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First Thing To Do In Geoscape


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#1 mamutas

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 10:07 PM

Hi there all.

I do not recall I have seen any graphic designs for what I mentioned in the title. How do you imagine that? Where would the message appear? How would text field for base name would look like?

Please, post your images here.
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#2 Puasonen

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 07:23 AM

Use something similar to original.

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#3 Breunor

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 07:53 AM

I would suggest the name dialog just be a text field to the right of the OK cancel buttons, so you can see the entire globe. You could also have a text field under the name stating the cost of the current location, since it varied by continent. So once this dialog is active, you would rotate the globe and click on a location, and the price would be displayed. You could then type a name for the base, and only after selecting a location and typing at least a character or two, the OK button becomes active and can be clicked.

Something else which would be really nice IMO, is to include faint circles around the base, showing the short & long radar ranges. That way you know what you can cover without guessing so much. Just a suggestion. Ogre implementation might have the base icon model include some transparent faces underneath it laid out as a dish that would sit on the globe.

#4 mamutas

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 01:11 PM

I like suggestion about base price as well as radar ranges. I do not think we need a model to have ranges built in as we can create them programatically. And it also a thing which could be added later.

As for the images, I am not sure whether we want to follow an original idea. It somehow does not fit into UI we currenlty have. I was thinking more about having the text and the fields in the area above the bottoms and below funding. To say the truth I still am not sure what do we use it for.
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#5 Breunor

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 01:19 PM

So you're referring to the green box between the buttons and the funding in the main geoscape screen, that would be a good spot for it to go. My understanding is that the main use for that area is to display messages like 'ufo detected', 'research completed' and things like that. I don't know if it would replace pop-up boxes or supplement them though. Perhaps the message appears in the green screen and the time is paused?

#6 mikker

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 01:36 PM

hmmmm......

i like the thing about a radar range (maybe alse intensity of the radars?), and i think it should be on from start. It should show the radar range from each of the bases. From the start, it should show the small radar outlines, and the large radar outlines, when you are about the place a base (should be shown as the curser as the center). Later, the outlines of the alien command thingy should be shown doing placement. But when the base is placed, it should show its own radar strength (it shouldnt show large radar if it doesnt have any, and it also should use itensity).

On a side note, you should also get a 'warning' message; "do you really wan't to put the base here? Yes/No".

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#7 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 02:49 PM

I like suggestion about base price as well as radar ranges. I do not think we need a model to have ranges built in as we can create them programatically. And it also a thing which could be added later.

As for the images, I am not sure whether we want to follow an original idea. It somehow does not fit into UI we currenlty have. I was thinking more about having the text and the fields in the area above the bottoms and below funding. To say the truth I still am not sure what do we use it for.

Yeah. the greenscreen area would be spot on.

Like the radar as well.

Breunor, do you have the globe from the geoscape? I want to get the scale for the icons.

#8 Breunor

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 02:56 PM

The globe's at home, but I just made a geosphere with like 5 divisions or so. The texture map goes right on without any fuss, so feel free to create a new one and we can use that. Otherwise I can upload it tonight and let you know.

#9 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 03:08 PM

I was just after the scale really.
I've got some texturing to do on the icons so no hurry.

#10 mamutas

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Posted 12 February 2004 - 09:18 PM

I just suggested to put a question and the field in that green area above buttons. I want a confirmation from our visual designers who created the UI what is their ideas on that. I personally do not like it there very much. I think this area should be used for status messages (for example, when your cursor hovers over craft, craft stats could be displayed there) or for non-critical information messages (for example, "Plasma pistol research finished" and there would be a button to click and go directly to reallocate research dialog. The message would fade with time). But selecting a base location is very viable question, so a message box is better. It could look like in the original game, but that might not fit in overall design.

As for radar ranges, I meant "it is nice to display them, but i wouldn't do programming of that my high priority" and not "they should be displayed at the end of the game, but not from beginning" :)
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#11 Deimos

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 04:32 PM

Either works well for me. I'd prefer the info to be seen in the greenscren area as that'll get the player used to looking there for important info, but the popup box that I made would work just as well.

#12 mamutas

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 05:28 PM

Erhrhr...

We need to make a decision here guys! We need to decide how we go about all those possible popups. Are they all go in green box? Or some of them do and some not?

So, here is my vote. Lets make all messages go to the green box. Depending on message severity we will use different colored icons to draw attention and quickly identify the severity. Message will fade (if it is just informational) with time, which could be tuned by player from gameplay options. If there would be more than one message, they will be sorted by severity and there would be left/right arrows on top allowing to browse them all. The panel would include buttons and other controls if necessary. Potentially there could be a log of all messages displayed in that window, but its implementation could wait. However, we still should store them all in some file.
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#13 Deimos

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 05:56 PM

Sounds good to me. That gets my vote :)

#14 MagicAndy

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Posted 13 February 2004 - 07:11 PM

yeah that would work

#15 Micah

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 03:29 AM

I agree. I'd go with Mamutas' suggestion.

#16 mamutas

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 04:42 PM

Darn! Now it seems to difficult to implement...

But... Oh, well. I will givie it my best try.

:)
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#17 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 03:03 AM

A list of massage types with a priority?
Or could just do it on time, with sorting as a second layer for messages coming in at the same time.
Need a number somewhere to indicate number of unread messages.
Forcing a response could be an issue. you'd have to queue message #2 if massage #1 is waiting for an input, and disable the next/last buttons?

I think a flow chart is needed, it could get very messy very quickly.

edit - sorry, that should read "MESSAGE TYPES" :D

Edited by drewid, 15 February 2004 - 06:48 AM.


#18 Puasonen

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 05:19 AM

Who defines which message is more important than another? I agree with drewid, new message always goes on top. Older messages you can read with some arrow buttons. And I also agree with that "X new message(s)" text there.
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#19 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 07:49 AM

The user could define the importance of messages, as an option. I think a good default setup might be:

1.Terror!!!!
2.Ufos
3.X-Craft messages
These happen on very small timescales, and have to be responded to or noted very quickly. (unless it immediately goes to 5sec...)

4a. Research
4b. Development
5. Purchases
6. Transfers

That's all of them, I think.
Posted Image Haha! I'm now the Supreme Commander of X-COM. Time to kiss Earth goodbye.

My first order of business: Homeless people make cheap rookies, and are great at opening UFO doors. Heck, they're so cheap, I'm going to replace all personel with them!
Secondly: This organisation takes too much money to run. Weapon shipments will come from Siberia from now on. Costly maintenance is to be cut on all facilities. That includes venting.
Thirdly: We have a new colonel. His name is Facehugger, he loves aliens, and I want you all to treat him with respect.
Lastly: I'll be in my condo on an undisclosed island, if you need me. Good day.

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#20 mamutas

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 12:32 PM

How often do you usually get several messages at a the same time? It happens sometime, but those are either several 'transfer completed' or 'ufo detected' messages, which are the same in terms of priority.

I liked proposed list of priorities here. I also think that it should be customizable. Not from the UI panels maybe, but at least via scripting (which we will have anyway one way or another).

Anyway, anyone wants to get it a try and draw the suggestion for us? A flow chart as drewid suggested. Huh? Anyone?
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#21 mikker

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 07:17 AM

hmmm...would the game pause/5s when a message pop up?

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#22 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:05 AM

I think that having a little info bar was neat in Apoc, where there were alot of messages that you didn't care about. You'd just glance at it, and move on. But, just about every message on the Geoscape is important. You'd be straining your eyes on that little bar, looking for anything important. Unless there's going to be a bunch of minor messages to make use of the bar, it might not work out.

Or, there could be a window for major events, and the minibar could handle minor events.
Some ideas for minor events:

1. Intelligence reports Alien activity in XXX. Handy early in the game, when you would otherwise be looking at the alien activity graph every 10 seconds. Just send a plane on patrol, to try and find it. Might even be handy to find alien bases.

2. Updated research/manufacturing progress. (Laser cannon: 23/50 46%, Sectoid 30%)

3. Funds. ($3,000,000, End of Month $-200,000)

4. Transfer/purchase progress (Base 1->Base 2, 30 items, 3H,25M)

5. Agents recovered, Craft repaired/rearmed/refueled...

6. Anything that would have you checking the basescape every 10 seconds, but a whole window would be too annoying. ^_^
Posted Image Haha! I'm now the Supreme Commander of X-COM. Time to kiss Earth goodbye.

My first order of business: Homeless people make cheap rookies, and are great at opening UFO doors. Heck, they're so cheap, I'm going to replace all personel with them!
Secondly: This organisation takes too much money to run. Weapon shipments will come from Siberia from now on. Costly maintenance is to be cut on all facilities. That includes venting.
Thirdly: We have a new colonel. His name is Facehugger, he loves aliens, and I want you all to treat him with respect.
Lastly: I'll be in my condo on an undisclosed island, if you need me. Good day.

FMIX-The General Stores

#23 mamutas

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 01:48 PM

hmmm...would the game pause/5s when a message pop up?

hmm...
good point.
i forgot about it.

what would you say?

i thint that pausing the game will look confusing, as there would be no modal dialog displayed (for non-programmers, modal dialog means the one which interrupts user interaction with program, like 'File Open'). the game will be in paused mode, but interface still will be accessible. hmm, does not look right for me.

however, switching to 5s mode looks reasonable. for example: game runs in 1h mode. you got a message: 'ufo detected. do you want to: a) center on craft; B) intercept; c) do nothing?' the game switches to 5s mode and wait for the selection. if you choose c), the game resume 1h mode. if you choose a) or B), the game will stay in 5s mode after the action is performed.

how about it?
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#24 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 02:15 PM

sounds good to me.

Wasn't there a "centre and 5 second" buitton or was that TFTD?
It's all a blur :wacko:

#25 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 02:20 PM

Yes, there was a center and 5 second button in both UFO and TFTD.
I'm only partially inactive. :P I can still be reached at cpl.facehugger@gmail.com, and via PM. Preferably the former.

*Coming back? Avast! Facehugger, finish your assignments!*

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#26 mamutas

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 05:10 PM

Are you picky or what? :)
I just wanted to give you an example of how new interface would work, not the exact list of questions and answers.

On the side note, I am glad nobody was against the idea itself. :)
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#27 Breunor

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 06:12 PM

Perhaps a few ideas here:

On basic info that doesn't affect major things like purchases arrive or transfers arrive, the text appears in the green area after teh area flashes a brighter green very quickly, just a blink to draw attention (along with a soft beep would work well IMO). For things like research completed or other items that would normally result in the player doing something non-critical, the same happens and the clock drops to the slowest setting. For critical events like ufo sightings and terror sites, the clock stops altogether. The green text area could just be a text file that is appended with more text for each event, and you could include scroll up/down buttons to read erlier events. With a beep and color flash, if the player doesn't read what's there let them scroll back.

This text area never has game controls or links, just text output from events. To keep the text file from getting too large, it could have a second text file for old events, and at the end-of-month report event messages more than 1 month old are taken from the current event log and appended to the old event log. Then the player could have a small button under the green text screen which opens the old log if they wanted to see what happened several months ago.

I think that if several things happen at the same time, none of them being issues that would stop the clock, then a beep and flash for each item would let the player know there was several items to read. They could scroll back up the log to see what happened. In most cases though, the entry shouldn't be more than 1-2 lines of text, so I'd be shocked if you couldn't see at least 3 entries at once, along with time/date they occur. That should minimize scrolling from the rare chance of all the poop hitting the fan at once.

How does that sound?

#28 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 06:59 PM

Sounds good to me. I can hardly imagine a text file being bigger than the saved game itself, so the file size probably won't be too much of an issue. The history could be placed in the "graphs" screen, or its equivalent.

I wonder, though, how will the player get vital info on UFOs? Especially after the HWD, when there's alot of info for each UFO.
Posted Image Haha! I'm now the Supreme Commander of X-COM. Time to kiss Earth goodbye.

My first order of business: Homeless people make cheap rookies, and are great at opening UFO doors. Heck, they're so cheap, I'm going to replace all personel with them!
Secondly: This organisation takes too much money to run. Weapon shipments will come from Siberia from now on. Costly maintenance is to be cut on all facilities. That includes venting.
Thirdly: We have a new colonel. His name is Facehugger, he loves aliens, and I want you all to treat him with respect.
Lastly: I'll be in my condo on an undisclosed island, if you need me. Good day.

FMIX-The General Stores

#29 mamutas

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:41 PM

Hmm.... I don't know. I did not imagined that green area as a scroll area listing all old events. With Breunor's suggestion, we missing the mechanizm to ask player a question. Were you thinking about using message boxes for that? Or something else? But in that case the green area will loose its point as main area for player-game communication.

Thinking as a player, I can't think about needs to go and look at what time I invented laser weapons 2 months ago. This kind of information could be stored and be accessible from the monthly reports. I think it is better place for it.

I liked the idea about flashing and beeping sound to draw the attention. I was thinking about some colorful icon indicating the severity (red sign for very severe, yellow exclamation for medium, something green for information), but flash is really good approach IMHO.

Again, the area could be used for rollover information, but it will not be possible to do if we would have scrollable text there.



Another alternative, I can think of, is to use the grean area for rollover status information, as well as temporare informational messages (facility completed, ammo arrived, transfer finished, etc.) which do not require immediate user response. We can display rollover info as needed, but then mouse moved over, the area displays whatever it displayed before. Informational messages will be added at the top of the area, and older messages will be scrolling down. There would be no scrollbars, the messages out of area are lost and will not be accessible from Geoscape directly (possibly you can see them in monthly reports).

Regular modal message boxes will be displayed for any event requiring player response.

It is just a slight variation of initial suggestion, which I still like more.
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#30 mikker

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 06:21 AM

i think the best would be to keep minor stuff in the green area, and have them stay there untill you click on them to delete them. A bipbip and a little flash should be enough.

for major stuff (stuff completed, ufo spotted, etc.)

Some people say that dreams are a portal to the subconscious. If that is so, I am a very disturbed person.

the truth about scientology

#31 mamutas

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Posted 17 February 2004 - 12:25 PM

umm... did you mean to write more to your post?
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