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Mythos_Ruler

New GUI: Design & Features Discussion

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Pretty much this

0ADgui06.png

But with Kieran's civ logo ribbon under the player name.

fRhQt.png

Let's make sure to get those graphical stat bars from the first one.

Already made some texture files for the stat bars ;) Lets try to get that shaded look for the player colour too.

EDIT: Also, the text looks great in the first mock up. How about using that?

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I've sent Brian my PSD file and some other info. Here's the layout we're going with for the central panel:

0ADgui09.png

At the moment we're just going to focus on getting the layout in place, and then once that's done work on creating the emblems and other textures/backgrounds (if needed)

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Why so much emphasis on the carried resources? I care a lot more about the attack and armor stats than that. How often do you glance at attack stats vs carried resources? I agree it looks cleaner, but it shows nothing more than before. I thought people were complaining about having to hover over the attack / armor icon? Why don't we just put the resource icon on the right without the text or maybe on top of the unit icon? How often would players hover over resource icon?

I'm really confused right now.

If it's really what you all want, ok. I just thought the goal was to show more stats.

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If it's really what you all want, ok. I just thought the goal was to show more stats.

We have finite space to show information, we have to be very careful with how we use it. Actually last night it occurred to me that even the two-row attack/armor stats are insufficient, because some units have multiple attack types (e.g. melee and charge), so it gets even more difficult to squeeze in everything.

Others might disagree, but here's the crux of my argument: attack/armor stats are static data, they are fixed for every unit with the exception of applying technologies and maybe auras. They are also only a part of the combat stats for a given unit, which includes attack range, timings, speed, bonuses, priorities, accuracy, splash damage and such. Why should we cherry pick one subset of that static data and devote a large chunk of the UI to it, when it's not useful for most players and can be presented in better ways (tooltip, tech tree, stats table)? By comparison, we have to expliclty show dynamic stats - the user can't guess HP, XP, stamina or resource count, and they are as important or more for new and casual players than experienced ones.

The new mockup does show more information than the old design. It shows the generic and specific names, ties XP more visually into the rank insignia, shows the player's name/civ/color (legibly!) at a glance, and labels the stats bars. Even if it didn't, there's nothing wrong with revamping the old style :)

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We have finite space to show information, we have to be very careful with how we use it. Actually last night it occurred to me that even the two-row attack/armor stats are insufficient, because some units have multiple attack types (e.g. melee and charge), so it gets even more difficult to squeeze in everything.

Others might disagree, but here's the crux of my argument: attack/armor stats are static data, they are fixed for every unit with the exception of applying technologies and maybe auras. They are also only a part of the combat stats for a given unit, which includes attack range, timings, speed, bonuses, priorities, accuracy, splash damage and such. Why should we cherry pick one subset of that static data and devote a large chunk of the UI to it, when it's not useful for most players and can be presented in better ways (tooltip, tech tree, stats table)? By comparison, we have to expliclty show dynamic stats - the user can't guess HP, XP, stamina or resource count, and they are as important or more for new and casual players than experienced ones.

The new mockup does show more information than the old design. It shows the generic and specific names, ties XP more visually into the rank insignia, shows the player's name/civ/color (legibly!) at a glance, and labels the stats bars. Even if it didn't, there's nothing wrong with revamping the old style :)

I strongly agree with this reasoning. The latest mock-ups show the vital basics in an elegant manner, and little else. Every bit of static information is useful in some circumstances (Will my archer ever catch up with the enemy's fleeing spearman?) and yet not in others (Who cares how much damage a citizen-soldier can deal when he's busy chopping wood?).

The GUI doesn't have room to display all of the unit statistics, and even if it did, displaying a large amount of occasionally-useful information just harms the visual SNR. I think it's optimal to put all of it into an alternate view, whether that be a tooltip or otherwise.

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@Brian: Much of what Ben said. We can't pick only armor and attack when speed, accuracy, etc stats are just as important.

I'm quite happy with the latest mockup. It may not include the stats, but it's certainly an improvement on the Alpha 10 panel.

When/if you implement this Brian, stick all the attack/armor/speed/accuracy etc info into a tooltip when hovering over the shield/sword icon. Nothing when hovering over the portait please.

And what we could do in the future is replace the hover tooltip with a hotkey which toggles another unit panel, like pressing tab switches the units stats (armor, attack, speed, accuracy, prefered units, restricted units etc), and pressing Tab again (or closing the units panel) switches it back to the default view.

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AoK showed attack / armor at all times. ;)

I think it's going to look a bit odd with just the attack/armor icon in the right (considering that the resource icon will very rarely be seen). It's not hard to do, just seems wasteful. I'll take a look at implementing this on Saturday as I probably won't get to it before then.

Final version? http://www.wildfireg...140#entry241952

@Michael

It would be great if we could maintain those bevels and drop shadows with the various horizontal bars.

Provide me with a transparent shadow that I can overlay.

[edit]

Looking at the bevels, looks like one might be enough. I don't think the stretching would be noticeable since there's no "scratches" or other details to mess up.

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I think it's going to look a bit odd with just the attack/armor icon in the right (considering that the resource icon will very rarely be seen). It's not hard to do, just seems wasteful.
We can always redo parts of it in the future if we get a better way of doing it.
Yes, thank you Brian. :-)

0ADgui09.png

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about the showing stats yes/no discussion: it's a matter of fact that unit panel can't host all infos about the unit(s), because the space is limited.

So, basically units has two tasks: build or fight.

At the beginning the build task is the most important, but after the first 5/10 minutes (depends from player style and map), the importance of the fight task grow rapidly and became the principal.

In a game, how many buildings do you build? 20/30? and probably more than half in the first 10 minutes. So, why show a large panel with buildings when after 10/15 minutes it becomes less important?

So here is my idea: a hotkey and/or a button to quickly switch between the current buildings panel and a new extended info panel about the unit(s), where you have the space to put not only attack/armor stats, but also all the others: speed, accuracy, visibility, etc

What do you think?

Edited by ribez
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Provide me with a transparent shadow that I can overlay.

[edit]

Looking at the bevels, looks like one might be enough. I don't think the stretching would be noticeable since there's no "scratches" or other details to mess up.

I'll get these done for you when I get home tonight

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I think ribez way might be the way to go, maybe as tabs to make it possible to discover? Also, for non-citizen soldiers there should be no reason to display the build panel at all, so for them the stats could be displayed at all times, or am I missing something. The main thing is that all functionality is easily available, the stats are less important to be able to access quickly. If one wants to be drastic one can say that if you haven't got enough knowledge about the static stats beforehand you won't benefit much from being able to access them quickly in the middle of the battle, then it's too late. (Though of course techs complicate things.) Seriously though, I do think we should try and have the stats easily accessible, I just don't think it's necessarily worth having them always visible. Pity we can't count on people to have large monitors :P Then it wouldn't be much of an issue as we could have displayed it all =)

Apart from the portrait sticking out of the central panel I've got to say I'm overall in favor of the new layout of the GUI though :)

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I think ribez way might be the way to go, maybe as tabs to make it possible to discover? Also, for non-citizen soldiers there should be no reason to display the build panel at all, so for them the stats could be displayed at all times, or am I missing something. The main thing is that all functionality is easily available, the stats are less important to be able to access quickly. If one wants to be drastic one can say that if you haven't got enough knowledge about the static stats beforehand you won't benefit much from being able to access them quickly in the middle of the battle, then it's too late. (Though of course techs complicate things.) Seriously though, I do think we should try and have the stats easily accessible, I just don't think it's necessarily worth having them always visible. Pity we can't count on people to have large monitors :P Then it wouldn't be much of an issue as we could have displayed it all =)

Apart from the portrait sticking out of the central panel I've got to say I'm overall in favor of the new layout of the GUI though :)

Maybe a panel that slides out when a hotkey or button is pressed?

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AoK showed attack / armor at all times. ;)

True, but it was pretty ugly... and they only had one generic attack stat, two armor types (normal/pierce), one attack type per unit, no XP or stamina, and no concept of citizen soldiers, so generally there wouldn't be more than 2-3 icon rows for their stats - which is in the reasonable category for UI design.

So here is my idea: a hotkey and/or a button to quickly switch between the current buildings panel and a new extended info panel about the unit(s), where you have the space to put not only attack/armor stats, but also all the others: speed, accuracy, visibility, etc

I have no problem with that as an extension, as long as our latest-greatest mockup is the default view ;) Some applications and even games have multiple UI modes like basic/advanced, I imagine a basic mode is closer to the latest mockup with less information seen, it's better for noobs and those who like clean minimal layouts. Advanced mode could be packed with stats, either a completely different UI design or several slide-out panels, toggled by a hotkey and as a permanent config option.

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I have no problem with that as an extension, as long as our latest-greatest mockup is the default view ;) Some applications and even games have multiple UI modes like basic/advanced, I imagine a basic mode is closer to the latest mockup with less information seen, it's better for noobs and those who like clean minimal layouts. Advanced mode could be packed with stats, either a completely different UI design or several slide-out panels, toggled by a hotkey and as a permanent config option.

it would be cool (y)

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So far I think we're doing great, all the other stuff can wait until we reach Beta or get a new GUI system perhaps. I especially like the civ emblem under the player name.

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Really great ideas so far and I'm glad we're going for the latest mock-up :) One thing that I've just noticed is that the mini-map section doesn't have the stone background, can you have a look at that Pureon?

@Brian: I don't think that's a different font in the mock-up, it looks like the same, but with a thin black outline :)

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One thing that I've just noticed is that the mini-map section doesn't have the stone background, can you have a look at that Pureon?

Very true. We're focusing on the central panel for now, so the minimap in the final mockup can be ignored. Eventually we should work out how to get non-rectangular buttons to work around the minimap, and then decide what exactly we want on there.

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I don't think Michael intended it to have a stone background. We don't want it all to match too much.

One can be added quite easily, but 95% of it will be covered by the 4 corner buttons.

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Never mind, I think I found them in a different file.

Yeah I sent them to you in a separate PSD file with the colours and shadows/lighting, so hopefully that's the file you found.

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