I want to take point on an effort to take advantage of the evolution of FSO and replace on two parts of TBPs UI which could use an overhaul. Let's start with the Mission Loading Screen.
The big change here I want to propose is to incooperate Axem's Loading Screen Script
. Here is a mock-up:This is actually from the functionality test-stage with the new loading bar for
Drums of War. Its far from perfection.
For one it give any creator options to customize the loading screen for each mission, going even further than just setting the background image as FRED_Open can do for you. The features I would like to highlight as being of most use to TBP are:
1 - The ability to display a Text Box on the loading screen. This Text inside the Box can be drawn randomly from a pool (and as bonus could even have an image attached to it - if you are so inclined).
This would be great for TBP due its large arsenal of player-allowed craft and weapons, and there isn't always a narrative framework to go through the motions of a tutorial. This could be used to expand on the descriptions given for weapons in the Loadout Screen. The pool from which the contents are drawn can also be adjusted, creating pools for different situations - e.g. for Drums of War
I've made custom pools based on the enemy forces encountered.
The position of the Text Box can also be customized if you need it to be.
2 - To get grid of the quasi-retail Loading Bar. There is no nice way of putting it but the normal loading bar is cumbersome - and turns out there isn't really a good reason for it to be the way it is. I actually talked with some of the SCP devs on the subject in January, and it turns out almost everything about the 14 frames retail-style loading bar is arbitrary - not just in ususally "its faking a linear progressing for something that is actually happening in steps"-sense that is the norm about loading bars/counters in games.
Axem's script allows for much more variety here, including customizing the position of the loading bar on the screen. This is a gateway to utilize different loading bars, even include custom ones to match the mission (Want one made from Shadow Script? - Easy as pie).
Now this does not mean replacing any well-made loading screens that already exist - Raider Wars
in particular is looking good the way it is; it also does not mean that it would phase out the default loading screen, but an opt-in solution for any mission that's already here.
Any thoughts and comments so far?
I am glad to pre-empt the question "Why is this this 'Public Development'?" - This is where you come in:
A) I need a small blurb of gameplay relevant (no fluff) information for each player-allowed craft in TBP and their weapons. Not that I can't write them up myself, but there is value in a diverse set of perspectives.
B) I need a comprehensive list of all missions with following data attached: If they already have custom loading screens, what craft are in the loadout pool for the player and what is the opposing force for that mission. Here I just want to save time.
I would really appricate any assistance.