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I would also like to raise the font size (time is cruel on the eyes).

 

 

This 100x times this...I've had super bad eyesight since I was 3 and 23 years later its even worse so being able to increase the font size would be a life saver

 

 

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..

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One of the things I use MOST in rpgs is the dialog window. I am constantly pausing a game and scrolling back through reviewing the responses, discussions, reputation changes, etc. A journal is all well and good for a quick synopsis but nothing beats a dialog window with a full recording of what actually was said. Especially a re-scalable one so I can fully enlarge it, dominating the entire screen, read through everything, and then shrink it back down as opposed to wearing out my poor mouse's scroll wheel. Please, please don't lock the dialog window into a specific confined size. It's not just a combat log! (Although, combat logs are also really, really important.)

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I'm not thrilled with the UI either. When I first glanced at it I thought it was ToEE portraits (eeeewwwwwww) and the old IWD2 UI plonked in there as a place-holder.

 

Also, brown / sludge coloured UI is depressing. Why not glam stone / granite BG1 style but with a modern twist?

 

Like the dude said a few pages back, retro feel, 2014 design / production values please.

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sonsofgygax.JPG

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Analogy Tyme

 

1960's Mini....

 

mini-mk1.jpg

 

2013 Mini...

 

mini%20rocketman%20%282%29_630x414.jpg

 

Still a Mini, right? Capiche?

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sonsofgygax.JPG

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Still a Mini, right? Capiche?

 

You don't want a flashy interface for a game representing a late middle ages epoch. In this case the 1960s mini would be just fine for a representing the 1960s epoch. To me the tone and texture of the interface seems fine.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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* 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.

 

 

I actually like the statues and what not. Mainly because the reason you gave disliking NWN UI, it was really a constant immersion breaker. It felt like an UI for Photoshop, Visual Studio, or the like, not a fantasy game UI at all. That being said I don't think that's definitely not true of every minimial UI, but the feel and how the UI blends with the game is something that shouldn't be forgotten.

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With regards to the comments about the relative locations of character portraits vs. action buttons...I want to clarify my thinking on why proximity may not be particularly important.  I think that the reason most people would prefer (I'm basing this on comments on this topic) vertical portraits, besides the IE throwback feel, is so we can easily track status of the characters at a glance vis a vis hitpoints/stamina, spell effects, etc.  The vast majority of players will likely click directly on the character model or keystroke the appropriate character by their number designation.  Therefore, if you're primarily going to click in the middle of the screen to select characters, it makes the most sense to put that action buttons directly below (middle bottom), but really, anywhere along the bottom would likely suffice.

 

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I almost never click on the character icon for anything besides cycling through inventory, or some other on pause activity.

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Karkarov has made a very interesting mock-up UI, that is very flexible (a little hub of buttons for pause etc can be toggled in) and mouse-movement-efficient too. Best one so far, and in fact it's pretty similar to ToEE's, except Karkarov's 1-2-3-buttons replaces the radial action menu of ToEE (wise choice). It certainly breaks the spell of immersion the least. I can't wrap me head around the arguments that a clunky old-school IE-UI is better for immersion. If anything, it breaks it. It feels like having a stone tablet or two out of Moses commandment collection right there on the screen. No thanks! Also. just because an interface is sleek and "minimal" (I dear not write "minimalist"), doesn't mean sci-fi, gamey or OS pop-up. It can be designed just as immersive as any IE dashboard, I assure you. If anything, it means more immersion and more of our beloved game. I'll say it again, it's just your nostalgia getting the better of you. And yes, these are not facts, just my opinons, but I felt like being opinionated this time, coz I care about getting as much game as possible and that sarcophagus of a UI is blocking my view, so let's re-bury it before it's too late.

 

Labadal also did a nice mock-up, it's very function-packed and feels right. However, it's a bit crammed. Hopefully, some of it can be toggled out and even moved and re-scaled.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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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.

 

So I made my own mockup in the same vein, with similarly roughed up textures and buttons and such before I saw that you'd posted an almost identical one (or that Sawyer had said something about left vs. right).  Mine mostly differs in making the portraits more rectangular and using a parchment texture for the log/journal/dialog thingy:

4tKfX0X.jpg

 

 

I really don't care that much whether it's right or left side oriented. My main reason for liking portraits on the left is (I suspect) related to the comfort of reading from left to right. That and most OS's and apps and such seem to put their main menus/UIs (like start menu, file menu, apple menu, etc.) on the left for whatever reason.

 

Obviously it were polished the buttons and timer and things would be bigger and better shaped and such.

Edited by khango
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Why is an L-shaped UI more attractive if you can fit those size portraits down the bottom ?

 

I don't know if I'd like an L-shaped UI where the interactive buttons are on the right side of the screen rather than the bottom.

 

It's also a weird lack of symmetry.

Edited by Sensuki
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I think the UI looks pretty good. However really not liking the Ctrl-c Ctrl-v infinity ability icons. Something newer and different would be much better.

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I've only read the first 5 sides of comments for this update, but I summarize for the UI:

 

Many of you want to keep an old style UI where others want it minimalistic. I see that Khango and Monte Carlo already reacted to that and offer their own conclusions to that (and I like Khangos version), but I think other factors could be drawn in:

 

- Do I need a red /bright flash on the Portrait to see whats happening to my group? (screams etc. are set for me)

- Do character portraits need windows??? Do I need the character portrait background in the UI?

- Wouldn't it be better if the portraits could move like in Planescape Torment (on a higher niveau)?

 

The UI of the Update is in my opinion too dated. It should be more interactive and lively.

 

 

To the lizardman:

-Why have they to wear feathers and skulls? I mean sculls is OK but why isn't there ever an intelligent lizard folk who is  clever enough to build their own cities and wear "normal" clothes? If they are friendly enough and don't sit all day in their caves they should have no problems communicate with bordering cultures who show them different ways to dress? I would like lizardmen who replace their tribal feather hat with an modern (!!!!!) plume hat. There isn't a big difference.

But the impact on the lizardmen would be the difference. They would get an culture which likes to trade and chat, but also goes to war or steal (If their plume hats are too much torn by their horns)

I would REALLY like to be confronted with such lizardmen instead of a "cold-blooded-jungle-warrior-who-seeks-his-next-prey-for-his-personal-aztec-like-altar"

In other words, I would like if all the cultures get a bit mixed up. (But I don't want an ogre to wear a plume hat... it would be creepy)

 

And If lizardmen are non-greyish bad guys, they should at least trade with other bad guys... And in this manner they could wear their beloved skulls, but mixed with the robes of the dark mages nearby, some stolen stuff and if they have a really bad taste some of the ogres undies as a toga. What ever: Mix it in a reasonable way.

Edited by Morgulon the Wise

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the UI needs less straight angles and more of a roundish/asymmetric design - a more natural/organic feel...

 

 

...AND MORE embroidering        &

 

cowbell.jpg

Edited by Grotesque
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  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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I like the GUI mock ups look personally, definitely could use some optimization but that's what it'll get... GUI often go through tons of iterations anyway. To a point Lephys was making about 'blooming' GUI, I agree and unlike him I am gonna mention Torment, the first torment anyway. That had a good minimal GUI for the low res it was using because it used a right-click menu pop up. When you think about it, the right mouse button isn't exactly used for much in an infinity engine game. You hold left click to select, right clicking I think just gets used for 'shifting direction' of formations. But you can easily do a Shift+Click for that.

 

Least that's what im hoping to see, a right-click option for a easy-to-use radial like menu, allows for a lot of icons and with multiple expanding layers allowing for a massive number of spells or skills or or items with out it taking up much of the screen. Granted they still used a button-click to 'cycle through' instead of pages like NWN/DAO. Also I kinda agree with the text being on left or in the middle... not sure why, always just feels more natural to me, but that doesn't really matter, ultimately. In the end text being on the right side is something I'd get used to with in the first hour anyway.

 

Sides, I'm sure chatting will have its own floated interface or something and the text box is just a chat 'log' so you can review recent stuff. Least I hope that's what they end up doing.

 

-edit-

As per animated portraits... I'd rather they didn't. Don't get me wrong I loved them in PST but PST had a very, very specific design for each character that you couldn't change, at all, what so ever. Which would mean they'd end up using the existing 3D graphic of the person instead of a painted portrait which is what NWN2 did (minus it being animated). DAO/2 did that as well... personally I don't like it. It kinda kills the 'fantasy' thing for me and its just 'heres this still of your character your already looking at'. I'd rather it be a painted picture, with the option for us to add in custom ones via a portrait folder like the old infinity games (sans PST) and NWN.

 

Portrait's aside, a little animation of effects in the GUI is often a nice touch. So little glow pops or flashing based off whatevers going on could be fun. But hey that's not really a first mock up thing, that's more down the road once you got the main stuff squared away.

Edited by Adhin

Def Con: kills owls dead

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I like the GUI mock ups look personally, definitely could use some optimization but that's what it'll get... GUI often go through tons of iterations anyway. To a point Lephys was making about 'blooming' GUI, I agree and unlike him I am gonna mention Torment, the first torment anyway. That had a good minimal GUI for the low res it was using because it used a right-click menu pop up. When you think about it, the right mouse button isn't exactly used for much in an infinity engine game. You hold left click to select, right clicking I think just gets used for 'shifting direction' of formations. But you can easily do a Shift+Click for that.

 

Least that's what im hoping to see, a right-click option for a easy-to-use radial like menu, allows for a lot of icons and with multiple expanding layers allowing for a massive number of spells or skills or or items with out it taking up much of the screen. Granted they still used a button-click to 'cycle through' instead of pages like NWN/DAO. Also I kinda agree with the text being on left or in the middle... not sure why, always just feels more natural to me, but that doesn't really matter, ultimately. In the end text being on the right side is something I'd get used to with in the first hour anyway.

 

Sides, I'm sure chatting will have its own floated interface or something and the text box is just a chat 'log' so you can review recent stuff. Least I hope that's what they end up doing.

 

-edit-

As per animated portraits... I'd rather they didn't. Don't get me wrong I loved them in PST but PST had a very, very specific design for each character that you couldn't change, at all, what so ever. Which would mean they'd end up using the existing 3D graphic of the person instead of a painted portrait which is what NWN2 did (minus it being animated). DAO/2 did that as well... personally I don't like it. It kinda kills the 'fantasy' thing for me and its just 'heres this still of your character your already looking at'. I'd rather it be a painted picture, with the option for us to add in custom ones via a portrait folder like the old infinity games (sans PST) and NWN.

 

Portrait's aside, a little animation of effects in the GUI is often a nice touch. So little glow pops or flashing based off whatevers going on could be fun. But hey that's not really a first mock up thing, that's more down the road once you got the main stuff squared away.

 

@ animated portraits: they could be fine if they aren't made by using the 3D graphic. It is nowadays usual, I know but animated paintings are in my opinion one of the best things an oldish game could offer. There is only the downside of a lot of work, but I paid for that and would pay more to 100% get it.

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Why is an L-shaped UI more attractive if you can fit those size portraits down the bottom ?

 

I don't know if I'd like an L-shaped UI where the interactive buttons are on the right side of the screen rather than the bottom.

 

It's also a weird lack of symmetry.

I'm very much against putting everything on the bottom for a simple reason: Virtually all today's monitors are wide-screen. If you take away the bottom part of a wide-screen picture, it will only become more squashed. Great for side scrollers, not great for (near) top-down view games.

Storm of zehir's overland map is a great example, where one had to frantically click when traveling to the south, because of the bottom UI being in the way.

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I'm very much against putting everything on the bottom for a simple reason: Virtually all today's monitors are wide-screen. If you take away the bottom part of a wide-screen picture, it will only become more squashed. Great for side scrollers, not great for (near) top-down view games.

Storm of zehir's overland map is a great example, where one had to frantically click when traveling to the south, because of the bottom UI being in the way.

That's fine and that makes perfect sense - I even agree with you.

 

However Josh Sawyer at least has indicated that the Portraits and Ability Icons will be kept together, so that kind of makes the choice of a Sidebar with portraits and abilities or a UI like the mockup. The Baldur's Gate / Icewind Dale 1 style is not being taken into consideration due to the inefficiency of mouse movement. Of those two choices, I will take a bottom UI only I think.

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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.

 

 

IS7e0H1.jpg

Something like this maybe?

 

 

 

This please!

 

 

 

Regarding screen estate.

Nowadays the standard is becoming (or already is) 1920x1080. So I think there is lot of screen size to get a hold of the area both for exploration and combat purposes. For those who don't have such a capable display yet, PE should be a great reason to buy one. Which in a year from now will be even cheaper.

 

In the old IE games the resolution was 800x600 IIRC. And we still survived.

 

 

 

 

 

But Josh, is there any serious reason for not considering a moddable UI? (including font size and keyboard shortcuts)

You wouldn't need to release a UI editor. Just releasing the "specs" should be enough for the modding community.

Edited by hideo kuze
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of the L shaped ones that is my favorite, but even with the action buttons on the right of the UI, I don't think that is what Josh had in mind.
 
 


Possibly vertically orienting the character portraits and ability icons on one side of the screen

 

My mockup shows that BG sized portraits are possible within the current mockup space, which is the main thing a lot of people (myself included) miss from the old UIs.

Edited by Sensuki
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Ok, so there have been some nice edits since yesterday; Labadal, Sensuki, Malekith, and also some ideas from Karkarov (sp?).  I took some of the ideas along with Josh Sawyer's comments and did this:

 

PE-TempleMockUp_zpsfdd0ba4e.jpg

 

 

Action keys below portraits.  The action keys could have corresponding pop-up, or roll-outs for sub-menu activites (as the above for spells).  I would also like to have a pop up character page available for the character I select in combat, as this saves all sorts of time.

 

I would also still like to see a transparency slider.

Edited by curryinahurry
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Okay, those of you that have argued against a UI block along the bottom of the screen has certainly convinced me. It would all but ruin the gaming experience on today's widescreen monitors. So, here's a mockup I made based on Malekith's. Basically, it's almost a vertical UI pillar that can be placed on either side of the screen. And hey, look at all the gaming space!

I placed action bars along the portraits vertically, and it will shift in accordance with character in use at the moment. The message box/combat log is obviously resizable.

 

peuimockup3.jpg

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I don't miss any of the classic UIs. When I recall the IE games I don't think "oh, man! what great buttons they had! What a superb interface...". Instead I think "what great stories thay had. Great battles, characers, atmosphere, exploration, adventure, character interaction" etc. These things had nothing to do with technology. Only with the devoper's vision of the game. The UI is just buttons to help me play the game and nothing more. Want "material" interface? OK, do this in character screens, journals, inventory, vendor screens and stuff. It's more immersive there. Don't take up may action screen space plz.
 

The UI should be FULLY customizable so I can put things where I want the way I find easy to navigate and play. I don't need a button that pops up all the spells and abilities chategorized by lvl etc. I want to group them as I like. Buffs here, healing spells here, damaging spells here etc. In BG2 (which I replay now) I have to click 3-4 times to get a spell casted. Click "spell cast button -> click right button to find the spell at the end right -> click spell /or switch through cleric/wizard spells if dual class and repeat". Super annoying. Instead I should just open the abilities sheet, drag-and-dop them in my action bar the way I like and go back and play. The action bar must be near characters isons? OK no prob just as long as it is a FULLY CUSTOMISABLE action bar.

Buttons for inventory, journal, map, options etc shouldn't be right in my face all the time. I almost never use them. Just the key shortcut. Make them slide when I move the cursor at the top or something (again DA:O style). Easy stuff.
 

As for logs, as I said before, they are very useful but they'd rather be toggable. I believe I get more information through character icons and damage/effect indicators straight from the action screen.

 

DA:O and Heroes of Might and Magic 5 & 6 are great exaples of UI evolution imho.

Edited by Sedrefilos
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Okay, those of you that have argued against a UI block along the bottom of the screen has certainly convinced me. It would all but ruin the gaming experience on today's widescreen monitors. So, here's a mockup I made based on Malekith's. Basically, it's almost a vertical UI pillar that can be placed on either side of the screen. And hey, look at all the gaming space!

I placed action bars along the portraits vertically, and it will shift in accordance with character in use at the moment. The message box/combat log is obviously resizable.

 

 

peuimockup3.jpg

 

 

I'm not sure if partially obstructing the bottom part of the screen is a good idea. If the horizontal bar spans the entire bottom of the screen, then scrolling can (I guess) be designed so as to have the UI extend over the edge of the map when viewing the bottom of the map, thus allowing the entirety of the area to be visible, but here a part of the map must always be hidden. Not that there is usually anything of interest in the very bottom of the map, but it's a bit bothersome aesthetically. I think the general idea is very clever, although positioning the log box so that it can be extended could also be nice.

 

Would the log become so small as to be unreadable if made to be of a size with the rest of the vertical bar, and temporarily extendable over the icons if one wishes to review it?

Edited by centurionofprix

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snip

Why dont you just minimize the UI completely ?

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