GUI Mock-Up

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by Culverin, October 10, 2013.

  1. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

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    2013-11-11.jpg


    2013-11-11_02.jpg




    Why am I doing this?

    Unlocking the potential of Human/Machine interface is just a bit of a topic of interest for me.

    This game is going to be complex in a very large scale. This is not a traditional game.
    A traditional GUI is not going to cut it.

    I think a good GUI can make or break a game.
    I think the community really knows what its talking about.
    I think if we can distill down our ideas, and polish them, we can present Uber with some very well thought out solutions. At least reach some sort of consensus on our top features.


    About me:
    I'm a professional 3D modeller working with really expensive software.
    I've also played a lot of FAF and SC2 in my spare time (as well as watch many replays from both).
    I hoped to take what I learned from my job, and both as a player and viewer of eSports.




    Here's how I see it working...
    1. All "Panels" should be moveable. (So let's just ignore my placement).
    2. All GUI "Panels" can be hidden.
      Don't like the production manager? Close it.
      Don't like the Unit Orders panel because you know all the shortcuts? Close it.
      Don't like a projected view? Don't toggle it on.



    I am hoping to take in your feedback and suggestions on how to improve this.
    This is just the initial bits making it down on paper.


    I would like you to carefully consider the "Production Manager" on the left side.
    1. As this game matures, we will be playing larger games.
      You have multiple fronts, multiple planets, and many production facilities.
      I really believe this will become invaluable.

    2. I have chatted to a certain Caster.
      The lack of a "production manager" contributes to "omg, where did that experimental come from?" moments in casting.
      Something like this allows the caster and the viewer to see what is happening on the macro-scale, the same way it does for a player.

    3. ChronoCam/Units of interest.
      Having read forrestthewood's blog post on ChronoCam tech, I think this might be possible...
      The ability to "tag" a unit in production as a favorite.
      This "favorite" can then be part of the notification system.

      For the player: "Computer, I want you to tell me the moment my orbital launcher is done."

      For the caster: "How is he stalling energy? Let's look at his production".
      or... "I want to track this very proxy artillery piece".
      It then gets tagged, and when it dies, the caster knows it died, and can do an instant replay.







    V0.01
    Planetary Annihilation GUI-Layout2.jpg

    [​IMG]

    V0.02
    2013-11-11.jpg


    2013-11-11_02.jpg


    I'm dreaming big.
    Come dream with me :)

    So with that out of the way...
    Let's just focus on the features of this GUI, and how each feature is represented.
    And maybe look at how I have categorized grouped similar functions together.
    Last edited: November 11, 2013
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  2. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

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    p.s.

    Uber,
    I'm sorry I moved you Unit Orders Bar (move, attack patrol).
    I tried to group similar category functions in graphically close to each other.
    Avaruusmurkku and gobbygee like this.
  3. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    just uber f ukin genius right there.

    keep the camera compass a cube, it's easyer to manipulate that way. one ovious thing that comes to mind is have warning pings go off on it for units dying and whatnot. sure the info would be hard to decode and all at first but it would have an immediate use:

    a.) *gets warning sound and ping on the navigation cube, left face, lower right quarter* -"mhh i've got better sheep to heard than that"

    b.) *gets warning sound and ping on the navigation cube, top face, mid-upper part* -"ouh this I care about" *clicks on navigation cube* *planet rotates not only to selected face but centered on ping and even zommed in, if issuer of ping is dead and FOW covers the area, intiates chrono cam to show last state, put cursor over chrono cam bar, exits chrono-cam when user moves cusor away from chrono cam bar and brings user back to view before navigation cube click.*

    take the projected view out though, I hate it.
    Last edited: October 10, 2013
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  4. plink

    plink Active Member

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    A bit overly complex imo. The other main issue is it won't scale well. Take this to endgame when you have 50+ factories and 5k units. The planet switching / view is the only partially useful feature. And that would still be better done with a live celestial map view. Which again, is only one keyboard click away anyways...

    Simple viewports (with primary screen swap) would be far more useful, and less complex.
    brianpurkiss likes this.
  5. BulletMagnet

    BulletMagnet Post Master General

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  6. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

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    Oh, I guess I should have gotten this stuff out of the first then...
    1. All GUI "Panels" should be moveable.

    2. All GUI "Panels" can be hidden.
      Don't like the production manager? Close it.
      Don't like the Unit Orders panel because you know all the shortcuts? Close it.
      Don't like a projected view? Don't toggle it on.

    This is how SCA UI Mod did it....
    previewv3.jpg

    plink,
    You are right, that Production Manager won't scale too well where it sits.
    As you can see from this mock-up, there is already scrolling arrows there.
    It is more of a "big picture" tool. Imagine how inefficient you are going to be when you have 50+ factories.

    I'm hoping to elaborate more on it later.
    But the idea is that it can collapse down and only show your planet.
    I presume that in the late-game, you start grouping my factory spam.... At least in SupCom and Starcraft, that's what I do.
    At that point, grouping them will make it less cluttered.

    Also, see above.
    Just toss it to your 2nd monitor.
    Or turn it off.
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  7. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    and that mod inspired the heck out of FA's interface

    i love how games are sometimes so intrinsically linked to their mods
    Last edited: October 12, 2013
  8. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

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    I'd have 4 monitors if I could afford it... :p
    If you're fighting on 4 planets... with 5000 units, and tons of factories, then you want all the info the simulation model can throw at you.

    But really. I think the layout is up to you.


    I just wanted to throw up a demo of the features/toolsets that have been discussed.
  9. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    that's a good point really, I definately want the possibility to have a complete normal GUI on each screen, one planet per screen.
  10. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

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    Hmmmmm,
    If you do picture in picture, you will want to collapse the Production Manager Panel.

    Very, very doable I think?


    Planetary Annihilation GUI-Layout2.jpg


    Planetary Annihilation GUI-Layout2.jpg
    Last edited: October 12, 2013
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  11. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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  12. kalherine

    kalherine Active Member

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  13. kalherine

    kalherine Active Member

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    There you can easy see all its happend on filed ,that alowed to you choose your options ,how we will have something like that here,without being fight vs the zoom and pan insted fight with enemy.
  14. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

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    Over in the Unofficial "Official" GUI Discussion Thread, @mikeylow wrote this...
    I'm having him meet me over here so we can ripe into my mock-up.


    mikeylow, if you look at that first giant mock-up, you'll see that it's all marked up with notes and all.
    What I did was to group to major tool panel categories together.

    Tool Panel Categories
    • Player
      • # of players
      • Player stats

    • Communication
      • Visual
        • Maps pings (move, attack, assist)
        • Draw on map
      • Text
        • Chat
          • Global
          • Allies
          • Private
      • Production Manager
        • Sorted by planet, factory
        • Shows unit queues
        • Live and Interactive, can select factory from Production Manger
        • Can drag/drop between factories, rearrange queues

    • Single Unit Order/Info
      • Factory build panel
        • Shows strategic icon
        • Separated by category type
          • Income
          • Storage
          • Production Factories
          • Defense
      • Factory build queue
        • Infinite/loop function
      • Unit orders
      • Unit Info Panel
        • Unit portrait
        • Unit type name
        • Unit econ information
        • Unit stance

    • Game Timer/Chrono
      • Game speed/Sim speed
      • Game timer
      • ChronoCam

    • Unit Control/Grouping
      • Commander panel
      • Idle fabbers panel
        • Displays number idle
        • Right+Click to Select+Cycle through
      • Control Groups
        • Portrait shown = Greatest number in group
        • Expand each group to view composition
        • Units can be dragged/dropped between Control Groups
        • Units can be removed via the panel.

    • Camera Navigation
      • Saved Camera Views
      • Solar System Key
        • Display showing all bodies within solar system.
      • Camera Compass (Viewcube)
        • Shows orientation of planet/solar system in regards to compass
        • Cube corners, faces and edges are all "default camera views".
        • Disc shape shows latitudinal orientation.

    As you can see, each tool is grouped by category, in terms of the major strategy tools the player needs.
    I am not opposed to moving the Viewcube to the bottom right corner, but I think it should stay near the tools in its same category?
    At least for the default view that I hope we can present to Uber one day.

    If you feel that I am not categorizing the tool functions correctly, please let me know.


    As per your point with an intrusive chat panel, I have expanded what I would like to see in terms of panel behavior.

    I have added these.
    [SUGGESTION] Tool Panels ~ Can "hide" when not in use. (Similar to Supreme Commander)
    [SUGGESTION] Tool Panels ~ Can be "unlocked", dragged on the fly, mid game.
    [SUGGESTION] Tool Panels ~ Snap to corners, edges of "windows" on the fly.
    [SUGGESTION] Tool Panels ~ Duplicated onto different windows.
    [SUGGESTION] Tool Panels ~ Configuration saved to external file (to be shared).
    mikeylow likes this.
  15. velo222

    velo222 New Member

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    I'm designing a game right now, and I need some gui ideas. Thanks. :) lol

    Although to be honest, even though your gui draw-up looks like it would be just fine (and would work), to me it's approaching the fine line between aesthetically pleasing and cluttered. Again though, that's a fine line you have to walk when your designing a gui.

    Looks like you put a lot of thought into it, so I applaud you for that.
  16. mikeylow

    mikeylow Member

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    Good morning Culverin , i made a quick mockup of my chatwindow idea
    to better explain it
    chat_quick_mockup.png

    will make a first draft of some idea's i have for an colour coded event handler later this day (i hope today , or maybe tomorrow)

    first thoughts on event handler : thinking about letting icons slide in , and giving them a colored bezel according to the priority, for instance:

    red bezel : important site (economy building) or commander under attack / incoming planetary object/nuke
    orange bezel : (control) group under attack outside base, enemy in close proximity of base
    yellow bezel : production halted (perhaps your fabber was killed?) / factory without production

    By letting these icons slide into place i hope to make use of the peripheral vision, as we humans see movement well outside of our small focus spot, making it draw attention to itself even if you are currently focusing on something else
    Last edited: October 13, 2013
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  17. ghost1107

    ghost1107 Active Member

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    Yes, please.:) However, I have only have 1 screen like many others. But for that purpose there is split screen.
  18. mikeylow

    mikeylow Member

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    that's why i am looking into ideas to make some panels hideable , while still projecting some info
    i'm not a big fan of split screens on a single monitor myself, but as far as i know (correct me if i'm wrong) there is no multi monitor support ( too bad as i have 3 screens in total :( )
  19. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

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    mikeylow, Multi-monitor support isn't implemented yet, but it's coming.
    And Mavor has said not just 1 window/monitor, but we picture-in-picture too!


    And yes, I don't think it's just text chat, but ALL windows should be moveable, hideable, on the fly during a game.
    Obviously a toggle to "lock" so you don't get accidental moves.
  20. mikeylow

    mikeylow Member

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    i'll make a version with a lock symbol, shouldn't be too hard,

    PiP is something different from split-screen.
    As for the floating panels, it's a good idea , but maybe limit it somewhat by making it move-able along the edges of the screen? Putting floating windows in the middle of your battlefield view just doesn't seem like a good idea to me

    I did do the mockup of the chat window in such a manner that it could be docked or floating, i will keep that in mind also for any other mockups i make.

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