Why you need a graphic designer

This is part 2 of my continuing series, “Things I’m not good at”

I’ve just received a mockup of the new Galaxy map from our graphics designer and it proves the old adage,  “Don’t do what you can find someone else to do better”.

I don’t know if that’s actually an old adage, but it should be because it’s completely true. When you see the screenshots below, you’ll know why.

Mockup created by an actual graphic designer in a few hours:


UI developed by a computer programmer over months of trial and error:



Original screen from MOO1 using VGA graphics in 1993:


10 thoughts on “Why you need a graphic designer”

  1. Honestly, I like your version better. It’s more faithful to the original 1993 version, and the GD’s version has smaller text and slider controls, looks harder to click on and use. Why the empty space above the Next Turn button? Should put the zoom controls in there instead the left side, Iwoild prefer not to have a control floating in the Galaxy view screen. These are just my initial thoughts without using it, obviously.


    1. I of course don’t know the actual implementation, but that new UI looks extremely promising. In fact, in some respects it looks like the highly-edited information-rich screenshots I sometimes put in my game reports, for instance with a lot of extraneous borders replaced by a little more of the surrounding galaxy. I can think of a few reasons for the blank space above the Next Turn button, too:
      1) Misclicking “Next Turn” when you intend to just send transports or confirm ship orders is really annoying. Misclicking it when trying to adjust the map would be worse. Keeping oft-used controls away from the Next Turn button is a good thing.
      2) This look suggests there might be a future option to move or hide the controls to get a different or more complete full-screen view of the galaxy. If this is really intended, that would just be really neat.
      In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing what the new graphic designer does with this – and hopefully testing the full implementation, starting next spring!


  2. Take off your nostalgia goggles! I think the new screen is orders of magnitude better. Those fonts are too small, but this is a mockup. I’ll be increasing them. Also, the “Year” label is too dark, but she didn’t change that. I’ll be lightening it.


    1. I cannot agree with your suggesion. Can’t say for everyone, but I’m pretty sure that most of the people who are following your project have found it due to nostalgia. As for me, I looked for good old MoO I but based on modern technology and JavaMOO matched that prefectly. When you said that you’re going to introduce some features that weren’t in the original game it was more or less okay, but now you’re dropping even visual appearance similarity with original game. Shame on you, Ray!


      1. Shame on me? For making a MOO1 clone in my spare time with my own money, and then giving it away when I’m done?

        Why? All because I updated the look of the main galaxy screen? All of the buttons and components are still in the same place on the screen as they were before — the graphics are just modernized.

        Somehow previously updating all of the artwork, music, text and even the other UIs was all ok, but THIS is a bridge too far.

        Give me a break.

        Dude, I don’t need your approval for my hobby. Free shit ain’t good enough for you, you gotta whine anyway. It’s a free country, though. If you don’t like it, change the code to whatever you want or don’t play it.


    2. I have to agree with you, the new design looks vastly superior, I was very worried about how the game mainscreen looks since i think it was week compared to the rest, the new is not perfect or amazing, but is “good enough”, and vastly superior to your previous attempt, I’m very happy with the progress


  3. What I care about in a MOO UI –
    1. Ease of reading & clicking
    2. Looks
    3. MoO Font
    4. Retro
    5. Lensflare (this is a joke)

    The galaxy field is superior to your version for sure, and the menu bar at the bottom is an improvement.

    The loss of the classic font I have mixed feelings on. The new font seems a bit thin but is easier to read. The main planetary screen with sliders – its both cleaner/more appealing and harder to read – I’m also a bit concerned it may be harder to click (would need to play with it – may just be a visual illusion considering the resolution differences from moo1 to RoTP).

    The map controls at the top left I’m struggling with a bit more – I’m not sure on which sizing I prefer or which border option. The new UI ss appears to have a thicker border on the map controls than it does on the planetary one to the right, so maybe that’s throwing me off. I’d also be curious what screen location may be better for mouse flow.

    I think the #1 thing is just how it plays, but I like what I’m seeing!


  4. While I love the graphic designer’s new UI, can the map controls be moved to the bottom right? I understand it’s placement artistically, but it looks like it’d be a hassle to have to fully cross the screen when you want to adjust it.


    1. You probably won’t be using them that muc! The map is draggable and zoomable without them and it’s generally much master to navigate the map that.

      The other options are not mouse-controllable, but are less commonly used. I’ll be interested in feedback on this during the alpha.


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