The not-so-long awaited game update is here.
The only new thing to report today is that I’ve got a placeholder for the “details” panel, and have moved it from the right of the navigation map to beneath the navigation map.
The details panel is a place for information on whatever is selected in the navigation window. Right now there’s a lot of things not working in relation to that idea: if you click a jump gate, you move to that system and don’t get the info, and the info only shows up when you enter a new system and does nothing else but tell you the name and a bit of a description of the thing. But, here’s the plan.
The nav window will display the system representation. I’m aiming for SVG symbols because A) SVG is the new hotness in web displays, and B) it’s good for simple shapes like circles, which is what I want. The system’s star will be at the center and will be surrounded by the concentric rings of the system’s inhabitants — planets, asteroids, stations, etc. The jump gates will probably be pushed to the sides or corners of the map, but since they don’t actually represent cardinal points in relation to the current system, it doesn’t really matter if they’re lined up, separated, or out-of-sequence.
Players will be able to click on A Thing in the nav map and the details panel will update with info on that thing. The star will provide geek information that I make up based on crap I skimmed from Wikipedia. Planets will relay their type, population (both of NPC and of players), and resources. Asteroids will mention what you might find there. Stations will provide an interesting blurb about them. Players will also be able to click away from any of those things to get info on the system itself (which they get when entering) like the name, faction, and current status, political and otherwise. Clicking on a jump gate will relay info on what’s on the other side, as well as the fees associated with its use.
Actions associated with the selected item will be handled through the buttons at the bottom of the details panel. For stations, you’d get HAIL and DOCK and maybe REFUEL and REARM for quick actions. Planets might allow LAND or maybe BOMBARD? Who knows. Jump gates will allow you to ACTIVATE, or maybe RUN a blockade if the gates have been locked down due to instability.