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Prophes0r's Cross-hair UI - Functional replacement for the default cross-hair


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#1
Prophes0r

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Current version 2.0 - New Look!

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Why I made this Skin/Mod

Currently, the Fallen Earth cross-hairs function oddly. Regardless of the cross-hair "spread" all bullets will go to the same spot on your screen. Shooting will cause your screen to move, adding some inaccuracy, but the next bullet will go to the exact same spot on your screen as every other one.

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There is at this moment no way to change the default cross-hairs. BUT since the current cross-hairs do nothing but make it harder to figure out where your bullet will go at any given moment, that's OK.

The current solution is to use a new User Interface skin that takes an element that already exists, makes it larger, puts a cross-hair picture on the screen, and makes most of the image transparent. This works but is has some drawbacks.

First, the image used for that particular UI element is always rectangular in shape, and even thought it is transparent you cannot click through it. The solution to this is to make the element as small as possible without sacrificing any important information, easier said than done.

Second, the default cross-hair has an indicator that turns red when an enemy is out of range, and green when in range. I haven't figured out how to overcome this limitation yet. It is only really a problem with non scoped weapons at their max range. Rifle scopes work just fine for me at the moment, and once an enemy starts charging you you don't have to worry about it as much. For now, you need to learn to judge the maximum range of your weapons if not using a scope.

Third, a new problem caused by the fix to problem 1. Less information, in a less convenient spot. The easiest, and most useful UI element to change is your Vitals window.

Fourth, having something in the middle of the screen that you can move around by accidentally clicking on it is bad. Luckily, when a UI element is transparent, you cant click on it or through it. So you cant drag it around. I solved this by making a separate skin with the exact same dimensions that you can use to get placement right, then you can switch to the skin you want and it will be in the proper position without worrying about accidentally moving it and having to replace it.

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In my opinion it is WAY to big to just slap a cross-hair on and drop it in the middle of the screen. If you make it taller to move the box away from the cross-hair you end up with a LARGE transparent area that you cant click through, so its gotta get stripped down.

I am currently leveling a character, so here is what i needed to keep:

Hit points
Stamina
Gamma (I don't use it but it seems silly to not include it for the first build)
A way to indicate progress toward the next level
Current level (the only other way I found to show this was to target yourself, not a big deal I guess)
and I need to add a cross-hair.

To make matters more interesting, the HP/Stamina/Gamma bars always fill horizontally, becoming empty at the left side. And the XP indicator is always filled around a circle, like slices of pie.

Next, having indicators in the MIDDLE of the screen can be distracting. I decided to make the bars dark grey, and the background "underneath" the bar brightly colored. That way when you have full bars it looks dull, and when you have empty bars its BRIGHT and in your face.

The best I can come up with is this

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Health on the bottom right in RED, Gamma on the bottom inner left in GREEN, Stamina on the bottom outer left in BLUE(hard to see since the bar is full and I don't have any abilities that use stamina yet) and Progress to next level in the mostly transparent orange going all the way around the cross-hair (only filled in just past the first 3 AP milestone). Simple and functional. Not pretty though. Also, after testing dozens of colors for the actual colored dot, this is the one that I find shows up best for me against all backgrounds, it is pretty obnoxious though. I'll be releasing more colors shortly.

You will also notice that there is only 1 XP indicator as opposed to the normal 2. This is what would normally be the outer ring. It still goes up after every XP award, and it was hard enough shoehorning all that in to put a second indicator that wasn't really needed.

This skin is based on the antique skin for now. I like the look, but eventually I want something that is COMPLETELY unobtrusive. I'll get to that once I'm in my 20s or doing more PvP though.

INSTALLATION

Inside your Fallen Earth folder is a folder called skins. Each sub-folder in skins is a skin set. Extract the folders contained in the download into this folder. There are a couple different skins included.

SETUP

Fire up FE and log in. Open your Options window with alt-O (default) or with the menu bar. Change to the interface and under the "UI Akin" drop-down choose "cross-hair placement" then click OK.

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You will get the following warning letting you know that in order to enable a new skin you will be dropped back out to the character select screen. This is OK, and happens with all new skins. Click Yes, then log back into your character.

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You should now see the new vitals frame wherever your old one was, don't worry this one is extra ugly and not transparent just so you can move it around easily. We aren't done yet.

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Notice the default cross-hairs are still there, that's OK.


LINING UP THE CROSS-HAIRS


Rough Tuning

Center the new frame with the ugly pink dot as best you can with your current cross-hairs. I have provided big black tabs in the upper corners to give you something easier to drag.

If you have a scoped rifle somewhere, use that to help you get it close to where it needs to be. The scope actually works similar to this mod itself. It covers up the default cross-hairs with its own overlay, and seems more accurate to the actual bullet placement than the normal ones. just switch back and fourth between scoping and dragging to get placement right. If this is good enough for you then you are almost done, just skip down past the fine tuning.

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Fine Tuning

Position yourself in front of a wall colored in such a way that you can see where the bullet hits. A distance of 5-15m was optimal for me. Fire a shoot at the wall trying to move the cursor as little as possible until you can get out of fire mode to move the new frame (default TAB or middle mouse).

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Repeat as necessary until you are happy with the accuracy of the pink dot. Notice my bullets don't actually hit the wall in the center of the default cross hairs anyway...

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Finishing up

Now go back into your options window > Interface tab and switch your skin to "cross-hair" (or cross-hair bright), then click "Hide Crosshair" we don't need the default ones anymore. Now click OK. Accept the warning again and log back into your character.

The new skin should be in exactly the same spot as the old one we used for positioning, but should be MUCH easier to see around.

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DONE!

I will be making changes to this over the course of the week. First I'll be releasing more dot colors since that is just a few minutes of work. Then I'll be working on a level 55 version that has no XP bar or level display, since you don't need those.

Let me know what you think. I know its not super attractive at the moment, but after a day of planning my character, and another figuring out how to make this project, I'm in the mood to play some. I'll take functional for now.

Credit to Conscript and Nads for making an easy enough to follow guide for modding the FE UI.
Skinning the cat, a guide to modifying the FE UI

DOWNLOAD LINK

Google Drive folder

To download, chose the Zip with your desired version.

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Then click File > Download in the GOOGLE DOCS file menu in the upper left

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CHANGE LOG

1.0
  • Release
1.1
  • Removed the bright. I'll ad back if anyone really wants it. It gets in the way though.
  • Changed the transparency of the default to make it easier to see though, without making it (much) harder to see. Only about 5%.
  • Added a Level 55 version with no XP counter, no level display, and slightly moved bars so you don't get ANY tool-tips when in fire mode.
1.2
  • Got rid of the small black bar at the bottom of the 55 UI. It wasn't sitting well with me and It turned out not to be necessary to stop tool-tips from displaying in fire mode. Only moving it down 2 pixels was needed.
  • Planning on moving it to Google code to make it easier. and may redesign the guide into expandable sections. Working on some new sizes and colors.
2.0
  • New Oval look! More natural field of view.
  • No more tool-tips for any version.
  • Health bar now shows damage ranges. Yellow = 100% - 70%. Orange = 70% - 30%. Red = 30% - 0%.
  • Modified dot to be more precise.
  • XP display moved to the lower right. It's not perfect, but it will do for now.

Edited by Prophes0r, 15 September 2012 - 07:40 PM.

Prophes0r

#2
Prophes0r

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Project name changed to something more descriptive and easier to find for those that don't know what a "Dot UI" is. I waited a week and post never got renamed by admins, so I re-posted it under it's new name. Marking old post for deletion.

After feedback from users about resolutions, balanced with the workload of having to make literally dozens of skins I'll be making 3 sizes.

I'm also working on a health bar that is slightly easier to tell when you are at certain percentages.

Drawing out the circles by hand to make sure they are perfect and symmetrical is a pain in the butt, and has to be from scratch for each size change. Once I have a template for each size and design, recoloring them is easy.

I have also decided to store the files in 7zip format. I know, I know, not as user friendly, and I loath to complicate an install if it may scare a new user away who is still learning. But right now, with just 3 skins, the zip is 2mb as a zip. as a 7zip its 300k. Once i get the other sizes up there will be over a dozen skins in the folder. I may change my mind about this and maintain a zip for each of the 3 sizes I plan to support, we will see.

Also I registered for school this semester a week late, so i'll probobly be super busy this weekend.
Prophes0r

#3
Prophes0r

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As of right now I cant deal with the tool-tip that shows up in aim mode on the version for under 55. I'm working on a redesign that would be as simple, but see that no element is under the cursor when in aim mode. After this week I'll probably be comfortable enough in class to work on this till its good enough to use.
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#4
Prophes0r

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2.0 posted. See version notes. New Look.

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Prophes0r

#5
HopeIsDead

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nice, i wont be using it, but you made quite an progress.
Keep up the good work .

#6
Rico Rage

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Is there a hotkey to hide the health bar? I found hotkeys for all the other windows, but not the health bar.

What is really bothering me with all the cross-hair mods, is the visible cross-hair when I'm not in combat mode. Seeing your health so close to the cross-hair is really useful in combat mode, but not so much when I do other stuff. Hiding the health bar would really help with that. If it's not possible, I might start my own cross-hair mod using something different than the health bar.

#7
Prophes0r

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I would actually LOVE to use something other than the Vitals window. But the only things you can work with are the ones that are explicitly defined in the config files. The config file looks something like this:

Generic Window
  • Anything not listed below uses these rules
  • What do the borders of all other windows look like, frame, buttons, etc.
Start Menu (the in game start menu)
  • where on the screen is the top left corner of the start menu
Vitals Frame
  • Positioning information about the Vitals Frame and all of it's components
Tactical Map
  • Positioning information about the tactical map and its components
Mount Window
  • Positioning information about the Mount window and it's components
Colors
  • Color information that all windows follow, backgrounds, highlighted text etc.

So really, the ONLY things we have that we can work with, excluding the mount window since it only exists when you are within a few feet of your mount, is the Vitals Frame, and the mini-map. There is no reason we cant use the mini-map to make our cross-hair, but i think it would block WAY more of the screen, and in combat the mini-map is much less useful to have in your face than your HP.

The Vitals Frame is actually the ONLY window that you cannot hide with a key binding without hiding the ENTIRE user interface.
Prophes0r

#8
Prophes0r

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@RanaeRum

What resolution are you running at? This is designed (at the moment) to run at 1920x1200. If you are running at a smaller resolution then the cross-hair is probably much bigger for you than intended. I can see how it would get in the way of your line of sight, and clicking. The smaller editions should fix this.

@Everyone
I'm currently testing a version that keeps the default cross-hair ACTIVE with this mod. This restores the ability to use the green/red range indicator, while still allowing you the pinpoint precision of the dot. I may need to make the black cross-hair lines 2 pixels thick instead of 1 though, since the default cross-hair is 2, and it looks a bit weird when they touch each other.

I would also like to see if it all looks better when the images are anti-aliased. I'm a total newbie in Paint.net and I haven't figured out how to process the image AFTER determining where the things are drawn. At the moment I'm drawing it out pixel by pixel to make sure the shape is right in the tiny amount of space I have to work with. But the jaggies are admittedly annoying.
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#9
Dirtyroot

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As of right now I cant deal with the tool-tip that shows up in aim mode on the version for under 55. I'm working on a redesign that would be as simple, but see that no element is under the cursor when in aim mode. After this week I'll probably be comfortable enough in class to work on this till its good enough to use.


my idea is scalling to 25,55,65 precent, pls can u that for me, then looks nice......thx

#10
Rico Rage

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@RanaeRum

What resolution are you running at? This is designed (at the moment) to run at 1920x1200. If you are running at a smaller resolution then the cross-hair is probably much bigger for you than intended. I can see how it would get in the way of your line of sight, and clicking. The smaller editions should fix this.


At home I'm running it 1920x1200, but at work I run the game in windowed mode, 1680x1050. But the size isn't my problem. I dislike the fact that it is always visible and makes the center of the screen not clickable. But I guess I either have to live with that or don't use a dot ui after all.

And you're right, the vitals is probably the best choice after all, considering the other options...

EDIT: While I really like your cross-hair, there is one information I'm really missing: did I get new mail? ;)

Edited by RanaeRum, 21 September 2012 - 12:48 AM.


#11
social psycho

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i tried it out today and its realy great, my aim got better with it. also i was able to set some ap free from precision, not sure if the game was meant like this, but thx anyway^^

#12
Rico Rage

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i tried it out today and its realy great, my aim got better with it. also i was able to set some ap free from precision, not sure if the game was meant like this, but thx anyway^^


Erm... not sure how this helped you to free AP, but precision DOES NOT improve your aim!
Precision increases your chance for critical hits. A skin for the interface does not.

#13
social psycho

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pistol and precision skill both narrow the crosshair, i think, while moving it grows bigger and makes it harder to aim. in pvp 19 the crits are not that important for me like getting more hits. so this makes it easier to aim.

#14
stylerz

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Awesome UI. Using this currently.

#15
Reaps989

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pistol and precision skill both narrow the crosshair, i think, while moving it grows bigger and makes it harder to aim. in pvp 19 the crits are not that important for me like getting more hits. so this makes it easier to aim.


Only your weapon skill makes your crosshair smaller, precision only effects your character's critical chance.
Nysek - Mednaught : The only character in FE made of Gammina™

Walls are for horses, I build gosh darning castles of logic to protect us from your constant rain of derp.

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Special thanks to Thrillchase for ze banner.

#16
FrozenSnake

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Hey Prophes0r, awesome mod but I found a little bug.

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At the red lines I highlighted (and the lines on the top bar, which I didn't highlight), if you click on them you can drag the crosshairs around like in the placement UI. I've done this a few times during a fight and its made things very difficult at times.
One last thing, is there anyway to make the crosshair hud click through-able?

Thanks again for making this awesome UI mod!
Toru Wolfe - Fallen Earth

#17
Simus

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nice mod, but zoom is not availible (for rifle)...

#18
TDR

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If I could make one request/suggestion?

My suggestion/request would be to make the health bar a more noticeable red as well as to make the gama and stamina bars 30% larger each. Maybe it's my monitor size but its very hard to see the stamina and gama percentage mid combat with such thin bars.

Thank you for taking the time out to make a good cross hair.

Much support for you my friend!

Edited by TDR, 07 September 2013 - 05:13 PM.

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#19
Berfut Bandit

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Could you post an update to this UI, with everything the same, but in the same colors as the Ice UI? it would be very appreciated.
I don't know how to change the color of the UI. Instructions on how to do that, in lieu of an update to the UI, would be appreciated.


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