User Interface Suggestion

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Redcap
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User Interface Suggestion

#1 Post by Redcap » Tue May 13, 2008 11:32 pm

I love everything about the user interface except the Drop down menu that gives information. An example is in the research page, there is a drop down menu that tells what a technology does. The reason I don't like it much is not because it isn't a good way of giving information, but rather when not used it just takes up space.

So my only suggestion is to get rid of the information window until something is clicked on, that way you can navigate the different menus just slightly easier.

Again, not harping on the project; in fact think it is great: but it is the only critism I can give thus far concerning the user interface.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: User Interface Suggestion

#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue May 13, 2008 11:37 pm

What drop down menu are you talking about? There are none on the research screen. The only ones in the main game UI are the focus selectors on the planet panels on the side panel.

Techs are described by a text box on the tech detail panel. If you don't like where it is or how big it is, move it and resize it.

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Redcap
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Re: User Interface Suggestion

#3 Post by Redcap » Wed May 14, 2008 12:35 am

Here is a picture of the spaces I am speaking of. It just seems that they take up to much space, leaving the graphical part of the screen reduced to a small little area. I would rather err on showing to much graphics and less text, but again, that 's just me.
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If we changed the interface like this it would not lose any text, just a research order, but it would move graphics from 40% to 60 % of the total display. MoO3's most fierce critism was it felt like looking at spread sheets and not like playing a game. I just think it would be visually better to increase the visual part of the game and reduce the text part to as small as possible.

Thanks for your time :)

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: User Interface Suggestion

#4 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed May 14, 2008 12:43 am

As noted above, for the top-centre and top-right panels, you can resize and move the windows if you don't like them. The "Display" panel with the coloured buttons is also resizable and movable.

It's been suggested by eleazar that the queue (and sidepanel on the map screen) resize according to how much is in it. For the queue (the remaining box you indicated on the left), I have no plans to make it floating, resizable or auto-resizing, though wouldn't necessarily object to someone else doing so.

Edit: Also, note that using a higher resolution makes the tree take up a lot larger fraction of the screen area...
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1680x1050_FO_Research_Screen_50_scale.png
1680x1050 fullscreen FO research screen at 50% zoom
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Redcap
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Re: User Interface Suggestion

#5 Post by Redcap » Wed May 14, 2008 12:53 am

Perfect.

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eleazar
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Re: User Interface Suggestion

#6 Post by eleazar » Wed May 14, 2008 4:49 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:t's been suggested by eleazar that the queue (and sidepanel on the map screen) resize according to how much is in it.
The main thing i'd like is the "navigation" box and the info box (which describes the tech) should both disappear when nothing is selected.
They tend to cover too much of the tree, and if the tech is in the far corner of the tree which they and/or the display cover, you have up to 3 separate windows to shuffle to uncover what that part of the tree says.

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Re: User Interface Suggestion

#7 Post by MrV » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:53 pm

There are a lot of things that could be tweaked with regards to UI, but the research screen is possibly the one with the greatest potential for improvement. The tech tree is mind-numbingly massive, epic and huge, and there are floating boxes and a huge empty sidebar cluttering it up as well as barely visible scrollbars making it all the more confusing.

My suggestions:
- The area in the screenshot above with "extend tree graphics over here" etc. could be used for the info box with the description.
- Limit research queue as suggested in that same screenshot.
- The huge grey box in the top left corner should be tiled sideways. Remove the title "Research" box, and put the other two side by side; this means more space for the queue.
- Disable or at least limit zooming of the tech tree to reasonable values; noone should need to be able to see the whole massiveness of the tree - nor one single tech filling half the screen.
- Remove dead space from between the tech boxes; this means less vertical scrolling.
- Lock the "display" box to the bottom of the screen, and separate the tech area boxes (construction, ships etc.) more clearly from the others.

A related suggestion: Could the "Research" button on the main view light up or something when nothing is being researched? This would make it easier to keep track when you're getting dozens of messages in the SitRep at turn start.

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igrok
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Re: User Interface Suggestion

#8 Post by igrok » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:11 pm

I agree that the list of techs is daunting to parse through for a new user, but I'm thrilled that there are so many! I enjoy having a huge number of options.

Just mentioning this so no one suggests removing techs to make the UI simpler.

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Re: User Interface Suggestion

#9 Post by MrV » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:21 pm

igrok wrote:I'm thrilled that there are so many! I enjoy having a huge number of options.
That makes two of us! The more, the merrier!


Edit:
How about a complete revamping of the research screen? I'm thinking more along the lines of how it's done in Hearts of Iron 2, one of the few games with such a massive research tree, than the current Civilization-esque solution. Not necessarily too much work either; but placing the various categories on their own, separate pages?

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