TLDR; new UI & pixel art smoothed
Last weeks have been spent on refactoring all the UI, visually and on the engine side. This means that we'll be able to redesign/modify all the UI way more easily and work in iterations very quickly. This is a huge improvement on our side that will make us gain time in the future.
Improvements also are visually, as you can see on the screenshots below. More consistent design, more menus, ...
The other visual part enhanced are "pixel art" elements, in-game, icons, heroes, etc. After researchs of style, techniques, we finally decided to use pixel upscaling.
"What is pixel upscaling? Why does it matter to us players?"
Pixel upscaling is a technique, mainly used in emulators, to enhance pixel art graphics by smoothing them. You probably already saw some examples if you played on console emulators and tried messing with visual parameters. Concretely, here is an example :
And all done in the game engine, no artist involved in the process!
It does matter for players who want to create mods, because pixel art is still present. All assets are in pixel art, tiles are 16x16, and the game engine then processes all assets to smooth them. It means that if you add new graphics to your mod, you'll draw them in pixel art and then they will be smoothed. So yeah, you'll have nicely smooth graphics without doing anything! Neat!
Is it perfect? No, there are some visual glitches. But they are overall very very small, and after converting all our assets, we are pretty confident with this technique.
What it means is less work for everyone, and better graphics at the end. So yes, it's a good trade!
Now we are in the process of integrating mod.io api. It's a quite easy part, the api is very well documented and easy to use, I encourage you to have a look ;) Now the biggest part of integrating the mod system is writing aaaaall the documentation. Except that, the mod api is enough powerful to create custom maps with your own tiles, victory conditions, add bots, and much more.
Back to work, stay tuned for more!