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#1 Jezulkim

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Posted 30 January 2005 - 08:41 AM

Maybe some kind of frames for it?

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  • snapshot_1.png

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#2 Serge

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 06:39 AM

Well, the battlescape layout is not the very best now and we should probably improve it.
We have the following elements to place on the screen:
1. battlescape area itself
2. control panel with buttons and icons
3. chat console
4. minimap

Currently 'battlescape area' + 'control panel' just copy original x-com layout, chat console is placed in the bottom part of screen, minimap is placed to the top right corner. Disadvantages of this layout are the following: we have an unused blank area in the right bottom part of the screen, chat console does not look very good under control panel.

Any bright ideas? Maybe repositioning/redesigning some elements can make them look better? We should also consider that the game supports any screen resolutions from 640x480 up to 1280x1024 and higher.
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#3 Blood Angel

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 07:24 AM

Perhaps:

Battlescape in centre with CP underneath.

Chat in top-left, little minimize button and maximise button (minimize makes it into a small button in top-left, Maximise fills screen to review past messages.)

Minimap in top-right, minimize and maximise button there too. Minimise turns it into little button in top right, maximise brings up the map window. This will replace the map button on the command panel.

#4 Sporb

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 06:38 PM

i think its time to get the whole game interface up to scratch. the GUI is terrible to learn and is just getting worse with the more features. I know for a fact that this problem is putting people off as i have tried to get several more people to join only to have them run screaming from the mission lobby. I would have complained some on the bug tracker but i forgot my login.

Also, i have a m8 whos a little hard of vision, i decided to try the Xcom large font to see if it would help him. it would have if it didnt completely mess the whole screen up. the letters get crushed togeather and sit in funny places.

would it also be possible to apply some sort of scaling to the dashboard so that you can expand it. I find it a little hard to see and i have relatively good vision.

One final question. is it possible to prevent the mouse cursur from leaving the game in windowed mode? perhaps add an unlock feature where you must press alt n ctrl to unlock the cursor. it might just be me but i find it hard to scroll using the pointer in window mode as at a certain point the cursor flicks back the the desktop. I window it most of the time so i can chat with ppl.

Edited by Sporb, 20 November 2005 - 06:41 PM.


#5 Violazr

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 02:34 PM

Put the chat console under the minimap?


Everything being tiny is more of a problem than of use IMHO (and I'm using a 19").
But we had that discussion about resolution before.

#6 Llyr

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 06:53 PM

i would prefer the following layout:

1. battlescape: fill the whole screen, so you can see more of the map

2. control panel: should stay where it is. at bottom, and overlapping the battlescape view

3. chat console: get up to the top of the screen, make it overlapping to and give it transparent background, so you can see the battlescape through

4. minimap: only visible after pressing the map button, or as small rectangle in some upper corner (i'd like right side ^^) and overlapping too.


edit:
made some fake screenshot:

layout.png

(yeah, its a bad fake, i know... but doing it nice just wasn't worth the time)

Edited by Llyr, 21 November 2005 - 07:28 PM.


#7 Sporb

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 07:27 PM

heres a neat idea. While playing Scorch i noticed there are tabs that open windows when and only when you need them. it'd be nice if all the relvevant chunks of the battlescape could be opened from a side frame. IE you can expand the minimap from the topleft and expand the dashboard from the bottom. Chat could have a dialog box that appears when somthing is said/happens and goes away after a set amount of time. then there could be a ahistory tab ythat shows all messages

#8 Blood Angel

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 10:19 AM

i would prefer the following layout:

1. battlescape: fill the whole screen, so you can see more of the map

2. control panel: should stay where it is. at bottom, and overlapping the battlescape view

3. chat console: get up to the top of the screen, make it overlapping to and give it transparent background, so you can see the battlescape through

4. minimap: only visible after pressing the map button, or as small rectangle in some upper corner (i'd like right side ^^) and overlapping too.


edit:
made some fake screenshot:

layout.png

(yeah, its a bad fake, i know... but doing it nice just wasn't worth the time)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


= my idea, if you have it with buttons on the windows.

#9 Llyr

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 03:30 PM

oh, sorry then. i thought you werent talking about putting everything into battlescape... i believed you wanted chat and minimap still extern... i missunterstood your post ;)

#10 Serge

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:56 PM

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.

I agree that battlescape part should preferably take as much screen space as possible. Also the idea of placing chat console to the top seems to be good. But about minimap in the top right corner - it would overlap a significant part of screen and make it harder for the first player as it closes the direction where the enemies are generally coming from :) Actually I experimentad with the minimap layout a bit and tried that minimap overlapping top right corner variant, it did not feel too good when playing. Making minimap translucent does not seem to look good as well. I will try to build some experimental versions on the next weekend with different battlescape elements layout and put them for download for everyone to test.

What about redesigning control panel and placing it just below minimap (filling that empty space)? The advantage would be a clear rectangular battlescape area as it was in the original x-com by the way. A disadvantage - its shape will have to be changed from horizontal to mostly vertical layout, that's unfamiliar and different from x-com. But we probably will be able to also show current inventory/unit stats screens in that below minimap area (especially in high resolution modes when we will have more space there). Intelligently filling that space with some useful information could be a solution to our current layout problems.
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#11 Blood Angel

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 05:50 PM

oh, sorry then. i thought you werent talking about putting everything into battlescape... i believed you wanted chat and minimap still extern... i missunterstood your post ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


No offence meant. I just implied that you had described my idea in a manner of which these earthlings are capable of understanding.

Mr. Serge, perhaps it would be prudent to add the ability to create your own cp?

#12 Serge

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 06:05 PM

perhaps it would be prudent to add the ability to create your own cp?

You can already create your own control panel. There is no proper documentation about making new panels yet though :( But in spite of all the difficulties, Nachtwolf figured out how to interpret lua descriptions for making new control panels:
http://ufo2k.lxnt.in...view.php?id=183

Another note, currently control panels are strictly sticked to the bottom of battlescape and centered horizontally, so we can't freely experiment with panel placement now. That's something to be improved too :)
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#13 Llyr

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 04:40 AM

But about minimap in the top right corner - it would overlap a significant part of screen and make it harder for the first player as it closes the direction where the enemies are generally coming from :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


yeah, you're right. it's just to big to feel comfortable with. making it possible to switch minimap on an off won't help that much either, because it's very important to see which areas of the map can be seen by your soldier an which not. (still i think you should be able to switch off on on)

what about having some sort of "fog of war" ? so that tiles, not visible to any soldier get dimmed a bit, or something alike?
that will neither help the placement problem nor improve the ui... but it would be nice nevertheless :)

What about redesigning control panel and placing it just below minimap (filling that empty space)? The advantage would be a clear rectangular battlescape area as it was in the original x-com by the way.
[...]
Intelligently filling that space with some useful information could be a solution to our current layout problems.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


but how will you do that, so it works with all different playable resolutions?
give more extra information to players with higher resolutions?
or will there still be unused spaced, if resolution is bigger?
scaling the cp to always fit the free space will look ugly too, since it would be always scaled in only one direction.
or will you force all players to take the one and only standard resolution? (the solution which most older commercial 2d-games chose...)


what about making the minimap more mini?
minimap.png
just an idea ^^

edit: if we have fog of war in the battlescape, than it wouldn't be so much important to see that much detail on the minimap anymore... since then minimap would only need to show us general location of the units. (atm we need it to exactly see the field of view of our soldiers. that would be rather unconfortable at lower sizes, since it isn't already to comfortable now)

this would give the map (not minimap) back some meaning, since it would show us more detail, whenever we need it. atm map and minimap are just identical... (except for fog of war.. so you see even more information on minimap than on regular map)

Edited by Llyr, 23 November 2005 - 04:52 AM.


#14 Kratos

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 10:38 AM

The minimap is sort of mini enough for my eyes...looking at your pictures of rotated minimap gives me the idea that we should be able to turn it on it to every 45 degree angle possible so the player can actually feel like he can set his map to a degree.

Edited by Kratos, 23 November 2005 - 10:39 AM.


#15 Sporb

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 06:03 PM

perhaps the minimap should be an adjustable window that can be relocated by dragging and minimised on command?

#16 Llyr

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 04:32 AM

we shouldn't forget that the size of the minimap changes, depending on wether you play a 4*4, 5*5 or 6*6 map...

the layout must be able to cope with that...