GEM - Graphics Enhancement Mod features: - New icons & pictograms for game's interface - New cursors set - Restyled ship graphics - Improved planet & star graphics - New landscapes - New ruins - New galaxy backdrop

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5 comments by first_martian on Dec 22nd, 2012

GRAPHICS ENHANCEMENT MOD (GEM)

- FEATURES -

NEW ICONS & PICTOGRAMS

53 new redesigned and refined icons & pictograms for game's interface.

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Resized to perfectly fit interface's elements so there is no need for the game to resize them to fit in buttons and frames. As a result all new pictograms look very sharp and clear in the game (except those which are used in more than one place and with various scale). Here are some examples:

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Unfortunately most of other interface elements are not available for modding. There are some of interface's resources present in "images\ui\chrome" folder which are not used by game (Or at least not where it was expected).
Another issue is that the game sometimes uses same resourcses for different elements of interface (for example "firepower.png" is used both for military ships and crash research icons). This fact limits design choices for the interface improvement. So looking forward to modding improvements in DW's future releases.


NEW CURSORS SET

14 all new "pixelart" cursors.

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NEW RESTYLED SHIP GRAPHICS

The ship restyling has several purposes in mind:

1. Make ships look clearer and distinctive on various bright and dark backgrounds during gameplay.
2. Quick identification of all controllable state ships.
3. Quick identification of military ship types.
4. More eye candy look.[;)]

I know that game already has good ship type identification signs such as triangles for military ships, rectangles for construction ships and so on, but I believe average human eye is much more responsive to colours than to shapes. So I decided to use different colour outlines to make it even easier to quickly identify ships during a gameplay.

All controllable ships have various colour outlines:

    Red - Military ships
    Green - Construction ships
    Cyan - Exploration ships
    Blue - Colony ships

Military ships have following distinctive insignia painted on them:

    One stripe - Escort
    Two stripes - Frigate
    Three stripes - Destroyer
    Four stripes - Cruiser
    Five stripes - Capitalship
    Small circle inside a bigger one - Carrier
    Small diamond inside a bigger one - Troop transport

Here are few examples:

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Additionally, there is an alternative shipset for those who prefer ships with black outlines only:

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IMPROVED PLANET GRAPHICS

Continental planets
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Desert planets
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Ice planets
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Marshyswamp planets
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Oceanic planets
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Volcanic planets
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Barrenrock planets
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IMPROVED STAR GRAPHICS

Main sequence star
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Red Giant
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Super Giant
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White Dwarf
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Neutron Star
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NEW LANDSCAPES

Original artworks were not created by me but were searched and taken from the net, mostly from Terragen's gallery. I just resized, framed and colour graded them. So all kudos and credits go to their creators.

Landscapes are resized and adjusted to perfectly fit game's interface.

Unfortunately, at the present moment DW has a hard-coded limit to use only few first images. So it uses only 4 images for continental planets (+1 from forest folder), 3 for desert, marshyswamp and ice planets, 2 for volcanic and oceanic planets. Hopefully this will be fixed in "Shadows" release, but for now most of these landscapes wouldn't appear in the game.

If you want some particular landscapes to be present in the game, please rename them to use first few numbers. For example, use names from "landscape_0" up to "landscape_3" for continental planets.

Continental planet's landscapes
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Desert planet's landscapes
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Ice planet's landscapes
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Marshyswamp planet's landscapes
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Oceanic planet's landscapes
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Volcanic planet's landscapes
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IMPROVED RUINS

For the ruins I used amazing and myserious paintings of Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński.

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NEW GALAXY BACKDROP

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GEM DOWNLOAD LINKS

GEM v2.4 - Complete mod
Mediafire.com

Alternatively, if you don't need all of the features, you can choose which individual parts of the mod to download:

GEM v2.4 - Galaxy backdrop only
Mediafire.com

GEM v2.4 - Cursors & icons only
Mediafire.com

GEM v2.4 - Landscapes & ruins only
Mediafire.com

GEM v2.4 - Planets & stars only
Mediafire.com

GEM v2.4 - Shipset only
Mediafire.com

GEM v2.4 - Alternative shipset only (without colour outlines)
Mediafire.com


INSTALLATION:

1. Backup original "Distant Worlds\images" folder
2. Extract archive and overwrite original files in Distant Worlds\images
3. Enjoy!


CHANGELOG

[+] new content/feature
[-] update/fix

v1.0
+ Upgraded original graphics for all planets except frozen gas giants & gas giants.
+ Upgraded original graphics for all stars on a system zoom level.
+ Upgraded original galaxy backdrop.

v2.0
+ Upgraded original ship graphics.
+ Integrated updated version of "Surrealistic ruins" mod.
+ Integrated updated version of "Beautiful landscapes" mod.
- Made an atmosphere slightly visible even on a dark side of planets.
- Fixed a shadow artifact appeared when a planet overlaps another planet.

v2.1
+ Added 9 new cursors.

v2.2
+ Added 5 more new cursors and updated most of previously released cursors.

v2.2.1
- Minor design update of bombard, construction and mine cursors.

v2.3
+ Added 53 new & refined pictograms for game's interface.
- Most of the cursors are redesigned or refined.
- New version of galaxy backdrop.

v2.4
- Improved planet graphics, including new atmospheric effect.
- Added an alternative version of shipset without colour outlines.
- Updated version of galaxy backdrop. Slightly redesigned and significantly desaturated to improve contrast between backdrop and active objects on the map.

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Graphics Enhancement Mod (GEM) v2.4

Graphics Enhancement Mod (GEM) v2.4

Dec 22, 2012 Full Version 0 comments

Current version: 2.4 Updated: December 22, 2012 Quick overview of GEM features: - New icons & pictograms for game's interface - New cursors set ...

Post comment Comments  (10 - 13 of 13)
Hawawaa
Hawawaa Dec 31 2012, 5:42pm says: Online

Holy hell I just found this. This is wonderful! Thank you.

+2 votes     reply to comment
first_martian
first_martian Dec 23 2012, 3:28am says:

Hi, Thanks!

I am not a programmer, but it looks to me like the game doesn't use any hardware-based (GPU-based) filtering or anti-aliasing... :(

+2 votes     reply to comment
Xangi
Xangi Dec 22 2012, 5:36pm says:

Holy hell this looks good, do you guys have any ideas for the issue with the lack of anti-aliasing when sprites turn or no? I was thinking about trying to inject FXAA, but I'm not sure how to do it.

Anyways, keep making more, this is amazing.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Distant Worlds Icon
Platform
Windows
Developed By
first_martian
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Official Page
Matrixgames.com
Release Date
Released Nov 9, 2012
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Highest Rated (3 agree) 10/10

Way better than Distant Worlds Grungy UI graphics. This is a must have mod if you play Distant Worlds.

Mar 3 2013, 1:44am by Computica

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Sci-Fi
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