Author Topic: Closed Alpha Test #2 Design Thoughts  (Read 323 times)

MenschMaschine

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Closed Alpha Test #2 Design Thoughts
« on: June 30, 2017, 07:06:20 am »
Lurler asked me to write abit about the Look and Feel of the game.

Part 1 - The AtomicTorch Game Launcher
The only thing i would change is making the whole window resizable,
so it can be made bigger.

Part 2 - The Cryofall Main Game Window
Nothing comes to mind here, all works and looks wonderful already.

Part 3 - Main Game View
The first thing i noticed was that the main character statistics are spread across the whole screen's width
while the actionable areas are at the bottom and top. This can result in less condensed informationdisplay and
possibly difficult informationgathering. This is getting far worse, if playing on more than 1 screen or
when using a high resolution.
Health, Stamina, Belly and Bladder should all be on one side of the left side of the screen,
since 92% of all people are right-handed. (ideally, that would be a toggeable option to choose from in the settings)

The second thing is that the bottombar is not controllabe with the mousewheel as that is used for zoomlevels.
In a dangerous setting as this one, few people, i believe, ever actually zoom IN, this will be even more so the case,
when the critters get their AI upgrade and start roaming the land, instead of simply standing about and watching grass grow.

Not to mention the usually far more dangerous players who are comin' ta getcha!
The Mousewheel could be set to switch the bottombar (with a toggleabe reverse setting, so [MWHEEL UP] is selecting the item
to the left instead of the one to the right) and zoom could be set to [PAGE UP]/[PAGE DOWN].

(to be continued)
No Berries!

ai_enabled

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Re: Closed Alpha Test #2 Design Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 12:54:21 am »
MenschMaschine, thank you very much for your feedback!

Health, Stamina, Belly and Bladder should all be on one side
After some playing I also think this is more convenient to have all the stats in one place. We also want to add "status effects" icons (poisoning, starving, radiation, etc) to be displayed there (similar to VE).
But having all these 4 bars + "status effects" icons in one place means it will take a lot of screen space (or it will be very condensed). It will take some time to experiment with UI layout and style there. Any suggestions (perhaps screenshots from other games) are welcome.

The Mousewheel could be set to switch the bottombar (with a toggleabe reverse setting, so [MWHEEL UP] is selecting the item
to the left instead of the one to the right) and zoom could be set to [PAGE UP]/[PAGE DOWN].
Yes, it makes sense to comply with the other survival games control scheme. Indeed, the zoom level is rarely changed while playing and we might even consider fixing it on one specific level.

FlessenGreendart

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Re: Closed Alpha Test #2 Design Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2017, 02:25:10 am »
I actually use the zoom function a fair amount; zooming right in when I'm in and around my home, and zooming out halfway when foraging, and zooming fully out when exploring unknown areas. Staying fully zoomed out feels awkward for me, yet has the obvious benefit when roaming.
Having said that, I also agree with the mousewheel switching hotkeys. Perhaps ctrl+mousewheel for zoom.

MenschMaschine

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Re: Closed Alpha Test #2 Design Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2017, 05:31:33 am »
ai_enabled wrote: "Indeed, the zoom level is rarely changed while playing and we might even consider fixing it on one specific level."

Nononononooooooo, Do not erase features that are implemented already and work perfectly fine without bugs. Ever.
There is -always- someone who uses them (oh, hi Flessen!) and in my view, it is bad dev-manners to take out working nice stuff.
After all, it's in there already and does not hurt anybody in RL.

Regarding the stats-bars, they could easily be cut down in half vertically, and to 75% horizontally.
The usual players will be between 13 and 30 years old, not 75, so they can still see quite well.
And you -don't- want to make the GUI look like playstation or touchscreen, right? °winks°
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ai_enabled

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Re: Closed Alpha Test #2 Design Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 03:42:45 am »
Perhaps ctrl+mousewheel for zoom.
Sounds like a good idea. Thanks for your feedback, Flessen!

Nononononooooooo, Do not erase features that are implemented already and work perfectly fine without bugs. Ever.
You will not believe how much developers cut their games to make them feel good and straightforward. Even if the feature works flawlessly and took hours to implement and polish, it could have unwanted side effects. But in our case we're trying to discuss such things with the community (thanks for reading this, guys!) to consider all the opinions.
That's why I wrote "we might even consider", not "we will definitely (do this)".

Regarding the stats-bars, they could easily be cut down in half vertically, and to 75% horizontally.
The usual players will be between 13 and 30 years old, not 75, so they can still see quite well.
And you -don't- want to make the GUI look like playstation or touchscreen, right? °winks°
Right, but there will be a UI scale feature (as done in VE to help players with huge screens or poor vision) so it's still possible to play the game on a TV screen or big monitor (we also wanted to provide support for gamepad controllers but not sure if/when we will do this. Most menus/windows/controls was designed with gamepad controllers in mind).

Cutting the size of the stats bars as you described sounds good and we might make a prototype for such UI. But then a good question - any ideas of what we could display in the free bottom-right corner? Maybe it's only a matter of habit but I think the UI will be inconsistent/incomplete if we simply took the controls panel away and keep this corner empty.

Regards!

MenschMaschine

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Re: Closed Alpha Test #2 Design Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 03:08:54 pm »
I am confused, ai_enabled, what do you mean by "taking the controls panel away"?
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ai_enabled

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Re: Closed Alpha Test #2 Design Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 08:16:02 pm »
I am confused, ai_enabled, what do you mean by "taking the controls panel away"?
As you said in the first post "Health, Stamina, Belly and Bladder should all be on one side of the left side of the screen". If we do this, it will free up the bottom right corner.

MenschMaschine

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Re: Closed Alpha Test #2 Design Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 11:22:46 pm »
I know, but... nothing is taken away that way, just moved around.
And since you cannot click them to change something,
i would not see those gauges as being any sort of control, thus my confusion.

But, back to topic after this short excursion :o)

Do you HAVE TO fill every corner of the screen?
Or even decide -now- about that?
Why not leave it empty and wait til someone (probably myself, teehee) complains later?
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ai_enabled

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Re: Closed Alpha Test #2 Design Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 11:30:26 pm »
Oh, I see. Controls in UI frameworks are simply primitive composite parts of UI - even if they don't actually control anything they're mostly called that.
Sure, we could keep it empty - if there are no better ideas yet. This corner still will be used for picked/dropped/used items notifications.