tzlaine wrote:Exactly. Instead of 100 pixels away, it should be 1000 pixels away. This is something decided on long ago in these forums; I'm not just making things up.
Did these discussion rule out alternatives like requiring two clicks to end the turn (one to activate, one to act)? What exactly was decided? I've moved some buttons further from the top corner than they were in v0.2, but apparently this still isn't enough? (Was "1000 pixels away" the actual wording of the decision?)
Anyway... WARNING: MASSIVE POST!
There are some changes from the previous pair of mockups. In general, anything new in this mockup supercedes the older ones, but the general function described for windows resizing and images being togglable still applies, though I won't bother making an altered version of this mockup to re-illustrate. Those include the expanding up/down build palette and the planet / buildingimages disappearing and the palette and project info box expanding to the right to fill the space.
Those mockups also indicate how the screen should expand or contract with additional screen width; the build palette and project info box, at the middle bottom and middle top respectively, should expand right, as would the map in the middle. If the window is taller, then the queue, map / palette and right sidepanel expand down.
On the new mockup are a few things of note...
There are minor changes to the colour scheme, but I'm hoping that an artist will replace just about everything on there with a much nicer theme. Most of the functional layout is done now, I hope, so an artist can come in at this point and make it look pretty.
All the grey box icons, except for the specials icons below the planet picture, have been replaced with filler mockups to help illustrate the purpose of those buttons, which I will explain below.
Also note that the on-screen buttons are now round, square, or octagonal. This is to indicate differing functions:
The round buttons do something instantly when clicked, which does not continue happening after the click. For example, at the top of the queue, the two leftmost buttons sort the queue according to cost per turn, or time remaining to complete. Pressing these buttons has an instant, non-presistant effect; after you click the button, things are rearranged on the queue, but you can immediately start manually rearranging things without having to deactivate the button.
The square buttons are "one of several" pickers, of which one is always active, persistantly. Note they they are always in groups of two or three in my mockup, but this is just because that's all I could think to add at the moment... they might be in groups of four or more later. Each of these groups operates independently, and amongst the buttons in the group, always exactly one button is activated. For example, on the build palette, the three leftmost buttons are used to pick what sort of projects are shown on the palette: everything, buildings, or ships. (Presumably later we'll have more kinds or more subdivisions).
The octagonal buttons do are an on / off toggle that act independent and persistently. These are currently only on the bar below the system box, and above the scrollable planets / buildings area.
For both artists and programmer, the current buttons on the mockup are:
The buttons above the queue, from left to right:
-Sort projects by cost per turn, alternates high to low, and low to high with each press.
-Sort projects by turns left to complete, alternates high to low, and low to high
-Cancel selected projects; removes the currently selected project(s) from the queue.
The arrow show on the first two should probably alternate up and down as appropriate.
The buttons above the projects palette, left to right:
-Show all available projects in build palette
-Show buildings in palette
-Show ships in palette
-Sort things in palette alphabetically by name, a to z
-Sort things in palette numerically by cost, low to high
The buttons in the text area of the project description box, at the top middle, left to right:
-Show building data such as maintenance, placement requirements, effects, etc.
-Show fluff description text of building
The buttons in the bar below the system summary box, left to right:
-Show or hide star, planet and building images to left of sidepanel
-Show or hide buildings on the sidepanel below their respective palnets or above planets in the system objects spot
-Show or hide the happiness panel of planet boxes on the sidepanel
-Show or hide the ground forces panel of planet boxes on the sidepanel
The latter two panels will be empty for v0.3, but I put them in to establish the functionality now.
There are also round buttons at the top of every scrollbar. These do pretty much what they look like: scroll the scrollbar. It might seem odd to have the up and down buttons at the top, but if one things about it... it really makes sense. It's easier to use, as to scroll up or down or switch between, you don't have to move the mouse all the way to the other end of the scrollbar.
Similar left and right buttonsa re on the system info box at the top right. These loop through the systems in the game... either owned or any... I'm not sure and don't really care... (whichever it is in v0.2 is fine, I guess).
The "R" square boxes below the selected blue planet are specials icons. They aren't clickable, but serve to give a visual representation of the specials attached to a particular planet.
There's also a round bullseye button on the bottom red building. This is an example of a building targetting widget, which will presumably be useful when we have targettable effects. That building might be a big cannon, or a transporter, or wormhole generator, or somesuch that needs a target passed to its effects. Clicking that button would let the player indicate that target. Details to be determined.
Note that, in a nod to Obiwan, all the described buttons should have mouseover tooltip popups explaining what they do.
Also, I should make it clear that all these buttons need to look much nicer than my crude versions. Doing this is part of the appeal to artists I made above. They don't need to have the standard white outline I've put on either; make them fit the theme, but make sure it's clear which ones are activated / inactive, and make the squares, circles and octagons as distinct as possible. (This could be done with colouration or other methods...)
How things should work on this screen:
To set the focus, I've made some little tab things on the top and bottom of the resource production indicators on the planet panels on the sidepanel. These could be click and draggable, or possibly you could click on the top line of the resource indicators to change focus. If the latter, there should be some ghosty feedback that shows up upon mouseover that looks like the focus indicator tabs are in their new position, and thir old position should disappear or be similarly ghosted out, to show what will happen if one clicks.
Note that the ### numbers in the resource indicator boxes are actually indicating the RESOURCE PRODUCTION of the planet, not the meter levels. The meter levels themselves will be shown on the planet info screen, which has yet to be designed.
That said, it'd be nice if an artist could remake the resource indicator / focus select in the style that either BreadMan or Mystiqq were doing, starting here:
Also, it'd be nice to show the little bars under the resource indicators to actually indicate meter values, similar to what miu was doing here:
The lighter bar is the expected value of the meter in the next turn given the current focus settings and other such factors, and the darker bar is the expected max meter values next turn. Since meters are all 0-100, these are all proportional to resource production (population affects all the same way), so you can see the proportional changes to max meter values that changes to focus would make, so that you don't just think that your resource production is falling with no potential gains when changing focus.
Which reminds me: focus changes should have an immediately visible effect on resource production values as shown, as the shown values should indicate the expected production of each resource in the next turn for the given focus and other such settings and known game situation.
Now, the important stuff: How to enqueue projects. This can be done several ways. The player can:
Click on a planet on the sidepanel to select it as illustrated. The projects on the palette are filtered, and only ones that can be built at that planet are shown.
While a planet / other build location is selected, double click on a project on the build palette to enqueue it to the bottom of the queue.
While a planet / other build location is selected, drag a project from the palette to the queue, inserting it anywhere into the queue, possibly between already enqueued projects, as indicated by where it is dropped. There should be some visual feedback when dropping, such as little arrows pointing between projects already on the queue to indicate where the project will be dropped.
Whether or not a planet is selected on the sidepanel, drag a builing from the palette onto the sidepanel. While dragging, valid build sites are left unchanged, but invalid ones are greyed out to indicate that the project cannot be built at those locations. While still dragging, hovering the mouse over an invalid build site should pop up a tooltip indicating why the site is invalid.
Click a building on the palette, greying out invalid build locations on the sidepanel, as above. Hovering the mouse over invalid locations should again display a tooltip explaining why they're invalid (though in this case the tooltip and greying is relevant to the selected building, as the player need not be dragging anything at this time).
The player can't just drag a project to the queue or double click on a project to enqueue without first selecting a build location.
Whenever the player clicks on something in the palette, or a building on the sidepanel, the project info window at the top middle should update to display info on that building. The toggle between effects and info, and fluffy description should be persistant, so clicking for fluff, then clicking on another building shouldn't reset to effects, or the converse.
A project on the queue should appear with a mini-sized progress bar and turns indicator on the sidepanel, basically as it would as a completed building, but without the progressbar instead of any UI elements appropriate for the finished building, such as maintenance or targetting buttons or status indicators.
On the galax map, we need some sort of visual feedback to indicate if the cursor is near a system such that clicking would click on that system, opening the sidepanel or whatever else. This could be a brightening, or circling with a solid ring or somesuch. Currently there's no feedback until you've clicked, which is especially bad for giving fleet move orders, as misclicking closes the window. We should also have a similar indication on the map of which system is being shown in the sidepanel. I request that artists think about this and make suggetions.
When dragging a building over a valid build location, and that building has some sort of effective radius or other similar spatial scope selection system, this should be indicated on the map and sidepanel.
This would probably be easiest done with one or more optional tags in the building XML format. I'd suggest having two extra optional fields.
1) A min and max distance field, which is used to generate on the map a coloured (probably solid filled) partly transparent circle. or annulus or plane with a hole in the middle.
2) A condition, that picks which systems and planets and buildings to highlight on the map and sidepanel.
These two would act independently... 1) is just for convenience to generate some sort of circle indicator. 2) would determine which to actually highlight. Both are separate from the effects groups' scopes, which are probably too complicated to parse, and even if they aren't, I'd rather have the separate control this, or something similar, would provide.
Artists, it'd be nice to have suggestions for what the feedback circle would look like, and how to highlight the sidepanel when suggesting any themes for it, as above.
That's all I can think of at the moment... which is proabably for the best. Congratulations if you read all this way. Do please comment.