With the release of X Rebirth 3.50 we are pleased to announce the introduction of UI modding support to all our modders. The aim of this UI modding support is to grant everybody the same level of flexibility to modify the UI that we have ourselves.
Certain things are, unfortunately, out of the scope of what we can make available to everybody, but whatever we can provide the community with, we will make every effort to do so.
The UI-modding support is, and feels, slightly different compared to modifying other parts of the game engine, such as MD/AI scripting, asset handling, etc. In some cases you will find that the UI features provide you with a lot more freedom, while in other parts you may miss certain functionality. This is especially true, since 3.50 is the first time that we will have more than just our in-house-developers working with the UI engine.
To help you with that, we will not only provide you with some additional documentation to get started, but also include the original Lua source scripts for the standard game UI (see Further UI modding resources for how to access these files). You can use these as a point of reference for writing your own scripts. We also decided against enforcing too many restrictions on what we allow you to do when writing UI mods, so that any updates we make available for our own UI changes/updates will automatically be available to you as well.
Bear in mind, however, that this comes with a certain risk of being able to impact the game engine in unintended ways. Specifically, you are more likely to be able to write UI mods which negatively impact the game stability (i.e. introduce crashes, break parts of the UI, negatively impact game performance, etc.) than you would be able to do when writing AI/MD scripts, for instance. This will be especially true for the first number of releases following 3.50 beta 1.
To help you, and all the players out there, to resolve any issues which might show up, we will try out a new approach for reporting bugs and requesting features with regards to the UI modding support:
- We have set up a UI modding support-request thread here (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=4497896#4497896 (English) / http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=377588 (German)) which will be monitored by the developers at Egosoft directly. This thread is specifically provided for you to solve any issues/questions/concerns you might come-up with during the weeks to come following the first 3.50 beta.
- We are making our internal bug-tracking system available to you via anonymous access. If you run into a UI modding bug, or have a feature request, you urgently want to be added, you will be able to directly create the issue in the bug-tracker at: http://www.egosoft.com:8282/jira/browse/XRUIMOD . Posting bug-reports/feature requests is done anonymously. You won't need an account to do so. The bugtracker will also provide you with a slightly better detail in feedback on the progress state of reported issues (showing you which ones can be expected to be fixed in one of the following versions or when an issue is being worked on).
Please understand, that this aims solely to improve the support we provide to our modding community. We still cannot provide support for issues which arise while running a modified game, so bear in mind that whenever you use a mod, there's no guarantee that the official support can help with any issues you might run into.
We are aware that there are still a lot of improvements we could make; many items we had on our own wishlist did not make it into the first Beta. However, we wanted to provide these modding improvements as soon as possible so that you have a chance to try everything out yourself and give us your feedback. This allows us to take your feedback into account with the ongoing development of 3.50 (and hopefully also into future versions). We are keen to hear from you, so don't hesitate to report bugs or feature requests.
Please be assured that your feedback will not be ignored. Even if something you report does not make it into the current version, that does not mean that the feedback is forgotten. However, please also be aware that there may be reasons for certain feedback/bugfixes not making it into the game for a while (or in some cases maybe not at all). We will try to communicate these (hopefully rare) cases to the best of our abilities and explain the reasons for our decision.