Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Wait for a stone Monkey to leap out of the egg, and the spirit of this Monkey was irrepressible.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not bad, my only additional comment on top of the pages of comments so far is to pleease, please make the UI fairly navigatable by keyboard commands.

 

What I mean by that is if I am in combat, I should be able to select a character and at least the high level functions (attack, spell, etc) via quick keyboard commands. Even selecting a spell, then selecting a specific spell, would be great to handle somehow via one hand on the keyboard.

 

Keyboard commands can be much quicker and efficient than scrolling the mouse all over the screen to select your action; if you can select the action from the keyboard and choose the location to apply that action via mouse, that would be my idea control schema.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's good to have a heated debate about the UI, this is a very important part of a good game. I think we should work together to produce a list for the dev of what we would like or not for the UI. To resume some of the points seen here :

 

  1. The UI shouldn't clutter too much the screen.
  2. The look and feel should be artistic and fit with the mood of the game.
  3. It should be easy to navigate. Especially for spells and abilities. Actions selection for characters should be fully customizable. 
  4. It should provide visual feedback about characters (portraits, hp, condition, buff etc.)
  5. The dialog box could be opted out of the menu and available as an optional box.
  6. The menu could be turned off.
  7. The menu position should be something the player can choose. 

A I missing something ? I think that almost everyone can agree with those key design principles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

It's good for the developers to get this kind of feedback. To be fair, the IWD1 spell icons were better than PST's/IWD2's (not neon, runic look), but they didn't have the same charm as BG's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

pe-lizardlikecreature-wip.580.jpg

Polina's concept of lizard-creature-to-be-named-later.

 

 

Awesomeness.  I'm assuming the red... feathers? are part of a headdress, likely attached to the skull, rather than being part of lizard-creature-to-be-named-later's body.  Correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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".

 

Discounting the stylistic issues, there is the problem of the screen dimensions. What you have is a wide screen with good visibility to the left and right, but the vertical visibility is not so great, and it's been reduced quite a bit further now. This is more of a problem with fixed perspective games because it forces a left-right exploration pattern in order to see a decent distance ahead. Modern CRPGs tend to have only a small presence at the bottom of the screen and put more of the player information along the sides, thereby taking full advantage of the display space. I think this is what is meant by "2013 not 1998".

 

I suppose the issue could be partially solved by tending to orient the display so that the party is at the top or the bottom of the mid-section when they move down or up, respectively.

Edited by rjshae

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the interface should be more modern, in the vein of NWN or DAO. 

 

If not, at the very least, the panels should be on the sides of the screen, not bottom. The screen is narrow enough as it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont like the ui concept. Ist too big and too oldschool. Takes away too much of the game. make it less blocky, less prominent. Something like Wasteland2 i.e. or guild wars2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

picture

 

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.

To me this looks  worse than before.


1.13 killed off Ja2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like the UI mock much -- too much like IWD-2. The red/blue bars also look out of place and make the character portraits appear rather square.

 

I'd like to see character portraits larger and on the left vertically stacked, use the red background effect from BG II / IWD for 'health' or its equivalent. If you're going to have bars (and a need to measure multiple things which would preclude the red-shaded health effect) at least give the bars the physicality of the rest of the UI. Even if you keep the horizontal thing going, make character portraits larger and the gages more 'physical.' The action buttons for spells and such are also slightly too small.


The texture, color, and atmosphere of the UI are fine. It's the functional details, positioning, and sizes that feel off for the most part.

 

This is actually the first update/proposed/draft of anything that I'm not much of a fan of at all.

PS: Though I do like the 'scripted sequences page' or overlay or whatnot.

Edited by khango

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Reminds me in a very pleasant way of the first type of computer games I ever played, which were text adventures... to have a similar method employed for quest choices like in the mockup would be awesome.

 

To me this really enhances both the overall atmosphere of the game, as well as the level of immersion into the game; a lot of modern games, even RPGs, feel kinda hectic in the way they present quests or even dialogue - there just isn't the same "Hey player, why don't you just sit down for a spell and listen to the story I'm about to tell you"-vibe around anymore.

 

I also feel that if the game shows you everything in absolute detail, instead of just hinting at and telling you about certain details, it takes away a lot of opportunity for the player to simply use their own imagination to picture the current scene just the way they like it, the way they think a horrific spider or a wizened old woman etc should look.

That's basically the same difference between reading a book and watching a movie - both can entertain you, but a book, to me, always wins where immersion and sheer "I need to know how the story ends"-ness is concerned.

 

A lot of you guys might have experienced something similar after having read a book which was then made into a movie... there's almost always at least one character, setting, detail, whatever, where you feel a sting of disappointment because it just doesn't look or feel right.

 

Long story short: The artwork and presentation of choices in the mockup immediately reminds me of everything I like about reading books over watching movies - it stimulates the imagination without chaining it down to only one possible interpretation.

Edited by Homer Morisson
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback, everyone, divergent though it may be.  Here are some things we are going to continue to look into:

 

* 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.

* Re-working and re-positioning of the player menu (inventory, etc.).

* Possibly vertically orienting the character portraits and ability icons on one side of the screen.  The combat log pretty much has to be horizontally-oriented, but other than scrolling through it, that's a non-interactive element of the UI.

 

I have to say I think it's strange that people are requesting UI layouts with character portraits far away from action icons, floating wireframe UIs, and similar features.  While it's true that BG1 and IWD1 used wrap-around UIs, that was because 640x480 base resolutions didn't allow us to fit all of the elements along one edge of the screen.  As soon as we went to 800x600 in IWD2, we immediately went to a consolidated UI layout that made mouse movement much more efficient.  I understand that a lot of people use hotkeys and we certainly plan to support that, but GUIs need to be functional for people who use them.  Putting abilities 75%+ of the screen width away from the character portraits is really inefficient.

 

While I certainly think the idea of a bone and obsidian UI could be really cool looking, it would also be very stark and high-contrast.  I think it would wind up dominating the screen, regardless of the environment.  Our outdoor environments, especially, will fall more in the BG and BG2 spectrum of colors, which is why we went with more subdued natural tones and copper accents.  We can certainly look at alternatives, but I wanted to give feedback on that particular idea.

  • Like 27

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I certainly think the idea of a bone and obsidian UI could be really cool looking, it would also be very stark and high-contrast.  I think it would wind up dominating the screen, regardless of the environment.  Our outdoor environments, especially, will fall more in the BG and BG2 spectrum of colors, which is why we went with more subdued natural tones and copper accents.  We can certainly look at alternatives, but I wanted to give feedback on that particular idea.

 

This might be a bit early, but what are your plans on modding tools etc?

The way I see it, if there were to be any kind of SDK or maybe just an easily modifiable file structure, everyone could make their own UI's just the way they like 'em.

Maybe there might even be a sticky thread sometime in the future where avid modders could present their interpretations and share them with the rest of the community.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edit: Oh, Josh addressed these pretty much as I posted them. Awesome.

 

I really appreciate the desire to keep it "authentic" IE style. It looks fantastic. 

 

One point I want to make though is that generally in a top down game I want my viewable game area to be as square as possible. Because of this, the area at the bottom of the screen is more valuable than the side of the screen.

 

It would therefore be more logical to put as many UI elements on the side bar instead of at the bottom. I would move the portraits and options tabs to the right hand side and shrink the height of the bottom bar to achieve this. 

 

I also think that Zed below has some very good points and I agree with all of them.

 

That UI isn't very good.

 

Here's why:

 

The portraits are very important: you click them to switch characters, right-click to open inventory or what have you. In-between the portraits and game-screen you put functions and abilities. Missclicks ahoy.

 

Portraits also need to be bigger. Why not use portrait dimensions (as used in BG2?) If you're gonna have good-looking portraits, show em off. Also, this gives room to show character statuses on the portrait.

 

The dialogue part doesn't look resizable like in the BG games. It really should be. Preferably it should also be on the left, with a scrollbar on right.

 

I'll draw a mock-up of what I think would be a better solution.

Edited by Kore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback, everyone, divergent though it may be.  Here are some things we are going to continue to look into:

 

* 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.

* Re-working and re-positioning of the player menu (inventory, etc.).

* Possibly vertically orienting the character portraits and ability icons on one side of the screen.  The combat log pretty much has to be horizontally-oriented, but other than scrolling through it, that's a non-interactive element of the UI.

 

I have to say I think it's strange that people are requesting UI layouts with character portraits far away from action icons, floating wireframe UIs, and similar features.  While it's true that BG1 and IWD1 used wrap-around UIs, that was because 640x480 base resolutions didn't allow us to fit all of the elements along one edge of the screen.  As soon as we went to 800x600 in IWD2, we immediately went to a consolidated UI layout that made mouse movement much more efficient.  I understand that a lot of people use hotkeys and we certainly plan to support that, but GUIs need to be functional for people who use them.  Putting abilities 75%+ of the screen width away from the character portraits is really inefficient.

 

 

I like all of the changes that you suggest there.

 

You make a good point about inefficiency in the UI, but since PE is based around a pause function I find that time moving the cursor isn't as big a factor as viewable battlefield especially considering that I actually usually select my party members by clicking on their sprite in the battlefield rather than their portrait. Viewable battle field is important because if I have to scroll the screen to view my party member my cursor will usually be 75-100% of the screen away anyway.

 

One thing that comes to mind from this is that it would be great to hard bind keys and slots to certain abilities for a specific party member regardless of which character is selected. I'd like to always select "charge" for <tank name> if I hit 1, "magic missle" for <mage name> if I hit 2, etc.

Edited by Kore
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the color and theme of the UI but I do think you could tweak it a little

 

1. Cut off the UI when using widescreen resolutions, it helps to make it more minimalistic

2. Remove the journal/inventory part of the UI, most players are going to use hotkeys and removing that part makes more room for the portraits ect.

3. Make the event menu full screen covering the UI, it's a small adjustment but it incresses the players immersion and reduces the distraction of the UI, helping the player to focus on the chocies 

 

Also how are you handleing high resolutions? In isometric games like Baldur's Gate and The Temple of Elemental Evil, when you incress the resolution the camera zooms out, making it feel more like your controlling ants in a maze than adventures in a dungeon.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for commenting so fast on the feedback josh!

 

Also, the scripted event looks absolutely fantastic and makes a cool addition to the game - somehow I skipped that on my first time reading through the update.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few more points are reading other peoples ideas and suggestions (the stuff from my original post stil apply :D)

 

- Please do not use an MMO-esque UI I love the solid UI in the example

 

- Have things create a tooltip when hovered over (give it about a second delay before something pops up and make that adjustable in options from like 0.5 - 5 seconds) , I always hated when I got a status effect and had no idea what it did or forgot exactly what a spell did...not much info need to be within the tooltip just the mechanical stuff

 

- I'd love to have the ability to click pre-set stuff for each character without having to actually select them similar to what Odd Hermit shows in this pic (refering only to the quick slot stuff) and it would be cool if I could decided what goes there instead of just quick slot items....ie. I could choose Stealth, Find Traps & Disable Device for my theif than for my Wizard Spells, Quick Item Slot 1 (Wand of Awesome) and than a specific spell that I use often.

 

http://i.imgur.com/jYuYx9E.jpg (odd hermits pic)

 

- If you keep the statue of the left please flip it so its looking to the right...it's weird having them both look to the left instead of into the UI

 

- Alternatively you could lose the Statue of the left so you can increase the size of the portraits (and give room for each to have a border and nice quick slots...you could than move the Command button to above the options, inventory, etc.

 

Here's a general (badly photoshopped) idea of what I'm talking about

 

 

Example w/ Notes

 

 

PEUIExamplewithnotes_zps18f1aab8.jpg

 

 

 

 

Example w/o Notes (for easier viewing)

 

 

PEUIExample_zps362d1395.jpg

 

 

 

Original Mockup

 

http://media.obsidian.net/eternity/media/updates/0054/pe-hud-wip.1280.jpg

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Making the UI moddable with XML files would please everyone, instead of trying to find one size to fit all.

 

If not, then please go with this:

Zed nailed it!

 

 

 

That UI isn't very good.


Here's why:

The portraits are very important: you click them to switch characters, right-click to open inventory or what have you. In-between the portraits and game-screen you put functions and abilities. Missclicks ahoy.

Portraits also need to be bigger. Why not use portrait dimensions (as used in BG2?) If you're gonna have good-looking portraits, show em off. Also, this gives room to show character statuses on the portrait.

The dialogue part doesn't look resizable like in the BG games. It really should be. Preferably it should also be on the left, with a scrollbar on right.

I'll draw a mock-up of what I think would be a better solution.

 

 

 

alright here's my mock-up for a much more baldur's gate-ian UI

(never liked iwd's ui)

  • chat is on left - chat navigation is closer to "click-centric area" of party management etc.
  • bigger 4:3 (or whatever) portraits. not ugly square ones.
  • uses the horizontal space given by widescreen reso + incorporating BG ui elements everybody loves. doesn't look as "wide" and awkward.
  • still scalable.
  • allows for resizable chat for all those walls of text and combat txt overview

 

5r8ml23.jpg

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Josh, the points you are considering there look very promising. Thanks for sharing them already. :)

 

As for the recurrent bizarre request for a more spread-out, hugging-the-frame-of-the-screen UI: It may be inefficient as far as mouse movement is concerned, but it looks and feels "right". I don't know why, it just does. One thing perhaps is that having all the UI as a big rectangle bottom-screen gets to blocky - like a crammed chunk of info for a UI, a boring dashboard. Having the UI crawling along the border of the screen and in small chunks that can be regulated by the player is to be preferred, perhaps not aesthetically, but for that CRPG-organic feel you get from having it there - a cool CRPG c-o-c-k-pit instrumentation bonanza, if you will.

 

Finally, make sure that spell-icon space is aplenty and customizable.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
  • Like 4

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

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

did anyone notice what the pet portrait is?

if not, look closer

C_71_article_1410332_image_list_image_li

  • Like 1

The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the scripted sequences or what-do-you-call-em's. It gives that special feel to the old-school roleplayin' experience.

 

Delivery date, y u no come faster? ;)


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...