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UI Style  

206 members have voted

  1. 1. What's Your Preferred UI Style?

    • Large and Stylized (BG, IWD)
      125
    • Minimalist and Transparent (NWN2)
      55
    • Something else (explain)
      12
    • I don't have a preference, I just wanted to click a poll option
      14


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Voted 4 because I usually like both style (if done right).

But I usually like the portrait the largest possible (so I can admire how cool is my group) and arranged in vertical (better in the left side).

Edited by Mebahell
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Zed, Malekith: I stand corrected then! :) I had no idea that an interface could muster such a level of atmosphere to a game. I agree entirely with Keyrock, if anything, those interfaces were clunky back then, and they are downright disturbing nowadays. I've been playing through IWD2 and Planescape recently, as well as BG1, and it all just feels off. Then, as soon as I try NWN2, I feel free to experience the game first-hand. Perhaps it has something to do with my playstyle. I rarely use the pause-function, so NWN2's system fits me better perhaps.

 

Let's not pass your opinion as fact and anything to the contrary as nostalgia. To this day, I loathe transparent floating interface elements. To me, they lack character. They interrupt view. They are ugly. Imagine if Start button in Windows and all the icons on the start bar were floating at various places on the screen instead, blocking the background in an arbitrary pattern. My enjoyment is actively diminished due to crappy design of UI elements in games like NWN2.

 

An interface element should be firm, present itself boldly and it should compliment the game's visuals through functionality, good design and good aesthetics without being a detraction or an obstruction and interacting with it should give a punch. It should not try to be a shadowy figure lingering in corners and whispering in your ear, always reminding you of its existence that it tries to pretend away like when you are panning/manipulating the game view because you can't see that one guy blocked by the minimap on the top right corner, or that door on top left behind the floating quick items or whatever.

 

When that happens, then the UI has failed. No single element of the interface should make you a slave to itself. When you have to pan/manipulate the game view, it needs to be a holistic need where the entire UI feels unified. In this aspect, modern GUI design is an absolute mess without character, function or form.

 

In my book, any affinity for these GUI abominations is the same as punks who litter their windshields or rear panels with stupid stickers. And when I'm buying a car, if the salesman offers me free stickers to "decorate" my car and say it's the new trend, I'll punch him in the face*.

 

Just say no to modern GUI abomiation, rotten to the core.

 

*: I will want to anyway.

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NWN2's UI always looked too sterile to me. Too out of place.

I'd prefer an updated version of the earlier IE UIs, retaining the feel and solidity of them, whilst at the same time updating the ease of use and sensibilities to a more modern feel.

I quite like the wood that the UI looked like it was made of in the mock-up, but I'd prefer a darker material that still retains it's solid feel, but manages to "blend" a little more.
Slate or wrought iron might look good for that:
 

14412785-vintage-wrought-iron-door-detaiBarcelona-Guel-Wrought-Iron.jpg

slate3.jpg

Edited by GhoulishVisage
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When in doubt, blame the elves.

 

I have always hated the word "censorship", I prefer seeing it as just removing content that isn't suitable or is considered offensive

 

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You guys can keep the crap that was the old IE UI's.  Functionality is the key element of a UI, not being pretty.  The IE UI's look pretty (I guess), but they aren't very functional and when you have a person who bothers learning and using hotkeys you don't even need 75% of the buttons on them.  The game that taught me how valuable hot keys was actually Baldurs Gate 1.  Cause I literally got tired of moving my mouse from one side of the screen to the other for basic things constantly.  Also those "L" ui's cut off huge parts of the screen.  Did you honestly think they repositioned or scaled it in some way so you saw the "whole screen", they didn't.  The UI just covered up part of it.  The fact that some of you think a small, non intrusive, floating portrait, blocks more screen space than a giant brick of buttons I will probably never use is beyond me.

 

So I voted for "something else" since I prefer some immersive elements in a UI as long as it is still presented in a minimalist way that works with the game aesthetic yet remaining functional first and keeping the most screen real estate visible as possible.

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Attempt #2 & 3

 

bLxN5EQ.jpg

 

QDlKZzd.jpg

A party of six Imoens?

 

/cringes

 

It's taller than I'd like, but otherwise I like attempt #2 (the top one).  I know a lot of people will disagree, but I'd rather have the portraits smaller so the bar can be shorter and the dialogue could just be written in a slightly smaller font, I don't need to see more than 4 or 5 lines at a time anyway, especially if they include a button or something so that you could pop out the dialogue/message window to full screen in case you want to scroll through it to find something from way back.

rowsdower_sig.jpg.0f13980282a9229af0f1609eb6dee060.jpg
I wonder if there is beer on the sun

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I voiced my opinion in the announcement post, but I am of the minimalist/modular point of view, in that I think the UI should be as customizable as possible. There are arguments back and forth, but in the end I think it comes to merely personal preference. 

 

As an aside, and I freely admit this maybe me just being surprised/upset that my preference is in the minority, the choice of sub forum for this poll (while technically correct, which, of course, is the best kind of correct) will the end skew the results a bit (namely, those people who most interested in the nitty gritty of the engine and such are often classified as the more 'hard-core' type of player and so on). No offense meant or anything, just a stray observation. 

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I voiced my opinion in the announcement post, but I am of the minimalist/modular point of view, in that I think the UI should be as customizable as possible. There are arguments back and forth, but in the end I think it comes to merely personal preference. 

 

As an aside, and I freely admit this maybe me just being surprised/upset that my preference is in the minority, the choice of sub forum for this poll (while technically correct, which, of course, is the best kind of correct) will the end skew the results a bit (namely, those people who most interested in the nitty gritty of the engine and such are often classified as the more 'hard-core' type of player and so on). No offense meant or anything, just a stray observation. 

Kickstarted game's audience is a special case. A large portion of them genuinely consider that modern games has moved in a bad direction. UI, combat, text focus vs cutscene focus, design direction in general. Many can't stand these modern elements. On the other side, if someone considers IE games meh and outdated, he shouldn't had donated in P:E.

If someone wanted the IE experiense streamlined and "modernized", he has DA:O. Many of us considered that game mediocre at best, a pale shadow of the IE games, and hope that P:E will be way more "old school" for a lack of better word.

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I voiced my opinion in the announcement post, but I am of the minimalist/modular point of view, in that I think the UI should be as customizable as possible. There are arguments back and forth, but in the end I think it comes to merely personal preference. 

 

As an aside, and I freely admit this maybe me just being surprised/upset that my preference is in the minority, the choice of sub forum for this poll (while technically correct, which, of course, is the best kind of correct) will the end skew the results a bit (namely, those people who most interested in the nitty gritty of the engine and such are often classified as the more 'hard-core' type of player and so on). No offense meant or anything, just a stray observation. 

Kickstarted game's audience is a special case. A large portion of them genuinely consider that modern games has moved in a bad direction. UI, combat, text focus vs cutscene focus, design direction in general. Many can't stand these modern elements. On the other side, if someone considers IE games meh and outdated, he shouldn't had donated in P:E.

If someone wanted the IE experiense streamlined and "modernized", he has DA:O. Many of us considered that game mediocre at best, a pale shadow of the IE games, and hope that P:E will be way more "old school" for a lack of better word.

 

 

While I am in the old school IE camp, I still consider DA:O to be a good game. It would have been even better if it didn't oversimplify it's gameplay, as can be seen from the "sucess" of it's sequel. Sorry for going a little of topic.

Edited by Sarex
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I voiced my opinion in the announcement post, but I am of the minimalist/modular point of view, in that I think the UI should be as customizable as possible. There are arguments back and forth, but in the end I think it comes to merely personal preference. 

 

As an aside, and I freely admit this maybe me just being surprised/upset that my preference is in the minority, the choice of sub forum for this poll (while technically correct, which, of course, is the best kind of correct) will the end skew the results a bit (namely, those people who most interested in the nitty gritty of the engine and such are often classified as the more 'hard-core' type of player and so on). No offense meant or anything, just a stray observation. 

Kickstarted game's audience is a special case. A large portion of them genuinely consider that modern games has moved in a bad direction. UI, combat, text focus vs cutscene focus, design direction in general. Many can't stand these modern elements. On the other side, if someone considers IE games meh and outdated, he shouldn't had donated in P:E.

If someone wanted the IE experiense streamlined and "modernized", he has DA:O. Many of us considered that game mediocre at best, a pale shadow of the IE games, and hope that P:E will be way more "old school" for a lack of better word.

 

 

While I am in the old school IE camp, I still consider DA:O to be a good game. It would have been even better if it didn't oversimplify it's gameplay, as can be seen from the "sucess" of it's sequel. Sorry for going a little of topic.

 

I also liked DA:O.(but the UI was crap) But it had one huge flaw for me to consider it a worthy BG2 successor.

Combat. First of all, all the combat in the game felt like filler. I think Feargus in an interview nailed it. He said that BG was a combat game with story, whereas DA was a story game with combat. Enemy variety(nonexistent),encounter design(bad overall) and simplified mechanics made combat utterly forgetable and a chore after a while. The game would be  better if it had 90% less combat, and a LOT better if it had better enemy encounters and variety. I mean BG2 had the best encounter design of every game that i have played, and a huge enemy list. Think Planar Sphere.A simple side quest and it had more monster types than DA and ME series combined.

Other than that it was a good game, but if P:E is something at that level i will be dissapointed. I hope for P:E to surpass BG2, and i expect something on par.

Edited by Malekith
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Until a month ago I thought the IE user interfaces were great. Then I started to play Torment on PC and BG1 on iPad again. I enjoyed the dialogues and especially the depth of the games: the riddles, the different choices to play, the open world with a ton of quests, the high difficulty level and especially the nice story telling with all those small little details. The graphics were dated and low-res but I could live with that. What really stood out in a negative way was the clunky game interface. I had the impression that big parts of the interface were useless for me and the other half was accessible through a flood of sub-menus and that it was not intuitive.

I was shocked and thought: "How could my memory play those kind of tricks on me?"  I played the inifinity engine games 100's of hours and this aspect never caught my attention until last month. The UI really reminded me of my first car which had no electric power steering, drum Brakes instead of discs, a choke switch and other stupid defects/restrictions. The only reason that I still like this car today is because I have nostalgic memories for it. The difference between the car and a Video game is I don't think I want to play a game because of nostalgic memories.

Of course, after a couple of hours I got used to the Interface again but that part was definately the least fun for me.

 

Or, you know, playing BG1 on the iPad probably is a big deal. 

 

All this 'nostalgia' argument doesn't make much sense to me. Nobody has the stats, but most of the time people who bring up that argument are precisely the people who haven't played the IE games much in a while. I play IE games regularly and also replayed NWN2 and KOTOR2 recently, and there's no question what I prefer. 

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I voiced my opinion in the announcement post, but I am of the minimalist/modular point of view, in that I think the UI should be as customizable as possible. There are arguments back and forth, but in the end I think it comes to merely personal preference. 

 

As an aside, and I freely admit this maybe me just being surprised/upset that my preference is in the minority, the choice of sub forum for this poll (while technically correct, which, of course, is the best kind of correct) will the end skew the results a bit (namely, those people who most interested in the nitty gritty of the engine and such are often classified as the more 'hard-core' type of player and so on). No offense meant or anything, just a stray observation. 

Kickstarted game's audience is a special case. A large portion of them genuinely consider that modern games has moved in a bad direction. UI, combat, text focus vs cutscene focus, design direction in general. Many can't stand these modern elements. On the other side, if someone considers IE games meh and outdated, he shouldn't had donated in P:E.

If someone wanted the IE experiense streamlined and "modernized", he has DA:O. Many of us considered that game mediocre at best, a pale shadow of the IE games, and hope that P:E will be way more "old school" for a lack of better word.

 

 

While I am in the old school IE camp, I still consider DA:O to be a good game. It would have been even better if it didn't oversimplify it's gameplay, as can be seen from the "sucess" of it's sequel. Sorry for going a little of topic.

 

I also liked DA:O.(but the UI was crap) But it had one huge flaw for me to consider it a worthy BG2 successor.

Combat. First of all, all the combat in the game felt like filler. I think Feargus in an interview nailed it. He said that BG was a combat game with story, whereas DA was a story game with combat. Enemy variety(nonexistent),encounter design(bad overall) and simplified mechanics made combat utterly forgetable and a chore after a while. The game would be  better if it had 90% less combat, and a LOT better if it had better enemy encounters and variety. I mean BG2 had the best encounter design of every game that i have played, and a huge enemy list. Think Planar Sphere.A simple side quest and it had more monster types than DA and ME series combined.

Other than that it was a good game, but if P:E is something at that level i will be dissapointed. I hope for P:E to surpass BG2, and i expect something on par.

 

 

I agree with you on that, as a successor it was a disappointment, as a game on it's own it was good. (Also agree with you on the UI)

 

 

Until a month ago I thought the IE user interfaces were great. Then I started to play Torment on PC and BG1 on iPad again. I enjoyed the dialogues and especially the depth of the games: the riddles, the different choices to play, the open world with a ton of quests, the high difficulty level and especially the nice story telling with all those small little details. The graphics were dated and low-res but I could live with that. What really stood out in a negative way was the clunky game interface. I had the impression that big parts of the interface were useless for me and the other half was accessible through a flood of sub-menus and that it was not intuitive.

I was shocked and thought: "How could my memory play those kind of tricks on me?"  I played the inifinity engine games 100's of hours and this aspect never caught my attention until last month. The UI really reminded me of my first car which had no electric power steering, drum Brakes instead of discs, a choke switch and other stupid defects/restrictions. The only reason that I still like this car today is because I have nostalgic memories for it. The difference between the car and a Video game is I don't think I want to play a game because of nostalgic memories.

Of course, after a couple of hours I got used to the Interface again but that part was definately the least fun for me.

 

Or, you know, playing BG1 on the iPad probably is a big deal. 

 

All this 'nostalgia' argument doesn't make much sense to me. Nobody has the stats, but most of the time people who bring up that argument are precisely the people who haven't played the IE games much in a while. I play IE games regularly and also replayed NWN2 and KOTOR2 recently, and there's no question what I prefer. 

 

 

I currently have the original BG series instaled on my PC, had ID2 and PS:T instaled a while ago. I don't get what you are saying? Never had a problem with the UI in any of the games, and I personaly think that the UI's had a big impact(positive) on the games.

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Crossposted from the update thread:

 

Wanted to come and weigh in on the UI discussion. I've no doubt I'll be echoing comments from the other 17 pages of this topic, but nontheless:

 

I understand the desire for an 'IE style' User Interface. PE is trying to evoke those games, and UI design is part of what they were. But the IE games had pretty bad UIs, and nostalgia shouldn't trump functionality. The PE UI should attempt to capture the aesthetic of the Infinite Engine, but reworked into a much more functional form. This current attempt is, to me, pretty poor.

 

First off, it uses up a huge chunk of real estate on the screen. So much effort has been put into these fantastic landscapes, blotting out an enormous bar of them is pretty saddening. Some form of rectractable/hidable/modular UI could work well here if simply shrinking the space allowed is off the table. (Arcanum even did this a bit.)

 

Secondly, within the UI area itself, it's full of dead space. Large patches of blank wood texture or stone texture or whatever are very ugly and also poor for functionality since they're using up the amount of actually 'operational' screen space.

 

Thirdly, the text window is right aligned. If this is where all of the game's dialogue and writing is going to appear, I very much feel it needs to be centralised. If I'll have 500k words to read across my playing of PE, I don't want to be constantly looking off to the bottom corner when the focus of the scene will be centred. I want to just be able to glance down.

 

Those are my main thoughts, and by far my biggest concern is the amount of wasted real estate in this sample. I don't want to sound too critical, but on the other hand I was really taken aback by how poor and dated this UI looks. By all means you want to evoke the IE spirit, but you need to do so within a functional and up-to-date design paradigm. Evocative shouldn't mean dated, and it shouldn't cost functionality or aesthetics.

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I voiced my opinion in the announcement post, but I am of the minimalist/modular point of view, in that I think the UI should be as customizable as possible. There are arguments back and forth, but in the end I think it comes to merely personal preference. 

 

As an aside, and I freely admit this maybe me just being surprised/upset that my preference is in the minority, the choice of sub forum for this poll (while technically correct, which, of course, is the best kind of correct) will the end skew the results a bit (namely, those people who most interested in the nitty gritty of the engine and such are often classified as the more 'hard-core' type of player and so on). No offense meant or anything, just a stray observation. 

Kickstarted game's audience is a special case. A large portion of them genuinely consider that modern games has moved in a bad direction. UI, combat, text focus vs cutscene focus, design direction in general. Many can't stand these modern elements. On the other side, if someone considers IE games meh and outdated, he shouldn't had donated in P:E.

If someone wanted the IE experiense streamlined and "modernized", he has DA:O. Many of us considered that game mediocre at best, a pale shadow of the IE games, and hope that P:E will be way more "old school" for a lack of better word.

 

 

For me, it is about divorcing form and function. What I am looking for is something that has the careful craftsmanship (in combat/systems/narrative) that many of the older games did with the advantages of newer innovations. 

 

Now, I am sure for some people the aesthetic of the UI is an integral part of the IE experience. This made me think about the relationship between the UI and the game system, and the IE interface was designed around the computerized (A)D&D combat system. Now, I know there are going to be similarities, but I hope that functionality won't be sacrificed to maintain the look.

 

Also, it is a bit presumptuous to say who should or should not donate to the Kickstarter campaign. This particular funding phenomenon has a number of facets to it and is it not a simple thing to categorize. 

 

 

EDIT: Just as a counter example (I am truly not trying to be a contrarian here), I recently replayed BG1 and I freaking hated the interface. 

Edited by DCParry
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The only real concern I have with the clunky UI as shown is that on most laptop screens (1366x768), the bar is likely to monopolize what little vertical real estate there is.  I've seen this before, and it looks dreadful.  Age of Empires 3 UI took almost half my screen!  So please remember those with crappy laptop screens.

 

Also, I've been toying with the idea of having the UI react to the environment for immersion or somesuch.  Thought it might be a neat idea, wanted to know what you guys think (sorry I'm such a bad artist):

 

Tundra environments:

post-46205-0-28060600-1370195402_thumb.jpg

Dungeons:

post-46205-0-42857700-1370195396_thumb.jpg

Forests:

post-46205-0-28098900-1370195399_thumb.jpg

Edited by Pipyui
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Just wanted to point at this poll is terribly biased. "Hey, do you want a bad example of a minimalist interface or a good example of a more stylized one?" The poll results shouldn't be taken as representative by anyone.

 

That being said, as long as there's enough information presented in the actual interface, and as few menus as possible then that sounds good to me.

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Just wanted to point at this poll is terribly biased. "Hey, do you want a bad example of a minimalist interface or a good example of a more stylized one?" The poll results shouldn't be taken as representative by anyone.

 

That being said, as long as there's enough information presented in the actual interface, and as few menus as possible then that sounds good to me.

What sould you suggest?

DA:O? WoW? Skyrim? Truth be told, i have yet to see a good minimalist UI in an RPG.

Edited by Malekith
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I really don't mind a big UI as long as it stays modular and i can choose what I want visible. A great example is the UI from TES 3 Morrowind. You could have it seriously minimalist or really big and informative. Give me options to resize and move around the windows/boxes and I will be a very happy gamer.

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Just wanted to point at this poll is terribly biased. "Hey, do you want a bad example of a minimalist interface or a good example of a more stylized one?" The poll results shouldn't be taken as representative by anyone.

 

Even with unbiased, fair questions the poll is self-selecting and I doubt anyone sees it as anything more than a bit of fluff to go along with the personal expressions of interest/disinterest in various types of UI.

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Morgulon, that is stunning, wonderful work!

 

I love what you've done with the portraits, it give sthe UI a very organic feel to it.

 

I've got to agree with some of the previous posters, those who laud the older UIs (BG, IWD, PS:T) over the newer ones (NWN2) are probably suffering from nostalgia, as great as the games were, the UI was clunky. Beautiful but clunky.

 

What I'd like to see is the fluidity of the NWN2 UI (especially the quick cast menu) but in the style of BG2.

 

Customisability is nice but isn't massively important to me for a CRPG. Keyboard shortcuts ARE important to me, preferably ones I can remap myself but failing that, well thought-out ones that I don't need to would be fine by me!

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Crit happens

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