News

Interface update coming to Sunless Sea

By Liam Welton, July 19, 2016 · Sunless Sea Zubmariner

We’ve talked a lot in the past about the development of Sunless Sea and what a learning curve it was for all of us. We were new to Unity development and had to make informed decisions quickly to keep the project moving.

Our approach to the UI, and in particular the size of the font, was one of these decisions – and one that we’ve reviewed since launch. We were limited by Unity’s text handling capabilities, but Unity has seen an impressive amount of improvement and is a very different beast from the one we started developing Sunless Sea with back in July 2013.

Unity 5 includes a new UI system, so we’ve moved the whole game to Unity 5. (The changes this enables us to make will roll out to everyone who owns Sunless Sea, not just Zubmariner.)

For a game with as much UI up on screen as ours, it was no mean feat. We’ve had to make a few concessions here and there to port it across, but we think it’s more than made up for by the opportunities it presented to streamline certain aspects of the UI and introduce some handy new features.

By far the biggest improvement is the new ability to set the UI and font size. You can change these both independantly. Here’s an example of the default UI scale on a 2560 x 1440 display:

Screenshot 2016-07-18 14.45.03

Urgh! That’s pretty bad. This caused some people to switch the resolution down, resulting in a proportionally larger UI, but poor resolution text and graphics. Now, you can just up the scale of the UI, like so:

Screenshot 2016-07-18 14.46.21

This gives people with high resoution displays the option to scale up the entire UI to fit their larger screen real estate. However, we also wanted to allow people to keep the current UI size, but increase the scale of the text to make it more comfortable to read:

fontscale

There are also a bunch of small improvements we’ve been able to make:

More control over the appearance of the font in tooltips
tooltips

Interactive entries within the log messages
interactive-bits

Better price signalling on the shop tabs
shiftclick

There will probably be dozens of little changes that you will notice when playing the game. We’ve tried to make sure that we’ve maintained the shape and structure of the old UI while still taking advantage of the new Unity UI system.

We hope this will help many players who’ve struggled to enjoy all of our lovely text on their screens!

4 Comments

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Jeremy Anderson Jul 22, 8:21pm

Awesome!! UI Scaling is a must in this brave new world of High DPI displays. I've got a Surface Book (13" screen with 3000x2000 pixels...zomg!) that would love to see some Sunless Sea but it was just too squinty...

ziroonderel Jul 20, 10:21am

Oh yes! This is wonderful news! Any hints on when?

Edgardo Castellini Jul 19, 6:48pm

Personally happy for: -Interactive entries within the log messages -Better price signalling on the shop tabs Thanks guys

Captain Nemo Jul 19, 4:24pm

One interface update I'd really like to see is some improvement to story-book cargo transactions, like buying fuel and supplies from Naples or haggling with the Silk Merchant in Saviour's Rocks. Even just moving them wholesale over to the Shops tab would be an improvement.