Most changes will happen in the User Interface category (obviously). The current interface is what i consider "broken", it's stuck in a temporary transition between new and old designs i'm testing. Many things are just either missing, bugged or straight up broken, there are also a crazy amount of widgets that need a lot of love. Preferences is a prime example of a huge outdated floater that has never made a step forward until i recently total-overhauled every panel, categorized everything and added and fixed a lot of features, inventory is another one that could use some changes but the worst is the whole "Appearance" or "Outfits" floater, it looks absolutely horrible, it's filled with buttons and strange alignments, it's straight up next to broken, simply broken. I want to trash them all and redo them for a cleaner and better look without removing too much functionality (hopefully). I got quite a bunch of ideas for Preferences already, if you've been following me since my first Niran's Viewer releases you probably know how many re-visits the Preferences floater had already... so i'm here, asking you what i should do next, i want something that is unique, something that can contain a huge amount of options without cluttering the screen too much, there are so many things i could do, i could try, maybe a mix that includes features from the past, maybe not. My previous iterations looked like this:
"I think this one was probably the worst i have done so far. It was space wasting, looked way too funky to be good and didn't work out at the end anyway..."
"...which brought me to this, basically a small version of the graphics panel that can be minimized. It didn't work out, was really buggy and missed a lot of options. It went into trash really fast."
"Similar to the one below, it includes the second design from the first one as "Graphics 2" tab and had the advanced graphics options in an accordion that was only visible if the main one was hidden (right one) until i changed it to always visible (left one)."
"This one was similar to the last one, it included the above panel and used a similar layout i used later in the next one, advanced settings were in a completely separate main preferences tab totally disconnecting it from the graphics tab itself, most people didn't even look into it."
"I think this one was one of the better designed ones, it made all most important options easily available on the main page, allowed selecting advanced options via tabs and was quite idiot safe. I still use the drop-down widgets for most detail related options because everyone understands LOW MEDIUM HIGH better than 1 3 5."
"I loved this one, it had a huge goal but never met it tho because of the horrible way the UI works especially with scaling. It was inspired by pretty much any game that uses a full screen preferences panel instead of a big floater that is always in your way no matter where you put it. All i could do was just trying to make it usable as much as possible. I would really like to see it return but it would require a huge redo of how the UI works to make it work with differing screen resolutions, not to mention that i would have to cut off about 60% of all included features. Second Life is a bitch, it has way too many options for conventional methods of containing them."
Phew, what do you think, should any of these be re-considered? Should i create something totally new again or is there something you would like that is used elsewhere in games or other applications you know that might work?
Next big part on the redo list is the main interface, the one you see as soon as you logged in to Second Life.
I will change it, that is for sure, you already saw that i changed it to a "water splash" themed design which didn't quite look like i wanted to. I have redone it in a more "painting / brush" styled design, have a look:
This is the current main UI. Small, sleek and minimalistic, the only "fancy" thing about is the actual design i chose for it... and no you will not be able to hide those black lines around the screen, they are a core part of the artistic style i want to create, hiding or transparenting it (Yes i'm looking at you Adeon.) is a kick right to where it hurts most, there will be no option to hide it other than hiding the entire interface, i will include an option to show/hide it in Snapshots though because it's a nice framing. Mouselook UI hiding will not hide it too, only the edges at the top but not the black frame around the screen. I will hate you if you remove or transparent them, i'm serious. The main UI will probably not include a direct "Search" feature as it did before except the Navigationbar which can be used to search as well, you might also notice that there is no balance display. Yes, i am money-less, you will become money-less too soon enough when 2.4 is ready... i'm just joking, the money display will be moved to your Inventory and Pay/Buy floaters. Inventory... am i crazy? No. Tell me, do you see any money display here on this screenshot below?
I'm pretty sure you don't, that is because there is none, it only shows up in your Inventory and on vendors and it works absolutely fine and i'm pretty sure it works fine in Second Life too, you don't need to see your account balance 24/7, it's wasted screen space.
No "Search", no "Account Balance". Check. Anything else? Yes. There's one thing i want to mention. Toolbars, those widgets you put your most important buttons into. I'm considering to remove all of them except the top one, either that or i will add 2 to the bottom corners and unnecessarily code a hide part into their background so they only show up when buttons are slotted. I think that's it for today. Tell me what you think and if you liked the new "layout" i chose for this sort of "self conversation"