UI Improvements

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by Quitch, February 27, 2014.

  1. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    I wasn't able to find a thread for this yet, and since Gamma launches a big UI overhaul I think we should have one. I already have a lot of thoughts on areas for improvement and will be posting some content following the livestream.
  2. monkeyulize

    monkeyulize Active Member

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    I'm guessing the in-game UI improvements are like a first pass of a second pass kinda deal. Sure they're a bit better, but they're really just re-organized. Still don't have stuff like what order units were queued on a factory, easy way to select certain units after you've selected a bunch, etc.
  3. OathAlliance

    OathAlliance Well-Known Member

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    Most was towards the menu and game set up. To me the in battle UI is more of a place holder for what they will be releasing later on(see as how it looks). Definitely a step forwards however.
  4. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    Sure, but the balance is a series off passes. The whole point of a beta (gamma?) is to allow us to help influence the direction.
  5. chronosoul

    chronosoul Well-Known Member

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    I'll add to this when I have time. So far the improvements have been positive. Some little quips but mostly positive.

    (I would add the version number incase they decide to patch the game a couple hundred times) and the UI gets changed.
  6. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    [​IMG]

    So the main menu displaying the Quitch commander.

    1. There needs to be some spacing between Twitch videos, it could also do with the option to switch between "most recent" and "most viewers"

    2. I feel the Armoury shouldn't be a button on the menu, it should either be a tab on the right or a button or tab at the bottom of the screen that slides up either to reveal a long row of commanders, or a scrolling vertical list. Selecting one would then change the giant preview commander and save a lot of entering and exiting the Armoury screen.

    3. Have the game remember the last colour I played as and use that for the preview.

    [​IMG]

    However, if you want to keep this screen then you need to ditch the list view. It should be either a large icon view ala the way Windows displays a folder with pictures, or it should be a horizontal list you cycle through with a large preview of the commander and the name underneath.

    [​IMG]

    This should definitely be changed to a large icon view rather than this list view. Also needs a checkbox to allow me to filter by owned badges.

    [​IMG]

    What's with the wasted vertical space?

    [​IMG]

    Desperately needs tooltips for everything.

    [​IMG]

    Videos played in the main menu don't switch off the menu music.

    [​IMG]

    Obviously more filter are needed, and you say in the stream they're coming. But why is the number of players filter a drop down? I have a keyboard, let me type my own range. At least make it more granular.

    Don't understand why the planet display uses numbers, it should be just showing me the planets and only reverting to numbers when there's not enough space in the column. Some of the other columns are way too wide considering you know the maximum width they would require.

    Some way of indicating planet size is desperately needed. Seeing a 10 player FFA with one planet is not helpful when the planet could be anywhere from a 400 to a 1200 radius.

    [​IMG]

    This is my least favourite screen.

    I click to cycle through colours. Make it a drop down.

    I click to cycle through commanders. Make it a drop down.

    The name column is so wide. Make it narrower and then you can take that tiny and cramped planet interface on the left and give it is own dedicated column on the right, complete with the kind of useful information it should have, such as planet size and type.

    Actually, move the chat column to the right side and then move all the configuration stuff to the left. Right now I'm having to work both sides of the screen just to configure my game. It should be all in one place, and those AI, remove, etc. buttons should all be on the left too. Lobby visibility should also be a drop down below game type.

    There's also a "bug" where using the load system screen causes all the settings to revert to defaults.

    [​IMG]

    Each planet has a little icon next to it which appears to change the zoom level to comfortably fit the entire planet in shot. However, when changing from planet to planet this setting is ignored, so you have to press the button twice if it's not the currently selected planet. If I switch to a planet using that button it should do the zoom thing as well.

    I also want an option to keep that menu on permanently. And get rid of the sun from it unless I'm going to have a gameplay reason to look at it.

    Same for the player list, I want to be able to keep it displayed at all times.

    [​IMG]

    What's with the extra space on the side of the build menu?
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  7. eltro102

    eltro102 Member

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    I feel like they've gone backwards on the Lobby and Menu UI, the old one looked prettier was was easier to use although this is supposed to be a first-pass UI with the reworked lobby and menu systems so I think they'll improve
  8. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    There should be a ? commander option where you're assigned a random commander on spawn.

    The hosting lobby dedicates most of the space to the player list. I think that's a mistake. I mean, why? I only need to see colour, name and commander; how much space does that need?

    Revising my previous thoughts I think you actually should give most of the space to the chat and system views, because that's information you're primarily concerned with, especially system view which needs space to give you an adequate representation of what you're going to be playing in.

    Even without major changes just look how much more information you can convey in that space:

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: February 28, 2014
    liltbrockie and bradaz85 like this.
  9. liltbrockie

    liltbrockie Active Member

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    Hope you are reading this Uber!
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  10. chronosoul

    chronosoul Well-Known Member

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    incone.png

    Otherwise from the good UI ideas Quitch mentioned, I just have few ideas to add on to the list.

    So far the in game UI is nice and minimalist. A little to small at times but I understand the concern with covering the entire screen.

    Item 1: For planet switching, I think instead of a drop down when you over the circled item 1 area. You can click it and it will switch planets for the user. Going from planet 1 to planet 2. Never to the Sun view point. unless you select it in the drop down.

    Item 2: I think it would be a neat feature if when someone was annihilated, the player drop down would slow glow red and maybe show the player that was just annihilated. Would be cool if implemented.

    icone 2.jpg

    For planet viewing in the lobby. It would be pretty beneficial to just have the planet scale shown right on the planet itself.

    My numbers are the one I super imposed.
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  11. drz1

    drz1 Post Master General

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    I like this idea, especially if it isn't made so that this tab is toggle-able.
  12. polaris173

    polaris173 Active Member

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    This thread also mentions a number of things regarding the new UI; overall while I think a few nice new things have been implemented, this iteration feels more like a step back. I like most of your suggestions, particularly regarding focusing on player communication and an easy understanding of the game you're about to play in the lobby.
  13. drz1

    drz1 Post Master General

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    It feels like the UI is a step back, but has more POTENTIAL to be an excellent UI, and so we just have to wait while it catches up. Does that make sense to anyone??
    lokiCML, chronosoul and Quitch like this.
  14. hearmyvoice

    hearmyvoice Active Member

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    The build menu is pretty messy, it's very difficult to recognize buildings from each other or know what is advanced and what is not. The images don't really help at all and they are very gray and dull, this is bad for the new players. Only way to recognize buildings is to play enough times until you memorize where every building is located in the build menu.
  15. drz1

    drz1 Post Master General

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    Yeh, having colour coded backgrounds to the building types or something would be nice. Like, blue for base, red for advanced, or coloured based on function. You can already use tabs to specify what TYPE of building you are looking for, so more on that would be good.
    hearmyvoice likes this.
  16. mabdeno

    mabdeno Active Member

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    Repost from my other thread....

    Before I start I know its not finished but on the other hand I have no idea where Uber want to go with it, so I thought its worth a discussion at this stage to see what other people think. I am mainly going to talk about the look and functionality of the UI as it is.

    Overall I think the UI is messy in the current build. The black back grounds of the frames are quite harsh and could do with some transparency so they dont completely block out everything under them.

    The player tab should be toggleable instead of having to click it every time I want to check who's annihilated or who is playing that particular colour.

    Same with the planet system tab which I also think should show information similar to the 'Better System View' mod.

    The 'Economy Efficiency' mod shows your eco as a percentage of income/outgoings which I find incredibly useful at a glance instead of trying to work out using the small numbers how far in the red I really am.

    The power on/off and infinite build buttons should be located beside the factory build menu. It seems odd to have to move my mouse so far for common functionality.

    A health display for the commander would be a great asset too.

    Orbital is still tricky to select. Im not too sure if one of the settings can turn off ground icons when I go to orbital view but that would help alot.

    Again I know this is the first pass of a second pass and things are work in progress but I think it is best to discuss and address any concerns now rather than nearer launch day.
  17. aulex

    aulex New Member

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    One way the UI could be organized is similarly to FA, where the tiers are separated and also each group of buildings are separated by line instead of different tabs allowing for less clicking if you aren't using hotkeys or something equivalent
    You can see at the bottom what I mean
    One change that could be done is adding labels over the icons for each category similarly to how PA does it. So in this screenshot it would go economy, defense, offensive structures, intel. Something like that
    [​IMG]
  18. Ninjatactiks

    Ninjatactiks New Member

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    I'm glad I came across this thread because I want to suggest a UI idea that will make the map a little less frustrating to navigate. If possible, the dev should find a way to code in icons that will show the relative direction of a notification, engagement, or player ping. It'll be similar to hit detectors in FPS games and tracks the direction of a notification for a few seconds in the form of an arrow on the world map. This way, players can easily respond rather than spending time scanning the map and possibly even missing it. If they want to quickly snap to the notification, they can click the icon just like you would for the current ones. If possible, perhaps even set a way for players to put in their own marked icons so that they can keep track of enemy bases they've scouted and other locations.


    I'd agree to these points as well. There's a lot of space in the build area that can be used to separate out the buildings by class.
    Last edited: March 3, 2014
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  19. chronosoul

    chronosoul Well-Known Member

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    I want to add that it would be really nice to have a teleporter icon sitting in the In-game UI.

    The Icon would show up when a teleporter was built and when you zoom to click on a teleporter and link it, you can just click the icon and it will connect. A double click brings you to the Teleporter on the other planet, and vice versa.
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  20. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    How does that scale? Would it be better to use camera anchors or notifications?

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