Development

Dev Diary – Part 6 – User Interface

By April 16, 2021No Comments

Hey there Prospectors!
Welcome to dev diary entry number 6! 

Today, we’re going to take a quick look at a more aesthetic side of our progress. Let’s take a first look at what our User Interface (UI) will look like in the future! 

As with other entries, please keep in mind that everything is still a work in progress and that some elements may change in the future. If something looks off, it’s probably a placeholder and not an actual representation of the final product. 

A shiny new coat of paint for the interface? How come? 

The more experienced among you have already seen a few changes to the interface across the months, the most notable one being the switch from the old lobby screen to the introduction of Prospect Station, the hub area you know today. 

This time, we want to take it a step further with a complete overhaul of our UI to create a unique sci-fi interface that looks modern, sleek, simple and consistent throughout the game. We want all information to be easto read and understand for the most intuitive experience. 

Points of focus: 

  • Increasing overall ease of use. 
  • Clear, readable menus. 
  • Removing outdated parts of our interface. 
  • Supporting future game features, moving towards a modular component-based system. 
  • Intuitive design for ease of use. 
  • Streamlining UI update sequence to reduce future update times. 
  • More beauty – yes, it’s highly subjective, but every pixel is worth polishing. 
  • Dynamic components providing better guidance and an overall improved experience. 
  • Integrating the foundations of full controller support. 

On that note, our UI team has worked closely with our UX (User Experience) expert to streamline every menu interaction and ensure the best possible experience for players. 

Now onto the meat of the matter. If you pay attention to that new Badum picture below, you‘ll have noticed that he’s now handing out brand new beginner quests. These will be the perfect opportunity for new players to learn the ropes around Prospect Station and Fortuna III, allowing them to learn the core elements of The Cycle. And because pictures are still worth a thousand words, here are a few more examples of what’s to come. You can clearly see that the basic interface has been completely reworked. The shortcuts bar at the top allows you to quickly access every menu with minimal visual noise and information has been rearranged in a way that doesn’t fill the screen. All these menus are also designed to be easily navigated, both with a keyboard & mouse and a controller.

The concept of the Fortuna Pass itself will also receive an overhaul: instead of progressing on two separate tracks depending on which version of the Pass you currently own, the progression will be simple and linear.Our settings are going through some changes as well! The design is a lot sleeker than it used to be and now streamlined with the rest of the interface. A long-time community request, we’ve also added short explanations for every option on the side, so you always know what you’re tinkering with.Now we are very aware of all the new content suddenly introduced in this one screenshot. Bear with us, let’s break it down. 

  • Your stash (on the left) is a full list of all items currently in your possession on Prospect Station. It cannot be accessed directly from Fortuna III, so make sure to load and unload properly before each run. Note that the stash is not limited by weight but by maximum number of items. And yes, that limit can be upgraded in your own quarters! 
  • The “Safe Pockets” are your basic available loadTheir capacity is relatively small, but everything that you put in there will be safeguarded against any and all misfortunes, making sure you don’t necessarily come home empty-handed should you get foamed on the field! Prospectors on Fortuna III can always progress, in different kinds of ways, even if they get foamed! 
  • Additionallyyou will be able to equip a backpack, drastically increasing your maximum carrying capacity on a run. Every item can be quickly dragged and dropped across the different inventory sections, making the whole process as intuitive as can be! Your total loadout weight will always be visible so you’re never caught unprepared. 
  • Consumables – currently known as abilities – will have their own slots in your loadout. They can of course be shifted from and to your inventory as needed, but they need to be equipped before they can be used. Prepare to see a few new ones by the way! 
  • The shield slot is pretty self-explanatoryHigh quality shields offer more protection. 
  • The toolbelt is an interesting addition. You will probably recognize the scanner in there, which will become invaluable in your search for resources on the planet. The remaining slots can be filled with tools of your own choice. These may or may not include mining tools! 
  • Helmets will provide some protection against headshots. They’re optional of course but could be the difference between foam and evac. 

Lastly, let’s take quick look at how our new interface will look like on the field. Overall, the screen is a lot less cluttered. Everything you need can be checked at a quick glance, including your current contract license, equipped tools, consumables and the state of your weapons. 
Every window is now smoother, clearer, brighterwith ease of use as our main concern.
Whether you are managing your inventory or preparing for a dropthe stakes will be high while you are on the surface of Fortuna III and we want you to have an easy time handling your inventory, as ease of use is key! 


And 
that’s the end of the UI changes update
We hope you liked this little preview and that you are excited to see it in action!
Don’t forget the registrations for our first closed beta test are coming Soon™.
Keep an eye on our platforms if you want to try the game yourself, we’ll be sure to communicate about it as soon as the sign-ups are open!

Many thanks to our Principal UI Designer for making this dev diary possible!

Make sure to also check all our previous entries if you haven’t already! 

Don’t hesitate to share any feedback directly with us on our Discord server! https://discordapp.com/invite/thecycle