Livery/Vinyl Ecosystem UI/UX Improvements

Livery and vinyl group designers add a ton of free value to the game and, while we might pine for complex things like SVG importing or improved/expanded skin mapping on existing models, I wanted to focus on smaller, more achievable things that could make the system more livable for everyone within the existing constraints. I’ve grouped these by what I perceive to be the difficulty involved in their implementation and then suggested prioritization within those groupings.

To save some typing, I’ll refer to Vinyl Groups as VGs and Liveries as LVs.

Quick Wins

  1. Offer one-click ratio-locking on shape re-sizing. I mean, c’mon.

  2. Offer sorting options to the user. Whether by a single button press that loads a modal menu, or by clicking that single button repeatedly to cycle through options, the offering should be along the lines of: VGs - Newest to Oldest (default), Oldest to Newest, Name #-Z, Name Z-#, Downloads (descending); LVs - Newest to Oldest (default), Oldest to Newest, Manufacturer A-Z, Manufacturer Z-A, Downloads (descending), Uses (descending), Likes (descending), Layer Count (descending). Nine times out of ten, someone creating, editing, downloading or importing a VG has an immediate use in mind, and you’re punishing the hell out of them by placing them at the very end of a sometimes massive archive. On the LV side, the default random sort punishes people who want to quickly see how their newly shared LVs are doing, or which ones are faring the best overall. Bonus - Apply the last-used sort option for both VGs and LVs.

  3. Require less force on the thumbstick (L3) to activate the clipboard. I was confused about how my copying commands kept failing in FM2023 while I couldn’t recall ever having the problem with FH5. When I bounced back and forth between the two, I realized that FH5 recognizes any amount of force applied to L3 as sufficient, whereas FM2023 wants 100%. Please match FH5 as this will greatly reduce input error.

  4. Clicking up once from item #1 on a vertical list should bring you to the end of it. Likewise, hitting LB or Left (depending on context) on item #1 of a horizontal list should bring you to the end of it. This missing functionality is a usability plague across your entire product. I have to hold down my d-pad for over 40 seconds to reach the button of my VG list, over 40 seconds.

  5. Retain descriptions when updating or editing VGs/LVs. Nine times out of ten, I don’t need to change a single word from before, yet I’m forced to re-type my 64 characters every time. I’ve seen that the Xbox keyboard app can preload variable data many times before. FH5 has this same problem.

  6. Offer one-click color matching between base/flake/whatever pairs.

  7. Offer a fourth level of zoom in the LV editor. Sometimes, you can’t see what you’re attempting to do there, particularly if you’re working on a corner of an “awkwardly mapped” car.

  8. Make it easier to save over a VG that I’m editing. If you started by loading a VG, instead of importing one to a blank slate, add a couple of options to the Save modal: “Save over original file”, “Save over original file and share”. It looks like that modal already has conditional options depending on whether you clicked save or tried to exit without saving, so this should be doable.

  9. Apply useful limits and increments to the max layers search value. FH5 starts at 50 and climbs in increments of 50, which makes perfect sense. FM2023 starts at 3,000 (!) and moves in increments of 10 (?!). Most logos can be done well at 100 layers or less. 3,000’s for the anime babes or those crazy people recreating real-world photographs. Bonus - Remember the limit number set by the user and fix the search results to show the layer count instead of —.

Highly valuable changes, but more complex

  1. Change the orientation of layer tiles from horizontal to vertical. FH5’s approach gets in the way far less often than FM2023’s.

  2. Offer a second zoom level in the VG editor where you can reframe the view. Yes, you can resize and move the VG to get a better look at a certain point, but that creates multiple steps you’ll have to undo.

  3. Allow for multi-select when importing VGs to an editor. Imagine you’re about to create a livery and know that eight or so distinct VGs are needed; instead of going through the whole laborious loop eight times, you bring up the library once and, like selecting multiple layers, you use the trigger or similar to mark those wanted and have them all come through a single action.

  4. Offer at least one additional step of undo in the LV and VG editors. This will save lives.

  5. Include a search functionality with autocomplete. I’m thinking specifically for the VG library where, if I’m looking for my Michelin VGs, I can type M-i, and boom, my list of 400+ VGs is down to 8 or so, including the specific one I want. With the LV library, this could provide quick assistance to reach a particular mid-point form one of the sorts.

  6. Provide the interface for tweaking multi-colour blends on the same screen like FH5. Making people back in and out of submenus here is inefficient and frustrating, particularly if you’re fine-tuning.

  7. Add more fonts. Recreating lettering is difficult and terribly time-consuming. Microsoft has a huge collection of fonts they own, from which you could pull a few normal ones with a slightly different style or weight from the ones presently provided. If there’s a tight memory limitation to the in-game library (and FM2023 seems to have loading problems here that FH5 doesn’t for some reason), consider adding a mixed set that’s just for letters that aren’t particularly geometric (i.e. pull examples of “S”, “s”, “a”, “e”, “C”, “c”, “G”, and “g” from 4-5 stylistically different fonts).

  8. Add an option to view liveries from only your library in a quick race. Advanced Quick Races already provide options surrounding user-created LVs, so why not one from that specific player’s library? It may seem small, but it could be a nice reward for creators or those who carefully curate their collections to see an entire field using what they chose.

Getting Fancier

  1. Implement the icon-based editing menus from FH5. Having long menus where half the options are offscreen and many options have long labels where the only difference is an “un” is outright bad UI design, and likely created a ton of unnecessary localization work. The existing menus waste time for the user and result in selection errors.

  2. User-controlled folders for VGs. For example, allow the user to create a folder called “Tires” and place all their several million tire manufacturer VGs there. Tying into the sort options mentioned earlier, there will need to be a bit of nuance as some sorts would benefit from temporarily collapsing the folder structure (e.g. downloads).

  3. Preview body parts/bodykits in the LV editor. I shouldn’t have to level a car to 9-ish to see if I’m going to have a problem with a bumper, side skirt, spoiler, or several of any of those, let alone level 30-ish, to see if a body kit might look horrible with my design. I also shouldn’t have to go into the performance tuning area to get a highly constrained look at my design on all those bumpers to see if I fixed something.

  4. Create conditional livery variants tied to car part selection. For instance, if that Supra has five architecturally different front bumpers, then you should be able to create a default front for the livery, followed by conditional alts. There is a lot of potential for file bloat here, but the current situation presents designers with many no-win situations that artificially limit how players might want to customize their cars.

  5. Search/filter VGs by color. The interface for this could offer basic swatches (e.g. black, white, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, purple, pink, and red) and then return those VGs that use that color to some level of significance. We’ve all likely had situations where we’ve reached a point where we need something to fill a gap that won’t clash.

For tracking purposes we need voting category topics to be limited to one idea each. Help prevent duplication by searching this this category for existing topics that match your list and upvote them instead of creating new topics. When creating your own topic, use a clearly identifiable subject line, and make sure to upvote your own topic.