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Mythos_Ruler

New GUI: Design & Features Discussion

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But, considering that integration comes with distraction (the user has to go and select the building to research tech)

With the "tech tree" method, the user will have to go to a completely separate screen away from the action. Can't get more distracted than that. There's also the problem that the same arguments you are making could be made for unit training.

and confusion (it would not be clear about how advanced the tech tree is)

I was never confused when playing AOM or AOE...

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

They would be completely different screens. I don't see how they could be the same screen.
And, in each building, there can be link button, which launches the tech tree screen with the current building focused...
This would be a good enhancement if we went with the Tech Tree method, I grant you. (We already have an icon that would work for this.)

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I don't like tabbed layouts very much. It ends up adding extra clicks and hiding things that I want to see. I think that our current system with a tech tree for reference isn't too complicated. The only thing we have changed is that techs come in pairs.

The idea of switching to a global Tech Tree sounds ok to me as well though.

To add unit stats you can basically make it fit into the current UI with a bit of poking. I don't think it looks too crowded but I have the art skills of a programmer ;).

cTxrB.png

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I like quantum's mockup. Basically keep the same gui already in the game but showing more of the units stats. I think that technology should still be researched in each indivdual building as it gives some buildings more purpose than they had before. (ie some of the dropsite buildings). I think a global tech tree could be used to suplement the current method to clarify relationships between techs. It could be generated dynamically. Maybe you could even research from it if you already have the appropriate buildings but still you should have the option to research from buildings.

Personally I do not like tabs in a game since they take extra clicking. I guess I wouldn't mind the original mockup if I could move all the windows around myself to be where I wanted and maybe tear off the tabs to be seperate windows in the game that can be moved (kind of like what you can do with gimp).

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I think that technology should still be researched in each indivdual building as it gives some buildings more purpose than they had before. (ie some of the dropsite buildings). I think a global tech tree could be used to suplement the current method to clarify relationships between techs.

This.

All the other suggestions are great (except tabs), but something that I've been missing in those mockups is how do we display all the stuff needed for multiple selected units (formations, stances, buildable structures, stats)?

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With the "tech tree" method, the user will have to go to a completely separate screen away from the action. Can't get more distracted than that. There's also the problem that the same arguments you are making could be made for unit training.

Hmmm, yes. Going to a separate screen can sometimes be distracting depending on the situation - when i am in the midst of a war. Good catch! How do we get a compromise between both the cases ... :fool:

One idea! The tech tree can be split based on the buildings. And, in each building, there will be an tech icon that when clicked will show a small popup (not a modal dialog) showing the tech tree corresponding to the building. This will enable us by proving extra space for showing relationship, while not distracting from the game action...

They would be completely different screens. I don't see how they could be the same screen.

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.

I actually meant a single screen with different tabs for diplomacy, chat, tech tree, etc.

Usually, having a full screen for things will have extra space than a dialog, that we can put to good use...

But, considering our case, where the central game screen is of paramount importance and the user should not be distracted from the action, i agree that having a separate screen can be a distraction to game play. So, having them as a dialog also makes sense here :stinker:

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I don't like tabbed layouts very much. It ends up adding extra clicks and hiding things that I want to see. I think that our current system with a tech tree for reference isn't too complicated. The only thing we have changed is that techs come in pairs.

The idea of switching to a global Tech Tree sounds ok to me as well though.

To add unit stats you can basically make it fit into the current UI with a bit of poking. I don't think it looks too crowded but I have the art skills of a programmer ;).

cTxrB.png

This is excellent, Quantum. The kind of thing I was hoping someone would do... take my ideas and improve on them. I too did not prefer tabs, but it felt like we needed them in order to fit everything everybody wanted into the UI. Your mockup looks great for the center panel. For multiple selected units, the center panel would probably look very much like we already have.

As far as formations and stances go, I think they will look a lot less crowded if we just pared down the number of formations and stances like we've been planning to do. Stances pared down to: Aggressive, Defensive, Stand Ground. Things like "Avoid" or "Idle" would just be rolled into the standard behavior of certain (usually support) units. Formations, I would like to get rid of the selectable column formations for one thing, since "column" would just be the default formation for moving over long distances--you'd never actually need to select column, since it happens automatically. So, we can get rid of those. So yeah, I think we should refocus the design discussion toward making the current general layout work better.

In the end, then, we can give the player the option of placing the UI in the middle, or left and right corners. A fourth option could be "spread" where the UI panels are spaced out along the bottom of the screen.

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It might be a good idea to make applied upgrades visible in the unit's stats and also show when a tower's attack stats have increased when garrisoned by soldiers. Or would that make things too cluttered perhaps?

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It might be a good idea to make applied upgrades visible in the unit's stats and also show when a tower's attack stats have increased when garrisoned by soldiers. Or would that make things too cluttered perhaps?

Perhaps hoovering over the icons could tell you what techs have been applied. Hover over the swords icon to see the techs that have modified the attack stats. Hover over the shields icon to see what techs have been applied to armor stats. Hover over the health bar to see the health techs applied, etc.

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Perhaps hoovering over the icons could tell you what techs have been applied. Hover over the swords icon to see the techs that have modified the attack stats. Hover over the shields icon to see what techs have been applied to armor stats. Hover over the health bar to see the health techs applied, etc.

Indeed that's a good idea but you might want to turn those icons into a clickable button instead of a 'hover over'. Those hover over boxes seem to get in the way when you don't need them and with a button the player can choose to see this information when he/she wants to see it.

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Why does the mouse cursor disappear in fullscreen on at least some Windows 7 machines? I know this is also a problem with some other games and Windows 7 too. I recently installed Alpha 10 on a Windows 7 laptop to see how well it would run, and other than the above mentioned disappearing mouse cursor it works great.

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Veyr nice, and quick too :-) Outline around the unit picture needs to be more pronounced (a bevel maybe?). And the player's name need a translucent background (40% opacity?) under it to be readable in more cases. And the experience bar under the picture needs to be a bit more obvious (it looks like a gap under the picture and looks odd at the moment).

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A unit's player info is important to see at a glance, so it should definitely be clearer. What's the advantage of having the name floating transparently like that? If possible the UI should be enlarged or the rest adjusted to fit the name.

What if we used an emblem for their civ, possibly overlayed on the portrait, and then made the box around the portrait player-colored instead of white? IMO the color is the most important thing to indicate which player is which.

I think the stats/headers are too large, we could shrink them slightly and reclaim some space.

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A unit's player info is important to see at a glance, so it should definitely be clearer. What's the advantage of having the name floating transparently like that? If possible the UI should be enlarged or the rest adjusted to fit the name.

What if we used an emblem for their civ, possibly overlayed on the portrait, and then made the box around the portrait player-colored instead of white? IMO the color is the most important thing to indicate which player is which.

I think the stats/headers are too large, we could shrink them slightly and reclaim some space.

Totally agree.

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I'm a bit limited with what I have to work with.

Setting the text as the player color is easy, but setting a sprite's color is not. We can't load an image because we would have to have multiple images just for the color and keep those in sync with the player colors should those be edited later.

Also, the smaller fonts are difficult to read because they don't have an outline.

I agree with the comments, but I'm not sure how we can do all of that.

Definitely need to do something though, as it's not as functional or nice looking as it should be. Comments welcome on how to accomplish this.

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Just to interject, I think we need fewer comments, and more people willing to illustrate what they want. Pencil to paper is just fine, but some Photoshop work is better. (y)

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What do people think of this?

ZOSYq.png

Civ: an emblem for the unit's civ with tooltip name

R: rank insignia

D/A/H/P/C: icons for armour/attack stats, basically same as in the above mockups

One issue with displaying both generic and specific name is for resources, they are always English names and it would look silly to see "Large Oak Tree (Tree)". For every other unit, I think it's a great idea.

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Seems nice; I like that the experience bar is close to the rank icon since they are related. We could also simply avoid showing the generic name for resources.

Where would the resources that a unit is carrying go? Right now, I just stuck it in the middle of the icon, but that's obviously not the correct place. :)

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I forgot about carried resources :( What if we shrank the stats a bit more and put it above them? Or even above the health/stamina bars. That might be making the stats a bit too small, but it seems we need some compromise on stats (they are surely too prominent in the current design).

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