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Update #54: Art Update - Work IS in Progress!

project eternity rob nesler kickin it forward

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#161
khango

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I don't like the UI mock much -- too much like IWD-2. The red/blue bars also look out of place and make the character portraits appear rather square.

 

I'd like to see character portraits larger and on the left vertically stacked, use the red background effect from BG II / IWD for 'health' or its equivalent. If you're going to have bars (and a need to measure multiple things which would preclude the red-shaded health effect) at least give the bars the physicality of the rest of the UI. Even if you keep the horizontal thing going, make character portraits larger and the gages more 'physical.' The action buttons for spells and such are also slightly too small.


The texture, color, and atmosphere of the UI are fine. It's the functional details, positioning, and sizes that feel off for the most part.

 

This is actually the first update/proposed/draft of anything that I'm not much of a fan of at all.

PS: Though I do like the 'scripted sequences page' or overlay or whatnot.


Edited by khango, 29 May 2013 - 09:23 AM.


#162
Homer Morisson

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To break away from the heated UI discussion, did I mention how awesome this is?

 

pe-scriptedevent-wip.580.jpg

 

I wonder if dialogue will be handled this way? Probably not though.

Reminds me in a very pleasant way of the first type of computer games I ever played, which were text adventures... to have a similar method employed for quest choices like in the mockup would be awesome.

 

To me this really enhances both the overall atmosphere of the game, as well as the level of immersion into the game; a lot of modern games, even RPGs, feel kinda hectic in the way they present quests or even dialogue - there just isn't the same "Hey player, why don't you just sit down for a spell and listen to the story I'm about to tell you"-vibe around anymore.

 

I also feel that if the game shows you everything in absolute detail, instead of just hinting at and telling you about certain details, it takes away a lot of opportunity for the player to simply use their own imagination to picture the current scene just the way they like it, the way they think a horrific spider or a wizened old woman etc should look.

That's basically the same difference between reading a book and watching a movie - both can entertain you, but a book, to me, always wins where immersion and sheer "I need to know how the story ends"-ness is concerned.

 

A lot of you guys might have experienced something similar after having read a book which was then made into a movie... there's almost always at least one character, setting, detail, whatever, where you feel a sting of disappointment because it just doesn't look or feel right.

 

Long story short: The artwork and presentation of choices in the mockup immediately reminds me of everything I like about reading books over watching movies - it stimulates the imagination without chaining it down to only one possible interpretation.


Edited by Homer Morisson, 29 May 2013 - 09:43 AM.

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#163
J.E. Sawyer

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Thanks for the feedback, everyone, divergent though it may be.  Here are some things we are going to continue to look into:

 

* Better use of space overall.  Not all of the decorative elements need to be there.  We would like to have more room for the ability icons in particular.

* Re-working and re-positioning of the player menu (inventory, etc.).

* Possibly vertically orienting the character portraits and ability icons on one side of the screen.  The combat log pretty much has to be horizontally-oriented, but other than scrolling through it, that's a non-interactive element of the UI.

 

I have to say I think it's strange that people are requesting UI layouts with character portraits far away from action icons, floating wireframe UIs, and similar features.  While it's true that BG1 and IWD1 used wrap-around UIs, that was because 640x480 base resolutions didn't allow us to fit all of the elements along one edge of the screen.  As soon as we went to 800x600 in IWD2, we immediately went to a consolidated UI layout that made mouse movement much more efficient.  I understand that a lot of people use hotkeys and we certainly plan to support that, but GUIs need to be functional for people who use them.  Putting abilities 75%+ of the screen width away from the character portraits is really inefficient.

 

While I certainly think the idea of a bone and obsidian UI could be really cool looking, it would also be very stark and high-contrast.  I think it would wind up dominating the screen, regardless of the environment.  Our outdoor environments, especially, will fall more in the BG and BG2 spectrum of colors, which is why we went with more subdued natural tones and copper accents.  We can certainly look at alternatives, but I wanted to give feedback on that particular idea.


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#164
Homer Morisson

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While I certainly think the idea of a bone and obsidian UI could be really cool looking, it would also be very stark and high-contrast.  I think it would wind up dominating the screen, regardless of the environment.  Our outdoor environments, especially, will fall more in the BG and BG2 spectrum of colors, which is why we went with more subdued natural tones and copper accents.  We can certainly look at alternatives, but I wanted to give feedback on that particular idea.

 

This might be a bit early, but what are your plans on modding tools etc?

The way I see it, if there were to be any kind of SDK or maybe just an easily modifiable file structure, everyone could make their own UI's just the way they like 'em.

Maybe there might even be a sticky thread sometime in the future where avid modders could present their interpretations and share them with the rest of the community.



#165
Kore

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Edit: Oh, Josh addressed these pretty much as I posted them. Awesome.

 

I really appreciate the desire to keep it "authentic" IE style. It looks fantastic. 

 

One point I want to make though is that generally in a top down game I want my viewable game area to be as square as possible. Because of this, the area at the bottom of the screen is more valuable than the side of the screen.

 

It would therefore be more logical to put as many UI elements on the side bar instead of at the bottom. I would move the portraits and options tabs to the right hand side and shrink the height of the bottom bar to achieve this. 

 

I also think that Zed below has some very good points and I agree with all of them.

 

That UI isn't very good.

 

Here's why:

 

The portraits are very important: you click them to switch characters, right-click to open inventory or what have you. In-between the portraits and game-screen you put functions and abilities. Missclicks ahoy.

 

Portraits also need to be bigger. Why not use portrait dimensions (as used in BG2?) If you're gonna have good-looking portraits, show em off. Also, this gives room to show character statuses on the portrait.

 

The dialogue part doesn't look resizable like in the BG games. It really should be. Preferably it should also be on the left, with a scrollbar on right.

 

I'll draw a mock-up of what I think would be a better solution.


Edited by Kore, 29 May 2013 - 09:33 AM.


#166
the itis

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Thanks Josh.

 

Any comment regarding plans for spell icons?


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#167
Kore

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Thanks for the feedback, everyone, divergent though it may be.  Here are some things we are going to continue to look into:

 

* Better use of space overall.  Not all of the decorative elements need to be there.  We would like to have more room for the ability icons in particular.

* Re-working and re-positioning of the player menu (inventory, etc.).

* Possibly vertically orienting the character portraits and ability icons on one side of the screen.  The combat log pretty much has to be horizontally-oriented, but other than scrolling through it, that's a non-interactive element of the UI.

 

I have to say I think it's strange that people are requesting UI layouts with character portraits far away from action icons, floating wireframe UIs, and similar features.  While it's true that BG1 and IWD1 used wrap-around UIs, that was because 640x480 base resolutions didn't allow us to fit all of the elements along one edge of the screen.  As soon as we went to 800x600 in IWD2, we immediately went to a consolidated UI layout that made mouse movement much more efficient.  I understand that a lot of people use hotkeys and we certainly plan to support that, but GUIs need to be functional for people who use them.  Putting abilities 75%+ of the screen width away from the character portraits is really inefficient.

 

 

I like all of the changes that you suggest there.

 

You make a good point about inefficiency in the UI, but since PE is based around a pause function I find that time moving the cursor isn't as big a factor as viewable battlefield especially considering that I actually usually select my party members by clicking on their sprite in the battlefield rather than their portrait. Viewable battle field is important because if I have to scroll the screen to view my party member my cursor will usually be 75-100% of the screen away anyway.

 

One thing that comes to mind from this is that it would be great to hard bind keys and slots to certain abilities for a specific party member regardless of which character is selected. I'd like to always select "charge" for <tank name> if I hit 1, "magic missle" for <mage name> if I hit 2, etc.


Edited by Kore, 29 May 2013 - 09:44 AM.

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#168
Nishimoto

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I like the color and theme of the UI but I do think you could tweak it a little

 

1. Cut off the UI when using widescreen resolutions, it helps to make it more minimalistic

2. Remove the journal/inventory part of the UI, most players are going to use hotkeys and removing that part makes more room for the portraits ect.

3. Make the event menu full screen covering the UI, it's a small adjustment but it incresses the players immersion and reduces the distraction of the UI, helping the player to focus on the chocies 

 

Also how are you handleing high resolutions? In isometric games like Baldur's Gate and The Temple of Elemental Evil, when you incress the resolution the camera zooms out, making it feel more like your controlling ants in a maze than adventures in a dungeon.

 



#169
Doppelschwert

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Thanks for commenting so fast on the feedback josh!

 

Also, the scripted event looks absolutely fantastic and makes a cool addition to the game - somehow I skipped that on my first time reading through the update.



#170
Jaesun

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As long as the UI is 100% moddable I'll be OK with whatever Obsidian comes up with. Because no matter how much you work on a design, there is always someone from the community that ends up doing a great custom UI.


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#171
Failedlegend

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A few more points are reading other peoples ideas and suggestions (the stuff from my original post stil apply :D)

 

- Please do not use an MMO-esque UI I love the solid UI in the example

 

- Have things create a tooltip when hovered over (give it about a second delay before something pops up and make that adjustable in options from like 0.5 - 5 seconds) , I always hated when I got a status effect and had no idea what it did or forgot exactly what a spell did...not much info need to be within the tooltip just the mechanical stuff

 

- I'd love to have the ability to click pre-set stuff for each character without having to actually select them similar to what Odd Hermit shows in this pic (refering only to the quick slot stuff) and it would be cool if I could decided what goes there instead of just quick slot items....ie. I could choose Stealth, Find Traps & Disable Device for my theif than for my Wizard Spells, Quick Item Slot 1 (Wand of Awesome) and than a specific spell that I use often.

 

http://i.imgur.com/jYuYx9E.jpg (odd hermits pic)

 

- If you keep the statue of the left please flip it so its looking to the right...it's weird having them both look to the left instead of into the UI

 

- Alternatively you could lose the Statue of the left so you can increase the size of the portraits (and give room for each to have a border and nice quick slots...you could than move the Command button to above the options, inventory, etc.

 

Here's a general (badly photoshopped) idea of what I'm talking about

 

 

Example w/ Notes

 

Spoiler

 

 

Example w/o Notes (for easier viewing)

 

Spoiler

 

 

Original Mockup

 

http://media.obsidia...ud-wip.1280.jpg

 


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#172
hideo kuze

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Making the UI moddable with XML files would please everyone, instead of trying to find one size to fit all.

 

If not, then please go with this:

Zed nailed it!

 

 

 

That UI isn't very good.


Here's why:

The portraits are very important: you click them to switch characters, right-click to open inventory or what have you. In-between the portraits and game-screen you put functions and abilities. Missclicks ahoy.

Portraits also need to be bigger. Why not use portrait dimensions (as used in BG2?) If you're gonna have good-looking portraits, show em off. Also, this gives room to show character statuses on the portrait.

The dialogue part doesn't look resizable like in the BG games. It really should be. Preferably it should also be on the left, with a scrollbar on right.

I'll draw a mock-up of what I think would be a better solution.

 

 

 

alright here's my mock-up for a much more baldur's gate-ian UI

(never liked iwd's ui)

  • chat is on left - chat navigation is closer to "click-centric area" of party management etc.
  • bigger 4:3 (or whatever) portraits. not ugly square ones.
  • uses the horizontal space given by widescreen reso + incorporating BG ui elements everybody loves. doesn't look as "wide" and awkward.
  • still scalable.
  • allows for resizable chat for all those walls of text and combat txt overview

 

5r8ml23.jpg

 


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#173
IndiraLightfoot

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Josh, the points you are considering there look very promising. Thanks for sharing them already. :)

 

As for the recurrent bizarre request for a more spread-out, hugging-the-frame-of-the-screen UI: It may be inefficient as far as mouse movement is concerned, but it looks and feels "right". I don't know why, it just does. One thing perhaps is that having all the UI as a big rectangle bottom-screen gets to blocky - like a crammed chunk of info for a UI, a boring dashboard. Having the UI crawling along the border of the screen and in small chunks that can be regulated by the player is to be preferred, perhaps not aesthetically, but for that CRPG-organic feel you get from having it there - a cool CRPG c-o-c-k-pit instrumentation bonanza, if you will.

 

Finally, make sure that spell-icon space is aplenty and customizable.


Edited by IndiraLightfoot, 29 May 2013 - 10:33 AM.

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#174
teknoman2

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did anyone notice what the pet portrait is?

if not, look closer

C_71_article_1410332_image_list_image_li


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#175
Messier-31

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Love the scripted sequences or what-do-you-call-em's. It gives that special feel to the old-school roleplayin' experience.

 

Delivery date, y u no come faster? ;)



#176
Homer Morisson

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Finally, make sure that spell-icon space is aplenty and customizable.

 

+++

This cannot be overstated!

 

My first character of choice is always, to use the olden days' terminology, a chaotic evil mage, so having an easy to use and at least somewhat customizable spell interface is something that can potentially greatly influence the enjoyment I get from playing any RPG.



#177
Forlorn Hope

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Thanks for the update.

Scripted event images are super cool. About the UI, I'd like to have bigger portraits, as many have already stated. Can't wait to play this game!



#178
Sensuki

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You can do Baldur's Gate Sized Portraits without having to have a Sidebar UI

Here is a really dodgy mspaint job of it:

QDlKZzd.jpg

Status effects could now be on the portrait like in BG/IWD

Only thing is with this design I've lost the space for the Animal companion. You could remove a line of hotkeys I suppose - two lines of that is more than the original mockup.
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#179
Homer Morisson

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You can do Baldur's Gate Sized Portraits without having to have a Sidebar UI

Here is a really dodgy mspaint job of it:

QDlKZzd.jpg

Status effects could now be on the portrait like in BG/IWD

Only thing is with this design I've lost the space for the Animal companion. You could remove a line of hotkeys I suppose - two lines of that is more than the original mockup.

 

 

Even though I'd still like the chat/log window to be on the left, this, to me, is the by far best suggestion so far. :thumbsup:


Edited by Homer Morisson, 29 May 2013 - 10:57 AM.


#180
Moriendor

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That UI concept is looking a little too old school for my taste. Spiritual succession or not... over a decade later, I'd love to see a less intrusive, more elegant and more modern, advanced style with more transparency, pop-in/pull-down, rolling elements etc. - Generally speaking look at a modern MMO like SWTOR and their very customizable UI options.

 

Just my $.02







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