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You know, I'm sure someone probably mentioned this already (it's hard to keep up with 7,000 posts-per-minute, haha), but it might not be utterly crazy to put the main little, er... "Game menu" button-cluster (settings, journal, character, inventory, maybe rest, etc.) at the top center, along with the text log. It would be pretty much as out-of-the-way as along any other edge of the screen, and you could have all the rest of the UI along the bottom, on a thinner sliver. Hell, the scripted events/dialogue interface components could even sort of bloom down from the little pod in the top center.

 

I know, I know. I apparently love the word "bloom."


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

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ig8FfzRcyul32.png

i'd like for the portraits to be about 1.5x that size, and to have the dialog box on the left,

but other than that, i think we have a winner here

Edited by lolaldanee

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Thirdly, the text window is right aligned. If this is where all of the game's dialogue and writing is going to appear, I very much feel it needs to be centralised. If I'll have 500k words to read across my playing of PE, I don't want to be constantly looking off to the bottom corner when the focus of the scene will be centred. I want to just be able to glance down.

I like what you have to say and mostly agree.  As far as the text goes I think the corner is fine due to one caveat....  When you actually enter a dialogue it is easy just to fade out the other UI elements and have an otherwise hidden larger central chat window show up for the duration of the conversation.  When it ends it just drops back to the corner chat box with a record of the conversation while the "in conversation" larger central chat just goes away until you are in conversation again.

 

Even still doing it this way does feel dated.  The only reason he mock ups I have posted don't go really out there is because the forum users will be totally opposed (in general) to anything actually progressive in UI design and I think the devs themselves want to stick to a more dated UI systems for whatever reason.

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... for whatever reason.

I think Sawyer has said that he believes most backers will prefer it that way, but i don't remember where i saw it.

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It seems to me you're framing an idiosyncratic preference in universal terms here.

Not really.  A few asides, first...  LoL and Dota are not strategy RPG's.  They are Moba games, which is a dumb name for Multiplayer Action Game.  They are designed to be fast and brutal, not slow and tactical.  Screen space as a result is less important, but their UI's are still crap anyway and anyone who understands design can give you a laundry list as to why.

 

As for complaints about why a 16.3% brick covering the screen is no different than the 5-8% of floating icons in a strategy RPG... well all I gotta say is uh..... if you think it doesn't make a difference I doubt you have ever actually played a strategy RPG.  Because you definitely need to see as much of the screen as possible.

 

For the haters who still think you need some retarded brick of graphics to do this UI right here comes Kark mark up 2.

 

ig8FfzRcyul32.png

 

So what do we have here?  Well the party window is pixel for pixel the EXACT same size as the original mock up.  There are 12 buttons, exactly like the original mock up.  The useless brick of buttons I personally will never use is still there just flipped on it's side and repositioned to take up less space.  It is literally the same exact UI as the mock up, just all the useless nonsense like statue graphics is removed, the chat box is bigger, and the chat box fades out when not in use.  That's it, everything else is the same just repositioned.  I didn't even change the size of the clock/pause button.

 

While I do think this UI looks nice, it has functional issues as I'll outline below. If this was a 3D game with rotating POV then its lovely, but this isn't.

 

Firstly lets add an obvious area transition to the temple screenshot.

 

area-trans.png

 

Click to change maps... simple stuff. However what happens when we overlay this UI.

 

area-trans-ui.png

 

Uh oh, the UI has now made it impossible to click that area transition. So we're going to have to allow some extra scrolling so the transition appears above UI so you get something like this.

 

area-trans-ui-scroll1.png

 

Uh, can't say I like the empty region. But wait, we really should be clearing the right UI element to. Even though it pops in and out, you could be in combat attempting to run away from something and you'll want to be able to use a transition that's in the bottom right corner.

 

area-trans-ui-scroll2.png

 

Eek, this have even even more empty regions.

 

Now you might suggest that the area transitions always be placed so they take into account for the UI. However that then means if UI gets changed you then have to check/change EVERY area so the transitions do not get obstructed.

 

I'll repeat that this sort of UI is absolutely fine for a 3D game that can be rotated. PE is not one of them so various considerations need to made.

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^ Alternatively, you could simply allow for a buffer zone, so that the viewable area/backdrop doesn't simply dead-end right at the edge of the transition. Very similar to how Fallout did it with its green-squares regions that you merely had to step in, or how Arcanum does it with its "Okay, you can just keep jogging further in this direction, if you want, but you're already within the area that lets you access fast travel."

 

I mean, ANY UI that doesn't auto-hide or something is going to block off a portion of the screen. That's in the very nature of UIs. I'm not comprehending the "problem" here, unless your problem is with UIs that cover ANY edge of the screen. That would only leave UIs that just sit in the middle of the screen, or collapsible/nonexistent UIs.


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

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I really hope we end up with a very modular UI where the people who want to go classic can just turn everything on and set it up in one big block, but others can hide things like borders and collapse any frames they aren't using. Have them on keybind toggles or whatever. Though I do believe it's possible to do a modern, functional UI that still has an IE feel.

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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

 

Thank you for this, of all the mockups so far this looks the best to my eyes. Still might make my own thought.

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I mean, ANY UI that doesn't auto-hide or something is going to block off a portion of the screen. That's in the very nature of UIs. I'm not comprehending the "problem" here, unless your problem is with UIs that cover ANY edge of the screen. That would only leave UIs that just sit in the middle of the screen, or collapsible/nonexistent UIs.

 

No, there's a distinct difference, at least for 2D isometric games, between a UI that covers an entire edge of the screen and one that allows for gaps. With the entire edge UI, the viewable/playable area is understood to begin past the inner edge of the UI (so the top edge for a bottom UI, or the right edge for a left UI). With the gap UI, the viewable area begins past the outer edge of the UI (bottom of the bottom UI, etc) since you can see it through the gaps in the UI.

 

Basically, with the entire edge UI, the viewable area is smaller but unobstructed. With gaps and a more minimalist UI, the area may be larger, but there's crap getting in the way because the border isn't as uniform or well defined.

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No, there's a distinct difference, at least for 2D isometric games, between a UI that covers an entire edge of the screen and one that allows for gaps. With the entire edge UI, the viewable/playable area is understood to begin past the inner edge of the UI (so the top edge for a bottom UI, or the right edge for a left UI). With the gap UI, the viewable area begins past the outer edge of the UI (bottom of the bottom UI, etc) since you can see it through the gaps in the UI.

 

Basically, with the entire edge UI, the viewable area is smaller but unobstructed. With gaps and a more minimalist UI, the area may be larger, but there's crap getting in the way because the border isn't as uniform or well defined.

But... the UI Wench was directly referencing as "problematic" was one that only took up part of the edge, rather than all of it. Either way, the parts of the edge that ARE covered by the UI are covered by the UI, regardless of whether or not it's ALL the edge, or only part of it. That's why I expressed confusion as to what would be an appropriate UI from Wench's point of view, since you'd typically say "well, allow it to have some gaps," just as you did. But... the one referenced already HAD gaps. That leaves "doesn't touch the edge at all" and "there is no UI."


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

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No, there's a distinct difference, at least for 2D isometric games, between a UI that covers an entire edge of the screen and one that allows for gaps. With the entire edge UI, the viewable/playable area is understood to begin past the inner edge of the UI (so the top edge for a bottom UI, or the right edge for a left UI). With the gap UI, the viewable area begins past the outer edge of the UI (bottom of the bottom UI, etc) since you can see it through the gaps in the UI.

 

Basically, with the entire edge UI, the viewable area is smaller but unobstructed. With gaps and a more minimalist UI, the area may be larger, but there's crap getting in the way because the border isn't as uniform or well defined.

But... the UI Wench was directly referencing as "problematic" was one that only took up part of the edge, rather than all of it. Either way, the parts of the edge that ARE covered by the UI are covered by the UI, regardless of whether or not it's ALL the edge, or only part of it. That's why I expressed confusion as to what would be an appropriate UI from Wench's point of view, since you'd typically say "well, allow it to have some gaps," just as you did. But... the one referenced already HAD gaps. That leaves "doesn't touch the edge at all" and "there is no UI."

 

 

See, there's the confusion. Both Wench (at least I think?) and I are arguing that in this case, the gaps actually make things worse, whereas you seem to think we prefer the gaps. The gaps give the feeling that there is crap blocking the view, whereas a full-edge UI, although it may display a slightly smaller viewable area, gives an unobstructed view of what it does show.

 

It's the difference between a large TV or monitor that has post-its stuck to the screen versus a slightly smaller TV that has a larger frame. I'd probably prefer the latter, especially since in this case we can't rotate the camera, making gaps fairly useless.

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See, there's the confusion. Both Wench (at least I think?) and I are arguing that in this case, the gaps actually make things worse, whereas you seem to think we prefer the gaps. The gaps give the feeling that there is crap blocking the view, whereas a full-edge UI, although it may display a slightly smaller viewable area, gives an unobstructed view of what it does show.

I understand how all that works, and I understand why you'd want that over one with gaps that has stuff displayed behind the non-gaps, that could potentially be the edge of the area, that could potentially require clicking or other direct interaction for transitioning.

 

However, even after re-reading Wench's post, all I'm getting is "See, the problem is, you'd have to effectively make the actual viewable area end along the edge of the UI panes, rather than extending behind them, which is even WORSE, because it wastes even MORE space. In conclusion, this type of UI works in 3D games with adjustable camera angles, but doesn't work in a 2D game like PE."

 

That's why I'm confused. Not because I don't comprehend the benefits of cutting the viewable area off at the edge of the UI, but because Wench seems to be claiming that that IS the problem: that doing that is bad and HAVING to do that is worse. I am befuddled.


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

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Heh, a hundred postings, a hundred different opinions.

That's why i always prefer when the devs don't take our opinions seriously. Trying to please your audience is backwards. You should be making the game YOU as a dev wants to make, and have the audience form around that game, not the game formed around the audience preference since there isn't a consencous of what makes a good game among people.

That is Bioware's biggest problem in my opinion. They have listened to their audience way too much.

But  in kickstarted games that can't work since we paid for the game already, and deserve to know what is being made with our money. But as you see noone can agree in anything.

So, in my opinion, the devs should always make the choice that is closer to IE (thats what we paid for anyway, so if someone complain about that his complains are invalid), and only stray for that model if THEY genuinely believe that what they want to change would make for a better game for the people who liked the IE games.

 

 

Hey, in which case let's just close the forums now and obediently wait to be spoon-fed the game we backed.

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sonsofgygax.JPG

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I like what you have so far Obsidian, and am working hard on a time machine so I can go to release day! :grin:   Anyway, I like the older UI style, it is one of the things that make this game hearken back to the past; back to the old style that we fell in love with so long ago.  If it was radically different I think many people would be disappointed, it wouldn't refire those loving memories we hope to recapture.  Of course we expect it to be a bit updated, more efficient if possible, but, I like where you are going.  Keep up the good work!  :)

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The Obsidian Orders Royal Pain

"Ouch"

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See, there's the confusion. Both Wench (at least I think?) and I are arguing that in this case, the gaps actually make things worse, whereas you seem to think we prefer the gaps. The gaps give the feeling that there is crap blocking the view, whereas a full-edge UI, although it may display a slightly smaller viewable area, gives an unobstructed view of what it does show.

I understand how all that works, and I understand why you'd want that over one with gaps that has stuff displayed behind the non-gaps, that could potentially be the edge of the area, that could potentially require clicking or other direct interaction for transitioning.

 

However, even after re-reading Wench's post, all I'm getting is "See, the problem is, you'd have to effectively make the actual viewable area end along the edge of the UI panes, rather than extending behind them, which is even WORSE, because it wastes even MORE space. In conclusion, this type of UI works in 3D games with adjustable camera angles, but doesn't work in a 2D game like PE."

 

That's why I'm confused. Not because I don't comprehend the benefits of cutting the viewable area off at the edge of the UI, but because Wench seems to be claiming that that IS the problem: that doing that is bad and HAVING to do that is worse. I am befuddled.

 

The point Wench is making is that blindly applying a "minimalist UI is the best option" brush without giving other factors much thought is foolish.

 

IMO, in order for a minimalist UI to work here, auto-hiding the windows instead of making the windows transparent becomes a requirement rather than an option. (I know having to move the dialogue box WILL annoy me.) And I'm pretty sure auto-hiding will carry its own bag of annoyances for some people.

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I' d like to post a UI which resembles some sheets of paper (or splices of obsidian and bones) scattered and sticking out from the border of the lower right (or left for the left handed) corner of the screen. On the right (or left for the left handed) some oval medallions show us the high resoluted and animated (pain, sleep etc.) painted portraits of the members in our group (little maybe also animated pic for the pet). Engraved in this medallion and mostly to the side where the screen ends some icons and placeholders for status effects as well please our eyes as give us the information we need (the distribution of these might be a problem). The blue bar could be on one side of the pictureframe, the health/damage should be shown as in Indira lightfoots example.

 

Choosing one of the menu icons the obsidian or paper rearranges in a new surface which could also be a new frame. I would like to be in the position of a  mage or a god who has this setup on a magic table. (Ohhh I'd love to play this on a tablet pc)

 

Even if it is rough/ curved it wouldn't break my immersion. Please don't make it rectangluar.

 

but somehow I can't post pic here... How could Ido that? (honestly)

 

€: In my opinion the space is NOT an important matter in IE games. As long as the UI only gives the feeling of a frame and not a tiny window its OK for me. I dont want a super action game, where every extra bit of  new information is essential for playing it (which would lead to minimal UIs).

 

We have the space bar to stop time. We have TIME for such aestetic things as a beautiful moody frame... This is what I miss in most of the recent games.

Edited by Morgulon the Wise

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My final suggestion for the UI is to allow for a choice between at least three options. I doubt that there is any one solution that will satisfy everybody, since this is a matter of personal preference as much as objective fact.

 

So focus on three main "archetypes" of UI, and try to make each the best UI of that type that you can:

 

  1. The bottom UI that was originally shown. It needs to be refined and improved, but it was a valid starting point.
  2. Either a side-oriented or L-shaped UI, to take advantage of widescreen monitors and avoid exacerbating the letterbox look.
  3. A minimalist UI.

Maybe that's too much work, but UIs are pretty important and it might not be much more work than trying to find a single solution that pleases everyone.

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but somehow I can't post pic here... How could Ido that? (honestly)

 

I usually post images by uploading to imgur.com, then copying what it says under "BBCode (message boards & forums)."

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I looks to be pretty difficult to come up with a good design that maintains balance, a consistent motif, doesn't take up too much screen real estate, and is highly functional. In that regard I have to say that I'd have a real issue with some of the alternative designs posted here. It isn't necessary to have larger portraits because you just need to see enough to be able to identify them and click the icons with a mouse. Also, I don't believe the spell icons should dominate the interface. Finally, many of these designs look inconsistent and, well, kind of ugly.

 

Anyway, just hoping for the best in the end. :)


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

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My final suggestion for the UI is to allow for a choice between at least three options. I doubt that there is any one solution that will satisfy everybody, since this is a matter of personal preference as much as objective fact.

 

So focus on three main "archetypes" of UI, and try to make each the best UI of that type that you can:

 

  1. The bottom UI that was originally shown. It needs to be refined and improved, but it was a valid starting point.
  2. Either a side-oriented or L-shaped UI, to take advantage of widescreen monitors and avoid exacerbating the letterbox look.
  3. A minimalist UI.

Maybe that's too much work, but UIs are pretty important and it might not be much more work than trying to find a single solution that pleases everyone.

 

^This! At least two alternatives: 1 and a mix of 2 and 3 (and highly customizable, resizable and "re-fontable"). Obsidian have so much to gain from this that I can't begin to describe half the benefits. Let's just settle with the fact that it will make a majority of the players/backers happy - which is a pretty sweet deal. Also, the UI is super-important. Plenty of posts here says outright "I will be put off if you pick this or that UI". The slight extra work is a piss in Mississippi compared to putting off a big chunk of their fan base. So. please Obsidian, consider this. In the end, it will pay off in dividends. It's almost a no-brainer.

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

 

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In theory it's the best solution, and it will make the most backers happy. But it depends on how easy is to implement it. The budget and the timeline are tight as it is. I don't think anyone wants multiple UIs if it will mean less content. But if it's easy and cost effective then by all means go for it.

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Ok after seeing all the bad examples of what people want

I have come to the conclusion that the UI you have posted as work in progress is Fine!

More then fine it works.

How I think it would work better Psychologically is to have in the picture your party.  As it is just seems to stick out a bit.

Yea It works!   Maybe you could make the UI move to the side for certian people.

 

As an IE rpg the UI is fine.

See ya!

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In theory it's the best solution, and it will make the most backers happy. But it depends on how easy is to implement it. The budget and the timeline are tight as it is. I don't think anyone wants multiple UIs if it will mean less content. But if it's easy and cost effective then by all means go for it.

True, no important features in the game should be sacrificed by any means. IIRC, GUI-guys are something of a niche, so it wouldn't affect the work on the game itself: content, writers, areas, artists, scripting. It's a matter of time and know-how for the GUI-peeps. And given Obsidian's experience in that field, I truly believe they can make two UIs of the kind discussed here pretty fast and cost efficient. They have RPGs under their belt that uses both systems, so I'm very optimistic that they will come to their senses here, as it were. :)

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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

 

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I have been thinking about the comments on the board and agree with Gumbercules assessment about giving options to the players...although I will say that a truly minimal UI maybe too much additional work for the Obsidian people.  It may require re-thinking not just the positions of items, but also the decorative elements included to evoke a feeling reminiscent of the old IE games.  

 

That said, I think some variation of the UI Obsidian posted, as re-imagined by Sensuki for example, should be fine for some.  For others, a vertical orientation will be preferable.  Especially for those of us who have widescreen monitors, or just plain dislike portraits at the bottom of the screen (like me).

 

I decided to do one more iteration of the UI I posted before, thinking that in the last one, the bottom frame of the U was mostly useless, and the left frame was completely useless.  this is the result:

 

PE-TempleEntrance01-1920x1080edit2_zps62

 

I'm thinking that a solution like this keeps the valuable screen space at the bottom visible on widescreen monitors. Less frequently used actions buttons like settings and formations can go on the left, with the dialog box floating or docking on the left. The remainder of the area can be used to add framing is consistent with the games desired aesthetic.  I went with Celtic as it seems to be a source material for a good deal of the lore and critters.  It might be nice if we could have a variety of skins to choose from in this regard based on different regions within the game.

Edited by curryinahurry
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