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Post news RSS Spaceship Engineering UI (Dev Diary 4)

UNION is a cooperative spaceship simulation which is currently in development. In this post I discuss the latest updates to the Engineering UI.

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Thank you to everyone who has followed the project here and on my Twitter. I really appreciate it.

I'm still working away on UNION. Not as much as I'd like perhaps, due to work and family commitments, but as much as I can.

Engineering is the beating heart of every ship in UNION, so it is the UI that I have been focusing on the most. I'm finally at a stage where I think it's good enough to show.

UI - Engineering Screen

This is the UI which the ship Engineer will use to manage power and damage control.

Power connections are made from the Core to each system (shields, weapons etc.) by dragging from a Core node (the circles surrounding the Core) to the system.

Hovering over a system, hull segment (the white bars surrounding the "wheel") or shields (the blue bars surrounding the "wheel") will give detailed info on it in the top left (in this image Forward Shields has been hovered over).

Clicking on a system (or hull segment) will show the player options for that item (e.g. power settings, heat/coolant management, repair options).

Presets allow the player to quickly switch between configurations. Two presets are provided by default, Standard and Cruise; other presets can be created by clicking Save beside one of the custom presets.

Heat is one of the most important elements for an Engineer to monitor and manage. Too much heat can damage systems and it also makes your ship easier to detect, lock onto, and hit.

Each system, and the Core, has a stability rating (0% to 100%). This rating is from a combination of the system's heat and the integrity. High heat and low integrity lower the stability of the system. Systems with a low stability are more likely to suffer faults (fire, power surges, explosion), especially when they suffer damage.

The picture above is of the in-game UI, however it is not yet complete. I have to add the elements which will be common to all screens and there is still a lot of programming to do to get everything fully working.

Thank you for taking the time to read my update. I'll try not wait too long before the next.

I'd appreciate any feedback you could give in the comments.

All the best,


WolveNZ - - 106 comments

Might be worth it also just having a click on the node and click on Function instead of dragging? not fully sure on how it all works (11pm here, bit tired) but a video would really help.

But right now, cant really flaw the GUI, everything looks really nice and crisp, and I like how youve done the system in general as well ^^

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Faerdan Author
Faerdan - - 97 comments

Hey WolveNZ,

Drag and drop just creates the connection, you can then left click on the connection to increase it's power or right click to reduce it. I'm trying to make it work equally as well with mouse and touch screen, it is a difficult thing to do though.

I won't have a video of this for a while. The UI elements themselves are all done (this is how they look in-game), but they're not all programmed yet. I might do a mockup video in the mean time.

Much thanks for the feedback, it's really appreciated.

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Thaiauxn - - 1,672 comments

I want to know how you arrived at 3844C from 34922MW (megawatt?,) an is that per second or buildup?

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Faerdan Author
Faerdan - - 97 comments

The values in the screenshot are arbitrary numbers which I entered as examples.

I'm using Scaleform for UNION's UIs. That means first creating them in Flash, which is what I've done here. The systems have been prototyped in-game, but I have not yet tied them into the UI. That will be done once the UI is in a complete state.

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InterestingJohn - - 3 comments

I just saw your Tweet about ditching the Science station, super bummed about that. I'd be cautious about dropping too many stations, otherwise it won't feel much like a bridge crew :) That's my 2 cents.

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Faerdan Author
Faerdan - - 97 comments

Science, and other stations, may make an appearance in the future. That will only happen if I can make those stations fully fledged, with enough depth to make them interesting on their own. I just don't want people sitting there getting bored while others have all the fun.

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InterestingJohn - - 3 comments

Understandable. As long as you're open to adding more stations later, that's a good enough answer for me. Fantastic work so far by the way!

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