I am well aware this is a constant WIP. The system currently in place, while technically clear enough, is severely limited in functionality while simultaneously being a touch overwhelming. On top of that he lighbulb is kind of hard to see and difficult to understand the meaning of without hovering over to read the tooltip.
- while easy to use, doesn’t provide clear enough feedback, not as intuitive as it could be
- cluttered UI with overwhelming variety of fairly inconsequential options
- limited functionality: no options for daytime running lamps, aux driving lamps, separate high and low beams, no foglights, no misc lights (puddle lights, numberplate illumination), potentially interior illumination (cluster gauge, cabin lights) and other aux lighting ( warning strobes, hazards, floodlights, worklights, emergency lights)
- no way to alter light output intensity for specific tasks - results in all lights being the same. Currently all lights appear to have the same intensity, regardless of designation. This is important because simple marker lights or sidelights are never as bright as full beam headlights - and a high beam should be adequately brighter than a dipped beam lamp, brake lights should be brighter than standard tail lights and so on.
- no way to fine adjust hue. 1950s or 2020s - all headlights are crystal white, all indicators are bright amber. What about cool-blue xenons? What about French-style almost eerily yellow headlights? Lens material choice does impact this to an extent but the effects are unclear until tested.
- it just doesn’t work… yet. Key element - system doesn’t appear functional on my end, being hard coded into materials rather than relying on ‘bulb’ setting. When set in photomode, ALL tail lights sharing the red emissive texture will light up as their individual bulb setting is ignored, only lighting up as brakelights due to material choice.
With all that in mind, may I suggest looking into simplifying the UI and unifying it with an already existing and working concept - paint editor.
My suggestion would be to create or integrate a light material editor based on the paint editor with the following functionality:
sliders for the choice of color / color brightness / opacity / reflectivity
optional choice of an additional ‘texture mask’ which would add a visual effect - useful for creating old-fashioned lens materials, reflective strips, frosted lenses, diffuse patterns etc. By default it would be clear lens - no effect.
a slider to determine light output intensity, measured in Lumens, which would allow users to accurately recreate lights of appropriate intensity and output for their designation. 0 on the slider would mean non-functional i.e. does not shine.
‘padlock’ to lock or unlock emitted light color from chosen material color. For example a blue tinted bulb that shines white/yellow, a colorless bulb for use with advanced modern light designs, chrome-like colorless material emitting light appropriate to its designation but visually unremarkable and unobtrusive.
finally, a way to determine functionality of the light material via 2 sets of lists: primary and secondary. Primary light function list would include: sidelights, dipped beam, high beam, running light, indicator, tail light, brake light, fog light, cornering light and AUX
By default, all lights are single-function only. Padlock to unlock dual-function lights. With this feature unlocked, a secondary choice list would appear, contents of which would be determined by primary choice - a running light can be an indicator, a taillight can be a brakelight or a foglight, a dipped beam bulb can double as a hi-beam one, a foglight can also be a cornering light etc. etc. But some combinations do not make sense like high beam being an indicator or brakelight being a foglight - such cases would not be possible to select and would either be greyed out or omitted entirely depending on primary designation. This also opens up for a potential baked-in feature - lights could cast a beam shape appropriate to their type. Hi beam could throw light far and focused while foglights would shine dispersed light wide etc. This would be automatic and wouldn’t require any other intervention from the user.
Note: secondary features would require additional color/intensity selections.
The odd one out is AUX. Aux lights would be a separate function, activated by aux channels 0-9. These only have one pre-determined function but are separate to all other lights. They can be floodlights, emergency lights, worklights, additional driving lamps, interior lights, puddle lights, neaon underglow or any other kinds of aesthetic or functional lights you can possibly imagine. This would be tied in with the BULB function we currently have in-game. Player could apply a material with AUX functions and use the bulb to determine which channel turns it on or off by clicking on it.
Additionally, indicators and aux lights should allow for finer control over their flashing cycle by means of 3 sliders - 1 for cycle length, 1 for duty cycle (time spend on vs time spent off as a percentage) and 1 for cycle offset (delay of the cycle start). This would allow for chaining elaborate sequential indicators or emergency lights.
Once a light material is created in this way, it could be saved with a custom name tag. When moused-over, a tooltip should pop up alerting the user to what this light material is named and its functions should be listed (intensity/primary/secondary/flash cycle) returning the following message:
Primary: Dipped Beam
Secondary: High Beam
Intensity: 2000 lumens
Primary: Running Light
Intensity: 300 Lumens
What this does:
It affords players full control over their lighting systems and total creative freedom. Want pink headlights? Go for it. Neons underglow? Sure. Cop lights? You bet. But also realistic North American styke marker lights, running lights and indicators? Sure. Interior lights? Yep. Amber DRLs? Yes!
Allows players to create their favorite presets and easily call upon them from the materials list as needed - no need to set anything else up, just choose material and you’re done.
Works the way lights work now.
Adds the ability to craft custom materials for unique applications - blue reflective strips, clear red lenses, smoked diffuse lenses etc.
Cars would load up with them the same as they do with paint colors when importing.
Vanilla support for all kinds of lights, reflectors and more!
Any feedback is welcome, happy to be shot down in flames. Frankly even a simple change that would allow us to create custom lens materials and light colors would be amazing in its own right.