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Gauddlike
03-12-2012, 13:37
Just had a play about with the new GUI and it is much improved over the previous version.
It looks a lot sleeker and just generally nicer.

I do have a few quibbles with it still though.

- Camera level selector -
Would it be possible to change the level selector so you can manually click on the level you want to see?
I found myself attempting to click on the line rather than the arrows when I knew which level I wanted to see.


- Building visibility -
The new method of showing the building as seen from outside until you have a person inside looks really good.
However it makes it impossible to see what is inside, even when you have someone peering in through a window or open doorway.
Is it possible to have some external tiles remove the building roof in the same way that stepping inside does?
For example the ones outside the doors and windows.


- AP reserve slider -
I find myself having to look back and forward between the AP slider and the soldier portrait AP bar to find how many AP I actually have available to use.
They really should be nearer to each other as they need to be used in conjunction most of the time.
For example when deciding if I should move to the edge of a building I need to look at the movement line to see if I can make it (44 AP), then check my reserve to see how many AP I am saving (14 AP), then over to the AP bar to see if I will have enough to turn and look round the corner (I have 56 max AP so won't have enough).


Clicking on the shot icons and names feels like it should also be possible when setting reserve level, rather than just the tiny slider.

Sunshard
03-12-2012, 15:30
I came to post those exact quibbles, and Gaulddlike eloquently summed it all up. I am happy to say that I am enjoying the more detailed appearance of things and salivating over the visuals.

irongamer
03-12-2012, 18:48
Good summary by Gauddlike. I was also going to mention some of these items.

The reserve level should have each entire row clickable (number, icon, slider bar, and name).

Clicking on each bar for camera level does fit the design better. If the bars are not clickable just have a number instead, don't tempt us to click by having a bar which seem to indicate quick camera level change. In fact, if you are going to show each level as a bar you could remove the arrows altogether. Make the level bars a little taller and slap some text at the top like "Floor, Level, Elevation, Camera".

If you are willing to increase the vertical size of the gui (or have less space between it and the bottom of the screen) you could have a unit's current TUs under the TU Reserve slide box. All the other elements could be slightly adjusted for the extra vertical space.

The image below has the unit's time units below the TU reserve, larger click zones over each entire row of TU options, and a camera level selection without arrows.

718

I do like the overall changes to the gui, good work.

Chris
03-12-2012, 21:08
Fair points re: the camera level and the AP Reserve slider clickzones. I'll get the coders to fix that up.

For the AP slider, I'm not necessarily sure I want to re-arrange the UI to move the two elements closer together. The movement path is colour-coded to help with that, and the numbers grey out if you don't have enough APs to select them.

For the building visibility stuff, I guess the way to get around it is to have a Toggle Roof building. If it is pressed, the upper levels of a building are not shown but the ground level would have a black overlay on it (unless the tiles have been revealed already). It's a bit of a toughie, because it's hard to balance having the roof there in the first place (which you need to hide the UFO interiors and to reveal how tall buildings are at a glance) and usability.

Gauddlike
03-12-2012, 22:31
For the AP slider, I'm not necessarily sure I want to re-arrange the UI to move the two elements closer together. The movement path is colour-coded to help with that, and the numbers grey out if you don't have enough APs to select them.

Individually those parts work and do what they are supposed to.
My issue is that I regularly need to do something that involves combining them.

You can tell how many AP it will take to walk to a certain spot, that works.
You can reserve enough AP for reaction fire, that works.
A lot of the time though you want to walk to a spot, with enough AP reserved to fire, and you need to know if you will be able to kneel and/or turn when you get there.

That means you need to:
- Look at your coloured path to see how many AP you will have when you arrive at the chosen spot.
- Decide how many AP you will need when you get there to kneel/turn.
- Look over at the AP slider to see how many AP you are saving.
- Check your current AP over on the AP bar to see how many you will have left over after arriving.
- Do a quick sum to work out if current AP minus movement AP minus reserved AP will equal kneel/turn AP.

As it is all of those bits of information are in different places.

There are other options to tie them together rather than rearranging the GUI.
Off the top of my head some might be:
- Allow AP reserve for kneeling, perhaps by right clicking the kneel button.
- Add a face direction indicator to the end of the movement path, maybe by holding the mouse button and dragging in a direction.

cliffstone1
03-13-2012, 11:44
I like the look of the entire building as well. It however is impossible to see behind the building. If I have troops behind a 3-4 story building without anyone inside said building its extremely hard to move them to a tactical location. If we could have a way of removing the extra stories for movement I would like that.

I found myself equiping my sgt str 60 with a machine gun. Everything looked fine until I attempted to fire it. I didn't even have enough ap to snap fire it. I had made sure not to have any red on the weight bar so I would have max ap for that soldier. I didn't hurt the game that mission and I just switched out his weapon back at the base. It would hve been nice to have some sort of warning when a soldier just can't use a weapon.

Chris
03-13-2012, 11:48
Cliff, was it the second missions he carried the same weapon into battle? From memory there's a weight bug that affects soldiers on the second mission that may still be floating around...

Quartermaster
03-13-2012, 15:32
For the building visibility stuff, I guess the way to get around it is to have a Toggle Roof building. If it is pressed, the upper levels of a building are not shown but the ground level would have a black overlay on it (unless the tiles have been revealed already). It's a bit of a toughie, because it's hard to balance having the roof there in the first place (which you need to hide the UFO interiors and to reveal how tall buildings are at a glance) and usability.

Would it be possible to have the visibility for the inside of each building toggle on and off when the mouse cursor moves over it rather than requiring a roof toggle button? That seems like that should give decent fluidity and would be pretty intuitive.

tappex
03-13-2012, 18:04
I find myself having to look back and forward between the AP slider and the soldier portrait AP bar to find how many AP I actually have available to use.

Wouldn't it be a good start if the numbers that are shown in the tiles did not represent the TUs that are spent, but instead the TUs that remain after giving the move order? I find myself subtracting the TUs-to-spend from the available TUs all the time, as the latter value is of more importance. Showing remaining TUs in the tiles directly would save me from a lot of math ;)

You could also add little icons to that number, showing what other actions / shots are still possible after giving the move command. It's all math -- and math is what computers were made for in first place. ;)

Gauddlike
03-13-2012, 19:34
You really need to know 3 numbers.
Amount used for the current movement, total amount available, amount reserved.
If the movement path displayed the amount of AP over remaining AP (after reserve is deducted) then it would help I think.
For example you have 75 AP and 15 reserved.
You plot a movement path that takes 50 AP.
The path would display 50/60.
Turn off your reserve and it changes to 50/75.

Or as you said tappex, count down rather than up.
Either way works.
Think I prefer counting down.

The New Romance
03-13-2012, 20:29
I find this to be a nice suggestion. Computers are there for doing the math, and I believe as much of that math stuff as possible should be put onto their shoulders.

msPacman
03-16-2012, 10:21
Hi there,
I came here to post these 2 things, but I see that they are already being mentioned :) So here's my 2 cents:
- Counting down makes more sense imo, 1 less calculation you have to make yourself.
- Having a unit behind a tall building is a problem. I like the mouse-over transparency idea, maybe that could work for a selected unit behind a building as well. But I don't know if this is hard to implement, and it could look weird. You could also use a silhouette for a soldier who is behind a tall building, so you don't actually see the soldier but you can see where he is.

Gauddlike
03-16-2012, 13:34
Silhouettes will not work with the game engine for the same reason as outlines if I recall.
The game displays exactly what it is told to and cannot alter the images.
If the requested image has no outline then it cannot add one, if the image is a full colour sprite then it has to be displayed as one.
I assume transparency can be adjusted as that could be a display alteration rather than image manipulation.

Chris
03-26-2012, 07:50
The idea of AP counting down is interesting and wouldn't be difficult to implement. I just wonder if it'd be that intuitive. Are people strongly in favour of it?

Gauddlike
03-26-2012, 08:39
I think it would be fine once you saw how it worked.
Knowing how many AP you have left after the move is a lot more important than knowing how many you are going to use.
The number doesn't mean anything until you calculate how many you will have left over anyway.

pack.wolf
03-26-2012, 10:54
I think it would be fine once you saw how it worked.
Knowing how many AP you have left after the move is a lot more important than knowing how many you are going to use.
The number doesn't mean anything until you calculate how many you will have left over anyway.

this + 1

The New Romance
03-26-2012, 12:05
I'm also in favour of Gauddlike's idea. However, it will have to be explained explicitly, because it's not what people are used to from other turn-based games. If it's possible to put in a clear explanation somewhere it isn't missed easily, then go for it.

Ziggarius
03-26-2012, 12:44
I'm favor of it as well. Especially if we can have it as a (Amount left over) / (Total AP) as the display.

pack.wolf
03-26-2012, 15:10
Now that I have thought about it some more, it'd be really great if we could have percentage left in addition to the number of ap's left. Because of weapons using a certain percentage instead of a fixed amount.
AP left / AP total is kind of similar to this, but then again you still have to calculate that for yourself before it becomes meaningful information.

Ziggarius
03-26-2012, 15:34
Now that I have thought about it some more, it'd be really great if we could have percentage left in addition to the number of ap's left. Because of weapons using a certain percentage instead of a fixed amount.
AP left / AP total is kind of similar to this, but then again you still have to calculate that for yourself before it becomes meaningful information.

To my knowledge, weapons currently all utilize a fixed amount of AP to fire and is not % based. It has been stated that AP costs have not been fully balanced, however I feel that at this time and with the current balancing that having the % of AP remaining displayed would be superfluous information, and of no use.

If at some later time weapons become changed to be a % based of max AP to fire, and this amount to fire is not displayed in the GUI that changing it to show a % would be fine at that time. However, not everyone would have the %'s to fire memorized, and the best solution in my opinion is to just have the ( AP Remaining ) / ( AP Total ) with the weapon displaying the current settings cost to fire in raw AP. This way one can view how much needs to remain to shoot at a glance without trying to remember what the % is etc.

pack.wolf
03-26-2012, 17:27
Oh, sorry, my bad. Seems I've been playing XCOM to much... again :D

Gauddlike
03-27-2012, 07:57
Just like to point out that tappex originally suggested the countdown not me, I just went with it because I thought it made sense.

Weapons do use a fixed number of AP to fire, rather than a percentage.
You can see at a glance how many AP that is by looking at the top number of the AP reserve slider.

For the AP left / total AP (APL/APT) display are you thinking that would be good to know for a specific reason?
I can only see you needing the APL/APT in relation to reserved AP and that is already shown by the colour of the guide line.
Otherwise why do you need to know how many AP you don't have any more?
If the reserve is not taken into account on the countdown then moving to the edge of the green and seeing 5 would tell you that you would be able to kneel.
Moving to the same spot and seeing 5/75 would tell you the same thing.

pack.wolf
03-27-2012, 08:59
Maybe displaying AP left - reserve / AP left total would be useful. So you would know how far you'd be able to run away once you turn that corner and figure out there's no way you will be able to take out that armada with your puny reaction shot.

Gauddlike
03-27-2012, 09:15
The total wouldn't help you make that decision.
It would just tell you how many AP you WOULD have had if you hadn't just ran out and mooned an alien probe patrol :p

pack.wolf
03-27-2012, 12:39
First of all, mooned an alien probe patrol made me lol :D

What I mean with 'AP left total' is all the AP the selected soldier has left in this turn (i.e. AP total - AP spent). Whereas 'AP left -reserve' would be AP total - AP spent - AP reserved for reaction fire.
So AP left - reserve would tell you how many AP you could spend after reaching your destination and still being able to reaction fire, while AP left total would tell you how many AP you could spend after reaching your destination if you decide you use the reserved AP too and forego reaction fire.

So the first value would tell you stuff like "I can still open that door and ambush an alien that walks into my FOV with reaction fire" and "I can still turn and crouch once I'm there and can reaction fire when an alien turns that corner".
The second one tells you stuff like "If I have to retreat once I get there I can get THIS far if I forego reaction fire" and "If I chance upon a target of opportunity I can use a grenade instead of reserving points for reaction fire".

Basically the first value equals the green movement overlay while the second one equals the yellow one.


edit: A display of 2 values x / y might be confusing. Maybe displaying it as x (+z) would be more intuitive. x would be the AP you have left once reaction fire points have been subtracted and you get to the place, z would be the amount of points reserved.
Example: Soldier has 60 AP, 15 of them are reserved. You select a path with movement cost 40. The overlay text at the end of that path shows you 5 (+15). So you know you can spend 5 points once you get there for further movement/crouching/turning and still be able to reaction fire; plus you know that if you deselect the reserve once you are there you can spend 20 points on running away/tossing a grenade/...

Ziggarius
03-27-2012, 13:31
Hm, you do have a point there Gauddlike on having it displayed as just the AP Left instead of having AP Left/AP Total.

Gauddlike
03-27-2012, 13:48
I see what you mean pack.wolf.
That could well be a useful addition and pull more of the information to the place where you can see it instantly.
Once Chris decides if he is going to use the subtractive display that would be something else I wouldn't mind seeing.
Hard to judge how obtrusive it would be until then.