With WAKFU Update 1.74, we're adding the option to create and modify custom interface themes.

The results of recent surveys reconfirmed to us that you would like an improved appearance for interfaces in the game, including the ability to customize them however you like. To allow for this, we're providing tools for you to change their textures and coloration without altering their size or functionality.

How do interfaces work?

Let's start with some information about interfaces: These are all the menus, toolbars, and windows that offer useful information and let you interact with the game. There are over 250 of them, representing over 85,000 lines of code spread out across 400 files. There are also over 1,500 styles and a hundred or so colors that describe the appearance of each of the elements making up these interfaces. The most complex interface is the character inventory: 2,000 lines, 12 templates, and 83 functions.

The interface engine that manages all of that is called Xulor. It was created long before the game came out, in the first beta versions, for WAKFU and DOFUS Arena. Although it met the game's needs at its inception, now it now longer offers the features required to produce interfaces that are modern, reactive, and suited to larger resolutions. We strive to make improvements to it, but this system has certain limitations. Nevertheless, we'll continue to modernize the game interfaces when the opportunity arises.

The various graphical elements that comprise the interfaces are arranged on large images. Those images are read when the game launches and stored in the system. When an interface is opened, the various graphical elements that make up the particular interface are searched for within the large images to assemble them and display the interface.

How do you change the theme?

If you're into modding:

In the development forum, we'll be providing the main images for the theme. Thus, you'll have the chance to modify, transform, and recolor anything you want within the limits of available images. A JSON file detailing the styles of interface elements will let you see how the various images are used in the game menus (which part of the image goes with which menu in the game). This format will allow tool developers to simplify the process for modders.

The WAKFU game client has been modified to allow for the use of alternate textures at launch without needing to modify the game files. A new theme folder will be created in the same folder as the one with preferences and logs. This folder will be accessible from the launcher using the Open the log folder button. By placing the custom textures in this folder, they will be directly applied when the game launches.

We've put color definition in a central location so you can easily reset colors. As with customized textures, it will be possible to choose most of the game's colors via a configuration file.

We'll go into more detail on the steps to follow with a tutorial in the development forum.

For the uninitiated:

If you aren't an expert in graphic design or an elite hacker, not to worry! You'll be able to collect user-submitted themes and simply install them in the game's configuration files.


Why isn't there a dark theme?

We have explored that possibility. It would be rather easy to make a basic, incomplete dark theme that could be improved over time. But we very much don't want to provide an imperfect or unfinished theme. Creating a full dark theme would be a major time commitment for the developers and graphic artists on the team, and this is not a current priority. However, we discovered that players had created and were distributing a dark theme for WAKFU (as a reminder, this kind of modification violates the terms of use). We have therefore reconsidered the idea of fulfilling a wish shared by the community for years: interface modding. It makes more sense to let you create your own interface themes than to force one on you.

What now?

We are aware this won't be perfect right off the bat, but feel free to report any elements that prevent you from fully expressing your creativity: colors used in different backgrounds, non-replaceable textures, etc.

We hope to see these tools blossom as they will make theme modification accessible to all (enough to keep developer fans busy for a few months!), and while waiting for that first group, the artist fans will have a field day! We can't wait to see your creations, and perhaps make them official!

Head on over to the development section of the forums.

A (very) quick test preview*:

* Made by a developer using Photoshop… Be nice…


Is this just an interface revamp?

It isn't an interface revamp; it's another project we also wanted to see in the game. We won't rule out the possibility of revamping the interface down the line.

Will it be possible to change the layout of interface elements?

No, only the coloration and appearance can be changed, not the functionality, layout, or size.

Will it be possible to replace that darn pointer that spins when the game is loading?

No, not that either.

Can all images be replaced?

Not at this point. We're considering that possibility.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments section of this article; we'll add to the FAQ in the coming weeks.

Category: Developpement