SQUAD

KSP Loading... Preview: New Altimeter Toggle!

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I'd suggest replacing the big clunky extra u.i. element with a small toggle button light like the one to the left of the vertical speedometer. (I don't actually remember what that button/light does, maybe it can be rekerjiggered as a toggle switch.) Alternatively, it could be one of the side buttons below the gear, lights, and brakes.

Since you're redesigning the atmosphere gauge, it'd also be cool to have a toggle for other planets. It could change the color of the atmosphere gauge and be toggled between Kerbin-relative pressure and the local planet's atmosphere. For instance, on Eve, you could either use a purple pressure gauge that goes up to 5 atm, or the blue pressure gauge that only goes to 1 atm. Jool would go to 15 atm and be green, etc. The u.i. for toggling can be as simple as clicking the pressure gauge.

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9 minutes ago, Tyko said:

I just looked it up...Since Kerbin doesn't experience climate change, seasons or tides ASL is actually appropriate  :) 

from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metres_above_sea_level 

"Mean sea levels are affected by climate change and other factors and change over time. For this and other reasons, recorded measurements of elevation above sea level might differ from the actual elevation of a given location over sea level at a given moment."

I did not know that. Thanks

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Thanks for all the feedback related to the UI, we will keep those comments in mind. 

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I'd actually combine the altimeter display with the Mission timer. There should be plenty of space for the new buttons and text without extending anything into a bad direction.

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29 minutes ago, Tyko said:

I just looked it up...Since Kerbin doesn't experience climate change, seasons or tides ASL is actually appropriate  :) 

from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metres_above_sea_level 

"Mean sea levels are affected by climate change and other factors and change over time. For this and other reasons, recorded measurements of elevation above sea level might differ from the actual elevation of a given location over sea level at a given moment."

Considering the altimeter reads in other planets, above reference level might be most appropriate. People are used to sea level though, and there's a lot to be said for familiarity.

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Posted (edited)

Largely happy with this, although I agree the UI is a bit, off.

Question: will this automatically switch when moving from "Surface" speed mode to "Orbit" speed mode like Landing Height does? Or are we going to have to toggle it every flight?

Edited by severedsolo

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Posted (edited)

Nice! That will be a very useful addition!

Maybe instead of the big “altitude mode” text have it show a small icon for the node though? Something like ~ (wavy line) for sea level and your typical mountain icon for ground level? (Little things to prevent clutter help a lot in the long run)

edit: on mobile so haven’t read everything but already see I’m not the only one. 

Here’s an example of that “typical mountain icon” https://maxcdn.icons8.com/Share/icon/ios7/Nature/mountain1600.png

Edited by Jognt

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1 hour ago, GregroxMun said:

the one to the left of the vertical speedometer. (I don't actually remember what that button/light does

That's the sink LED. It lights up if your vertical speed is negative and great (i.e. you're falling down fast).

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Posted (edited)

Nice.  Agree on it looking clunky though.

 

Edited by klesh

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I like it.  But think the UI needs to be improved along the lines of the several comments above to both reduce the size of the UI and make it more obvious what mode the altimeter is in.  As well, perhaps have a setting allowing the altimeter to switch to AGL when that value drops below a threshold.

(And the AGL has always been available in the IVA, this just makes it available in regular flight.)

And as others have mentioned, how about giving us an Apoapsis and Periapsis meters in flight mode?  Again, available in the map mode, but to avoid the need to swap to map mode just to get a couple of numbers.

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Posted (edited)

Great addition to the UI @SQUAD.  :) At the risk of jumping on the dog-pile of community UI suggestions, I have the following example, which includes some previous suggestions in this thread.

UI%20Suggestion_zps8yrra8nn.png

From right to left:
1) Making the toggle a defined button along with the other three already along the right side not only uses space more wisely, but it also clearly denotes to users that it is a button.  When I first started out, I had no idea I could manually toggle between Surface/Orbit (or Target) modes on the navball by clicking the velocity readout.
2) Placing the altitude mode indicator next to the button that toggles it is also more conducive to user interface principles.
3) I'm in agreement with @Jacke and others that having to constantly swap between flight and map scenes just for Apoapsis/Periapsis altitude readouts is cumbersome.  Placing them below the current altitude readout allows the user to compare where they are currently at versus where their Ap/Pe is.  And based on the vertical speed indicator to the right, they can determine which one they are heading toward. (If the VSI is positive, the Ap will be intersected next, if the VSI is negative the Pe will be intersected next) And obviously there would need to be an "asterisk" somewhere in KSPedia pointing out that the Ap/Pe are always gonna be in ASL format.

As a final suggestion, would it be possible to add a discreet SAS sub-mode while in "Stability Assist" in which the craft will hold the current attitude in relation to the horizon, instead of the universal attitude?  This would make maintaining level flight less of a headache during long atmospheric flights in Kerbin/Laythe, or even rocket powered VTOL's flying at low altitude across the Mun or other small bodies.  In lieu of adding yet another button, I imagine it would be conducive to have the SAS hold the attitude referenced to the horizon when in "Surface" velocity mode, and hold referenced to universal attitude when in "Orbit"/"Target" velocity mode.

I could be wrong about that last sentence, since other players build and fly different styles than me, so that suggestion might need a little polish. :)

EDIT: To be honest, the mish-mash of buttons, clickable digital readouts, analog gauges and such could probably use a more standardized format.  One that keeps the Kerbal feel to it all, but has a more consistent presentation for easier data intake.  But now we're talking about a fairly invasive UI revision, and I doubt that's on the table at this point. :P

Edited by Raptor9

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Posted (edited)

While Raptor9's suggestions would certainly be an improvement over the new altimeter's preview, I think there may be even more room for improvement in efficient use of space.

In my opinion, the atmospheric density gauge at the bottom doesn't really provide enough vital information to justify such a large portion of the screen. At least, the number and width of the subdivisions is more cosmetic than vital - you don't need any numbers there after all. I would rotate the atmosphere scale to vertical, shrinking it by about 1/3, and place it on the left. This would not only match the vertical aspect of the atmosphere, but would free up at least two whole lines of text space at the bottom of the altimeter for ASL/AGL indicator and (hopefully) apoapsis/periapsis information.

I would gladly accept a wider altimeter if it intrudes less on the middle of the flight scene.

Edited by HvP

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Posted (edited)

About time.  Now let's get that UI sorted and we'll be good to go.

While you're at it, maybe finally integrate those gizmo buttons into the UI?  That's always been a sore spot for me.

Edited by klgraham1013

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Sweet! That's almost a full quarter of what I asked for last year ;)

But no really it's cool. But could we have target distance too? 

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Target distance in there too would be awesome.  I would enjoy having that information available while docking.

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Good stuff.

Agree on the general comments about reorganizing the UI so it minimizes vertical screen space used.

For those suggesting the text can be much shorter, please keep in mind localization variations - some of the other languages need considerably longer words for the same thing.

 

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This will be a huge help for new players, based on my memories of first trying to land on the Mun,
 before really getting the hang of the camera and having no shadows on my very-non-gaming PC.

The UI is important, and there is no obvious best answer, but all the suggestions above, and the linked threads, seem to have well-considered ideas and suggestions.  (I especially like the mountain icon for AGL)

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Just a thought, I don’t think the free space now left next to the pressure meter is enough to fit an Ap/Pe readout without it looking squashed and hard to read.

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18 hours ago, EchoLima said:

Maybe we can have a Pe/Ap indicator there instead.

@SQUAD, it looks to be good!

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Great work @SQUAD! Alongside the delta-v readout, I really appreciate the initiative, time and effort the team is putting in providing us with these much needed and requested metrics. I'll echo the comments about the UI optimisations  posted above, including adding an ap/pe readout. In the meantime, keep up the good work!

PS: Great timing as well, no one seems to be mentioning the moonbase anymore :kiss:;)

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17 hours ago, HvP said:

In my opinion, the atmospheric density gauge at the bottom doesn't really provide enough vital information to justify such a large portion of the screen.

Oddly enough, that's the ONE gauge I DO use on that entire cluster (spaceplane ascent shenanigans). I have KER set up to display the rest in a more compact format.

OK, OK, I can live without it; you guys can have the space.

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It would be nice to be able to toggle off the kerbal parachute. It's incredibly jarring to see it on EVAs in space.

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