General 0.3 Discussion

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Geoff the Medio
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#31 Post by Geoff the Medio »

muxec wrote:My brief vision of tutorial suggestion:
[...]
Have you looked at the Quick Play Guide? It covers most or all of what you suggest should be in a tutorial...
Things I dislike about production queue:
It is global and it's MOO3 style.
The queue is going to stay global, as that's a fairly significant design decision for FreeOrion. Could you elaborate on what is "MOO3 style" about it, and why this is bad, though?
The way to select a system to build in is not intuitive in curent UI.
How would you change it so it is more intuitive?
UI feature request: ability to add to global queue from the planet/system screen.
Why is this necessary? You can just switch over to the production screen, which essentially is the system sidepanel with some extra windows that let you see what you're building. If it was possible to enqueue from the sidepanel without opening the whole production screen, we'd need some way to list all the buildable things at a planet. How would you suggest doing this?

In general, IMO there needs to be more visual feedback during the production order-giving process, such as greying out or disabling production locations that can't accept a selected production item, or greying out items that can be produced at a selected location. A bigger and more prominent indication of what production location is selected would help, and the current system of building multiple copies of things is lacking. We also need to show completed and in-progress buildings on the sidepanel. Most of this was suggested by me on this thread, but need(s/ed) someone to make it look nice.

Underling
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#32 Post by Underling »

Geoff the Medio wrote:
muxec wrote:My brief vision of tutorial suggestion:
[...]
Have you looked at the Quick Play Guide? It covers most or all of what you suggest should be in a tutorial...
I think the problem Geoff is that many gamers don't ever examine a print guide, let alone a HTML file while playing a game. If the answer is not obviously in game, they walk away.

While I agree that the quick play file handles the issue in an effetcive fashion (for folks like you or me who like to read :wink: ), I believe that muxec's request could be useful for future releases. This shouldn't really be an issue until 1.0 is much closer IMO.

The 'Ling

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Constructive criticism

#33 Post by Geoff the Medio »

dstjames wrote:One other VERY MINOR thing I didnt like was that there isnt an X in the corner to close the production or research panels. Most other dialog boxes have an X in the corner to close them so you assume that is the standard way of closing something but on these screens you have to click on the research or production button again to close them. Just doesnt seem intuitive to me.
I think you're missing the (perhaps non-obvious) distinction between a screen and a dialog box. The Fleet Window or the SitRep sit over top of the Map Screen, but the Production and Research Screens (arguably) replace it entirely... (well, aside for that middle section of the Production Screen...). There's also the sidepanel that's sort of half way between the Production Screen and the Sidpanel... and then actually the SitRep doesn't have an X button either... nor does the Menu.

So really there's a larger problem of inconsistent UI design at the moment...

What if there was a "Map" button at the top right, next to the Research, Production, SitRep and Menu buttons? This would always go directly to the Map view, possibly with the Sidepanel and Fleets Window open if you left it open before.

This probably wouldn't be able to toggle, as there's not really anything worth showing behind the Map... So would it still be worth having the other screen opening buttons work as toggles as they do now?

What if the buttons highlighted or otherwise indicated that they were "ON" when clicked / toggled?

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#34 Post by utilae »

I see your point that the production screen and the research screen replace the map screen.

I think that the buttons up the top, ie map, production, research should act like tabs. The screen that is selected should have its button highlighted so that the user can clearly see that the button is selected and knows that clicking the other buttons will act like a tab does in windows and bring up the map screen in place of the research screen etc.

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Geoff the Medio
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#35 Post by Geoff the Medio »

I do think the currently selected button at the top right should be highlighted or otherwise shown, perhaps as tabs. (The same should apply for categories of techs or production items on the research and production screens.) The tabs visual styles is recurrantly suggested... It's not really any functionally better than highlighted on / off buttons though... and in some cases can look much worse... so we might end up having the same functionality but not the look.

The SitRep is a bit of a special case that breaks the tabbed model though, as it is typically shown over top of the galaxy screen. I'm not sure why it can't be shown over top of the research or production screens at the moment, but IMO that should probably chage... as people would likely base production or research decisions on what's listed in the sitrep.

What could be done is to separate the research, production and map buttons from the others, or otherwise visually group them, so it's clear you're picking between one of them. The SitRep button could then be a toggle that's located a bit apart, so it's clear that whether it is on or off doesn't affect which of the other three (or more in future) main screens are shown.

The "Menu" button would also work like the sitrep, being shown over top of whatever else is open, as it is now. The menu is a bit different though, in that when it's open, everything else in the UI is disabled. We might want to indicate that by greying stuff out some other way...

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#36 Post by muxec »

Dear FreeOrion designers, please read http://joelonsoftware.com/uibook/chapte ... 00062.html

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#37 Post by Aquitaine »

FreeOrion v0.3 was meant to showcase the stuff we'd worked on. We told the programmers 'give us a screen that does this.' It is hardly fair to go after them (or the designers) for inconsistent/not-wonderful UI when not only is the UI going to evolve so much along with the development of the game that what you see now won't be recognizable later, but we haven't even reached a point where we can say 'this system is final enough that we should now perfect the interface to it.'

You can always make the argument that a poor UI in the beginning will find a way to stay there until the end, but I don't think anybody who has been working on FO would make the claim that what we've got is even a close approximation of our capacity when it comes to interface. We've got some excellent artists and some people (myself among them) with training in interface development.

I don't mean to say that this discussion isn't appropriate or that Joel's article isn't an excellent one -- but do keep in mind that we shouldn't be judging v0.3 too harshly on something it wasn't really meant to do.
Surprise and Terror! I am greeted by the smooth and hostile face of our old enemy, the Hootmans! No... the Huge-glands, no, I remember, the Hunams!

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#38 Post by JosEPh »

Wow! Did my *noob* observations ever spark some debate!

I knew that ver. 0.3 was going to be rough. I lurk, don't usually post.

I really do like the direction FO is taking. To tzlaine, Geoff, tyreth, acquitaine, and all the rest of the *Crew*, don't take our criticizm(sp) personally. Please, you all have accomplished so much. *Thumbs Up!* 8)

I still stumble around the site trying to find the "How To's", but I'm an older TBS player and MoO3 was my 1st internet forum. So I'm sometimes illiterate about these things.

It's great that you can build stuff with this version! HOORAY!!!

Now what is this version 0.3.1 I see ppl posting about ? Can version 0.3 be updated already? Where? How? Point this "old and slow.....watch out!" player in the right direction! PLease!

JosEPh :D

Ps how you been doin' Davey? MoO3 has come a long way since you last visited.

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#39 Post by muxec »

Indeed. I just said that 0.3 UI looks very 0.3ish :)

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#40 Post by Danakin »

Awesome!

Imagine what 1.0 will be like?
I have watched development for some time, not really said much... but I will say something now.

To the development crew don't take any comment too harshly I think there is or will be a lot of people excited by the release, especially if finding it for the first time! People would see something they like and knowing that it is a community based project would put their 2c worth in. Many of them won't know about the debates and issues that had strong opinions both ways especially ones like global vs planetary queues and starlanes!

To those who have these ideas also remember that there has been a lot of groundwork already laid and fundamental decisions already made, so not every suggestion will be taken on board, in fact by now many suggestions will be coming too late. Not that I am saying don't put forward a suggestion just don't get devastated if it isn't in the final release.
Also if your going to actually post something negative make sure you also post a solution and be very clear for reasons etc. It is pretty easy to knock something but a lot harder to come up with actual (maybe even coded) solutions.

To everyone involved I think it is great and that is my 2c worth!
Well done! Give yourselves a pat on the back, but don't take too long, you have work to do! ;)

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Couple questions

#41 Post by Autharius »

Hey there all. Well I tried out the beta a few days ago and was blown away by what you guys have done. Even though there was no AI I had tons of fun just expanding and reserching, though I still don't know if the god reserch did anything. :) I did have a bug to report and a question to ask. The bug I had(i know its beta) is when I maxed out the star systems the game wouldn't always save the first time you asked it to... this might just have been my machine that was not able to handle it but I don't know. The question I had was in regard to why you have to be connected to the internet when you go play a single-player game. It would be nice to be able to play offline in future versions. This looks like it will be a very well done, professional game if it gets completed, please don't give up.

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Geoff the Medio
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#42 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Please post bug reports on sourceforge:

http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_i ... tid=544942

The inability to save sounds similar to one that a few other people have been having that's been rather difficult to track down...

You don't actually need to be connected to the internet as far as I know, but the game does use networking to communicate between client and server, even when on the same machine. You will need to let FreeOrion and the server have local access through any firewall you have running, but they don't send anything to any other machine over the net for a single player game.

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#43 Post by Autharius »

Ok thanks for the info, I see the same bug as mine on there so I won't post it but sorry about posting it here in the first place, couln't find the bug thread... should have known to go to sourceforge. :D

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#44 Post by Autharius »

Ok I repeal and remand my last statement. I ended up looking at the post that looked like mine and the guy hadn't messeged tzlaine back. I am not sure if on that forum it tells you that there is new messages in previous posts so could you tell tzlaine that I messeged him my problem in depth on the previous "[ 1389701 ] Game Saving Errors, but Still Saves" post.... hope it helps but it does look like it might be a nasty problem to take care of. Good luck.

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#45 Post by IvanS77 »

Hi all! Well, this my first post. I'm download and install FO-0.3, then run it. I found 2 bugs and i can't posted it from Sourceforge! Can you help me? How i can make it? Where i can posted screenshort from first bug?
And who know - how i can move the fleet ? I'm read FAQ for 0.3 from Wiki - but i can't move fleet. :?:

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