DevLog: Resources Bar

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StuartMorgan
Developer
Posts: 114

DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#1 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:13 pm

Lots of user interface bug fixing, polishing and adding tooltips for everything over the past week.

This screenshot shows the new simple icons for the resource bar along the top of the screen.
I tried some more detailed "pixel art" icons but it didn't look consistent (very important :!:) with the rest of the graphics style.

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Left to right, the buttons are: Main Menu, Empire, Diplomacy, Fleet, Research, Ship Designs
To the right of the buttons are the resources: Credits, Research Data, Crew, Troops, Metals, Food Supply

The panel at the top left is work in progress. Doesn't work yet and is missing some controls.
Left clicking a ship makes the panel appear, its not always visible.

My hope is it will make it easy to quickly change ship orders and fleet organization. I wasn't happy with the amount of clicks and separate windows needed with the way it worked previously. Getting this working well will be my main focus for the next couple of days. :geek:

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Modest
Posts: 22

Re: DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#2 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:40 am

Those asteroids belts... They look so beautifull... :)

Symbols on left part of menu bar are not very clear to recognise I must say ;) Still that is only a matter of learning it while playing a game, so no big deal I think ;)

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Dan
Posts: 34

Re: DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#3 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:48 am

Nice screenshot and thanks for this neat little dev update!

Some comments:

1. Indeed the buttons on the top left are hard to distinguish or get their meaning as a new person to the game, but of course that is learned in the first 5 min of the game. One alternative that worked very well in EVE Online and was added recently is having all menu icons as monochrome icons. No colours. A monochrome symbol for each of the buttons could work and having them as monochrome / grey would fit the UI better IMO. See this EVE dev blog on monochrome icons change.

Some ideas for monochrome buttons, no colour pixels:

Main Menu - a circle like the one you have, but similar to the on/off buttons?
Empire - a map symbol?
Diplomacy - hand shake symbol?
Fleet - a delta symbol similar to delta spaceships?
Research - a magnifying glass symbol or the one from CIV games?
Ship Designs - a blueprint symbol?

2. Resources UI looks neat.

3. The panel should also be transparent and it would be nice if the UI can be customized in % for transparency, some people might want to make everything 90% transparent so they can enjoy the beautiful graphics. I would definitely avoid a spread sheet UI, the less windows on the screen the better, EVE Online is a classic example of excel in space. Also I like that the panel disappears when you have no ships selected, nice. Without any transparency the panel feels a bit heavy on the UI, once it is expanded with ships etc that will take some space, reminds me of the EVE overview. :P

4. The map and bottom UI look great.

The colours of the game are indeed amazingly beautiful and the UI has to reflect and complement it not bring it down, it's a pity for many space games that the UI (like EVE Online) basically takes 75% of your screen...

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StuartMorgan
Developer
Posts: 114

Re: DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#4 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:29 pm

Symbols on left part of menu bar are not very clear to recognise I must say

Indeed the buttons on the top left are hard to distinguish or get their meaning as a new person to the game

How about just using text instead of icons for those buttons? (see screenshot)
EDIT: Or maybe placing the icons to the left of the text and make the buttons slightly wider.

The panel should also be transparent and it would be nice if the UI can be customized in % for transparency, some people might want to make everything 90% transparent so they can enjoy the beautiful graphics.

Yes, you can already do this.

Because of the way interface widgets overlap, the transparency is multiplied so you can only really see through the background window area. Not sure how to solve this without merging it all into a single texture, which isn't practical for UI.

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StuartMorgan
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Re: DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#5 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:46 pm

Here is what it looks like with icons and text. :thumbup

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Modest
Posts: 22

Re: DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#6 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:00 pm

Soo... Time for more feedback? :)

I would stick to icon and text. This is why I think that way:

Words will ensure that I will have easier learning curve when it comes to meanings of each button (Dan - You estimated that learning every one of them will take You 5 minutes - good for You, but not everybody is as able in those regards as You are - I say 3 to 4 hours for me to learn it by symbols, not by location). With having words next to symbol it will shorten time needed even to only 1 hour. That is huge improvment I would say.

Now - why words AND symbols? Words only would be great... But we should have in regards also another possibility. How about people with dyslexia? They will not like extra reading... Symbol will be their chooise to recognize stuff. That alone is in my personal opinion good eoungh for You to leave symbols be, and just suplement them with words (note - if whole words will start taking too much space, using shortcuts is always an option - not very elegant, but practical).

But there is more into this - imagine You will want to write some hints for game, or training etc. If You will decide to "words only" option, than You will have to use words everywhere in hints. You will propably than have to think of ways to make some words look more important than others - for example using bold words, or curved ones, or in red. And than - which one is best? And dyslexia comes in... And colour blind - so red may be not good way to do things...

But with symbols - with symbols You will be able to use those insted of words. So insted of "In order to begin work on research, go into research section (upper left part of screen) and..." You will be able to have it like that: "In order to begin work on research, go into insert research symbol here and..." Second instance will try to give me information in first seconds that this is about research (symbol will be recognizable before any word in text). If I will know that symbol already than I will know what it is about in general, and that will be able to make quick decision - read or not read. If I will not know that symbol, than it will catch my interest and will encourage me to concentrate on reading, as it is something I am not familiar with - I will be able to tell that from first glance, not after I will start reading in order to get what it all is about.

For those reasons I would advice You to stay with Symbol suplemented by Words. Of course, what I wrote here may not be representative for majority and... Well... Majority may actually thing completly opposite than that :)

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Dan
Posts: 34

Re: DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#7 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:05 pm

StuartMorgan wrote:Here is what it looks like with icons and text. :thumbup

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Very elegant solution. :thumbup

Also the transparent panel looks nice.

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Horgrim
Posts: 4

Re: DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#8 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:08 pm

Hello!

I'm also a long time EVE player and I love Your game concept!

About the buttons - how about symbols, that will display names next to the symbol after moving the cursor above them? Of course it will probably be best for everyone to just sit and try every option to find the one they like the most... So... when the playable beta will arrive? :twisted:

Best regards
Horgrim

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Frobond
Posts: 1

Re: DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#9 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:43 am

Modest wrote:Soo... Time for more feedback? :)
Now - why words AND symbols? Words only would be great... But we should have in regards also another possibility. How about people with dyslexia? They will not like extra reading... Symbol will be their chooise to recognize stuff. That alone is in my personal opinion good eoungh for You to leave symbols be, and just suplement them with words (note - if whole words will start taking too much space, using shortcuts is always an option - not very elegant, but practical).


As some one with a rather severe case of dyslexia (i guess that's how i would say it) single words are never really a problem (unless its a word i have never seen before). if you start putting words into sentences say with all caps or capital first letters it becomes confusing and i do have to spend more time reading the individual words. I think having the best of both words and having the words fade in after you mouse is over the button for a short time perhaps. almost like a permanent tool tip? If left as is it would be fine as well. Other then that i think the ui is amazing simplistic yet informative.

as for the resource icons the only 2 i couldn't identify without looking at your text legend where crew and troops. my thought on that would be a basic white stick figure for crew and a army helmet type things for troops. its a little more then basic shapes and i guess i would learn white diamond is crew and brown is troops.... i dunno as i type this i am up in the air about it. i do think as long as its mono in color it would be ok. your mettle icon is already a non basic shape so having your research crew troop and food(supply) be a very basic pixel art would be ok?

also you have research as a triangle on the left menus should it not be a triangle for the actual resource space as well?

p.s. as a general rule of thumb. when it comes to making things legible for dyslexics as long as you don't you a strange or unnatural font i can read things with relative ease basically as long as the text is not comic sans or other fonts like it im fine.

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ThymineC
Posts: 10

Re: DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#10 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:56 pm

I like it better with text as well. :)
Ah! quelle immense joie après tant de souffrance!
A travers les débris, par-dessus les charniers,
Pouvoir enfin jeter ce cri de délivrance:
Plus d’hommes sous le ciel, nous sommes les derniers!

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marton
Posts: 4

Re: DevLog: Resources Bar

Post#11 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:26 am

I prefer the text only. Too many colors make it look like a toy. I think the UI should mostly be colorless and keeping colors restricted to resources makes them easily noticeable.

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