View Issue Details

IDProjectCategoryLast Update
0021851AI War 2[All Projects] SuggestionOct 21, 2019 6:53 pm
ReporterAsteroidAssigned To 
Status newResolutionopen 
Product Version0.954 Hacking Log! 
Fixed in Version 
Summary0021851: (Post-first-DLC) Individual icons for all units including frigates, guardians and turrets
DescriptionI'm realizing that a big factor that makes the game hard to read and not as cool-looking as AI War 1 is that a lot of units namely frigates and guardians (and to a lesser extent, turrets) don't have their individual icons. Instead they have a tiny, nearly impossible to read overlay.

For a lot of players including me, the ship is the icon, because we never zoom close enough to see the 3d model. I never liked frigates from the start, and I've now realized that it's because their icons are so generic. Starship icons in AI War 1 looked impressive and powerful.

Overlays could be re-purposed to show the ship class, so frigates could get a small square to help visually associate all frigate-class ships despite the icons being different, for instance. These overlays should be designed to be clear even if they're small, think NATO symbols for instance.

I'm sure nobody here needs another reminder that Chris is in massive debt at the moment and doesn't have the financial resources to commission all missing icons (which would be very expensive, most people have no clue how expensive custom art is), so this is a suggestion for when and if the game is financially successful enough to pull Chris out of the red.
TagsNo tags attached.



Oct 19, 2019 6:01 pm

reporter   ~0053800

I'm curious as to how the icons are made and implemented. If I had any ability I'd probably try it out of another moment of insanity.


Oct 19, 2019 6:36 pm

reporter   ~0053801

Icons are made of two plain .png files, one for the icon itself and one for the border.
They are in D:\Code\ArcenGames\AIWar2\AIW2ModdingAndGUI\Assets\Icons\OfficialGUI\GUIShipsWhite and D:\Code\ArcenGames\AIWar2\AIW2ModdingAndGUI\Assets\Icons\OfficialGUI\GUIShips_Borders respectively.

 I suspect Chris auto-generates the border with some external software since he changed all their widths recently in SVN rev 6284. Perhaps he has master copies with layers in .PSD or similar format.


Oct 19, 2019 6:45 pm

reporter   ~0053802

I know where they are. I've been the one to swap a number of icons around.

Just curious as to make the things. Looking it up on my own but Chris seems to have a lot of his own custom methods and tools for things.

Curious of the 3D modelling side too.


Oct 21, 2019 5:55 pm

administrator   ~0053822

A lot of the icons for this game I adapted from, or else they were things that Blue created directly if they're more specific.

There are then some photoshop post-processes I run on them to give them a sense of depth, and then a process I run in photoshop to create the border. Without photoshop, those actions can't be run; I'm not sure if GIMP would be able to create something similar enough, but probably close-enough would work.

For the 3D modeling, that's not really anything special beyond doing actual 3D artwork in general. Main thing is keeping the polycount to a certain number, and making different LODs, and then there's a lengthy and slightly complicated prep proccess where I translate that from fbx or obj format into what the game can use, which also includes using some custom shaders to apply the "look of the game" to it even if there are textures that go with the model that someone painted.

It's... a large topic. The icons are easier, but the 3D modeling was a hobby of mine since 1998 (Bryce, Alice, etc), then in 2016 or so it still took most of a year for me to learn how to do it for games after having spent a lot of time on landscapes for two decades. It's not something that's super easy to pick up casually...

BUT there are a number of things that can be use to assemble 3D models out of other parts that other people created, and I've been using those. Those aren't in SVN because it's something like 30-40 GB of stuff, but Puffin it would be the main way I'd see someone like you being able to quickly create new designs. Even that would require a few hour tutorials from me (I did a lot on the integration process alone that are in the youtube history), but it's not requiring specialized software knowledge or something.

As far as unique icons for every ship goes... I'm not enormously enthusiastic about that, but I guess we'll see. I'm certainly not going to fight it a bunch if that's what people want, but it could get pricey and time-consuming, and I need to recode the icons to work with multiple atlases rather than just the one before we can have above a certain volume of icons, anyway.


Oct 21, 2019 6:53 pm

reporter   ~0053826

I wondered if some were from somewhere. A few are strange looking.

I've seen some of those model components when looking in Unity, so there's something I can see.

I figured it'd be a large and complicated topic. Was just curious, as I think about it now and then, particularly when doing all the sizing, but whether or not I'd actually stick with it long enough...I'm not someone to really have passion, more just curiosity in general as I've probably said before. So I guess there'd be little chance of anything useful coming out of it.

Thanks for answering that Chris.

Unique icons - I like the current set up. I'm not sure how you'd make unique icons for the Guard Posts, since they have the same base shape.

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
Oct 19, 2019 5:04 pm Asteroid New Issue
Oct 19, 2019 6:01 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Note Added: 0053800
Oct 19, 2019 6:36 pm Asteroid Note Added: 0053801
Oct 19, 2019 6:37 pm Asteroid Description Updated View Revisions
Oct 19, 2019 6:45 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Note Added: 0053802
Oct 21, 2019 5:55 pm x4000Bughunter Note Added: 0053822
Oct 21, 2019 6:53 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Note Added: 0053826