The New World UI is a mess. Let’s not sugarcoat it: clicking the “New World” button is like kicking a beehive, except instead of kicking you’re clicking and instead of being assaulted by wrathful insects hell-bent on vengeance you’re exposed to a confusing excess of numerical input spinners hell-bent on vengeance.
So, the first part of the new 4-part New World screen will be a simple Quickstart screen, designed to get you away from menu and into the game as quickly as possible. New players will still have a few of the most vital controls, but the vast majority will be offloaded to the other screens.
I’m not quite happy with the current design and am still experimenting with it, but it showcases the idea well enough.
On the left, a preview of the starting creatures. Since we have more space available than before we can make this bigger than the one on the old New World screen, but more importantly, it shows several specimens rather than just one. This makes it easier to see the difference between ‘single species’ options (‘Initialise Blank Slate’, ‘Initialise Aquatic) and more varied settings (‘Initialise Random’, ‘Initialise From Exported).
On the right, the new 3d Map Visualiser. The erosion algorithm has been built into it and it’s been hooked up to the in-game terrain, so it’s now possible to start games with eroded terrain. The erosion process looks good while it’s happening, although it’s a major performance issue. I’m still looking for a solution for that: I tried lowering the fidelity of the map visualiser and it somehow made the lag worse. So I’ll probably have to resort to multithreading again. At least I know how to do that now!
The three pop-out sliders on the right hand side are water-level, temperature and fertility, and they update in real time too. A similar UI control could come in handy for the climate settings in the main game.
Unexpected feature: if you adjust the water height while the erosion is happening, you can get a neat ‘layered’ effect to the erosion.