The UI


Oh, the UI. No, no, no. Not good.

It’s pretty, certainly, but it is not doing the job a UI exists for: convey information.

Now, health. It’s important to be aware of what happens to it, correct? Because I literally never notice. I can tell when my cell flickers or when I see myself catch a toxin, but never at any point is my eye drawn to the actual bar.

ATP is just a number, and not a noticeable one. Which isn’t a problem, because there’s an actual ATP bar where all the other stuff is.

But it shouldn’t be there. Compounds are things you collect. They serve different purposes, are much less important to your immediate survival and therefore should be placed in a different area of the screen. The same goes for OxyToxy. Even flash RPGs don’t place mana or energy bars in the same location as your money.

Here is how to fix this:

I feel like being at the bottom of the screen makes them a lot more noticeable. The compound bars have been relegated to the top left (they should not display ATP or OxyToxy any longer, since that distracts from needed information). Population goes next to the reproduction button, since those two things are associated. Finally, there should be some way to make the text more noticeable (maybe the color changes depending on biome?).

To be fair, most of the AAA games I’ve played aren’t much better - Thrive is down there with the sorry likes of Witcher 3 and Stellaris. But you’ve given me a loudspeaker to the dev team and I’m going to use it for all it’s worth.


@That_Dude has designed a lot of GUI concepts. I don’t have any of the images at hand so I hope someone else can post them. And maybe incorporate your feedback into them if they are also lacking in these aspects like the current GUI is.

(tjwhale) #3

Thanks for the feedback.

(Δф - Delta Phi) #4

These are Narotiza’s concepts for a new dark GUI, where the bottom right element I believe was created by That Dude. I’ve seen variants where the icon for the resource (Health, ATP, and Reproduction Progress) are displayed, but this is the most recent image.
Of course, there is room for modification, such as a more logical reproduction bar, but it seems to satisfy your desire for a “critical GUI.”


Hey, that looks great! You could make the reproduction bar into a pie. But one issue I see is that health and ATP aren’t displaying numbers.

(Narotiza) #7

That is a little bit outdated, here’s my current version of it. Adding numbers to the health and ATP bars sounds like a good idea.

Here’s my editor concept too:


Yeah, it’s important for knowing the conversion rate.


That looks really good, but the lists on the left take up too much screen space I think.
You could remove the empty rows from the lists, make the background more transparent, make it more minimal in general.

edit: something like this

(Narotiza) #10

That could look nice. Looking at it again, it could definitely be compressed a bit; I added some extra space to make it more flexible in case new compounds are added by devs or modders, but maybe putting the bars on top of each other like you did is a better way to go.

I’m hesitant about removing the background though just because there’s so many different biome backdrops of different colors that sometimes visibility can suffer…

…But I think this can be remedied by adding a transparent backdrop. The boxes can be stretched automatically perhaps.


Perfect. Much better than the previous version IMO. Although the background could be more transparent IMO.

Maybe add an option to switch between a detailed list and a compact table?
Maybe add a tooltip with the name for the table view.


Suggestions for the “At Cursor” box:

  • Also remove the empty space and IMO also make the background a bit more transparent
  • Use the same icon for “Compounds” as on the bottom left UI
  • Make the compounds list a table (i.e. evenly space the numbers)