I’m a returning player after a 10 years break, it feels like meeting an old friend who hasn’t changed a bit.
Anyway, I’m only referring to the navigation UI and associated icons (item icons), they are showing their age in the modern gaming world. They kinda have that Windows XP look now compare to other space games. Food for thought.
Elite Dangerous, Star Citizens are doing a good job for creating an immersed experience through UI. But I think CCP is already working on it, take the Skills panel for example. It has been updated to a modern UI that doesn’t quite fit the rest of UI.
The nav panel can be stylized like an actual nav panel with unique design that matches the ships, instead of floating buttons.
Change will be hard for decades old players, give option to keep the classic UI while providing modern UI to retain new player would be a big plus for the community.
CCP, I’m a designer with 25+ years of experience. Fly me to Iceland, I’ll show you some comps.
ED, SC, and NMS are all first person flight simulator games. They rely heavily upon HOSTA joysticks (playing WASD with those games suck) So an immersive first person UI’s are needed for… well immersion purposes.
EvE is not a first person flight simulator game (despite it’s one shotty first person view that is only good for bumping orcas). It’s more of “one person acts as the entire crew” kind of thing where point and click buttons work better.
I agree, it could use some esthetical revamping. I’m sure that artists at CCP could come up with something totally awesome and different. They’ve started to deviate from the classic to the more elaborate already. Looks fine to me but more could be done.
IMO it has a few issues that could likely be done better:
overheating by clicking on the tiny green bar at the top or via the little rack buttons is a bit tricky. It’s an incentive to use Shift+Click, but a good UI should probably not push its user to use short-cuts.
green-cycling modules are sometimes hard to see in front of light backgrounds. Making this easier to see would seem benefitial.
a design focused on round shapes looks off within all the boxes that make up the rest of the UI.
adjusting speed manually by clicking into the “speed bar” while progressive, is rather unprecise.
I’d not name SC or ED as overly good examples though. Not because they would have bad interfaces, but both games are played from an FPS perspective. Eve has more zoomed-out, and strategic approach.
But I agree the look and feel is not as fresh as it once was.
Regarding icons, I vehemently disagree with changing them just for the sake of change - there’s a really tangible feeling genuinity to them, and to change them after nearly 20 years would not only detract from EVE’s style to me, it’d also be wicked unfun for everyone who’s come to know them during all this time.
Not every game needs to, or should at all, be the same in terms of UI - if they’re all the same “modern” style, they all become the same boring minimalism. You’ve gotta have flavor, and the age & history of the world of EVE lends itself far better to grittier stylings of icons than any smooth modern takes on them.
The icons we use now, in my opinion, are perfectly suited to EVE & nearly always match the style of what a given item or module “does”, along with giving each one a unique and strongly recognizable-at-a-glance look.
I play for only 1 year, and I think the hud is great as it is, and fit how you pilot the ships in Eve. The NPE just need to continue improving on showing new players how to use it, especially the icons on the left side of it. I have hope CCP will finally do it right with the next tutorial story that will focus on exploration (at least for the Scanners icon).
They could have added Aura into the Exploration career agent missions long time ago, to explain the Scanners icon and window, or better yet, have Rulie Isoryn (the Sisters of EVE agent that presumably accompany you during these missions) using the popup text window mechanic they already have, then adding the pointers once they were added to the game. But better late than never.
Hopefully they’ll eventually add another tutorial story mission that will explain the tactical overlay and tactical camera icons.
The use of keyboard and mouse together is a hallmark of EVE’s UX and expands the possibilities to interact with the game immensely. It’s much faster to Shift-Click a module to overheat it than to fiddle with buttons on the module (regardless how large they are) or with right click menus. CTRL-click is much faster than fiddling with right clicking to lock targets, that is especially true if you want to lock many targets. Likewise, CTRL-clickdrag is very easy to select many targets. I always find it comical when people use the right click menu to use things like Warp and Jump, when the Radial Menu (another good UI element in EVE) is faster and more precise.
The combined use of keyboard shortcuts and mouse clicks makes the EVE UX better and more versatile.
For that you don’t need to modernize the UI. You only need to make it so that shadows appear around modules when they are in front of light backgrounds.
Round shapes save space. With the boxes you could not have modules slightly overlapping to squeeze as many icons as possible in as little space as reasonably possible. Square icons also feel weird with countdown bars moving around it. And flashing effects are harder to notice on the corners.
You can click-hold and drag your mouse in the speed bar to adjust the speed better than with clicking in specific places in the speed bar.
(Admittedly, this is something I found out just now by trying because I wanted to suggest that click-dragging to change the speed should be implemented.)
SC or ED definitively do not have a UI that is in any way suitable or desiireable for EVE. The number of entities you interact with in either game is severely limited. Having stupid in-space floating UI elements for dozens or hundreds of entities would make the EVE UX atrocious.
The icons are well designed, they illustrate the functionality very clearly. Still, they have that Windows XP era’s look, 8-bitish. I would keep the designs as they are now, but render them in full colors instead of illustrate them.
Most of space themed Sci-Fi genre have that holographic look, exception of Star Wars that has 70s retro tech look still lol. Anyway, I’m not suggestion Photon UI should follow the holographic path. I’m sure the CCP design department can come up something cool. IMO, the nav panel with 8-bitish icons kinda ruin the whole space theme. Especially in 2022 when many players are using big 2K & 4K monitors.
I whole heartedly agree,
I thought photon was going to have a more drastic change with the UI so when I restarted and saw the same layout I was a little confused on what had changed until I looked a bit closer. ( I love the changes )
But the UI you’re referring to does look a bit out of place with everything else, and I think that’s by design. Just basing this off the initial feedback it was a huge shock to people just to add small effects and different layouts and it was a pretty mixed reaction so my guess is they’re worried about making any other changes because some people will lose their mind.