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Chris
01-03-2012, 15:17
We have a new coder joining the team shortly, and his role will be to implement some of the new weapons still to go in the game, and to put the new ground combat GUI in place for us. There's no guarantee that things will work out - even with the best of intentions, somewhere between half and two-thirds of the people that join the team don't stick around long enough to make a meaningful contribution. However, it means we need to have another look at the new combat GUI concept.

The purpose of this thread is to help us finalise the layout and functionality of the ground combat GUI. It is not meant to provide a final visual appearence as we'll do another iteration with the finished art afterwards (though you can comment on that if you want). This GUI doesn't look very pretty at the moment and it's not meant to.

If you've played the game and you have some comments about how we can make it easier to control the troops, please post them up here. A couple of suggestions like weapon reload buttons and access to grenades on the belt / backpack have been incorporated into the design, and if there are things I'm missing I'm happy to add them in too.

Stylistically the final design is likely to a row of computer monitors along the bottom of a large wall-mounted screen in the Xenonaut base, from which the player is ordering his tactical team around. This should tie it into the new GUI style we're working on (as seen on the Main Menu).

OK, so onto the concepts:
http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/CombatGUIV3_1.jpg
http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/CombatGUIV3_2.jpg

The PSD file is available here for people who want to tweak the design themselves:
http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/CombatGUIV3.psd (http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/CombatGUIV3.psd)

These are at minimum size. They would scale with the vertical width of the screen until they are about 25% larger, then the size would be capped and they'd just fill less of the screen width as the monitors grew larger.

The planned functionality is as follows (from right to left):

AP RESERVE:
The AP Reserve slider selects the Reserve setting for the soldier selected. The selected setting will have the slider there and will be highlighted in orange. Settings where the soldier does not have enough AP to select will be shown in a darker grey. The number on the left represents the APs required to take a shot of that kind.

WEAPON:
As visible in the two screenshots, this box splits in two if a 1-handed weapon is equipped and is a single block if a 2-handed weapon is. The buttons in the bottom left represent single shot and burst fire mode, and the bottom right button allows the weapon to be reloaded without opening up the inventory. The top right number is the ammo level of the weapon.

GRENADES:
The two slots next to the weapon are for grenades. This displays up to two grenade types in the soldier's inventory (if more than two, the two which require the least AP to throw are displayed). Clicking on them brings up the fire cursor as if they were the selected weapon. The AP cost to fire includes the cost to unequip the current weapon and equip the grenade, then throw it. Not sure whether the soldier should automatically re-equip their weapon or just drop it on the floor afterwards?

SOLDIER INFO:
This is unchanged from before - the three bars show HP, AP and Morale. Colours yet to be determined.

BACKPACK:
This button will open the soldier inventory when clicked.

SOLDIER SCROLL:
These two buttons allow you to scroll to the next / previous soldier in the squad.

END TURN:
This is the red button. It ends the turn.

MAP:
This is the green button. It will open the battlefield map when one is implemented. Possibly just having a minimap would be more sensible? It'd take up more space though.

CAMERA LEVELS:
The up and down buttons here let you cycle through the battlefield view levels (ie. the levels of a building).

SOLDIER SELECT:
The row of soldier portraits along the top of the UI is there to make it easier to see the situation at a glance. All living soldiers will have their portrait in colour and dead / stunned ones will have it in grey. You can also see their available HP, TU and Morale at a glance. Clicking on a portrait would select the soldier, double clicking it would centre the screen on them.

That's about it. Any questions or suggestions?

Gorlom
01-03-2012, 15:33
The camera levels are they the + and - buttons by the camera icon? Doesn't seem that intuitive compared to the last build. I guess it's more informative since it seems to tell you which elevation you are on atm.

Instead of marking it with a camera could you mark it like the stacked boxes from the original xcom or something like that? I thought it was some kind of zoom function for close ups on female civilians or something? (since theres no femalesoldiers you couldnt be wanting to zoom in to ogle those =P)

Edit: hmm wait... the camera thing seems to be in an old screenshot as well.. where is the elevation control in the updated gui?
edit2: think i confused the next/previous soldier buttons in the old version for elevation control. I'm a bit confused as to what button does what right now =P


And the portraits of your whole squad makes it look a bit cluttered imo. If you want to keep that in could you at least have a toggle for choosing between that and only showing their numbers?
(for me atleast the whole squads portraits up there is going to take away a bit of the xcom feel and keep reminding me of some of the more horrible clones out there... somehow i just plain dont like it =( )

BlackObsidian
01-03-2012, 16:45
Great improvement I think. My two cents:

- AP reserve: nice clear layout but is the setting going to be persistent between turns for each soldier? Generally when I switch it to a certain setting for a given soldier depending on their role, I want it to stay that way until I change it not have to reset it for each soldier each turn.

- Grenades: agree that the AP cost should reflect switching away from main weapon, but think the weapon should be stowed rather than dropped. Too easy to walk away forgetting to manually pick it up otherwise - unless the picture of the weapon could be greyed out with an AP cost to get it out of the backpack again? This would have the advantage of taking less AP to throw subsequent grenades and giving a one click solution to switch back to main weapon.

Soldier portraits: like them but they do clutter the screen a bit. Perhaps if they also gave info like which soldiers had eyes on an alien, generally physical state (how wounded rather than just greying out the unavailable ones) and panic the info available for the across the squad at a glance would be worth having them there all the time.

Kneel button: missing in action? Or can I just not see it?

Chris
01-03-2012, 16:48
Crap, I forgot the kneel buttons. Good point.

For the soldier portraits, would people prefer it if I just put the number and the stat bars there, rather than all of portraits?

BlackObsidian
01-03-2012, 16:55
You could probably just have one kneel/stand up button if that helps streamline the look of the GUI.

And don't get me wrong, I think the portraits are worth having on there if they just have a bit more info on them.

akes47
01-03-2012, 17:21
avec le fusil de sniper ne pourrait on pas choisir l endroit ou l on tire sur l alien avec un pourcentage de reussite suivant si cest le torse la tete les bras ou les jambes

Jean-Luc
01-03-2012, 17:52
I like it. The only thing that comes to mind would be to make the "portrait bar" toggleable, there could be a small button in the bit of empty space to the right from the soldiers' rank/name. It's nice to be able to take in the scenery without something sticking out.

Alternatively you could try to make use of the empty space on the sides like so:
http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/5310/combatguiv3.jpg

Right now the UI is a bit like a pyramid with the view being unobstructed in places where it doesn't matter much (the bottom corners) and then being encroached upon towards the middle of the screen which is prime real estate.

PS: Maybe even auto-hide a la windows taskbar?

Straker
01-03-2012, 17:52
I like the AP Reserve slider as it also tells me how many APs I need for an action without having to mouse over a target. Does it automatically change the cost if you kneel (or is only accuracy affected)?

Straker
01-03-2012, 17:57
I forgot. One thing I don't like about the UI (old and new) is the soldier portrait does not show them with armour on. When I see the portrait I sometimes do a double-take and check to make sure I didn't forgot to armour them. As it is now, some are equipped with armour and some are not so its possible I may have forgotten someone.

Gorlom
01-03-2012, 18:08
For some reason jean-luc's solution to the squad portraits works alot better for me. If I have to have them onscreen I'd like to have them to the side like that.
Though im struggeling to think of what you can have there instead if you (can) allow for the option to toggle them off? Just some kind of artist rendition of the xenonaut logo?)

anotherdevil
01-03-2012, 18:52
AP RESERVE:
The AP Reserve slider selects the Reserve setting for the soldier selected. The selected setting will have the slider there and will be highlighted in orange. Settings where the soldier does not have enough AP to select will be shown in a darker grey. The number on the left represents the APs required to take a shot of that kind.

This seems fine to me, though a bit big, but I think I'll get used to that.



GRENADES:
The two slots next to the weapon are for grenades. This displays up to two grenade types in the soldier's inventory (if more than two, the two which require the least AP to throw are displayed). Clicking on them brings up the fire cursor as if they were the selected weapon. The AP cost to fire includes the cost to unequip the current weapon and equip the grenade, then throw it. Not sure whether the soldier should automatically re-equip their weapon or just drop it on the floor afterwards?

I have two points to make about this. 1. I kind of feel that this should be a quick grenade throw, and therefore it should cost less AP then fully unequipping, equipping, throwing, re-equipping... That seems like a lot of AP. I always assumed that the soldier would un-equip the grenade from the belt and toss it while holding their rifle in one hand... The gun should definitely be equipped at the end of the action however.

2. this is taking up A LOT of real estate. Perhaps a better option would be just to have one grenade picture with arrows on either side to help you cycle through them. Also I think only grenades from in the belt should be shown, as these are the only ones which can really be accessed quickly...

And by removing the second grenade picture, you could possibly get the crouch button in there!



SOLDIER INFO:
This is unchanged from before - the three bars show HP, AP and Morale. Colours yet to be determined.

colours are good IMO



CAMERA LEVELS:
The up and down buttons here let you cycle through the battlefield view levels (ie. the levels of a building).

Yeah this really isn't very obvious at to what it does...



SOLDIER SELECT:
The row of soldier portraits along the top of the UI is there to make it easier to see the situation at a glance. All living soldiers will have their portrait in colour and dead / stunned ones will have it in grey. You can also see their available HP, TU and Morale at a glance. Clicking on a portrait would select the soldier, double clicking it would centre the screen on them.

These seem really ugly to me I'm afraid. I agree with Jean-Luc the position in the mock up is really not good. But I just don't like the look of them, no matter where they are! What was wrong with the numbered circles ala current build?

Also I think you should use the whole of the bottom of the screen. And perhaps have a little minimap in one corner, which when clicked on brings up a larger map...?

Jean-Luc
01-03-2012, 23:21
Oh and it might be best to ditch the grenade "quick slots". It's a nice idea but having the soldier either drop the weapon or place it in the back pack by default (with no choice given to the player) is just no good in either case.

The weapon could be auto-picked up by the mouse cursor and the inventory opened whenever a grenade in a quick slot is clicked so the player can quickly store or drop the weapon but the space would prolly be better used for the kneeling/standing buttons. People will get used to manually opening the inventory to get grenades the same way they do with all other items.

Maybe the belt inventory could be made into a kind of quick bar but that could be more trouble than it's worth.

TheTuninator
01-04-2012, 00:12
I like this UI a lot! Makes all the necessary information readily available, and looks quite good.

Jean-Luc's suggestion for the soldier portrait placement also definitely works for me. It's probably better to have the main screen area unobstructed than the corners of the screen.

anotherdevil
01-04-2012, 00:20
Oh and it might be best to ditch the grenade "quick slots". It's a nice idea but having the soldier either drop the weapon or place it in the back pack by default (with no choice given to the player) is just no good in either case.

agree with you fully. That's why I think the 'quick use' box in the GUI should also allow your soldiers to 'quickly use' the grenade. It's sort of a reward for putting them in the belt. But of course you can only store so many items in the belt... and different armours may allow more or less room, etc.

Straker
01-04-2012, 00:42
By "quick use" do you mean you can just click on the grenade to use without having to empty a hand first? Sounds good to me.

Sathra
01-04-2012, 01:18
I quite like the whole thing, even the grenade buttons. Most of the reason for not using them much is the tedium of going into the inventory screen. Cost doesn't concern me, although it probably should be shown on the button.

What else...ah!
- Instead of + and - on the camera level, what about upward and downward pointing arrows/triangles? Bit more intuitive.
- AP on the top instead of HP. AP is more important after all.
- Thirding (?) having the aliens spotted marked on the spotting soldiers. Red dots along the top of their portrait (inside or outside, either one). Could only really fit 4, but if a soldier has 4 or more aliens in view range, he's got enough problems.
- Where do the vehicles go?
- Don't mind the portraits as long as their armour is shown. And maybe equipped weapon too, if possible.

winterwolves
01-04-2012, 02:06
Whoops! Only read the first page of replies before posting this. Sorry.

Portraits: I think I would prefer jean luc's position for the portraits, or perhaps strung down the side?
For Black obsidians idea for more info for the soldiers, you could have a little alien sighted icon on the portrait like I remember they do in neverwinter nights to show effects. You could also have a symbol for panicked (though the blue bar being blank would show this) and maybe symbols for wounds (if that is coming). These icons do not have to have much detail, just being an appropriate colour would be enough.

Next Soldier Buttons:I would like to see a next soldier button that removes the current soldier from the list like the original had. Maybe replace the go left button if you are going to be able to click on any portait anyway? Actually, having the portraits with the AP bars visible would probably eliminate the need for this.

AP Reserve: Something I would really like to see on your ap reserve slider is an extra notch just below each level that reserved 2 extra aps for turning up to 90 degrees. I do like being able to see how much each fire mode will cost.

Grenades: The grenade buttons are nice, and I agree the weapon should be stowed. Maybe the ap cost could be shown when you mouse over, or in the top corner?

Kneel/Stand: It looks like the kneel/stand button could share space with the map button, though being an ation button it really belongs over on the left somewhere.

Soldier Stats: If there is no access to a soldier info screen, then I like the stats being there, but if there is also going to be an info screen you could probably drop that off.

Hope this is helpful.

Straker
01-04-2012, 05:51
I really don't need the Next Soldier Buttons. I click on either the soldier on the ground or the mini-tabs.

anotherdevil
01-04-2012, 05:54
I use them. I use them to cycle through and make sure I haven't missed anyone...

Sathra
01-04-2012, 06:13
They aren't as necessary with the new GUI since you can see that already. But to quickly scroll through troops and check their positions its not bad, if you don't want to use the scrollwheel on the mouse.

Gorlom
01-04-2012, 06:38
About the colours: Is there any chance to have a full health bar to be green and when low on health( say 20-30%) turn it red as a warning? I blame a multitude of other games training me to accept that as standard.

I guss that would make AP blue and bravery yellow? puprle? brown? mylittlepony pink?

Still confused about the camera levels thing. Some other icon would make it more intuitive imo.

Straker
01-04-2012, 06:43
Mylittlepony pink sounds like a great colour for when the bravery gets very low. :D

anotherdevil
01-04-2012, 09:06
I think a single colour for each stat is best, especially when considering there are others that are not displayed in the GUI (accuracy etc.)

still think a button should allow for cycling through soldiers though

Gorlom
01-04-2012, 10:37
anotherdevil did anyone suggest to remove both buttons? i only saw a suggestion to remove one of the two since that person felt there was no need to be able to cycle in both directions.

Staker: wouldnt yellow be a good colour for low bravery? maybe orange for full bar?

anotherdevil
01-04-2012, 18:47
@ Gorlom, yup Straker did:

I really don't need the Next Soldier Buttons. I click on either the soldier on the ground or the mini-tabs.

Gorlom
01-04-2012, 18:53
I think that was a response to:

Next Soldier Buttons:I would like to see a next soldier button that removes the current soldier from the list like the original had. Maybe replace the go left button if you are going to be able to click on any portait anyway? Actually, having the portraits with the AP bars visible would probably eliminate the need for this.


Not an acctuall suggestion to remove them, just stateing that he doesn't use them. Although I could be missinterperating him.

PS. hmm could have sworn there was more mentions of still needing the next soldiers buttons, that's why I wondered who had suggested to remove them... I must have had a dejavu moment or something. DS.

anotherdevil
01-04-2012, 19:21
Oh well, either way I put my vote for them staying. It could be made smaller with the picture of the soldier and then an arrow either side. And next to that could be a picture of building, with an arrow above and below, to change the viewing height

Straker
01-04-2012, 23:54
I could do without the Next Soldier buttons.

Using a standard red/green colour for status bars would be better and less confusing although other colours would be fun.

BlackObsidian
01-05-2012, 00:34
I could live without the Next Soldier buttons as long as the mouse wheel still scrolled through them - I find this a much easier way of flicking through the troops to see which have AP left.

anotherdevil
01-05-2012, 02:28
I think if the option is available by another method, then it should also appear in the GUI.

Jean-Luc
01-05-2012, 08:48
I think if the option is available by another method, then it should also appear in the GUI.

How about the "next soldier wheel"? It should look like a valve wheel handle and you'd have to l-click to grab it and then pull the mouse left or right to skip between your guys. There could be bits of rust falling off as you strain to turn it.

On a more serious note, what about the mouse wheel? I doubt it has any other function in the game (camera levels?) but it could be a great way to quickly move between troops (shouldn't be too sensitive).

anotherdevil
01-05-2012, 08:57
that's what it is used for at the moment.

What I meant before though is that we could attribute all of the actions possible to mouse and keyboard shortcuts, and that would make the new GUI real minimal, but it's nice to have the option of it there, for those of us that like to use them. Else you might not realise there is an easy way to switch through soldiers, or that your men have the ability to kneel...

Jean-Luc
01-05-2012, 09:27
Oh sorry, haven't actually played any of the builds yet.

Belmakor
01-05-2012, 10:11
that's what it is used for at the moment.

What I meant before though is that we could attribute all of the actions possible to mouse and keyboard shortcuts, and that would make the new GUI real minimal, but it's nice to have the option of it there, for those of us that like to use them. Else you might not realise there is an easy way to switch through soldiers, or that your men have the ability to kneel...

The more options the better imho.

Personally, I don't feel the need for portraits anywhere on my GUI and would much prefer small numbered tabs along the top. I tend to manually select soldiers anyway but sometimes use the numbered keys to go between soldiers - it sure would be nice to know what number I was currently on.

Of course, I might warm to portraits as long as it was unlikely that a case of more than 2 identical portraits occurred?
In this case, my preference is to have them on the left.

Regarding grenades, why not just have the quick action slots the 2 (single slot) points on the belt (as opposed to the 3? double slots). Soldiers should definately NOT drop their weapon. I like the solution of having the weapon icon greyed out and it taking X AP to recover it. In reality, rifles/snipers/launchers are slung, pistols holstered so there is never a case of a weapon leaving the soldiers person in a battlefield situation. Having it appear in your pack is needless I would suggest.

Also, I like the idea of the quick reload icon. However, this should only be active providing you have clips in your belt. Ammo in backpacks should be deliberately high in the AP stakes to access as it is only for use in lengthy engagements. This would also mean that belt real-estate has more utility and strategic use. Anyone else agree?

AP reservations look fine the way they are. Not sure there is a requirement for additional notches to account for kneeling/turning. It is likely that some of the time you will end up with 2 or 3 AP spare anyway.

Prefer a click-able map icon as opposed to a minimap.

Sathra
01-05-2012, 10:27
For the quick grenade and reload buttons, I'd rather it didn't actally matter where they were on the soldier for concerns of if the button worked. The buttons are just to save the player time. The actual cost to do the actions should depend on the item's location of course.

Hmm, there was that previous discussion about what should happen to the weapon with quickslots (basically, it wasn't just grenades, it was a dropdown/scrolling list of everything applicable like medikits, shock batons, basically anything that wasn't ammo or a corpse). I have no idea what it ended up with. I liked the sling idea though, mostly so there wouldn't be any problems with inventory space.

Gorlom
01-05-2012, 10:40
The more options the better imho.

Personally, I don't feel the need for portraits anywhere on my GUI and would much prefer small numbered tabs along the top. I tend to manually select soldiers anyway but sometimes use the numbered keys to go between soldiers - it sure would be nice to know what number I was currently on.

Of course, I might warm to portraits as long as it was unlikely that a case of more than 2 identical portraits occurred?
In this case, my preference is to have them on the left.

...

Prefer a click-able map icon as opposed to a minimap.
^ What he said =)

Belmakor
01-05-2012, 11:19
For the quick grenade and reload buttons, I'd rather it didn't actally matter where they were on the soldier for concerns of if the button worked. The buttons are just to save the player time. The actual cost to do the actions should depend on the item's location of course.

I'd be happy with that. It would need to tell you the AP cost on mouse-over though.

Sathra
01-05-2012, 11:23
Or on the button like the Reserve slider. Faster that way.

Parax
01-05-2012, 16:25
Next Soldier Buttons:I would like to see a next soldier button that removes the current soldier from the list like the original had. Maybe replace the go left button if you are going to be able to click on any portait anyway?

^ yes this would be really good! perhaps it could grey out (or change borders on) the soldier portraits also.
Maybe instead of left & right selection buttons, Have [finished with] and [go to the next unused soldier] buttons..




AP Reserve: Something I would really like to see on your ap reserve slider is an extra notch just below each level that reserved 2 extra aps for turning up to 90 degrees. I do like being able to see how much each fire mode will cost.

^I'm not so sure about turning but I do like to reduce my target size by kneeling, having a reserve for kneel (4ap?) would be very useful! Maybe there is some scope in the user config settings for how complex the slider could be..

One more thing..
How do you control the ascent descent of flying armour? iirc the original xcoms had move up & down buttons along with kneel/stand (I am assuming that flying will be possible..)


P.

Sathra
01-05-2012, 16:27
There is no flying armour. It's more like a jump-pack, you have to end the turn standing on something (that isn't air or another unit).

Parax
01-05-2012, 17:10
There is no flying armour...
That sounds very much like a "it's never going to happen." is it totally ruled out? it'd be a shame not to have something that was in the originals.

Sathra
01-05-2012, 17:18
The main effect is that you can't fly across the map to get to a building rooftop (as easily). You have to go close to the building to do that, which adds risk. It also makes more military sense than floating around in mid-air.
Will it change? No idea, it hasn't been discussed much.

There will also be no blaster bombs, because they were incredibly unbalanced (same with human-side psionics).

Straker
01-06-2012, 02:34
I never thought of human psionics as unbalanced. Its just that the aliens (or alien AI) did not use it as well as I did. :)

I don't mind seeing the blaster bombs go away. I over-used them to lay down barrages to clear the way, particularily in alien base and large UFO missions. (and it was never good to be hit by them...)

Sathra
01-06-2012, 02:40
The big part of how Psi was unbalanced was Psi-chaining (use a MC-slave to scout for new prospective MC-slaves). That and it is really not hard to get Psi-troopers better than any alien :P.

Straker
01-06-2012, 06:07
I always thought the aliens used psi-chaining wherever possible. It seemed that way in TFTD.

Silverhks
01-06-2012, 14:24
I also prefer the portraits on the left as opposed to on top of the gui. But, what does that do to scalability for different resolutions?

I feel there does need to be at.least one button for moving to next soldier, I like the mouse wheel but it needs to be visible for new ppl/ forgetful [see me ;)]
I am ambivalent on whether you should use portraits or just the numbers. If you can make the portraits more useful, with sighted aliens/ what armour their wearing etc, I would prefer them...

IceVamp
01-06-2012, 16:03
I like the portraits, especially if you have the stats on there. Then there isn't really a need for the next guy button.
Concerning grenades; Real soldiers carry their weapons in a sling, so they can, you know, throw a grenade for example, and then put their hands back on their weapon. So weapons should definitely not drop to the ground imo. However rpg's are usually not slung while in combat in my experience, but then again, if you have an rpg, why throw a grenade? :p

Sathra
01-06-2012, 16:06
@Straker: Nah, they just knew where everyone was if they saw any of your units. If it was psi-chaining you'd end up with up to half your team MC'd.
TFTD just had heaps of MC capable aliens, and you met them earlier (Tasoth :D)

Akavit
01-06-2012, 17:18
My opinion on grenades:

They should be quick use buttons as suggested by a few others, not quick slots for equipping grenades. One slot with toggle arrows that jump between grenade types. There should also be a number showing how many of the currently selected grenade type the soldier has.

The rational behind quick use slots instead of quick-equip slots is simplicity. When the player uses the slot it is assumed that the soldier is using one hand to grab the grenade, throw it then take his weapon back in hand. Thus using the quick grenade button should cost a few more AP than using a grenade already in hand but perhaps not quite as much as juggling stuff around in inventory.

In regards to soldier portraits perhaps they could have the soldier's initials at the bottom of the portrait?

Bibidibop
01-09-2012, 05:18
Grenades w/One Hand, Two Hand
With two hands filled by separate items, can you have two throwing modes, one where the item drops, and one where the item is placed away before the grenade is thrown? This would be similar to how the firearms have fire modes. Perhaps, right click either throw weapon to set Drop or Stow mode. You could use a little open downward hand, or backpack as symbols, or just the letters D and S. Actually, those symbols could appear on the right side object, to show that the action will happen to it. So, maybe the symbols need a little grenade above them.

When holding a two handed weapon, one hand can be dropped while still holding the weapon non-functionally. Two handed weapons should incur a lower AP cost than the previous stow-retrieve-throw, but more than the drop-throw. A more complex, system would take into account the weapon weight, and have the AP cost go up for heavier two handed weapons held in one hand, while a throw is made. This wouldn't apply to naturally one handed weapons.

The cheapest throw should be with one naturally empty hand. The grenade should also default to whichever hand is empty, regardless of side, with no handedness penalty, just to keep things simple. Who wants to miss a throw just because they didn't keep their left and right in order? Bleh.

On the topic of the weapons, clicking them the first time should give the reticule, but left clicking again should remove the reticule. Pointing at aliens should also automatically bring up the reticule.

For feeding new grenades into the two slots in from the other six slots in the belt, why not just slide everything over from right to left? Everything feeds from the bottom right most column and row, moving left, and ending up on the right most column, one row higher. It keeps moving left, until it is in the accessible slot for throwing items. Anything that can't throw from the belt stays in position and is jumped over by throwable items.

Soldier Info
The current colors are good. They're all bright without being painful, they're in order of importance, and I think in color of importance. Although, you might want them in order of which declines fastest, AP, HP, morale. I know it's a weird consideration, but that way, the end of each turn avoids a jagged pattern in an outward flowing hill.

Also, clicking the big soldier image should center the camera on that soldier.

Soldier Scroll
I've discussed it previously, but I really need some way to organize the soldiers on the fly. With the introduction of small portraits, you can have a web browser style tab system, where you drag soldiers' portraits into position to change their order! You could also have the name pop up above the portrait when pointing at a portrait. These wouldn't be tooltips, but little tags integrated into the image frame, and which cross over the tops of adjacent frames. The furthest left would have the tag hang into empty space to the left while also overhanging image 2 by an equal amount, and the right would do the reverse. 2 would overlap 1 and 3, or empty space and 4 if the name were large enough.

Dead soldiers should automatically move all the way to the right, lose their number, and should drop by the height of the three miniature statistics bars. That little drop could say it all. Passed out soldiers need something else, or a variation.

Perhaps double clicking a soldier on the main map should move a soldier image left by one notch, and all subsequent single clicks, with an unbroken focus on that soldier, should move him left by one notch each time.

The scroll wheel should not change from soldier selection to weapon firing increments. Instead, it should be controlled by right clicking.

Pulling the wheel toward me should progress through the numbers upward.

I hope Testname becomes a final name. I know it's a joke, but it sounds kind of real, and it is funny.

Camera Levels
These are far far far too small. They should take the placement of the soldier scroll buttons, which is more practically taken by the mouse scroll wheel, and clicking tabs on the top row.

Still on the camera, holding the middle mouse button should allow rapid panning. Edge movement should default to a faster rate, and should work at the bottom of the screen through the interface tray.

Map
If you narrow the AP Reserve slightly, make the main portrait the inventory, and shrink the stats to move them left, and alter the turn button into a vertical strip of the same amount of area, and cut the camera buttons, there should be more than enough space for a mini-map. It would be even better if clicking the minimap expands it to full size.

Soldiers, Paths, Selection
Those three things really need to appear through solid objects somehow. Either wall and objects need to ghost, or the three things need to be transparent through walls and objects.

Walk Path
The walk path should always show, and cause walking with one click, unless pointing at an alien directly, or when the reticule has been activated. Or, we need a walk distance grid, which shows all the in-range squares, and works for multiple soldiers at once.

AP
You might want to show a darkened portion on the AP bar to show by how much the bar will reduce before actions are taken. On the path end, you might want to show not only the cost, but the total current AP/cost. Same when firing AP/cost.

anotherdevil
01-09-2012, 09:25
Grenades w/One Hand, Two Hand
why would anyone want their soldiers to DROP their weapon? I realise that AP wise it might be cheaper, but how is that for an immersion breaker?! Oh my soldier drops his weapon every time he throws his grenade, not stows it in his backpack or holds it in one hand like a real soldier might, no instead, the elite of the worlds military decide to drop their weapons in a combat zone...



Soldier Scroll
I've discussed it previously, but I really need some way to organize the soldiers on the fly. With the introduction of small portraits, you can have a web browser style tab system, where you drag soldiers' portraits into position to change their order! You could also have the name pop up above the portrait when pointing at a portrait.

Dead soldiers should automatically move all the way to the right, lose their number, and should drop by the height of the three miniature statistics bars. That little drop could say it all. Passed out soldiers need something else, or a variation.

The scroll wheel should not change from soldier selection to weapon firing increments. Instead, it should be controlled by right clicking.

Pulling the wheel toward me should progress through the numbers upward.
I agree with the ones that I've left up here. Also for certain conditions (passed out, dead, paniced, etc.) perhaps some sort of symbol could also appear over the top of the appropriate soldiers portrait?



Soldiers, Paths, Selection
Those three things really need to appear through solid objects somehow. Either wall and objects need to ghost, or the three things need to be transparent through walls and objects.
agreed fully. Another option would be to sort of have a 'shadow' of the object over the object that is blocking LOS. See some of the designs from the Krater forums (http://www.kratergame.com/) for more ideas on this. Those guys have some good ideas


Walk Path
The walk path should always show, and cause walking with one click, unless pointing at an alien directly, or when the reticule has been activated. Or, we need a walk distance grid, which shows all the in-range squares, and works for multiple soldiers at once.
It should NEVER cause walking in one click. Always 2, so that you have the chance to plan out your move, see if it will work, see how much AP it requires etc. Especially if you wish it to work with your next suggestion...


AP
You might want to show a darkened portion on the AP bar to show by how much the bar will reduce before actions are taken. On the path end, you might want to show not only the cost, but the total current AP/cost. Same when firing AP/cost.
Agree with this fully. Though don't see the need for the totals being there, they're already by the bars on the GUI

TheTuninator
01-09-2012, 18:11
Agreed on no walking with one click, too much potential for horrifying mistakes there. Far too much possibility for terrible, terrible misclick errors with only one click required to move a soldier; a single accidental click and your whole battle plan is out of whack. Two clicks at least provides a minor umbrella of security against such errors.

I don't necessarily have a problem with the idea of the walk path constantly showing as you move your mouse cursor, but I think it might get a bit irritating. For example, if you're scrolling across the map to check enemy positions and your walk path is tied to your mouse cursor, it's going to be needlessly cluttering up your screen.

Agreed on the comment that a proposed action should darken a portion of the AP bar; if this would be feasible to implement, that's definitely a feature to add.

IceVamp
01-09-2012, 18:33
I wouldn't mind rearranging my soldier tabs, or the ap cost displayed on the bar. I've done that math wrong a lot of times. "Aw, shit I forgot he spent one point turning!"

anotherdevil
01-09-2012, 22:32
oh right is that what the walk path thing meant! I'm opposed to that too then

epmode
01-09-2012, 23:37
I just installed this for the first time. Since I'm running at a high resolution (2560x1600), I'm always concerned that 2D games are going to be far too small unless the developer accounts for this with UI scaling. At first glance, this game handles it pretty well. Lots of text appears to scale appropriately.

..but the combat section doesn't appear to scale at all. While it's nice to be able to see so much of the combat zone, I'd also like to get a closer look at the scenery without having to relaunch the game in a lower resolution.

The UI help section lists "zoom" as a function but pressing it doesn't seem to do anything. I suppose it could be zoom levels when aiming at a target but I figured right mouse already accounted for that.

Are there any plans to account for UI scaling in the battle scenes by the time the final version rolls around? It's not a dealbreaker by any means (not that it matters, seeing as how I already paid for the game) but it sure would be nice!



edit: Maybe this isn't the thread for this comment.

IceVamp
01-10-2012, 17:44
You could make a post in the suggestion & feature request section. ^^

valente
01-10-2012, 21:12
looks awesome, but since we (i do hope so) have wide screens on our machines i think the soldiers list should be on the left or right side, by this the bottom side of the screen will not be full. Further, if the soldiers will be on the left, then the aliens can be added on the right side...... just an idea i had in mind playing the other titles versus the original XCOM versus this more than awesome title.

valente
01-10-2012, 21:20
and here is the image as i was telling you.... sorry for .jpg, i am in an airport, not too much time to do it.... :) 318

anotherdevil
01-10-2012, 22:24
I disagree with using the entire side of the screen to display things. Keep all the menu and informative images (the entire GUI) together, making players look all over the screen just seems odd, and inefficient, especially since we have the space to keep it all together

Bibidibop
01-11-2012, 02:23
why would anyone want their soldiers to DROP their weapon? I realise that AP wise it might be cheaper, but how is that for an immersion breaker?! Oh my soldier drops his weapon every time he throws his grenade, not stows it in his backpack or holds it in one hand like a real soldier might, no instead, the elite of the worlds military decide to drop their weapons in a combat zone...
The drop only happens to one of two items if you hold two separate items. If you wanted, you cold leave one slot open at all times, only putting a secondary item into it, such as med pack, once needed.

If you have a two handed weapon, the weapon stays put, but costs more, because two handed weapons can be temporarily held with one hand, or by strap.

Otherwise, two items in two hands, if one item is automatically stowed and retrieved, it should cost more than throwing with a two handed weapon. Either way it involves manually leaving an empty hand for the cheapest throw, but not you lack the option of a drop-throw. Imagine that if you are 1 point short.

I rather have the drop throw available either by defaulting it, or by having it as a selectable throw option. If the style of stow and throw are selectable, with a slider that works like buttons, then it's a moot point.


I agree with the ones that I've left up here. Also for certain conditions (passed out, dead, paniced, etc.) perhaps some sort of symbol could also appear over the top of the appropriate soldiers portrait?
Those would be useful, too, especially for determining panic.


It should NEVER cause walking in one click. Always 2, so that you have the chance to plan out your move, see if it will work, see how much AP it requires etc. Especially if you wish it to work with your next suggestion...
You're right, I was thinking over another style of turn based play. However, I still think the path should always show without clicking. Instead, it would be click to lock, click again to walk. If you don't like the placement, either click elsewhere to replace, or right click to go back to constant pathing?


Agree with this fully. Though don't see the need for the totals being there, they're already by the bars on the GUIThe totals at the pointer are just so you don't have to look back and forth so much, so the arithmetic is slightly easier. One option is to show what will remain at the pointer, instead of what will be taken, since I find the former more important.

anotherdevil
01-11-2012, 04:36
as for dropping weapons that was in reference to Chris' comment ages ago

clever id
01-12-2012, 06:59
Late comment but I wanted to throw my vote in.

Personally, I dislike the portraits and preferred the numbers from the previous UI, but I do think it would be nice to indicate soldier status (dead, wounded, etc) in some form.

I did I quick mockup, maybe something like that and the numbers could change color to indicate dead etc.
324

I also prefer NOT having a active minimap on the screen and like the simple map button.

Gorlom
01-12-2012, 09:31
Late comment but I wanted to throw my vote in.

Personally, I dislike the portraits and preferred the numbers from the previous UI, but I do think it would be nice to indicate soldier status (dead, wounded, etc) in some form.

I did I quick mockup, maybe something like that and the numbers could change color to indicate dead etc.
324

I also prefer NOT having a active minimap on the screen and like the simple map button.
Pretty nice. although id probably want to combine yours and Jean-lucs from the first page. no portraits and the indicators on the bottom left instead of a centralized location.
To me it feels less like the gui is obstructing my view if it takes up the whole bottom area of the screen and the ground isn't visible behind it.

Nolux
01-13-2012, 00:58
Hi.

I am new here, but i had to join to shere my thoughts. Played the game for about a week now, and I desided to do a quick mockup of my optimal UI.

325

I changed the location of the squad to a different location to take less screen space. Most of the UI in my opinion is to big, i removed some and shortend alot. Hope you guys like it.
Sorry for my bad english.

anotherdevil
01-13-2012, 02:04
Not quite to my liking, but good on you for putting the effort in. Other's thoughts?

Sathra
01-13-2012, 02:23
Not sure about having the unit portraits and end turn button at the top of the screen, makes it seem to have less screen space (might be RTS player bias though).

Not particularly concern if its a mini-map or pop-up though. Pop-up is nice and nostalgic (and takes up less UI room), but a mini-map allows for on-the-fly battlefield checks, helping with map awareness.

IceVamp
01-14-2012, 02:27
The end turn button alone in one corner does look a bit messy.

I kinda want the pop up map to be honest. I loved that.

Gorlom
01-15-2012, 15:51
Id rather have everything in the same place below a "view window" of the battlefield. Spreading it out makes it look messy. Only things that really needs to stand out (like spotted alien) needs to be somewhere else.

Gauddlike
01-16-2012, 17:06
I also prefer to keep all of the buttons and controls together in some way.
I feel the portraits are a little pointless though.
It is nice to have something to check status at a glance but they don't really achieve anything else.
If they don't show the current armour they are misleading but if they do then they are probably going to be very repetitive.
Maybe this could be somewhere to add in some kind of insignia?
I am thinking along the lines of a weapon type icon over a background that reflects the armour type.
Examples off the top of my head are a crosshair for sniper weapons, a row of 5 bullets for machine gun etc.
The background could be a simple shield that is transparent for no armour, silver for basic or scout armour and gold for heavy armour.
I would only take into account the main hand for this icon, the background could have another layer added if a combat shield was equipped though.

*edit* Oh and I would also prefer to toggle a semi transparent map window over the play area to help with navigation.
Single keypress to turn the map on if you are looking for some specific area then either click on it to centre or scroll using the normal methods.

xracer
01-18-2012, 05:34
Hello all,

Well i am not against the portrait as long as it provides some information, for example if ti show how many aliens the units see, or if its wounded or not or its health, or if it has a critical wound, i did a little mock up long ago for a mod, it was done for UFO: ET
http://ufo-scene.com/files/public/1264603821_476_FT10191_main-gui.jpg
i did other version but my site went down long ago and never repaired it. in any case as long as the portraits provide functionality the they are good.

Disclaimer: I am not an artist or pretend to be one i am just a fan with sometime in my hands "sometimes"

Gauddlike
01-18-2012, 07:49
The portraits are a little small to be adding anything much on to them.
There are also limited faces available at this time so it would be obvious when they start to repeat.
All of the armour looks identical once it is equipped as well.
Generally this could lead to banks of almost identical images which wouldn't help much with identifying specific troopers.
My weapon/armour icon suggestion would at least help you identify different roles.
Adding little boxes for aliens spotted would be a nice bonus though.

It would be better if you could then order the list by armour type, weapon type, aliens spotted, AP's remaining, and custom order for example but Chris may shoot me for suggesting making the little troop box that complicated :p

Gauddlike
01-18-2012, 08:43
Just had a look at the AP reserve slider and decided I don't really like it.
My reasons are:

The names snap, normal, and aimed aren't used anywhere else in the game.
They take up a lot of space and don't really mean much.

The icons are a little vague to me.
The lowest reserve is a single solid crosshair while the higher reserve appear to be moving or blurred.
That looks more like worse accuracy for higher AP's.
It may also represent more shots for higher reserve but that is not how the system works.
I am pretty sure it is supposed to mean more crosshairs = more accuracy but that isn't what springs straight to mind without that prior knowledge.

The AP slider also works differently to the way AP is represented everywhere else.
Through all of the other screens AP is shown left (lowest) to right (highest).
The AP reserve works top (lowest) to bottom (highest), well discounting burst which is tagged on afterwards.

My suggestion to resolve these would be to remove the soldier stats and put the AP reserve underneath the AP bar.
It would follow the direction of the AP bar and line up with how many AP are actually reserved as a visual cue.
The names and icons could be replaced with the aiming reticle used when aiming shots.
Reserving more AP's would give the same indication as using more AP's to aim.

Pretty sure I suggested something similar before but might have been on the old forum so figured it was worth mentioning again.http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=341&d=1326881517

anotherdevil
01-18-2012, 09:45
yeah removing the names and having a visual tie in with the actual shooting cursor is a really good idea Gauddlike!

TheTuninator
01-18-2012, 20:45
That looks great! I like your placement of the AP slider.

My only suggestion would be that there be "quick buttons" for toggling single and burst fire reserve, kind of like this but not awful-looking and actually in the right place relative to the bar:
http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n537/TheTuninator/gui.png

Dragging a small bar like that repeatedly could get kind of tedious, so it'd be important to have some kind of larger "quick select" button.

We need to fit the crouch button in somewhere as well; looks like it'd be possible to bump the left edge of the GUI to the edge of the screen and squeeze in a crouch bar somewhere, no? Here's a terribly made attempt at it in Paint. Now that I look at it again, it'd probably flow better to have the crouch button to the right of the inventory column.

http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n537/TheTuninator/gui2.png

anotherdevil
01-18-2012, 20:51
still don't think the portraits are necessary though

Gauddlike
01-18-2012, 20:57
I was actually just assuming the AP reserve would use whichever mode the weapon was currently set to.
If you are running around with an assault rifle set to burst and saw something move you would probably not take time to set the weapon back to single shot before reacting.
That would only really be a problem for me if I would have had enough AP for single shot but wasted it because the weapon was set to burst.
In that case maybe it should switch automatically if a shot can only be taken by doing so.
Crouch could be fitted in by removing one grenade button and replacing it with a small inventory button, crouch could then go down by my AP slider.
If you can right click the grenade button to quickly choose which type of grenade is used then you don't really need two.

I Will try and mock up my idea for the portrait replacement icons tomorrow if I get a chance as well, I would like to see how they would look.
I agree the bank of motionless and potentially identical pictures doesn't really jump out at me either.

anotherdevil
01-19-2012, 01:22
Ok a bit of an outlandish option here, but read it through and have a think. Many will disagree with me, but we'll see:

Wouldn't an option be to remove AP reserve?
Now as outlandish as that sounds, hear me out. It could then be replaced with the colour of the walking distance marker. Now lets say that snap shot would be the best one to keep, it's cheapest, and fastest.

So when you plan your guys move the green line appears. If he can walk without going over this reserve then they are all green. If however you want him to walk further than the reserve they turn yellow, much like they do now. But this is a visual reminder during the planning, and if you tell him to go, he will walk onto those yellow squares rather than stopping at the edge.

Now this could be done with multiple colours for multiple reserves, but that might get ugly. Instead I would opt for a system where players just use their heads. It's just a bit of subtraction, and will be good for us =]

Also another thing that this does is removes the need to either a) fiddle around and re-set the reserve amount each turn for every soldier, and b) re-code a whole lot to get that setting to stay each and every time.

Now that you've had a read what do you think? Any way this, or a system similar could be useful?

Happy posting! =]

Akavit
01-19-2012, 02:59
I guess I've seldom used the AP reserve myself. If I were to use it more I'd probably prefer a simple percentage system. With that a player would just choose the percent of AP to reserve each turn for a soldier. Since shooting costs are probably determined by percentages it should balance nicely.

But someone who rarely uses the feature probably isn't the best one to think of ways to implement it.

Bibidibop
01-19-2012, 04:38
Having tried things out in the most current build, I think left clicking definitely needs to dismiss firing mode rather than relying only on clicking the weapon image. It actually took me a long time to realize clicking the image dismisses the mode, and my first reaction, after rolling the scroll wheel, was left clicking. That is, unless my suggestion is used to keep the wheel exclusively for soldier selection. Maybe, middle clicking could be used to dismiss weapon mode.

Soldier portraits don't have to be constantly visible, but they should at least pop up when pointing at the miniature stats. It also needs to be considered that having constant portraits better exploits the art, and makes it easier to see who is who at a glance. However, those mini-stats are really what is important, because it means I wouldn't have to cycle through my soldiers to find everyone's levels. I could tell if there is any movement or fight left, at a glance. The current selection buttons are also far too fiddly for comfortable use, at least at 1920X1200.

Having the alien portraits at the right works, because, as far as I know, there is no telling how many aliens will be on screen at any given time. Putting them along the GUI could leave too little space. However, if that's not the case, then putting them along the bottom would be really nice. I just don't like looking all over the screen for randomly popping information. I do think there needs to be some way to show which soldier is the one detecting an alien.

The new build has the color coded reserve pathing. It works nicely. Green is walkable, yellow is reserve, red is non-walkable.

TheTuninator
01-19-2012, 05:04
I guess I've seldom used the AP reserve myself. If I were to use it more I'd probably prefer a simple percentage system. With that a player would just choose the percent of AP to reserve each turn for a soldier. Since shooting costs are probably determined by percentages it should balance nicely.

But someone who rarely uses the feature probably isn't the best one to think of ways to implement it.

I use it pretty much constantly in X-COM (less so in the current Xenonauts build because it doesn't stay activated from turn to turn) and I really appreciate the convenience of being able to tell your soldier to automatically reserve the exact amount of AP necessary for shots. Otherwise, the player has to do a bit too much math with every individual soldier's stats in order to figure how how much AP to save so none is wasted; better to automate that task, I think.

@anotherdevil-I find the idea interesting, but my only concern would be the potential harm of misclicks. Fire reserve is great because it physically prevents your trooper from moving past the point where he'd be able to fire; if the only barrier is a visual indicator, than I can still accidentally move my trooper too far, thus rendering the entire point of the reserve moot.

anotherdevil
01-19-2012, 05:27
The new build has the color coded reserve pathing. It works nicely. Green is walkable, yellow is reserve, red is non-walkable.
I know it does. But you have to manually select what type of shot to reserve. Manually. Every single time for now. My way is an automatic method, though it is limited (potentially) in only accounting for snap shots


@anotherdevil-I find the idea interesting, but my only concern would be the potential harm of misclicks. Fire reserve is great because it physically prevents your trooper from moving past the point where he'd be able to fire; if the only barrier is a visual indicator, than I can still accidentally move my trooper too far, thus rendering the entire point of the reserve moot.
You'd still need to double click to move though, so that barrier is still there. If you double clicked, well that's a bit stink, but it was your mess up to make. It's just like overwriting an old save by clicking the buttons too quickly without reading the whole 'are you sure you want to lalala.' That sucks, but it was your fault =p there is only so much the game can hold your hand after all, otherwise it'd be constant pop ups and check boxes etc.

As I said it was just another approach, and while not perfect (by any means) perhaps there is a way to modify it to make it better?

TheTuninator
01-19-2012, 05:36
Oh, I agree it's entirely my fault if I misclick, but that's why I liked having the AP reserve automatically kick in as insurance; I'm a bit clumsy when it comes to squaddie management, and sometimes send them scrambling directly into enemy guns from time to time. :P

anotherdevil
01-19-2012, 05:41
Oh, I agree it's entirely my fault if I misclick, but that's why I liked having the AP reserve automatically kick in as insurance; I'm a bit clumsy when it comes to squaddie management, and sometimes send them scrambling directly into enemy guns from time to time. :PPerhaps we could work some sort of buffer in? I don't like the idea of a pop up... or another click, but there might be something?

Gauddlike
01-19-2012, 06:43
The only way I can see it having as much functionality as an AP reserve system is if you could set at what point the path changed colour.
If you were to do that it would basically be the same as the current ideas but without the automatic stop when you hit reserve.
That isn't always a bad thing, it is nice to be able to easily run past your reserve in an emergency.
Basically your idea so far sounds like the current system but with a single shot auto reserved and the auto stop removed.
Rather than changing the current system maybe you would be happier if those were selectable as global options?
Adding an auto stop checkbox and a default reserve in the options would cover it nicely.
You have the option of using either method then.

anotherdevil
01-19-2012, 07:01
I just had an epiphany (kind of a terrible one, but oh well)! What about if you get green squares until ANY reserve option is available. Then you get yellow. Now the difference is that at each new reserve option, a little image describing that reserve option is visible on the ground.

So lets just say you use a gun with only 3 aim, 2 aim, 1 aim shots (representing the number of concentric circles in the aim cursor when you shoot).

So you have green for the amount you can move freely. Then you reach yellow with a '3 aim' symbol on it. If you move past that symbol, you know the best you can do is the '2 aim' shot. Then you move a bit further and there is the '2 aim' symbol, and further yet is the '1 aim' shot. Past that you know you wont be able to do any shooting what so ever.

Now obviously the symbol would have to be read from the ground angle (not the vertical angle like you would see it as your cursor), and it shouldn't get blocked by buildings, else that would suck. It also however doesn't require a rainbow of colours, and can also (I imagine) be automatically updated for whatever gun the soldier is using

Gorlom
01-19-2012, 16:17
Ok a bit of an outlandish option here, but read it through and have a think. Many will disagree with me, but we'll see:

Wouldn't an option be to remove AP reserve?
Now as outlandish as that sounds, hear me out. It could then be replaced with the colour of the walking distance marker. Now lets say that snap shot would be the best one to keep, it's cheapest, and fastest.

So when you plan your guys move the green line appears. If he can walk without going over this reserve then they are all green. If however you want him to walk further than the reserve they turn yellow, much like they do now. But this is a visual reminder during the planning, and if you tell him to go, he will walk onto those yellow squares rather than stopping at the edge.

Now this could be done with multiple colours for multiple reserves, but that might get ugly. Instead I would opt for a system where players just use their heads. It's just a bit of subtraction, and will be good for us =]

Also another thing that this does is removes the need to either a) fiddle around and re-set the reserve amount each turn for every soldier, and b) re-code a whole lot to get that setting to stay each and every time.

Now that you've had a read what do you think? Any way this, or a system similar could be useful?

Happy posting! =]
My problem with that idea is that it doesnt take into account non moveing actions such as turning shooting or using a medpack/inventory.

TheTuninator
01-19-2012, 16:24
It's a very well-thought-out system, but I still have to support the "hard reserve" which physically restrains you from moving myself. It's too useful and effective a safety net for me to contemplate swapping it out for another system.

anotherdevil
01-19-2012, 18:01
My problem with that idea is that it doesnt take into account non moveing actions such as turning shooting or using a medpack/inventory. well something could come up in the inventory if you try and move something (pop up), and you could institute a double right click for turning over.

the current system doesn't really. You can walk right up to the edge and then realise you can't shoot because your man can't turn far enough to aim properly

Gauddlike
01-19-2012, 19:40
My system uses an analogue slider rather than set positions.
You can move the slider until the required aim type icon shows up then just go a little further to save a few extra points for turning, kneeling etc.

anotherdevil
01-19-2012, 19:49
hmmm too true. But with the size of the sliding bar (it's quite small) it might be a bit difficult getting the right amount extra saved. Instead Chris might make them hard stops at each of the firing settings, as that's easier to understand methinks

Gauddlike
01-19-2012, 20:29
That is also one of the things I don't like.
It would just mean I reserved enough for the second shot, turned it off to kneel and point in the right direction then turned it back on to make sure I saved enough for the lowest shot.
With an analogue slider you might well guess a little low (or high) on how much you saved but at least you have the option.
The exact number you have reserved is displayed as well so as long as you have an idea how many APs kneeling and turning costs you can make a fair guess as to how many you want to reserve.
For example you move the slider until the first aim point shows.
The reserve number says 30 points reserved.
You will probably want to kneel and may need to look around a little so you move the slider a bit further to around 38.
Next turn you realise you had left it a bit short so you round it off to 40 to give a little more chance to look around.

TheTuninator
01-19-2012, 20:42
hmmm too true. But with the size of the sliding bar (it's quite small) it might be a bit difficult getting the right amount extra saved. Instead Chris might make them hard stops at each of the firing settings, as that's easier to understand methinks

I agree with this; given the small size of the bar and the fact that every TU matters, it'd be kind of excruciating to have to precisely line up the slider every time. Better to have a slider and additionally some "hard stops" or quick-select buttons (with accompanying hotkeys, of course) to facilitate ease of use for the player.

anotherdevil
01-19-2012, 21:34
yeah someway of saying I want 'snap shot' and 'crouch' etc.

I guess my coloured path method kind of can do this. If you know you want a snap shot, and to kneel, then you just move one square back form the minimum needed to snap shot (or more depending on what you want to do). That way you essentially make the conscious option to 'save' those extra 4 AP to allow you to kneel.

It's not perfect, especially if you want to kneel and turn 75 degrees, but then I guess you can just save 2 tiles of moving, or whatever. It still requires a bit of math however

Bibidibop
01-20-2012, 00:22
Okay:

code the reserve increments into the paths, with more colors, so they are visible at all time
and have a slider to hard-set the reserve, which doesn't change unless manually adjusted.

?

anotherdevil
01-20-2012, 01:20
Okay:

code the reserve increments into the paths, with more colors, so they are visible at all time
and have a slider to hard-set the reserve, which doesn't change unless manually adjusted.

?
I'm sorry I don't understand. What are you suggesting?

FunkyPoop
01-20-2012, 12:40
Hey all,

I'm new to this forum and new to the game. And to be honest, I haven't played it much. I could not get passed the Air Combat, they kept shooting me down (I'm pretty bad). I decided to go to the forums and I saw this post about the GUI. I've read through all the pages and thanks to the comments and ideas here and a few of my own ideas I came up with a version of the GUI.

Version 1
349

Portrait bar
I've put the portrait bar to the bottom left, but without the portraits. Instead, I only used the numbers. When the soldier dies or passes out, it shows it where the stats were. Like K.I.A., OUT for being passed out and maybe MIND or CTRL for mind controlled.

AP Reserve
I modified the AP Reserve bar that was suggested by Gauddlike a bit. I didn't like the first one, because there was too much information. Once players have played the game for some time, they will know what the symbols mean. So the text explaining that could be left out. I think the 'AP Reserve' text could be left out too, because less text is less clutter.

Soldier Scroll
I left these buttons in, because enough people like them. With those little stat bars it may seem unnecessary, but enough people like them to keep them in I think. And I sometimes use them with X-com.

Soldier stand/crouch
The Stand and Crouch buttons are under the Scroll buttons. Seems like a logical place. :p

Weapon & Grenade
I didn't change the weapon and grenade buttons, I think this is fine as it is. The grenade button should indeed be used as a quick button, without dropping the weapon. Just see it as quick belt access. :p

Inventory
I moved this to the left of the portrait so it's close to the weapon and grenade button.

All the above got something to do with controlling your soldiers so that's all on the left side of the screen. All close together so it's easy to access.

Floor/Camera control
Then there is the Up and Down buttons for the floor. I assumed that's what the camera button is used for that was on the original.

Soldier Stats
Nothing changed here. But I keep asking myself the same question every time I look at this part of the GUI. What could replace that huge portrait picture? Because the only thing it really does is showing the rank.

End Turn and Map
End Turn is nice. The Map button is now a little bigger, because those camera controls are gone. I also think that the Map button should stay a button and not a mini-map. I think that a mini-map isn't needed for a few reasons. My main reason is that the game is turn based, nothing is changing quickly. There will be time enough to look around you and see what's happening. Or click on the Map button to get a big overview. Mini-maps are handy with real-time strategy games, because stuff is constantly moving. That will not happen in Xenonauts.
A personal reason is that I like the feeling of exploration. If the mini-map is already showing bits of the area around me, I'm not going to be surprised when I step outside of the vehicle. Could be a good thing, but I don't see it that way.


I used the entire width of the screen and when doing this I had a bit of room left so I stretched the big Portrait/Stats window. If there is a need for a few more buttons they could be added there.
For instance the 'Leave/Fly Away' button. I don't know if this is an option in Xenonauts, but there is no button for it now. I also wondered if there are those sort of elevator things like in the X-Com ufo's. Because if there are, there's no buttons to move the soldier up or down a floor.

Thanks for reading the whole thing and I hope my version could help you guys!

FunkyPoop

Gorlom
01-20-2012, 13:52
I really REALLY like Funkypoops suggestion. Its baisicly everything I want the way i want it.

If there are any beamelevator wouldnt just using "up one level" button then click move to the tile directly above the char work?

Chris
01-20-2012, 17:14
I've had a look at the entire thread, and a few ideas struck me as rather good:

- The grenade throw button will now just have a single grenade/flare shown, with right-click opening up a pop-up menu of all available grenades in the soldier inventory. Clicking on it will activate the fire mode with the standard throw cost +12AP if the unit does not have a free hand.
- The crouch toggle will fill the spot where the second grenade was.
- I like the idea that instead of having buttons for burst and single fire mode of the weapon, there'll be just one and clicking on it will cycle between the two. Saves space in the weapon panel.
- The camera level controls are done best in Silent Storm (see here (http://www.frictionlessinsight.com/revpics/SilentStorm/SilentStormC.jpg)) - it's the column on the right of the GUI with the arrows at the top and bottom. That looks pretty intuitive to me.
- The portraits don't look good up all the time. Someone did a UI earlier in the thread where just the bars where shown, plus the soldier number. We'd have the move the soldier number to the left of the bars so it doesn't cover them, but that's all we'd need to show all the time. If you mouseover a soldier's area, their portrait should pop up at that point. If the soldier is killed, his little section should slide down and disappear.
- Maybe Crouch and Inventory buttons could replace the soldier stats below their large stat bars and to the right of their portraits?

Thanks for the input so far guys, keep it coming.

Gorlom
01-20-2012, 18:14
I'd like the soldier portraits, the next soldier button, Ap reserve and crouch to be close together like in FunkyPoops exampple. That works really well (although I think crouch is a toggle so you dont need the stand up button next to that in his example)

And switching around the AP bar so its either on top or at the bottom of the three bars would make it (marginally) easier to see which soldier has AP left and which soldier's bar is empty at a glance.

anotherdevil
01-20-2012, 18:21
@ funkypoop, I like it except why put the inventory and up down height arrows between the portrait and the weapons? They should go on the right more. Also grenades but Chris has sorted that.

@ Chris, any thoughts on reserves?

Gorlom
01-20-2012, 18:24
Inventory close to the weapon makes sense to me. Although I agree that the elevation control could be someplace else (doesnt need to for me but i can understand why others might want it someplace else).

FunkyPoop
01-20-2012, 21:43
@ anotherdevil I put those buttons there because it has to do with movement and the soldier himself. To the right is the more static stuff, that has nothing to do with controlling your soldier. But I think you're right. The floor buttons have to do with camera control, so that should be on the right side of the portrait.

If the crouch toggle will fill the spot where the second grenade was, like Chris says, the Inventory button can take the place of the crouch button from my example. Then you could make the Floor toggle button a long sort of button like the grenade now is and put that to the right of the portrait. This way there will be no empty spots for more buttons.

anotherdevil
01-20-2012, 22:09
ok but I think (ala the original) that everything to do with the soldier in combat, at that time, should be centred. That is the number of AP etc. bars, portrait, and their weapons, all in the bottom centre of the screen, so that if you want info on your soldier there is one place to look (not all over the bottom). Then if you want something else, you look to the sides.

That's all I was saying

Gauddlike
01-22-2012, 15:46
I like the overall look of the Funkypoop mock up but there are a few things I would do differently, excluding any changes Chris mentioned:

I would like to see the redundant soldier stat boxes removed and the space used for AP reserve.
AP, HP and bravery are all shown twice while strength, accuracy and reflexes are not really essential information (most of the time).
AP reserve would then be located in the same place as the AP is displayed.
I also still feel that the icons used in the AP reserve are misleading.

What is the maximum number of troops in a ground mission?
I seem to recall it was 16 rather than 12 but I may well be wrong.
If so where will the rest of the shortcuts be displayed?
That would not be a problem if the AP reserve was moved as per the previous suggestion.

I am unsure where the vehicles will be listed on the recent UI.
I had assumed with mine that they would appear as just another portrait when present but that may be harder to do when you cannot see a representation on the button.
Maybe making the button background a different colour would be enough?

And a couple for Chris:

How would moving between floors work on a grav lift, assuming there are any in the game?

How will the jump function on armour be activated?

Would we need to make space for more controls or will this be activated on the screen some other way?

resonansER
01-22-2012, 15:57
I really liked the new interface is a tactical battle! VERY VERY VERY! fine, fine. The present inconvenient.

Gauddlike
01-22-2012, 16:46
Just a quick modification to Funkypoop's hard work to show my thinking.
I tried to add something along the lines of the bits Chris said he wanted to change as well.



354

Added colour change to the numbers, red for dead, blue for stunned.
Moved AP reserve and expanded soldier buttons to fill the space.
Added a ladder effect level selector with arrows.
Moved crouch toggle and inventory buttons.

I didn't add anything to represent vehicles as I am still unsure how best to do that.

Gorlom
01-22-2012, 16:56
Personally id rather have the AP reserve and crouching at FunkyPoops placement. (Just casting my vote)

resonansER
01-22-2012, 17:21
In my opinion the interface, which made Chris, thoughtful and interesting.

clever id
01-22-2012, 20:14
Glad you liked my icon idea Chris. My logic with the numbers on the right was that I am less concerned with a squad member who has 75% or 80% and more concerned with showing the left side of the bars which would be in the 20% range. That is assuming the left side left was less. Maybe a semi transparent number rather the the full solid number I showed in the mock up?

Regarding AP reservation: How about some small toggle or button used for reserving AP for kneeling? I think TFTD or UFO had something similar. Then the slider takes care of the shot type and the button can deal with kneel reservation. Sorry if that's what someone else had proposed and I missed it.

nutbarz
01-28-2012, 21:16
Yes, I think the Number and the Stat Bars would be Great, tho things I Miss, or can't seem to locate are a way to end a soldiers turn in that round, so as I move #1 and finish what I want him to do, Xcom had a button to click that took him out of the order, then you would end his turn and move to the next, and if you cycles through, that soldier would not come up again as he was already done this round. The other thing is can you have it remmeber what soldier is doing each round? So when he Goes to the next round he will still save time for snap fire? I usually keep them all on snap fire all the time. I would like it to remember that from round to round.

I like the new Look Maybe replace the camera with ELE (for elevation)

iamkyon
01-28-2012, 21:20
I like the new Look Maybe replace the camera with ELE (for elevation)

Come and join the rest of the gang in the sequel to this thread (http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php?857-Combat-GUI-Update-V2)!

nutbarz
01-28-2012, 21:22
:D That would be great, Quickly Toss a Grenade, or Quickly reload a weapon. Oh, would it be ok to add a reload button, for things like reloading the bazooka? Just clicking it would use the appropriate action points for reloading, and you would not need to use the equip screen to move it from the backpack to the weapon. (I still use the equip screen to stand on dead aliens to see what they are though)

Amiga4ever
01-30-2012, 08:57
Somebody mentioned it already about button to end turn for current soldier and I'd like to see it too. It's very useful option.

Gorlom
01-30-2012, 09:00
Can you motivate it even with the numbered quickselect(+bars) at the top of the UI?

I'm not against it It' just that one might think it's not needed since you can quickly select a soldier from there based on how much AP he has left. And motivating why you want it despite this might help your case. ^^

Amiga4ever
01-30-2012, 09:20
Maybe you are right. We need to see in practice how it works :rolleyes: Honestly I can't wait.....

irongamer
02-03-2012, 01:01
See suggestion here: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php?857-Combat-GUI-Update-V2&p=10731&viewfull=1#post10731

Gorlom
02-03-2012, 01:04
I like it. although why have you gone back to the +camera- system for elevation instead of the elevator thingy Chris has included in the latest version he presented?

Can you think of any way to include the reserve for kneeling as well?

irongamer
02-03-2012, 01:06
Yeah, I'm all discombobulated with thread versions right now. I post on another one as well.