Thursday, April 28, 2011

DarNified UI

After much thought on where to go next with the blog, I've finally decided to briefly discuss user interface. As most people know, Oblivion was created to played on both the computer and the game console. There is very little difference between the original computer game and its console equivalent, which means that they both look very similar in design when mods are taken out of the picture. This isn't necessarily a problem, but because of this fact, the text for the various menus, books, subtitles, and notifications are significantly larger than necessary for the typical computer user. The game often feels like a typical console game because of this design, which can take away a lot from immersion.

In order to enhance the player's interaction with the game and adjust to a more appropriate size, Darnified User Interface completely redesigns all of the menus and displays in Oblivion, which ranges from resizing the character's health bar to expanding and allowing for in-game customization of the map menus. All of the changes are individually customizable when the mod is initially installed, and a few of the details can be changed using an in-game display that can be found through your skills and achievements menu. There are countless enhancements and adjustments that DarNified UI adds to the game, but seeing examples is much easier than describing all of them. Be sure to watch the video in high definition, otherwise you may have some difficulty seeing how the new menus are arranged.

I held off getting this for a long time, but after seeing so many people's displays looking so much less cluttered and being able to see so much more of the map at one time, I felt like it was worth the effort to install. But then I discovered how simple it was to add using the Oblivion Mod Manager. The installation process comes with step-by-step instructions and visual examples as you select the different options, making what I expected to be tedious to only take a matter of minutes. If you're interested in trying it out for yourself, you can find DarNified UI and many more screenshots of the different menus it changes on Planet Elder Scrolls.

Next time I'll be spending more time with mods that add to Cyrodiil itself. I already know what I'll be discussing, so hopefully that means I'll have another post up relatively soon. Until then, goodbye for now.

A side note: I've found that the any changes you make to the configuration of DarNified UI while in-game don't save when you exit the game and reload a save. In order to keep your settings, be sure to download DarNified UI Config Addon, which fixes this issue.

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