but i'd assume that's probably against the rules.
Are you sure it's isn't more like Time = pow(Time, Time)?

Also, if you send me that magic wand you have there.... I'll get started on making the UI 20% more cooler.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:08 PM.