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I prefer IWD (the first one) and Baldur's Gate-style UI. Why not just keep it? Most modern UIs are just terrible, too 'minimalist'.

Edited by Lysen
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Don't listen to the people who thinks the UI looks "dated" (whatever that means). I think it looks absolutely great, however I must say I prefer greyer colours over the brown colour in the current UI. Don't make a minimalist UI, I'm so tired of that bull****.

 

Also, large portraits along the right side really would be charming :)

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"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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I haven't read all the posts, but here's my feedback:

About the UI: I prefer the more up-to-date UI. More minimal with the portaits to be put wherever u like, whether it is left, right, top or bottom of the screen. Hidden menu bar that slides when you put your mouse on the edge of the scree would be great ('cause I suppose there will be key shortcuts, so I'm gonna use them most of the time).

DA:O did a great job there Imo.
 

About the scripted event images: since there will be no cinematics whatsoever I like this idea, only not with that art style. Since these scenes will come out during gameplay I'd like something full color and closer to the overall graphics style. It'll be more immersive if it in the same mood as the rest of the game. I don't mind that style though if it is related to cut-scenes between chapters, intros and stuff like that.

 

Now something about the combat/dialogue log. I like when these logs are present so I can refer to them when it is needed as long as it is toggled.  What I like, and hope to be in the final game, is damage indicators during combat. Yes these numbers flying over characters' heads. Many don't like them but I find them very useful, since I can tell what is going on damagewise during combat and don't have to pause every time and look at the log scrolling too fast because of the hitrain during a combat. At least let it be togable.

 

And something else I mentioned at one very early post, is the size of the letters. Now I don't mind the size in the combat/dialogue log since I rarely refer to them, but during dialogues I hope they are large enough or at least customizable. I REALLY had a very hard time with IE games and ESPECIALLY with NWN2 reading dialogues (when not in close-up dialogue scenes) because of the extremely small letters. I almost literally had to stick my face on the screen to read them! I doubt I have seen smaller letters in any other game. Is there a reason for this? I don't get it. Please do something about that - I don't believe it's that difficult.

Edited by Sedrefilos

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I'm loving the aesthetic of the UI. It could still be further refined from the cluttering though. The time dial could be separated and placed on the top middle portion separating from the bunch of icons clumped together. Not sure about the spell and skill icon locations though. Presently it feels cramped.

 

Anyhoo. Looking forward to the second iteration of the UI. 

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Rob, lovely update (as always)!

 

And Polina certainly has that magic touch when it comes to fantasy creatures, just wow! :D

 

As for the UI, colour me unimpressed. I'll join the crowd that want an up-to-date UI fit for year 2014. Nostalgia is a fantastic mindset at times, but it doesn't come in handy here. And I frankly don't like that wood-and-stone UI frame either. It wasn't very neat then, and now it just tends to blend in with the environment, which is annoying. I'd much rather see NWN2's transparent user interface, where everything can be resized and moved, so that we get to customize those UI-boxes and bars ourselves. Think simplicity. Like someone said, those hokus-pokus-symbols from the IE-games offer nothing, well except sweet nostalgia. I'd love to see larger portraits or the portrait selected getting blown up. As for minimaps and text windows, just make it as nonintrusive as possible, this means no gargoyles hanging off it or caryatids framing them - no cluttered art, just minimalism. If any art at all on the UI-frame, think NWN2-level (except for the too elaborated minimap frame).

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

 

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I love the aesthetic of the UI. It made me nostalgic for BG the moment I saw it. So on that front goal achieved as far as I'm concerned. (And while I'm sure they're just placeholders I love that you've used the old infinity icons.)

 

I'd like to vote firmly against a "modern" deconstructed and stylized UI. I haven't liked a single one of those in modern games. They're good for MMO's when you have heaps of chat channels and other stuff to spread around, but that's about it. At best they're out of your way and forgettable, but the IE UI's actually added to the atmosphere of the game, they were part of it.

 

I'd also like to repeat that I love the idea and aesthetic of those "choose your action" screens, (or whatever you're calling them)!

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icewind-dale-2-goblin-killing.jpg
 

Look! I found part of the UI on the internets! :)

I suppose they're going to change these reused icons. The original part looks fine.

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 Mark continues refining until everybody is happy or the game ships - whichever comes first. 

Oh-you-93067263235.jpeg

 

On a more serious note, while I like the style and feel of the work in progress UI (I'd like to touch it so I can feel the texture), it's a bit bigger (read: taller) than I'd like.  I personally like the UI to take up as little game screen as possible while still giving you all the controls and feedback you need.  Still, I think it looks pretty spiffy

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or it’s just too good an experience to allow an alternate route to exist.

or use ALL CAPS, if you are feeling particularly passionate.

THAT IS NEVER THE CASE. DON'T FORCE PLAYERS ON A PATH, THAT LEADS TO LINEAR GAMEPLAY AND IS UNIVERSALLY HATED BY RPG'ERS EVERYWHERE. IF IT'S COOL WE'LL LEARN ABOUT IT.

 

Edit: about the UI: I don't need it to be minimalist, but it could have it's own style, this one is too much a copy of the old games without any updates. like Indira said, it's 2013, we can do better.

Edited by JFSOCC
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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Another thing I was thinking about with the layout of the levels and maps that I think would make your designers jobs easier for combat encounters, design layout, and potentially may change the way the ui works is by using a hex based system for how maps and props were laid out. This would also make it easier to create interior spaces. It would also make iterations much more flexible for designing encounters. 

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I absolutely love the scripted events screen.  The style is impeccable.

 

Also, plan for future:

 

Step 1: Mod lizard-creature-to-be-named-later into playable race

Step 2: Create party of lizard-creatures-to-be-named-later

Step 3: ??? 

Step 4: FUN!

 

(note: step 3 is crush some filthy elves with party full of lizard-creatures-to-be-named-later)

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<snip>

I agree with most of this, except that the second pic didn't need to stats page to be directly visible, if you level fairly slowly you should know the stats of your chars. and you could have them in another view. but otherwise, much better use of screen real estate.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Hmm.. Looks like IWD2.

Style ok. Color ok.

UI  a bit cluttered.

 

Prefer portraits vertical, and larger. Right side.

 

Dialog window to the left.

 

Keep the bar at the bottom as small as possible.

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"The harder the world, the fiercer the honour."

Weapon master,- Flail of the dead horse +5.

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Thanks for the update, it's always really interesting to read little snippets of the development process and the work you guys are putting into this game.

 

My two penneth on the UI: Personally I don't like it, I could cope with it but I'd much rather see a more modern, streamlined, customisable UI rather than a brick wall of buttons that take up screen space regardless of whether I use hotkeys or not. Obviously there's an element of nostalgia to a project like this, but much as I loved the old IE games when they were released I'm backing this project because I want to see what a game with those values made in 2013/14 looks like, not for the novelty of retro-gaming.

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egaq5IF.jpg

 

Here's my suggestion. I have removed most of the unused space, shifted the elements (I do like the Fallout Tactics style) around and decreased the size of the options menu as I think it was too big. Good for tablets but that space could be better used by other stuff.

 

If you were going to have a customizable UI (can you do that with pre-rendered 2D?) you could use those wooden beams or whatever they're replaced with in the final UI and swap UI elements around with those or something.

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I'd agree with Zeds mockup from page 1. 

 

The text box should be resizable and on the left, like in most other games. It's current position is just weird, we read english from left to right.

 

I'd suggest not going too old fashioned with the interface. 

Google 3 UI screenshots from 30+ modern games (such as DOTA 2), flag cool UI techniques that would benefit an RPG. Add them into a quick mock up, and see if you can fit them together in a reasonable way. Add a IE engine UI veneer to it, but the core UI should be modern.

 

I think going the more modern route will help reviews with non backers, who have never touched an IE game, improving chances of a PE 2, or PE throne of Bhaal. 

 

The egg story pane is beautiful, and immersive. 

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Sensuki, that is certainly an improvement, but I'd still much rather see an up-to-date and highly customizable sleek version. I mean, the portraits smacked right onto that wood makes me shiver. At least, the portraits would need some kind of frame, and that would make it even more clunky.

 

So, here's my humble suggestion: Why not make two versions? One can be a UI paying homage to the IE-games, and the other an up-to-date sleek version. I know that means twice as much work for the Obsids, but in this way, it will keep most fans happy. :)


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

 

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The UI in Fallout: Tactics doesn't support a heavy amount of text or an action bar.

 

The UI in Dota 2 serves completely other needs than P:E. For instance, it's single-character. Also, the dialogue window is not a waste of space. There's a reason why it's the centerpiece of the BG games.

What Dota 2 did really well that could actually work in any modern game's UI (in terms of resolution) is color ambiance. The UI is all rock, basically, but still colored by hints of sparks and other (non-intrusive) effects.

 

I prefer Sensuki's edit to the original but it still leaves a feeling of utilizing too much vertical space. Vast majority will play in 16:9: take some off the edges.

I really do think IWD2 has a ****ty UI. The party arrangement in a vertical line of IWD, BG, and BG2 is great. Widescreen is no reason to remove it.

Edited by Zed
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I really loved the concept arts and the progress of PE so far but the UI draft really should be modern.

I'm a big fan of minimalistc style GUI's as well. The Interface should be customizable (spellbook / class abilities /hotkeys ) and the Player should be able to Change the size and Position on the screen. Something like this example here (GW2):

 

ui_mainbar.jpg

 

 

The only things that are missing in this UI is a character selection method via portraits and a text box for the conversations/combat dialog.

 

I don't see a need to have a ton of options available on the main GUI since the game can be paused. Having a lot of options on the main Interface doesn't necessarily add depth to the game. Heavy interfaces try to simulate 'complexity' but they only make the game unintuitive and cumbersome.

Edited by Freddy32

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I like Sensuki's version more than original one. Still, it should be more.. subtle in my opinion. Too much frames on everything. I'd place potraits on right side. I am also not a fan of mana/health levels presented this way.

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My personal preference is the BG1-2/IWD1 style as that would work really well on a Widescreen setup, although I am afraid the devs probably don't share that view.

 

We are not going to get a minimalistic UI IndiraLightfoot.

 

Quote link

 

 

Let's talk about RPG interfaces.

I have always liked the original NWN interface, specifically the font and the way inventory icons are done. It doesn't try to look like something out of the storyline (like a book or whatever) and is therefore not very distracting.

Our interfaces are going to look like something based in the world, like the IE games. Sorry.

 

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While I do like the old school feel of the mock-up user interface. I do believe that the main focus should be the environment art itself. I did a small list of things that should be ultra important for the UI. I think the majority will agree.

 

  1. The UI should waste as little space as possible. If no space at all could be used for an interface that works well. It would be the best interface. Period. After all, the UI isn't the game, but a way to make things happen in the game. 
  2. The player should be able to re-arrange the button, dialog text & portrait positions. 
  3. An option to slide out the UI would be very cool, I usually hate having the UI taking so much space, especially when in big battles and trying to look at everyone at once.
  4. A ultra minimalist UI should be included : No eye candy, no texture, only the portraits, some translucent buttons and dialog box.
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Sensuki: Josh can be opinionated at times, and I love him for it, but I wouldn't take that too seriously. Josh has also been quoted saying that he doesn't like BG 2 all that much, for instance: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/63767-josh-sawyer-on-quest-staggering-and-why-bg2-might-have-had-it-right/

 

I've got a feeling that Obsidian will listen to many of us that want to see an up-to-date customizable UI that can be described as minimalist.


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

 

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I'm firmly with those who do _not_ want to see a 'modern', minimalist UI. The point of going with a classic UI isn't nostalgia (I still play the IE games because they are better games, not because of nostalgia), but because of atmosphere and aesthetics, and not looking like every other generic game. A classic UI is the way to go to achieve a more mature feel, and really add to the tone of the game. A minimalist interface would almost certainly make the game feel much more 'gamist' - where hack 'n slash is more important than story or atmosphere. The only concession to minimalism I would like to see is a reduction from the BG 3 bar system - a single bottom bar (more like Placescape, which is what you seem to be doing) or on two sides would probably be better. I have no problem with people being able to customize things to be more minimal, but the default should encourage the aesthetic as much as possible.

 

That said, I do agree with some of the specific criticisms that need to be made. Obviously the IWD2 icons above the portraits need to be updated, as I assume you plan to do (it's a bit unfortunate you chose to use that game's graphics for your mock up, since it had by far the worst all around aesthetic of the IE games - in terms of icon design and portrait style, BGII and I would respectively be the best models). And I would prefer the portraits to be larger, preferably the full height of the bar (they're an important part of the games aesthetic, and hopefully also one of the main ways of conveying information about character status - incidentally, I prefer the old system of having damage be blood colour on the portraits to a rather ugly red health meter). This does make it harder to know where to put abilities though. Moving the dialogue box left is also a good suggestion.

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