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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Notice the default cross-hairs are still there, that's OK.
LINING UP THE CROSS-HAIRS
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.
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).
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...
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.
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
Google Drive folder
To download, chose the Zip with your desired version.
Then click File > Download in the GOOGLE DOCS file menu in the upper left
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.