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  #1  
Old 04-07-2007, 06:26 AM
Nadger Nadger is offline
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DuskUI Development Thread

A Brief History
DuskUI is my new project. It is also my 3rd UI. In beta I developed NadGUI, in late beta I started CoreUI, once I did I abandoned NadGUI. The original CoreUI was full of art, over time it became CoreUI2 which dropped a lot of the art in favor of minimalism.

I also around this time decided to create a HUD Pack that was standalone and could be plugged into any UI. CoreUI itself was built around this HUD Pack and how it works.

Now CoreUI has become a victom of its success. Every time someone requested something I did my best to include it in the options. It so full of options it became bloated and can decrease your performance in game, due to the way the Vanguard Client handles UI memory and processing.

This lead to my being unhappy with CoreUI2. I thought about just making a stripped down version but my taste in what I wanted changed as I saw other great UIs like CMod come out that were just very good looking graphically. This appealed to me and rather then try to redo CoreUI into what I wanted it to be, I decided to simply start a new UI.

I will continue to fix CoreUI if a patch breaks something, or bugs crop up but other then that I am done with it. For now my focus is on my new project. DuskUI.

What is DuskUI?
Dusk's main theme was derived from Warhammer Online's Interface. It has a similar shape. It is the evolution of my experiences coding UIs, and experiences in game. It strives to have eyecandy without being too gaudy, much like CMod's style. It will not include the HUD Pack, or VGInfopanel. I want to keep it simple and have a low memory & processing footprint.

Using DuskUI could, in theory, also improve your performance in game. As I will be unloading the default graphics that are no longer used from memory, and using a new image format called .dds. CoreUI had 2 TGA files totaling 8MB in size. Those same 2 TGA files in .dds format would come to 2MB. I also plan on redoing the default TGA files into .dds, but keeping the default XML code in the default directory. What this means is xml file updates to the default UI will still be in effect every patch. However TGA file updates would require me to patch the UI. So basically what this method boils down to is the UI will take up far less memory then any other UI.

There are a few kinks with DDS files i need to work out still, but I should be able to nail them.
Enough...wheres the screenshots?

Okay, okay...Here is a Concept shot I made in photoshop to show what I want the finished product to look like.

Concept Shot


Now here is an actual in game screenshot of my current progress on the UI:

Progress Shot: April 7th (4:30am)


Progress Description - April 13th (10:00am)
The UI is ready for a beta release now, as its fully functional its just missing some bells and whistles. Id like to get the options window in before releasing a beta though. You might notice the words in the center of the screen above the arc bar. Thats just a little pvp tool, that you will be able to turn off in options. Also if you notice the clock in the upper right, I made a 12h clock cause im not used to military time. And yes i turned my graphics way down because this last patch made my previous settings unplayable.

Anyway feel free to post comments and suggestions. I love reading them.
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2007, 08:50 AM
techywarrior techywarrior is offline
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Looking good so far.
If the left and right bars are replaced with mini bars then I think there may be enough room next to them for a chat window. At least at 1280x1024 and wider.

I was thinking about the problem you have with center circle and have some possible solutions depending on if you are able to manipulate it or not.
  1. Put a text countdown timer in white on top of the image.
  2. A small thin vertical bar in red or white that acts as a more visible countdown.
  3. Leave it the way it is and make people deal with it
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2007, 10:52 AM
Nadger Nadger is offline
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Im not going to have them be minibars. Additonal bars yes but minibars area little small for clicker people. I personally use a mix of keyboard and clicking, if i cant reach it with my left hand resting on the wsad keys i click it. The smaller the icon the harder it is to find and click in a hurry.

As far as the chat goes, the mainbar across the bottom is broken up into 3 peices. Leftbar, center hub, rightbar. You could opt to turn off the right bar and slide everything over to the right and stick chat on the left, or put minibars in their place if you wish or just move the target and player windows up top like they are on most UIs. Thats the beauty of layout mode. The user should be able to find a layout suitable to them.

As far as my reaction timer problem...#1 and #2 in your list cant be done as we have no control over that timer...its another peice of the UI that seems to be controlled via gamecode and not xml.

A quick update: The mana/endurance window is in. I still need to add the Jin/Virtue/Pheno points stuff into it though. An idea did cross my mind thoug...where the jin points are right now i could make a HP orb. And on the target window I could do the same...and just put the stuff in the circle inside the bar. I doubt I would do it but it did cross my mind.

I may end up cutting down the width of those 2 windows.

Another thought crossed my mind in that i could reposition the text on the player target window and the mp/end windows so that if you wanted to you could fit them together like a puzzle....again i doubt i would do this.

I will be shrinking the mainbar icons down from 40x40 to 38x38. The concept ones were 38x38 and i forgot to resize them down, so they are a little too big for the bar.

I also had to make some changes to the def target window part...nothing visual just the right click area i had to shrink down. Now to get the right click area you must right click on their name, not their hp bar. I was running into overlap issues that would prevent the user from clicking round slots 2, 3, 7 and 8

One other thought did cross my mind was to make the mana and endurance bars side by side across the top of the mainbar. I like having them close to there because they are your fuel for those buttons. Its nice to have them in the same focus. However doing so would ruin the symmetical balance, and I would be forced to do the same to the player hp and target hp which i would not want side by side.

I dont mean to be selfish, but CoreUI turned into a community UI, slowly drifting away from what I wanted it to be. Dusk i am making to please myself. Thats not to say i wont be listening to suggestions. But in short, i am the judge jury and executioner on this one =)

Besides if I leave some user wanted unsatisfied, that only encourages others to take up the notepad and get into xml modding

One last note - I still have not designed a compass for the UI yet. For now ill stick with the default one but I need to expirment with the imagescroller control and see if i cant make a semi circle compass arcing the exp bar. I doubt it will be possible because the image scroller would have to allow a clockwise and counter clockwise movement which i strongly doubt it does.
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  #4  
Old 04-07-2007, 11:53 AM
Apoco Apoco is offline
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Great ideas, looks awsome, however I can't stand having those big buttons.
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2007, 12:07 PM
cdxrd cdxrd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nadger
One last note - I still have not designed a compass for the UI yet. For now ill stick with the default one but I need to expirment with the imagescroller control and see if i cant make a semi circle compass arcing the exp bar. I doubt it will be possible because the image scroller would have to allow a clockwise and counter clockwise movement which i strongly doubt it does.
Nadger, check out the 'other' site.. http://www.vginterface.com/downloads...ndCompass.html

Not sure if thats going to give you any help or any ideas, but its a round compass. Probbly not what your looking for, but thought I would throw it out.. I know the feeling about CoreUI2 being kinda bloated, so take your time and do duskui the way you want it.. just so long as it has the features I want in it.. minibars.. you want to add in minibars... grrrrrrr....

Looking forward to the next progress shot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apoco
Great ideas, looks awsome, however I can't stand having those big buttons.
Agreed, even as a click, I like the mini's.. CoreUI2 was just about perfect..
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2007, 12:15 PM
techywarrior techywarrior is offline
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If I decide to replace the left (main) bar with a mini bar does that meen I lose the ability to use the 1,2,3... hotkeys? I suppose that I could slide the entire UI over to the right hand side and have enough space for the chat window but then it will be wierd as everything is off center.

The only way to really tell is to use it so I guess you are just going to have to release it soon so everyone can try it

Suppose the only other option is to make any modifications myself to the released code.

CDXRD - I think Nadger wanted to make the compass an arc like the xp bar is.

I would make my own UI but I can't do graphics. Love your work Nadger.
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2007, 01:16 PM
askyn askyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdxrd
Nadger, check out the 'other' site.. http://www.vginterface.com/downloads...ndCompass.html

That compass isnt really round, as far as function of it goes its more just a bubble, the compass poinst still go left and right acrss the screen.

I think what hes thinking of is more like a actuall compass in real life, ie - it swings in a circle. I was thinking of a way around this b ut it would require a lot of work, you would have have to make a custom compass graphic.

It would still move left and right but would give the illusion of or rotating, not sure it would actually work let me think about it more.
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2007, 01:59 PM
Elesar Elesar is offline
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I agree with the need for smaller buttons. When I made my compilation of the DroxUI, I made new bars that had 25px buttons instead of the 34 ones that he has in his mod.

This may not be for all players, but I know that I like them, and I play by click for about 99% of my casting.

I love the look of the UI so far, and think that if you had smaller bars then that would top it off, and may just pull me to this UI over Drox.

I know that you dont want alot of options, because that would bloat the UI just like CoreUI2 and several other option heavy UIs, but a variation release that featured smaller buttons could be a way around that, or a project for someone that has the skills to do it.
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2007, 04:06 PM
askyn askyn is offline
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Nadger .. I have a solution to the compass being a dial ( I assume like most mmos the compass actually jsut swings left and right and isnt a full circle.

I have created using excel a way of showing how it would have to be set up graphically.

Down load -- http://members.cox.net/clarks7/Vanguard/dialcompass.xls

Cut apart the 2 rectangles, and cut out the black squares on the second section, then over lay the section that has the cut outs on top of the first section.

Then to change directions, just move the top part left or right, it will give the illusion of the dial swinging.

A quick and dirty way of showing how i was saying you could display a dial type compass ( or any other dial type for that matter ) while only being able to move the graphic left and right as current compasses are ingame
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2007, 05:52 PM
Nadger Nadger is offline
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The buttons are only somewhat of an optical illusion. They are the exact same size as the default buttons & the exact same size as coreUI's mainbar's buttons. I do want to shrink them down a little but nothing real small. CoreUI2's minibars were 22x22. Id at least want to go around 32 I think.

And you could just go into control options and rebind 1 2 3 4 to the minibar techy, as I will be including a user.ini to let you assign keys to my custom bars & slots.

As far as the compass goes...that may work askyn. Im unsure how well it would work with the compass waypoint marker system and how that works. You're right it would be a LOT of work to get right. I might tackle this later on but for now the default compass will do. Thanks for taking the time to show how it could be done...its a little difficult to wrap the mind around to make sure it would work correctly without actually trying it.
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