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Giant wall of UI/UX suggestions and some small graphical issues


#1

Since I got kicked from the Discord because AltDentifier marked my account as “suspicious” and said the account used to verify didn’t match my Discord account in the server (which I can’t confirm because I was never shown what the account AltDentifier was using, nor was I given any chance to “log in” with my actual Discord credentials) despite me being in the server before and having three other accounts (Steam, YouTube, Twitch) linked to my Discord, I’m going to post this here. I didn’t think it deserved a forum post but I guess I don’t have a choice, so inspired in part by david488’s detailed suggestions it’s going to be a lot longer and more in-depth than whatever it would have been on Discord.

First thing: this is an absolute mess! (as is that car design lol, facelifts are hard)


When I select a car, I expect the buttons next to the car to be relevant to the car I have selected. However, the “new model” button which makes an entirely new car unrelated to the one selected is literally the first option. Why is every other actually relevant option secondary to it?

Now for icons. Clone and Revise have a gear on them, I guess to signify a machine (car or engine) even though it’s also used by settings, but New Variant is the same icon as Clone and has a plus sign despite having nothing to do with Clone, but everything to do with cars and engines. Out of context, the only icons I would be able to decipher correctly would be New Model (which I’d assume just means “new”), Delete and Photo Scene. I understand what you’re trying to do with Revise; a gear and a pencil, so “edit car/engine,” but I still find myself hitting New Model by accident because I just assume it has something to do with the car I selected because hey, it’s right beside the car’s thumbnail. The Revise icon also doesn’t follow the convention of most of the other buttons. New Model is a page. Clone is two pages depicting a gear. New Variant is two pages with a plus. So why is Revise a gear with a pencil? To fit with the theme of the rest of the icons, a page with a pencil beside it seems more appropriate. I’d also swap its position with New Model or move New Model over to the left where the Beam export button is. Why is it all the way over there, anyway? Also, Export uses a floppy disk icon for some reason. Most programs use an arrow alongside a page or box, instead using the floppy disk for save (which Automation ALSO does.) And what’s with Design Room being here? What does that have to do with the specific car, since it applies to everything? That should be in game settings.

Alongside the icon change, Revise should be renamed to Edit or Open. I’ve never seen any programs use the word “revise” for this kind of action and it implies that you’re making a new revision of the car (which you aren’t, you’re just opening it to edit the existing car.)

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What exactly was wrong with this arrangement, anyway? (other than the repetition of “car”) It sounds trivial, but having to mouse over icons for the button’s label to show up really slows everything down for pretty much no reason. When I accidentally click the New Model button, it’s quite frustrating to helplessly watch as its true name fades in and the game fades to black instead of it just being labeled.

Now for the main car designer screens, in the same order as the game has them:

No real issues about the Model and Chassis screens, they’re fine. Personally I would put Panel Material as the third instead of the first option as the chassis comes before the body panels, but that’s a pretty trivial complaint and is probably a pain to do because you’d need to move major lists around.

But the engine designer? Oh boy. If you ever feel useless…


Each action has a HUGE blank grey empty space after their descriptions, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I select Existing Engine:


All I can do here is view stats and pick what I want. Never mind the giant empty space left and right of that button on the bottom. Oh, and the heading is wrong and the Use Engine button is red instead of blue, as is the expand/collapse all button when clicked and the scroll bar. Nitpicks, I know, but easy fixes nonetheless.

Now I select Clone Existing Variant:


There’s where that heading went. Yes, they are the wrong way around, I don’t know why. It’s only the headings, not the functions, as far as I can tell. The button should say Clone Variant.

And New Project looks like this:


First it gives me a spiel about how important it is to use variants instead of families. I hope some noob doesn’t interpret it as using one engine in every car they make! Also, don’t alternate between capitalizing and not capitalizing terms like trim and variant. That’ll just confuse noobs more, but then again something tells me that they’ll gloss over this text anyway.

Instead of that mess, how about you just use what you had before?


I can see all my engine families and their variants and their stats like I could before. However, I can also make new families and variants, clone them, delete them, and even use the generator. Although I would like if variants had some kind of indent or had the left end chopped off slightly so they are more visually distinct from families. I also don’t really like that selecting a variant from this screen goes to the Summary screen for the trim and not the engine designer. That transition crashed the game for me, so it might actually be too far too fast.

The engine designer itself is fine. I particularly like the icon for the Engine Variant Design Tab (and by extension the car version of it), and I think something like it should be used for the New Variant button instead of two pages with a plus.

Now the car designer:

Holy crap the Paint tab is WEIRD.
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This makes enough sense at first glance, but why does All Body Panel Slots state the paint’s name while the rest state the name of the panel?

Hovering over All Body Panel Slots gives instructions…
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while hovering over the rest just repeats information we already know from the icon and the text above. This is the same for trim and wheels.
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Doesn’t this do the same thing as Revise, but for paints? Where’s that pencil? If this were the standard, Revise’s icon would be a silhouette of a car. I wouldn’t mind that, actually.

Alright, so let’s say I want to make a new paint called Ganymede Grey.
There is no new paint button here, so I click All Body Panel Slots, and I’m greeted with this.


On the left is the paint and its name. Above it is the slot I’m painting as well as that slot’s icon to the right and below said heading for some reason. There’s an edit button, a clone button, and buttons to choose from three different paint groups with the one currently selected in a brighter shade. The edit button uses a gear and the clone button uses pages. See what I mean? A coherent standard for icons helps a lot. In the center and on the right are buttons to make a new paint and change how they are sorted. It is a bit inconvenient to have to scroll up to reach those buttons, but no biggie. Now for making that grey:
(I know the bug with applying stuff to global by selecting the Paint Group as Global not working is known, so I won’t mention it outside of these parentheses.)

I click that plus sign to make a new paint, and use Advanced Paint Mode because Basic Paint Mode is too limited. Then I click Finish Editing Paint.
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A New Paint? That’s not what I want to call this one! So I open it up again.
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Oh. There’s the text box. So this was in the basic menu and not the advanced one. Why lock me out of something like naming my paint while using the better paint editor? It’s supposed to be better, right?

Wait a second… the preview makes noise and animates when I hover over it! What happens if I click it?
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Woah! Look at all these useful options! I didn’t even know these were here! On the left, the first option lets you apply it to the current slot in case it wasn’t applied before. When editing existing paints, sometimes I forget to apply it before editing it. That’s actually pretty useful and I’m definitely going to use it from now on.

Oh, wait, it doesn’t do anything.

The button next to that lets me edit the paint. I am already editing it. What purpose does that button serve, exactly?
Next to that is the button to save it globally, which doesn’t work, and clone it, which doesn’t work either. Delete is greyed out because…
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…despite this not being a default paint.


Anyway, I’m happy with my grey now, so let’s apply it to another car. Let’s play dumb and assume this paint is now globally available for demonstration purposes.

Durr, where is my paint? I can’t find it! It also looks like I left behind A New Paint on this car.


I think that says enough about the paint system. The paint group function has no purpose other than wasting the player’s time. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want their paints to be global, and why would you ever want a paint available on only one trim? It would make more sense if we could make our own groups, so we can have factory paints for our fictional company(ies) and then make a separate group for materials like gold, silver, alloy, et cetera. Or even make it the same as that upcoming tag system, so we can give them tags like premium, metallic, utility, wheels, brakes, et cetera.

Now, onto the fixture editor.
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These widgets are fine, except for the fact that you can select fixtures under them. That checkmark would serve an actual purpose if you locked out fixture manipulation on all fixtures other than the one selected until the checkmark was clicked (or Enter was pressed.) Actually, that would fix pretty much every problem with the fixture editor and make small details way easier to create without constantly selecting the mirrors by accident and teleporting them onto the door.

The gearbox editor is fine, but not the wheel editor. If I keep increasing rim diameter without touching tyre width, I can have wider tyres than what is allowed:


Of course as soon as you touch the width sliders, reload the car, or increase rim diameter this fixes itself.

Everything else is fine as far as I can tell up to the very last tab, Summary.


I frankly don’t understand the point of it. You can see stats and market performance which are visible in pretty much every tab and suggestions in the middle which you can look at by hovering over the blue/yellow/red (if you really messed up) icon on the right at any time. The only new item is a list of every section’s engineering time, production units, and material costs, which I don’t think warrants its own tab. It could have been placed in Detail Stats in Testing and no new screen would be warranted. The various export options could also be placed in Testing above the Mode header, like Enable/Disable Morphing (not sure why it isn’t called Toggle Morphing.) Speaking of that button, it’s visible in the Wheels tab even when the graphs are open.
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And now my least favorite part of the UI:
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Why are those three buttons there of all places? Do you want me to accidentally go into the photo scene when I’m trying to do something else or what? What if I’m still in the engine phase? Why would I want to enter the photo scene then? What was wrong with the normal arrangement? If the pause menu opens with Escape, what’s the point of giving it a button? All you’ve done is put a second button press or mouse click in the way of hitting Manual Save. I understand that the game autosaves (and it autosaves very well) but the save button has been up there for at least 5 years, no? Oh, and closing the escape menu re-shows the graphs for some reason. Very annoying!

Now that I’m done with UI, two things about the visuals are a bit weird. First thing, aliasing.
Of course in most games it is expected to get some aliasing even with AA on Epic, but this is pretty insane:
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The worst part is that as you can see in the two last images, the aliased bits of shiny parts are the only ones that get a bloom effect which results in this terrible dotted glinting that looks really bad especially when the camera isn’t focused:
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Setting resolution scale to 150% (or 400% with some text editing) solves most of the issue but also cuts your framerate in half (or worse.) Most games do not require you to do that for a good looking experience. I’m not sure what exactly is wrong here with the AA because it does make a difference, just not enough of one. Plenty of UE4 games have perfectly good AA. (Just please don’t use Temporal.)

That’s a minor issue though, the second (and last) one is something I have wanted to be changed pretty much since UE4 became the normal version of the game:

Watch that juicy sizzle!
sizzle

Of all the settings to affect reflections, it’s Environment Detail, and setting it to Low fixes pretty much everything about reflective surfaces. No sizzle, no blurriness, no dots.

(Ignore the banding, that’s just me being bad at Gimp.)
The issue is that this is, well, environment detail, so in exchange of having good-looking reflections every scene is now missing a bunch of props.

Pls fix k thx bye :)))))))


#2

The paint issue is a known bug, and will be fixed with the release of LCV 4.1. As for the rest of the issues, I’m sure others will chime in. Not my area of expertise, I’m afraid. I’m more of a spreadsheet nerd. :joy:


#3


Yeah, I was talking about the “secret” menu that shows up when you click on the paint’s preview image in basic mode. None of the buttons on it work unfortunately.


#4

Sorry about that - missed that bit. :man_facepalming:t4: Good eye my friend - I’m sure they’ll revamp the whole thing though.


#5

Saving the wall post for last in the reply spree :stuck_out_tongue: thanks for posting that!
I’ll address a few points as I see them:

  1. I agree on your ordering of buttons comment, it is odd that the new button is there. I would say it should be separate from the trim-specific buttons. And yes, the design room choice should be in the options menu.
  2. As for icons, I’m the one to blame for all of them :wink: do you think a car with a pencil would work better for edit? Same would be done for when it is an engine, engine with pencil. Same can be done with clone, car or engine on that double page. We use the cog to generally symbolize “engineering”, with the exception of the settings :frowning: probably need to make that into a hamburger menu icon, that would at least get rid of that confusion. The floppy disk is used as this is also a way to back up and save your cars. But yeah, I’ll have a think about that.
  3. Agreed on the empty spaces, that is a “Does it work? Yes? Then it is good enough for now!” situation. The engine section menu can be easily improved though. Added to the list.
  4. Yes, “alternating between capitalizing and not capitalizing terms like trim and variant” is bad, those should be consistent. Easier said than done considering how much text there is in the game.
  5. The empty looking engine list when you select an existing engine or want to clone one is easily solved by default expanding all items I would think.
  6. Paint UI woes, forwarded! Disagreeing with your stance on global paints though. I for one do want my horrible experimental and situational paints to not clutter my global paint bucket. :wink:
  7. Lots about the fixture stuff will change with 4.1, so I think once that hits you could give another round of feedback on that, would be appreciated!
  8. Tire size, the ever filled pit of bugs. This one seems like it is fixed already.
  9. Disagreeing with you on the Summary Tab. The Car & Engine Suggestions are for many the first time they see them because they don’t pay any attention to bottom right info field all OCDlers hated the most before you could switch warnings off. The engineering table is super important unless you’re only playing sandbox, where it should be there too just to remind you that things like “the car having to be possible to be engineered within a lifetime” and “it probably should not take thousands of hours to make one” are things to consider. :smiley:
  10. What is the point of having a button and a hotkey for it and not just the hotkey? Is that serious question? Those 3 buttons (Photo Scene, ESC Menu, Exit) up there are useful. I get your point about them being to close to the exit button potentially, but other than that I can make equal arguments as to why they should be there: just want to make a quick fix to the engine and then head to the photo scene! Manual saving is a placebo at this point, because as you point out autosave nowadays actually works properly, unlike in the olden days. There is no reason whatsoever to using it outside of campaign where you want to give a savegame a custom name so it is archived and not overwritten.
  11. The environmental detail setting’s interaction with the wheels indeed looks broken in 4.0, I’ll ask the arts corner what’s up with that.

That should be all :slight_smile: thanks for the feedback!
Cheers


#6

Thanks so much for the reply, appreciate it a lot! Good to hear the actual reasons behind choices like the top right buttons and stuff, makes it easier to understand why they’re there, same with global/local(?) paints.