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UI

#1
ok, the current UI is obviously in developement, but as LT 1.0 isnt too far away this is the time to discuss this. josh, dont do the same mistakes the devs of X-REBITH did. the current UI fills way too much of the screen and gives extremely little context with the options it displays. a propper inventory screen should be able to be displayed as a small list in a separate window. i want the ability to put what i want where i wnt it. i hope filling the entire screen was never the plan for the final design, if it is, something needs to be done.

at the moment we miss lists and windows as a part of the UI. i know windows are not thatwell liked, but the fact is that for displaying the wanted information it is pretty well suited. some sort of quick action bar would also be nice as i really dont want to dig into a hierarchy of menus to get to my own inventory.

if you (josh) have this under control, no problem, but it is important to remmember that a brilliant game can be ruined bu crummy UI (see X-REBIRTH, although more than just UI was wrong there.)
Last edited by ravener96 on Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UI

#4
Keep in mind, one of the premises Josh has stated is that the UI will be pretty much fully customizeable. Layout, sizing, etc. Unless that has changed from a year ago, I don't think you need to worry about it. It was one of the big things he was working on a bit back so that it would be fully customizeable.
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Re: UI

#5
I like some UI features and I think some parts should be almost full-screen (missions, for example; in general - all stuff we do when docked to something big); but everything that is about your ship and its systems should be smaller, windowed yet detailed. Of course, configurable is the way to go - a configurable quick access bar (better still a possibility to create and put access bars anywhere you want - something tells me that a node-bases UI should be very receptive of that idea...), and configurable windows that can be bordered and borderless and where you can open lists of stuff and display them either as classical lists, as tiles, as nodes etc. That way, an explorer would prefer having a huge navigation map, a businessman would open stock market and keep it open; scavengers and miners would have scanner and cargo windows open permanently etc. - the possibilities are endless!

Also - I'd like to talk about a cursor. (I really do!)

Right now, there is that ‘direction indicator’ - a big circle in the middle of the screen, and a tiny blue dot with a line that indicates where you turn and how much you do it.

I'd prefer Freelancer-like system with free-moving cursor and no ‘direction indicator’ for the third-person view because your ship already gives you the sense of direction. For the first-person view, ‘direction indicator’ makes sense but it should be a small dot, and the turn/aim cursor should be a big circle. Makes so much more sense!
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Re: UI

#9
Yeah, I am in agreement. I think that the rectangles certainly have their place for charts and such, and I understand that it is totally customizable, but for the default, I think the UI should be far more nodal points like earlier than big black buttons. This is of course just polish, but an important piece of it.
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Re: UI

#10
I really liked the old on-ship hardpoint display for the UI. If you took a BBR (BigBlackRectangle) and overlaid one of the old holographic-style ship, it would keep it from looking messy in addition to making it very obvious where everything was, so you could find stuff faster than having to look through a list. "Hey, my thrusters are at the back of the ship, so that's where I'll look." It would be prettier, too.

As for research, I quite liked the old nodal system - it seemed to make more sense, and showed the natural progression. I understand that it works differently with the new blueprint system, but I suppose you could just have it so that you get a BBR overlaid with a circular, nodal AI system like before, so that you could see, naturally, how everything progressed, and know which way you want to take it next.

For things like the market, BBR all the way. For things like inventory and mission selection, BBR all the way - you can't really show those well with nodes. I would suggest that you could customize it to take up just one portion of the screen - the long, wide black rectangles for tiny pieces of information is completely unnecessary - you could shrink it to just one edge of the screen and still display all the same stuff. A click-and-drag interface, where you can drag the UI and "bump it" against an edge, for it to lock there, would be extremely useful, and shouldn't take too much coding effort either.

All floaty nodes is a pain, but at the same time, all BBRs is a pain, too - the best approach, just like anything else, is balance between the two, with each being used in the optimal situations. Even better, simply have a BBR behind the floaty nodes, or behind the ship hardpoint display, to give a stronger impression that you're looking at UI, and to allow you to position it along the screen as well. It would be nice to have a tiny hardpoint damage display shrunk and positioned on a corner of the screen - and in fact, it would be useful to have that same color-damage hardpoint display displayed without the BBR, so you could have it on during combat. That would be far more useful than the old "circles at the bottom right" system.

There are a lot of things Mr. Parnell could do to polish it all up. Utility comes first, appearance comes second - but it doesn't mean that good UI can't be pretty too.
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Re: UI

#11
One of the qualities I feel we're seeing less of in the UI examples in the more recent videos is what might be called "3D-ness."

The earlier swirly-node representation wasn't just a bunch of nodes -- there was a distinct feeling of seeing different levels within some structure by zooming into and out of that structure. There do seem to be multiple levels in the BBR model, which you can drill into and then back out of, but the 3D-ness feels much less pronounced.

I think that probably has to do with how the current level of a structure is rendered. In the highly nodal model, the current level could be seen as a cluster of nodes connected to each other in some flat graph. In the BBR model, you don't get that; you get a collection of equidistant, unconnected-to-each-other panes.

Because of that, zooming in and out of the BBR model doesn't give you new flat graphs that look different from each other (because they're showing you different functionality at different levels) -- it's just a different collection of equidistant, unconnected-to-each-other panes.

I expect there will be good uses for the BBR representation of some information. Even so, I miss the old nodal look, which really emphasized that changing levels was about seeing ever-deeper or ever-wider views of structural complexity.

Plus it just looked freakin' cool, which is not a negligible thing when it comes to getting good PR for one's game.
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Re: UI

#12
What the Limit Theory UI should, If I may be so bold, it's to be unique and different to any other game UI out there. That's what Josh showed us with the nodal interface.
Spoiler:      SHOW
What we saw in the update videos #11 and #12 is one of the things that gives me more hope about this wonderful game.
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Re: UI

#13
everyone keeps talking about the customizability of everything in the game... well lets see it. i would like to see how customizable it really is.

in some earlier videos and dev logs josh was talking about a lot of different looks to the nodal UI, did he find his personal favorite and stick with it, are the other models still in the game?
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Re: UI

#14
Etsu wrote:What the Limit Theory UI should, If I may be so bold, it's to be unique and different to any other game UI out there. That's what Josh showed us with the nodal interface.
Spoiler:      SHOW
What we saw in the update videos #11 and #12 is one of the things that gives me more hope about this wonderful game.
I agree, I love the old interface - it was pretty. Especially for research - that was amazing. I absolutely loved the thought of getting to see just how I was expanding my research tech tree.
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Re: UI

#15
there are certain requirements a UI needs to fulfill in displaying information.

it needs to tell you where you are in the "menu system" this can be in general terms such as "inventory" or "map" but when you go deeper and deeper into things you need directions like "fleet> beta fleet > startek destroyer 0381> cargo" written somewhere so you know at least in some whay where you are. this might even be nessecary in the full on nodal view alla the holographic circle display we saw a few months back.

it needs to show some context
this can be anywhere from a short description to ammounts and prices. i dont want to click every thing in my inventory to find out how many of each thing i have.

the things most used must be easilly accessible.
an example on how not to do this is X-rebirth. the reasont that game didnt fulfill this requirement is that it required a stupid amount of keys/clicks to get to even the most basic of information. in EVE you can get most info after one or two clicks where you wouldent even be out of the radial menu in X-rebirth.

it must be ABLE to be unintrusive. once again going with EVE and X-rebirth you can see that both systems can be intrusive in their own ways. EVE tends to fill the screen with lists and charts while it seems EVERY menu in X-rebirth fills the entire screen. the EVE system seems to be the better of these systems as the charts can be kept pretty well under controll.

how does the holographic WIP interface from a few months back fare in this test? well it gives some sense of where you are, so it has that going for it. you could probbably overlay it on the world so you can fly and use the menus at the same time, but without filling quite a lot of screen it doesent seem to work that well. it gives little context and handles lists extremely poorly. sorting items in the nodal tree could also be a problem.

the "block" interface has many of the same problems, it handles context a little better, but lists, sorting, and navigation could be problems. it also has the X-rebirth problem (in the form we have seen so far) in that it fills the entire screen even for the simplest of tasks and it requires a lot of clicks to get to where you want to be (again, this is in the little we have gotten to see in the last few months).

all of these problems could get fixed, but both systems honestly doesent seem to handle large quantities of anything as the nodal tree would quickly become cluttered and the block grid would have either too small blocks or too many pages. lists do ofcourse have their own issues, but if they could be created and items placed in them (grouping) some order could be maintained. it is important for a game of the scale it seems LT is aiming for that the UI handles a single ship as well as potentially infinite ships.

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