Hey everyone, it’s been a while, so here’s a brief update on what I’ve been working on over the past month or so!
Save / load UI improvements
I’ve made quite a few improvements to the UI screens used for saving / loading games or constructions.
Now, rather than repopulating the list of saves whenever the screen is opened, they are only updated if something has actually changed (e.g. file saved or deleted). This makes it more responsive and means the scroll position doesn’t keep getting reset.
I’ve also implemented some features to help manage and organise a larger number of saves more easily. Each save screen now has a list of tags (populated from those currently in all the saves), which can be selected from to filter out which saves are shown. In addition, locally saved, Workshop downloaded, and built-in example saves are now separated into their own panels that can be switched between.
The player now has to confirm before saving over an already existing saved game or construction (just like when deleting a save).
Double clicking on a saved game or construction now loads / spawns it, without having to click on a button. Similarly, double clicking on a map in the “creative mode” screen will start a new game with that map.
I also spent a lot of time tweaking the layout of the UI screens and improving the various UI elements. My aim was to improve the overall UI appearance, make better use of space, and (most importantly) improve legibility.
The UI could still be way better of course, and there are many more things I would like to do, but I think it has been a good step in the right direction.
Finally, the other area I’ve been working on is extending and improving the Steam Workshop support in the game.
In the Workshop browser screen, there are now a whole host of searching, sorting, and filtering options. The player can search with a text string (matches against the text in item names and descriptions), or they can search using tags (matching against any or all specified). Results can be sorted by popularity, recently added, etc. and filtered by items subscribed to, published, etc. Speaking of popularity, I also added buttons for voting items up and down.
This was all implemented using Steamworks functionality, so it was pretty easy to do really, the main challenge was more on the UI side of things.
Lastly, I’ve also added support to the load game screen for publishing saved games, and for loading games downloaded from the Workshop!
On Monday my PC completely died (reboots every few seconds), narrowed it down to either the CPU or motherboard. It’s a fairly old machine, so at this point it probably makes most sense to build a new PC.
Anyway, I’m currently resorting to using my old laptop, which is a major setback to progress as it makes development painfully slow. I was hoping to release a demo update soon with all the UI and Workshop improvements, but this will probably be delayed for a while now unfortunately.