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X-net Interface


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#1 Deimos

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 01:18 PM

For the next release we need a working X-net interface. There has been some discussion but as we need it up and running we need to get a lid on the UI. There is a bit of urgency (read two weeks) needed in this so art people please drop what you're doing and lets get this one nailed down.

So I'm including the source for the working alpha of the interface I have up and running so far. Before downloading it be aware that the zip file is nearly 2mb

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Edited by Deimos, 11 July 2003 - 01:26 PM.


#2 Deimos

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 01:23 PM

One source zip

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  • Attached File  xnet.zip   1.68MB   39 downloads


#3 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 01:57 PM

That's odd...I'm getting a 0kb file when I download it.

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#4 mikker

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 02:21 PM

me too. After quite a long waiting time, the download starts, and you have 0kb.

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#5 GreatGold

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 03:15 PM

Hey -

So whats the plan for what is needed at the end of two weeks? Is it just to have the main screen, or also a few complete entries? Also, will the X-Net have the same exact flow as the original? If so, are we keeping the UFO Sighting and History categories for this alpha? Or should we just concentrate on v1 stuff (unless that is v1?)?

Should we draw up a complete Flow Chart of the whole X-Net (as per v1)? If so, who should be assigned that. Also, I guess there are a few options here:

1.) Should we just concentrate on the concept and work solely on two or three completed entries. Ones that come to mind are HWP's and Elerium, as both the 3D models and entries are complete for the most part. So, if you clicked on the the HWP tab, youd get the complete entry, but none of the other tabs work.

2.) Make it so that every entry has a window created, and ready for use, just without content. What I mean by this is that the UI has everything working, but that even though you can pick a topic, there may not be any content in the window other than the name of the topic.

3.) A combination of 1 and 2. Personally I like this one, but we are under a nasty time limit. Still I think its doable.

So, whats the plan? The faster we have a working idea, the sooner we can pop this baby out :D . Also, a lot of it wouldnt be too hard I imagine, as the graphical design of every topics' window will be idential, is this correct? If it is, then only the name and content need to be changed.

Also, whats the coding status of the X-Net?

I'm looking foward to seeing how this pans out! Especially under pressure... let the games begin!

EDIT: The X-Net file posted by Deimos works fine for me. Just a few technical questions, what font is that? And is that a handmade background?

Awaiting orders,
Gold

Edited by GreatGold, 11 July 2003 - 03:18 PM.

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#6 Micah

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 03:15 PM

I was able to access the file with no trouble. Here is a link to another copy of it on the server (not uploaded to the forum):

http://www.projectxe...assets/xnet.zip

Edit: That is the gotthard font, one of the two fonts included with the alpha 3 archive.

#7 mamutas

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 04:07 PM

The coding has not started yet.
For the first implementation to be started it is necessary to finalize the GUI layout: what is going when the button is pressed, what is displayed there.
Then the database must be created. It must have at least 2 complete entries there with all images and texts, but the DB format must be complete, so later we would need just to add more entries to it without recompilation of the code (hopefully).
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#8 Deimos

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 05:30 PM

EDIT: The X-Net file posted by Deimos works fine for me.  Just a few technical questions, what font is that?  And is that a handmade background?

I think the best thing for the CTD to do is crack on with writing up entries for x-net so we have something to put into the the text areas.

All the other points you bring up are what this thread is for along with completing the artwork.

The original ufopeadia had different screens for different items. Things like the craft pages had fullscreen pictures which would mean we need to discuss how we are going to approach havign the rendered model, picture and text in the page.

As for flow diagrams and design docs and other 'paperwork' that no one but the authour reads, we don't really need them. Up at the top of the page is Micah's saved game which has all of the ufopeadia items unlocked. Do we really need to be creating extra work for something we have available to everyone. Just run the game and get the info direct. F12 I think is the screenshot button if you need to take reference material.

This thread is for the whole of X-net art. We're not just concentrating on one or two items but the whole thing. Most of the design and work for x-net is going to dependent on how it looks so. The coding as far as I'm aware as Mamutas says is dependent on having the UI set in place.

To answer your final questions GG, the font is the same one as used across the UI Gotthard. As I mentioned to you in another thread, yes the background is hand done. It isn't that hard to do if you have a graphics tablet. In the game the background will actually be produced using the graphics card and will be done using a perlin noise texture. It might even be animated in a small way so its constantly moving but that hasn't been discussed so it'd be a +v1.0 thing.

For everyone else, sorry that you haven't been able to access the file, the senior team are working on a solution.

#9 GreatGold

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 05:50 PM

The original ufopeadia had different screens for different items. Things like the craft pages had fullscreen pictures which would mean we need to discuss how we are going to approach havign the rendered model, picture and text in the page.

Seems like a good place to start. What are the Senior Members thoughts on this? Keep it similar to how X-Com did it, or branch of into a new design scheme? I think it makes more sense to have a similar, if not idenitcal, set-up for each item - as apposed ot the original scheme.

As for flow diagrams and design docs and other 'paperwork' that no one but the authour reads, we don't really need them. Up at the top of the page is Micah's saved game which has all of the ufopeadia items unlocked. Do we really need to be creating extra work for something we have available to everyone. Just run the game and get the info direct. F12 I think is the screenshot button if you need to take reference material.

Got it. So then we are using an idenitcal flow to X-Com. In that case, your definately correct. No need to duplicate something that is already there.

In the game the background will actually be produced using the graphics card and will be done using a perlin noise texture.

I've seen that phrase thrown around a few times, but I don't really know what it means, or how it actually looks. What is a perlin noise texture? It also sounds very interesting to have small constant animations...

This thread is for the whole of X-net art.

I'm not sure if this idea goes with art or coding, but I think art - so I'll post it here. The items that had a full-screen pic in the orginal were larger items. Now, if you guys want to keep with a "one-design-for-all-entries" setup, perhaps you could have a button next to the 3D model of the object that actually causes the 3D image to open in a new, and larger window, that takes up most of the screen (or perhaps all of it). It could then be manipulated as normal, except now with better detail and focus, as its the main point of interest on the screen.

Obviously, that probably would only be useful for looking at the larger items, so if we go with a different system it may not be useful.

All the other points you bring up are what this thread is for along with completing the artwork.

Yup, thats why I brought them up in this thread.

I think the best thing for the CTD to do is crack on with writing up entries for x-net so we have something to put into the the text areas.

Most definately. The UFO Navigation is on its way, along with a number of less vital ones. Perhaps also UFO Power Source, if I can get in contact with Denivive. All this in addition to the dozen or so that are either completed or near completion. They shall be ready for you, no fear :D .

Thanks,
Gold

Edited by GreatGold, 11 July 2003 - 05:54 PM.

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#10 Micah

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 06:02 PM

Great work on coordinating the xnet entries so far, GreatGold.

As Deimos said, the senior team does want to stick to the original ufopaedia layout as much as possible to keep it simple for ourselves (and make it easier for the player to associate with).

Here's a decent explanation of perlin noise textures:
http://astronomy.swi...texture/perlin/
complete with sample pics.

#11 GreatGold

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 06:12 PM

Here's a decent explanation of perlin noise textures:
http://astronomy.swi...texture/perlin/
complete with sample pics.

Ahhhhhh, I get it now. Very cool, thanks for the link. The 3D images are pretty neat, having something like that(even in 2D) floating around in the back would be very nice.

Thanks,
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#12 mamutas

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 08:49 PM

From the coding point of view it would be easier of course to have the same layout for all entries: same area for text, same area for stats, same area for image. But as far as I remember the original Ufopaedia had several different layouts (one for weapons, another for alien stuff like alien surgery, etc.) and I think this will be the best (even if it adds more programming).

So, here is what is needed:

- all possible UI layout designs. Need to cover all different kind of entries we are going to have presented.
- at least one complete DB entry per each layout. This is needed to test out different layouts and not just same layout for different items (for example, rifle and pistol). Including all text and arts.

By having these items, we will be able to fish out all possible problems with layouts and DB entries. I am not saying we are going to implement all layouts for the next milestone. We still stick to two promised, but we can choose which ones.

To GG:
I do not like idea about having a button to bring a zoomed view. Try to fit the image as big as possible in the layout initially. Keep in mind that image could be a background (which will look cool if it is done right).
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#13 GreatGold

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 09:15 PM

Keep in mind that image could be a background (which will look cool if it is done right).

Oooooo, I like that idea. So is this the official word that we are doing different layouts for different types? In that case, foward we go :D !

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#14 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 09:34 PM

Okay, here's a rough list of one item for each category where we have text, and most of them have images. Feel free to update any wrong status entries.

-The Captain

Edit: fscking list
  • Xenocide Craft & Armament-
    • Firestorm
    • Text (complete)/Image(complete)
  • HWP -
    • Tank/Rocket Launcher
    • Text (complete)/Image (complete)
  • Weapons & Equipment-
    • Xenocide Standard Issue BDU
    • Text (complete)/graphic(Use Power Armor if not complete)
  • Base Facilities-
    • Access Lift
    • Text (1st Draft)/image (Complete)
  • Alien Life Forms-
    • Sectoid Autopsy
    • Text (complete)/Image (None)
  • Alien Research-
    • Origins
    • Text (Complete)/ Image (None)
  • UFO Components-
    • Elerium-115
    • Text (Complete)/Image (Comlete)
  • UFOs-
    • Small Scout
    • Text (1st Draft)/Image (Unknown)

Edited by Cpt. Boxershorts, 11 July 2003 - 09:41 PM.

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#15 mamutas

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 10:09 PM

Wow! 8 different layouts! Umm, a little too much, huh?

But seriously, if it is possible to combine some of different categories to use the same layout, that would be easier on coding. For example, if we can display UFO's in the same layout as X-Com crafts and X-Com craft weapons in the same layout as regular weapons. These two definitely could be combined in my opinion and some other could be found.

And regarding the official word: this is just my opinion, which is 1/9 of senior team.
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#16 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 11 July 2003 - 10:33 PM

If we're copying the original slavishly...here's how it breaks down:
  • Xcom Craft -Full Screen image, text placement depends on image
  • HWP, ALien Research - No Image, stats/text cover fullscreen
  • Armor -Image on left, stats on right
  • Equipment, ALien Artifacts - Title & image in frame (top left), stats below
  • Base Facilities, UFOs - Similar to Equipment, but image has own frame (top RIght)
  • Aliens, UFO Components - Text on left, image on right
So that's six different screens....

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#17 mamutas

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Posted 12 July 2003 - 09:16 PM

We do not need to copy the original. Feel free to come up with your own layouts if you wish. Below is something you need to pay attention to:

- same layouts must have same location for different elements: description, stats, images, etc. If an image is on the right in one layout, but on the left in another - they are different layouts.
- image can take the whole screen with text and layout overlayed on it. There should be a control which will allow to display a scrollable transparent text (that is it will scroll over image background).
- buttons preferably should be located in the same place for all layouts (especially 'next' and 'previous')
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#18 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 02:13 PM

Personally I'd prefer to see variations on the same basic layout, rather than being completely different every time. I always thought that made the original look a bit disparate.

Good design says basic controls should be in the same place every screen as well.

#19 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 04:23 PM

If we stick with the template posted at the top of this thread, I think we're in good shape. Text on the top in the green area, image below that, maybe with stats overlayed. The controls on the bottom panel for controling roation of the image.

Have the item stats be the default foreground, and a mouseover bring the image to the foreground and fades out the stats. That way image rotation can be controlled by the mouse as well.

I'd do a mockup, but my imaging skill suck.

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- A Miracle of Science


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#20 hippyjon

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 04:55 PM

is there gonna be any animation or anything when the xnet starts up? i was thinking it could use some kind of logging in noise if it does have animation...
...or something

#21 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 06:28 AM

I think I would prefer the text to be under, with nav buttons across the bottom.
I'll do a muckup

#22 Breunor

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 10:31 AM

I think every entry should have a picture/model associated, and if there are stats for an item, it's the first thing viewed in the green text area.

IMO you could get away with just 2 layouts. One for items that have in-game stats like a weapon's damage or a craft's speed, and another for items without stats like elerium. The difference between them is the stats section, which I think was going to be at the top of the green text area. So is there a need to have any differences for any of them beyond that? My guess is that you just have to include the extra stats variables in the text section and you're done.

Based on that, there's no need to make different layouts for anything. What about the model itself, are we decided on using a fixed spinning animation or a static model with spin controls similar to the geoscape? Last I heard it was the latter, which would take a lot less HDD space and give the user something to play with as well.

So long as the main X-Net screen looks good (which it does) IMO there's no need to make variations on it for variety.

#23 Kenshiro

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 01:58 PM

So, the main thing we're short on then is the high-res graphics to go along with these entries then? I can start whipping up a few this evening.

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 02:29 PM

I left the big panel at the bottom of the greenscreen. though I can't think what you would use it for since nav is covered in the greenscreen grab bars.

I did the subsets as a rollout under the main heading titles.

Phase one should be to get the interface functionality finalised.
Phase two should get placeholder images and text in for every item, these can be rough sketches.

Phase three is replacing the placeholders with final images and text.

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Edited by drewid, 14 July 2003 - 02:33 PM.


#25 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 02:50 PM

I think that the bottom panel is for image viewing controls (rotation, etc.) or previous/next item controls. Also, I believe that the entire menu on the right will be replaced by the submenu when a selection is clicked, with a 'back' button at the bottom.

Anyone know for certain?

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#26 GreatGold

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 03:16 PM

Based on that, there's no need to make different layouts for anything.

I agree with Breunor on this point - at most there should be two main layouts. I like Deimos concept, so maybe something along those lines?

@Drewid
I think you should switch the graphic and the text. The Text should go on top, with stats above that. The graphic could be on bottom, next to the graphic manipulation tools. Otherwise, I think the set-up would be a little ungainly. By this I mean, you would be rotating the image on top of the screen from a control on the bottom, which feels strange to me. Otherwise, looking real nice :D !

Lastly, have the seniors come to a concensus on the X-Net layout yet?
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#27 Deimos

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 03:34 PM

Cpt was right, the bar at the bottom was intended for rotation controls and any other popup controls that might be needed, however we can lose it if it dosn't fit.

I've mocked up the Firestorm page using Crix's model and Denevine's text. The stats are from the original game so don't take them as canon :)

I think Drewid is right in saying we should have the text at the bottom as it make the whole panel flow better.

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#28 Deimos

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 03:42 PM

Or we could go for somehting like this. Or a mix of the two where the unused buttons disappear when they're not in use.

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#29 GreatGold

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 03:59 PM

Looking reallly nice! I like the first pictureyou posted better though, as the second one looks strange with all those empty buttons still showing...

How did you get the Firestorm graphic so shiny!?
Gold

PS - Just re-read the firestorm entry, we are going to need to fix up some of the grammer, but that will come with time.... Excellent work!
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#30 Deimos

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 04:13 PM

Yeah looking at them together the one without the extra buttons does look better. How about using the second's format with the layout of the first?

The firestorm trick is a secret... oh alright I re-rendered it with some different lighting :D

I'm sure the CTD stuff will get grammar and spell checked before we release. I basically just cut and pasted it straight from the drafts section in the forum.

#31 GreatGold

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 04:20 PM

Yeah, that was more a comment to motivate myself to get on it :wink: ... Is thathow the Firestorm will look in-game also? Is that what the Irridium Sheen looks like?

If you mean by having the other craft listed, but then getting rid of the unused buttons, then I think thats a good idea. It would combine the best of both, and look damn nifty too...

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#32 red knight

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 06:24 PM

For the buttons you can try using the original one with the main categories and after a category selection you get a slightly differently colored to make them different. Lighter or whatever you are the masters on graphic design not me, from the visualization point of view (theory) all those equal buttons with categories are plain wrong if you dont make them look different... By the way the opened categories button should be lit with another color instead of green.

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#33 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 06:44 PM

Feel free 2 ignore me if u want and I don't want 2 berrate ne1's work, but does that X-corps logo sorta stand out a bit 2 much when the btn's are over it? Or is it just me?

#34 Vaaish

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 08:10 PM

Feel free 2 ignore me if u want and I don't want 2 berrate ne1's work, but does that X-corps logo sorta stand out a bit 2 much when the btn's are over it? Or is it just me?

it does stand out quite a bit. I suggest you try ghosting it.

#35 Deimos

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 08:28 PM

Something like this RK? I don't understand why the colour of the selected item should be other than green? Blue and green is the pallette I've been working with and its been fine for everything else.

Jim, you're right :) It does stand out a bit. But as this is still at the concept stage its easy to alter, look in the pic and tell me if that's better?

GG No it isn't iridium sheen. Go look in the iridium sheen thread at the car in the first posting. That is what the sheen will look like. This model is just lit differently. I don't have 3dsmax so I can't render the models up with the sheen texture mapping that Maverick provided, I'd love to give you all a render with the sheen working but I can't. Sorry. All I can do is give you a rough apporximation of what it'll look like. Have a look at the pic.

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#36 Kenshiro

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 08:30 PM

Here's a placeholder pic for the rifle.

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#37 Kenshiro

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 08:38 PM

And the Avenger, courtesy the Concept Art page, formated for the X-Net window.

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#38 mamutas

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 08:52 PM

Great layouts and models!

Here are my thoughts:

* I agree with RK - categories and entry buttons must be in different colors, even more then they are on the last sample.
* I like Drewid's idea the most. It looks like a tree and it shows all available categories at once. So, there is no back button, but you can select another category immediately.
* Static images will be enough. I doubt player will spin them around more than once.
* There should be Next/Previous buttons to click through all entries.
* Only one category is expanded (see the comment about tree above), then player navigate to entry to another category, the previous one is closed.
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#39 Kenshiro

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 09:45 PM

Here's one for Flying Armor

EDIT: Lighter Pic

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Edited by Kenshiro, 14 July 2003 - 09:47 PM.


#40 GreatGold

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 09:55 PM

* Static images will be enough. I doubt player will spin them around more than once.

Do you mean for the alpha, or the final product? If for the alpha, I agree. If for the final, I strongly disagree. I think it would be much nicer to have a fully 3D and rotatable image, then a static one. Now, if you feel that is v1.0+, I could understand. But then I think it should be made to be easily modifiable to a full 3D image.

* I agree with RK - categories and entry buttons must be in different colors, even more then they are on the last sample.

I also agree with this. Perhaps instead of a color change, or in conjunction with a color change, there could be some sort of animation linking the structure of the buttons. For example, you could actually see it from Heavy Weapon Platforms --> Hovercraft Plasma through some graphical animation. If that doesnt make sense, I'll try again, just let me know.

@Kenshiro
Nice images, they should work very well for place-holders.

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#41 mamutas

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 10:01 PM

* Static images will be enough. I doubt player will spin them around more than once.

Do you mean for the alpha, or the final product? If for the alpha, I agree. If for the final, I strongly disagree.

For the first release.

I also completely do not understand what were you trying to say about 'animation linking structure'. Could you explain please?

P.S. Do any of mods think that this discussion belongs to 'Xenocide V1.0, X-Net (UFOpaedia)' forum? I do.
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#42 GreatGold

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 10:29 PM

P.S. Do any of mods think that this discussion belongs to 'Xenocide V1.0, X-Net (UFOpaedia)' forum? I do.

I think, according to the 8th post in this thread, that this belongs where it is...

Also, to attempt to make myself clear: what i mean is something like the "tree" mentioned above. Lets say you pic the first main category. It changes color, and gets larger perhaps. Then, as an example, out of its bottom side a few graphically appealing lines could come out, and shoot off to the next sub-topic. And then do some fancy animation thing, perhaps going around the border of the next sub-topic. And so on, until the last sub-topic is picked. Basically, it would just be a fun thing, that also reinforces what topic is selected, aside from a color change.

Any better?
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#43 Breunor

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 09:40 AM

May I suggest that the rotation controls be located in the lower right corner of the model/render screen? Then you can remove the extra panel along the bottom left, giving more room for text.

Perhaps the question regarding the green highlights is when it is active. Perhaps if the green bars follow the mouse, and when you click an entry the text turns green? Or vice versa?

For the buttons, the last pic is what I envisioned there too. You'd have all the parent entries listed above, including X-Net itself. Clicking one of those would collapse all the clid entries and present that menu again.

Edit: we have several pics via the assetlist, if anybody's working on the rest please reference that first and work on the ones we're missing, thanks.

Edited by Breunor, 15 July 2003 - 09:41 AM.


#44 GreatGold

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 10:04 AM

Edit: we have several pics via the assetlist, if anybody's working on the rest please reference that first and work on the ones we're missing, thanks.

I think the pics posted in this thread by Kenshiro are just mean to be touched up finished ones for the alpha. Like Deimos Firestorm pic. But speaking of the graphics, are there any objects not done that are of the "vital nature"? I'm just asking out of curiosity.

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#45 Vaaish

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 10:08 AM

Here's one for Flying Armor

EDIT: Lighter Pic

Should be the power armor since that was the model I sent you Ken. And I'm not positive what happened but something looks messed up in the pauldrons shading.

EDIT: here ya go

Attached Files


Edited by Vaaish, 15 July 2003 - 10:39 AM.


#46 Kenshiro

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 06:09 PM

It's not a rendering problem; I edited the render in Photoshop and bent the arms manually using the lasso, clone, and airbrush tools, because none of my 3D programs would recognize the bone structure of the model and it was stuck in the Michaelangelo technical drawing pose. If that's the Power Armor and not the flight model, we can easily rename and go without the purple elerioum exhaust in back.

Let me see if there's anything I can do with this new model file.

#47 Kenshiro

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 07:06 PM

Better?

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#48 Vaaish

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 07:21 PM

yeah but it's missing the inverted "v" in the front of the brestplate and the head looks a bit awkward like it is too small for the body.

look at that pic I have in the zip file in my previous post. I put the model in almost the same pose so it should be easier to edit.

Edited by Vaaish, 15 July 2003 - 07:24 PM.


#49 Kenshiro

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 09:52 PM

Will do. Meanwhile, here's a Heavy Cannon placeholder.

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#50 Kenshiro

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 10:07 PM

Perhaps this one?

Hrm. Isn't this just a placeholder graphic?

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