Author Topic: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)  (Read 915 times)

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Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
So z64555 put a bug in my ear when he mentioned using simple geometric shapes for radar icons. The thought had occurred to me before that actual military would use such for radar icons... not custom silhouettes. After looking up what the US Navy actually uses... I've decided to move forward with the idea. The goal is to make icons that are easy to identify at a glance, resist becoming illegible when the radar is packed with items, and generic enough to not restrict their use to FS-Universe Campaigns.

So here's where I'm at:



So, for example. The GTD Orion and SD Demon would be T1 Destroyers. The GTC Fenris and GTC Leviathan would be T1 Cruisers. The GTC Aeolus would be a T2 Cruiser. And the GVCv Sobek and GTCv Deimos would be T2 Corvettes. SSD Lucifer? Super Destroyer. NTF Iceni? Super Frigate. UEFg Karuna? T2 Frigate. TEI Bellerophon? T3 Corvette. High Energy Source would the Karnak reactor, or the meson bombs. Unidentified for Knossos portal, NTF Boadicea, or unscanned Lucifer.

So on and so forth. Of course, modders who use these may implement the "tiers" icons however they prefer.

The icons are intended for use with 1080p resolutions and higher. @1080p the icons will render to the screen as 32px 20px for small craft and 48px 64px 48px for warships. They are stored in the files at 8x resolution compared to 1080p render. The icon borders are 8 pixels thick, so resized for display in game the borders become 1 pixel thick @1080p.

I welcome any criticism or suggestions. I have a few more icons to make and some testing to do, but i hope to make these available relatively soon.

Simulation of In-Game Appearance @1:1 Scale
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« Last Edit: August 31, 2021, 08:30:44 pm by jadeddragoon »

 

Offline DefCynodont119

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Re: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
These are neat! I like the concept.

Side idea for people who use these: a modder could interpret the "tiers" as the threat rating, (note: the FS1 techroom) a Class-A threat could have the super designation, Class-B threats could have Tier IV, ect. .
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
This is a really great idea and something I'd been considering tackling for a few years. I think you did a much better job than I could have.

I do wonder if Stationary Armaments and Corvettes might translate too similarly to the eye at a glance when the radar is busy?
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Re: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
I do wonder if Stationary Armaments and Corvettes might translate too similarly to the eye at a glance when the radar is busy?

Hmm, that's a thought. I hadn't noticed that before. I'll look at ways to resolve it

 
Re: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
I've replaced the Fixed Emplacement icons in the OP. Hopefully they are more distinct now.

I'm also considering bumping the warships from 48px final to 64px final. Don't like that the cruiser icon is smaller than the small craft icons.

 
Re: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
Update warship icons to 64px in-game size for better consistency with small craft icons

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
These are really cool and that's a good change for sentries. I didn't mention it before, but I'm especially a fan of Installations, Unknown, and High Energy Sources. I don't know if I can put my finger on why, but I really like them for their use-cases.

I've been playing with the older radar icons for so long, it's going to be an adjustment for a Destroyer to have a bow shape, lol. But it did always other me when a Typhon, for instance, had an icon that looked like an Orion.
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Re: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
These are really cool and that's a good change for sentries. I didn't mention it before, but I'm especially a fan of Installations, Unknown, and High Energy Sources. I don't know if I can put my finger on why, but I really like them for their use-cases.

I've been playing with the older radar icons for so long, it's going to be an adjustment for a Destroyer to have a bow shape, lol. But it did always other me when a Typhon, for instance, had an icon that looked like an Orion.

The design for Unidentified is actually lifted straight from the mvps icons (it was only used for the pirate ship tho)... though i did remake the icon as a vector image so it could be scaled infinitely (i plan to release my psd files as well). The same is true of fighters, bombers, transports, freighters, waypoints, and cargo. Did that to keep it as consistent with expectations as possible but, yeah, the mvps cruiser and destroyer icons werent generic enough.

The rest are original designs. I went with the bowtie look for destroyers to ensure they would be visually distinct even with only a glance. I too am very pleased with how the High Energy Source icon came out. It's evocative but still very simple and distinct. With installations I wanted to evoke the Arcadia's profile while still being very simple and generic.

In any case i'm glad the community seems to like them. Im gonna work on writing the tbm for them tonight and do some in game testing. I'll post screenshots.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2021, 06:13:28 pm by jadeddragoon »

 
Re: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
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These images are at 1:1 scale from what they were in-game @1440p. I didn't zoom in or resize them, just crop. The second one also has Lafiel's hud icons enabled... which is intentional cause I plan to use them together in my mod packs. Clearly need to take steps to better differentiate the two.


Fighter and bombers are too big. May reduce them to 24px or 20px final rendered size. Already reduced cargo icons in the first one to 20px. May actually reduce the medium icons (48px) to 32px and the large (64px) to 48px. Need to test at 1080p (the above was 1440p) before deciding. Radar ico0n legibility is a balancing act. Too big and they end up all over top each other... too small and you cant tell which icon you are looking at even when it's by it self. Using geometric shapes should let me go smaller than normal, however.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2021, 05:12:25 pm by jadeddragoon »

 
Re: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
Okay I like this. Here, Screenshots first. 1:1 scale @1080p. I've updated the icon sheet in the OP.

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I like them at this size. When everything is on top of each other you can still make out _some_ icons, which is about as good as I think that can get. BTW, this was taken from Apocalypse... the final mission of the FS2 Retail campaign. The one where you have multiple convoys trying to escape the system and the shivans damned and determined not to let a single ship escape? I figured this would be the hardest mission for the radar icons in Retail.

Some in discord had mentioned increasing the size of the cruisers, then making the corvettes and frigates bigger than that (more so than the chevrons already do), and the destroyers and juggernaughts bigger still. Like the cruisers-juggernaughts are all 48px here. It would be more like cruisers 56px, corvettes and frigates 64px, destroyers 96px, and juggernaughts 128px. The only advantage I see for this is when you have many (5+) larger ships on top of each other they might be easier to tell appart... but as you can see from Apocalypse most of the time that happens with freighters and transports, not warships. I might try a test run on BPC's... Universal Truth? Forced Entry? the one with all the warships fighting...  to get an idea what it would be like with large numbers of warships. But generally my strategy was to leverage the added clarity of geometric icons to allow me to keep icons small so that having a bunch of ships on top of each other would be a less common occurrence.

As before, open to suggestions and critiques.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2021, 09:31:54 pm by jadeddragoon »

  
Re: Geometric, Generic Radar Icons (WIP)
The first version of generic hd radar icons has been released (along with source files).