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Thread: V9.1 Ground Combat GUI feedback

  1. #1
    Moderator Gauddlike's Avatar
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    V9.1 Ground Combat GUI feedback

    Just had a play about with the new GUI and it is much improved over the previous version.
    It looks a lot sleeker and just generally nicer.

    I do have a few quibbles with it still though.

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


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


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


    Clicking on the shot icons and names feels like it should also be possible when setting reserve level, rather than just the tiny slider.
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  2. #2
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    I came to post those exact quibbles, and Gaulddlike eloquently summed it all up. I am happy to say that I am enjoying the more detailed appearance of things and salivating over the visuals.

  3. #3
    Good summary by Gauddlike. I was also going to mention some of these items.

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

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

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

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

    gui9-1-large.jpg

    I do like the overall changes to the gui, good work.
    Last edited by irongamer; 03-12-2012 at 21:05.

  4. #4
    Beloved Leader Chris's Avatar
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    Fair points re: the camera level and the AP Reserve slider clickzones. I'll get the coders to fix that up.

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

    For the building visibility stuff, I guess the way to get around it is to have a Toggle Roof building. If it is pressed, the upper levels of a building are not shown but the ground level would have a black overlay on it (unless the tiles have been revealed already). It's a bit of a toughie, because it's hard to balance having the roof there in the first place (which you need to hide the UFO interiors and to reveal how tall buildings are at a glance) and usability.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Gauddlike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    For the AP slider, I'm not necessarily sure I want to re-arrange the UI to move the two elements closer together. The movement path is colour-coded to help with that, and the numbers grey out if you don't have enough APs to select them.
    Individually those parts work and do what they are supposed to.
    My issue is that I regularly need to do something that involves combining them.

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

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

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

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

  6. #6
    I like the look of the entire building as well. It however is impossible to see behind the building. If I have troops behind a 3-4 story building without anyone inside said building its extremely hard to move them to a tactical location. If we could have a way of removing the extra stories for movement I would like that.

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

  7. #7
    Beloved Leader Chris's Avatar
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    Cliff, was it the second missions he carried the same weapon into battle? From memory there's a weight bug that affects soldiers on the second mission that may still be floating around...
    Chris England - Xenonauts Project Lead
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    For the building visibility stuff, I guess the way to get around it is to have a Toggle Roof building. If it is pressed, the upper levels of a building are not shown but the ground level would have a black overlay on it (unless the tiles have been revealed already). It's a bit of a toughie, because it's hard to balance having the roof there in the first place (which you need to hide the UFO interiors and to reveal how tall buildings are at a glance) and usability.
    Would it be possible to have the visibility for the inside of each building toggle on and off when the mouse cursor moves over it rather than requiring a roof toggle button? That seems like that should give decent fluidity and would be pretty intuitive.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike View Post
    I find myself having to look back and forward between the AP slider and the soldier portrait AP bar to find how many AP I actually have available to use.
    Wouldn't it be a good start if the numbers that are shown in the tiles did not represent the TUs that are spent, but instead the TUs that remain after giving the move order? I find myself subtracting the TUs-to-spend from the available TUs all the time, as the latter value is of more importance. Showing remaining TUs in the tiles directly would save me from a lot of math

    You could also add little icons to that number, showing what other actions / shots are still possible after giving the move command. It's all math -- and math is what computers were made for in first place.
    Last edited by tappex; 03-13-2012 at 18:07.

  10. #10
    Moderator Gauddlike's Avatar
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    You really need to know 3 numbers.
    Amount used for the current movement, total amount available, amount reserved.
    If the movement path displayed the amount of AP over remaining AP (after reserve is deducted) then it would help I think.
    For example you have 75 AP and 15 reserved.
    You plot a movement path that takes 50 AP.
    The path would display 50/60.
    Turn off your reserve and it changes to 50/75.

    Or as you said tappex, count down rather than up.
    Either way works.
    Think I prefer counting down.
    Last edited by Gauddlike; 03-13-2012 at 19:39.
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