New Main Menu

I managed to get quite a bit done on the main menu today. Work included setting up the resolution switching, choosing UI coordinates for each mode, plus a screen redesign. Here's how it's looking:

IMAGE( New main menu idea. (Click image link to see actual size.)

Quite a bit's changed, so I'll walk you guys through what's new.

Background Art

First of all, I've changed the background art a bit. I needed to rework it anyway, since the old one was 800x600, and had things like the logo and text "baked" into it. The new version has all elements separate, so they can move around and scale independently of the background.

It also does a bit of parralax scrolling, which is wholly unnecessary, but I wanted to do it :)

Play vs. Load

I've also started experimenting with new "Play" and "Load" buttons. Based on some feedback in the forums, it sounds like it's pretty easy to click "Play" when one means to click "Load." So this new version does a few things differently, to try and help.

These new buttons look different, which should hopefully make it faster to recognize which is which. The color difference, the number of words, and the words themselves should make things a bit clearer. Plus, I've moved the "Continue" button to the top. Previously, the "Play" button was at the top, and "Load" would appear below it, if available. I have a feeling people got used to clicking the first button at the top, without reading it first.

However, with the new buttons, "Continue" will appear at the top, if available, so I'm hoping folks who are more spatially-oriented will accidentally click "Continue" rather than "Play."

I may still change the art on those two buttons, since they seem a bit weak in this UI. The LED graphics and chunky buttons elsewhere make them seem really subdued, so they might stand a bit of beefing-up. Big, colorful buttons are probably a good thing here, though, since there are lots of buttons.

Credits and Instructions

I've also changed the Credits and Instructions buttons. Previously, both had LED images on them, and when clicked, displayed text and info on the same page in the empty space around the screen.

I'm planning to make each of these open a new full-screen window with their respective texts/graphics. I figured I could save the LED motif for the audio/video options buttons, since they are toggles, and these just open new screens when pushed. Plus, there isn't much room left on this screen for their info, anyway.

Mute and Resolution

I've created a bunch of new buttons for switching video settings, and grouped them under the Mute button. This way, buttons with similar functions live near each other and look similar.

The "Fullscreen" button switches Flash into fullscreen mode, which maximizes the window and hides window borders, just like most PC games. The one quirk is that the "Esc" key will automatically drop out of fullscreen. Not much I can do about that, as it's built into Flash. It's probably for the best, though, as it's pretty intuitive. I may have to change the in-game main menu to use a different key, however.

The next group of red LED buttons let the user toggle the current game resolution. Pretty straightforward. The one thing I might still change is to put these more towards the center of the screen, so that people don't lose the buttons if they click a screen resolution too-large for their monitor.

Lastly, there's a "Filter" button which toggles the bicubic filtering (basically, antialiasing). For folks who want to stretch the application to fit their monitor, they'll have to put up with jagged edges (like the game does currently). This button lets them choose to smooth things out with antialiasing, if desired. As mentioned before, it makes things a bit blurry, but some folks prefer that, and it's easy to setup a button for it.

By the way, I realize I forgot to include a "Stretch" button. Oops. I'll make a note to do that tomorrow.


Finally, I've also decided to put a link to NEO Scavenger's Greenlight page on the main menu. It'll be time to start pushing for more votes soon, so this is one way to make more people aware of the Greenlight option. Lots of folks ask me if the game will be on Steam, so this should help answer that question for those people (and give them a means to help make NEO Scavenger available on Steam).

And that's about it. The rest of the stuff was there in the old version, too, so not much explanation needed for those. I still need to figure out whether or not to scale up the graphics for 1360x768 on this screen. So far, just moving them around makes them seem to small at that size. So I may try making them 2x normal size tomorrow.

That's all for now. Hope everyone has a good night!


orbitneo's picture

Great, I look forward to this update!

Good luck with Greenlight. I already voted, but I'll be sure to try to spread the word. :)

drakcothedark's picture

Turned out great Dan!

Kitanode's picture

It also does a bit of parralax scrolling, which is wholly unnecessary, but I wanted to do it :)

This sounds great! It can make a really nice impression on menu backgrounds (i remember the Total War games using this to great effect).

Little touches like this go a long way in my opinion, towards settting the tone or vibe of the game.