Some hefty development has been going on to the engines of the station. Our crew had been working hard behind the scenes to bring a host of visual and quality of life upgrades for the game to life for the next update. That update has now gone live!
The main goal since the last update was to improve the look and feel of the game by reviewing and improving the interface and layouts to reflect both the beauty of the features as well as improve our UX. This extensive task applies to the main UI frame and all the detail and areas pages as well. Please note that not all pages have been updated yet!
Re-Designed UI Frame
The UI layout of the desktop version has been update massively updated: Basic navigation and information aspects such as character details, credits, buffs, and your stats have been re-designed and re-arranged. Soft curves have become characteristic for the new UI. The compact top and bottom sections now frame the game screen which offers way more space for an immersive user experience than before.
The upper section
On the left side, you’ll now find your avatar with integrated level and XP progress information. Your avatar gives access to the update character page. Next to it, you’ll find credit and bond information. A click will open a pop-up with updated financial logs. The second row of icons leads to a pop-up about your VIP status, active Bodyguards, buffs, and Visas.
The UI section in the center contains the clock, the current location with sub-areas if there are any, people, and task tabs.
On the right side, you’ll now find the in-game mail system and one icon that leads you to a page with tabs for notifications, friends & foes list, settings, help, bug report, and account options. Furthermore, you can access the shop, your CORETECHS, and security camera options.
Purification: Chat & Areas
The optional game chat can be activated in the middle of the right side. It does benefit from the increased height that is a result of the more compact UI frame. The channel tabs have been placed at the top which serves to better accentuate where you’re chatting.
The list of areas can now be accessed on the bottom left. The purified game UI benefits from the collapsed list. Another improvement is that it now really just shows the areas while all the CORETECHS options are part of the relocated CORETECHS button on the upper right side of the new UI.
The bottom portion
Information about your stats, encumbrance, and intoxication are now presented in a new UI element at the bottom. It also grants quick access to your inventory and rations to quickly replenish your stats if needed. You can even open a new detail screen about your stats including all replenish timers.
You’ll also find a new comfort feature on the lower right bottom: an information box about chronicles, your career, Side Jobs, and Discreet work. Depending on the current status, it either offers quick access to relevant sections, such as the new Chronicle that lists persons of interest who may offer chronicless, or it lists the names of active chronicles, career paths, Side Jobs, and Discreet Work.
Areas and pages
Along with the new soft and compact UI frame, many areas and pages have been restyled. New layouts have been applied, including improved UI elements such as new sliders, new feedback messages, confirmation dialogues, compact area descriptions and area help dialogues, and more.
- Character – One of the biggest changes happened for the summary page of your character which consisted of various tables. It’s now featuring graphical elements and the following tabs that better structure and lighten the amount of information about your hero: profile, bank & career, clones, education, skills, and fleet.
- Preferences – The preference settings page has been redesigned with toggle buttons, e.g. for activating sounds or screen reader enhancements.
- Syndicate Campaigns – The page when starting a Syndicate Campaign, the main screens, the campaign finish and victory pages all have a new style.
- Side Jobs – Instead of a pure fact-driven table, it now shows the avatar of every recruiter with new confirmation dialogues. It is possible to cancel the current side job on this page, while the detailed description can be accessed via the Chronicle.
- CHRONICLES – The list of completed missions got replaced by the brand new “Completed Chronicles” page that comes with a brand new design, now showing books, chapters, and missions (see preview). With this new feature, you can always review (and replay) what you revealed about the epic story of Tau Station so far!
- Government Center – The Gov’t Center now comes with new sub-sections for basic information & services, the Info Hub, Syndicate Services, and VIP Lounge. All pages have a polished UI and the rations dialogue has been modernized as well.
- Info Hub – The information hub has become a dedicated sub-area of the Gov’t Center with a new design for stations stats, latest news, and news archive dialogue.
- Inn – We updated styles for the Inn page, including an updated layout, new slider style, welcome NPC, and risk warnings: “don’t drink too much!”.
- Lounge – The Lounge which is a sub-area of the Inn has been redesigned, with improved sliders, and an NPC welcoming you with updated messages.
- Rooms – The (hotel) room main page when there’s no room rented has been restyled: A service bot is now welcoming you, and it is now visually more obvious that you didn’t rent a room.
- Rooms (inside) – The hotel room page has been restyled when you’ve rented a room, including a new layout, slider style, arrangement, and warning message style.
- Gym – The place where you can train your physical stats has been updated with a new layout, an improved display of your focus, new slider style and a personal trainer.
- Career – The new Career page comes with new style cards.
- Ruins – Also the Ruins have a new layout Scavenging in The Wilds (Ruins) has a new page layout.
- Clones – When a character gets revived, the clone with the highest stats is now used and not the most recently gestated one anymore.
- Friends & Foes – If someone is a friend, the button to add him as a foe is not shown anymore when you open his profile. The same goes for foes and the button to make him a friend.
- Travelling – When arriving at a new station, you’re welcomed in an arrival room, based on how you had traveled (via quantum telepheresis or public/fast shuttle).
More than 100 new NPC Avatars
- 21 NPC avatar pictures were updated to better fit the new chronicle design.
- 102 new mission and job NPC avatars are populating the game now, such as Catamaran Shingle, Kaito, Ansel, Pierre-Auguste, Raging Turpentine, Atilio Genoveva, and many more. Meet them in the various stations!
- Campaigns – All stations now either have the “Look for Trouble” or “Enter the Sewers” feature. This way, there’s one campaign type available in the Wrecks of all stations.
- Tau Station – The only exception from the rule above is Tau Station. There are no campaigns anymore to prevent especially new citizens from being thrown into the brig too easily.
- Look for Trouble – The NPC random encounters are now available at all stations that do not have “Enter the Sewers” campaigns. Besides Tau Station, all stations with level 1-5 have this campaign for sure.
- Enter The Sewers – The feature now requires a station that has at least level 6. If the station doesn’t have the “look for trouble” campaign, you can “Enter the Sewers” in case your character level does at least match the station’s level.
A host of tweaks and polishes to existing chronicles as well as UX text updates. Watch this space for three new missions and a new system arriving soon!
Fixes and Improvements
- Shipping Bay – The scrolling of the Shipping Bay friends list has been fixed so that you can select from all of your friends again.
Important note for mobile & tablet version
We already mentioned it in a recent blog about the upcoming UI changes and desktop version 1.0: The team will now work on an update for the mobile/tablet version.
With the release of this update to version 1.0 for desktop, mobile devices and tablets are now impacted and will not run optimally until we release the update for these devices. The transition phase is expected to last approximately 1 Cycle (around three months).
We hope you enjoy this vast game update and we’re looking forward to reading your feedback on our Discord, game forums, and chat!
StarGazer for the Tau Station team