A long standing issue with Captain Forever is that the ships themselves – especially player ships – look like what an old workmate would call “blobs of multicoloured puke”. So that’s not great. In The Dawn Star I’m toning the module colours down, indicating module level on small decals* rather than across the whole sprite. Of course that makes the module level much harder to discern, so what’s a pilot to do?
Why, they just click on a module of course! Then this happens:
Neat! In this mode module shapes and levels are clearly visible, and building is super easy. Once you’re finished building you simply hit the thrusters (or any other key) and…
…the renderer fades back to gorgeous lighting + background + details + etc mode.
Other things you might notice here:
- There’s a new font! In fact there’s a whole new font rendering system based on Signed Distance Fields which – unlike the composited flash text fields – does not cause my CPU to melt down five times a day. Hooray!
- There are new mouse cursors! In fact, there’s a whole new line rendering system, again to avoid CPU-hungry compositing issues.
- The UI has moved in a little toward the middle of the screen. I like it there. The unit information display is also docked to the nearest screen corner.
Next week I’ll port VMEDS to the new text system, and very likely change the button layout, add colours, and hopefully even add some map icon characters. Fun!
*I haven’t added these yet.