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


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hello, i haven't read everyone's posts so apologies if this has already been stated, but the conversation/discussion about real-estate and Josh's concerns about the user moving his mouse from one side of the window to the other to click things is valid. However, if certain GUI elements are only for information output, then these can be separated from areas that require player input. For example, if the characer portraits only display information (statuses, image, health, stamina, etc) and have their input elements stripped (and located elsewhere) , then there is no reason that the portraits need to be near the player's "active area" (meaning the GUI elements that the player interacts with).

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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Personally I think this UI is great. One can argue about wasted space, but to be honest I don't think that applies to a game like this, where the feel and blend of the art and how it enriches the atmosphere of the scene supersedes the function. DOTA is a fast paced game, and the art is secondary to game play, therefore having a limited UI that doesn't obstruct the screen makes sense for it.

 

I would also argue for keeping the UI as one singular module, rather then splitting it apart. It frames the screen nicely, and keeps what I'm looking at in almost a movie-like appearance, and I think that enhances the experience.

 

Keep up the good work! I'm super excited for this project.

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Also, clicking portraits, in reality, will likely be the least used manner in which players will interface with the characters on screen.  Most of the time they will click on the character model or hotkey the number

 

For that reason I think that placing most of the buttons and the quick slots on the bottom of the U will be a better idea (portraits on the left or right vertical bar will mostly be used for monitoring). I believe that in most cases (especially if one like to center its party on screen during combat) mouse travel from character-model to bottom-center will be shorter and additionally I find a horizontal buttons-bar to be more comfortable to use.

 

 

Certainly bottom center for buttons is most convenient.  Unfortunately, Josh Sawyer stated that they don't want excessive mouse travel from portraits to buttons.

 

I don't know the exact game mechanisms but, for example, in DA the buttons are on a horizontal bar and the portraits are placed vertically. I find the DA UI during combat/exploration to be convenient and I don't remember any excessive mouse travel (on my 24" display). Another point to consider is that horizontal buttons bar enable placing a lot of quick slots that will enable direct acces and so reducing the need for pop-up menus. Maybe having mini portrait(s) on the horizontal bar in addition to large portraits on a vertical bar will make every one happy? Another option is to have compact UI (i.e. few buttons that open pop-up menus) near the vertical portraits in addition to fully or semi customize bottom-center buttons bar.

 

My  main motivation in posting these options is driven by the fact that I really dislike the portraits running horizontally on the bottom and buttons  being situated above.  Also, bottom center can be a problem depending on hoe sub-menus are handled and the depth of the bottom frame.

 

 

I don't uderstand why sub-menus that are opened from bottom-center are more problematic then those that are opened from the right bar. Additionally, without knowing the exact game mechanisms and taking DA as an example, the bottom-center can be width enough to eliminate the need of sub-menus.

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hello, i haven't read everyone's posts so apologies if this has already been stated, but the conversation/discussion about real-estate and Josh's concerns about the user moving his mouse from one side of the window to the other to click things is valid. However, if certain GUI elements are only for information output, then these can be separated from areas that require player input. For example, if the characer portraits only display information (statuses, image, health, stamina, etc) and have their input elements stripped (and located elsewhere) , then there is no reason that the portraits need to be near the player's "active area" (meaning the GUI elements that the player interacts with).

 

In most games of this nature the portraits can be selected to choose a character, so they are active. The combination of portraits and icons effectively act as noun-verb pairs, so it makes sense to have them in proximity with each other for issuing commands.

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

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My  main motivation in posting these options is driven by the fact that I really dislike the portraits running horizontally on the bottom and buttons  being situated above.  Also, bottom center can be a problem depending on hoe sub-menus are handled and the depth of the bottom frame.

 

 

I don't uderstand why sub-menus that are opened from bottom-center are more problematic then those that are opened from the right bar. Additionally, without knowing the exact game mechanisms and taking DA as an example, the bottom-center can be width enough to eliminate the need of sub-menus.

 

 

It's fine if the buttons are on a small frame or organized a la DA; but I was referencing the latest UI by Obsidian where a good chunk of screen space along the bottom is already occupied.  They might find a solution to this by getting rid of some of the decorative elements thus freeing up space for sub-menus within the bottom frame.

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Personally I think this UI is great. One can argue about wasted space, but to be honest I don't think that applies to a game like this, where the feel and blend of the art and how it enriches the atmosphere of the scene supersedes the function. DOTA is a fast paced game, and the art is secondary to game play, therefore having a limited UI that doesn't obstruct the screen makes sense for it.

 

I would also argue for keeping the UI as one singular module, rather then splitting it apart. It frames the screen nicely, and keeps what I'm looking at in almost a movie-like appearance, and I think that enhances the experience.

 

Keep up the good work! I'm super excited for this project.

I agree in general, but even games concerned with optimized efficiency for multiplayer, like DotA, LoL and Starcraft 2, still use solid UIs. The implication elsewhere in the thread that P:E is hanging on to an outdated design sensibility while everyone else has moved on just isn't true.

 

 

 

League_of_Legends_2012_02_17_16_56_18_55

 

 

 

Dota-2-interface-explained3.jpg

 

 

 

StarCraftII_UI_03.jpg

 

 

Edited by centurionofprix
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Some of ideas  for UI are really good (Karkarov, Morgulon), and sone of them not. One showed by the devs is also a nice one, but had some wasted space. I played in every IE game and other similar ones, but i can't say, that 'IWD had better UI than BG', or 'I didn't like ToEE UI'. Each was quite good and easy to play with.

What I must say: combat log is a 'must-have'. Some ppl want to have it by the left/right side of the screen, but in my opinion it should be in the middle - just like in the IWD, BG, or even Gorasul (IWD2 had it for nearly whole width of the screen, so I think it counts too). It's the place were you can always see and it's easy to check what is going on ("What?! I one hited a dragon?! ahh... deathbringer assault...").

 

As for the 'talking with NPC case'. I thought, that it would be cool, if it looked like the 'event screen' (showed before). Of course it will take too many time and effort to do it for every NPC so it won't gonna happen. If not this, then I think every 'loose window' will be far worse than simply expanded combat log with options to choose what to say (please don't do zoom ins while talking to the NPC and blacken bottom of the screen with text on it like in some games [it's a horrible idea imo.]).

 

Ps: sorry for the grammar/language mistakes - it's not my native language.

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Personally I think this UI is great. One can argue about wasted space, but to be honest I don't think that applies to a game like this, where the feel and blend of the art and how it enriches the atmosphere of the scene supersedes the function. DOTA is a fast paced game, and the art is secondary to game play, therefore having a limited UI that doesn't obstruct the screen makes sense for it.

 

I would also argue for keeping the UI as one singular module, rather then splitting it apart. It frames the screen nicely, and keeps what I'm looking at in almost a movie-like appearance, and I think that enhances the experience.

 

Keep up the good work! I'm super excited for this project.

I agree in general, but even games concerned with optimized efficiency for multiplayer, like DotA, LoL and Starcraft 2, still use solid UIs. The implication elsewhere in the thread that P:E is hanging on to an outdated design sensibility while everyone else has moved on just isn't true.

 

Hmm, interesting. Your examples all differ from the original P:E interface by using varying heights. The latter interface just looks like a solid bar across the screen. Your examples also add a lot more color, which tends to blend in with the game window. I wonder if those factors have any impact on the perceived changes to the aspect ratio?

Edited by rjshae

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

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A minor note for clarification: our dialogue window will be a different interface from the dialogue log.  The former will be prominent and display larger character portraits (among other things).  The log itself is really just for scrolling back through the conversation if you want to review it.  It can be toggled with the combat log in the same window.

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A minor note for clarification: our dialogue window will be a different interface from the dialogue log.  The former will be prominent and display larger character portraits (among other things).  The log itself is really just for scrolling back through the conversation if you want to review it.  It can be toggled with the combat log in the same window.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I'm glad I gave you my money. Keep listening to your customer base like this, you're doing a great work.

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@Rahelron: Sounds like your mockups are a pretty good representation of that treatment of dialogue, ^_^

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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@Rahelron: Sounds like your mockups are a pretty good representation of that treatment of dialogue, ^_^

 

They probably had that kind of treatment in mind since the beginning and didn't need my advice to come up with it. But still I'm glad they decided to go that way.

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A minor note for clarification: our dialogue window will be a different interface from the dialogue log.  The former will be prominent and display larger character portraits (among other things).  The log itself is really just for scrolling back through the conversation if you want to review it.  It can be toggled with the combat log in the same window.

 

 

Cool, I figured it would be something like this.  One thing I'm wondering is how much information will be provided by the combat/ dialog log.  Will to hit and damage calculations or that various factors involved in passing a skill check be displayed?  Some people are really going to want to see this type of information, and others are going to be very against it. 

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Unless you can make animation and sound display the precise amount of HP/stamina lost, in such a way that past events can also be accessed, and, ideally, also displaying the die rolls/equations that go into the actions, the same things aren't being shown at all. All of this seems Not Bloody Likely. Such design doesn't serve "immersion" either because all one would be doing is to blend the obviously game elements of HP/stamina points into the in-character world of the story itself, as a vague sort of guesswork, rather than keeping the game aspects as clear abstractions.

HP changes are going to be pretty obvious on screen since the UI will have HP bars.

 

Also I know asking is a waste of time, but why does knowing you rolled a 3 on and attack and missed matter?  A miss is a miss, knowing you missed because of RNG doesn't make it any less of a miss.  Nor do you need the log to "detect" RNG.  Missing 15 attacks in a row isn't RNG, it's you are outmatched by your enemy. 

 

I also can't think of even one reason why you would want to know specifically how much HP you lost 5 rounds ago in a quasi real time game with pause.  Either you need to do something to heal... or you don't.  Knowing that 5 rounds ago you took 10 stamina damage from a wizards magic bolt makes no difference.  You could argue you are trying to determine who the bigger threat is but again... three normal looking bandits and one guy in the back with a staff that has flames coming off it... I don't really need a combat log to tell who the biggest threat is.

 

Lastly, I really don't care whose name is in the credit list as long as the game is good and isn't BG 1990 edition with new graphics. 

 

 

I attribute the quantity of responses to the belittling and condescending attitude in the continuation of the post.

I believe the pot is calling the kettle black.

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A minor note for clarification: our dialogue window will be a different interface from the dialogue log.  The former will be prominent and display larger character portraits (among other things).  The log itself is really just for scrolling back through the conversation if you want to review it.  It can be toggled with the combat log in the same window.

 

I'm very glad to hear that. Great news, you're on the road to UI greatness already! :)

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

 

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Also I know asking is a waste of time, but why does knowing you rolled a 3 on and attack and missed matter?  A miss is a miss, knowing you missed because of RNG doesn't make it any less of a miss.  Nor do you need the log to "detect" RNG.  Missing 15 attacks in a row isn't RNG, it's you are outmatched by your enemy.

 

 

setting aside the answer to Your question*, that's not how statistics work.

 

 

* why does it matter to know why pc missed? so he doesn't have to miss 15 times in a row.**

** to guess, that he's probably outmtached.

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Let me quote myself.

 

Where in that statement do you see "Take the combat log out of the game!", "There is no reason to use the combat log!", or "The combat log serves no purpose!"?

 

If you see any of those things in that quote I need you to stop and read it again. Keep doing that until you actually read what it says, not what you want it to say. Cause I pretty much said "I expect the combat log to be in game and understand why people use it."

 

LOL

 

 

HP changes are going to be pretty obvious on screen since the UI will have HP bars.

 

Also I know asking is a waste of time, but why does knowing you rolled a 3 on and attack and missed matter?  A miss is a miss, knowing you missed because of RNG doesn't make it any less of a miss.  Nor do you need the log to "detect" RNG.  Missing 15 attacks in a row isn't RNG, it's you are outmatched by your enemy. 

 

I also can't think of even one reason why you would want to know specifically how much HP you lost 5 rounds ago in a quasi real time game with pause.  Either you need to do something to heal... or you don't.  Knowing that 5 rounds ago you took 10 stamina damage from a wizards magic bolt makes no difference.  You could argue you are trying to determine who the bigger threat is but again... three normal looking bandits and one guy in the back with a staff that has flames coming off it... I don't really need a combat log to tell who the biggest threat is.

 

Lastly, I really don't care whose name is in the credit list as long as the game is good and isn't BG 1990 edition with new graphics.

Completely proves true all of the things I said in the other post, hello casual gamer. You are part of the cancer that is killing current RPGs.

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Let me quote myself.

 

Where in that statement do you see "Take the combat log out of the game!", "There is no reason to use the combat log!", or "The combat log serves no purpose!"?

 

If you see any of those things in that quote I need you to stop and read it again. Keep doing that until you actually read what it says, not what you want it to say. Cause I pretty much said "I expect the combat log to be in game and understand why people use it."

 

LOL

 

 

HP changes are going to be pretty obvious on screen since the UI will have HP bars.

 

Also I know asking is a waste of time, but why does knowing you rolled a 3 on and attack and missed matter?  A miss is a miss, knowing you missed because of RNG doesn't make it any less of a miss.  Nor do you need the log to "detect" RNG.  Missing 15 attacks in a row isn't RNG, it's you are outmatched by your enemy. 

 

I also can't think of even one reason why you would want to know specifically how much HP you lost 5 rounds ago in a quasi real time game with pause.  Either you need to do something to heal... or you don't.  Knowing that 5 rounds ago you took 10 stamina damage from a wizards magic bolt makes no difference.  You could argue you are trying to determine who the bigger threat is but again... three normal looking bandits and one guy in the back with a staff that has flames coming off it... I don't really need a combat log to tell who the biggest threat is.

 

Lastly, I really don't care whose name is in the credit list as long as the game is good and isn't BG 1990 edition with new graphics.

Completely proves true all of the things I said in the other post, hello casual gamer. You are part of the cancer that is killing current RPGs.

 

 

Yeah then, combat log is what makes RPGs real-hardcore-no-compromises RPGs.

 

RPGs are not about statistics and logs, are about roleplaying. Diablo 3, Torchlight 2 and Dragon Age 2 are about statistics, maxing your character, finding the best build and checking everything via combat log so you can take snapshots of your hits and post them on the internet. Are those RPGs? I think not.

 

"Hey, watch this log, I hit for 10000 and crit for 100000!!! Can you dig it sucka???" Totally roleplay.

 

Don't ask for what you don't want. I personally don't want the developers to waste too much time on balancing combat, creating interesting builds for each class and making shure that the game is difficoult even when players have the best gear. As I said this is what Diablo does. If you remember Ultima 7, BG1, BG2 and even Dragon Age Origins were famous to be incredibly easy if players started playing with a min/maxer find-the-best-build mindset. Why that? Because developers had focused their efforts on creating a great roleplaying experience, sacrificing other things.

 

So: I'm shure Project Eternity will feature a great combat experience. But other than that I don't want it to be a combat centered game. So combat log is not the most important interface feature.

 

Just my 2 cents here.

Edited by Rahelron
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RPGs are not about statistics and logs, are about roleplaying. 

 

And you should think about what role-playing actually entails. (in general)

 

Statistics are just as much a part of that to specifically tailor your charachter.

Edited by C2B
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So: I'm shure Project Eternity will feature a great combat experience. But other than that I don't want it to be a combat centered game. So combat log is not the most important interface feature.

 

Just my 2 cents here.

But it is going to be a combat-focused game ...

 

Sure you will be able to do some non-combat stuff and bypass some fights using dialogue etc but there likely will be a lot of combat in the game. The RPG experiences etc are a given - they are being worked on by the narrative designers.

 

If you just want a light-on combat version where you can just enjoy the story, I'm sure that will be supported but hopefully you will have to play on easy or normal difficult or something to experience that. There are a lot of people like me that played the IE games for the combat and that style of combat has all but disappeared after Icewind Dale 2. We would like to see it's return and these combat features need to be in there to support the upper difficulties and the min-maxers etc.

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Sensuki: Hooly-dooly! Priceless, misguided logic! :rolleyes:

 

First you highlight in stark X-mas red quotes supposedly proving Karkarov stating that a combat log is useless. But epic fail: You cite him saying he has no problems with it being in and then giving his examples of what he wouldn't use it for.

 

Still, you call him a potentially terminal disease, a killer of RPGs, and a casual gamer solely on the basis of him not liking anal min-max stats escapades. This is like a cluster of dag, and it needs anal trimming urgently. Just like Rahelron says, if it's anything that's killed RPGS the last decade it's what you are shouting out in big red letters: obsession with numbers. C2B is right that statistics can be a part of tailoring your characters (heck, I love building new characters in CRPGs, and that involve some maths), but the roleplaying should have some central part in it, else, it's just an arcade game with a fantasy façade, like Bejeweled with a fantasy theme.

 

Mate, I don't know how old you are,  but even Blind Freddy knows you are wrong here, or at least that you are trolling.

 

Please tell me you're pulling our legs! I've played these games for decades. Come on! "Killing current RPGs..." Hah! :skull:

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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

 

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C2B is right that statistics can be a part of tailoring your characters (heck, I love building new characters in CRPGs, and that involve some maths), but the roleplaying should have some central part in it, else, it's just an arcade game with a fantasy façade, like Bejeweled with a fantasy theme.

 

But it already does apply to P:E. That is no question if the first place.

 

Or like Sawyer said before (paraphrasing/don't remember the words correctly) "A good game with bad combat would be a better game with good combat)

Edited by C2B
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RPGs are not about statistics and logs, are about roleplaying. 

 

And you should think about what role-playing actually entails.

 

Statistics are just as much a part of that to specifically tailor your charachter.

 

 

If statistics have a meaning other than measuring the power of your character then I can agree with you. But it's not what we are talking about.

 

An example: if I had high strength and low intellect then, if the game was done right, that should impact my overall game experience. I probebly would be able to smash doors open (so I wouldn't need a thief in my group most of the times) but I wouldn't be able to avoid fights using witty words. But these are statistics that I see and manage on my character's sheet, not on the combat log. On the combat log I can see that I need to refill my quiver, or to change the spells I'm using because the enemy I'm facing is immune to fire damage. I can see that I don't crit as much as I would like so I need to improve my crit chance, stuff like that. Do you see? All this management has no implication on roleplay, it's just a way to make the game more interesting for those who love combat.

 

Finally: there are roleplaying games who don't have combat at all. Catherine is a great example of that. In that game there is no levelling, no stats and no combat. There are some puzzle sections that bring up the heat and give the player some action (look at the extra credits' episode about "differences in kind" to know what I mean http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/differences-in-scale-vs-differences-in-kind) but nothing more.

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Sensuki: Hooly-dooly! Priceless, misguided logic! :rolleyes:

 

First you highlight in stark X-mas red quotes supposedly proving Karkarov stating that a combat log is useless. But epic fail: You cite him saying he has no problems with it being in and then giving his examples of what he wouldn't use it for.

Yes it does and despite originally saying "Don't worry guys I understand why combat logs are important" and I call him out for it once, goes and completely contradicts himself by saying that he doesn't actually understand why a game needs one and I also highlighted several things which I thought were outrageous.

 

Still, you call him a potentially terminal disease, a killer of RPGs, and a casual gamer solely on the basis of him not liking anal min-max stats escapades. This is like a cluster of dag, and it needs anal trimming urgently. Just like Rahelron says, if it's anything that's killed RPGS the last decade it's what you are shouting out in big red letters: obsession with numbers. C2B is right that statistics can be a part of tailoring your characters (heck, I love building new characters in CRPGs, and that involve some maths), but the roleplaying should have some central part in it, else, it's just an arcade game with a fantasy façade, like Bejeweled with a fantasy theme.

 

Mate, I don't know how old you are,  but even Blind Freddy knows you are wrong here, or at least that you are trolling.

 

Please tell me you're pulling our legs! I've played these games for decades. Come on! "Killing current RPGs..." Hah! :skull:

RPGs are tailored towards the casual gamer today, they may be a misguided interpretation, but this is where stuff like "skip the combat" from BioWare etc came from. People going QQ combat ist to hard, game is too combat-focused, and as less effort was put into the combat systems they became dull and boring, and also easy.

 

P:E is an Obsidian game, if there's anything that they're good at it's the RPG side. Getting the combat right is really important.

Edited by Sensuki
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