Borders with Cut Corners in a Post-HTML5 World

In previous articles focusing on the technical side of creating Tau Station, we’ve discussed how our team is working hard to utilize inclusive design, how they’ve created an authoring tool to provide meaningful choices for players, and about their focus on writing clean database code. Today, we are going to discuss artist choices about borders which make game’s user interface (UI) visually complex and interesting, while still allowing the art assets to be usable in a variety of situations.

Tau Station has many different types of artist elements that use non-standard borders and edges. A design like this can be implemented in a variety of ways; with an older approach, which utilizes files in a PNG format, and which only consist of the file having one layer, or a newer approach, which is more complex, but which utilizes more layers and which is less limiting. We will focus on a new(ish) technique which seems to often be overlooked by many front-end developers, even in 2017.

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The Art of the Market

Peace is a natural effect of trade.

Charles de Montesquieu

Peace may not be the first word that comes to mind when walking through a market in the Tau Station universe.  From the raucous harmony of a vendor hawking his wares, to the acrid, metallic taste lingering in the air after a potential customer tests out a gun at the Hephaestus Weapon Tech booth, the Market place is always one of the most chaotic and vibrant areas on a station.

Recently we showed you a glimpse of what our very talented artists were creating in as far as space travel.  This week, we invite you to enjoy a small tour of some of the many interesting aspects of our market places.

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The Art of Space Travel

We are gliding across the world in total silence, with absolute smoothness; a motion of stately grace which makes me feel godlike as I stand erect in my sideways chariot, cruising the night sky.
– Michael Collins (astronaut)

Outer Space and Beauty have always been two concepts that often find a great kinship in each other, both in the stunning visuals of the universe around us but also through the lenses of our own imaginations. While Tau Station will always strive to harness the boundless creativity of your own imagination through engaging narrative and an immersive universe, we are just as committed to presenting you with stunning visuals crafted by the deft fingers of our talented artists.

This week, we would like to present you with various images inspired by the concept of travel within the Tau Station Universe.

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The Tau Station Universe: Design

Pretty, immersive, thoughtful, and inclusive – these are concepts that have guided us as we’ve been designing our user interface. Words and stories are the foundation upon which Tau Station is built, but we’re going beyond just text on the screen to create the universe that we’ve imagined. Our narrative, art, and graphic design all work together to create an immersive experience and the sense of adventure and exploration that’s at the heart of Tau Station.

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Tau Station’s User Interface

Our dream for Tau Station is to create a world you can explore and escape into, the way that we escaped into books as children. A world that you can picture yourself living in. But with more than two hundred stations to visit and explore, NPCs to talk to, missions to take, careers, combat, trading, politics, and more, how can we translate that onto the screen while also making it accessible to all players? It’s a challenge, but we have a team of very talented people working on it. By following web standards and design best practices, they’re building a user interface (UI) that is both good for gameplay and supports our overall vision for the game.

Our UI:
• Ties all the elements of the game together
• Is easy to use
• Provides you with information when and where you need it
• Contributes to the immersive atmosphere of the game
• Is accessible to all players
• Follows the principle of designing for mobile first

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