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#1 Deimos

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 05:28 PM

Seeing as the geoscape is nearly finished I've been playing today (read all of today :) ) going over variations on the battlescape. Most of the time was spend playing with Gmax (I was right texturing is the hardest part :D ) & getting the isometric look down. Then back into photoshop for some heavy texturing sesions. I'm still not pleased with the way it looks and please don't moan about the building I know it's not properly textured. The main work was creating a grass texture (still not happy with) the kerbstones and the roads (could use some work). Finished off with a variation of the standard buttons.

#2 TiLT

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 06:14 PM

Looks nice, but also takes up a lot of screen space. Could it be possible to use a system where the menu would appear only when you moved the mouse to the very bottom of the screen, and where you could lock it in place to maintain a look like in your screenshot?

#3 red knight

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 06:37 PM

Do only the models, the isometric view is no more than a camera angle trick, made programmatically... just make the models look like in real life.
Before doing model posts look at this, will help ya to find a process to present your models and all of us correct them. A serious read for every content creator working in this project.

http://www.gamasutra.../london_pfv.htm

By the will i will open a Arts Mailing list so i will need your mail addresses.

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#4 Xcen

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 06:55 PM

Hey this is a very good start!

Where did the gun on the right came from?
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#5 Whatever

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 07:00 PM

Sorry tilt, but i really hate showup-screens. It also so annoying when you're scrolling across the map for another view.
By the way it was in the orignal x-com as well and maybe that's even a more important argument. The thing with x-com is that at all times you wanna see which buttons are clicked and which aren't.

#6 gangsta

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 09:22 PM

Do only the models, the isometric view is no more than a camera angle trick, made programmatically... just make the models look like in real life.
Before doing model posts look at this, will help ya to find a process to present your models and all of us correct them. A serious read for every content creator working in this project.

http://www.gamasutra.../london_pfv.htm

By the will i will open a Arts Mailing list so i will need your mail addresses.

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do we need an art mailing list? The art stuff seems to work great on the board unlike posting code. Anyway good starting concept.. btw how about making the panel a sliding panel like the gnome or kde panels. The sliding widget can be made to be very thin so you barely even notice it.
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#7 gangsta

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 09:24 PM

oh yeah we can also add a screen switch widget at the top left corner to switch between the geoscope and battlescape whenever both are active in multiplayer mode. When a battlescape is not active the little widget doesn't need to be on the geoscope.
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#8 Fatal_Error

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 02:23 AM

ok i have to admit it i dont like the original (or anything alike) the original battlescape control panel. but this time even the studied gui design tricks are on my side coz the icons on the control panel just aint right. even though i had played it before they were still confusing and did not serve their purpose (while playing second time...or mo likely about 5th time)

and just a personal opinions: i think the control panel should be visible only when a soldier is selected (not sure but i guess gangsta had a similar suggestion, sry if i insulted anyone). uh uh and i think all soldiers should have a face like in apoc => control panel icludes also the face of the soldier.

anyways this was just to bring my visin to your ears :D

next ill start with a decent base gui. should it be isometric or top-down

edit: btw i like the street corners deimos and i now know what your name represents or actually who your name represents :D
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#9 gangsta

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 12:43 PM

well there many things that will be changed on that control panel for the battle scape.. like for instacne those diffrent modes of walking to reserve someting like auto shoot. there will be more than snap, aimed and autoshot in this remake. oh yeah there also needs to be camara controls on the panel. And like I said before I want the panel to be a sliding panel.
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#10 Devatar

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 12:50 PM

Oh, and we should really show the number of bullets remaining in the soldier's gun, so we don't have to go into the inventory screen. Hey, are we gonna get a feedback screen in the personnel control panel?
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#11 LordT

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 01:55 PM

I didn't like the original much either... how about trying something new?
Like having some commands in a sort of context menu (nothing comes to mind right now though...)? (i still think we should keep all commands in the normal panels as well)
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#12 gangsta

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 02:23 PM

Well as long as it works as well or better than the original you guys can try some things. The original is there to fall back on if the designs to work out
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#13 Deimos

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 07:11 PM

I'll reply to everyone here.

Tilt. The screen takes up proportionally exactly the same amount as UFO. It's a starting point.

Xcen. Thanks. The gun is one of the ones I'm drawing at the moment for the Ufopaedia (xnet) help screen. The rifle is pretty much the same as it was in the first game. However I'm using the other guns as a base. Sort of a tweaked version. Ok call me paranoid, I think just ripping the old artwork out and reusing it is asking for all kinds of IP trouble. The rifle is again just a concept art evalution. Same goes for the rest of the pics in the UFOpaedia. I'm quite excited about the new human ships I'm doing. They're going to be special while being easy to model in 3d. I'll post them when I've finished the hand drawn work.

Gangsta. Check out on the bottom left hand side of the screen. There's a bar exactly to slide the panel away. Small inobtrusive (so much you didn't notice :D ) and only active when clicked so it woun't cause probs with mouse over :)

As for the extra buttons, can we have a finalised list (design brief) of whats to be needed then it can be figured out where to put it all. :)

Fatal Error. There is a sliding panel see gangsta's comment above :)
On each soldier having a facial icon... Cheeeeseeeyy. Sorry I think it's a distraction and just plain cheesy to have little faces of your soldiers to click on. From what I can remember every crap RTS game has had little icons. That's one of the things about Xcom I like so much is that it didn't insult the player's intelligence in that way, until Apoc came out. Sorry.

The kerb corners were the toughest thing to get right. The street lights were the easiest.

Devatar. Yes, definitely. I don't know why I missed that, Something to remember for the next evolution. Thanks.

#14 gangsta

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 11:11 PM

you have to have an arrow on the sliding panel to show that it is one :)

This is obviously a sliding panel

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#15 LordT

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 05:37 AM

you have to have an arrow on the sliding panel to show that it is one :)

This is obviously a sliding panel

Hmmm... i've seen that foot somewhere before... hmmm... :D
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#16 Deimos

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 07:57 AM

you have to have an arrow on the sliding panel to show that it is one :)

This is obviously a sliding panel

Yeah I guess I should have mentioned it. Arrows for those who don't RTFM. :D

#17 gangsta

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 12:44 PM

Arrows are part of good GUI design. ;) when it comes to sliding panels.


anyways that foot is the logo for the gnome desktop.. there it serves as a start menu :P
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#18 LordT

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 02:29 PM

you have to have an arrow on the sliding panel to show that it is one :)

This is obviously a sliding panel

Yeah I guess I should have mentioned it. Arrows for those who don't RTFM. :D

You sure?

If so... well shoot me! :P

These are arrows too!
and

... No, I don't have anything to say right now... :unsure:
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#19 Deimos

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 10:58 PM

Gangsta, Sorry if you misunderstood, I was being daft. I know we're going to need arrows. :wave:

Lord T, I guess you've not played Lemmings in a long time. :D That's where the to paws (pause) came from.

While on the subject of iconography. Do you feel it's a good idea to have some text below the buttons explaining what everything is?

#20 Xcen

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 11:39 AM

ACCCCCCCK NO TEXT

deactivable tooltips if you want but NO TEXT! heheh

I hate it how IE and many other programs come with those stupid labels that take a bunch of place :P
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#21 LordT

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 01:12 PM

I don't have any problems with tooltips, on the contrary actually!

'bout the paws: which version of lemmings? I have the SNES and cant remember them from anywhere
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#22 Xcen

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 01:39 PM

Tools tips is not the same as labels...

I love tooltips, I hate labels... unless they are L33T, which they rarely are... maybe our dedicated art team can pull out some marvellous wonder out of their magic hats though ;)

The motto is "Do what you wanna do, we'll bitch if we have to."

:D
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#23 Deimos

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 04:14 AM

Tools tips is not the same as labels...

I love tooltips, I hate labels... unless they are L33T, which they rarely are... maybe our dedicated art team can pull out some marvellous wonder out of their magic hats though ;)

The motto is "Do what you wanna do, we'll bitch if we have to."

:D

I think the tooltips would be more of programming thing rather than the domain of us arty types. I wa thinking on the subject of tootips, if you know what you (the player) is pressing no need to explain. So why not have a description pop up after holding the mouse over your query for a second or two and disapear again when you move the mouse. Kind of like windoze does. That way we get the best of both worlds.

I'm working on a revsion to the battlescape now, taking account of what's been said here, is there anything else that definitely needs to go into it?

LORD T; 'bout the paws: which version of lemmings? I have the SNES and cant remember them from anywhere

I had the original Amiga version. The paws were next to the nuke cloud on the right. Just checked :D

#24 Xcen

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 04:57 AM

Hmm ok I need to clarify something:


in my mind:

Labels: annoying permanent text below a button.

Tooltips: small thingy that pops up after you hover your mouse over the button for a predeifned period of time :)
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#25 red knight

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 02:03 PM

I dont know if i had say this somewhere, but IMO geoscape and battlescape should have uniform (not equal, but compatible) interfaces...

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#26 gangsta

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 02:33 PM

well should be in the same style lookwise but dunno how far beyond that you can go. Eitherway the battlescape panel should be a horizontal sliding panel. Perhaps the geoscope panel can be a vertical sliding panel.
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#27 Deimos

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Posted 31 January 2003 - 04:57 PM

Hmm ok I need to clarify something:


in my mind:

Labels: annoying permanent text below a button.

Tooltips: small thingy that pops up after you hover your mouse over the button for a predeifned period of time :)

Yep.

#28 Deimos

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Posted 18 February 2003 - 05:40 PM

Battlescape revsion .2
Don't shout at me :) I know that you didn't want text in there but I've been playing with different ways of doing the BS and it looks empty without it.

Also I know we're not using a tiled system, don't flame me :) I haven't got anything suitable and free form done up, it took ages to create the street scene as it is hand rendered, no trickery involved.

Why the panel on the right? Well firstly it keeps the overall feel of the game and it gives more viewable space on screen. (Ok so it does without the chat screen) It squares off the viewable area instead of squishing it into the top 3rd of the screen.
I've revised how the buttons sit on the panel for a more grouped styling, and obviously the mapview buton has been changed so you don't flip screens to look at it. It's more of a tactical viewer now. The soldier controls are grouped as well, so centre on is in the area where the soldier details are (note I've left space availble for soldier pics as well) Fire controls and equip have been grouped together for aesthics and to group control types together.
Options and abort are now small and out of the way of accidental clicking (a problem I had with the original design) The end turn button is nice and big so it's easy to get the mouse onto.

The select next soldier and deselect previous solder buttons have been removed as they are as RK says an example of redundancy. They both do pretty much the same job, so they've been replaced by the little white up and down arrows next to the soldier stats. That way the player has the choice of going back and forward through his soldiers instead of having to scroll through all of them to get back to a particular one.

The chat panel will be movable and can be minimised so the player gets to see more of the screen. I don't see it being feasable to make the window any smaller as it'll be difficult to read what's being said. Oh and Gangsta and Stewy, don't take any offence at the remarks on the chat window, it's meant as a parody of your ongoing discussion in the forums:)

What's still missing is the reserve TU's section, mainly because other than the standard ones I have no idea what's to be included so the bottom right area has been left blank for just that purpose.

#29 LordT

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Posted 18 February 2003 - 06:03 PM

thought of left AND right menus? like in baldurs gate?

yeah so it breaks the geoscape/battlescape symmetry, so feel free to skip this :P


Edited by LordT, 18 February 2003 - 06:06 PM.

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#30 Deimos

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Posted 18 February 2003 - 06:23 PM

I'll have a look at trying something like it to see if it looks good, after all that the main aim, other than usability

#31 gangsta

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 12:20 AM

btw the radar map can be a window launched from a button. Dunno if it gets used that often and some players might never use it.
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#32 Deimos

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 03:32 AM

btw the radar map can be a window launched from a button.  Dunno if it gets used that often and some players might never use it.

I don't know whether it would wok as a button in that design as there'd be quite a gap. :) I also figured that not many people used it either, thats why it's now a feature :)

#33 red knight

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 03:20 PM

btw the radar map can be a window launched from a button.  Dunno if it gets used that often and some players might never use it.

I don't know whether it would wok as a button in that design as there'd be quite a gap. :) I also figured that not many people used it either, thats why it's now a feature :)

Why not use the radar space to accomodate a better (and bigger) stats panel??? I think that was why they do it horizontal...

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#34 Maverick

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 03:36 PM

which radar panel are we talking about? I think i might be mis-interpreting.

#35 red knight

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 03:47 PM

which radar panel are we talking about?  I think i might be mis-interpreting.

The one that shows the discovered terrain like in Warcraft...

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#36 Deimos

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 07:25 PM

Why not use the radar space to accomodate a better (and bigger) stats panel??? I think that was why they do it horizontal...

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The stats panel is meant to be clickable like the original so you can get the full page stats view with all the details. :) I like the radar panel. I didn't think I would and at least it's different enough from the original so we won't get someone trying to sue us cause we copied their design :D

Seriously though if you guys want to vote on what style IE Horizontal or Vertical and what TU saving options and so on that you want I'll include it. It's really really difficult to design something with not a lot of input as to what's wanted. :)

#37 red knight

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 06:58 AM

Why not use the radar space to accomodate a better (and bigger) stats panel??? I think that was why they do it horizontal...

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The stats panel is meant to be clickable like the original so you can get the full page stats view with all the details. :) I like the radar panel. I didn't think I would and at least it's different enough from the original so we won't get someone trying to sue us cause we copied their design :D

Seriously though if you guys want to vote on what style IE Horizontal or Vertical and what TU saving options and so on that you want I'll include it. It's really really difficult to design something with not a lot of input as to what's wanted. :)

I like the vertical design, the horizontal thing was just a though.. Maybe a reason why they choose to do an horizontal UI instead of vertical like in the geoscape...

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#38 Deimos

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 09:52 AM

Update

#39 gangsta

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 12:03 PM

is it possible to make the vertical panel slimmer? I'd like it to take up a little less space :)
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#40 Deimos

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 03:08 PM

Seeing as the geoscape is nearly finished I've been playing today (read all of today :) ) going over variations on the battlescape. Most of the time was spend playing with Gmax (I was right texturing is the hardest part :D ) & getting the isometric look down. Then back into photoshop for some heavy texturing sesions. I'm still not pleased with the way it looks and please don't moan about the building I know it's not properly textured. The main work was creating a grass texture (still not happy with) the kerbstones and the roads (could use some work). Finished off with a variation of the standard buttons.

I'm sticking these first drafts back up in the order they were originally posted. Please bear in mind before replying, these are old designs that should be in the order they were originally posted.

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#41 Deimos

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 03:14 PM

This is the second revision in that the ui panel has been moved to the right.

Please read all the comments above from the top of the thread down before adding anything to this.

I know there is a lot of design work involved still but these concepts are a start.

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#42 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 04:05 PM

Liker the vertical bar

I would put the soldier stuff at the botom and the system stuff at the top

Unit up/down could go on the context menus with the other movement stuff. (the pop-up button clusters).
So could toggle crouch. though it would be useful to see the firing orders and the "reserve crouch TU s".

view up / down could go up next to the view levels thang.

I like the lil' up/down soldier buttons.

#43 Breunor

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 08:20 PM

Perhaps the firing orders could be in parentheses right next to/below the name, so as you tab through soldiers it's close to the buttons and easy to see. The panel definitely looks better along the right side, provides an almost square view of the fight. I agree with keeping all system options towards the top and soldier options at the bottom.

Perhaps the firing orders button label could change to whichever option you have selected, and if you click it a popup list appears off of it that lets you click which you want. That way it's 1 button, and it also shows you the soldier's orders. The 'toggle crouch' button could be made into a smaller one by having it be a toggle, and it displays current status, such as 'standing' or 'crouching'. You click it, the soldier assumes the new position, and the button displays the new position. (that's the long way of saying "yeah, what drewid said" :D

How are the 'view up' and 'view down' buttons related to the multi level view button above? Could you have the multi level view button include up and down arrows like the soldier selection button? Then those two buttons can come out and that space is saved. I like the section showing the two hands, I'm guessing there will be either text or graphic (or both) showing what's in each hand? There could be a pair of buttons positioned next to each other, one showing remaining time units, the other a toggle/popup button letting you choose which type of shot you want to reserve, and a check box to reserve crouching on top of that.

#44 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 12:36 AM

How are the 'view up' and 'view down' buttons related to the multi level view button above?


only in as much as they manipulate your viewpoint on the game.

Firing order I was thinking could be a small cluster of button under the soldier, which toggle on/off, we've got a bit of space down there.

#45 mamutas

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 08:13 AM

The amunition section should have buttons for each different type of attacks specified by icons and required time units displayed. If there are not enough time units the button should be disabled.

This way we would avoid extra click to display to select fire type. The tool tip with more info will be useful too.

In case where you would need extra step, like to select number of turns while priming grenade, the combobox should be displayed, with single choice.
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#46 mamutas

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 08:24 AM

Here is my mockup of what I said earlier.

And I also agree - the buttons should be reordered to have similar purpose buttons next to each other.

I loved the look! Very cool! :rock:

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#47 Deimos

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 09:18 AM

That is a cool idea mamutas I really like that. The weapon icons could be made quite small to fit into the remaining space and the weapon specific buttons would change with the wepon type. Though I think there wouldn't be that many different types.
All there is as I recall is for ranged weapons:
Aimed shot TU's xx
Snap shot TU's xx
Auto shot TU's xx (if the weapon has it)
Throw Tu's xx

For Grenades there is:
Prime grenade TU's xx
Throw TU's xx

Maybe instead of having to prime and then choose how many turns we should have a set of numbered buttons like Mamutas has shown which automatically prime and set the grenade to that number of turns. It saves on multiple clicks.

Something we should consider including is hand to hand actions like in ufo 2000 so soldiers can equip knives or can punch as a default action if no weapon is selected. That way even unarmed troops have a use.

Use item TU's xx
and Punch TU's xx (we could always have a "welcome to Earth" voiceover on that one :P)

The blaster bomb launcher we could change so that the player has to use the minimap to set up the waypoints instead of just clicking where it should go. There was a lot of talk earlier on about dropping the destructiveness of the blaster bombs. I think they should be more complex to use and using the minimap to set waypoints would make it harder to use. That's something that'd have to be playtested though and is a bit wishlisty for the time being.

#48 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 09:29 AM

how bout if the weapons stuff was the bottom of the column with the trooper statr at the top of the trooper bit .

Then the trooper name would act as a title for that interface chunk and tie it all in.

#49 mamutas

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 10:20 AM

Unit info should be on top - to act as a header. I agree with drewid.
The weapon controls should be in the middle - the closest position to unit on the field to reduce mouse movements.
The rarely used controls should go to the button, with 'abort mission' at the very bottom.

Should we have save/load button present here as well? In original game it was sort'a annoying to open options window just to save game after each turn, not talking not having a 'load' button in battlescape at all! :angry:
mamutas@sourceforge.net

#50 Guest_drewid_*

Guest_drewid_*
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Posted 02 May 2003 - 10:36 AM

Actually I meant put the soldier at the top of the bottom bit, but you may be right,
it's certainly worth seeing what it looks like.