Today I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sentra, the mastermind behind SkyLine, a GUI replacement for Jedi Academy which has been one of, if not the most downloaded menus of all time. For a little while now, he has been working on version 2 of his popular mod and agreed to share some exclusive insight on how it is looking and where it is heading. This article has some exclusive images that can only be found here, so if you think you've seen the latest, keep reading!
Hello Sentra, thank you for agreeing to this interview regarding SkyLine 2.0, how have you been?
Hello there! I am doing well, thank you. I have been pretty busy lately because of my job and university. But now I am glad that I can continue to mod JKA
For those who are unaware about the SkyLine project, could you explain what it is, how it began and how long have you've working on it?
Sure. SkyLine is a complete game user interface (GUI) replacement that was designed to fully edit Jedi Academy interface.
The work on SkyLine v1 started in the end of 2011. Me and Zionter, co-member of SWGalaxy Team, decided to create something interesting and quite unusual for JKA. We stopped at GUI creation because no one has not published anything like this for about 10 years since the JKA release. That's how the first SkyLine was created. It took about 5 months to design and code it.
You work as part of a team called SWGalaxy, could you explain what it is, who is part of it and who does what?
SWGalaxy Team was founded by me and Zionter in 2009. The decision was simple - we wanted to modify JKA and create something special, that everyone will remember.
Currently there are only me and Zionter. I am a graphic, web and UI/UX designer myself, so my primary task is to design the GUI concepts. Zionter mainly is a C/C++ coder (he learned the .menu files structure and wrote the first SkyLine). I am glad that he got back in the team and agreed to help me with SkyLine 2.0 implementation
Could you explain how you approach projects like this? Do you plan everything beforehand or just think it up as you go along? I assume it takes quite a lot of time to get it to look like your vision.
I decided that we need to create the second version of SkyLine two years after v1 release. The first SkyLine was a nice concept, but not the best GUI replacer (mostly because of different design on each screen). So I thought that we need to create the second GUI replacer that will combine minimalistic design, better sctructure and lag-free experience (basically it won't crash your JKA as SkyLine v1 HD did ).
The process of designing for me is pretty simple - I just know what I am doing. You know, when you start to design something, the idea cames during the creation process. I just like the work I am doing and I always put a part of my soul in it. This is my secret ingredient
I must say, the art used in SkyLine 2 is nothing short of beautiful. How did you come to work with Concept Artist McFish?
Pokes @@Omicron. In the beginning of 2015 I was talking to Omicron about plans for SkyLine development process. He adviced me that I should message @@McFish and ask him about the possibility of drawing some exclusive artworks for SkyLine 2.0. Luckily McFish liked this idea and he said that he will gladly assist. I can't imagine the second version of SkyLine GUI without his artwork to be honest. McFish is a very talented artist, I think everyone will agree
I've read that you're looking for some assistance in regards to OpenJK, could you explain what you need help with? Would you like some assistance in other areas perhaps?
Yes. Yesterday I have contacted the OpenJK dev team and asked them about the possibility of implementing some things into the game's code in order to make the GUI look like you can see it on the concept images. We are discussing the features list at the moment.
The only assistance we may require is a .menu writer to help Zionter with GUI's implementation. If you wish to help us, please contact me via PM on Hub.
Now for the question we're all wondering, best case scenario, when do you hope to have SkyLine finished by?
I hope that I will be able to finish GUI's design by the end of 2015. The technical implementation will require about two-three months to properly code and test both SP and MP parts.
Thank you Sentra, this has been a great interview. I'm sure we'll follow up on this nearer the release date.
Thank you for the interview! I am looking forward to hear some comments from you too. And I hope you guys like SkyLine 2.0
If you would like to follow the development of SkyLine, you can follow Sentra and SWGalaxy on Twitter and ModDB! Also, if you would like to check out more of Fish's work, see below too.