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Navigation UI, HUD


nozmajner
(@nozmajner)
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Greetings!

I'd like to ask, what's the roadmap regarding the orbital navigation screen? I'm really enjoying the new orbit display (and found and uncommented the orbital analysis tab in in the infoview script ). It got me thinking, how the navigation screen could be expanded with good usability. I've made a mockup sketch to distract myself from my task (I can't embed it for some reason).

I don't give any explanation yet, since any UI should be somewhat self explanatory. Let's check if it's good on that regard.

Is there any need for such UI mockups in the future? Because I'm interested in doing these, or some HUD design. Like a simplified orbit display for the cockpit view, which blends well with the other UI elements or so. Or a navball like instrument (akin to what those Kerbals are using for example).

(My secret dream is that some time in the future I start a mod where you have a more tight deltaV budget, so you have factor in the orbits and such.)


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fluffyfreak
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That's a nice looking mockup, it would be cool to get some time to improve the look of all those screens.

 

A word of advice though, whilst a picture might be worth a thousand words... that doesn't make the thousand words optional 😉

I've written UI's before and the whilst picture gives an overview, the words tell you what data you've got, where it comes from, what calculations might need doing (even if you don't know the maths) and all that stuff that actually makes the UI function.

 

As you've seen already though a lot can be done in the Lua scripting itself. So if you want to give it a try then feel free to just ask questions in here or on our IRC channels.

 

We could do with some mockups, and even better the icons/buttons and any other art resources you come up with, because we're quite heavily art constrained so every little bit helps in that regard! 🙂

 

Andy


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nozmajner
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Thanks! I don't really want to avoid explaining the things, especially for a static image, I'm just curious, how much it stands on it's own, before explaining anything.

But here's a bit expanded version, with some annotations for explanation.

 

can you manipulate the orbital view in lua already, or that's down along the road right now? Not that I know too much about lua or scripting.

 

What kind of art is needed? I can do drawing, 2D and 3D also. Some years ago I've modeled some stuff for Vegastrike, but due to some workload/college constraints, I was not really an engaged contributor. (I don't even know if my models made it ingame).

Anyway, here's the link for an album, I've put some other example images as well. That cilindrycal ship is for Vegastrike, and in that screenshot that blue ship is also was considered for inclusion, but was not modelled after any description. I had to try my hand putting it in pioneer though :D.

Anyway, I can't promise anything, but If I can spare some free time, I'd like to contribute some assets and stuff. 


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Marcel
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Those are really nice ship designs! I'd love to see your stuff in Pioneer!


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fluffyfreak
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I've gotta agree with Marcel they're nice looking ships! 🙂 You've already gotten one of them into the game too or that mocked up?

 

Also thanks for the annotated guides they're really clear and I'll take a closer look at them now.

 

When it comes to art, and especially to new ships or spacestations (or ground stations for that matter), we usually recommend people build them first as a partial "mod" (basically some zipped folders) and share them with the rest of the forums using dropbox or some other upload service. Then we can try them out and they get plenty of eyeballs on them 🙂

 

If you're keen on getting it into the regular distribution then I'm usually happy to help out if I can. It'll have to go through the GitHub "Pull Request" route so that people can comment, you can make changes and any objections can be raised or handled - this is why we recommend doing a "mod" first since most of that will already have happened and you won't be waiting around for weeks (/months) for feedback.

 

Andy


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nozmajner
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Thanks!

So that's how the mods folder works... Nope, that's no mockup. :D.  (I'l post her on another thread).


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nozmajner
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I've made a HUD mockup too, and here's the explanation.


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fluffyfreak
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You can go further than that with the HUD if you like 🙂

I think that the existing "bar" along the bottom really needs to go or at least be changed a great deal.

 

There might actually be an old HUD mockups threads or two if you hunt around the forum for a while, there's several years worth of opinions and discussion on the forum!

 

I'd like it if elements could be shown or hidden by the player, possibly shown in "stages".

Your "Thrust and rotation forces" for example could be in 3 states: hidden, partial, full.

Because you don't need all of the data all of the time.


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nozmajner
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Yeah, I was also thinking, there should be a way to hide what you don't need. Maybe to evenhave presets, you can cycle through quickly.

I will definitely thumb trough the forum and check those topics.

I was also thinking about cockpits. I saw that there isn't really a concensus if they are needed or important right now, and they sure need a lot of work to look decent. But if we could create a good collection of quality different interchangable parts, like monitors, flight sticks, seats, buttonpanels and such, which can be used as prefabs to make different cockpits by different people, that might ease the pain associated with making them.

And if there's a good default cockpit, something with monitors instead of windows, than that could be used on ships which doesn't have one, and it would be possible to make something decent for it later too. And you can always expant the part collection.

Anyway, that's just what came to my mind, ignore it if irrelevant.


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whisper979
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Just please make sure you can always disable any future cockpits. I already have a cockpit to use 😉

 

Also, if you could put all of your info on a second screen and just have your camera views on your main screen that would be the coolest thing ever in all of history!


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nozmajner
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I'm with you about that, there should be a HUD only view.

If there would be some way to send data out from the game, than you could have separate program for instruments. Even better, you could route it to some real instruments using arduino for example. That would make quite an upgrade to your already great simulator 🙂 (I know, I know, there's a scope for the game, but one can dream 😀 )


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whisper979
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Or even something like this...

http://ipadpilotnews.com/2013/02/display-flight-instruments-on-your-ipad-in-flight-sim-x/

 

😉


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NeuralKernel
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Flying a Starship by instruments? Nice!!


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Marcel
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I don't have an iPad, but I do have a TV which I use as my computer monitor, and a CRT that I keep around as a spare. My computer has 2 monitor outputs and I'd love to be able to use the TV as the view screen and the CRT for the instrument panel. I remember people talking about being able to turn off all the HUD displays some time ago. That would be really nice for screen shots, and sometimes it's nice to just look out the window.


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whisper979
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I don't have an iPad either. I just thought that was pretty cool. Honestly though, I would be the happiest person in the world if I could put the ship "instruments" on a second screen!


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fluffyfreak
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You know I don't think I'd ever actually seen the Orbital Analysis screen before. Don't recall even knowing that it was in there!

I wonder why it's commented out? Having just tried it out, it might be because it makes no sense once you're away from a planet 🙂

 

As for output to another screen. That sort of thing is doable but it's extra work and an extra (code) path to maintain for a setup few of us will use so I don't think anyone in the core team is going to be interested in looking into it. If someone wants to write and submit a patch then it's like any patch, we'll discuss it to see if it's a good idea.

I'm happy to help guide people through the submission/"Pull Request" process.


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nozmajner
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I stumbled across it when I was doing that deltaV thingy. I saw it earlier somewhere on the issue tracker, I was wondering, why it isn't there.

Yeah, it seems it needs to be closer than a certain distance form a body to output anything.

 

I think instead of doing a full another screen thing, the program just needs to broadcast certain data about the craft on the network, or to a file, and then one can write a program that can make sense of it. I saw that there's an stdout or something, that's semi accessable from lua.

There are some plugins for KSP which work that way, they even experimenting with to way communication with a browser for a level of remote control/instrument flight.

 

Whit those data coming out from the program, I think even Blender Game Engine or Unity, or any plot drawer could be used to make some instruments.

 

Anyway I'm right now thinking of doing a more rich mockup for these screens (after I crunched trough the previously mentioned forum topics about the UI), with BGE or some html5 game creator program.


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fluffyfreak
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Oh we could embed a Mongoose server or something, in fact RobN has done some investigation into something like that already.

I'll try to remember to ping him about it if he doesn't notice this first.


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Brianetta
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I wrote that orbital analysis screen as a test, back while I was learning the new UI code. It was commented out, rather than removed, because it's the sort of thing that really belongs on the F2 screen, not the F3 screen. Also, it should be tarted up a little. There's a video of me using it to execute a near perfect atmospheric entry here:


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whisper979
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Awesome video!


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