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Understandable Icons v.2.3

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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Distant Worlds Series >> Design and Modding >> Understandable Icons v.2.3 Page: [1]
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Understandable Icons v.2.3 - 5/7/2020 6:36:21 PM   


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Vanilla icons defile the eye as much as they flee the intellect. They are ugly and unintelligible. Their poor design makes it extremely difficult to understand designing, which is arguably the single most relevant variable of the balance of power within your war-thorned galaxy. For this reason, I have developed a new set of icons for components and planetary facilities that consists of simple pictures made of just 1 colour upon a dark background. Each colour combination reflects the main purpose of the component or the nature of the facility in question, accordin to the following scheme:

RED: offensive components --> mainly directed at dealing damages.
BLUE: defensive components --> mainly directed at preventing or repairing damages
ORANGE: structural components --> required for the construction of most of the ships and the stations.
GREEN: utility components --> add new functionalities to ships and stations but are usually not mandatory (with the exception of few specific designs.)
PURPLE: buff/debuff components --> enhance or reduce the effectiveness of other components.
Here are some in-game screenshots:
Research screen: research_1, research_2
Design screen: design
Ship's Components screen: ship_details_1, ship_details_2, ship_details_3
NOTE: components with inversed colours (bright background, dark icon) are available only to specific races.

INDIGO: ordinary facilities. Indigo works well with the predominant grey palette of the user interface.
PURPLE: wonders.
GOLD: pirate bases.
Here are some in-game screenshots:
Research screen: research_3
HUD screen: hud_big, hud_small
Ground screen: ground_report
Colony screen: colony_details
NOTE: facilities with inversed colours (bright background, dark icon) are advanced wonders.

1) First of all, decompress the archive "Understandable".
2a) Then if you want to use this pack as a stand-alone mod: simply put the whole "Understandable Icons" folder inside your "Customization" folder.
2b) If, instead, you prefer to merge this mod with others, simply copy and paste the content of the folder "Understandable Icons" (the content of the folder, not the folder itself) inside "Customization/[the main folder of your favourite mod]" and answer "yes" to every request of overwriting already existing files that might pop up.

This mod is compatible with any other that does not modify the icons of components or facilities.
It would work even with mods that add further components or facilities. However, since this mod contains icons only for components up to #128 and facilities up to #32, the ones with a higher numerical value will maintain their own icons, that the user will have to replace manually (by deleting the other mod's icons and filling the voids with renamed copies of this one's).

The icons are at the disposal of the community. Any user is welcome to utilise or modify them as he or she pleases.

Should this little mod manages to enhance the "readability" of the game, a great amount of credit must go to Monochromatic Spider for his truly indispensable insight on how to force the game into displaying a more human-friendly resolution. I highly recommend every wanna-be galactic emperor to read his post on Steam: How to force full-screen resolution for the game. His mod has been used to make the screenshots linked above.
Have fun pacifying the galaxy and feel welcome to deliver any feedback. Knowledge is power and I am not at all a professional designer.

Here is a reproduction of all the icons contained in the mod.

v.2.3 - May 11th 2020
fixed error in "component.txt"
v.2.2 - May 11th 2020
modified icons: damage control unitm now considered buff/debuff component
modified files: damage control unit (help)
v.2.1 - May 10th 2020
modified icons: armor, damage control unit and scanner jammer
scanner jammer is now considered buff/debuff component
modified files: armer, damage control unit, scanner jammer and overview files (help)
changed picture index for component_155 inside "components.txt"
added files: about.png, about.txt
v.2.0 - May 8th 2020
added files: components files (help)
modified icons: torpedo

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by logopatico -- 5/24/2020 8:44:55 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/7/2020 8:23:52 PM   


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From: Sydney, Australia
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Just to let you know the links to the pictures are not working.

(in reply to logopatico)
Post #: 2
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/8/2020 8:37:46 AM   


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Hello rjord1,
First of all, thanks for the feedback. Secondly, it seems that the source of the issue is the fact that Google Photos does not allow to share images publicly. Do you know what service the other people on the website rely on?

Many thanks

< Message edited by logopatico -- 5/9/2020 11:11:54 AM >

(in reply to rjord1)
Post #: 3
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/8/2020 9:03:24 AM   


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Joined: 6/14/2013
From: Sydney, Australia
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I use Imgur to create links to pictures..... have never had an issue with them.
When getting the link for the image use the one for messageboards and forums and it will work here.


which shows this

< Message edited by rjord1 -- 5/8/2020 9:07:44 AM >

(in reply to logopatico)
Post #: 4
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/8/2020 2:02:44 PM   


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Joined: 10/15/2019
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I think I managed to make the images public through Imgur.
I tried the "messageboard" link and it worked, but I opted for the "external link" format. The images are just too big to be inserted inside the page without hindering the readability of the mod description. Plus, thanks to DWU font size, they must be reproduced in a really wide format in order to remain readable.

Thanks again rjord1

< Message edited by logopatico -- 5/9/2020 8:26:31 AM >

(in reply to rjord1)
Post #: 5
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/16/2020 6:41:49 PM   

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Really appreciated the mod! at the beginning of the game the components list its not an issue, however, at mid game its a complete mess seeing all the components and looking so similar each other.

(in reply to logopatico)
Post #: 6
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/17/2020 12:24:24 PM   


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I'm amazed at the effort you have made. Congratulations. So many years and this community still produce quality content.

(in reply to Clux)
Post #: 7
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/17/2020 11:20:59 PM   


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I like the idea, the stock icons are really offensively bad, and the resolution is too low for actual "realistic" icons.
Pictograms are a great solution.
But it's bit of a bummer, that all components of one type look the same (all reactors, all engines,...).

Maybe you could add some indication of the Tech Level for a component (say one > for ion engines, >> for photon engines, >>> for vortex... Not sure, how to deal with side-grades.)

Or color-code in 2 parts. Frame color indicating the Type of component and the icon color indicating it's level/type (kinda like the game already does for shields and reactors.)

(in reply to sneo24)
Post #: 8
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/19/2020 5:36:44 PM   


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Thank you all for the feedback. Means a lot for me.
The lack of diversification among the various versions of the single components is definitely a major issue for the mod.
Sadly, I found out how to force the game to a resolution capable of making the icons easily readable only when the development of the mod was already well ahead.
For most of the process, I was thus forced to content myself with the substantial result of icons that were at least understandable, with no hopes of reaching real precision.
I am looking forward to fixing the issue though, but I have currently little time to devolve to the mod.

Honestly, I think that only the component's family (reactor type A, reactor type B etc.) could find a place inside the icon.
The technological level would most likely subtract too much space inside the picture, making it less readable. Plus, I am not so sure how meaningful information the technological level represents since the game automatically sorts out obsolete components.
Probably, the best solution for marking the tech level would simply be to alter the name of the component inside the component.txt file (to something like "lv.3 Reactor - Helios"). In that case, we would have a different component for every level of tech (lv. 1 Blaster, lv.2 Blater... lv.14 Blaster) but, given the automatic sorting out of older components, the trick could be done.

I will see what time allows me to produce.

(in reply to Zhuikin)
Post #: 9
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/19/2020 8:27:42 PM   


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ORIGINAL: logopatico

Honestly, I think that only the component's family (reactor type A, reactor type B etc.) could find a place inside the icon.

I think we mean the same thing; I wasn't talking about differentiating the incremental improvements, the vanilla game doesn't do that either(well it does in the techtree with them overlayed ^ arrows, but not in the builder).
But knowing at a glance what base type of say reactor or shield a ship has, is useful. Or what kind of Hyperdrive does a captured ship have - because some of them are legitimate choice sidegrades.
So for reactors it would be like Basic Space, Fission, Quantum, Fusion or Hyper Fusion (oh and the speshul racial thingy) - the 6 different vanilla icons.

< Message edited by Zhuikin -- 5/19/2020 8:31:37 PM >

(in reply to logopatico)
Post #: 10
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/23/2020 9:56:36 PM   


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EDIT: I'm taking everything back. After reinstalling the game and all the mods including this one everything seems to work fine. The game launches and I see the new component icons. They look really good. Thank you, OP!

I'm having issues with this mod. After placing your files and overwriting some in the game's directory the game won't launch for me anymore. I can still open the launcher but when I click on "start DW:U" nothing happens. I'm using the latest Steam version of the game with a few mods. Possibly there's some kind of conflict. If so then it's probably the "components.txt" since all other image mods work fine.

DW Extended Universe 1.0.3 + Das Chrome Blue
DW Pirates In Ships
GEM v2.4 (excluding the ui stuff)
mellowbeepsandalarms (only one audio file)
Resource Mod

Could you think of some reason why I can't make this mod work?

< Message edited by dirkdigglerMatrixgames -- 5/23/2020 10:39:04 PM >

(in reply to Zhuikin)
Post #: 11
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/23/2020 10:38:49 PM   


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Overwriting the files works fine for mods that only add/change assets (shipsets, images, icons, ...) but it will in most cases break mods, that actually change stuff in the game.

This mod modifies components.txt; So, if any other of your mods uses the same file (and i believe EU might), then by just overwriting, you "destroy" a part of the overwritten mod. Say research.txt will now be referencing components, that are not there anymore, because you overwritten components.txt.

In such cases you need to manually merge the mods - compare the files and resolve conflicts in a sensible way.

However if you aren't sure or dunno what or how to merge, in this case a acceptable solution would be, to leave the components.txt from this mod out and only use the image files. (You will get one wrong icon.)

(in reply to dirkdigglerMatrixgames)
Post #: 12
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/24/2020 8:32:13 AM   


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Glad to hear the launching issue took care of itself.
Concerning the copying-pasting issue, the fix is simple as well. Basically, the only reason I had to make a modded version of the "component.txt" file was to stop the boarding attack and defence technology (the one near the infantry tech-tree) from showing the graviton beam icon, which besides being used elsewhere is also completely unrelated with boarding.
As I explained through comments in the "component.txt", I did not found any way to change the behaviour of the boarding technologies, thus the only solution I was left with was to secund it: I changed the component_115 picture with one more pertinent with the boarding concept and forced the graviton beam tech_tree to use a different picture, which could be done only by altering the "component.txt" file.

In simpler words, the difference between my mod's "component.txt" and the original one is just the following:
115, Graviton Beam, 116 [rather than 115], 9, gravitonbeam.wav, .... [numerical values remained unchanged]
He who wants to integrate my mod into others has just to copy this line from my "components.txt" into the other mod's one.
Which, of course, is the same as typing "116" directly after the name of the component.
I choose the "component_116" picture simply because it is among the vanilla files but it is not used by the game.
Weird thing, "component_116" is in good company: there are actually a whole lot of component images that seem to be unused by the game. After all, the vanilla components (as registered inside "component.txt") are just 129, while the "component_xyz" image ("images/ui/component" folder) are 196.

That said, I am considering the possibility to make more extensive modification of the "component.txt" file. Would that happen, copying-pasting might become no longer possible.

< Message edited by logopatico -- 5/24/2020 8:39:56 AM >

(in reply to Zhuikin)
Post #: 13
RE: Understandable Icons - 5/24/2020 8:33:32 AM   


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Many thanks!

(in reply to dirkdigglerMatrixgames)
Post #: 14
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