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Buy/sell Screen


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#1 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 05:14 PM

Well, since I can't do any texturing on me model till a skeletal system is created I might as well do some more 2D stuff. I figured noone has done anything on this yet so I'll have a crack at it.

Right, since this is for v1.0 there can't really be any big changes from the original, but I don't think there's much to be changed anyhow. My idea is this: Am I the only one who was annoyed at sieving through the whole list of items trying to find the one I want to buy/sell? Also don't you want to know a little about what you are buying before you buy it?

Well, since there is already the screen for the X.Net I think this could be easily adapted, both in code and graphics wise to these ends. Basically if it looked very simular to the aforementioned screen then it would be a benifit for consistancy as well. What I was thinking of was having the space where the current sub sections of X.Net into subsections of equipment, e.g. Human Guns, Alien Guns, Explosives etc.

Then where the current X.Net entries are posted can be reused for exactly the same purpose, thus helping the player know what he is buying, save on code and even save on space since the whole background is reused :happybanana:

How does that sound?

Edit: Thinking about it quite a bit of stuff will need 2 be moved around, and I think that there should be a reduced size image with a reduced description so that the actual item listing takes up about 1/4 of the screen. So maybe I was a little ambitions thinking that a lot could be reused, but code wise I'd imagine that it wouldn't be that hard. Maybe the image isn't even really necessary just a short item stats part.

Edited by Jim69, 09 September 2003 - 05:35 PM.


#2 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 07:07 PM

Can you do up an example of what you think it should look like?
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#3 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 07:25 PM

Well, here is a VERY quick mock up, just altered the X.Net a little. There's no facility for switching base yet or switching between buying and selling, but since noone has even agreed that this is a good way 2 go it is probably better that I ain't spent 2 long on it. My thinking was that the item list would go in the top box and the selected item's stats and short description would go in the bottom.

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#4 mamutas

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 08:02 PM

The code to implement graphics is a very thin layer on top what will be necessary to do with the screen. We already have library of controls to do UI, so any screen UI assembled of standard buttons and labels can be coded very quickly, but it is opposite to internal functionality.

So, I would not even try to think to reuse XNet interface for Buy/Sell screen as they are too different in terms of their internals. -_-

Also, there was a discussion about pretty much all baseview and geoscape screens, but unfortunately the results are scattered across all forums. However, senior artists should keep summary somewhere, so I strongly suggest to contact them first before starting discussion on any screen. :wave:
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#5 Vaaish

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 08:03 PM

Jim before you start another screen lets finish getting the ones you are working on hammered out.

I think the main menu is pretty much finished and there are still a few minor changes for the new game screen as well as the accounts screen,

#6 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 05:09 AM

Oh ok, I thought they were finished 4 now, I'll get them done b4 I carry on with this 1 then.

I did do a search but couldn't find any information on this one so I just tried to create a starting point that was continuous with the other screens. As far as I can see in the Geoscape there are two types of interface, the ones which is used for the actual globe screen ( with a simular bar for the base view ) and the X.Net where the style was not used anywhere else. Has it already been discussed then where this screen would fit in to that current system?

#7 Breunor

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 07:09 AM

I don't think any graphics were made as concepts, but there was some discussion about the layout and how to improve the function of it as well. I agree that the other screens should be finalized first, and then each screen would need to be chopped up into the smallest repeating chunks as png files too. RK can explain that better, perhaps j'ordos or Vaaish, whoever sent RK the PNGs for the X-Net screen.

#8 Deimos

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 01:22 PM

Jim. Before you go starting new screens can we get the ones we've currently got in development completed first. Its an organisational nightmare tracking whats already in development without firing off in new directions for screens that we've already got. It'd be good if you could check with one of the senior art team about the situation of various screens before going off in a new direction.

The Buy sell screen is a part of the geoscape UI as we'd designed to to be a part of it from very early on. I was just searching for some of the artwork associated with it but I can't find it. I'll repost one of the pics I have of it here. This one is the original design with some placeholder art (which unfortunately got loast in my last hard drive crash)

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#9 Deimos

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 01:24 PM

Here's the second more recent (well I say recent, recent as in this year) one without the placeholder art.

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#10 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 01:50 PM

I like it.
But I did kind of like the placeholder art. :(

Anyway, it seems like it is pretty much done.
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#11 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 01:59 PM

Oh OK, didn't realise ne1 had actually done ne work on it since I did a search and nothing come up. np.

#12 Breunor

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 07:14 PM

Perhaps some of the screens that are done for now could be added to the page of pictures Micah has linked from the home page?

#13 Micah

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 09:19 PM

Actually, that first pic that Deimos posted was added to the geoscape concept art page around 4 months ago.....

#14 Breunor

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 06:12 AM

Ah, I see the problem. I clicked on the geoscape on the home page and it goes to a different page than if you click on the concept art link in the menu. The latter does have that screen, I stand corrected.

#15 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 10:29 AM

So...What else is left 2 do? Just 4 reference.

#16 Breunor

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 12:52 PM

I don't think work on the monthly status report has been done, particularly if additional 'stories' were to be written by the CTD to spice up the standard numbers you get. I think Deimos had posted several reference screens from the original game, showing a small version of every possible screen in the game. Perhaps it would help to take each new version as it's done and overlay it on the original version, so we can look at the overall picture to make sure nothing's missed?

#17 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 01:23 PM

What kind of stories would you like to see? Think of an example, and I can probably understand what you are going for with the stories... :D

Edited by Cpl. Facehugger, 11 September 2003 - 01:23 PM.

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#18 Micah

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 01:51 PM

I don't know how many of you played with those Adlib paperbacks when you were young, where you have a simple story and you fill in a bunch of nouns and adjectives and verbs from people and things you know. Then you read through the whole story and you get a good laugh. The kind of stories we have in mind are created from the stats for the previous month. Using this data, we want to have something like this:

"Last month you killed 50 sectoids, splattered 75 floaters, wasted a lot of money on laser rifles, and made significant developments in alien research, especially the plasma technologies. Commander Stewart was shot to death by a muton and had his corpse eaten by chryssalids. You purchased ttwo new interceptors, but squandered three of them on alien battleships. Once again, Egypt lowered their X-COM funding.

The squaddies are getting restless and are requesting the immediate construction of a foosball table.

End of Report."

Now, I am not a very creative person, and that was very dry, so please, run with it :)

#19 mamutas

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 03:36 PM

That could be a nightmare to translate programmatically. Think about it too.

Anyway, has anyone took all the concepts and laid them next to each other? Calculated how many clicks are to perform some actions? Thought about all possible path UI could be displayed?

If you have nothing else to do, that would be very useful thing.
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#20 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 03:54 PM

I've got a little 2 do at the mo, I was just thinking ahead incase noone was online that could give me the answers when I do finish.

Also, to the end of clicks. Something that I could do is calculate the possible path that the gamer takes in game ( or at least that I take ) and do a story board type feature to see how it will work. Comparing it to that of UFO would be good as well as we could actually see in pictures which takes more clicks, as IMO we shouldn't ever exceed that of UFO unless completly necessary as there were enough screens to go through as it is.

As to the report. Altho I wouldn't be able to directly translate it into code I do know the basics of how code is generated ( have to use a basic type language at work for programming motor movements from a drive ) so I could provide at least the framework to that end, it would save someone some work as they could just clean it up into C++ usable code. That would be something that I wouldn't do unless there was bugger all else 4 me to work on tho.

Edit: Are all the images that are in the Concept Art page everything that has been done to date? If it is then I could do that for you on Saturday as there is no footie till Sunday anyway so there's a big gap in my weekend from 12 till 6 :)

Edited by Jim69, 11 September 2003 - 03:55 PM.


#21 Micah

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 04:46 PM

That could be a nightmare to translate programmatically. Think about it too.

It would really be that much trouble? Darn :( That was something a few of us were looking forward to :)

#22 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 05:53 PM

If I may?

The kill totals from the previous Month were as follows:

50 Sectoids
75 Floaters

35% of the budget was spent on producing Laser Rifles and there were advances in the Plamsa Rifle research. 3 XC-1's were lost, however 2 new XC-1's and 1 Avenger were brought in to replace the losses.

Egypt lowered funding by 6% however UK and USA raised funding by 3%. Overheads increased due to increased personell and the new facilities built at base Europe.

Squaddies at base Europe are getting restless so a pool table has been ordered to increase moral.


Basically a lot of things need to be tracked into variables for this to work but I would imagine this would be done anyway if just for good design and to allow for moddablility. AFAIK an Engine is being built that could be modified into a different type of turn based squad game so I would have thought that this would be a prequestite. If this is done then it is just a case of IF statements I think.

If needed I could produce a text document that states all the things needed to be tracked and it would be something that could be added as u code from screen to screen. If the variables are all stored in a seperate document they could be called from a number of screens, tho I'd imagine that is what would happen ne way.

Once everything is in variables the actual code isn't particularly hard to do so if there is anyone in the programming department who isn't very competant in C++ yet this could be a good exercise in code writting, it's the same way I am learning at work. A couple of IF statements for each line, some basic calcs and some random calls from a list are all that is required, and I really think it could add to the game. Maybe I am just biased coz I love looking at stats in CM4 and having them analyzed to death :) The last line could be the best indication as to how the war is going, a soldier's view from the front line if you will.

#23 fux0r666

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 06:26 PM

You'd have to make sure that the status report fit the status of your base.. like, if you've just had 3 base attacks in a month it is doubtful the squaddies would be getting restless...

If you were going to code a statistical information database or something into the program for it to generate reports from you could also use the individual names of the squaddies for specific things.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#24 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 06:45 PM

You'd have to make sure that the status report fit the status of your base.. like, if you've just had 3 base attacks in a month it is doubtful the squaddies would be getting restless...

If you were going to code a statistical information database or something into the program for it to generate reports from you could also use the individual names of the squaddies for specific things.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking, like the events at the base and missions should reflect their mood.

#25 Micah

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Posted 11 September 2003 - 07:59 PM

Yes, these are the things my text was meant to relate. Some of it random, but otherwise it's all based on things that happened that month....

#26 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 04:15 PM

So you want it to be funny?
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#27 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 04:20 PM

You think some squadies getting a pool table is funny? U need 2 get out more :P

#28 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 04:21 PM

No, I don't, but that is what I think micah was going for with his story.
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#29 Breunor

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 09:07 AM

Part of it would be making the monthly stats more conversational like Micah presented, the other part was having "news feeds" that would spice up what the graphs told you. If there was an increase in alien activity in a country, a news story would mention that ____ were up, filling in with cow mutilation, abductions, sightings of ufos that the government denies, crop circles, etc. If activity drops in another country, the report might say that fewer people are reporting the phenomenon, "which proves that the supposed phenomenom were nothing more than over excited citizens". The main point is that it would be a text version of graph activity changes, so you don't have to go through the graphs if you don't want to. It could be either a military report format where an officer is giving you the facts, or through 3rd party sources like CNN type sound bites (in text form). If you check out CNN headline news, they have the text feed going across the bottom of the screen all the time, you could make it short and sweet like that with just a sentence or two for each continent, and the player could then check the graphs for greater detail. Or you could include the details like having bits for each country including eye witness reports. Who knows, maybe the aliens get CNN, and they abduct those eye witnesses when they can to keep the public in the dark. :devillaugh:

For programming, if the data is stored in XML format, each chunk is assigned to a variable when the month end report comes up. If country X alien activity rises, you grab a random "increase" story, and swap the embedded country name links with that country. It gets added to a text string, and additional stories are added on until all the areas are covered. Then that string gets put into the text box on screen. In theory, based on my non-programmer, limited understanding. Don't thump me if I'm wrong Mamutas! :D

#30 Breunor

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 09:43 AM

Deimos posted pics that include every screen in the original game, you can find it halfway down page 1 in this thread. The images are pretty big, so modem users be warned. Each part could be replaced with the newer version to help us keep tabs on it all. IMO the easiest option would be to break it up into each screen at that size, and put them into a table format. Each cell could be updated as we go. It would also help us look at them all next to each other in case one sticks out, help keep a uniform UI look.

#31 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 09:44 AM

We wouldn't be the first to include something like a report in a game so it can't be that hard, or they wouldn't do it coz of the effort to result ratio.

#32 Breunor

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 11:07 AM

It's a matter of time needed versus benefit gained. If we have plenty of programmers waiting in the wings then you're right, it can be done. That's a big 'if' however...

#33 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 11:18 AM

Ok then, here is story number one. This one takes place in january 1999 (or the first month xeno starts) It assumes you have a base in North America, and can cover that continent.

Stats
Kills- 102 sectoids, 52 Floaters
Alien Items Retrieved- 57 weapons, 10 Clips, 1 anal probe.
blah blah blah

"A signifigant amount of people in Europe are reporting alien encounters. So far, 200 cows have been discovered, many slit open from throat to anus. What is incredibly disturbing is that over 120 people have reported being taken aboard alien craft and having humilitaing (sp?) examinations performed on them. Less frightening, is the fact that over 1,040 people in Europe have reported sightings of UFOs this month."

"Comparativly, very few people in North America are reporting UFOs and alien encounters. Perhaps they have finally realized that there are no ufos! This is CNNN Signing Off."
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#34 mamutas

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 01:34 PM

Breunor,

You are right in your description of programming module. It works exactly as you said: there is a text with a place holders for variable info. Then you just put a variable value there and display the text. Usually, each text is translated in different languages, adjusting the variable placeholder to appropriate place.

It would be nice to have multiple version of the same story, cause seeing the same texts with differences from 200 cows to 150 cows will become very boring soon. But, I gues that is why we have CTD for! :)
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#35 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 01:43 PM

That was just a rough example :D.
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#36 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 02:38 PM

Breunor,

You are right in your description of programming module. It works exactly as you said: there is a text with a place holders for variable info. Then you just put a variable value there and display the text. Usually, each text is translated in different languages, adjusting the variable placeholder to appropriate place.

It would be nice to have multiple version of the same story, cause seeing the same texts with differences from 200 cows to 150 cows will become very boring soon. But, I gues that is why we have CTD for! :)

The best example ( sorry to bore u guys with this, I bet u really are bored of hearing about it :) ) is CM4. It has News items on player signing etc. I must have seen the player signing news item 200+ times but the other day I saw one that I had never seen before, I spoke to everyone I know and they had never seen it before either. The point is that having loads is fine but they shouldn't be completly random, some of the more interesting and longer ones should be quite rare so it is that much cooler when it does eventually turn up.

Problem being we would have to think of a lot of eventualities, that could take some time. Maybe when (if) people come into agreement that this should be ingame then we can start working on a list splitting each section up into eventualities and start coming up with a list of possible texts. At best we could aim to have it so there are very few reports that would read the same word for word, even if the content is the same. That requires a lot of input ( probably more than the CTD can provide ) so it should be a group effort a lot like the current names database, maybe not setup into XML but the same prinicples of everyone chipping in for the long run. Thats my take on it anyway.

#37 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 05:44 PM

On the image front I wanted this screen to be a little different from the rest, just for variety. It still sticks strictly to the other screens tho so it won't look out of place. I know for a fact that people are already sharpening their knives, don't hurt me :) It's just a start. I figure the left hand side for funding issues and the right hand side for a full report of the month as mentioned previously. Nowhere near finished but I'd like to get some feedback before I do too much.

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#38 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 05:54 PM

Is the green window with the U.N. symbol where the little story is going to go?
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#39 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 06:01 PM

The green window with the little UN symbol is where the country funding information is going to be.

#40 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 06:05 PM

Ohh, then where is the little anecdotal story going to be? Or is there even going to be a story?

[Based on the quality of my previous submission, I doubt it. :)]
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#41 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 06:08 PM

I'm still waiting for a decision from the programmers as to if they think it is worth tracking a lot of things ingame just for this screen. I think it is but it's not for me to say, so for the moment it is left blank. I'd like to see some charts showing the way funding has gone in the last 6 months if it isn't included.

#42 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 07:22 PM

Xcom Funding from the U.N.: ____/----- Now that should tell you something about the competence of xcom's commanders :D

Now for the alien's elerium funding, -------\________________ dead xx(
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#43 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 09:08 PM

How about this then? ( I'm gonna continue until told otherwise )

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#44 Breunor

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Posted 16 September 2003 - 09:57 AM

Don't worry Jim, we're not sharpening knives (I use swords anyways :D )... I like the general layout of the screen and the position of the data. Since the default language reads left to right (and many others as well), it makes sense to have the critical info in the upper left corner like you placed it. The summary of countries' happiness at the bottom fits well, so having the story clips on the right side wins by default. I know you're using the previous text as an example; I would possibly break the info into smaller clips/paragraphs for clarity. For example,

STRATEGIC REPORT DETAIL
Our forces took 6 casualties:
Stewart - Commander
killed 3/6/2015
BillyBob - Recruit
killed 3/17/2015
etc

We defeated the following enemy forces:
23 Sectoids killed
11 Floaters killed
Sectoid Navigator captured

Science Officer Report:
Heavy Laser finished
Plasma Pistol finished
Plasma Rifle in progress

Civilian Liason Report:
Our increased presence within Europe and Central Asia have helped reduce the number of alien sightings, and human abductions are down. Local governments are pleased with our efforts.

The unanswered terror attack on Sydney has caused Australia to break from the United Earth Coalition, and our sources indicate it is unlikely they will return. Other alien activity in that area looks troubling.

Local television stations throughout North America have been showing taped sightings of alien craft, and crop circles are becoming more common in recent weeks.


I agree that it would be great to have lots of versions of the same thing. For example, the ufo sightings in N. America bit could be rewritten dozens of ways, but all would say alien activity's up there. If we have the country name as a variable like Mamutas said it's done, then there would be hundreds of combinations. We could make a list of the type of reports needed, and every CT member could make their version of it to submit. They'd all be added into a list to randomly pick from. I wouldn't put one out for every country but instead for each continent, to reduce the number of items in the detailed report you get. If the player wants to know exactly where in Europe something's happening, they can refer to the graphs.

I like this idea a lot, but it will come down to whether the programmers have the time to implement it. But if it's fleshed out and looking really cool, someone might make the time to do it as well.

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Posted 16 September 2003 - 10:16 AM

I agree, but to save time ( and peoples connections :D ) I won't keep constantly posting the updated text every 5 minutes. Sees like a good way to split it up I think, reads a lot easier so that you can get the vital information straight from the specific parts, like say the research completed this month. I think the first 2 lines of the Civilian Liason report would be covered in the bottom box so maybe that box would give an indication as to what UFO's are being allowed to fly around. Nothing specific, say there was a lot of UFO activity in Europe the code would randomly choose a news story about UFO's being spotted in a European country. The more sightings there are the more of a problem it is.

The reason I think we should do this is because it gives players a hint in an imaginative way as to what is going on. Graphs are useful for specifics but sometimes a good news item can sum it up in a more readable frendly way I think. Like you said tho, it shouldn't be country specific as such, so just because there are a few UFO's spotted around the UK doesn't mean the base is in the UK. It could be the supply route the ships are taking for all you know, all that you would be able to tell is that it is somewhere in the vicinity.

I think all the little news stories we give should give the players a subtle hint as to what is going on, or else why even have the screen in the first place? I'm not one for a report for the sake of some reading material personally. If I want to read some irrelivent stories I will go to the library :)

Oh yeah, I was expecting someone to go "Oh no, not the UN flag! Ahh, bevelled as well, behind text, noooooo!" I have tried to make it easy on the eye, obviously it worked if noone moaned, it's always a sign u've got it right when noone moans :LOL: I know because I'm usually the one moaning.

#46 mamutas

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Posted 16 September 2003 - 12:36 PM

umm, i don't think we need to display all countries funding on each monthly reports. or do we? we are going to have reports screens anyway, right?
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#47 fux0r666

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Posted 16 September 2003 - 01:29 PM

I think that the report should be available. Watching trends in funding is one of the ways you can identify an infiltrated government.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#48 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 16 September 2003 - 05:00 PM

umm, i don't think we need to display all countries funding on each monthly reports. or do we? we are going to have reports screens anyway, right?

I was sticking to what was in UFO. The only thing I have added from UFO is the in depth report which not everyone will read. I for one sometimes would just read the statistical information rather than the long hand, it saves time.

#49 mamutas

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Posted 17 September 2003 - 10:00 AM

umm, i don't think we need to display all countries funding on each monthly reports. or do we? we are going to have reports screens anyway, right?

I was sticking to what was in UFO. The only thing I have added from UFO is the in depth report which not everyone will read. I for one sometimes would just read the statistical information rather than the long hand, it saves time.

The only correct approach for now.
However, I do not remember seeing all countries funding in the monthly report... A screenshot will help.
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#50 fux0r666

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Posted 17 September 2003 - 12:03 PM

Oh yeah, you had graphs and overlays with multiple data points and everything.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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