Reactor UI Elements

Hey Folks! Back at work for a few days, so I'm continuing work on the fusion control panel.

When I last left off, I had mostly figured out a layout I'm happy with. It has most of the bare-bones info and controls one would need to start and control a fusion reaction, though it should probably get fleshed-out a bit at some point. Fortunately, there's still room for some more stuff in there, as it only occupies about 75% of the screen.

For the purposes of the teaser video, I just need to be able to film it in action. So I'll go with this for now. And rather than muck around with the layout any more in Illustrator, I think it might make sense to continue within Unity's UI system. I can use the 9-slice layout tools there to adjust things as necessary, fiddle with text blocks and spacing, and test out some visual styles and effects in the final renderer.

Before that, however, I'm going to need a few standard UI elements that get used. I'm going for an Airwolf-style UI in this example. Something that looks like high tech from the late 70s and early 80s. The LED level meter is a big one, as it gets used a dozen or so times across the controls. Similarly, the labeled indicator lights come up quite a bit. The 7-segment numerical/letter display also gets used a fair amount.

I'll also need some back-lit push buttons with labels, a knob or two, and some sliders. Plus a nice rocker switch for satisfying "clunk" on/off effects when activating systems.

Note that this is just one potential style for the ship UIs in-game. Ideally, I'd like ships to be able to have different styles for interior and controls, to let the player find the one they like best. So I'll likely mock-up one example style for each needed UI type, and then follow-up later with additional styles as needed.

Anyway, once I have enough of this put together in Unity, I can write some code to flash lights and animate in a convincing way for the video. And later, hook each up to actual ship systems.

Tags: Ostranauts


ra1's picture

I like your idea of having multiple "looks" for the various control systems. It would give the feel of a hodgepodge of systems scrounged from derelicts of different types. Perhaps you could do that with floor tiles and doors as well?

P.S. Looking into the future (post release), fans could perhaps publish modded consoles, some of which could be made available to all players in-game.

dcfedor's picture

Yeah, that's sort of what I'm hoping for, too. UIs aren't yet moddable, but they're being made with modding in mind so players can share their own designs. Floors, walls, and other pieces, on the other hand, are already moddable via text files and PNGs, just like NEO Scavenger. I'd like to have a few styles available at the start, but there's definitely room for more.

In some ways, this thing is turning into more of a toy or playset than a game. Just a lot of pieces to play around with, build stuff, and make up stories with.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games