UI updates in next patch

Hey guys,
There are going to be a number of updates to the UI in the next patch. It won’t be the last set of updates to the UI, but it should address some of the issues related to your crazy monitor resolutions and aspect ratios. :smile:

That all said, it will likely break or make moot many of the UI mods that are out there right now. Just wanted to give you guys a heads up.

We haven’t officially put out any documentation on how the UI is modded yet, but does anyone have any questions/feedback as to the structure of the UI layout code?

What are people wanting to mod in the UI? (Aside from making the build menu smaller and the scaling more customizable.)



I would be interested in knowing two things

  1. how things like ship and build icons should be done, some of the old stuff I ported ‘works’ but it is using the old mres formats and seems to stretch weird and I think I missed some locations. I think the idea would be a tutorial on which files to modify to add a new ship to the UI

  2. ATI overlays, if the ship lua can interact with them (text attached to ship or the special ability bars) and creating custom buttons for things like game types like the debug UI (don’t know if this multiplayer safe?)

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This would be my ideal UI:

In summary:

  1. Bigger ship icons/ship count, relative to the rest of the UI
  2. An option for an in-game timer that can be used online. Just about every hw2 veteran from gamespy had the in-game timer.
  3. An option to hide everything but whats seen in my Clean UI mod.
  4. Ability to play online with a custom UI, or atleast a custom Camera.lua file. The camera.lua file lets you adjust the pan/zoom speed, and also allows you to zoom out farther without having to go into sensors view.


  1. MRES stuff was mostly removed because of a lot of issues with larger screens and memory. The system still sort of supports them, but we don’t recommend using them. If you are seeing weird stretching it’s probably because the UI expects the ship icons to be 2x1 aspect ratio. (512/256, 256/128, etc…)
  2. We didn’t intentionally change any of the old ATI functionality due to its complexity, so you should be able to use it just like you did originally. The debug UI was and is a hack for developer use only. Enabling any part of it in MP would open up massive MP issues, as you pointed out. I see what you’re saying and will noodle how to make it easier to do safe stuff.

Ah yes! You are the Clean UI guy. I bet we will talk a lot in the future!

The timer is an interesting idea. I was a hardcore wow player and I typed /played once. Once. It was depressing. Then I kept playing. A single session timer would help a lot for the rush timers. I’ll add that to the backlog. It might be a patch 3 or 4 thing.

For the Clean UI it looks like the formations and tactics buttons are gone. Is showing the active formations and tactics of what you have selected not useful?

The hide taskbar system has a variety of “steps” of hiding elements. It can use some finessing.

It’s on my long todo list to think about ways to make UI mods safe for MP play. Again, I played a lot of wow and custom UI was essential for raiding in the early days. That said, this engine doesn’t have a concept of “safe” mods to use with MP. MP is very much still in Beta, so we will see!

It is a necessary idea, i’m kinda sad that the timer made by @Cloaked (aka noob =P) isnt working anymore in MP, i’m back to my phone to track my strats times

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@ burleson

hey if the new UI works. i don’t care if it breaks the UI changes ive made in my mod, if it works. ill just delete my code and use the default. less stuff for me to mess with in the future anyway.

so thank you for this =D

as for the feedback you wanted.
my monitor is 1440x900 and the UI looks good on setting 1 on my screen, With one gripe/exception. the Selected unit window, and the Multiple selected units window at the bottom left corner is WAY to small on setting 1. but setting 2+ totally break it, it gets MASSIVE!.. maybe increase the window size a-bit for that part of the UI on setting 1, and we should be golden. other then that, the NEW HWR UI doesn’t really bother me. it was easy to learn and im use to it already.
so yeah, just that 1 little fix and its good in my opinion.

idk about the other size settings though. they make everything silly large, and i just assumed they weren’t for people with my monitor size anyway =P
interested to see how you guys address it :wink:

To emulate some of these issues I’m running the game @ 1900x600 as I fix these wide aspect ratio bugs. My favorite res to run the game is 400X1080. Who even runs this game in portrait mode? Apparently a fair number of people. No idea why, but yea!

Yea, the UI scale was intended for very very future resolutions. I need to add more intermediate steps or just remove them since people are having issues with them. And/Or have individual elements scale independently.

Oh and one thing I’m noodling is to anchor menus to the left or right of the screen instead of the center. I use a duel monitor setup and having the game stretch the menus across both screens looks a bit goofy, having the menu cut down the middle by the bezels is just silly.

We don’t 100% officially support stretching the game across multiple monitors in crazy configurations right now, and I can’t promise that we ever will, but I can at least make the UI more usable if people wish to do so. The person complaining about that their L shaped monitor configuration not being supported is crazy pants.

So anchoring the menus to the left or right of the screen, how does that sit with folks?


Anchoring sounds good. Triple monitor seems like the most common sensible arrangement someone would use with HWR.


While not as “Homeworld-y” as the HWRM UI, I really prefer the HW2 UI because it was more functional. The ship icons were more toward the center of the screen, and I didn’t have to reach all the way to the right to retire a ship or subsystem.

In the future I may investigate porting the HW2 UI into HWRM.

Also, I think there should be a fourth tab to the build menu just for managing subsystems. The little icons for recycling them are simply too small! The added hotkey would be another benefit.


While more UI is useful to newer players, its often taking up space for experienced players.The ability to hide everything but the essentials would be awesome. Experienced players don’t need UI elements for formations, tactics, etc - just hotkeys and an in-game timer. :smile: I hope to see it in that 3rd or 4th patch!


As of now, these are on my mind for the UI:

1 - I’m thinkning of a BATTLE TICKER (with stock market exchange style, sliding from right to left) for a mod that will inform the player of actual battle events using quadrants as address and colors as alert conditions. The current vertical hidden yellow list of events has similar functionality. These are samples of information being slid on the ticker:
AQ1-BB - IQ4-DD - VQ7-G3 = Battlecruiser under attack in Q1 and Destroyer being boarded in Q4 and Group 3 reports victory in Q7. Being horizontal, this bar would stay on top or bottom of everything.
\edit - by clicking on the event it jumps to the ongoing crisis

2 - Is it possible (or is it too expensive) to have a auto-minimize function with some sort of timer?
I mean, you have a minimal version of the menus, so you can reach using mouse and then it expands to the actual menu size. After you give the command it stays expanded for say like 5s when it minimizes back. Might be annoying and end up in a new UI (not necessarily GBX will make it). Somebody probably have tried before, it’s not creative at all, but there must be some reasons for not being implemented, I suspect. It would be have similarly like the explanations that complement the current menus, but those are instant auto-hide.

3 - http://www.moddb.com/mods/raid-leader/images/smaller-side-ui#imagebox

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I have no problem with API breaking changes so long as there is a heads up on what broke, and a migration guide when easy/applicable, and it’s needed to improve the game.

  • I’d be extremely happy if you could see the amount and type of your selected ships in a clear and sharp font. I can’t read this smoothed out font you’re using.

  • I’d also like to see an option to have most of the GUI disappear except for this text that shows you what type and how many ships you have selected, just like in Homeworld 1. Homeworld 1 showed that you don’t need a GUI in the first place, leaving players with all the more room to enjoy the view.

  • I’d also like to have the game remember my settings permanently, both the minimized GUI and those ship symbols that you can disable with the tab key.


We haven’t documented the UI system at all yet (and in that respect relative to the old UI it’s safe to say ‘it all changed’…). So documenting the changes to an undocumented system seems… sorta odd.

When we’re closer to locked on the UI I’m sure pages and pages of docs will be built - at which point some concept of ongoing deltas will be documented along with patches.

The key thing if we haven’t documented something is really just ‘use at your own risk’.

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Yay, UI!

i) Will the extra backspace step be removed with a newer iteration? The first backspace just removes the odd little glowy bar at the bottom of the screen and nothing else (that I could see).

ii) I think the ship icons in the dock screen need to be increased in size, or even just changed to text in a 2 column table (ship type and number docked)

iii) any chance of having a way to not display subsystems unless they are hovered over as a separate setting and not a function of some other, broader, UI setting? Ships with a lot of them just look a mess and from a distance trying to select them without selecting a subsystem is a bit tricky.

Biggest thing for me is the ship selection element towards the bottom left of the UI screen. The problem for me and I imagine others is that when selecting multiple ship types either via bandbox selection or via groups, the number of X shiptype most of the time is very barely readable at 1920x1080.

As can be seen here at Fullscreen mode 1920x1080 max settings via in-game video configuration

And then compared with here at 1760x992 w/ max in-game settings:

I have tried with and without AA off on both windowed and fullscreen modes and have found zero affecting of the text, it appears primarily based on scaling size of the UI. You will note that the numbers appear much sharper and legible on the lower resolution, but are still noticeably small. I would suggest that the fleet selection window needs to be much bigger and/or easier to distinguish which ship graphic is what, and how many you have of each. I’d move the numerical indicator off of the actual ship icon and have it immediately to the right where it is easier to read and not affected by the ‘noise’ of the element underneath it.

I think moving the Formation/Tactics UI element to go down vertically along the left side of the screen would work better. It would stop just short of the fleet selection window which would be a UI element of its own similar in size (albeit slightly larger and shaped to fit the fleet selection display) to that of the orders UI element but which much cleaner and clear conveyance of information.

The problem right now is that I have t to hover over or squint at the numbers/ship icon to see what I have selected. A lot of the frigates/corvettes have similar icon elements making it hard to distinguish at a glance “what” and “how many”.

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Would it be possible to have the unit icons (squares, diamonds, whatever shape the battlecruisers are) be assigned to textures rather than whatever the current system uses?

That’s not really UI - that’s ATI (the name of the system in the game) - and I am pretty sure you can change that. We won’t mess with anything ATI related until all else is done, locked, clear - it’s a monster system, and needs a bit of coding love to get it where I personally would like to see it.

Will there be support for any 2:1 aspect ratio resolutions? Also, did you already release the patch? Steam downloaded something when I started up the game this morning.