CCP Fear reporting from Team Kuromaku. Our team is delivering a beautiful new character selection screen for Rubicon, the newest EVE Online expansion which will be arriving on November 19th. It will provide you with a great first impression of EVE as well as being more user-friendly than ever. Moreover, it will load super-fast, allowing you to quickly get to the good stuff of making ISK and blowing stuff up!
Fast and loose!
Two of our most important goals on this project were fast loading and an improved user experience. These are among the criteria we set ourselves, and they played a large role in how we defined and structured our work. Setting and maintaining clear, explicit goals is one of the prime design practices, as doing so helps us guide the project from day one and gives us a point of convergence for all our crazy ideas so that we are consistently moving in the right direction.
We believe in the importance of being able to immerse yourself in EVE without delay, hesitation or long waiting times. All work was optimized to make everything load quickly, and all designs we decided on had to take speed into account.
For instance, during the initial concept phases of the project we explored the idea of showing characters in full – something many of you have requested in the past on the forums, at Fanfest or at the many player gatherings around the world. However, once we started digging into it we just couldn‘t justify the amount of client load we would cause as we want to get you into the action as quickly as possible. The concept conflicted with our main goal, and had to go. We need to make decisions like this all the time, and goal-oriented design is incredibly helpful in keeping us focused.
Simplicity is key!
Improving the user experience was another of our top priorities. To begin with, we streamlined the whole screen, ensuring that not only were all characters of equal proportions but that they were unquestionably the most prominent thing on your screen. We also felt that along with the actual portraits of your New Eden personas, the most important part of your view was the information displayed on each of them. You will now be able to see information about all your characters instead of just one at a time, providing you with a much easier way to decide which character to enter the game with.
In tune with our emphasis on fast loading, your choice won't take long, either. Each character’s information is more visually recognizable and structured than before, which allows you to get an immediate at-a-glance view. Icons are presented in a more minimalistic fashion, and hint at any changes since your last log-in.
As the screen is also now the first impression of the game client we wanted it to be themed by our great artists. We've incorporated tools so that the artists can change the entire color scheme to fit alongside whatever background we're using at any given time. This means we can have a dramatically different screen with each expansion.
The redeeming system has gotten a well-deserved makeover. If you have any items to redeem, you'll see at the bottom of your screen a panel that can be expanded to reveal them. Each item can then be drag-and-dropped on top of a character to place it in their respective hangar, and the same rules as before will continue to apply – the character needs to be docked, and items you place in the redeeming system can only be accessed in that particular station.
Lastly, we have included timers for those on PLEX, ETC or trial accounts which will show the days remaining on your subscription. This is also available for multiple characters in training.
You can try out the new selection screen on our test server, SinguIarity right now or wait until Rubicon hits Tranquility on November 19th.
On behalf of Team Kuromaku I hope you will enjoy our new screen. If you have any questions, we have a forum thread here to provide the answers.
- CCP Fear