ndGUI News and Changelogs

News 'n Stuff

2017-Feb-16:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.22.


2017-Feb-08:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game updates 18.8.20 and 18.8.21.


2017-Jan-12:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.19.


2016-Dec-21:

ndGUI updated to 4.3.4.7 for compatibility with game update 18.8.18.

I've decided to omit a small change introduced in game version 18.8.18, which makes it possible to staticly alter the appearance of selected menu buttons from the default to an "enhanced visibility" look, since it's an optional visual feature not resulting in any loss of actual GUI functionality when not implemented.

When using the new game engine, don't forget that you first need to update ndGUI with the regular update package, and then apply the "4.3.4.7 -> 4.3.4.7 NE" new engine patch.


2016-Nov-20:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.17.


2016-Oct-13:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.16.


2016-Jun-24:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.15.


2016-May-17:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.14.


2016-Apr-14:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.13.


2016-Feb-18:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.12.


2016-Feb-11:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.11.


2015-Dec-09:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.10.


2015-Nov-13:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.9.


2015-Nov-10:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.8.


2015-Oct-29:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.7.


2015-Oct-28:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.6.


2015-Oct-18:

Due to technical changes on the host provided by Novagen, the URL of the ndGUI site has changed from http://ndgui.rubi-ka.net to https://rubi-ka.net/ndgui/. While the previous URL will also redirect to the new address, it's still a good idea to update your bookmark to access the site directly.


2015-Sep-25:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.5.


2015-Sep-17:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.4.


2015-Sep-10:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.3.


2015-Jul-09:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.8.2.


2015-Jul-01:

Finally had a chance to look into what the Dx9 Open Beta brought about GUI-wise, and I'm not happy. Apparently, as long as the Dx7 and Dx9 clients will exist alongside, two partially different ndGUI versions will be needed and you will have to verify and update both as necessary when the game is updated. And if/when changes will be made to the Dx7 branch, I'll have to split the Core package into two versions and release them and their patches alongside from then on.

The Dx7 18.8.1 is currently the same as the 18.7.x line, so no ndGUI update is needed for the Dx7 client if you are already using v4.3.4.5.

The Dx9 18.8.1 contains new video options (and one disabled option compared to 18.8.0), which, for now, are released in a "Beta" patch that should only be applied for the Dx9 client: 4.3.4.5 -> 4.3.4.6b Dx9 Beta Only. For a new Dx9 beta client installation, you need to install the v4.3.4.5 Core and Theme package first, then update it with this patch.

Since I consider the Dx7 client as "mainline" (the Dx9 client being only "open beta") for now, the changelog and versioning will not necessarily reflect any changes required only for the Dx9 beta ndGUI branch, and they will be released as a secondary "beta" patch alongside the Core/Patch/Theme files needed for the current Dx7 version.

Confused? Good. I am too.


2015-Jun-23:

Misat0 created a patch to make ndGUI 4.3.4.5 compatible with the 18.8.0.x TestLive series. So you can now install ndGUI 4.3.4.5 on your TestLive installation as normal (first time installation), then download and install the 4.3.4.5 -> 4.3.4.6 TL patch to your TestLive installation, and you should be good to go.

While after the initial rollout, GUI files usually do not change in a major update, since we're talking about TestLive here, there may be changes later which will require further updates to this TestLive patch.


2015-Jun-11:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.7.4.


2015-May-13:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.7.3.


2015-May-07:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.7.2.


2015-Apr-28:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.7.1.


2015-Apr-24:

ndGUI has a new home! Novagen has offered to host ndGUI for us under his rubi-ka.net domain. Please update your bookmarks and look for future updates here from now on.

Apparently, not a moment too soon, since shortly after I finished setting up the site at the new host, the previous one started throwing some nonsense error about having reached some kind of CPU limit... With static pages, not requiring server side processing at all, other than serving the pages... I wonder if this happened before. I was thinking about keeping it as a backup, but this does not bode well for that plan. We'll see.


2015-Apr-22:

ndGUI has been updated to v4.3.4.5 with compatibility updates for game version 18.7.0 and a small number of changes.

As you can see, I've decided to change the versioning scheme. From now on, the game version is not part of the ndGUI version number, but every time ndGUI is updated either because of a game update, a small feature update/fix, or both, the 4th digit will be increased. If there are bigger changes, or there were a large number of individual small changes over a period of time since the last bigger update, the 3rd digit will be increased the next time more small changes are added.
Furthermore, the Theme and Core versioning may become separated over time, since theme files are very rarely updated, and re-versioning them every time the Core files change just to keep them in sync, without any actual change in the themes themselves doesn't make much sense.

Another thing worth mentioning is that some changes in this update were made by Misat0, originally as part of last year's 18.7.0 TestLive hotfix, which I've now moved over to the live branch.


2015-Feb-12:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.20.


2015-Jan-12:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.18 - 18.6.19.


2014-Dec-17:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.17.


2014-Nov-13:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.16.


2014-Oct-22:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.15.


2014-Aug-14:

With some help and contribution from Misat0, a "Testlive" patch was created to update the v4.34/18.6.0 ndGUI Core files for use on the Testlive server.

First install the ndGUI v4.34/18.6.0 Core and Theme files to your Testlive AO installation, then update it with the 4.34/18.7.0.17 Testlive Patch.

Since Testlive is a development environment, further updates may be necessary for this patch. For this reason, the patch is not added to the download section, and no changelog is provided at this time.


2014-Jul-23:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.14.


2014-Jun-24:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.13.


2014-May-22:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.12.


2013-Nov-28:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.11 on 2013-Nov-27.


2013-Nov-04:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.10.


2013-Oct-04:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.9 on 2013-Oct-02.


2013-Sep-30:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.7-18.6.8.


2013-Jul-11:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.6.


2013-Jun-17:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.5.


2013-May-23:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.3/18.6.4.


2013-May-06:

While game update 18.6.2 did contain some small tweaks to the mouse pointers, since ndGUI has customized versions of those, no ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.2.


2013-Mar-07:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.6.1.


2013-Feb-27:

Game update 18.6.0 contained, along with some new mouse pointers, major changes in Prefs and (custom) GUI handling, which required various changes to ndGUI. The Prefs folder has been moved out of the installation folder and into the OS user data folder, and now there's a dedicated location to put all custom GUI files into instead of them being split between two locations.

The "ndGUI State" menu branch has been removed from the Config Tool, since now you can easily activate/deactivate a custom GUI in the AO launcher itself, and because of all custom GUI related files now being in a single folder, uninstalling a custom GUI is as simple as deleting that one folder (previously you needed to delete files from various locations).

Because of these changes, however, a simple ndGUI update won't be enough this time; you'll either have to move and update your existing installation (if you have, for example, Control Center customisation which you want to keep), or simply uninstall the previous version and install the new one to the new location (in this case, any customization will be lost, obviously).

Clean reinstall for existing installation (all customisation will be lost)

  1. Update AO to 18.6.0
  2. Download the up to date version of both the Core package and your preferred Theme package
  3. Run the Config Tool (ndGUI_Config_Tool.cmd) in your Anarchy Online installation folder, select "ndGUI State", then select "Uninstall ndGUI" and wait for the process to complete
  4. Start the AO launcher, click "Settings", then select the "GUI" tab in the Settings window
  5. Type "ndGUI" (case sensitive and without the quotes) in the text field of the "Skin" frame at the top
  6. Click the "Open" button next to the "Skins" line in the "Folders" frame to open the custom GUI folder, then click "OK" in the AO Settings window
  7. Copy the "ndGUI" folder, with all of its content, from both the Core and Theme package into the custom GUI folder you've just opened
  8. To customize ndGUI, open the "ndGUI" folder now present in the custom GUI folder, run the Config Tool (ndGUI_Config_Tool.cmd) and make your changes

Moving and updating existing installation (customisation will be preserved)

  1. Update AO to 18.6.0
  2. Download the Patch package and the up to date version of the Theme you are currently using
  3. Start the AO launcher, click "Settings", then select the "GUI" tab in the Settings window
  4. Type "ndGUI" (case sensitive and without the quotes) in the text field of the "Skin" frame at the top
  5. Click the "Open" button next to the "Skins" line in the "Folders" frame to open the custom GUI folder, then click "OK" in the AO Settings window
  6. Open an OS file window, or use a 3rd party file manager application, and navigate to the "<your AO installation folder>\cd_image\gui" folder
  7. Copy the "ndGUI" folder from the above location to the custom GUI folder you've just opened
  8. Copy the "ndGUI" folder, with all of its content, from both the Patch and Theme package into the custom GUI folder you've just opened, allowing file overwriting
  9. To customize ndGUI, open the "ndGUI" folder now present in the custom GUI folder, run the Config Tool (ndGUI_Config_Tool.cmd) and make your changes
  10. Run the old Config Tool (ndGUI_Config_Tool.cmd) in your Anarchy Online installation folder, select "ndGUI State", then select "Uninstall ndGUI"


2013-Jan-18:

Some of you may have noticed a familiar (to ndGUI users, that is) name on replies posted in various threads of the AO forums in the past few months. It would seem that Misat0 has returned to the game, and what's more, also brought a new ndGUI theme variant based on the darktech theme.

The new theme is called "notum|darktech mini HUD", and its most prominent features are the "bracket" style HP/nano bars, accompanied by changes to the window frames, tabs, buttons and shortcutbars, which, while individually are subtle, together still give a whole new feel to the darktech mini theme.

The "notum|darktech mini HUD" can be downloaded from the Quick Access box or from the Download section, and it can be installed and configured the same way as the other themes.


2012-Nov-08:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.5.4.


2012-Oct-11:

Game version 18.5.3 contained a small change to the Options window which required an ndGUI update.


2012-Oct-03:

Game version 18.5.2 contained small changes to the mail read/compose window as well as the GMI item deposit window; this ndGUI update contains these changes only, tweaked to fit better into the overall layout of ndGUI.


2012-Jul-19:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.5.1.


2012-Jul-03:

Ever since I came up with the trick to disable the borders around the nanoprogram icons without needing a separate theme, I've been thinking about other applications of this method. But it ended up on the back burner for the time being, until the recent re-exposure to work on ndGUI, even if only for a compatibility update. So after that was done, I decided to test a few things while I'm already at it, then one thing followed the other and before I knew it, I pretty much got it done. Then I "only" had to create the tool which makes it possible to customize a specially built theme, which, as usual, took a whole lot longer than actually making the feature itself.

And now the Theme Customizer is ready for testing, although probably even for regular use. Like the Control Center Builder, it's also a subpage here, utilizing JavaScript, and you need to do some file content replacing to use it. I tried to make it as simple as possible, but since I tend to over-complicate or obfuscate things in ways which are actually only logical to me, feedback (and also bug reports) are welcome in the Notum Dovvetech GUI 4.3 thread.

While I was working on the new theme package you need to install if you want to use a customized theme, I found a few small texture issues in all themes which I have fixed, and added a previously missing texture to all of them. And while this practice may be somewhat confusing, I decided not to increase the version number of ndGUI for these small changes since they are non-critical and do not add any new features. I've simply updated the theme packages, but it's up to you if you want to download the updated version.


2012-Jun-19:

While both the Core and Theme packages have been updated for 18.5.0, if you are updating from v4.34/18.4.0 using the patch, it will update your installed theme too; no separate theme update needed. There will be two files left in your ndGUI installation which are no longer needed, thus you can delete them if you want to: "<your AO install dir>\cd_image\gui\ndGUI\Views\ShopSearch.xml" and "<your AO install dir>\cd_image\gui\ndGUI\gfx\welcome_to_rubika_shadowlands.jpg".

Originally I wanted to tweak the layout of the character selection screen to make it a bit more streamlined and better fitting the style of ndGUI, but as it turned out, we are not allowed to customize it, even though it's no different from the rest of the GUI. So you'll have to make do with the original layout (and I'll have to try to quit the habit of clicking the "Delete" button to log in, since for me that would be the logical place to find the "Play" button instead of where it actually is).

The 18.5.0 GUI changes introduced a potentially interesting new feature: you can now adjust some global colours of the GUI, including the "blue offset filter" which changes the appearance of most GUI textures. It doesn't work too well with the current themes, but with themes built / modified exactly for this purpose, you could freely change the GUI colour to make the same theme still look largely different. I might eventually look into how can I turn this into some easy to use feature to further customize ndGUI.

Along with this compatibility update, I've decided to finally retire the 4.23 "Classic" version. With the customization options added throughout the years, v4.34 can very closely emulate the layout and behaviour of the "Classic" version, so there's really no point in keeping it around any longer.


2012-Feb-10:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.15.


2012-Jan-18:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.14.


2012-Jan-05:

The host which I've been using until now has decided to stop offering the free option I've relied on, thus I had to find another solution. Luckily, Vhab quickly came to the rescue, generously offering a new home for ndGUI on aodevs.com. Thank you, Vhab!


2011-Dec-13:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.13.


2011-Nov-03:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.12.


2011-Oct-26:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.11.


2011-Oct-14:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.10.


2011-Oct-06:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game updates 18.4.8 / 18.4.9.


2011-Jul-06:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.7.


2011-Jun-23:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.6.


2011-Jun-09:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.5.


2011-Apr-07:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.4.


2011-Jan-12:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.3.

I found and fixed a non-critical issue with the Config Tool which was causing it to create a backup file in an unintended way when activating/deactivating ndGUI. I did a silent update on the Core Package to include the fixed version, but since the previous version works just as well, only not exactly the way I meant it to, I didn't increase the ndGUI version for this single minor change, and you don't need to update your existing ndGUI installation either, unless you feel like to.

However, if you do update, you also need to go to the "Anarchy Online\Prefs" folder, and if you see a "Prefs_ndGUI_backup.xml" folder there, delete it with all of its contents.


2010-Dec-16:

The most interesting part of this update is probably the new Config Tool. I could've done this a long time ago, but I never really liked the idea of including any kind of executable, and I'm guessing some of you share my aversion. On the other hand, the old customization method was rather inconvenient, and it was easy to miss a step during installation to end up with a half-working GUI and start crying for help.
The Config Tool is part Windows shell script (aka. "batch" file) and part Visual Basic script for the WSH. They are simple text files, effectively the source code themselves, so you can look into them to see that they will actually wipe all your drives clean instead of letting you configure ndGUI... Just kidding, of course.
While there are some simple checks and safeguards to ensure proper operation, I didn't try to cover all foreseeable eventualities (not to mention the unforeseeable ones, knowing how creative users can be when it comes to FUBAR-ing things). The Config Tool does the exact same things you would be doing manually, so if you were able to configure ndGUI before, the Config Tool should also work as intended.

As a result of having the Config Tool available, there's no longer need for all the lengthy explanations previously given, so many sections of the site have been shortened. However, I did not completely remove the detailed instuctions, only hid them on a Manual Instructions page linked from certain points to provide alternatives to using the Config Tool.

Another confusing thing about ndGUI seemed to be the update process. In an attempt to make it a bit simpler, there won't be "optional" and "required" updates anymore; there will only be updates. When an ndGUI update is released, you need to install it, simple as that.

And if we're already discussing updates... This new version is a "compliance" release of the sort, in which I've restructured ndGUI to meet some unofficial but reasonable guidelines for making custom GUIs posted on the AO forums. Because of the nature of these changes, this update has to be performed the following way:

  1. Log out of the game, and do not log in before you have completed all steps
  2. Go to the "Anarchy Online\cd_image\gui" folder, and delete the "ndGUI" folder with all of its contents
  3. Go to the "Anarchy Online\cd_image\textures\Archives" folder, and delete the "ndGUI" folder with all of its contents
  4. Download the new Core Package and the up to date version of the Theme Package you have been using, and copy all contained files and folders from both into your Anarchy Online installation folder (eg. "C:\Games\Anarchy Online")
  5. Run the ndGUI Config Tool (ndGUI_Config_Tool.cmd) now located in your Anarchy Online installation folder
    Note: If you don't trust in a 3rd party executable, follow the Manual Activation Instructions from here on instead of the steps listed here, then continue to the Manual Customization Instructions to restore your previous ndGUI customization
  6. Select "ndGUI State", then "Deactivate ndGUI" (yes, deactivate, it's not a mistake)
  7. Once deactivation was completed, "Activate ndGUI" from the same menu
  8. Since all customization got removed along with the previous ndGUI installation, you will have to restore them with the Config Tool by following the menus (and using the Control Center Builder and Number Bar Aligner tools if you've used them before)
  9. When you are done, quit the Config Tool

The Changelog pretty much covers the rest of the update, which isn't all that much. One thing might worth noting is that I've decided not to wait, and have added the nano icon border removal option to all Themes. So there are no "remover" patches anymore to be applied separately, but you can turn the nano icon borders off or back on with the Config Tool.

Oh, and the introduction section of the site has received a long overdue update... I completely missed that ndGUI (the v4.3 line, that is) was turning 1 year old in November.


2010-Dec-15:

No ndGUI update was necessary for game update 18.4.2.


2010-Nov-27:

The nano icon borders added to the game in the 18.4.0 game update appear to be an unpopular change for a number of players, and I was eventually coaxed into making an effort to find some way to disable them in ndGUI. After a bit of creative thinking and experimenting, I managed to do it without having to make a full blown alternate version of each of the theme packages, but you still need to download and install a small patch for your currently installed theme to disable these borders.

For now, I consider this to be a temporary measure until the devs give us an ingame option to turn these borders off instead of having to mess with the GUI files, so I'll stick to the separate remover packages for the time being. If there seems to be no chance of getting such an option in the foreseeable future, the required files will eventually be incorporated into the theme packages as yet another customization option.

The "remover" patches for each theme can be found in the Download section, and instructions on how to turn the nano icon borders on and off are provided in the Customization section.

Please note that since these work as patches which replace the default instance of a file present in the Theme packages, when you update or switch your currently installed Theme while having the borders removed, they will get reverted to the default, visible state, thus you will have to apply the remover patch for that given theme after you are done with the update/theme switch.


2010-Nov-19:

I've added a new page containing some installation troubleshooting instructions which cover the most common mistakes made during the installation or update of ndGUI. Links to this page are added to the Quick Access box and to the Notes in the Installation section.


2010-Nov-17:

This being the first pure compatibility update which also includes updates to the themes, I had to extend the versioning of the theme packages to also include the game's theme version the same way the version number of the core package does, in order to be able to tell if your installed theme package is compatible with the current game default theme or has to be updated.

A bit of an explanation on this.

As you may have noticed by now, not all game updates include changes to the default "core" GUI files, and even less of them include changes to the default "theme". This means that the client version (which is changed with each game update, but does not necessarily affect the GUI), the default core version and the default theme version all has to be tracked separately as they can change independently of each other, and compatibility needs to be maintained with them separately. And ndGUI complicates the picture even more by having it's own version numbering which is increased whenever any purely ndGUI related chages are made to it.

Thus, the Version Info box in the top/right corner now lists all three Game version numbers (Client, default GUI Core, default GUI Theme), and also the ndGUI Core and Theme version numers in a "hybrid" numbering (ndGUI version/Game version). When updating your ndGUI installaton, you need to match the "Game/GUI Core" version with the second part of the version number of your currently installed ndGUI/Core package, and the "Game/GUI Theme" version with the second part of the version number of your currently installed ndGUI/Theme package, to see if you need to update them.


2010-Oct-26:

Today's game update to 18.3.14 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-Sep-30:

Today's game update to 18.3.13 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-Aug-17:

Today's game update to 18.3.12 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-Aug-05:

Today's game update to 18.3.11 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-Jul-06:

Today's game update to 18.3.10 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-Jun-23:

Today's game update to 18.3.8 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-Jun-10:

Today's game update to 18.3.7 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-Jun-09:

For the lack of better (hosting) options, I've created a subpage here for the AO Container Cleanup tool.


2010-Jun-06:

...and here comes the second part of the 4.33 update. As you can see, I managed to find quite a few things to change afterall.

Actually, both new features were on the "todo" list for quite some time now, but I kept putting off implementing them for various reasons; they required new icons, and I had to devise some tricks to make some them work (especially the Quick Options, which still comes with some strings attached; there's just no way to make it work more reliably because of how some of the linked variables are handled) first. But since in this update I was going to extensively rework the theme packages anyway, it was as good time as any (if not better) to finally add them.

As for the themes, my little endeavour into making a completely new theme (which, judging be the utter lack of feedback, obviously fell flat, but I might still finish it eventually just for the fun of it) taught me a few things about the old ones, and resulted in discovering a number of issues with them.
Hence, with a lot of experimenting (and frustration, because of those blasted colour filters) I managed to change a few out of place colours in all themes to better match the overall colour scheme of the given theme, I've fixed a number of small texture errors (most of which you probably have never noticed or considered an issue, but I just had to fix them anyway :), and I've slightly tweaked all themes in general... Then topped it all off with a new variant of the darktech theme.
Also, as you probably have noticed, the names of the themes (and packages) previously called "notum" have been changed to "dovve", since actually all themes are "notum", but some of them are "dovvetech" while others are "darktech". It makes more sense this way... Well, to me at least.

The load screens were changed because you asked me to... Well, two of you anyway. I didn't mind the old ones much either; it's not that you see them for more than a few seconds. But I also saw no particular reason why shouldn't I change them. The rest of the GUI had also changed a lot ever since I took over, and while the load screens were a part of its "identity" (which I strive to preserve in spite of all the changes I make to it), the arguments about making them less "obtrusive" also had their merits.
Maybe the new ones feel too plain compared to how they used to look like, but then again, since you only see them for a few seconds, it doesn't matter much either way.

One more thing about the themes. I've removed a lot of unused textures from all of them... Well, textures that I couldn't make to appear anywhere, in any window, by any trick I could come up with anyway, and as a result of this have been declared as "unused" by me.
However, it may be that some of those removed textures are still used for some obscure purpose which I failed to find, in which case you'll see elements of the default GUI showing up instead of the (now removed) ndGUI themed texture that should be there instead. So, if you spot something that seems out of place, please post about it in the AO forum thread so that I can look into it and restore any textures that should not have been removed in the first place.

P.S.: Sorry about the Pets window button icon. Believe me, you don't want to know what the WIP versions looked like... :).


2010-Jun-03:

Today's game update to 18.3.6 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-May-19:

Ever since I saw the first custom GUI for AO, I was curious about how far can it be modified and if it would be possible to create one that has a true HUD feel to it. And now that there's a custom GUI I can work with, I've decided to poke around in the texture files a bit to see what's possible and what's not.
After some testing, I had to realize that a number of things just can't be done, and some other things, while can be done, doesn't look as good as I'd imagined. Still, as I was modifying parts of the texture set, something relatively coherent started to take shape, and while it was quite far from what I originally had in mind, it still started to look like something that could actually work.
Because of what the GUI of AO consists of, it can never really look like an aircraft-like HUD; there's just too much stuff to display, mostly in the form of various windows and their contents. So the most I could do was to make things look as plain as possible by making everything "flat" using a simple uniform colour scheme (not taking into account the effect of all the various, slightly different colour filters the game applies to most textures), removing the 3D effects from all elements, and replacing some of the icons with text labels.

So, now I have two new themes for you to try if you like:
notum|cybertech (preview)
notum|cybertech glass (preview)
They should be considered "work in progress" for now, but they (should) contain everything that's needed so they are suitable for regular use with the v4.33b core fileset.

They look quite different from the visual style of the other ndGUI themes, so I'd like to know how do you like them in the first place. The Glass variant (no, that's not the faded state of the windows, it's the normal one :) is more of a "case study" than an actual theme as I found its readability very poor under certain conditions, but maybe some of you will find it interesting enough to consider using it in spite. If you think it's not that bad afterall, let me know so I can tweak it a little further and make it into a separate theme.
Furthermore, while working with the textures, I realized that almost third of the textures the other themes contain are not used anymore, so I left them out from these as a test. However, it was not always easy to determine if something is actually used or not, so if you spot something that looks out of place (in general, anything blue or gray toned), then you may have found something that I removed while I shouldn't have, and the game had to fall back to the original texture for the given element. If you do find something like that, please let me know.

These packages also contain a very simple "back to basics" loadscreen as a demo. They are styled for this theme, but, depending on feedback, I'll probably change the loadscreen of the other themes to similar ones (the Notum themes will have the metallic-green AO logo, and the Dark themes a metallic-gray one) in an upcoming update.


2010-May-12:

Today's game update to 18.3.5 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-May-10:

Today's game update to 18.3.4 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-May-05:

Today's game update to 18.3.3 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2010-May-04:

v4.33b? What gives?
Me being frugal with the version numbers, that's what. :)

I felt that it would be handy to provide a quicker way to lock/unlock the wear tabs than having to through the Options window each time, since most people will probably want to keep the wear window locked most of the time while there are some items that still need to be equipped/unequipped quite frequently.
But, while I didn't feel this tiny change alone to be enough for a proper version increment, I couldn't think of anything else to add at this time to make this into a significant update. So I've decided to take only half a step towards the next version, and finalize it only when there will be some more changes to add. Hence the v4.33b.

However, there's nothing wrong/experimental/untested in this version. It's more like a minor version (or a "minor-minor" version, in this case) which is fully functional but containing only very little changes compared to the previous version, than an actual "beta" version. So feel free to use it, more so since it's also a required update containing the changes needed for compatibility with game version 18.3.2.


2010-Feb-04:

A few months ago there was a discussion about providing more customization options for the main GUI layout (aka. the Control Center).
Simply adding more layout files to the fileset seemed rather impractical to me, since there could be several dozens of different layouts, each requiring a separate file. Trying to make a guide on how to build a Control Center layout was also something I didn't think would work, as after having worked and experimented with these layouts since I took over the maintenance of the Notum Dovvetech GUI, I found that it's not really something you can write a straightforward and simple guide for, and just let everyone build their own.

I kept thinking about it though, along the lines of a third possible solution: creating some kind of tool that could help in creating custom Control Center layouts.
After quite a bit of experimenting I arrived to a simplified base layout and a uniform process for adding the elements independent of each other to custom positions, and while it was still giving less freedom than a truly custom built layout could, I felt that the level of customization this solution could provide is a good tradeoff between functionality and ease of use.

Further tradeoffs had to be made in terms of how to generate and apply the new layout definition data. My first thought was to make a tiny application that you need to download and then can point to your AO installation folder so that it can read, modify and save the Control Center file directly, but I didn't really like the idea of having to require the user to download and run an executable file.
A web based tool, on the other hand, doesn't require download, but it also can't work with the file directly; you'd have to put the new content into it manually. Still, this is what I opted for in the end, mostly because of the download-free nature of this solution, and the fact that I can simply add it to the ndGUI page as a subpage.

So, here it is, the brand new ndGUI Control Center builder.


2010-Jan-03:

As it seems I can less and less avoid having to monkey about in the texture files, as two of the most recent change requests required, directly on indirectly, changes to them again. And since I already had to come up with a new icon for the Inventory SoftMenu button, I've decided not to stop there and created some more to be able to also add some other buttons while I'm already at it.
With this update, the SoftMenu offers quick access to pretty much all of the more frequently used windows.

While working on the new icons, I've realized that it should be possible to slightly reduce the size of the main menu buttons if I used images containing a horizontally condensed version of the text instead of actual text labels. This still isn't as space-efficient as using small icons similar to the SoftMenu buttons would be, but I couldn't think of any easily recognizable symbol that could represent the main menu groups as a whole.

I've cleaned up the internal structure of some of the files, removing some unnecessary properties and blocks. I've also merged some submenus into their parent menus on file level, and thus removed their now unneeded separate menu files.
Because of the extent and nature of these changes, no patch is available this time, which means you need to delete your current "Anarchy Online\cd_image\gui\ndGUI\" folder with all of its contents, as explained in the Update section, before installing ndGUI v4.32.
This also means that your file level customization (Raid window, RaidBar size, ControlCenter layout) will be reset to default, and any custom number bar positioning will be lost. Make sure you save these position values before updating, and restore them after re-activating the new ControlCenter file of your choice. Or...

I don't know how many of you (if any at all) are actually using this ndGUI feature, but I felt that the current way of aligning the shortcutbar togglers is rather cumbersome. Thus, I've created a number bar aligner tool that should make it somewhat easier.
So if the reason for not using this feature until now was the hassle of trying to set it up the way you want it, it should now be less of an obstacle.


2009-Dec-14:

Today's game update to 18.3.1 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2009-Dec-12:

Although I originally did not plan to change the GUI texture files unless if absolutely necessary (mostly because I'm not particularly good at working with graphics), but since there was a request about changing the RaidBar size and I myself didn't really like the mail notification icon, I decided to give it a go and see how it works out. It took the better part of a day, but in the end I managed to more or less achieve what I was aiming for.

There is a limit to by how much can the size of the RaidBar reduced, since it should remain large enough to accommodate the character name and the HP delta readout (which are fixed in size and position and cannot be changed), but I still managed to shave off a few pixels from here and there which should help a bit when you need to put a lot of these on your screen.
During testing, at one time I ended up with some incorrect size values stuck in the RaidBar variables messing up some of my RaidBars. This made me realize that the RaidBar size values stored in the prefs files are apparently updated somewhat erratically (and it's pretty much pointless to store them there to begin with, since the only way to make the bars appear is by dragging them off of the Raid window, at which point the previously saved values from the prefs will get replaced with the current position values anyway), which may lead to some small issues. Thus I've decided to add a reset feature similar to the one for the Raid window, which you should use every time after having switched between the standard and smaller size just to be on the safe side.

As for the mail notification icon; like I said, this is as far as my graphical skills go. At least you'll definitely not forget to check your mails ASAP, just to get rid of that icon at last...

The "floating" menu button ControlCenter files are now added to the core fileset, extending the customization options for the menubar.


2009-Nov-18:

Due to popular demand, I've created an alternative set of menu layout files where the menu buttons are detached from the rest of the menubar and can be moved around by themselves to the four corners (three, actually, since the bottom right position would be effectively the same as the current bottom right setting) of the screen, while the menubar always stays at the bottom and the Agg/Def and Creds bars are always in the bottom right corner.

For now it is only a quick hack so I'm providing it as a separate addon package: cc_floatingbuttons_addon.zip.
You need to unpack this package into your Anarchy Online installation folder, then you will find three new ControlCenter files in the "Anarchy Online\cd_image\gui\ndGUI\Views" folder (named "ControlCenter_buttons_*.xml"). These new layouts are activated the same way you customize the menubar position, described in the Customization section.

Eventually it will be included in the core GUI package, but now that I'm actually getting some feedback (I kinda wonder tho where all these people have been in the past 2 months, when v4.3 was available as a beta, for exactly this reason, to see what would you like to have changed or done differently), I will wait for some more change requests to accumulate before releasing a new version.


2009-Nov-17:

Today's game update to 18.3.0 included GUI changes related to the ingame mail system, thus an ndGUI update was necessary.

This ndGUI update also contains a number of small fixes, cosmetical and functional changes, some tweaks and two new features, bringing the Notum Dovvetech GUI up to version 4.3.
Because of the extent of these changes, you need to perform a GUI cleanup, then install this new version as described in the Installation section.

I will also try to keep the last version in the v4.2 line (4.23), referred to as "ndGUI Classic" from now on, compatible with the game, but it will be provided "as is", without any further changes or improvements, separate instructions, news or changelog.

The page has also been reworked once again, reflecting the changes in ndGUI and the new customization options and processes. I've also added screenshots showcasing the old and new features, and created new preview screenshots for all five themes.


2009-Oct-20:

Today's game update to 18.2.3 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2009-Oct-14:

Today's game update to 18.2.2 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2009-Oct-01:

Today's game update to 18.2.1 did not include GUI changes, no ndGUI update was necessary.


2009-Sep-29:

Today's game update made me realize a minor flaw in the previous package structure and forced me to once again modify the theme packages. The new version number (4.23) on both the core and theme packages is only to reflect this, no actual changes were made to ndGUI at this time other than what's required for compatibility with the 18.2.0 game version.
However, you do not have to redownload and update your currently used theme package, the theme package update only affects first time installation. The core files, however, do need to be updated.

I've added a temporary page to showcase the possible next step in the development of ndGUI. Please consider giving a try to ndGUI v4.3b and let me know what you think in the GUI Skin: Notum Dovvetech 4.2 thread.
This is a fully functional and feature complete build, but I did not want to roll it out right away as it contains some significant changes over the v4.2 line, and I'd like to know first if there is something you'd prefer (closer to) the "old" way before I finalize the switch to the v4.3 build.


2009-Aug-29:

This should be the last release where I mess with the folder names, so after this the theme packages can begin to function the way I had in mind originally; you won't have to download/update them with every new release (actually, you'll probably never have to download and install them again, unless you are switching to a different theme). There probably will be yet another update where the version number of the theme packages will be upped, but no actual change will be done to the important files or folders contained.

This, however, means that you need to perform a GUI cleanup, then install this new release of ndGUI as described in the installation section, to make sure you have the latest folder layout and the game is correctly set to use the files from their new locations.

As you have probably noticed, I've also reworked the page a little. Hopefully it's somewhat less horrid looking now, and you'll find the newly added information useful. If you think some instructions could use some clarification or rephrasing, let me know in the GUI Skin: Notum Dovvetech 4.2 thread.
I've also added the preview images to 4 out of the 5 theme packages; yes, they are the ones made and used by Misat0. I'll be using these for now until I feel like making new ones (and adding the missing one for the Notum Dark theme).


Changelog

2016-Dec-21: 4.3.4.5 -> 4.3.4.7
2015-Apr-22: 4.34/18.6.0 -> 4.3.4.5
2013-Feb-27: 4.34/18.5.3 -> 4.34/18.6.0
2012-Oct-11: 4.34/18.5.2 -> 4.34/18.5.3
2012-Oct-03: 4.34/18.5.0 -> 4.34/18.5.2
2012-Jun-19: 4.34/18.4.0 -> 4.34/18.5.0
2010-Dec-16: 4.33/18.4.1 -> 4.34/18.4.0
2010-Nov-24: 4.33/18.4.0 -> 4.33/18.4.1
2010-Nov-17: 4.33/18.3.2 -> 4.33/18.4.0
2010-Jun-06: 4.33b/18.3.2 -> 4.33/18.3.2
2010-May-04: 4.32/18.3.0 -> 4.33b/18.3.2
2010-Jan-03: 4.31/18.3.0 -> 4.32/18.3.0
2009-Dec-12: 4.3/18.3.0 -> 4.31/18.3.0
2009-Nov-17: 4.23/18.2.0 -> 4.3/18.3.0
2009-Sep-29: 4.22/18.1.3 -> 4.23/18.2.0
2009-Aug-29: 4.21/18.1.3 -> 4.22/18.1.3
2009-Aug-08: 4.2 -> 4.21/18.1.3