Author Topic: Some Interface Ideas  (Read 666 times)

Offline r2b2grady

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Some Interface Ideas
« on: April 08, 2018, 04:12:36 PM »
I've had a few ideas for things that could be useful as interface options for AIW2 and I wanted to pass them along:

  • An overlay mode in the Planet view for seeing coverage of different types of things. This could be something with a different mode for each thing, or maybe a "heat map" style overlay with different colors representing different things. Ideally this would cover things like:
    • Tractor coverage
    • Tachyon coverage
    • Grav Turret coverage (intensity or color indicating max speed)
  • The ability to have a "reclamation filter" for control groups, so that you can specify which unit types go into which groups automatically after they're reclaimed. I use control groups almost exclusively, which means non-Zombie reclamation can be a bit of an extra pain, since I have to remember to add the Bombers/etc. to Group 2, the Missile Frigates/Fighters to Group 3, and everything to Group 1, so it'd be useful to have the grouping be handled automatically if we want to.
  • In line with my earlier comment, it'd be nice to have more than 10 control groups. Usually by the time I'm at the 15- to 20-planet mark, I've run out of control groups, since I have the groups set up as:
    • My entire fleet
    • My heavy hitters (Bombers, Zenith Siege Engines, etc.)
    • My general fleet combat ships (Fighters, Missile Frigates, etc.)
    • My starships
    • My transports
    • Golem type 1 (or my Spire ships when doing Fallen Spire)
    • Golem type 2 (usu. reserved for Armored)
    • Golem type 3 (usu. reserved for Botnet)
    • Special use-case (Rams for DGLs, etc.)/Additional Golem
    • (0) Champion
    I realize the Champions are getting the axe, so that frees up one slot, but it'd be nice to be able to configure at least a couple more—say, F5-F8 or the Number Pad numbers.
  • If the Spirecraft Asteroids are still going to be in the game, it would be nice if they counted as builders as far as the "B" shortcut goes.

Super pumped for the game!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 04:43:05 PM by r2b2grady »

Offline x4000

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Re: Some Interface Ideas
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2018, 04:49:19 PM »
Thanks for the comments!  I'll pass this along to our GUI expert, Eric. :)
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Offline etheric42

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Re: Some Interface Ideas
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 12:38:55 PM »
Hey, thanks for the ideas.  I especially like it when people are specific about what works/doesn't work/is needed!

Some responses:

An overlay mode in the Planet view for seeing coverage of different types of things. This could be something with a different mode for each thing, or maybe a "heat map" style overlay with different colors representing different things. Ideally this would cover things like:
Tractor coverage
Tachyon coverage
Grav Turret coverage (intensity or color indicating max speed)

Gravity and tachyon is planetwide now (unless I'm mistaken).  Gravity has its own gauge, but tachyon doesn't.  There are some effects being applied to the stealth system that should help with it when they are implemented.

Tractors, on the other hand, just have the normal rangefinding on them.  If I recall correctly each tractor can grab a certain "strength" of targets.  So the heat map would be more "intense" in places where more strength could be arrested.  My question would be how you would act upon this data?  Theoretically you already know where your tractors are arranged around (wormholes or maybe just out of range of your critical defense).  The heat map would help you make sure you balance your application (this area only has yellow coverage? it at least needs orange!) but since the AI always sends different amounts of attackers, you could never guarantee it would be enough (and colors do a bad job of telling you exactly how much strength is covered anyway).

What are some other useful actions you could take in response to the information provded by the tractor heat map?

The ability to have a "reclamation filter" for control groups, so that you can specify which unit types go into which groups automatically after they're reclaimed. I use control groups almost exclusively, which means non-Zombie reclamation can be a bit of an extra pain, since I have to remember to add the Bombers/etc. to Group 2, the Missile Frigates/Fighters to Group 3, and everything to Group 1, so it'd be useful to have the grouping be handled automatically if we want to.

Chris/Keith, are leech starships planned to be implemented again?  We would need some kind of UI improvement to take care of them.

Instead of reclaiming mobile ships, they are repaired (if not destroyed) or just built on-site again.  So they should go into the control group you have the builder set to.  Of course the problem is that you set the builder to a single control group and that builder may need to construct multiple types of ships.  Theoretically once you get two flagships you could set one to fighters and another to bombers, but you would have to wait until then.

I like the idea of control groups by ship types.  Other people have mentioned it is difficult to select the right tool for the job sometimes and have requested the ability to select ships by weapon type.  On the other hand some people might prefer the current control group method so they can split their fleet.  How to accommodate all three groups?

One of the theoretical improvements that is on my wishlist if we have time is the ability to define control groups by quantities of different classes of ships.  That means the person who wants to split could assign 50 bombers 50 fighters to CG1 and 50 bombers 50 fighters to CG2.  You could assign 100 bombers to CG1 and 100 fighters to CG2.  Then the game attempts to reinforce each control group when it is below the cap you set.

I think this also solves the problem some people have where if they have two builders on two sides of their territory, when one engages in combat more ships are built on the other.  I am going to keep pushing for this feature and we will see when/if we can find time to implement it.

In line with my earlier comment, it'd be nice to have more than 10 control groups. Usually by the time I'm at the 15- to 20-planet mark, I've run out of control groups, since I have the groups set up as:

Good news everybody!  You can have as many control groups as you want as long as you don't mind not having a way of selecting them.  Okay, I kid a bit.  Only 1-0 are bound to keys by default right now, but if you want to define more keybinds you can define as many as you want.  As the UI progresses we may find we run out of room horizontally to display each control group, but I can talk to Chris about either layering them over eachother or going to a second vertical row and see if that is possible.

If the Spirecraft Asteroids are still going to be in the game, it would be nice if they counted as builders as far as the "B" shortcut goes.

All building goes on the build tab of your sidebar.  Any structure/ship that builds will be listed there when you have the proper planet selected.  That should resolve your suggestion, but if I missed some nuance (I'm not familiar with Spirecraft Asteroids from AIWC), let me know.

Offline r2b2grady

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Re: Some Interface Ideas
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2018, 09:18:28 PM »
An overlay mode in the Planet view for seeing coverage of different types of things. This could be something with a different mode for each thing, or maybe a "heat map" style overlay with different colors representing different things. Ideally this would cover things like:
Tractor coverage
Tachyon coverage
Grav Turret coverage (intensity or color indicating max speed)

Gravity and tachyon is planetwide now (unless I'm mistaken).  Gravity has its own gauge, but tachyon doesn't.  There are some effects being applied to the stealth system that should help with it when they are implemented.

Tractors, on the other hand, just have the normal rangefinding on them.  If I recall correctly each tractor can grab a certain "strength" of targets.  So the heat map would be more "intense" in places where more strength could be arrested.  My question would be how you would act upon this data?  Theoretically you already know where your tractors are arranged around (wormholes or maybe just out of range of your critical defense).  The heat map would help you make sure you balance your application (this area only has yellow coverage? it at least needs orange!) but since the AI always sends different amounts of attackers, you could never guarantee it would be enough (and colors do a bad job of telling you exactly how much strength is covered anyway).

What are some other useful actions you could take in response to the information provded by the tractor heat map?


Since other AoE aura-style turrets are getting switched to planetary coverage, I think that just a tractor-only filter for the range view would be sufficient—I mostly found it troublesome when I was trying to figure out which slightly shaded areas were Gravity Turret coverage, which were Tractors, etc.

The ability to have a "reclamation filter" for control groups, so that you can specify which unit types go into which groups automatically after they're reclaimed. I use control groups almost exclusively, which means non-Zombie reclamation can be a bit of an extra pain, since I have to remember to add the Bombers/etc. to Group 2, the Missile Frigates/Fighters to Group 3, and everything to Group 1, so it'd be useful to have the grouping be handled automatically if we want to.

Chris/Keith, are leech starships planned to be implemented again?  We would need some kind of UI improvement to take care of them.

Instead of reclaiming mobile ships, they are repaired (if not destroyed) or just built on-site again.  So they should go into the control group you have the builder set to.  Of course the problem is that you set the builder to a single control group and that builder may need to construct multiple types of ships.  Theoretically once you get two flagships you could set one to fighters and another to bombers, but you would have to wait until then.

Right, I'd forgotten the possibility of Reclamation not returning.

I like the idea of control groups by ship types.  Other people have mentioned it is difficult to select the right tool for the job sometimes and have requested the ability to select ships by weapon type.  On the other hand some people might prefer the current control group method so they can split their fleet.  How to accommodate all three groups?

One of the theoretical improvements that is on my wishlist if we have time is the ability to define control groups by quantities of different classes of ships.  That means the person who wants to split could assign 50 bombers 50 fighters to CG1 and 50 bombers 50 fighters to CG2.  You could assign 100 bombers to CG1 and 100 fighters to CG2.  Then the game attempts to reinforce each control group when it is below the cap you set.

I think this also solves the problem some people have where if they have two builders on two sides of their territory, when one engages in combat more ships are built on the other.  I am going to keep pushing for this feature and we will see when/if we can find time to implement it.

In line with my earlier comment, it'd be nice to have more than 10 control groups. Usually by the time I'm at the 15- to 20-planet mark, I've run out of control groups, since I have the groups set up as:

Good news everybody!  You can have as many control groups as you want as long as you don't mind not having a way of selecting them.  Okay, I kid a bit.  Only 1-0 are bound to keys by default right now, but if you want to define more keybinds you can define as many as you want.  As the UI progresses we may find we run out of room horizontally to display each control group, but I can talk to Chris about either layering them over eachother or going to a second vertical row and see if that is possible.


Sweet! That'll be fantastic.

If the Spirecraft Asteroids are still going to be in the game, it would be nice if they counted as builders as far as the "B" shortcut goes.

All building goes on the build tab of your sidebar.  Any structure/ship that builds will be listed there when you have the proper planet selected.  That should resolve your suggestion, but if I missed some nuance (I'm not familiar with Spirecraft Asteroids from AIWC), let me know.
[/quote]

Whoops, looking back I left out a couple of key words there. The way SC Asteroids worked was that you would build a Spire Mining Ship, which could then build these "Mining Assemblies" on the asteroids. Once those finished building, they transformed into one or two Spirecraft ships of the appropriate mark. The trick was that there was no hotkey to select the Mining Ship. If the interface is going a different way, such that there's a constant sidebar, then that sounds like it fits perfectly!