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Ok, so this is more of what I am hoping for; a BG2 style frame with floating palettes, and a transparency slider for the frame:

 

I think the current mocked up UI looks great- very befitting of a spiritual successor to the IE games. I actually don't like the MMO'ified mock-ups that others are posting. Minimaps, floating transparent windows etc don't evoke the aesthetics of the IE games. I understand not everyone will feel this way, and those are technically good mockups curryinahurry, just not to my taste. I do think the first modified mock-up by Zed represents a good UI option. The original UI could offered as the minimalist default, while allowing users to enable a vertical BG-style portrait bar.

 

TALKING IN ALL CAPS regarding the spell icons: please don't use those colorful, modern looking icons! The BG-type rune-on-parchment aesthetic was wonderfully evocative, and fit in quite well with the game world. The runes weren't perfect and should be improved, with more information coded into the icons (certain colors and patterns indicative of spell school, damaging vs. healing vs. alteration etc) but from a purely aesthetic point of view, the flashy colored spell icons from IWD2/PST always looked out of place next to the rustic UI and gameworld.

 

Thanks for such a meaty update!

Edited by the itis
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Tigranes: Interesting, I think you're on to something there. Basically, what you are saying is go for IE-inspired UI, but make it as customizable as that in NWN2 - scalable, movable, etc. And while I personally don't care much for stone and wood for UI graphics, I get the point of the interface being too much an overlay on the game. However, I reckon the interface shouldn't look like the environments either. How about an IE-UI-graphics based on bone or cool metals and gems, almost like ancient jewellery?

 

The thing is that this kind of UI would never be fully customisable in the way NWN2's is because of the stylistic elements. The menu-button-circle thing would look pretty weird if you could take it out, resize it and put it somewhere else. My point is that some customisation is well within its capabilities, such as freely modified hotbar icons and expand/minimise UI, but for a game like this full resize/move functionality should be sacrificed for a UI that just by being there adds to the feel of the game. 

 

NWN1/2's fully customisable UI was an OK solution for those games because with free camera you really wanted to be able to move stuff out of the way; this is not a problem for a fixed perspective game. Also recall how hideously ugly they were. People might have become used to this because we've had a long run of super-ugly UI in the last ten years or so, but UI, because it's always there, is as much about functionality as it is about feel. 

 

I think they could experiment with some best of two worlds solutions, e.g. NWN2's quickcast bar could be implemented where you bring it up with a hotkey, you one-click to select a spell, then as you cast it disappears. They will also need to find clever ways to show new things like the Monk's Wounds count because it'll be hard to notice in the portraits. 

 

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

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@curryinahurry - I like those.  A "U" shaped UI definitely makes a lot more sense than a thick bar at the bottom on a 16:9 or 16:10 screen, which I'm assuming comprises the vast majority of potential players.  The only thing is, where does the message/dialogue box go?

 

I was thinking that dialogue would either float in its own palette (see above the character sheet palette ) or could dock in the bottom frame on the right side.

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That UI is to much like IceWind Dale 2 which really is a silly game ...

 

If that's how you feel about IWD2, then chances are the user-interface won't be the only thing you'll be disappointed with in PE.


"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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The Itis, my thinking is that the UI can be designed in a way that if someone wants a "Classic" IE feel to their interface, that would be fine, and if they wanted to customize it more by moving palettes and adjusting transparency, that could be accommodated.

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I have mixed feelings about the UI. I don't want the aesthetics of the UI in the I.E. games to be lost, but those UI's proved to be kind of clunky at times (double that if running on a modern widescreen monitor, using widescreen mods).

That's because those games were designed for 640x480 and 800x600 resolutions, and the widescreen mod was just a hack that didn't really change the UI layout.

 

PE is being designed for modern resolutions, so I don't think it will have those problems.

 

I would be skeptical about scaling a UI that has a textured background like the I.E. games

It's possible to do it well, if they make good use of tiling borders / dynamically cropped & positioned backrounds / etc.

They should take a web designer on board, those people tend to have more experience in this area then "normal" developers, because scalability has always been a concern for websites.


"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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That UI is to much like IceWind Dale 2 which really is a silly game ...

 

If that's how you feel about IWD2, then chances are the user-interface won't be the only thing you'll be disappointed with in PE.

 

 

Icewind Dale 2 was the peak of the infinity games, gamplay wise. The only thing you could give it bad marks for is that it was a little linear. To this day it reamins one of my favourite games. (my favourite from the infinity games)

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Not a fan of the UI. It looks outdated because...well it really IS outdated. A minimalistic UI would fit for a nostalgia driven but also evolved version of a IE game in 2014. I really like the Kaz scripted event picture. 

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The fact that NWN went with its horrible generic-blue UI took away from the entire experience, since every time you look at the screen you're reminded of how gamey it is.

 

Well put.

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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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TALKING IN ALL CAPS regarding the spell icons: please don't use those colorful, modern looking icons! The BG-type rune-on-parchment aesthetic was wonderfully evocative, and fit in quite well with the game world. The runes weren't perfect and should be improved, with more information coded into the icons (certain colors and patterns indicative of spell school, damaging vs. healing vs. alteration etc) but from a purely aesthetic point of view, the flashy colored spell icons from IWD2/PST always looked out of place next to the rustic UI and gameworld.

 

What if they made the spell/ability icons look like illuminated manuscript illustrations? That way, they can keep the color and variety but still fit into the game world.

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@curryinahurry

 

Sure, more options are always appreciated. Like all things, there are finite resources and the pros / cons of each option have to be weighed but I get where you're coming from. If such a UI could be offered and players wanted it, I think it's fine. I just hope it wouldn't be the only UI offered.

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I've been thinking about this, and I really want a vertical portrait bar, preferably on the right side of the screen.

 

TALKING IN ALL CAPS regarding the spell icons: please don't use those colorful, modern looking icons! The BG-type rune-on-parchment aesthetic was wonderfully evocative, and fit in quite well with the game world. The runes weren't perfect and should be improved, with more information coded into the icons (certain colors and patterns indicative of spell school, damaging vs. healing vs. alteration etc) but from a purely aesthetic point of view, the flashy colored spell icons from IWD2/PST always looked out of place next to the rustic UI and gameworld.

 

This.


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

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What if they made the spell/ability icons look like illuminated manuscript illustrations? That way, they can keep the color and variety but still fit into the game world.

 

Something like this? I think that's a good idea. Though the level of detail would probably need to be dialed down, somewhere between the runes and illuminated manuscript illustrations, due to icon size. Readability and ID'ing effects at a glance are the primary concerns, followed by aesthetics.

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Also, the option to turn the UI on/off, while keeping only the portraits on screen would be nice. It would allow players who use only the Hot-Keys to have a better look at the action without a cluttered UI.

I'm definitely all for a hotkey to turn the UI off completely, even if it gets rid of the portraits too,  An option in settings that would automatically switch the UI on when in combat mode, then off when not in combat mode would be awesome.

 

Well, BG had that so i don't see why P:E can't.

 

 

What ? Seriously, I just re-played BG1 2 and tob not long ago but I didn't find this option anywhere. Well, I might not have looked hard enough... I'm currently playing IWD2 for the first time so I'll have a look :)  

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Also, the option to turn the UI on/off, while keeping only the portraits on screen would be nice. It would allow players who use only the Hot-Keys to have a better look at the action without a cluttered UI.

I'm definitely all for a hotkey to turn the UI off completely, even if it gets rid of the portraits too,  An option in settings that would automatically switch the UI on when in combat mode, then off when not in combat mode would be awesome.

 

Well, BG had that so i don't see why P:E can't.

 

 

What ? Seriously, I just re-played BG1 2 and tob not long ago but I didn't find this option anywhere. Well, I might not have looked hard enough... I'm currently playing IWD2 for the first time so I'll have a look :)

 

I don't remember if it's posible in IWD, but in BG just press [H]

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I have to say I'm very surprised at the people who actually liked the dragon age/nwn style ui's and disapprove of this fine example of a ui you've shown to us. Modern rpg ui's are horrible; they have no character, are jarring and aren't even particularly functional. Obsidian have absolutely taken the correct approach to ui design. It might be because I grew up with infinity engine games and also because I've been playing dwarf fortress on and off for years but I find the old ui's to be very usable. Engage your brain and you might find that it only takes a few minutes to learn how to navigate them. In my opinion the ugly dragon age style ui's are a symptom of the general thoughtlessness and lack of taste shown in all other aspects of many modern rpgs (the awful gameplay, writing etc).

 

Having said that I'm sure some improvements can and will be made (but nothing that deviates from the goal of having appropriately solid and weighty stones adorning the edge of my screen). Specifically I would prefer more of the turquoise and brown that can be seen between the menu options and for the portraits to seem more a part of the ui, perhaps they should be given the impression of being sunken into the interface. Also, less wood effects more stone, vines and tiles (with emphasis on the tiles).

Edited by Commitment Tissues
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Normally I prefer grey toned stone skeuomorphism for this kind of UI, it's more neutral and fits better no matter what the predominant scene color is. Anyway I like it, it's consistent and art is good.

 

I'm worried about how are you dealing with higher resolutions, at 1440p many games either upscale the UI, destroying it, or keep the scale making it small and hard to read. Since the game is mostly 2D and contain a lot of rendered elements, are you working on high resolution assets?

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Reading just a few of the messages here makes me think some of you guys don't understand the mockup and think that it is really the UI from the game :)

 

But come on! Wurms? I'm all like "whaa?".

Edited by Messier-31

It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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What if they made the spell/ability icons look like illuminated manuscript illustrations? That way, they can keep the color and variety but still fit into the game world.

 

Something like this? I think that's a good idea. Though the level of detail would probably need to be dialed down, somewhere between the runes and illuminated manuscript illustrations, due to icon size. Readability and ID'ing effects at a glance are the primary concerns, followed by aesthetics.

 

 

Yeah, that's what I had in mind. Since PE is meant to have a slightly more modern setting than the IE games, it makes sense to upgrade the sophistication of the icons as well. And illuminated manuscripts were around for long enough that they would even be appropriate for old spells and grimoires discovered through exploration. But like you said, they need to make sure that readability and contrast are high.

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I find the UI color design really pleasing, but i do agree that portraits are very important for characters, because it gives the character their personaility. Unlike first person shooters and such, it is the only thing that you can indentify them with, so i agree that they should be bigger.

It was fine in IWD2 because the characters didn't have much of a story except what you wrote in biography but even then i felt disconected with the characters.

 

One thing that kind of bothers me are the spell icons. I really hope they get changed. You have this beautiful artistic UI design that feels like it's part of the enviroment, then you have those neon glowing icons that make you think you are weilding flash sticks.

Edited by zimcub

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I find the UI color design really pleasing, but i do agree that portraits are very important for characters, because it gives the character their personaility. Unlike first person shooters and such, it is the only thing that you can indentify them with, so i agree that they should be bigger.

It was fine in IWD2 because the characters didn't have much of a story except what you wrote in biography but even then i felt disconected with the characters.

 

One thing that kind of bothers me are the spell icons. I really hope they get changed. You have this beautiful artistic UI design that feels like it's part of the enviroment, then you have those neon glowing icons that make you think you are weilding flash sticks.

Yes, i always prefered BG2 spell icons to IWD ones.

Here the icons fit even les than they did in IWD grey UI. But it's a mockup so no harm done.

Edited by Malekith

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To break away from the heated UI discussion, did I mention how awesome this is?

 

pe-scriptedevent-wip.580.jpg

 

I wonder if dialogue will be handled this way? Probably not though.

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Lysen, indeed! That is so fab. I've been wishing for that kind of system in CRPGs for years. It's such a great mood enhancer.  And that drawing is wonderful and simple. I can't wait to play this game. :)

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

 

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To break away from the heated UI discussion, did I mention how awesome this is?

 

pe-scriptedevent-wip.580.jpg

 

I wonder if dialogue will be handled this way? Probably not though.

Yeah, I mentioned it before, but it bears mentioning again.  The scripted sequence pages are flat out awesome.

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