Mobile Patch Incoming, and More Docking

Hey Folks! Sorry for the missed news yesterday. I had to finish work early due to some family colds. And I'm in a bit of a hurry today, too, since they're still getting better.

Tiago was able to finish a batch of bug fixes for mobile today. And I added one or two as well. (Unsure if they made the cut-off time, though.) He's wrapped-up test builds for iOS and Android, and we'll be testing those soon to see if they're good to release. Hopefully, those will reduce several crashes and bugs folks are seeing on mobile!

And I also continued work on the docking UI. Today's screenshot shows a bit more detail on what I'm picturing. Across the top, we have three screens in the current prototype.

When you approach a station on the orbital plotter, you can switch to the docking screen to negotiate with air traffic control (ATC). On the docking screen, the display has two buttons below it, "DOCK" and "ATC." (seen near the bottom of today's screenshot) DOCK is the docking ring alignment UI we saw earlier. And ATC is what you see here, and is used to get docking clearance from the station.

What I'm picturing is this:

  • Begin at main menu (top left image)
  • Select "ATC UPLINK" (using the soft-key next to the corresponding entry)
  • From the list of nearby stations and ships, choose the docking target. (top center)
  • Once connected, choose clearance type (top right)

I haven't finished the docking screen that comes next, but that will basically show the result of the request. Either clearance is denied, and you start over. Or clearance is "granted," which means the station ATC gives you some instructions to follow, and you choose to ACCEPT or REJECT the order. The instructions will probably be to adjust some widgets on the UI, like the big yellow numbers, to conform to their order.

Then, upon complying with the order, the docking ring alignment UI will start showing data, and you can use that to align the rings, approach station, then clamp when in range.

It's really, really rough right now. And has lots of non-functional parts. But part of what I'm aiming for here is the immersion factor. Feeling like you're dealing with a real tower/station, playing the role of captain.

We'll have to see if it's worth keeping, in practice. Even if it isn't, I'm still going to need some UI to perform this role. (Comms to choose a target station and dock with it.)