User Interface Modding - Anyone looked at?

Discussion in 'User Interface and HUD Modding' started by Slothman, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Slothman

    Slothman Registered

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    There have been a few posts regarding the Menu and the Interface provided.

    Some regarding layout, some regarding the need for the "showroom" to more easily accesible.

    I had a look the other night and it APPEARS to be based around Object Orientated programming (pure guess there)...of which I have not looked at in over 20 years.

    Has anyone else checked this out?? Anyone working on providig an alternative??

    The question is also linked to the fact their appears to be an area for installing multiple UI as components and switching to them via the Single Player/Customise area.
     
  2. Rantam

    Rantam Registered

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    The UI programming for rF2 is very similar to the one in rF1 (there're some new features but it's basically the same), and yes it's "object oriented". More or less.. you have objects with properties, etc. but don't expect finding anything close to Java or C, because you're not dealing here with something like that at all. This UI uses a very simple language so if you're a programmer you should be able to get used to it pretty fast. Most of things are hardcoded, so basically all you can do is change the look of it or the 'flow' which the player have to follow to go from one screen to others.

    I've already done an alternative UI for rF2, but I'm afraid It's not going to be released publicly as it's mean to be part of a mod. Just to give some examples of changes you can do I've removed those scrolling icons used to select the cars and a selection tree is used instead (I'm planning to do the same with the tracks, but I haven't done it yet simply because there're not a lot of tracks available yet, hehe), the showroom has more presence also being again in the car selection screen as it was in rF1.

    I don't discard doing another UI to be released as a standalone element, but anyway I'm sure some other modders are already creating alternative user interfaces, so you may expect have different options to choose sooner or later :)

    Regards

    Ps. Yes, the idea is them to be easy to install using the new rF2 component system. I haven't test if it works in the current version, but in the first version of the beta there was a bug which didn't allow to install a different user interface.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2012
  3. Slothman

    Slothman Registered

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    Thanks Rantam.

    I had been playing and figured out the possibility of the tree and, now that you have confiemd it, might continue for my own personal knowledge :)
     
  4. D.Painter

    D.Painter Registered

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    Hi Rantam. Thanks for your answer to this. I wonder if you or someone could answer a couple of questions.

    With rF1 and now as Rantam has suggested, Modders can and are making new interfaces for their mods only. Now with rF1 the end user could choose to use one for all the mods by installing the components needed replacing the ones from any one mod. Users really don't want to have a different UI for different mods. We'd like to use the one we find the most accommodating. With this ModID system in place this is no longer possible? Is it that we'll have no choice? Would we all have to learn this system so we can utilize the preferred UI with all mods?

    If we do this, Is it then a case of changes to a mods rFMod Mas then need to be given a new ModID so now it becomes unusable online because of the ID code change creating a mismatch?

    If a different UI is setup as a component then we endusers create a update to replace the mods IU, Would this also create a online mismatch with others that have the original UI or have created a update using a different UI (That they prefer) being these updated components now have different component ID's.

    Off cause this is not limited to the UI. It's a issue we endusers face in every aspect when trying to modify rF2 to your own personal preference. Anything you do outside a mod group to personalize this game will end in you not being able to join any servers.
     
  5. Rantam

    Rantam Registered

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    Good questions, yes... I've been wondering about that also, but I'm afraid I don't have answers for most of these. Hopefully someone from ISI will read this thread sooner or later :)

    But despite my limited knowledge of the new rf2 components system I think that you can stick with one user interface for all the mods. As long as you have the "change user interface" function available you should be able to enable the user interface you want to use (if it has been released as an independent element), even if it's not part of that mod. Just thinking out loud..

    Well, unless somebody removes that function from its UI, of course! Then to change the active UI you'd have to mess with config files and the notepad :D

    Anyway I don't think changing the UI or the HUD would cause mismatches (I'd have to give it a try though).

    Ps. IMO is good to have different UI for different mods. Even discarding the "style" side of the user interface (a vintage look may not fit modern F1 mods, for example), certain mods may need simplified UIs while others may require ones offering more features or functionalities. Or that is what i got from experience.. but of course it also depends on player's preferences :)

    Kindest regards
     
  6. Slothman

    Slothman Registered

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    I agree Rantam.

    I tested the theory of the UI creating mismatches in the previous build (simply recreate the exact ui with a different name) but havnt bothered with the current build.

    Kind of holding off most of the MODID testing until we start seeing the majority of components activated (skins, commentary etc) or until ISI say they have pretty much got it good to go (instead of testing the basics).
     
  7. D.Painter

    D.Painter Registered

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    Cheers for the response guy's.

    It seem the norm for most modders to be sitting on the fence. It' a lot of work to do twice or three times because something isn't implemented yet.

    The hole purpose of the first released build was the test the mod ID system and get feedback on it. Personally I HATE it and can see NO possible benefit from it WHAT SO EVER!

    The user ID I get.
    The need to go through matchmaker before going online or using rF2 at a LAN I get.
    The Modmanager I get though I'm not a fan of all the components being in Mas files I do get the reasoning behind it. There's no reason the teams files have to be in a Mas. The mod directory yes, The teams files, No.

    rFMOD, VMod, rFcomp, and what ever you call the update one is just full of trouble, confusion and plagued with a far high mismatch rate then rF1 ever had or has.

    I've repeatedly said this and so far no one has come it's defense. No one has explained or at least tried to to explain the purpose behind this ridiculously limited system.
     
  8. Rantam

    Rantam Registered

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    Well, that's going a bit out of topic here, but we at HistorX mostly agree with all that. We see the reasons behind most of those new features, but we also think that, in practice, most of it makes things harder for modders and not always they seem to offer any real benefit. Even more, in some cases they look like bringing the opposite of it..

    Regards
     
  9. D.Painter

    D.Painter Registered

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    Yeah your right, Was a bit off topic. I was thinking that when writing it but it's relevant in nearly every aspect of rF2 the problem ModID's are going to cause.

    It seems that no one including ISI want to defend and/or explain the rationality behind it. That in itself is worrying. I've been trying hard to understand how this system is supposed to help prevent mismatch. All I see is far more often people want be able to join a server and it want be because you have the incorrect or out of date mod or track. It'll be because you haven't got the right ID.

    Were it is relevant to this topic and all others really is as a enduser you have NO ability to customize YOUR install without making it totally useless online. Just one change.
     
  10. Marco Bijl

    Marco Bijl Registered

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    There are definatly benefits from the new suystem, and they are explained as well. It's just that this forum is so full of topics about it, that you can't expect ISI to enter the same text all over in each topic again.

    A few simple benefits:
    - No or almost no options for cheating and manipulating files
    - League hosting becomes so much more effective
    - Everyone uses the same content during a race
    - When used correctly, all info is stored in 1 file, simular to what people now use 3rd party software like SimSync for.

    It's just that it needs some small adjustments. Think about f.i.
    - More info in server selection screen where mod is available for download (via the info option in the mod f.i.)
    - Peer-to-peer download function for vmods (hosted @ server side, so 1 click download)

    Anyway, back to the topic.

    In principle, and I have to test this to be sure, it IS possible to use a custom rfactor skin when going online. It's just the way you set up the skin files. Make sure NOT to link them to anything else, and have them as a seperate update.
    I am working on 1 as well, which is supposed to be released as a seperate download and seperate update. The idea is that it does NOT limit the functions the end user has.
    When I use it in a league, it will be included in the league mod file, so everyone needs to install that mod anyway to join, and should not give issues as well. I just need to test how I can make sure that UI is used when the mod is run, and the normal UI's are used when the mod is NOT run.

    Like said, I am still in the early phase of developing it, as I have other priorities at this moment, but the first tests look very promissing.
     
  11. Marco Bijl

    Marco Bijl Registered

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    The first concept is done now. Before I continue with the graphical look and the present functions, I want to see how the integration in a mod works. Anyone has some experience with that already? I mean forcing the UI when the mod is used? When do you make the force, and what if the enduser restarts rf2. Does it (and is it preferable) start with the latest used IU, or can you "release" the forcing upon exiting?

    I haven't found answers to those kind of questions, so it would be nice if someone knew anything about it ;)
     
  12. MaD_King

    MaD_King Registered

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    Not tested on rF2, but the UI specific of a mod is indicated in the rFm (look at the Endurance Series rFM on rF1 to get informations).
    Now no sure it's is enough in the new tree of folder/mas in rF2. If You have a new UI for rF2 to test with a custom mod, I can make a test on our in dev internal mod to valid how to do this on rF2.

     
  13. Marco Bijl

    Marco Bijl Registered

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    Just took a look in the rFm to see where that could be specified. I suspect it has to be done with the OSCFILE option. There is indeed an option to give that a custom reference. Not sure how it works, but we can try that out :)

    I have some preperations to do for a pre-release testing league, so I think it will be somewhere next week I can update here again.
     
  14. MarcG

    MarcG Registered

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    How far have you got Marco? or anyone for that matter!?

    I'm fed up with ISIs reluctance to do anything with the poor UI, its a low priority for them and they are obviously leaving it upto the community to create better ones (Tim said as much in another thread).
    So I'm gonna start looking into it myself, never done any UI editing in the past so cant say if what I'll do will be anygood mind :p

    Edit: any tips for me? what files I need to extract from mas etc would be a good start!
     
  15. Kknorpp001

    Kknorpp001 Banned

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    Is it possible to put all settings on a single screen, for example car, track and race settings?
     
  16. MarcG

    MarcG Registered

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    I've come to the conclusion it's beyond my talents :eek: someone PLEASE make a better UI and I'll help to test it, as you can see here it's not on ISIs "must do" list:
    http://isiforums.net/f/showthread.php/12098-Quick-dev-update?p=168359&viewfull=1#post168359
     
  17. FuNK!

    FuNK! Registered

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    Sry for using this thread but I thought it would be better to keep all UI theme related things in one topic ;)

    I started working on UIs for rFactor directly when the first came out but never had time to finish one completely though :(
    Last week I had a closer look at the rF2 UI again and (inspired by the FIFA14 demo) I created a 'flat design' draft of a new fresh UI for rF2. After that I made first tries in converting my design into an actual UI. It's really easy (against all my doubts) but some things from the OSC file are still some kind of mystery...maybe anyone is able to answer those questions for me!?

    • What file formats (for 'surface') are possible beside bmp and tga?
    • Would it be possible to put in videos/animations like AVI or BIK (like in rF1)?
    • Is it possible to integrate an complete 'attributeset' definition directly into other definitions ('page' for instance)?
    • Current dimension of the UI is 1280x960. Would it be possible to set the dimension to 1280x800 for instance?
    • What's the measure for 'AnimData' (ms or sec maybe)?
    • Do I have to keep a pre-defined order of the elements in the OSC?
    • Can I split the OSC into more files and include them like MAS-files (making the editing of the UI easier)?

    Thank you for any help!
     
  18. FuNK!

    FuNK! Registered

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    Knock knock! Who's there? Nobody!

    Come on ISI guys, one of your greatest supporters need some guidance! :cool:
     
  19. FuNK!

    FuNK! Registered

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  20. Jka

    Jka Registered Staff Member

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    Thank you FuNK! for this info. ;)

    Cheers!
     

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