Avatars in Tau Station

Since avatars were introduced to Tau Station, you can now decide your character’s physical appearance. Later updates were made to public profile page layouts and other UIs so that citizens’ avatar images are now visible throughout. Read on to learn more about the recent changes and get a glimpse of an upcoming feature…

Starting Point

For everyone, it starts with a mysterious view of their citizen. As avatars did not exist from the very beginning, all survivors of the Catastrophe were endowed with the placeholder image which is also used for all NPCs at the moment. This will change, because NPCs will get dedicated pictures soon. Furthermore, all players who join Tau Station in future will have the avatar selection integrated to the character creation process right when they start their adventure. Some work in progress interfaces have been shared in the avatar sneak peek, published in November.

A person without a face, wearing a grey to blueish robe with some piece of cloth wrapped around the neck, lying on the shoulders, creating a hood. The hood is empty, instead of a face a white question mark is shown.
The placeholder avatar

UI Changes of the Information Panel

Putting your avatar into the information panel involved revision of our interface. The additional picture needed space, but another important, contrary goal was saving overall space usage at the same time. Challenge taken: the creation of a more compact view was tricky, but you know the solution since November: the icon bar with emails, settings, help, etc. moved to the right of your alter ego. Wallet and bank credits were merged into one row, abbreviating high balances while the new credit log feature provides new information about recent changes. Toxins moved to the stats display. At the end of the day, although your avatar picture has been added, the panel is now more compact than before:

On the left, the old UI is shown without avatar, single rows for each credit information. In the right, the new compact UI showing the avatar, but still more compact/smaller.
The information panel of the desktop version before and after the recent updates.

Selecting your avatar

For the avatar implementation, the preference page was updated as well. The new option to select or change your picture has been added here. Who you want to be, is in your hands! So far, nearly 60 male and female characters are available, and there are normal and premium versions. Changing the look is possible at any time and once you acquired a premium version, you keep it even if you decide not to use it for some time.

UI snippet with 2 rows of 3 avatars each, with 2 premium versions. One indicates "paid premium" while the other male premium picture shows the price of 299 bonds. On the upper right, there is a button "back to preferences", navigation arrows to move back or forth to the next avatar page are next to the block of 6 pictures. At the bottom, there is a button to "update avatar".
Avatar selection screen of the desktop version.

Your selection is displayed on the settings page and you can even switch back to the mysterious placeholder if you want to.

UI of the preferences page. The selected avatar is shown in the character box, also including your person description text. Below the picture, there's a link to "change avatar".
Your current avatar with the option to change it.

Enjoy your updated profile on your PC desktop and on mobile devices as well!

Information panel of the desktop version, now showing the avatar selected in the settings before.Information panel of the mobile version which slightly differs in the composition, but also showing the avatar selected in the settings before.

New Public Profile Pages

The new public profile pages outline your alter ago in more detail. The updated layout contains basic information, personal description and interaction options like sending a mail or even attacking the citizen (the latter is only possible when you are in the same location). The example profile below is from a well-known citizen who is a syndicate member. Tip: click on the syndicate tag in brackets to access the public profile of the relevant team.

A public profile of a citizen, showing the avatar, genotype and some gear details, possible actions like sending "email", but also showing the person description text at the botton as well.
A public citizen profile. He’s in another place right now, so there is no attack button.

Of course, NPCs also have profile pages and as mentioned earlier, their dedicated pictures will be part of future updates as well.

A public profile of NPC "Keynes", so far showing the placeholder avatar. He's of the Baseline genotype, there is an attack button and at the bottom the NPC description text.
Public profile of an NPC who is in the same place like you. Hence, you can attack.

Know your foe: Combat!

One of the most important places for using avatars, is combat. Although the pictures have been added here, you will experience further changes and improvements for the combat UI soon.

Current combat UI with smalls avatars being on top, and attack button on the left side, below your character's window while the button "flee attempt" on the right side, below your enemy's summary.
Current combat UI
Combat will use the entire screen: on the left will be the countdown until guards arrive by the combat log. Avatars will be bigger, but still the UI will be more compact due to re-arrangements.
Work in progress combat UI, using the entire screen

Some Avatar examples in Hi-Res

A white male person with 1 mm hair cut, wearing a brown hoodie. He has two bionic arms
A male avatar with bionic arms
A white female person with brown hair and undercut hairstyle, wearing some carbon protection suit in black and red. She has weapon on her back.
One of the female avatars
A slim female avatar without hair, brown eyes and a brown protection suit.
Another female
A slim tall male person with brown eyes and a simple brown shirt. He has a mohawk "punk" haircut and blue to purple colored hair.
Another male, mohawk hair style.

Avatars in Syndicates

The character pictures of citizens are also shown in syndicate lists such as “members” or “pending applicants”.

UI snipped of "My Syndicate", showing the member list with avatars displayed on the left side next to the according player name.
Internal syndicate lists also show avatars

Soon: Avatars in upcoming Syndicate Campaigns

On December 14th Leila shared a review of 2018, as well as insights into the future of Tau Station by revealing some areas for upcoming further development. One main feature will be syndicate campaigns and as it’s about team work and fighting against many enemies, avatars will be used for sure. Have a look at a first (work in progress) design:

The UI shows your stats on the upper left, below recent fighters of your syndicate are listed with their avatars and stats about attacks and wins. Below this, your inventory is listed. The major part of the UI takes like 75% of the screen: Opponents are listed in several rows, grouped by tiers. Results, respectively, options like attack are on the right of every enemy line.
A work in progress design for the upcoming syndicate campaigns

Soon: First Avatars for NPCs

All NPCs are using the placeholder picture at the moment, but as announced earlier, the NPCs who populate Tau Station will get individual images in several stages over time. Here are some first impressions for you:

A male person with brown short hair and designer stubble, wearing a mud-colored protection suit. Similar to using glasses, he looks through an electronic device with several LEDs.
What might he be looking at?
A serious looking woman with pink hair and two bionic arms also in the same pink color.
This female NPC with an addiction to pink means serious business.