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Mythos_Ruler

New GUI: Design & Features Discussion

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Let's list the problems with the current GUI:

  • Not modular, making it difficult to eventually have configurable UI options.
  • Doesn't easily show the basic stats of the selected entity.
  • Technology progression is hard to see.
  • Doesn't handle different resolutions well.
  • Tooltips obscure the UI/queues.
  • Cluttered Stances/Formations.

I believe the mockup I am posting here addresses some/most of these issues, but we can discuss them further.

post-130-0-23992400-1337911438_thumb.jpg

  • Not modular, making it difficult to eventually have configurable UI options.
    • This UI has modules that can be configured with different behaviors through an options screen. On the left is the Selection Module, showing the selected entities. In the middle are various tabbed modules based on what kind of objects you have selected. On the right is the Minimap Module with various buttons.

    [*]Doesn't easily show the basic stats of the selected entity.

    • This UI gives plenty of room to show the raw stats of the entity selected, however we decide to show those stats.

    [*]Technology progression is hard to see.

    • With tabbed modules we can have plenty of room to show the progression of techs from Village to City phase.

    [*]Doesn't handle different resolutions well.

    • In higher resolution environments (1600x900, 1920x1080, etc.), the tabbed modules can be arrayed horizontally at the bottom of the screen, filling in the empty screen space.

    [*]Tooltips obscure the UI/queues.

    • This mockup shows tooltips with a 25% transparent background. It also adds resource icons.

    [*]Cluttered Stances/Formations.

    • (Not shown) Stances and Formations can have their own module in the Unit UI, giving plenty of room.

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I only care about the general design and placement of features for now.

The UI you show there does not show unit stats. Nor does it have room for soldiers to build buildings or use formations or use stances as far as I can see.

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I don't like the technology layout in the mockup. I would prefer to see only the current researchable techs, to avoid clutter, and then have a link to an interactive tech tree for people who want to see everything. I also think the next tech shouldn't be shown until after the previous one has finished researching. What we have now with less icons is already hardly intuitive, we shouldn't make it worse :P

The interesting thing is that if you look at the current UI, training units and researching techs are displayed in the same space (they are also the same simulation component, ProductionQueue). I think we should keep that aspect, it's nice to see at a single glance what is queued in a building - independent of choosing to train/research new things.

You don't show your idea of a global research display in the upper right corner, intentional? I thought it was a good idea.

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excuseme XDi mean texture. the new placement are excelent, this game aren't made by amateurs, now looks professionals ,

every day looks better.

Congratulations Michael

Unfortunately, I'm not a graphic designer. ;) Maybe we can get Pureon to work his magic on the texturing and graphic design of the UI once we decide on features and placement. The guy is a beast. :)

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  • Not modular, making it difficult to eventually have configurable UI options.
    • This UI has modules that can be configured with different behaviors through an options screen. On the left is the Selection Module, showing the selected entities. In the middle are various tabbed modules based on what kind of objects you have selected. On the right is the Minimap Module with various buttons

I assume that you mean to say

Top Left - Selection module showing selected entities

Bottom Left - Tabbed modules based on selected objects

Bottim Right - minimap

Is that right? I was searching for something in the bottom middle, when you said middle :lol2:

And, why not show a tabbed module attached to the right-side minimap, instead of the small icons shown. I feel they are too small to click and if we want to add more icons, it becomes problematic!

Anyway, I think this new UI is in the right direction and just rocks!!! Keep it going, team :yes3:

You don't show your idea of a global research display in the upper right corner, intentional? I thought it was a good idea.

I really like this idea of a global research display panel. Current game design where i have to shuffle thro diff buildings to research is a little annoying :unknw:

The interesting thing is that if you look at the current UI, training units and researching techs are displayed in the same space (they are also the same simulation component, ProductionQueue). I think we should keep that aspect, it's nice to see at a single glance what is queued in a building - independent of choosing to train/research new things.

I have another idea, keeping the new tabbed UI. Why not display the full queue in the space for "Selection Module" (aka Top Left).

This will show all working queues of all the buildings at a glance, instead of the user going building by building.

Edited by Potter

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Nice points, nice mockup (y)

As for textures used, personally I think they're too ornate (specifically the frames).

Also, the menu button just looks oddly placed. The menu could be moved over to the center; the emblem could activate the menu. While the user hovers over the emblem, a transparency mask is applied with "MENU". On click, a neat banner could animate and present some options. Thoughts? :)

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Also, the menu button just looks oddly placed. The menu could be moved over to the center; the emblem could activate the menu. While the user hovers over the emblem, a transparency mask is applied with "MENU". On click, a neat banner could animate and present some options. Thoughts? :)

I agree that the menu button looks out of context!

But, merging it with the emblem will more chaotic, as it would not be discoverable and tries to combine two things (user-oriented actions) and emblem (civ specific actions) which are not related!!!

But, I agree that the emblem can be put to more use, but it must be civ-specific! Maybe, when clicked, it will show the statistics on the current workers, units, like below:

Workers on Wood: 12

Workers on Stone: 0

Workers on Food: 34

Workers on Metal: 0

Workers Idle: 20

Elite units: 4

Infantry : 24

Archers: 30

Units Idle : 7

Edited by Potter

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Hmm, I'm starting to lean towards wanting to have all technology be researched in one place, in a new tech tree dialog. I don't like to have to move it away from the the individual buildings, perhaps mainly because of nostalgic reasons, but given how complex we intend to have them (either or techs most importantly) it's probably never going to be very clear otherwise. We could still have the links to the individual buildings by requiring e.g. a farmstead to be built to be able to research farming techs etc, and display them as the "roots of the branches" in the tech tree, and grayed out until the building is constructed (perhaps with a red text over saying "Building not constructed" or something). I just don't see how we will be able to make it clear how the tech relations work without having them in a dialog of their own.

About the new GUI ideas: in general I'm in favor. I'm a bit uncertain about the tabbed interface, it does definitely have its benefits though, so I guess it's more that it feels like lessening the importance (or at least the visibility) of certain features. On the other hand it does give more space for unit stats which obviously seems to be something a lot of people want to have immediate access to. What I don't like is the idea to have it auto-expand, not because I don't want it to be expanded, but because it would mean that players with bigger monitors would have an advantage over players with smaller monitors. One could argue that users with bigger monitors are at an advantage in any cased due to being able to zoom out more while still seeing things clearly, so it's not necessarily a too strong an argument, but still, giving users a different experience based on their hardware (apart from the obvious graphical quality differences, but I mean differences that affect gameplay) is not something I favor.

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I like the original mockup because the info it's very clear. I would change the minimap to the left size and the tools to the right side. Talking about the shapes and contours of the GUI, it's so square for me, could be some round parts to let see more map parts. The división between taps for tech, training and the other thing (i can't see what it's is) it's a good option to organize all the stuff.

Nowadays GUI it's so square too, looks like a square and rectangles. I think the base it's good but need to be polish. Will be good to split today GUI in miniMAP (right) and tools (left) with a clear space between them.

Nice to see the developer team thinks GUI needs improvements.

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The mockup is an improvement over the original. I like to see the stats of my units, I like that.

Mythos, this screen is for a building. Can you also do a mockup for units? ( more than 1 selected). Can be interesting to compare.

@

memmaker650

I would keep the map to the right (nostalgia). In fact, if the UI will be modular somewhere in the future, we might decide ourselves.

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i agree with you , its necessary know what unit are working in a kind of task, useful for management, gives more strategic.

+1. That's would be very useful info.

The mockup is an improvement over the original. I like to see the stats of my units, I like that.

Mythos, this screen is for a building. Can you also do a mockup for units? ( more than 1 selected). Can be interesting to compare.

@

memmaker650

I would keep the map to the right (nostalgia). In fact, if the UI will be modular somewhere in the future, we might decide ourselves.

Good idea.

In which game the miniMAP is on the right side ???? Or are you lefty ???

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Seems like a solid hud, but you may want to forego using tabs in lieu of simply extending the action block. Also, I am not a fan of giving each upgrade level it's own button, they should simply stack like it does now.

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Hmm, I'm starting to lean towards wanting to have all technology be researched in one place, in a new tech tree dialog. I don't like to have to move it away from the the individual buildings, perhaps mainly because of nostalgic reasons, but given how complex we intend to have them (either or techs most importantly) it's probably never going to be very clear otherwise. We could still have the links to the individual buildings by requiring e.g. a farmstead to be built to be able to research farming techs etc, and display them as the "roots of the branches" in the tech tree, and grayed out until the building is constructed (perhaps with a red text over saying "Building not constructed" or something). I just don't see how we will be able to make it clear how the tech relations work without having them in a dialog of their own.

I think I can sign that. :)

We've had a discussion on irc yesterday and even though it would probably be possible to have the research buttons in the according buildings and express all current relations more or less clearly, I think it brings too many disadvantages.

- It's not flexible for more advanced tech relations.

- It's probably still not a 100 percent clear from the begining on

- It uses a lot of space in the UI

- It constatly (or very often) shows a lot of information that is rarely needed.

- It probably requires additional clicks to get done what you want

In my opinion a separate tech tree is the cleanest solution.

I also liked that buildings get a bit more significance when you need them to research the related techs and I would like to keep that and represent that in the tech-tree in a more obvious way than with tooltips. Probably very similar to techs as icons which are above the tech-icons in the tree.

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Hmm, I like it. It needs some more polish of course, but it's nice looking. Seems like it would work reasonably well with different resolutions. Not sure about the tabs, but I don't think there will be any easy solution there.

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The huge problem with the tech tree idea is that it is not integrated with the game... at all. It's just this extra layer. Selecting the building to research the tech integrates the procedure into the rest of the game.

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This may sound dumb... but why cant we use sliding panels the same we do for the menus. A full tech tree could go on a sliding panel, as well as battle plans, or diplomacy. Either that or use dialog boxes...

The huge problem with the tech tree idea is that it is not integrated with the game... at all. It's just this extra layer. Selecting the building to research the tech integrates the procedure into the rest of the game.

Well this could just be a tree displaying all the items but that would be a bit redundant if the buildings have it.

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The new UI mock up looks like a very promising start to a redesign.

An unfurling banner for the menu sounds like a great idea.

Techs need to be researched at buildings, but a full tech tree window is a welcome additon.

Looks great. That map looks huge, what map is it? or is it something for the campaign

Its the Peloponese, the pennisula where the Hellenic city-states are located, and its a scenario that's actually already in the game.

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This may sound dumb... but why cant we use sliding panels the same we do for the menus. A full tech tree could go on a sliding panel, as well as battle plans, or diplomacy. Either that or use dialog boxes...

Well this could just be a tree displaying all the items but that would be a bit redundant if the buildings have it.

That's a great idea for me. Some sliding panels would be great.

A good combination of fix panel and sliding ones i think could be the best solution.

A good tech tree sounds great.

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The GUI mockup looks great (y) Personally I would much prefer to keep the left and right elements together in the middle as that's slightly quicker to navigate, but that's just me.

With so much gameplay still undecided keeping the GUI simple and functional means it's quicker to update.

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The huge problem with the tech tree idea is that it is not integrated with the game... at all. It's just this extra layer. Selecting the building to research the tech integrates the procedure into the rest of the game.

But, considering that integration comes with distraction (the user has to go and select the building to research tech) and confusion (it would not be clear about how advanced the tech tree is), i think it would be better to go with a separate tech tree screen. And, in each building, there can be link button, which launches the tech tree screen with the current building focused...

Such a screen can be used for various other things like diplomacy functions, etc

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But, considering that integration comes with distraction (the user has to go and select the building to research tech) and confusion (it would not be clear about how advanced the tech tree is), i think it would be better to go with a separate tech tree screen. And, in each building, there can be link button, which launches the tech tree screen with the current building focused...

Such a screen can be used for various other things like diplomacy functions, etc

The latter point is an important one. We will need separate dialogs for e.g. diplomacy, and already have it for chat, so I don't see why adding it for research would be any different. That doesn't say that's the only option, I just can't see what makes research so different from e.g. diplomacy/chat/objectives that it isn't an option. :unsure:

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