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Taking on TBP's UI: The Main Hall

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I've come to bargain!
(can't go wrong with a classic)

This one is a bit hard - where my efforts directed at the Mission Loading Screen are in part motivated by the fierce anger I have for the default loading bar, taking on the Main Hall comes with a deep tinge of sadness - the render of rotating Babylon 5 for the background of the Main Hall was an item of great pride back in the day, down to the point that consensus was "f*it if the Main Hall frame rate drops to single digits on most machines". Sadly it has aged horribily due to the compression issues with the .ani-file format: Even without the "Strech Interface to fill the Screen"-flag enabled it just looks dated, as the entire main hall scales up from 1024x768 ...

So what I am proposing and want to take point on is an effort to build a new widescreen Main Hall, with native resolution of 1920x1080. It's not going to be easy as there is some arcane rules to follow, but thanks to the SCP FSO has made some strides in that area as well.
Aside from the updated resolution, a big advantage of doing this would be to get rid of the .ani-files and replace them with .png/.eff-combination - that will do nothing for the size for the download but would make it easier to build a custom Main Hall for any future mod - it way easier to do with .pngs than having to converting graphics into .pcx and then into .ani.

Another thing, really side show of it, would be to bring the language on the Main Hall into allignment with modern games and making the language clearer overall.

Here come the mock-ups - a thing thank you to emi_100 who gracicously provided some of their art:

A - a basic configuration

B - with a button highlighted

Again, there are mock-ups slapped together by myself - I aim to produce a higher quality result than this.

As the for language, I been thinking along the lines of modern games:

- Continue Campaign, currently "Continue", as an equivalent for "Continue Game" aka Load Most Recent Save File but to highlight its connection to the Campaign Select.
- Select Campaign, currently "Campaign", to highlight it function as selection menu
- Gallery, currently "Techdata". Every function that is currently provided in by the Tech Room Screen (a ship's gallery, a fluff codex, the mission simulator, cutscene replay, and the credits) are in modern games menus files under one of two labels, Extras or Gallery. This think "Gallery" is more approriate, even if that leaves the Single Missions somewhat hanging.
- Manage Pilot, currently "Pilot", to highlight its function as a Manage Profile Screen (that the mock-up says "Manage Profile" is a mistake, only after I finished the mock-up I realized that term "Pilot" is used a bunch more across the interface)
- Options, unchanged
- Exit, unchanged

The added chevorns are to add clear a Point of Interaction for each menu item, although I want to keep it that text is also functional.
The blue colour sceme was chosen in referrence to the show's opening credits - although I've yet to nail the exact hues.

So, this is thoughts and comments time now....

ps. While I too dream of using the the CGI version of the Babylon 5 docking bay as seen in The Lost Tales (see B5Scrolls), I am going to kill that suggestion now. I am not going to do that; its too big an ask form any graphics designer without putting up a budget - asking for a background graphic they can also file as portofolio work is about the limit of my comfort zone here.

Iain Baker:
 :yes: :yes: :yes:

maybe I can do an animation loop, of the station rotating in High Def  :D

I think, maybe,  the arrows could be more subtle, not that big.

Gallery should be Gallery & Simulator or something.


--- Quote from: OverDhill on March 17, 2020, 03:09:12 pm ---Gallery should be Gallery & Simulator or something.

--- End quote ---

I think "Techroom" would be completely fine and much better than gallery! There are a lot of cool single missions, especially MAG's missions simulating TV episodes and under gallery nobody would ever think to find them! Also I still think that "Continue Campaign" should be "Play Campaign" as there is no hint on where to actually start a new campaign to continue. Last not least the new blue design clashes with everything else so basically the whole UI would need to be redone. And I don't know if this would mean straying too far from the original! It would basically mean to destroy all the former work of the original team for a modern but boring minimalistic design...


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