Last week I made a lot of progress with the new UI and replaced the old Control Panel.
The pages of the Control Panel were replaced with dialogs that can be accessed via the task bar. However, this made the DE menu a bit long, so I moved the settings dialogs to their own "gear" menu. Also, the dialog style was tweaked to include a title for each dialog. Here is a screenshot of the new Renderer Settings dialog:
As you can see, this includes only the high-level settings of the renderer. The old Control Panel had several pages reserved for various features of the renderer, and it didn't seem like the best solution to simply create corresponding dialogs for each. Instead, I added a new kind of sidebar editor (first time ever in Doomsday) that lets one adjust the settings while actually playing the game. This naturally makes it much easier to set everything to the appropriate values. Also, it is now possible to reset settings to their default values through the GUI. This was always a big issue with the old Control Panel. Below is a screenshot of what the new sidebar editor looks like:
The settings groups are foldable, so one can focus on the relevant settings.
However, we are not expecting you to adjust everything yourself. We plan to include a few built-in appearance profiles in 1.12, for instance "Retro" and "Enhanced."
As I mentioned, there are now separate dialogs for each subsystem of the engine. New dialogs include Audio Settings, Network Settings (although the old network settings aren't relevant any more), and Input Settings with a new UI for adjusting mouse axes. The Video Settings dialog was also tweaked so that the "Mode" setting only affects the fullscreen mode.
All of these changes mean that the old Control Panel is now fully redundant, and has been removed from the engine. Now the last remaining piece of the old GUI is the multiplayer server connect UI.
Since I run Doomsday a lot in a window during development, I've been thinking that the camera FOV angle needs to better react to window aspect ratio changes. I modified the FOV angle calculations so that the configured FOV angle is interpreted to mean the FOV angle that one would have on a 4:3 display, even though you are running on a 16:9 display mode. The benefit is that one doesn't have constantly keep tweaking the FOV angle to suit the current window size.
The sidebar editor and other UI enhancements haven't been merged to the master branch yet, so presently they are not available in unstable builds.
The 1.12 release has been scheduled for the end of September, which means we'll be entering Candidate phase around mid-September. Until then I will be continuing work on refining the new UI elements.