There has been a lot of stuff happening around our studio last week – everyday we try to improve our game for your enjoyment. In this week’s report we want to talk to you about things to come in terms of our menu overhaul, as well as giving you a quick recap of things we’ve fixed already. Let’s get to it!
Last week in ww3
We’ve released two patches to our PTE version of World War 3 this past week: one on monday, and the second one on friday. The first one introduced a lot of new challenges versatile enough so everyone could find something fun to do in addition to playing the game. It also had a great amount of map fixes, so players should not have as many problems with collisions on Polyarny and Warsaw. Friday’s patch was released mainly due to a HUD crash, but it had few fixes and additions as well. Once again, we encourage those who would like to try out the new content to join our PTE servers!
Now, let’s move to the changes that will revolve around our menu, customization and UX (User Experience)!
The Hub, as we call it, is still very much in development and will take a few months to fully complete and replace the old version. The new UI is now fully designed with the best UX in mind – less clicking to get to what you want and overall much more logical structure. We’ve already built the underlying technology – we’re still using a browser to render the UI, but this time we’ve decided to go with something that’s going to perform a lot better. We’ll have a detailed breakdown of this closer to the Hub going live.
There’s a robust input system in place now, with a keyboard and/or gamepad support for traversing the UI and proper scroll detection for every panel, button and other element of the UI and we’ve reworked how the game communicates with the Master Server to make adding more features to it easier and faster. There’s been a lot of work done behind the scenes in the last few months to make sure the new UI is as good as we can make it.
Why change it
Some of you might ask yourself: why change it in the first place? This is a valid question and we’ve been asking it ourselves before deciding to rewrite this fairly big part of the game.
The short answer is: it will save time in the long run and will make the experience a lot better. This is because the old UI was created alongside the game and when the game changed, the UI had to be fitted to the game, which resulted in some parts of it being a bit chaotic and complex and with almost 60 000 lines of code a big rewrite and fixup would take almost as much as making it from scratch.
Of course, we could just leave it like it is, it works, but we feel like trying to make it as good as possible should be our priority and making things ‘good enough’ was never what we strived for.
In order to help us with that endeavor, we’ve started working with Coherent Labs, a company that deals with complex and performance-heavy game interfaces and has a template for systems like ours. It proves to be a great match, since our current solution is a bit too much for some computers to handle and is not the easiest to navigate through. The new system should be way easier for most PC’s to handle, which means that our in-game menu will work faster and the experience will be much smoother.
Below you can see the design we’re going for with the new UI. Keep in mind that this is only a mockup and the final version will most likely look a bit different, but this is the direction we’re heading for.
Let’s now go over what changes in the new customization. The overall customization won’t change much, we’re really happy with how it works and how deep it can go, but we wanted to make it easier to access and make more sense to more players.
First big change is separation of the customization from creating configs. What this means is that there will now be a Workshop of sorts, in which you create your soldiers, weapons and strikes and save them into a database of configs, which you can then equip in the Customization. Right now both of those are in the same place, making accessing some options buried 10 levels deep into menus and creating misunderstanding of how the whole system works. Making those separate is going to help a lot with those problems.
The other big change is much more gameplay related, with us separating strike loadouts from the equipment. This means you will be able to create strike loadouts and switch them separately from your soldier loadout – no more “I need a JDAM, but I only have it on the guy with SCAR and I really want to play the AK right now”.
There are a lot more small changes in how the new customization works and best part is that we’ll have a much easier time adding more features in the future.
The new UI has many advantages over the old one and will make working on it a lot easier and faster than before. It’s already more reliable and works much faster and smoother than the old one, it looks a lot better and will be much nicer to use.
With the keyboard and gamepad support built in from the start it will also let seasoned players use it much faster and be quick with shortcuts, it should also be much easier to translate into different languages.
That’s it for this week, we’re hoping you are as excited as we are for the new UI. See you in our next Weekly Report!