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New GUI: Design & Features Discussion


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Really don't think that's going to work well considering it provides no flexibility whatsoever, but I'll use it anyway I guess. (Just to explain: as an artist you'd want the original with layers if you have to edit. As a programmer, it's nice having separate pieces to move things around, update to new fonts, etc.

If you're one hundred percent satisfied with everything, then it doesn't matter as much.

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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 u

Very nice idea I think it might be the best layout so far: I like how the portrait has a player color shading around the border (it unifies the whole panel) and the way combat stats are fit in is p

Thanks again to everyone that's helped out: Time to ask Brian whether any of this is possible?

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Brian, here's the 'panel_middle.png' texture file for the GUI layout - it should just replace the existing one, everything's in the right place. Let me know what else you need.

Hmm, what happens when we need to adjust the height of those shaded bits or change their spacing if the font needs more room? Then we not only need a new texture but all the code has to be updated as well. I agree with Brian, it really needs to be split into separate pieces (preferably a minimal set of reusable pieces).

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Very nice idea (y) I think it might be the best layout so far:

post-10080-0-12479300-1339298459_thumb.p

I like how the portrait has a player color shading around the border (it unifies the whole panel) and the way combat stats are fit in is pretty clever - legible but not distracting. The thing I worry about is the resource counter possibly overlapping a long name. Somehow it doesn't seem a major concern looking at how slick the rest is. Minor bug: buildings and treasures show the stamina bar.

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Just to point out, it would be nice to have icons for the different kinds of attacks instead of capital letters. For instance, the the hack attack icon could show a sword, the pierce attack icon an arrow or spear head, the crush attack a ram. For the hack armor icon there could be a breastplate for hack, a shield for pierce, and I don't have a single idea for crush.

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@Pureon: I forgot about the barter buttons, so I'll need to take a look at that later. (The barter icons are larger than the formation / garrison icons.)

@Thorfinn: Crush could be a rams head if that makes sense. (I'd probably do an axe for hack and a bow and arrow or a spear for pierce.) The main issue is space though. We barely have room for even the tiny letters. (Imagine 999H, 999P, 999C.) Images might be even more tight or too small to see effectively.

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I agree, best layout as of yet. Regarding the space issue, could not the whole GUI be slightly increased in size (maybe even by 10% could do the trick). If not, the best option is at the moment to go with the numbers/letters for stats.

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I wonder if a better approach might be to redesign the GUI engine and then let the artists experiment with the various possibilities. Not saying that anyone on the team wants to do this but someone else might if they were asked.

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As you're not on IRC, here are some suggestions.

There are a number of citizen-soldiers with very long specific names. The longest (character-wise) is "/Italian Allied Swordsman/" (a placeholder), but "Ḥayyāl Romaḥ Raḫūv Masili" is longer in non-monospace fonts. The overlap can be pretty severe, so I think it's necessary that the resource icon and label have their own vertical space, so that long specific names can use the full pane width if needed.

The player name area seems excessively tall (could probably reduce it by 8px?) and Mythos Ruler mentioned wanting to increase the height of the centre pane by 7px to match the height of the minimap. The specific name could probably be shifted down a bit, as well. As an alternative to increasing the height of the minimap, you could try reducing the thickness of the border around each section.

With a bit of pixel-shaving, I think the resource icon and label could be kept vertically separate from the specific name, without removing the attack/armour information.

As far as icons for the attack/armour information go, I think it'll be hard to make intelligible icons at that size (14px?), so perhaps letters are best. They're not intuitive, but if there were an explanatory tooltip I think it'd be fine.

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There are a number of citizen-soldiers with very long specific names. The longest (character-wise) is "/Italian Allied Swordsman/" (a placeholder), but "Ḥayyāl Romaḥ Raḫūv Masili" is longer in non-monospace fonts. The overlap can be pretty severe, so I think it's necessary that the resource icon and label have their own vertical space, so that long specific names can use the full pane width if needed.

That overlap is not a big deal though, unless it's ugly like it is now. What I mean is it's not critical to see the full specific name at all times and most of them are short. It might be acceptable for resource counters to partly obscure long specific names since that will only occur during gathering. We could add a darkened background to the resource counter so it hides text underneath. I like the spacing of the latest design and sacrificing that by squeezing pixels would ruin it :(

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Ugh, no. That means in wide screen layouts you're constantly moving from the far left to the far right sides, with your eyes to see what you selected and with the mouse. If we want to use corners, related controls should be on one side or the other. But personally I would rather focus on the center layout for now, and once it's solidified, consider the corner layouts as options.

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Is it not possible with the current code to detect screen size and render the GUI based on the screen size? The GUI could be split on smaller screens and converged to the center on larger screen, with user override via options of course. "Responsive" GUI if you will. :)

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How about something like this?

W3G0t.jpg

The carried resource icon overlaps the unit portrait, I don't see much problems with having it there, so correct me if I'm wrong :)

I just played around with the stats area, instead of text we can use icons and hence save some more space. Of course we'll need to make some optimized icons for the resolution ;)

Another thing I did, just to beautify the area was add the civ specific emblem or shield. This would change to the respective civ of the selected unit. How feasible is that?

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Ugh, no. That means in wide screen layouts you're constantly moving from the far left to the far right sides, with your eyes to see what you selected and with the mouse. If we want to use corners, related controls should be on one side or the other. But personally I would rather focus on the center layout for now, and once it's solidified, consider the corner layouts as options.

yeah, but many wide screen notebooks have a resolution of 1366x768, and having the GUI on the corners leaves free more space on the center for the field view, that is the more important, from my point of view :)

So, i agree to split the GUI on the corners

How about something like this?

W3G0t.jpg

The carried resource icon overlaps the unit portrait, I don't see much problems with having it there, so correct me if I'm wrong :)

I just played around with the stats area, instead of text we can use icons and hence save some more space. Of course we'll need to make some optimized icons for the resolution ;)

Another thing I did, just to beautify the area was add the civ specific emblem or shield. This would change to the respective civ of the selected unit. How feasible is that?

why don't try to reduce health and stamina bars?

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Hmm...I have to say, I don't like the split up GUI either :/ My eyes can't settle on one thing, they just keep moving here and there trying to figure out where things are :P

@Brian: What textures do you use for the health and stamina bars? I've made some nice ones in the ui/session/icons folder, why don't you check them out? Or tell me how to change them ;)

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