Author Topic: A few UI critiques from discord  (Read 156 times)

Online BadgerBadger

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A few UI critiques from discord
« on: November 12, 2017, 09:49:58 AM »
I was asked to carry some critiques here by DarkArchon. This is cut/paste from the discord (with some minor editing).

  • I really strongly miss the ability to only select military units
  • overall still feels very overwhelming compared to aiwar 1, everything's kinda too big and takes up too much space
  • it's harder to follow what's actually happening because of the accelerating/decelerating camera as well, [it] doesn't feel responsive enough
  • the zoom to flat view is kinda unnecessary, I'd rather have a zoom that just zooms in and not rotates the camera
  • having to double click on planets in galaxy view is irritating as well
  • have the feeling that buildings should be larger overall, not as big as the ark but similar so you actually see models from afar and not only icons
  • icons should also vanish when you're zoomed in enough
  • the "smooth" camera movement is really really annoying .... I would prefer direct control. no acceleration at all in x/y
  • click and drag should move it immediately and not accelerate to move and then move in proper speed or accelerate, but way way faster
  • when you're zoomed in it takes ages to get anywhere
  • spacing, padding, icons in tooltips and font sizes overall should be severely reduced, as it is now they take up so much room
  • and from Otagon: Yeah, the tooltips and UI in general are gigantic even at 2560x1440

Offline x4000

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Re: A few UI critiques from discord
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 11:43:09 AM »
I agree on the high still feeling to huge. We should probably cut the default size in half and then allow for scaling up to handle the current kinds of cases.

On the various camera complaints, I agree it feels terrible at the moment. I need to redo that.

Regarding building size, I definitely can get behind that, sure.

Regarding squad size from the other thread, I think that doubling squad caps and having units per squad makes sense. We can also then make the units in ghetto squads twice as big, solving yet another problem with shipping visibility that had been raised.

As for the camera moving too slowly when you're really zoomed in, holding shift speeds that up a ton. But that's not shown anywhere right now. And I want to have a different more free-flowing camera mode that people can toggle into, while we're at it.

Regarding double clicking to get into planets, I see the point and I'm uncertain on that. I think it enables a lot of cool stuff by selecting planets, but being on one planet and having another selected may be confusing in and of itself. So that would also argue in favor of going back to single clicks and no planet selection.

Agreed on the missing of the ability to select only military units. I almost never want to move my Ark when I'm also moving a bunch of military stuff across the planet, and trying to select all the stuff except for the Ark is routinely a pain.

Having the icons disappear below a certain camera height makes sense to me at this point, although I think that should be optional and the height should be configurable. While we're at it, having the ability to turn off the graphics for squads of ships below importance or size x is something I've wanted. Then it can just be a game of icons that can run on a toaster, if people want that. Or just icons and then guardians and the ark and buildings drawing actual units, etc. Those were settings options I wanted to create to cater to the ultra low end machines where needed.

Lots of gold thoughts here, thanks for sharing it across from discord.
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Online BadgerBadger

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Re: A few UI critiques from discord
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 12:00:51 PM »
Regarding double clicking to get into planets, I see the point and I'm uncertain on that. I think it enables a lot of cool stuff by selecting planets, but being on one planet and having another selected may be confusing in and of itself. So that would also argue in favor of going back to single clicks and no planet selection.

Proposal: By default, planets must be double clicked, but using ctl-click says "Go directly to planet".

I think the Ark actually needs to count as a Mobile Military unit... Imagine someone using their ark in a raid against an enemy planet, then accidentally leaving it on the enemy planet when the rest of the fleet retreats.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: A few UI critiques from discord
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 01:30:27 PM »
Agreed on the missing of the ability to select only military units. I almost never want to move my Ark when I'm also moving a bunch of military stuff across the planet, and trying to select all the stuff except for the Ark is routinely a pain.

The Ark? You have issues not wanting to select your Ark?
I want to not select the planetary controller!

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: A few UI critiques from discord
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 02:18:32 PM »
There is soemthign I noticed with the camera, I can move it in any direction if I reach the end of the screen but not up.
The upper screen let's me not pan it upwards.
Any ideas why this might be?

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: A few UI critiques from discord
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 02:30:35 PM »
Regarding squad size from the other thread, I think that doubling squad caps and having units per squad makes sense.
The difficulty is that it would cut battle performance to 1/4 what it is now. After more optimizations it might make sense. I was planning to make it an option like high-caps in AIWC.

Quote
Regarding double clicking to get into planets, I see the point and I'm uncertain on that. I think it enables a lot of cool stuff by selecting planets, but being on one planet and having another selected may be confusing in and of itself. So that would also argue in favor of going back to single clicks and no planet selection.
When you click a planet you switch to that planet (so you're not on one planet and have another selected), but it doesn't switch to planet view until the second click. This lets you quickly check the sidebar from the galaxy map, etc.

That said, it may be good to make alt+click select a planet and just plain click do both the selection and the switch into planet view.
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Offline x4000

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Re: A few UI critiques from discord
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 02:43:30 PM »
There is soemthign I noticed with the camera, I can move it in any direction if I reach the end of the screen but not up.
The upper screen let's me not pan it upwards.
Any ideas why this might be?

That is super peculiar, I have no idea why that would be.  I plan to rip out most of that code, though, so ultimately I guess it doesn't matter.

Regarding squad size from the other thread, I think that doubling squad caps and having units per squad makes sense.
The difficulty is that it would cut battle performance to 1/4 what it is now. After more optimizations it might make sense. I was planning to make it an option like high-caps in AIWC.

Got it.  Let's definitely make that only-optional, then.  And in general we'll just have to make sure that visually this conveys the sense of scale, anyhow.  Icon count shouldn't be the measure of that. ;)

Quote
Regarding double clicking to get into planets, I see the point and I'm uncertain on that. I think it enables a lot of cool stuff by selecting planets, but being on one planet and having another selected may be confusing in and of itself. So that would also argue in favor of going back to single clicks and no planet selection.
When you click a planet you switch to that planet (so you're not on one planet and have another selected), but it doesn't switch to planet view until the second click. This lets you quickly check the sidebar from the galaxy map, etc.

That said, it may be good to make alt+click select a planet and just plain click do both the selection and the switch into planet view.

I like that quite a bit.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: A few UI critiques from discord
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 02:51:53 PM »
That said, it may be good to make alt+click select a planet and just plain click do both the selection and the switch into planet view.

I approve.

Online BadgerBadger

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Re: A few UI critiques from discord
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2017, 07:20:00 PM »
The darkarchon says

Ideally my camera would be
If I middle mouse button somewhere and pan around
Then the mouse cursor stays at the same position
In space
But the view pans around it
This is the most natural possible camera response for mouse movement
Adding slow acceleration to that makes it feel unresponsive

Offline x4000

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Re: A few UI critiques from discord
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2017, 07:37:09 PM »
Coming next build, here's part 1 of the camera changes:

* Rather than simply having different zoom modes for the cameras, the game now has full-out different camera code that is possible to execute.  This way we can completely recode the cameras for the galaxy map and main planetary view from scratch, as desired.  And modders can make their own cameras, too, for that matter -- these can be chosen-between using dropdowns in settings, for the galaxy map and planetary screen separately.
** The original intent here was to just ditch 100% of the old code and start fresh... but then as we started thinking about that, we realized that someone was going to have some nature of complaint about that, most likely.  So instead we've spent a while porting the old system into the new structure, and so the old methods of camera control are "gone" in a global sense, but "still there in their entirety" in the sense that their exact same feel and code and values is now a pair of sub-options in the new camera system.
*** That took substantially more time than expected, but we figure it's a good starting point for some variants of camera controls that someone might want to cook up someday, who knows.  Our own replacement camera systems likely won't be based on this too much.
*** Please do bear in mind that presently there are three "camera types," the "default cam logic" one simply being a copy of one of the old ones until it can be properly implemented fresh.

You can find all this stuff under the Camera folder under AIWarExternalVisualizationCode/src.  If you're wanting to mod based off of the existing code, then that would be the best way.  If you want to create something completely new, like I plan to, then that's also more or less the way, but you have to make a new class in there and then also make a new entry in the GameData/CameraTypes/ xml section.  If folks make camera control variants, I'll be happy to include them along with my own.  I'm under no illusion that people should all play the game with one style of camera controls.

To be clear, this is so freeform at this point that you could code this to simply be a spaceship you fly around in the first person all the time, if you felt like it.  You could make locked to an isometric viewpoint.  You could make it always look up from underneath for some reason.  Whatever. ;)

I'll be having a toggle that allows you to go from something pretty traditional and tame (that should feel tight instead of floaty) into a free-flying mode.  That way there's no need for the camera to bend the viewing angle as you get lower, in the new camera implementation I have in mind.  I may do a quasi-iso version as well, just to see how that feels.  If people don't like it, they don't have to use it. ;)
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Offline x4000

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Re: A few UI critiques from discord
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2017, 07:26:19 PM »
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