Jump to content

Recommended Posts

 

Given that this is a game that expects some degree of pausing, and also given that many people select characters by clicking their in-game models, I think screen real-estate and visibility concerns slightly trump mouse efficiency concerns.

 

Many of the proposed mock-ups (other than Sensuki's) use more screen real-estate than the original.

 

http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?attachments/bg3ui-jpg.1565/

Something like this maybe?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice update! Good to hear what everyone is working on. Here is my gui feedback.

 

I like that the dialogue window has tabs for dialogue and combat logs (hopefully it is an expandable window as well)

 

The buttons need to scream their functionality; I should be able to tell at a glance what each one does (I know they are placeholders) ie the crossed weapons icon does what? Where as the spell icon is obvious as is the sneak and hide-in-shadows button. But what button is used for picking locks?

 

I like the summoned creature mini-icon circle thing but how would you depict status effects on summoned creatures with that small portrait?

 

The gui as a whole needs more contrast so that the buttons stick out. Maybe add inlaid gold leaf like pattern around buttons so it fits with visual theme?

 

My assumption is that a visually integrated gui is the goal for all the interface elements.

 

Glad to hear that the animators goal is to include more than one idle for creatures; nothing quite so jarring as seeing creatures all rocking to the same motions as if they're in a trance. That new creature reminds me of the one in diablo ii; (he was a shaman and raised other creatures) with the exception of the lizards tail which is different. Hopefully he uses it in combat. Regarding the egg choice screen (I'm a fan). So presumbably the dialogue options expand dependent on what equipment you've bought with you ie the rope. Maybe I can bring tied together vines otherwise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Given that this is a game that expects some degree of pausing, and also given that many people select characters by clicking their in-game models, I think screen real-estate and visibility concerns slightly trump mouse efficiency concerns.

 

Many of the proposed mock-ups (other than Sensuki's) use more screen real-estate than the original.

 

 

In different ways, though. The widescreen view with a thick horizontal bar becomes very narrow in the north-south direction. It seems, intuitively, that this would affect visibility while exploring, even if it takes less screen space in absolute measurements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are designing the GUI to be mouse-friendly.  Designs that put character portraits on top of Old Smoky and action icons on the bottom of the Mariana Trench go very strongly against that goal.

 

My mouse can move from the top to the bottom of my 1920x1200 screen with less than 1/2" of motion not even on highest sensitivity.

 

I'm not sure why shaving an 1/8th inch would be worth relegating characters to the world of icons instead of portraits.

 

Using the left-side 'L' layout makes the worst case essentially an equilateral triangle of mouse movement and the best and average cases strongly obtuse or acute triangles - very close to lines in other words. In any case far more compact than the original BG layouts.

 

 

I will concur that I'm mostly not in love with the mock ups other forum-goers have created.

Edited by khango

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well what ever the the UI ends up being, unless you're from a country east of Jerusalem we all read Left to Right, Top to Bottom in a Z formation. So hopefully the most important stuff reiterates that. Also anything that limits me from having to backtrack all over the screen to complete an action the better. If I'm going to have anything on the edges of the screen I would prefer they are only for informational purposes only. Especially since the game is going on inside the screen and I want to stay in the game. If it's possible I wouldn't mind contextual text to float over head and fade out after a second. I liked how BG did the text bubbles in the cutscenes and faded away, but you could open the text window if you wanted to reread it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about having portraits and the menu buttons in a left side vertical bar, action buttons left bottom corner, and the log bottom right? Space a plenty for quick buttons, and one wouldn't have to go from one edge of the screen to the other to reach the portraits/action buttons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

My mouse can move from the top to the bottom of my 1920x1200 screen with less than 1/2" of motion not even on highest sensitivity.

 

Using the left-side 'L' layout makes the worst case essentially an equilateral triangle of mouse movement and the best and average cases strongly obtuse or acute triangles - very close to lines in other words. In any case far more compact than the original BG layouts.

 

 

I don't think your mouse sensitivity is typical.  Mouse travel is important not because of the distance it covers once, but because the distance it covers literally thousands of times over the course of the game.  UIs intended for long-term use should have ergonomic considerations.

 

Left-side L is also creates the most uncomfortable direction to move the mouse in (assuming you're right-handed): upper left to lower right.  Given the choice between a left- or right-side L, I'd prefer a right-side L.  But I'd rather not have an L for portraits/action icons at all.  The combat log is one of the most domineering elements of the UI but it's also one that could easily be separated from the rest.  If we were to have some sort of an L layout, I think a right-side pane containing portraits and action icons with an adjustable combat log on the bottom could work well.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a right L, where the portraits are vertical and the action icons on lower right? So you minimize the distanse and you only have a slight up/down mouse movement.

And you can put combat log on center and invintory,map,options,etc. left if you don't want to put combat log there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

* 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.

Hope so.  This may be simply because I'm a hotkey type but I personally dislike overdecorated GUI.  However, at the same time, I don't like GUIs in NWN series, which constantly reminds me that I'm playing a game on PC, either.  So, I like buttons and info to be integrated into an atmospheric GUI, which would combine practicality and artistic integration.  Also, if I'm reading something such as combat logs, dialogues and narrations, I would like not to squint only to read it.  The gamebook-like texts are welcomed since to which, some of dialogues and narrations would be assigned.  (Yes, you get it.  I mainly use hotkeys for controls so the main purpose of the GUI is for me, to gather information, the importance of which may not change even for those who command through GUI, though.)  Just my opinion.

 

That said, we are yet to know how the game plays out and I cannot but feel I'm trying a shot in the dark.  And yet, thanks for the update as usual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a right L, where the portraits are vertical and the action icons on lower right? So you minimize the distanse and you only have a slight up/down mouse movement.

And you can put combat log on center and invintory,map,options,etc. left if you don't want to put combat log there.

 

Whether it's action icons next to the portraits or below the portraits, keeping them in the same "zone" of the screen is what I would like to do if we were to do a vertically-oriented bar.  Ultimately, whatever the orientation and placement of elements, I think it's good to keep the portraits near the action icons.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If character icons are aligned vertically to left side of screen you could give each icon own button that brings icon owner's action bar visible. And if you go left side L then you could but quick bar and combat/dialog log to bottom of screen, so that player sees fast what are his/her short cuts for abilities and those who prefer use mouse abilities only one click and short cursor moving distance away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For everyone who tacks on "this is 2013 not 1998", I'd like someone to think through and explain the logic behind that statement. I don't think there is any. A good idea is a good idea whether it's 2013 or 1998, unless you believe every idea in the future is better. (If so, why are we even making P:E?) You want a UI that fits the type of game this is and adds to the aesthetic adn experience, instead of making decisions by saying "hey let's make something modern".

YES! Thank you. I clicked on this thread, then read some of this feedback and I can't believe my eyes. My first reaction was "Who are these people!?"

 

Here we have Obsidian seemingly delivering on their nostalgia and 'old skool' ressurection promises in graphic fashion, giving us a mock up UI plan that looks exactly like IWD2, and what are the reactions? "no!", "Clunky!", "I want something more modern!", and my personal favorite: "I want minimalist" (translation: I've been fully seduced by today's cinematic, don't think, don't read, just watch" philosophy of User Interfaces.

 

C'mon people. Have you forgotten the Infinity engine games? I haven't. Back then, the so-called "clunky" UIs were like that because gameplay featured far more than just what's going on in the main screen. And I don't recall some groundswell of complaints about the UI. It didn't feel combersome at all. Everyone was satisfied with it.

 

 

Anyway....

Shouldn't the combat log be removed to keep a better in game immersion ? It might be just me, but I think looking at a text window when a full scale battle is going on before your eyes is kind of lame.

No. Absolutely not. How about an expanded combat log window instead, with all of its glorious mathamatical calculations present for us to study during a battle. Combat logs are for D&D nerds like me who want to know exactly how their combat mechanics are affecting the fight. I don't just want to know that my opponent made his saving throw against my sleep spell. I want to know what he rolled to make that save. I want to know what affected that roll, what type of bonusses he had. I want to be able to analize the second-by-second actions of an entire encounter, both the visual and the "behind the scenes" stuff. Take that away from me, and I'll dig through my trash can, pull out my copy of DA2, and mail it to you with a strongly worded letter of GTFO.

 

 

If we get enough visual feedback on screen, for example when big damage happen, when you got blocked easily from an opponent or when something fail miserably. We don't need as much a combat window. Of course it should remain an option to review details of the battle while on pause but in the action I think the game would benefit from not having a dialog window. The action menu should remain something for interaction only.

So... instead of keeping all this technical info in an easy to read window near the bottom, you'd rather it clutter the game world by having it float around over an opponents head, or your characters avatars? Or something equally intrusive and visually un-natural? Really? Edited by Stun
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A left-aligned vertical bar. There's still distance between the topmost portraits and the action buttons, but the viewport has a bit more space in the north-south direction. (The photoshopping is atrocious.)

 

jagx13.jpg

 

 

ALL CAPS: I'D LOVE TO SEE THE DIALOGUE/COMBAT LOG FREELY EXPANDABLE AS HIGH AS THE PLAYER LIKES.

Edited by centurionofprix
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know what it is with RPG UI's, but it seems like nobody likes numbers.  A bar for health and stamina is all well and good, but in the end it's fairly meaningless unless everyone has identical health/stamina.  A half bar of stamina may mean that one hit from an enemy will take out a mage, whereas a fighter with a half bar may be able to take another half-dozen hits.  I'd much rather be able to see the numbers (without needing a tooltip) so that I know exactly how much stamina/health a character has remaining.  I'd also like to be able to see effect durations numerically...I don't want a buff to run out in the middle of a fight when if I'd known it was that close to running out I could have recast it prior to the fight, or waste time dispelling an effect that would have ended in a few seconds anyway.

 

Anyway, other than that, I don't have too much of a problem with the proposed UI other than the fact there are nowhere near enough quickslots.  I don't want to have to go through a bunch of submenus to access commonly used abilities (or even rarely used abilities, really.)  I'd also like to do away with the concept of weapon sets, and just be able to use any quickslot for weapon setups (ala NWN 1/2.)

 

That said, I can make do with whatever, but frustrating UI's are far and away the biggest problem I have when trying to replay old games..

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been replaying IWD2- and the other IE games previous- and to be quite honest I've found their interface annoying. They're still good aesthetically but from a usability point of view I'd far prefer something more akin to NWN2's less pretty but more flexible approach. If there were a binary choice I'd pick usability over aesthetics every time. I think something like curryinahurry's effort from a few pages back would be my ideal as it balances the two well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eastc

 

What about a right L, where the portraits are vertical and the action icons on lower right? So you minimize the distanse and you only have a slight up/down mouse movement.

And you can put combat log on center and invintory,map,options,etc. left if you don't want to put combat log there.

 

Whether it's action icons next to the portraits or below the portraits, keeping them in the same "zone" of the screen is what I would like to do if we were to do a vertically-oriented bar.  Ultimately, whatever the orientation and placement of elements, I think it's good to keep the portraits near the action icons.

 

 

I'm not in the minimalist camp. I like seeing stats at a glance instead of hunting menus.  As for placement, considering the increasing deployment of widescreen monitors I would think putting the portraits on one of the verticals would offer more of the illusion of additional real estate. I do agree that if there are action buttons they should be grouped together. I didn't like BGs varied action layout based on character selection because it was klunky.

 

As for the scripted event. I thought that was lovely. I'm not entirely sure if I'm right in the head because I wanted a whole game like a choose your own adventure book when seeing that. :p

 

Instead of the small portraits 50-60% of the vertical space alloted to the menu have you tried 90% of the vertical space (emphasise the portraits) or just use names and shrink everything down? Portraits are great but I can see them being less great after 20hrs or so of staring at them.

 

I may be in the minority camp on this but I'd like to see the hotkey for the buttons displayed in the lower right or lower left corner of the buttons. It's just easier to see and remember (especially when returning to the game after a hiatus).

 

Presuambly, mouseover descriptions will exist for various condition icons.

 

I actually would like to be able to scale the dialog box bigger (like Zed's example). I would also like to raise the font size (time is cruel on the eyes).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eastc

I don't know what it is with RPG UI's, but it seems like nobody likes numbers.  A bar for health and stamina is all well and good, but in the end it's fairly meaningless unless everyone has identical health/stamina.  A half bar of stamina may mean that one hit from an enemy will take out a mage, whereas a fighter with a half bar may be able to take another half-dozen hits.  I'd much rather be able to see the numbers (without needing a tooltip) so that I know exactly how much stamina/health a character has remaining.  I'd also like to be able to see effect durations numerically...I don't want a buff to run out in the middle of a fight when if I'd known it was that close to running out I could have recast it prior to the fight, or waste time dispelling an effect that would have ended in a few seconds anyway.

 

Yes, my thoughts as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know what it is with RPG UI's, but it seems like nobody likes numbers. 

 

 

Most of the time one comes to remember the characters' stats, so the bars become informative. I do hope that PE will show each character's HP/stamina in floating numbers at a keystroke, however (TAB for example).

 

A slightly more refined version of the above mock-up, since I can't edit the post anymore. Sorry to spam the image.

 

yfkuq.jpg

Edited by centurionofprix
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well my opinions, like usual, will likely not be well received on this forum.  Mostly because I realize the current more minimalist design of UI's has been gravitated to because well... they are better.  I can see a half dozen useless buttons at a glance on the mock up.  An options button?  Or I could just press "escape" like in every PC game on the market.  I know some people on this forum haven't played a game since planescape torment but this can be done.... a lot better. 

 

First off in any tactical RPG screen real estate is the most important thing in the game.  You need to be able to see what you are doing, so the fewer UI elements on the screen the better.  Quick bars and short cuts simply don't need to always be on screen, and if you want them to be on screen all the time they should be as small as humanly possible while there.

Anyway like everyone else with nothing better to do I created a mock up concept myself.  Obviously it lacks a few details but it is fairly complete.  You probably won't notice but the portraits are even slightly larger.  So here we go...

 

ibj2saNl6yWapG.png

 

It is mostly self explanatory but just shows the basic idea.  Point is you can get all the same info on screen without taking up 15% of the screen.  While they are shorter the HP bars pictured are actually wider than the mock up by a decent amount, and the portraits like I said are a tiny smidge bigger.  Where is all the other stuff?  Like the image states, press one of three buttons and everything else would open up.  I was going to make some stuff up for that too but I only got so much time in the day.  While the pet stuff is really small at least I got it in there, most mock ups I have seen pretend pets aren't there at all and just ignore it entirely.

 

Lastly one key feature any modern UI worth anything has to have... UI scale.  The people who want it to be bigger should be able to make it bigger.  But the people like me who realize small is in many ways better when it comes to UI (and understand that having a inventory button is pointless with an I button existing on the keyboard) can get it small too.  For the record this is made at 720 obviously like the original mock up, on a higher res monitor it would only make sense that it was... bigger on screen.

Edited by Karkarov
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I timed out as I was trying to do a quick mock up. Well what ever the the UI ends up being, unless you're from a country east of Jerusalem we all read Left to Right, Top to Bottom in a Z formation. So hopefully the most important stuff reiterates that. Also anything that limits me from having to backtrack all over the screen to complete an action the better. If I'm going to have anything on the edges of the screen I would prefer they are for informational purposes only. Especially since the game  play is going on inside the screen and I want to stay in the game. If it's possible I wouldn't mind contextual text to float over head and fade out after a few seconds. I liked how BG did the text bubbles in the cutscenes and faded away, but you could open the text window if you wanted to reread it. Otherwise I think when I'm not in combat I'd prefer the UI to fade out after a few seconds.

 

 

I would prefer action buttons in the center bottom. I made a quick mock up of stuff I mentioned earlier. http://flic.kr/p/ex6vLp

Edited by Falkon Swiftblade

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the UI has to be exactly like IE games for PE to feel IE-ish. These days, a fragmented UI is pretty much the norm, and I think for a good reason. This game looks like it will be gorgeous, so you guys don't want to waste space with large frames, no matter how mood-setting they can be. I rather like the ideas of making retractable UI components (mouse over the corners and they appear, and/or make them disappear after some time. If you could make it highly customizable it would be great. Let everyone choose what and where stuff should be, within reason.

 

Aesthetically, I think the UI textures should look as if it will pop-out of the screen, I don't get that feeling from the WIP at all.

 

Finally, give us the option to have their numbers on screen if they want to. Most people don't like them, but your demographics is probably comprised of hardcore CRPG enthusiasts. We're not most people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wanted to chime in on the matter of space-efficiency with the UI and say that I HIGHLY urge you to consider the invaluability of "blooming" menus for things like abilities and spells. What I mean is, the hotbar is totally fine for put-whatever-you-want-here, most-used active buttons, but when I'm picking a spell to cast in combat, I don't want to be limited to either quickly casting it if it's on the hotbar OR having to open up a spellbook and select from pages, etc.

 

Anywho, the point is, you can have any manner of blooming menu, so that, when I point to a button for a specific category of spell (for magic, usually a school of magic, such as "Illusion" or "Evocation"), you could have all my known spells within that category fan out around it. But, they go away as soon as I move the cursor out of that little region.

 

I just see so many games (ESPECIALLY CONSOLE GAMES: Come on, people... "Oh no, we can only give you 4 hotbuttons, 'cause the D-pad only has 4 directions!" OR, you could give us 4 different hold-to-toggle menus, each with 8 different directional selections, for a total of 32 hotbuttons. *facepalm*) just use static lists or individual windows, or just plain hotbars, when things could bloom. You get quick access to abilities and buttons when you need them, and they're all out of your way when you don't (when you deselect or point elsewhere or select an ability).

 

So, yeah... I urge you to consider the bloom. And no, that's not a pitch for Torment. 8)

  • Like 2

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well my opinions, like usual, will likely not be well received on this forum.  Mostly because I realize the current more minimalist design of UI's has been gravitated to because well... they are better.  I can see a half dozen useless buttons at a glance on the mock up.  An options button?  Or I could just press "escape" like in every PC game on the market.  I know some people on this forum haven't played a game since planescape torment but this can be done.... a lot better. 

 

First off in any tactical RPG screen real estate is the most important thing in the game.  You need to be able to see what you are doing, so the fewer UI elements on the screen the better.  Quick bars and short cuts simply don't need to always be on screen, and if you want them to be on screen all the time they should be as small as humanly possible while there.

 

Anyway like everyone else with nothing better to do I created a mock up concept myself.  Obviously it lacks a few details but it is fairly complete.  You probably won't notice but the portraits are even slightly larger.  So here we go...

 

In a single-player game which the players aren't necessarily approaching from a multiplayer-optimized setup, having buttons as well as keyboard shortcuts for the menus doesn't hurt. With LoL or such, it can be assumed one will use the keyboard for a competitive edge, but in a slower-paced tactical single player game, having the option is alright. Sometimes one lounges about in a comfortable position and can't reach the keyboard, or due to some other similar scenario prefers to have buttons on the UI.

 

I personally like having buttons readily available IE-style rather than opening up in menus, and, going by the poll in the technical forum, most posters here have the same preference,

 

Making the entire UI disappear at a keystroke would be neat, however, as well as the option to use quick-keys extensively rather than UI buttons for those who like it. Perhaps the entire game could be playable with the GUI hidden by using quick-keys for actions, TAB to show floating HP/stamina information and so forth.

Edited by centurionofprix
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally like having buttons readily available IE-style rather than opening up in menus, and, going by the poll in the technical forum, most posters here have the same preference,

Easily fixed just by adding a central "brick" of buttons at the top middle.  The clock for pause (spacebar), the outer ring of the clock for options (escape).  Two buttons aligned to the top on the left the first select all (f12) or formation (F) as you prefer, the second being inventory (I).  To the right in the same alignment you would get your questlog or journal (J), and your map (M).  On the map screen you also getting a button for resting and or camping whatever you want to call it ®.

 

The reason I am including buttons is just to make a simple point.  The reason so many UI's today are minimalist is because 90% of basic common commands are easier to perform with a keystroke than with a mouse click.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...