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At this point most of us have probably seen the Early Access trailer - including the part where @Nate Simpson showed off the new UI and talked about the tape indicator concept. Overall, it's great that Intercept is looking to real-world systems for design inspiration, but I feel like certain elements of their current UI are a bit lacking in terms of readability and usability (and in fact, could be improved by leaning even harder into modern real-world flight UIs). I thought this thread would be good to summarize some of the comments from the announcement thread and share my own thoughts, including the good parts of the new design! Readability of atmospheric indicator This one was brought up by @poopslayer78, who commented that "the rocket is very tall compared to each atmosphere layer indicator, which makes it ambiguous where layer you're in." You can see the current implementation below: The devs are already working to improve this, which is sweet. Previous concepts below for posterity: It would be nice as well if there was an indicator LED or symbol w/ text to say "You are in space now! No need to worry about drag!" like poopslayer mentioned in their comment, since the topmost box of this UI suggests that there is still some atmosphere with the pale blue dots. Alternatively, KSP1's atmosphere indicator did a great job of indicating that you were in space since the last region of the indicator had no colouring at all: Visualizing the relative depth of the different atmospheric layers as shown in a previous concept would be very cool, particularly if this could change for different celestial bodies. If not, then sticking with equal size boxes as shown is fine. Readability of navball This one was mentioned by @t_v, who pointed out that " the amount of lines and markers on the navball makes it hard to really distinguish specific pitch angles, and the text on the rest of the UI fades into the information surrounding it". I partly agree with this comment, because some views look quite readable for precision orientation (kind of like the KSP1 navball, see first image below), whereas others are definitely hard to read with a combination of dithering at the edges, pixelated numbers, and low contrast secondary numbers (see 2nd image): Nate said that this has already become more legible in a newer build, which is great. The markers shown in the image are different from the KSP1-style normal and radial indicators, but that is most likely because they switch to a KSP1 style in orbit mode. Obsolete criticism below for posterity: Overly "retro" aesthetic of the UI This is perhaps the most subjective opinion, but it's one that I share. @The Aziz said in a post "the pixely font and icons just don't work for a civilization that is about to hit interstellar space. Instead, we landed in the late 90's." I think the dithering and font choice for UI elements is a big part of this, since it causes what would otherwise be a very modern interface to look rather busy, hard to read, and outdated. A bit strange for a society operating advanced jets and (eventually) interstellar technology that is decades or centuries ahead of 2022 humanity. They highlighted these SpaceX UIs which look exactly as modern as you'd expect a flight control interface to be in the 2020s: You can see that SpaceX uses a smooth gradient shadow to indicate the 3D-ness of the navball, without any dithering or pixelation to be seen anywhere I actually don't think the SpaceX navball is a perfect fit for players who will be flying their crafts manually, so having more numbers like the current KSP2 concept and KSP1 is better than having fewer numbers and markings like the older concept below (and maybe like SpaceX too): Personally, I think that something like the real world HUD below would be ideal as a working UI that is in the same style as what we have seen in the past: Everything is easy to read at a glance, highly legible, and uses high-contrast text and colours (even in this photo, which reduced some of the contrast). It also uses the "tape indicators" that the current UI does, so good job devs on implementing them The main area where we could diverge is adding a smooth (non-dithered) gradient to the navball as shown in one of the team's earlier concepts, since we will make more dramatic attitude adjustments than most airliners Summary of likes and dislikes with the new UI Since we were kindly asked to share things we like as well as what we don't like (thank you Fernanda), here is a list of what I think the new UI does well compared to previous concepts: Great stuff The rolling tape indicators are a great way to show critical altitude, speed, and heading information at a glance, and having the indicators scroll based on rate of change will be super cool and engaging. The button outlines on the altitude and speed tapes make it more obvious that you can change between different modes, compared to the older concept I showed above. The mission time is super legible compared to a previous UI concept, and the button makes it obvious that you can switch between MET and UT. Having UI section "titles" like SAS.CONTROL and TIME.WARP = 1.0X will be useful for new and returning players alike The throttle indicator suggests to players that you can adjust your throttle smoothly (including by dragging the handle), which is great for people who may have thought that you can only adjust it in 5% increments or what-have-you. Putting a separate and legible rate of descent indicator right next to the navball is genius, and will probably help a lot of people to not slam into the ground (accidentally, anyway). Hopefully the warning and danger zones update based on local gravity and the strength of your landing gear. The numbers on the pop-out tape indicators are easier to read than the 8 segment style digits of the previous UI and the pixelated numbers of other parts of the current UI. The amount of interval markers on the navball makes it easier to burn at a specific angle and heading compared to a previous UI concept and kind of like the KSP1 navball. The navball will be movable to the centre of the screen to match KSP1's position (source: ShadowZone's October UI video). The radial/anti-radial and normal/anti-normal markers are replaced with North/South and up/down (?) markers when the navball is in surface mode, which is cool and useful (source). At a glance apoapsis and periapsis info is presented well. The map view shows spheres of influence for celestial bodies and more readable icons for when you get in them, which is awesome! (source1, source2) The staging diagram is on the same side of the screen in both the VAB and in flight. The GO button is solid green! And a summary of what was said in the sections above, with some additions: Areas for improvement The previous concept (shown under the aesthetic section) had a very tasteful and legible style of dithering, probably because dithering wasn't used for any elements that were intended to be read. If the team would like to stick with dithering instead of smooth shading, that is probably the way to go. Units should follow SI capitalization consistently to avoid confusion (ex. lowercase "m" for meters", "km" for kilometers, "Mm" for megameters (millions of meters), etc.) - thanks shimmy00! The text on the tapes themselves is a bit hard to read because of the pixelated font. The text in the UI section titles is hard to read because of the pixelated font combined with its small size (the size would be fine if it was used with a normal minimal-serif font). The atmospheric indicator doesn't show neither exactly where a craft is in the atmosphere (KSP1 style) nor the relative depth of the atmospheric layers (older KSP2 concept style) - precision improvements in development The atmospheric indicator implies that a craft is still experiencing partial drag even when it is at its darkest colour due to the chosen dithering. The hinting of where other orientation markers were in a previous UI was very cool (appropriately futuristic) and useful, and that is missing from the latest UI. The removal of normal/anti-normal and radial/anti-radial markers is a step back in terms of rocketry education and general legibility KSP1-style markers are still there in orbit mode! The current navball is hard to read wherever dithering and pixelated numbers interact with attitude lines and oblique view angles (ex. flying straight up from the surface) - more legible in a newer build Having pitch/attitude marks and labels only on the cardinal heading lines like KSP1 would make the overall navball more clear. Because of the dithering on the RCS and SAS buttons, it is not obvious that they are enabled if they are both on. Subjectively, everything pixelated and dithered in the current UI looks too outdated for the level of polish the rest of the game will have. The fuel and oxidiser gauges for engines could get out of hand for a lot of engines (think Soviet N1 level), but hopefully the engine group button lets us collapse all the individual fuel gages into one overall, representative gage. The stage number on the GO button is harder to read compared to a previous UI due to the choice of font and the green on black colour choice. Overall, I know that we're commenting on "pre-alpha" footage and that things could have already changed, but since we're approaching early access, I think its better to get this feedback out now so that we can ensure the best possible reviews at KSP2's EA launch . Thread updated with some of @ShadowZone 's info from his comprehensive summary video, which you should definitely check out!
I really wanna play KSP with my new 4K resolution monitor, the hardware performance is fine, rendering quality is marvelous! But the UI and font is too small to see. I tried to scale up the UI, but the maximum scale value is only 120%. I think it's good to increase the max scale to 200% for 4K resolution corresponding to the UI size under 1080p. I hope doing this is pretty easy for the development team, am I right? Thank you very much!