I'll try to keep it short.
First, I don't know how far the team has come with the upcoming UE5 task, and just hope I'm not too late to make a statement.
First of all, I would like to say that I do not bring personal preferanses into the facts. But a total knowledge of design and games in general.
Now its time to go and grab your coffee before we continue.
The head post from Dennis Antonsson
Overall, the information provided is a good indication that developers are now ready to give Entropia a push. Even, if I compare the game to other MMORPG games, I wouldn't say that the game has such bad graphics.
But UE5 is a good thing, and overall it looks more like the update will be even more focused on the game design itself and not just the graphical appearance. So ultimately, I think we are facing a big change and a bigger overall process.
'' That's the interesting part and the scary part all at once.''
The text and facts
Reading all the good stuff doesn't give a good impression of what developers really do or achieve. We can all read and speculate and discuss. But I want to look more closely at what we have as facts at this moment. That's where this big story worries me a lot more. Again not because of personal preference, but combining the facts.
What I'm talking about is the clean visuals we got to see and the updates made to the game recently. All other in-game stats and item lists we don't know anything about, so I won't waste time discussing this.
1# The UE5 HUD/UI Preview
Here -> Original Post HUD
Since this is a preview and there are so many wrong things here compared to Entropia today. I worry a lot to be honest.
I'm not sure how to get it down short written, but I'll try.
Gaming HUD ( Heads up display ) or UI ( User Interface )
Design 101 : What is a good game HUD, what do it need.
You can skip this part. Its copy past from game design Information, but pleas read to understand more.
- Determine the information you want to display: Think about the most important information your players need to see while playing your game. This may include health, ammo, score, mini-map, and other relevant game data.
- Choose a layout and design: Consider the placement and size of each element, as well as the overall design and visual style. A good layout should be easy to read and understand, and the design should be consistent with the game's overall theme.
- Use appropriate graphics: Use graphics that are easy to understand and recognizable, such as icons, numbers, and bars. Use colors and shapes that match your game's visual style.
- Use animations and transitions: Use animations and transitions to show changes in the player's status or progress. For example, the health bar could flash or change color when the player's health is low.
- Test and refine: Test your HUD with actual players to see if it is effective and easy to use. Make adjustments as needed based on feedback.
Now when you also know how a good gaming HUD is made, can we take a new look on the Preview.
Keep in mind this is a MMORPG, Not to compare it to FPS or other game types.
Remember the steps above the image?
1 - Do the HUD have the Information we need? I will say at this preview the HUD have 35% less Information then today.
A : No item name or decay info. ( This we have today )
B : Primary and secondary item in rigth corner? ( Where is the tool bar? ) Item for low dmg, mining , tag weapon and fun stuff.
C : Real Money Economic MMORPG - But I can no longer see my balance?
D : No clearly visible colored ammo type icon. ?
E : Much less easy shortcuts and buttons to be seen. This new HUD takes up more screen space and displays less information.
(I will show this on an example vary soon.)
2 - Is the HUD design and layout good and is it easy to understand and read?
A : Design can be good. But it doesn't have much to do with an MMORPG. Google MMORPG game HUDs and you will see.
B : Easy to read? Do I even need to comment on that.
B.1 - Great lack of colors. The Mod Health Bar has no colors on it, get lost in the colors of the sky. The avatar health as well.
B.2 - Icons and item colors just fade as they all have the same look and feel
B.3 - The chat has no colors. Not easy to read as it is too transparent. It is also very small compared to HUD. No color correction of what or where you chat?
3 - Use appropriate graphics: Use graphics that are easy to understand and recognizable?
A : I want to comment on it, but to be honest I don't know what I'm looking at.
4 - Use of animation ? - or example, the health bar could flash or change color when the player's health is low.
A : It's an image so can't see animation. But there are certainly no colors.
5 - Test and refine: Test your HUD with actual players .
A : Preview, If I was the player. The first thing I wanted to try was to open the action library and find a pogo dance. Create a shortcut. then stay there for the next 30 minutes and try to read and write in chat. Thats a fact!
We need to know what we have. Before we can judge what we get. Compare the present with the new.
That's when you get the big picture of how much the new one may lack in improvements, after all it's improvement and development we're working to get? Not a glorified UE5 look, but a downgrade in gameplay HUD and UI.
Pay attention to all the features and simple colors and icons we have today. Don't forget all the customization we can do today.
Shortcuts, Armor sets, clothing sets, Item shortcuts, emotes, action shortcuts, color matched in chat and much more.
Even just small things like radar HUD. Why no lcation name ect ect? A lot is missing!
Every number I've added to the pictures are features or information about the HUD, and a lot of that is missing from the new one.
Have a look then consider the new HUD again.
Everyone can have their own opinion, but to me the facts are clear and easy to see.
Let's look at some more facts.
It was now only a few days ago. New game update where some of the service stations in the game got a new design.
I don't know why it was a design change, but I really hope it has nothing to do with testing UE5 objects.
For those who don't know what I'm talking about.
Most of the service station on Calypso has the old object design. Storage, Trade Terminal and repair ect.
Each terminal had its own unique appearance. This is good because it is easy to spot them in a room and it is easy to remember when they have a unique design.
It also gives a better soul to the game when each item or object gets its own look. It takes time to create multiple object shapes. But in the end, the overall results are much better.
Now after the facelift # Downgrade of the new service centers. All the terminals have the same appearance, but only simple differences.
If Entropia is about Scifiction and UE5 is an upgrade in feel and look.
It is very sad for me to see a storage container now looking like a repair machine terminal with other colours only. Since they have very different interactions and functions.
I know other planets just have the same object type but just use colors to divide them. In a designer's eyes. This is just a shortcut or lack of time to do something better.
All in all, we just want a good game. There's a lot that could make the game better, but don't jump all in and change things that work.
It's an interesting future. But I want them all to go slow and not jump on the joy of editing everything, but not spending the time needed to do it.
I also want the game to grow, and get more players as well, to feel new and interesting. But graphics and looks don't get or keep players.
The interface and gameplay do, and most important is developers who spend the time needed and don't create new things because that's the funnest part for a designer. Keep up the good work, development is the future, but don't take away or make less of what we have.