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+1 for skeuomorphic, non wire framed ui's.  One of my favorite things about BG was the texture of the ui.  On that note, and this is really minor, the BG spell icons were SO MUCH better than in PST.  I hate the black background/neon color motif, even if it mean they're bigger and clunkier.  Similar for the parchment texture for all item/journal text.

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I like the all-on-the-bottom approach, regardless of how it's arranged. I've had enough of too many things on the sides and feeling like I have to watch the game in a tiny box or through all these little menus and text readouts that I have to constantly click/move (MMO's, I'm looking at you).

 

At least when it's all on one side (whether bottom or top or 1 side only) I feel like the graphic playing area is ... consistent? Doesn't get in the way? Gives an illusion of not being "boxed in" so much? ... and I only have to move the mouse a bit side to side most of the time, rather than all over the screen to reach different menus. And horizontal tends to make more sense these days since there's more horizontal than vertical space on most monitors.

 

That said, stuff like the combat log could be resizable upwards, for those that really want to see more of it. Those that don't, can leave it at default etc.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Whatever you do, I'd prefer no copy-pasted icons from other games.

Oh, and a better color for stamina would be yellow.

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wVsZvPI.png

 

I like it when you have as many slots as possible for abilities and usable items like potions, bombs or traps.

 

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Interesting to hear what everyone is working on.

 

I haven't read all of the comments in this thread, so I wouldn't be surprised if my comments have already been covered. The UI mockup looks like it makes a pretty good use of space, and it definitely reminds me of the IE UIs. No comments about the placement of the important stuff, as I'm sure that will be seeing iteration and I don't really know what I will want in game. However, I don't like the aesthetics of it much.

  • I don't like the color; looks too drab. I don't know what I would prefer, but please no solid dark gray; there are enough games with that.
  • I don't necessarily want a minimalist UI, but I think any space fillers should feel like they belong. The wooden pillars remind me of Polynesia, and the bookending statues look old-timey European. They may represent relevant influences for P:E's setting, but as far as I know neither element (the pillar or the generic statue) has direct relevance to the game. I would prefer, for example, if the statues depicted gods or goddesses in P:E's pantheon particularly relevant to the story of P:E or to the information they border (e.g., if there is a god of health, stick a statue of him/her next to the portraits).
  • I have similar concerns about the wood grain. It looks nice enough, but wood doesn't really make me think "eternity".
  • I think the UI sticks out from the environment too much. I think its the light brown strip on the top of the UI that's bugging me, creating a sharp contrast between UI and world.

I'm also lukewarm on the scripted event mockup, but I can't decide what I would like to see. I think it might be a brown overload. Or maybe I'm just not a fan of the art. I don't know. Maybe it would look better fullscreen (hiding the regular UI, unless that has information relevant to the scene).

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wVsZvPI.png

 

I like it when you have as many slots as possible for abilities and usable items like potions, bombs or traps.

 

This approach is ideal in my opinion.


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

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Possibly vertically orienting the character portraits and ability icons on one side of the screen.

 

Please consider doing this!


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

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I'm also lukewarm on the scripted event mockup, but I can't decide what I would like to see. I think it might be a brown overload. Or maybe I'm just not a fan of the art. I don't know. Maybe it would look better fullscreen (hiding the regular UI, unless that has information relevant to the scene).

 

I liked the idea, but maybe it needs more color. I'd say 3-4 colors would be fine and give the scene some life.

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[mockup]

 

So you expect the user to move the mouse to the very top-right corner to select the first character (for example), and then to the very bottom-left corner to select an action for that character?

It wouldn't be a game-breaking issue, but surely a UI can be made more convenient for mouse users than that.

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

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I have to admit, I like Failedlegend's sugestion regarding the placement of the spells bar. I am not a huge fan of the "wrap around the screen" idea for the UI as it seriously distracts from the environment and, as Josh mentioned, is less efficient.

 

Just my very humble view.

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When the party is in exploration mode, the designers could add an option to have the control panel auto-hide at the bottom of the screen (much like what you can do with the Windows 7 taskbar). That would free up more real estate. Once you're in combat or interacting, the panel can then scroll back into view (perhaps accompanied by a suitable sound).

Edited by rjshae

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[mockup]

 

So you expect the user to move the mouse to the very top-right corner to select the first character (for example), and then to the very bottom-left corner to select an action for that character?

It wouldn't be a game-breaking issue, but surely a UI can be made more convenient for mouse users than that.

 

 

I'd choose the character at the top right and then use hot keys for abilities. I personally don't use the mouse if I don't have to when I choose abilities.

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I don't like the color; looks too drab

 

Increase your display's contrast/gamma. :)


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

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I'd choose the character at the top right and then use hot keys for abilities.

 

In an action MMO where your character has like 3 different abilities that you repetitively spam all the time, this makes sense.

 

But if the Infinity games are anything to go by, PE characters will have many, many spells and abilities to choose from at any given time. In this scenario, navigating through the ability selection UI via keyboard sounds pretty tedious.


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

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We are designing the GUI to be mouse-friendly.  Designs that put character portraits on top of Old Smoky and action icons on the bottom of the Mariana Trench go very strongly against that goal.

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I'd choose the character at the top right and then use hot keys for abilities.

 

In an action MMO where your character has like 3 different abilities that you repetitively spam all the time, this makes sense.

 

But if the Infinity games are anything to go by, PE characters will have many, many spells and abilities to choose from at any given time. In this scenario, navigating through the ability selection UI via keyboard sounds pretty tedious.

 

 

Maybe so. It was a five minute mock-up of an UI that I think I would feel comfortable using. I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't like an UI like that. I'd love it if there is a possibility to move different UI elements around like inXile showed in their Wasteland 2 video.

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We are designing the GUI to be mouse-friendly.  Designs that put character portraits on top of Old Smoky and action icons on the bottom of the Mariana Trench go very strongly against that goal.

 

That is true if you are going for a mouse-friendly game. I replayed NWN2 + the expansions for over 150 hours this year (still playing SoZ), so a lot of my thoughts came from there. I don't really mind if character portraits are at the bottom. My biggest hope is that when I select a character, that character has access to a lot of abilities I can choose from directly during combat without having to bring up a menu. Be it a radial menu or a spell book. 

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I don't like the color; looks too drab

 

Increase your display's contrast/gamma. :)

 

I gave that a try. I did like the colors better when I lowered my gamma, but I don't plan to adjust my monitor settings each time I fire up the game.

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Given that this is a game that expects some degree of pausing, and also given that many people select characters by clicking their in-game models, I think screen real-estate and visibility concerns slightly trump mouse efficiency concerns. However, the best option is probably to either allow full customization or at least a few presets.

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Nice update!

About the UI: To be honest I agree with those who say the UI is a little bit too spartan, it could look more refreshing, but I like the layout of the buttons and the info screen, looks very familiar!

The thing I dislike the most about the UI is having small character portraits arranged at the bottom, I hated that in Icewind Dale 2, it was a major PITA to keep track of the condition of the characters with those super small eye straining health bars and effect icons, I vastly prefer the way it was designed in Baldurs Gate, large icons on the right side vertically aligned, one quick look was enough to get all the essential combat relevant information. 

Also having a couple of effect & spell icons completely block the whole character portrait felt like a design flaw to me.

BY the way, Polina totally deserves a pat on the back for all the great artwork!   :w00t:

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I gazed at the dead, and for one dark moment I saw a banquet. 
 

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Given that this is a game that expects some degree of pausing, and also given that many people select characters by clicking their in-game models, I think screen real-estate and visibility concerns slightly trump mouse efficiency concerns.

 

Many of the proposed mock-ups (other than Sensuki's) use more screen real-estate than the original.

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Given that this is a game that expects some degree of pausing, and also given that many people select characters by clicking their in-game models, I think screen real-estate and visibility concerns slightly trump mouse efficiency concerns.

 

Many of the proposed mock-ups (other than Sensuki's) use more screen real-estate than the original.

 

 

RIght, but they allow for easier visibility of spells, abilities, and status effects without everything feeling cramped or tiny. I actually have no problem with everything being in one place as long as you can easily see everything that needs to be seen and easily choose from a buttload of spells.

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