Better Screens OXP

Discussion and information relevant to creating special missions, new ships, skins etc.

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Better Screens OXP

Post by Smivs » Wed May 22, 2013 12:41 pm

29th May, 2013 - v1.2 released. Now fully compatible with BGS OXP. Many thanks to Svengali for help and advice.

This is a small OXP which enhances the in-game GUI screens. If you like clean, un-cluttered screens but are bored with 'just black', this OXP is for you.
Better Screens OXP adds a subtle background texture and some detailing to the 'in-game' GUI screens, those you use while actually playing, to aid emmersion.
Full details, including screenshots and downloads can be found on Smivsonline.

Example screen
Image
Last edited by Smivs on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Selezen » Wed May 22, 2013 3:01 pm

Very nice, Smivs. :)

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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Smivs » Wed May 22, 2013 4:37 pm

Selezen wrote:Very nice, Smivs. :)
Thank you :)
Like many of my OXPs I made them for me, but was quite pleased with them so decided to share them.
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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Svengali » Wed May 22, 2013 5:39 pm

Wooh, a new set. Good thing :D

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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by JazHaz » Wed May 22, 2013 5:42 pm

Is this incompatible with BGS?
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drew wrote:£4,500 though! :shock: <Faints>
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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Smivs » Wed May 22, 2013 6:28 pm

JazHaz wrote:Is this incompatible with BGS?
Yes and no. They obviously both affect the GUI screens so there would be a clash and which would win presumably depends on OXP load order and that is unpredictable.
I don't personally use BGS but am broadly familiar with it. Being modular in design, removing or disabling parts of it is quite straightforward as far as I am aware and there is therefore a suggestion to do this in the readme - I assume people downloading this would want to use it, and that BGS users would want to keep other parts of the OXP active.
It did cross my mind that there could be a way of disabling or over-riding the BGS GUI screens, but I didn't explore this as I thought it might be a bit cheeky to over-ride other people's work, so I've left that responsibility with the user.
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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Svengali » Thu May 23, 2013 3:49 pm

Unfortunately Better Screens clashes with some other OXPs as well (e.g. Market Aide which sets the overlay on guiScreenChanged as well). You could merge the background with overlays and set only the background image. I'm fully aware that this takes away the elegant way and raises filesize and memory usage, but it leaves room for other OXPs. It was the reason why BGS has switched to backgrounds only. It will also avoid the missing overlay when the game gets unpaused.

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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by JazHaz » Thu May 23, 2013 5:11 pm

I think there is an opportunity here to merge this with BGS. Then you could have different options and keep compatibility with other OXPs.
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drew wrote:£4,500 though! :shock: <Faints>
Cheers,
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Maybe you could start a Kickstarter Campaign to found your £4500 pledge. 8)
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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Smivs » Thu May 23, 2013 6:05 pm

Svengali wrote:Unfortunately Better Screens clashes with some other OXPs as well (e.g. Market Aide which sets the overlay on guiScreenChanged as well). You could merge the background with overlays and set only the background image. I'm fully aware that this takes away the elegant way and raises filesize and memory usage, but it leaves room for other OXPs. It was the reason why BGS has switched to backgrounds only.
Thanks Svengali. I had considered the option of just backgrounds but decided overall this was a better way to do it, but that's before the problems emerged. One of the reasons I used this method is because on a couple of the screens (specifically the shipyard and system data screens) the overlay contains a section of the background to conceal a part of the ship or planet where it appears outside the 'box' on some screen resolutions - just a little cosmetic detail really but it does look better for it. It might be that the box could be a bit bigger and still fit within the visible screen area, so I might take a look at this as that could overcome this particular issue.
Svengali wrote:It will also avoid the missing overlay when the game gets unpaused.
<Confession> I hadn't noticed that the overlay disappears when you pause the game. :oops: </Confession>
JazHaz wrote:I think there is an opportunity here to merge this with BGS. Then you could have different options and keep compatibility with other OXPs.
That's a thought. I don't know if BGS has the ability to offer alternative screens - I'm sure many people would like to use the original BGS screens while others may prefer these so giving them the option might be good. I would have no objection to this, so if one of the BGS team wants to look at this they are welcome to either adapt and use my images, or get in touch to discuss it.
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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Svengali » Thu May 23, 2013 9:11 pm

Smivs wrote:
JazHaz wrote:I think there is an opportunity here to merge this with BGS. Then you could have different options and keep compatibility with other OXPs.
That's a thought. I don't know if BGS has the ability to offer alternative screens - I'm sure many people would like to use the original BGS screens while others may prefer these so giving them the option might be good. I would have no objection to this, so if one of the BGS team wants to look at this they are welcome to either adapt and use my images, or get in touch to discuss it.
The possibilities for image handling are limited though and parts will still be loading order fun. Making it expandable like Hyperradio or a root-OXP like BigShips is not possible yet. What we can try is a combination of screenbackgrounds.plist and script. But it will still need user action (e.g. overriding the screenbackgrounds.plist in BGS with the one in Better Screens) to avoid mixtures. Not really that optimal.

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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Smivs » Thu May 23, 2013 10:10 pm

Would something like this work?
Include both sets of images in BGS. Via a 'choices' mission screen offer the player either the Utilitarian Backgrounds (mine) or the Background Images (the current backgrounds). This choice sets a missionVariable which is called on start-up to trigger a script to display the chosen images.
The only drawback is that it would be set permanantly unless the user is spammed with the choices option every game or whatever.
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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Svengali » Fri May 24, 2013 8:28 am

No. You would still need the screenbackgrounds.plist.

Intro screen and the special screens (long_range_chart_mission and short_range_chart_mission) can't be set elsewhere and for some other screens like GameOptions or the Load/Save screens no handler is fired. I'd think the easiest way is to declare images in screenbackgrounds.plist and handle only exceptions via script - at least at the moment.

But hey - even if it's a little bit inconvenient - it will work and I'm happy that we have these possibilities.

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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Smivs » Fri May 24, 2013 8:41 am

Ha, well I sort of cheated a bit by not including those screens. 8)
I think I'll need to convert mine to just backgrounds anyway (to overcome the problems with marketAide et al), so I'll do that and look at the box size as well to see if they can be a bit bigger. As most of my screens are essentially the same the 'standard' layout would probably cover the currently un-covered screens as well. I'll PM you a link to the revised images when I'm done and then if you want to have a go at incorporating them you can.
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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Smivs » Fri May 24, 2013 3:14 pm

v1.1 is now available.
This is probably a stop-gap pending developments regarding this OXP and BGS, but the other issues raised were worth addressing so have now been sorted out.
All the images are now background only, so they don't disappear when the game is paused, and this OXP will also now work with marketAide and any other OXPs which rely on screen overlays.
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Re: [RELEASE] Better Screens OXP

Post by Smivs » Wed May 29, 2013 5:28 pm

v1.2 is now available.
Thanks to Svengali, this is now fully compatible with BGS. If you wish to use the Better Screens backgrounds with BGS you simply need to install Better Screens OXP and disable the 'backgroundscreens.plist' in BGS-A. More detailed instructions are in the Better Screens readme.
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