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Implementing loading screens, transitions and menus

I’ve noticed DC Universe (written with UE3) tends to have a scene already loaded in the background and they fail to stretch transitional graphics over it entirely.

You can see scene geometry at the bottom, probably due to me having a non-standard client window dimension.

Anyway…

I’m assuming their startup/transition screens are just a widget overlay that they’re setting the brush for and turning on between levels? Would the Mandalorian say “This is the way.”? What do designers normally do if they want, for example, to start the game and present the player with a menu selection, before actually entering a play space? Would you just have a designated “menu” level with no moveable pawn?