Author Topic: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad  (Read 1246 times)

Offline x4000

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Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2018, 08:05:47 PM »
Your first paragraph was basically what I figured out on the latter section of my rambly post.  I get to define my own relationship between screen space and galaxy map space based on the z distance of the objects from the camera.

In that stackexchange article, that's kind of a "spray and pray" approach to it, heh.  I was thinking along those lines as my last resort, and in a perspective camera I can't think of any good way to do it other than that at all.  I wasn't sure if the frustum of the camera would be updated immediately or would wait until the next update or fixedupdate cycle, though, which would have made me have to use coroutines if so.  Looks like it updates instantly based on what they were demonstrating, though, so that's handy.
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Offline x4000

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Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2018, 08:07:18 PM »
Oh -- and as it is, it looks like it will be mostly moot, since we'll probably keep scaling for now anyhow.  BUT, I'll still want to do tight framing on the entire map in a certain area of the screen for the lobby at the very least, and probably also for the galaxy map itself.  That way it's exactly-fitted to the elements, rather than being a best-guess estimate like now.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2018, 08:37:36 PM »
Oh sure, figure out your own specifics. The basic process works out the same though, and sometimes that's the hard part.

The SE post I made was a while ago and wasn't meant as a "here's an optimized function" but rather a demonstration of the process that can be visualized and understood.

Offline MaxAstro

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Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2018, 01:07:01 AM »
I do like being able to zoom the map.  I don't like being able to zoom the map farther out than is even theoretically useful.  What would be nice, and feel super professional, is if the max bound of the zoom expanded as more planets were revealed, so that you could always zoom out enough to comfortably see the whole map, but no further.  That way you are never at risk of getting lost zooming.  Bonus points if the map "centers" automatically when you zoom all the way out.

And please please please implement click-and-drag scrolling.  As someone who uses multiple monitors it's really the only bearable solution.  The zoom works perfectly on the combat map because you typically zoom all the way out, pick a point, and zoom in - information in the combat map tends to be in disparate clusters.  But on the galaxy map you often want to be able to "scan across" a section of the map, so scrolling is more important.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2018, 12:46:51 PM »
Okay, my 2 cents on this.

When I look at the galaxy map, I want to see at one glance important information so I don't have to search for everything and look through each single planet.

First things first, remove the visible names of the planets. As I said in my other thread, make it that when you press "alt" you see the planet names. You don't need to see the names at all time anyway.

Second thing, coloring is important, especially in a large scale stratetgy game. We need to see what different factions control which sections of the map. Show the planets in the colors the player has chosen before the game, in my game this would be yellow for my planets, red for the AI. This makes it way easier for the player to distinguish the different regions. This is even more relevant when more than one players plays the game and each one has a different color.

Third, important structures. I liked the way how AIWC handled the map filters, you could search for specfici stuff like advanced research labs and other stuff. Problem with this was, you could use only one filter at the same time. My suggestion: Since this is an improvement from the first game, make checkboxes instead of single-filter search. That way the player can choose directly how many icons (and which ones) he want to see on the map.

Now, I also want to see warnings on the map (at all times but maybe we can make this also as checkbox filter). When the Ai attacks one of my planets I want a big colored warning triangle over the planet that is attacked. Yellow for planets that have an incoming wave warning. Red for planets that have currently enemy ships on them. Maybe we can differentiate even more on this but this should give a general direction for the player, so when he heres the warning sound and opens the galaxy map he sees immediately "Oh shit, these planets are on fire, better do soemthing about it".

Everything else does not really matter that much for me as long as the icons of multiple planets don't overlap and I can easily tell which icon belongs to which planet. This would probably mean, put more space between the different planets or make the planets/icons overall smaller. Generally speaking I don't think there will be a solution that makes everyone 100% happy simply because some players might simply play with so many planets, the map gets cluttered anyway. But we should aim for readability for the stndard setting (which is 80 planets if I rememeber correctly) and everything above is simply luxus.

Offline etheric42

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Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2018, 02:53:02 PM »
Okay, well it may be that zooming on the map isn't dead after all.

TheVampire100, I think a lot of your comments are very important.  There are wave and battle warnings that you can mouse over to highlight the planets they are referring to, and you can see when there is both allied and enemy strength on a planet, but that's not the same as some graphical changes on all the planets that have something interesting going on at a glance (especially useful if you've got 5 notification tags running due to 2 incoming waves and 3 combats).

(See https://forums.arcengames.com/private-alpha-discussion/wave-warnings/ for a discussion of wave warnings).

As far as searching for structures, there's going to be a search box in the sidebar that takes up the space of the minimap when you are in galaxy view.  (Yeah, it's currently planned to have a minimap in the sidebar when you are in planet view, but not a minimap of the planet, a minmap of of the local galaxy (adjacent planets).  We should probably have an advanced search button that allows the player to select multiple boxes or keywords to filter for.

We also really wanted to do space borders, telling you the color of the controller of a contiguous section of space, but there looked like it might be more trouble than it was worth from the programming standpoint and the border gore was terrible considering how deep striking is an important strategy in this game.

What I'm going to do now is take the ideas thrown around here and put together a more comprehensive document detailing the plan for the galaxy map at various zoom levels (so if people play at min zoom, which I agree should be capped at the "full frame" of the galaxy you still get a usable map) and load that into a Google doc for people to comment on like the pivot document (that seemed really popular for that).  I'll make a post to the forum when it's ready.  In the meantime, more comments on this thread on ideas (and thoughts on the plan I posted earlier) would be very appreciated.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2018, 01:43:02 AM »
My 2 cents is basically the same as Vampire's. I'm nodding my head at each point he has.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: AIW2's Galaxy Map is Bad, and That's Bad
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2018, 02:26:14 AM »
Yes Vampire is on the nose with all that.
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