The emerging interface is both proof that hard work can accomplish anything, as well as hope for those like me that thought interfaces can't be designed without artistic talent.  With enough fooling around in photoshop and the likes, I managed to produce an interface that, to my standards, is extremely slick.

I hand-coded all the controls, so you'll find no standard buttons, listboxes, etc. in the new interface.  Everything is custom.  And the work paid off.  It looks great.

Not only does the interface look great, it also works great.  It will be a very powerful and streamlined interface when I finish it.  I've already finished the plugin loading functions and the structure & progression tiles are already fully-functioning.  Unlike in the last GUI, where the user had to double-click the correct treeview entry, select a text-only plugin name from an ugly listbox, then click an OK button, the new interface demands only two clicks to load a plugin: one on the tile into which the plugin will be loaded, and the second to choose the plugin.  Furthermore, plugins are displayed as tiles instead of text, so finding the right one among many is as easy as identifying the correct icon.  It's way faster (not to mention way more fun) to load and configure plugins now.

As soon as I finish the frontend, which will probably be a few more days, I'll have to start grinding out the backend.  I feel like the last interface's rendering functions were bloated, to say the least.  I hope to be able to do it all over again in less than half the code.  I think that's pretty reasonable given how much I've improved as a programmer since the time the original render code was written (seventeen thousand lines ago).

Things are definitely looking up for mGen's aesthetics...but the real question is: will these new aesthetics inspire more creative advances?  Or will mGen just be a good-looking failure?  I guess I'll have to keep pressing onward to find out.