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User Interface

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The User Interface (UI) is the part of the game mechanics the player uses to interact with the game. The term generally refers specifically to the buttons, windows, and other controls the player sees when playing the game.

In many other games, the developers allowed users to modify their User Interface to their liking through user created addons.

User Interface is generally abbreviated 'UI'.

Interface updated

As seen at PAX East 2011

Systems Groups

The default GUI layout presses the controls into the corners of the screen as much as possible:

  • Social Systems: Chat - Top Left
  • Party Systems / Companions - Center-to-Bottom Left
  • Game Systems : Help - Top Center
  • Combat Systems / Experience / Player Indicators - Bottom Center
  • Mission Systems: Top Right
  • Navigation Systems / World Indicators - Bottom Right

Additional Windows

More information about details of the game can be accessed on the following windows:[1]

  • Crew Skills - info about these skills and missions
  • World Map - info about planets and locations
  • Legacy - Info about the current legacy that you are in.

Map Functionality

In the galaxy-spanning Star Wars MMORPG, effective maps are crucial.[2]

Available maps include a master world map for each planet, several smaller hub maps of each adventuring zone, and dozens of building maps for each playable interior. These maps show a high level of detail (e.g., showing chairs, crates, statues in the area).

These maps include the following features:

Icons

The maps include markers for important elements such as trainers, mailboxes, galactic marketplace terminals, and mission objectives. When you point the mouse cursor to an mission icon, a pop-up displays the title of the mission relevant to that area, your current progress, and a sketch of where the current objectives can be found.

Another set of icons tracks group members, supporting the game community by making it easier to run missions with other players. In addition, each member of the group can see the mission icons for each other group member. If you share the same mission with another player in your group, their name will be listed in the mouseover text for that mission icon. If a group member has a mission that you don't have, their mission icon will be purple. This can help players compare missions and plan the best route for accomplish all their goals.

Breadcrumbing

This system helps specify which map is central to which mission. If players have a mission in their mission log that is on the current planet, but is not shown on the current location map, the location map will highlight the exit needed to get to the correct map. Pointing the mouse cursor to that exit will display information about which missions can be found in that direction.

Transparency

Maps become semi-transparent when a player starts moving. This allows players to keep the map displayed for help with navigation.

MOB Locations

The mini-map in the lower-right corner includes a mouseover window that displays locations where MOBs are present or will be spawning.[3]

Other Details

The following details have also been established:

Personalization

The UI will be customizable.[4] For example, in group play, a character designated as the support / healer can have summary icons of each group member's health bar appear front and center on the interface.[5]


Although the exact details of customization are still unclear (i.e., modifying the keys mapped to ability buttons), players will be able to set text-size preferences [6]

Development Goals

Michael Voigt detailed the main goals of the GUI design, including highlighting the vistas of the game worlds, supporting combat and exploration, not alienating seasoned MMORPG players, and maintaining visual fidelity with the rest of the game (e.g., unifying coloration, theme, and overall consistency). The current indicators and controls include minimalistic framing, a sleek and simple silhouette (likened to a sports car's dashboard), and reducing information density as much as possible by replacing text with icons.[6]

Sources

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