Once again we’re delving into the technical side and design of the game with the card preview tab. During the actual course of battle there will be a lot of cards displayed at once.
Not only would a full card view be illegible for smaller text such as effect text, but also be more expensive to draw. While we have developed some techniques to make our dynamic card drawing very efficient, we still have a large horde of objects that need to be on screen at once during combat. We developed our mini cards as a solution to both increase efficiency as well as declutter the screen, giving us a more satisfying result visually.
Of course with this not all of the information about the card is viewable. We needed a tab the player can open to reference information about any card they’re viewing at any time. Thus the card preview tab was born.
As an overview of its functionality from the user’s perspective, the tab becomes available any time a player hovers over a card. By holding the respective control down, the tab slides open above the rest of the UI. The tab displays the full version of the card, and the stars in the background of the tab shift to match the color of the card’s affinity. If a card has any keywords on it; further, smaller tabs will pop in from the right side to give the player information on what those keywords do.
From a technical standpoint, quite a few considerations were taken for efficiency. A lot of choices were made about the tab to allow culling. The small tab and the full tab were created as separate pieces so the background piece may be culled when it is in its ‘minimized’ form. The stars on the background are simply directly applied to the background to avoid multiple draw calls. They are fully white, and due to the background being black, color blending only applies to the stars to create the desired effect. The small tab slides off screen when a card is not selected not only for player feedback, but also for efficiency, allowing the tab to be culled when off screen.
That was a bit of a mouthful, but I’m glad you made it to the end. Next week we’ll be taking a look at both versions of Sky. The character select screen will be revealed. For now make sure to sub to our Twitter so you can stay up to date on the latest TerraZone news and information. Until next time TerraZone fans.