Thanks for the reply Geoff. You have helped me clear up a few things.
We don't have a huge number of buildings, and not a lot of thought has gone into what buildings we do have, so there's never been motivation to group them by a category like is done with techs or (even more so) ship parts on their respectively screens.
Would it be helpful if I started working on this?
The production screen also deals with both buildings and ships, which don't have obvious mutually-applicable categorizations.
This was something that I pointed out in my brainstorming post
. It does make things more complicated by grouping them both together but:
being able to compare all [types of production] at once is useful. Imaging deciding between producing a ship and a building... ranking them by cost would be useful.
Good point. This is probably useful enough to warrant keeping buildings and ships together.
Also, orbitals are going away. Anything that could be considered an orbital will be treated as a building. The only use for orbitals was the one thing in the category - defense bases - which were added for v0.3 only and aren't in the v0.4 design as a buildable item.
That's good news, as orbitals are very similar to buildings. Now the player will not have to weigh buildings against orbitals.
This is not going to happen. It would require a huge rewrite of sidepanel code, is inconsistent with the map screen sidepanel UI, and removes any ability to show ranges on the galaxy map while in production view (which we don't do yet, but should eventually). It also makes it a lot harder to switch between systems while in the production view, since players primarily see systems laid out on the galaxy map, so know their spatial layout at least as well as their names.
I agree with you, it is better being able to see the galaxy map. The only reason I did that in my mockup was to alleviate some space for the production list. The production screen is more spatially cramped than the design or research windows. However, you are right that removing the galaxy view would be unconscionable. Count that as one of my crazy ideas!
You mean separate the filters from the list, or have multiple windows of filters? Rather than wasting the extra border space required to make a separate window for the filters as on the research screen, it might be better to keep them attached to the only list they're relevant to, like the design screen. Keeping the filter buttons attached to the list makes it a bit clearer that the buttons are filtering the list, and not anything else on the screen. Research is a bit different, in that the filter floats over the tree view (and currently the list, but the list should be given its own window eventually), and the same filter is used for both the list and the tree, so it makes sense to give it its own window in that case. It might also work on the production screen though, as it would be more flexible for setting up the production screen window layout...
I was thinking separate them from each other somehow, for instance to separated ship filters from building effect filters. When you say "keep them attached to the only list they're relevant to" do you mean have a different list for buildings and ships? You know better than me that the production window is quite cramped, which unfortunately limits our options. Perhaps the queue window can be shrunk vertically, and the list extend below it.
The sidepanel can be improved by adding filters to alter what it shows, including just colonized planets, just planets where a selected building can be placed, just the player's planets, etc.
That would be quite handy.
The buildable items list can and should be significantly improved, with rows that look more like those of the tech list. This just hasn't been done yet.
If this is done, it will greatly improve 'productivity' in the production screen.
Thanks for putting up with my wild ideas, I think I have a better idea of where the design is going now.