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Chris
01-22-2012, 16:06
As part of the milestone list I'm working on, most of the UI screens are getting a revamp. Often this is just visual or small tweaks, but on the Geoscape there are two windows that have come in for quite a lot of stick because they don't present enough information. I'm redesigning them now with the hope I can get them in V9. The first is the Intercept window, the second is the Launch Interceptors window.

Here's the proposed new Intercept window, launched when one of your squadrons closes to intercept range with a UFO squadron:

http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/Intercept.png

http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/Intercept2.png

Essentially this just provides more information visually for the UFOs, and gives you more information on whether your ships are up to combat. The combat fuel level being in seconds should be useful, and hopefully we'll mirror this on the air combat UI when we update it.

Comments welcome. I'll get the Launch Interceptors screen re-concepted up soon too.

EDIT - here's a new version that uses the actual art for the UFOs rather than the top-down art. Anyone have any comments on this? (the top-down art isn't detailed enough on some of the UFOs to be used in this window without the red tint).
http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/Intercept3.png

Better or worse than the previous ones?

Quartermaster
01-22-2012, 16:15
It looks incredibly useful! Would it be possible to break ammo down by weapon? It seems like it would be difficult to have an idea of what your actual combat capability is without having a breakdown. Maybe two categories, one being cannon ammo and the other the number of missiles?

BlackObsidian
01-22-2012, 16:20
Nice - clear and gives you a good idea of what's coming so you can decide whether to fight or run. Having the UFOs in red makes sense during combat but perhaps on here they should appear as they would be seen visually?

resonansER
01-22-2012, 17:12
I believe that the new interface capturing wonderful!
I think that Chris thought long over the useful and informative interface. This follows from the screenshots.
Therefore, I believe that nothing should not alter, everything is pretty compact and informative!
Chris, you're just clever. My compliments.

anotherdevil
01-22-2012, 17:55
Awesome! Everything that I wished for =]

iamkyon
01-22-2012, 19:51
Maybe two categories, one being cannon ammo and the other the number of missiles?

This is the only gripe I have with the proposed view.

Chris
01-22-2012, 20:17
I don't really see that being viable. There's too many different permutations of wepaonry, particularly towards the end of the game, that I think the best we can have is the average figure shown above.

resonansER
01-22-2012, 20:25
Great! You know what's going on here? A point is that Chris sees your entire mosaic of the game as a developer. We still can see only a small part of the mosaic. So he knows better. This follows from the pregoing post of Chris ;)

anotherdevil
01-22-2012, 20:27
Maybe two categories, one being cannon ammo and the other the number of missiles?
But what about with future tech? Not knowing how many different types of weapons we'll get makes this a bit hard to agree on, though some form would be nice. If it is only cannon and missile, you could label the ammo section:

Ammo
Cannon/Missile
60%/30%

And if there is more, perhaps have them colour coded? Though that might be very ugly... Personally I'm happy there is something, more would be nice but not necessary

Chris
01-22-2012, 21:11
I've added an extra image to the orginal post to show some nicer UFO art rather than the top-down view. Do people prefer that or is the top-down art better?

anotherdevil
01-22-2012, 21:27
I prefer top down, that's how you will see them in air combat after all =]

resonansER
01-22-2012, 21:30
Better or worse than the previous ones?

Also very good. Not so hurts the eyes as red. Perhaps the second edition is good.

Gorlom
01-22-2012, 21:31
Personally I like the actual art, but will there ever be any ufo that has only 1 escort? just want to make sure those wont be confused with each other.

Will the actual art be available anywhere else? I assume inside the wikipedia. How visible will they be inside the ground missions? will we ever be able to view the roof by switching to a higher elevation?

There is no way to squeze both in somehow? toggle the view or have the actual art layered ontop of the topsown art? No that would probably be too cramped. I see benefits with both actual and topdown art. I can't really decide =P

Jean-Luc
01-22-2012, 21:41
The top down view allows for easier recognition since, as AD said, that's how the UFO looks in combat.

However I'm a sucker for aesthetics so my vote goes to the lower option. It looks better on the gray background, doesn't sting the eyes, is more immersive and gets more value out of the great concept art you have. People will learn to associate concept art with top down views easily enough.

Chris
01-22-2012, 22:12
I'll probably use the second one, to be honest. I like pretty things. Yes, some UFOs spawn with a single escort, but which one is the escort doesn't really matter all told. They're usually different craft so you can just remember.

anotherdevil
01-22-2012, 22:20
I'll probably use the second one, to be honest. I like pretty things. Yes, some UFOs spawn with a single escort, but which one is the escort doesn't really matter all told. They're usually different craft so you can just remember.
Damn, I feel quite strongly about this, but it is your choice at the end of the day.

I don't get how the red is too glaring, it is quite tonned down. Also with practice, when people begin to learn weapon arcs etc. that will apply more with the top down view, so from the get go they are already formulating stratergies. Plus I think it looks like a rather funny formation to be flying in =p I guess I just don't like the angle.

Do you have a mock up where it is top down, but the UFOs are their regular colour, and not red? I think that might be a nice compromise... =]

anotherdevil
01-22-2012, 22:36
Ok a quick mock up of the top down view with the roughly appropriate colours. Obviously Chris if you went down this route you might have a better artist do it than me =p

355

hmmm, why does that come out so small...?

Chris
01-22-2012, 22:58
(the top-down art isn't detailed enough on some of the UFOs to be used in this window without the red tint).

I'm afraid that holds true. This is a nice shout out to the original X-Com too.

Merlon
01-23-2012, 08:18
Wow, the next(ish) version is going to be great!

UFO picture
I think I'd prefer the ufos to have their picture taken from the same angle as the actual fight will be. That way the player will immediately think "oh no, that's the type that shot me down last time, better wait for more fighters to catch up". This will also help the player connect the name of the ufo with the image as they are listed together.

The angled shot is very pretty though.

Escorts
I don't think the "escort 1" and "escort 2" labels should be visible when there are no escorts. The appearance of the first escorted ufo will be more of a surprise then. ;)

Ammo
I guess you could solve the ammo-question by having it in percent with the possibility of hovering the cursor on the number for a small window containing all the weapons and their ammo. The drawback of doing this would probably be that the player doesn't need to do this elsewhere in the game, so may never try it. A small info-icon could be added next to the ammopercentage to draw the player's cursor in?

TheTuninator
01-23-2012, 14:36
New intercept window looks great! Using the actual UFO art sounds fine, I'm sure it will be very pretty.

Gauddlike
01-23-2012, 15:08
Could the ammunition be broken down into short, medium, and long range maybe?
Grey out any range that doesn't have a weapon in that range equipped as well, that way a mig with full missile ammo won't look like it has 0% short or medium range ammo.
An f-17 would have 100% short (cannon) and 100% medium (sidewinders) with greyed or dashed out long range.
*edit* Probably need to add an explanation of what the three numbers represent as well.

356

I prefer the angled and fully coloured images for the ships.
It is more aesthetically pleasing.
The only way the red ones would be an advantage for me is if they reflected any previous battle damage.
My only question is how it would look if the main enemy was much larger?
Do the pictures scale well?

The fuel being listed in seconds is a definite advantage over an arbitrary percentage or set value that means little.

I would change the Interception Successful! title though.
They have not been successful until the enemy has been shot down or forced to retreat to space.
Maybe "Engagement Range Reached" or something similar.

Zinn
01-23-2012, 15:44
I much prefer the actual art to the top-down silouette, as it also gives you a good idea of what to expect once you're on the ground: One should always be mindful about new players to the series and even a little bit of extra intelligence is useful to a newbie.

That said, please change the title of the interception: While it's not strictly incorrect that the interception is successful upon catching up to the UFO(s), something along the lines of the above suggestion of "Engagement Range Reached" is more suitable. In the end, you can still lose all of your planes, which no one would deem a success :)

anotherdevil
01-23-2012, 18:09
as for ammo, I like Gauddlike's idea, but I'd like to suggest another method if I might.

Now suppose we have a MIG and a F17 with their loadouts. Now this represents the location of all their weapons (and this idea gets too big if interceptors can carry more than 4 weapon points). What if we show the ammo in the same way? So:

357

Thoughts? (again I don't think this is necessary, I just like thinking of ways this could be done. Would be nice if it could be done though!)

BlackObsidian
01-23-2012, 18:34
I definitely prefer the actual UFO art over the red top view.

What would be even cooler was if there was an overlay highlighting UFO weapons, weakpoints or similar that appeared once the UFO type or UFO weapon projects had been researched. It wouldn't need to have any significant impact on air combat but it would enhance the feeling that your combat pilots had increasingly more info as research progresses.

Gorlom
01-23-2012, 18:36
Can we have a "sho UFO" button like in UFO:EU to show the actual art?

Okim
01-23-2012, 18:49
Just few my thoughts... Not pressing on anyone - i`ll like whatever choice you devs will make ;)

1. I like the top-down variant. Isometric one looks preatier, but do not match the current representation of air combat. But if we will have textured sprites in air combat some day - those would fit perfect :)

2. If i doesn`t matter wheather UFO is an escort or main - perhaps its better to exclude their 'roles' and leave only types/names? Might be less confusing IMO. Or does only main UFO create a crash site?

3. Ammo should be split on homming/directional if possible. Currently having no missiles negatively impacts on combat odds.

Gauddlike
01-23-2012, 18:49
The problem I would have AD is that I wouldn't remember which weapon was in which slot.
If the same craft type had the same weapons but in different slots the ammo counter would become quite confusing.

anotherdevil
01-23-2012, 19:14
true, but I imagine that much more than infantry, you would equip certain craft with certain weapons depending on their style. Also don't forget that each craft has certain hard points. So the forward mount on the F17 is only for cannons, etc.

admiral
01-23-2012, 20:13
I love the interception screen, it looks nice and it has all the information you need. Just one little thing that I'd like to propose, maybe change the title of the screen? "Interception successful" is a message that I would expect to see after I've downed or destroyed the UFOs. Wouldn't the title be more fitting if it read "Target in Sight!", or "Enemy within visual range!"? Just a thought, other than that, brilliant job!

Assoonasitis
01-23-2012, 21:01
I love the interception screen, it looks nice and it has all the information you need. Just one little thing that I'd like to propose, maybe change the title of the screen? "Interception successful" is a message that I would expect to see after I've downed or destroyed the UFOs. Wouldn't the title be more fitting if it read "Target in Sight!", or "Enemy within visual range!"? Just a thought, other than that, brilliant job!

"Enemy in range to engage"?

Moonshine Fox
01-24-2012, 07:15
The display is very nice and I believe it would add to the game. I do prefer the nicer UFO art for this window, since the top down is a touch "bland" and you will see it red-tinted, top-down in combat anyway, so "showing off" the UFO art here is likely better.

Okim
01-24-2012, 08:13
The screen indeed should be renamed. Simple "Interceptors ready to engage" or anything similar is better than "interception successful".

shuuk
01-24-2012, 13:08
i like the last one realy nice :)

Szabtom
01-24-2012, 15:47
I like the version with the actual art.

Bibidibop
01-25-2012, 04:31
All fuel everywhere will need to be noted in seconds for the Combat Fuel reading to make sense.
In light of the lowest numbers being red, should the highest and medium numbers be green and yellow respectively? Or at least use green and no yellow?
Missile count should be included.
Since we're using absolute numbers for fuel, and for missiles if included, should gun ammo be in seconds of fire?
The space between the stats and craft sections is vertically inconsistent with the spaces above and below the respective sections. Does it look better or worse with consistent spacing?
Definitely don't show graphics for absent enemy craft, and definitely use the art rather than the top down combat graphic. The art has artistic worth, and is pleasantly colored, while the top two examples have too much red and hurt my brain.
The UFO squadron name could use a change. You'll need a shorter sentence, "SQUADRON-X HAS CLOSED TO COMBAT RANGE WITH UFO-SQUADRON-X."
The buttons at the bottom need better visibility.
The internal horizontal spacing of the bottom buttons is inconsistent with their vertical spacing. Their external spacing against the window's bottom edge is only slightly inconsistent with their lateral spacing with the window edge.

Gauddlike
01-26-2012, 19:54
Fuel available in combat makes sense to be listed in seconds.
It makes less sense to do the same everywhere else.
Knowing you have 200 seconds of fuel means little unless you know how many seconds you can actually carry.
If you are going to display amount available and total amount you might as well stick to a flat percentage.

Specific missile numbers are also not required, although I do understand why you might prefer it.
For them to mean anything you would need to know how many you had available as well as how many you could possibly have.
Having detailed information on the craft loadouts would be nice but take up an awful lot of space.
A simple percentage works just as well for me.
Perhaps just the percentages visible normally with details available by clicking the craft?

G-Bee
01-27-2012, 11:18
I feel the top-down red view really gives the player a sense of emergency, which is a bit lacking in the 3d version. So my vote goes to the top-down red version.

Thann
01-27-2012, 23:31
Ufo Picture:
I like the UFOs with the actual art more than the red top down view. But you could add a small Symbol to the pictures, where the UFO is showed like it will appear in combat (either somewhere in the picture or next to the UFO name).

Ammo:
If there is a small maximum of the weapon slots, i like the idea of anotherdevil to have an ammo display, that shows the ammo of each slot. Else i would prefer a button near the ammo display with further infos on click/mouseover like Merlon said.
Perhaps ammo could be showed as a number for single shot weapons like missiles and as a percentage for multi shot weapons like cannons. And if you have enough space for the informations (like in the version with an extra button to get more infos), you could add a symbol near the ammo of each weapon, that shows which weapon (or at least which weapon type like missile, cannon, laser, etc.) it is.

rynait
01-28-2012, 20:09
I point out to you all, you armed your aircrafts and knew what armaments they carry. This UI is useful stats the aircrafts are (close to entering combat) allowing you to decide further action (break off or continue to pound the enemy).

I like top down graphical, not red.

Gauddlike
01-29-2012, 09:53
Remember that in Xenonauts the enemy attack in waves.
Is is perfectly possible that you may have large amounts of intercepts running simultaneously with large amounts of craft.
It may then be difficult to keep track of which of your (maybe) 30 interceptors are currently out, which are in the current squadron and which squadron just reached its target.
Unless you happen to equip every one of them identically you will be unlikely to be able to keep track of weapon types by memory alone.

Sathra
01-29-2012, 14:27
What about "Contact Intercepted"? as a title.

I like the art rather than the top-downs. I wonder, is the general art style of the window going to match that of the rest of the UI changes (paper and whatnot)?

anotherdevil
01-29-2012, 19:51
Also could have 'intercepted contact'? might roll off the tongue better...

or better yet combine them! "intertact" or "concepted"! No maybe not =p

UFO in range? Intercepted UFO? Can see his scaley skin? "One Ugly M*th@rfu7k3R?" (would need to get will smith to voice that one though)

ok I'll stop being silly

Gorlom
01-29-2012, 21:31
Red topdown view with a button that lets you see the concept art view, with multiple angles!

hmm posting right after AD makes my post seem less serious then it is... should i remove the exclamation mark or something to make it more intone with what I want to say?

plucx
01-29-2012, 23:29
Red icon would be more adequate to provide information at the interception start. It's what you are going to see in mission.
Please give a ammunition count and if possible weapon name or type. It's a bad thing if you engage with avalanche and tough you had sidewinders, same goes for Cannon, plasma and the like.
I could live with a DPS number and the amount of second remaining before the ammo is spend.

The artistic looking one could be used when the UFO is downed to show what we will see in the mission. Get us a idea of what we will see in the ground combat mission.

nutbarz
01-31-2012, 17:19
I Like the Artwork, buy I also liked the Idea of having Sprites in the Combat Screen at Some point and could / should be used instead so they represent correctly in combat. Some one Said that here. Another Point that was mentioned was about multiple crafts in flight (Up to 30!?) , well lets say there are 5 ufo crafts out there, so there would need to be 5 windows. And not everyone who plays this will have a 25 inch widescreen, some will still have 17 and 19 inch screens. So Window Size will need to be balance between size of the window and ability to read all the information. I know most of the time there may only be 1-2 windows open at a time, but if each window includes so much info in it, it will become unmanageable.

Just My opinion. If I play xenonauts like I played Xcom, I will be arming all of the same type of craft the same way just for ease of tracking them. Besides, once we all have plasma cannons, why would you use anything else? :eek:

anotherdevil
01-31-2012, 18:20
I Like the Artwork, buy I also liked the Idea of having Sprites in the Combat Screen at Some point and could / should be used instead so they represent correctly in combat. Some one Said that here.
No idea what you are saying here...


Another Point that was mentioned was about multiple crafts in flight (Up to 30!?) , well lets say there are 5 ufo crafts out there, so there would need to be 5 windows. And not everyone who plays this will have a 25 inch widescreen, some will still have 17 and 19 inch screens. So Window Size will need to be balance between size of the window and ability to read all the information. I know most of the time there may only be 1-2 windows open at a time, but if each window includes so much info in it, it will become unmanageable.UFOs come in waves, but you will never have to do more than one air combat at the same time. You will do one, and then if another interceptor is in range then you do the next, etc.

poulwrist
01-31-2012, 21:41
I like the window, but I dislike the tilted UFO design in the latest update. Maybe if you tone down the red in the top-down thing ever so slightly to a less harsh red, it would suit better. The top-down is the most representative and it's somehow more delightful to look at the silhuetes and be able to immediately recognize them rather than look at things and go "huh".

nutbarz
02-01-2012, 00:19
No idea what you are saying here... At some point, someone mentioned the Idea that on the Actual Combat screen, instead of having the Red Icons for the ships, have the top down detailed one like you posted in that one picture above. So the Picture shown in the intercept window would be the same was what was on the combat screen.

As for the Second Part - About the Multiple Air combats, I was referring to having multiple intercept windows open at once, while you had your whole fleet out trying to stop those waves of ships ( Something I have not seen yet since I cant seem to get through the first month with any interceptors left) Just a What if Situation when you have multiple ships able to have combat at the same time. I Assume this image is what pops up before starting the combats, so I would think Multiples would be on screen at once at some time. I know the Original one had that happen, which made me crazy at times. (It was a Fun Crazy)

irongamer
02-03-2012, 04:55
Going to toss my vote in for the art based one.

Ryuoki707
02-03-2012, 05:37
I prefer the top down. The other detail shot is nice, but I think it takes away from the feel of the UI. The whole setting of the game is Cold War era so having less detail just seems more realistic to me. Having a detailed picture just seems out of place.

I love the artwork though. Nice to see some varieties of craft other than corvette.

Gorlom
02-03-2012, 05:48
I'm still opting for the topdown look with a "show UFO" button that gives the detailed artwork view.

Amiga4ever
02-03-2012, 13:44
I vote for art view. Better fits to text and window. Red one is too simple.

MrPyro
02-03-2012, 14:21
Just in case this is a voting situation I'm putting in a call for the artwork version, although Thann's idea of having the top-down image as an icon as well sounds good.

Regarding ammo percentages; I think the main issue is it's unclear what they mean. If I have an F-17 with a full cannon but no Sidewinders, would that be 33% (average of 0%/0%/100%), or 99% (252 total shots available, 2 fired)? The screen as is would work if there was a button or mouse-over text for the aircraft that gave more detail on their armament if you wanted it; the information is potentially useful, but if you're 100% loaded then you don't necessarily need to see the breakdown all the time.

Sunshard
02-04-2012, 09:31
I fear I'm outvoted, but I'm in the simple, red, top-down view. It's more of a stylistic preference than anything else.

To me, it adds to the sort of quiet horror the commander on the ground feels, looking at that cryptic shape on the radar. Agonising over it, going "Where the hell do I attack from? I'd seen the Iceland files, but...."

I smell a modding opportunity, for information on UFOs in the intercept to be improved by research (as an added bonus perhaps).

MikeV37
02-07-2012, 05:05
I'd also like the top down red more, preferably with a button to show the artwork. Or maybe show the artwork on the ground mission screen? It looks much more like a chopper looking down at the ufo than an interceptor closing in from behind. I'm sure with a proper overlay you can make it look like a satellite image, even.

Also am I the only one that thinks the color choice of the artwork doesn't contrast the UI at all and is so not great? Or rather, the artwork is great by itself, just not coupled with the interception screen.

BobbyDylan
02-07-2012, 08:11
The one thing about this project which as appealed to me so quickly is the immersion factors of the game. The Game menu feels like you've been interviewed. The Geoscape looks like a satalite view, the air combat feels like the radar screen from Independance day.

That said, I think the concept needs a tad more work. I'd go for the top one, but add a themed boarder, lilke the examples below (sorry I'm no artist)
508

That way it feels like you're actually looking at the readout of an instrament, rather than a game pop-up..... :)

Gauddlike
02-07-2012, 08:29
I suppose if you did something like that you could have the buttons around the edge do something.
Detailed ammo displays etc.
It looks a little busy though.

RikazeMA
02-07-2012, 08:49
I prefer the red top-down, though I will agree that it could be muted a little bit so it's not quite so harsh. Honestly, it doesn't bother me, but I can see how it might bother others. As much as I like the stylized view, imo, it just doesn't fit the atmosphere. The alien ships are scariest when you're up close and personal, not so much when you're viewing them in the Intercept screen, and I feel removing the red removes part of the sense of urgency and warning.

BobbyDylan
02-07-2012, 09:23
Sorry, My suggestion was meant as a theme of suggestion, rather that a proposed mock up. Below is another really bad attempt at what I'm generally suggesting.

Again, this is not meant to be a working valid suggestion, but rather to inspire a the same emersion that runs so well in the rest of the screens.
509

Just something that makes you feel like you're looking at the radar screen in the Jet cockpit.

anotherdevil
02-07-2012, 21:52
so is this for in the combat, or when you have reached intercept range?

Gauddlike
02-08-2012, 07:51
It is a mock up of the intercept window.
Notice the buttons for intercept, disengage, tail until over land etc.

anotherdevil
02-08-2012, 19:21
It is a mock up of the intercept window.
Notice the buttons for intercept, disengage, tail until over land etc.
sorry I more meant for the pictures he put up with the blue borders, those look more like alternate air combat screens. That's all =p

BobbyDylan
02-09-2012, 08:42
sorry I more meant for the pictures he put up with the blue borders, those look more like alternate air combat screens. That's all =p
Sorry mate, My bad. I can see that my post was ambiguose. I made a follow-up suggestion a few posts on. It is the intercept pop-up window, but themed in such a way that it makes you feel like you're looking at an instament in the interceptors cockpit.

BuzuBuzu
04-04-2012, 04:07
I like the red non-art top down view. I think it fits better with the theme of the intercept window. The art view could be shown after pressing a button ... maybe as list of photos of that class of ufo that are on file or something in that vein.

Amiga4ever
04-04-2012, 08:34
+1 for art view from my side. Last build has art view and I hope it will stay

Mandabar
04-30-2012, 20:15
Hmm, this thread is old, but I'll throw in my 2 cents.

Perhaps on first contact, you would only get the radar signature (Red Top Down), But after fighting it, and winning you would have access to photos from the pilots. Or perhaps this would unlock after the crash site investigation and recovery. Or Research?

Subsequent Interception Engagement range reached screens would show the Art instead of the Radar Signature.

Belmakor
04-30-2012, 21:23
I'd still love to have some indication of where exactly this engagement is taking place. Its really difficult to work out what squadron is fighting when you have two identical squadrons up in the air at once.

Also it would be nice to know what region gets the relations bonus as a result. There might be times when youd rather shoot it down in Russia than in Europe if you get what I mean?

raziel1981
08-19-2012, 16:01
+1 on art view. And when their are no escorts, their should be no mentioning of it in the UI screen.

Skitso
08-27-2012, 07:41
I must ask, why are all the weapon and menu graphics in the air combat UI made in totally different style than all the other graphics in the game? You should pursue an unified look thorough the game, so the minigun, missile and fighter jet graphics IMO should look "realistic" in the same manner as soldier portraits and their weapons, no? This way you won't have problems like this, where different windows and screens don't match overall atmosphere.