Author Topic: Graphic Options Menu  (Read 8506 times)

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Offline Valathil

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So in the process of making shadow parameters accessible I'm thinking about doing a graphics option menu in the style of the f3 lab for ingame parameter tweaking. I'm thinking of replacing some of the graphic cmdline options with this framework to ease the issue of configuration for normal users. So what would be really great from you guys would be suggestions of stuff that i can put in there besides the shadow stuff. Interface design suggestions would also be very welcome.
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Offline bigchunk1

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Just a few questions for clarity:

1. Why make a saparate in game options menu in addition to the launcher parameters and the retail options menu?

2. What sort of parameters would fall under this menu? Anything goes graphics wise? Or do you have something specific in mind?

3. Would you want to overlap the launcher graphics options for any reason? (I don't know why, just asking)

4. What prompted you to want to do this?

Answer all some or none of them. Thanks  :D
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Offline Kolgena

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Hmm. The following could be useful tweakable parameters:

-bloom on/off, intensity
-FXAA on/off, intensity
-explosion distortion on/off
-thruster distortion on/off* (especially since it has no flag in launcher at this point)
-(eventually) sunshafts on/off

 

Offline Nuke

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will this allow on the fly tweaking of graphics settings, such as during mission?
regardless its about damn time. then we can move to deprecating launcher flags :D
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 06:39:25 pm by Nuke »
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Offline The E

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Just a few questions for clarity:

1. Why make a saparate in game options menu in addition to the launcher parameters and the retail options menu?

The problem is that there's no way to extend the standard options menu without redesigning the UI graphics. Using something similar to the lab is a much easier way of doing things.

Quote
2. What sort of parameters would fall under this menu? Anything goes graphics wise? Or do you have something specific in mind?

Anything from the graphics-related launcher sections that we can cram in there.

Quote
3. Would you want to overlap the launcher graphics options for any reason? (I don't know why, just asking)

I believe the best thing would be to just ditch the launcher as the main tool for setting up stuff. It's convenient for first-time setup stuff, but it is my belief that all settings should be changeable within the game.
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Offline Iss Mneur

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3. Would you want to overlap the launcher graphics options for any reason? (I don't know why, just asking)

I believe the best thing would be to just ditch the launcher as the main tool for setting up stuff. It's convenient for first-time setup stuff, but it is my belief that all settings should be changeable within the game.

As a launcher writer, I am on the fence.  We either need to put everything changeable from the game or make nothing changeable and have the launcher directly start the engine in a campaign/mission, skipping the mainhall.

At that, I do request that whatever is added here, is accessible in a sane format by the launcher, either in the registry/registry equivalent or in a file.  I also ask, that the names and valid values are documented (in the code or otherwise) so that the launcher doesn't need to fumble around in the dark.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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As a launcher writer, I am on the fence.  We either need to put everything changeable from the game or make nothing changeable and have the launcher directly start the engine in a campaign/mission, skipping the mainhall.

Wut. Skip the mainhall? What purpose would that possibly serve? That cuts the techroom, campaign switching & lab to name a few. Things I use quite often.
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Offline Valathil

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At that, I do request that whatever is added here, is accessible in a sane format by the launcher, either in the registry/registry equivalent or in a file.  I also ask, that the names and valid values are documented (in the code or otherwise) so that the launcher doesn't need to fumble around in the dark.

im currently thinking of either futzing with the cmdline file the launcher saves now when saving the options or doing another file tho thats still up for discussion
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Offline Iss Mneur

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As a launcher writer, I am on the fence.  We either need to put everything changeable from the game or make nothing changeable and have the launcher directly start the engine in a campaign/mission, skipping the mainhall.

Wut. Skip the mainhall? What purpose would that possibly serve? That cuts the techroom, campaign switching & lab to name a few. Things I use quite often.
I am not saying the idea if fully baked, but it would allow for more/different things to be done without having to deal with the limitations of being in the engine itself.
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Offline Nuke

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As a launcher writer, I am on the fence.  We either need to put everything changeable from the game or make nothing changeable and have the launcher directly start the engine in a campaign/mission, skipping the mainhall.

Wut. Skip the mainhall? What purpose would that possibly serve? That cuts the techroom, campaign switching & lab to name a few. Things I use quite often.

this is a feature id love to have for dev purposes. launch the game directly into the mission your working on, save a ****load of time there.
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Offline Flaser

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What about the lighting option that are currently *not* supported by the launcher as discrete options?

I'm talking about the lighting parameters usually entered into the command line:

-no_emissive_light
-ambient_factor
-ogl_spec
-spec_exp
-spec_point
-spec_static
-spec_tube
-bloom_intensity

Being able to tweak these in-game (and seeing the result) could be a godsend for mods to achieve a specific "look" (...or for users to make the game look as they want it). Maybe the F3 techroom could be re-purposed to serve as a lighting lab?
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Offline Iss Mneur

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this is a feature id love to have for dev purposes. launch the game directly into the mission your working on, save a ****load of time there.
Already implemented, try -start_mission.  Pass it the name of the mission to start.  Seems its not documented in the wiki, will have to do that later.

What about the lighting option that are currently *not* supported by the launcher as discrete options?
wxL is working on that, though we have nothing to show for it yet.  But I think they were already in the plan for this menu anyway, even if he will probably have to write a slider control to adjust the ones that require parameters.
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Offline LordMelvin

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As near as I can tell this in-game menu would require its own assets, right? That means that for new graphics options (ie, whatever brilliant beautiful thing valathil does next. Side note: Shadows+Lightrays? Awesome.) to be used in game, say on a nightly test build, you'd still need to use the launcher/a custom command line. As such, I'd think that an ingame menu should be used as a tweaking thing (like flaser was talking) rather than as the sole general end-user settings point of contact - that's only really a good idea if you're dealing with a finished game and a fixed feature set.

Now that being said, I would LOVE the ability to custom-tweak all those little lighting display tags and see real-time (or even set, hit apply, screen refreshes, set again, etc.) changes in the effect they have, instead of having to close out, tweak the command line/launcher settings, relaunch, etc, until by the time I'm through pilot selection and so on, I've half forgotten what the old settings looked like and I can't compare 'em effectively.

Pie-in-the-sky dreaming here, but would it be possible to have the settings window have, either in a 1/4-sized preview panel or as a togglable screen, a nice big battle with lots of flak and beams and stuff flying all around so as to make sure that A: everything looks nice and pretty and B: the framerate's good.
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Offline Valathil

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As near as I can tell this in-game menu would require its own assets, right? That means that for new graphics options (ie, whatever brilliant beautiful thing valathil does next. Side note: Shadows+Lightrays? Awesome.) to be used in game, say on a nightly test build, you'd still need to use the launcher/a custom command line. As such, I'd think that an ingame menu should be used as a tweaking thing (like flaser was talking) rather than as the sole general end-user settings point of contact - that's only really a good idea if you're dealing with a finished game and a fixed feature set.

Now that being said, I would LOVE the ability to custom-tweak all those little lighting display tags and see real-time (or even set, hit apply, screen refreshes, set again, etc.) changes in the effect they have, instead of having to close out, tweak the command line/launcher settings, relaunch, etc, until by the time I'm through pilot selection and so on, I've half forgotten what the old settings looked like and I can't compare 'em effectively.

Pie-in-the-sky dreaming here, but would it be possible to have the settings window have, either in a 1/4-sized preview panel or as a togglable screen, a nice big battle with lots of flak and beams and stuff flying all around so as to make sure that A: everything looks nice and pretty and B: the framerate's good.
oh of course im gonna do a preview window. i was thinking about taking a random ship and displaying it + custom things that would serve to highlight the current mouseovered parameter i.e. checkerboard surface below a ship to see shadow parameters or an animated beam swishing around for spec_tube. as for assets im really trying hard to create the menu with antialiased lines and polygons alone so i wont need a graphics artist and so everything remains dynamic and can be modified at will in code. though i wouldnt say a skin system would be out of the question after its done (do i hear screams of MODULAR INTERFACE SCREENS or is that just me)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 01:31:26 am by Valathil »
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***Warning**** -------____The following post may content bad idea____--------
Beeing able to see a preview would be really nice but why not including a background mission, so you can see the result fps wise.
having on the right side of the screen 3 button (skirmish) (usual) (boe) , when a button is 'hit' it loads a the mission in the background and you can see the fps impact of your settings.
The graphic option still rendered on the left side of the screen.
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Offline Valathil

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***Warning**** -------____The following post may content bad idea____--------
Beeing able to see a preview would be really nice but why not including a background mission, so you can see the result fps wise.
having on the right side of the screen 3 button (skirmish) (usual) (boe) , when a button is 'hit' it loads a the mission in the background and you can see the fps impact of your settings.
The graphic option still rendered on the left side of the screen.
i cringe before the thought of loading a mission OUTSIDE of a mission. its a great idea but not feasible with how the engine handles state and everything and checking framerate is best done in mission anyway i will try though to make the menu accessible in mission somehow
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Offline karajorma

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The engine is already capable of loading in a mission as the freaking mainhall :p

Whatever solution is decided upon it really needs to be possible to make both the existing interface the new one look the same. The Lab currently looks more ugly than need be because you're stuck with that interface for it.
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Hmm a mission as a mainhall? Wonder how that turns out in combination with a cutscene'd mission then..
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Offline chief1983

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Just like you'd expect, I imagine.
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Offline zookeeper

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Whatever solution is decided upon it really needs to be possible to make both the existing interface the new one look the same.

Yeah, definitely. One rather involved solution would be to ditch the old rigid interface entirely and just design a completely new dynamic interface to replace it. Not gonna happen, but just saying. Seems like one of the only ways to do it.