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TSL Main Menu Experiments


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#1 DarthParametric

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 08:01 PM

So I have been playing around with the TSL menu models of late. A couple of months back I proposed the idea of trying to change up the menus based on game events/progress. I'm not sure whether that will ever end up going anywhere, not if I have to deal with scripting it at least, so in the meantime I thought I'd change things up a bit in a different manner. Stick with the existing villain showcase theme, but rather than just the same old boring black menu with grey fog, put them in their natural habitats, as it were. The first one I tackled was Sion, trying to recreate the Harbinger arrival cutscene. I think it's pretty much done, although maybe the lighting could do with some adjustment.



For the next one I thought I would go with Nihilus on the bridge of the Ravager, possibly overlooking Telos. Maybe with Visas in there as well?

For the Kreia one I was thinking of having her in the Malachor final battle level, possibly with the floating sabers.

#2 LucyTheAlien

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 08:18 PM

Eh, not a fan- but good work. 


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#3 L0ki194

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 08:43 PM

I'm interested in this concept. I think one of the things that should happen, if it can, is a sort of frame to go around the menu options, with a black/dark background. Kreia at the Trayus Core with floating Lightsabers seems like a good idea. Same goes for Nihilus at the bridge of The Ravager, as well as having Visas next to him. For Sion's background, it feels a little too close, and a bit too bright. Maybe another option would be him at the Korriban Academy?

 

Still, I'm interested to see where you take this.



#4 JCarter426

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 12:11 AM

Interesting idea. At first I wasn't sure about Sion on the Harbinger - I know, that's the first place you see him, but if you're not changing the scripting then you could be seeing that for a very long time after Peragus... but I also can't think of a better place. I'd advise against Korriban because it's supposed to be a sort of surprise that he's there. So I like it.

 

Do you know if there's a way to change the main menu camera? If so, it may be possible to recreate the zoom in on him from the cutscene before it begins looping, sort of like a DVD menu. Depends on whether there's a separate camera model there, or if the camera is an object in the area, though.



#5 DarthParametric

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 02:57 AM

There's just a hook for the camera position. I suppose you could try animating it and see what happens, but I would think it would probably be more annoying than anything else. Plus the current track is only around 50 frames, ~1.67 seconds, so you'd have to push that out pretty substantially unless you wanted to induce nausea.

#6 JCarter426

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 03:24 AM

Oh, I see. If there's a hook then it most likely can be animated, since the other cameras are the same way. I'll check it out when I get a chance.



#7 L0ki194

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 02:46 PM

At first I wasn't sure about Sion on the Harbinger - I know, that's the first place you see him, but if you're not changing the scripting then you could be seeing that for a very long time after Peragus... but I also can't think of a better place. I'd advise against Korriban because it's supposed to be a sort of surprise that he's there. So I like it.

Hmm... maybe the room for his final fight on Malachor would be a good spot? Probably could have him standing on one of the red circles on the floor with an almost red glow underneath him. Either doing the pose he has in the menu, or the one when he's on the Harbinger/the middle of the Korriban academy.

 

Edit: Just occurred to me, if that happens, you'd literally have all 3 menu backgrounds be where you last fight said character. Neat. (Nihilus at the bridge of the Ravager, Sion in the room before the Trayus Core, and finally Kreia in the center of the Trayus Core itself.)



#8 DarthParametric

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 05:05 PM

Interestingly, it seems that the menu won't render objects beyond a certain distance from the camera. I cobbled together a test model based on the Ravager bridge level models and it would not render the skybox or Telos in the background. I ended up scaling the meshes down in size and moving them to just outside the windows (or holes where windows should be) and they showed up.

#9 Kexikus

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 07:32 PM

Interestingly, it seems that the menu won't render objects beyond a certain distance from the camera. I cobbled together a test model based on the Ravager bridge level models and it would not render the skybox or Telos in the background. I ended up scaling the meshes down in size and moving them to just outside the windows (or holes where windows should be) and they showed up.

 

The same is true for all cameras I think. I learned this when I created the hyperspace tunnel for the Ebon Hawk and it wouldn't render very far, so I had to put a plane at its end so that it doesn't just end in a black hole. But the maximum distance is probably smaller in the main menu.



#10 JCarter426

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 01:19 AM

I've never noticed any drawing distance limitation with cutscene cameras - static module ones, or animated ones, or even the standard angles - but I can confirm that not all cameras are created equally. The camera modes left over from Neverwinter Nights have a much shorter distance, so it's conceivable that the menu does as well.



#11 VarsityPuppet

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 01:27 AM

Cool ideas, but I wonder if less is more, at least for designing main menus.

 

Maybe show the current planet? 

 

Or you could do something similar to SWTOR where you show the main player character (or one of the party members) in the Ebon Hawk


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#12 JCarter426

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:33 AM

Well, we talked about doing it by planet before, and I did write the code for it, but the problem is getting it into the game. I wouldn't say this is the easiest, but it's certainly the most all-inclusive way to get it into the game, to replace every OnEnter script so they're all firing the same thing before firing their different things. But that means editing the modules' ARE files. And that means it can't be done with the TSL Patcher in one go. It can't check if there's a MOD file already present in the modules folder. I still haven't figured out the best way to do that for compatibility.



#13 Hassat Hunter

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:34 AM

Just remember due to Obsidian's way to make the PC appear any main menu's after that don't render, just return Sion. Reason why the easter egg menu was broken in Vanilla (and could fortunately be fixed by using the excess unused slot before it).
There's not enough screens to use all planets, unless you find a way for all planets to work on a single main menu entry.

#14 DarthParametric

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 10:29 AM

We aren't discussing that here. There's a whole other thread for that, linked in the first post. This thread is about simple drop-in replacements for the current menus.

#15 VarsityPuppet

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:10 PM

We aren't discussing that here. There's a whole other thread for that, linked in the first post. This thread is about simple drop-in replacements for the current menus.

 

I'm sorry, I didn't want to open a can of worms.

 

I can elaborate more. I think what seems off to me is that the background is too busy i comparison to the game's somewhat barebones UI. I like this idea of having more interesting backdrops, just the UI might have to be boldened up a bit in response.

 

 

So if the UI is to be kept minimalistic, I think it makes sense to keep the background minimal as well.

 

All this from my back-seat graphic designer mind :) Idk if it's useful or not


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#16 DarthParametric

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 05:16 PM

The UI is a separate element though. It's not part of the model, and I don't know how editable it is (my understanding is, not very, aside from colours maybe).

#17 VarsityPuppet

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 06:22 PM

The UI is a separate element though. It's not part of the model, and I don't know how editable it is (my understanding is, not very, aside from colours maybe).

 

Oh yes, I am aware. Just speaking in general terms about main menu overhaul and whatnot


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#18 bead-v

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:56 PM

I don't know how editable it is (my understanding is, not very, aside from colours maybe).

 

You'd have to keep the general structure for it to work, but I'm sure you could do a lot if you spent enough time with it. Here's what FairStrides has done before:

Spoiler


#19 JCarter426

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:59 PM

I believe he wrote a fancy GUI file editor to do that. But if you don't want to spend that much time on it, or stray too far from the original, at the very least it should be possible to fill in the buttons with a solid color so they stand out against the new menu background.



#20 Alan The Magic Goose

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:50 AM

I genuinely like them with the busy backgrounds. If you can add a vignette similar to the effect of Kreia's force bond communications I think that would sort out most people's complaints.
It's not that it's too busy, that's disingenuous, I think that the problem is that the text can get lost very easily depending on the location. But, like all great works of art, there are more than one way to skin a cat.
You could also try repositioning the camera to get the text to overlay a darker color, then it will be more visible.
Or, even change the text color.

I personally don't spend all day at the menu, but having these full animated scenes in the background immediately throw you into an immersive mentality.


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