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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:47 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
If someone could get me a set of updated screenshots of a view with every single zoom level that would be helpful.

I made a set back in april (when i got ahold of somebody else's PC for a while), but that didn't have the new skinny lanes or the gasseous stuff.

Ugh. Ok. I just made a big set, and then realized I had the gas stuff turned off the whole time...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:07 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Ugh. Ok. I just made a big set, and then realized I had the gas stuff turned off the whole time...


Ok, thanks, but your SSs have 15 levels, and last time i checked (april) there were 16 levels. IIRC the last level was hardly noticeable, but it was there.
Has this changed? I'll need to be able to unambiguously refer to a different zoom levels for this to make sense.


EDIT:
Also i can assume that the stars in this example come about as close as they ever will, right?
I know there's a setting for starlane length.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:30 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
your SSs have 15 levels, and last time i checked (april) there were 16 levels. IIRC the last level was hardly noticeable, but it was there.
Has this changed? I'll need to be able to unambiguously refer to a different zoom levels for this to make sense.

There's a slight rounding / precision error that makes the last tick before reaching the exact max or min zoom not quite reach, so that if you scroll again in the same driection after coming all the way from the opposite max/min, there's a very slight adjustment to the actual min/max. I don't imagine there's enough difference between levels 15 and 16 (or 1 and 2 if you come from the other direction) for anything you're going to suggest to matter though... So, don't worry about it, and just refer to the 15 levels in that image.

However, in future, we could make the zooming more continuous, perhaps by adding a zoom slider that isn't fixed to discrete points. Internally, the decisions about what to draw on the map will probably be written in terms of the zoom level as a scale factor, not the number of ticks away from (the current) max or minimum zoom level. So whatever levels you want things to appear or not appear at will be translted into a zoom scale factor, and continuous vs. discrete zoom levels shouldn't matter.

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Also i can assume that the stars in this example come about as close as they ever will, right?

I think this is a typical galaxy. There are various star placement algorithms, and we might have more in future, but working with that assumption based on this set of images is probably fine.

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I know there's a setting for starlane length.

There's a setting for number of starlanes, but not one for their length. There might be a secondary effect in the code where more lanes or fewer lanes tends to produce longer lanes or shorter lanes on average, but it wasn't added intentionally, and isn't mentioned in the UI.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:15 am 
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OK, good enough.


Re this:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
However, in future, we could make the zooming more continuous, perhaps by adding a zoom slider that isn't fixed to discrete points. Internally, the decisions about what to draw on the map will probably be written in terms of the zoom level as a scale factor, not the number of ticks away from (the current) max or minimum zoom level. So whatever levels you want things to appear or not appear at will be translted into a zoom scale factor, and continuous vs. discrete zoom levels shouldn't matter.

I don't want it to sound like i'm endorsing continuous zoom. Stepped zoom is fine, and the kind of stuff we're doing will tend to look better if we stay with stepped. I.E. At the small levels we're using pixel perfect little graphics like the tiny-stars. These won't hold up well being shrunk/expanded by 10% or 27.5% And the transition between tiny-graphics and the shrunk-down full sized will be much less jarring if it's part of a stepped zoom, rather than an infinitesimal change in zoom scale.

By all means plan ahead for a possible continuous zoom future, but i think it's likely that stepped will work better.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:02 am 
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eleazar wrote:
...the kind of stuff we're doing will tend to look better if we stay with stepped. I.E. At the small levels we're using pixel perfect little graphics like the tiny-stars. These won't hold up well being shrunk/expanded by 10% or 27.5%

Probably any graphics that are meant to be pixel perfect or small won't be graphics we'll scale with zoom level. If an image is hundreds of pixels across, 10% reductions can still look ok, but I wouldn't attempt to rescale 32x32 icons. This is probably a good rule to keep in mind when doing graphics actually, assuming there are no objections...

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And the transition between tiny-graphics and the shrunk-down full sized will be much less jarring if it's part of a stepped zoom, rather than an infinitesimal change in zoom scale.

In some cases the larger shift in position that a stepped zoom causes will / does make the appearance change less jarring... But if we otherwise wanted to do continuous zoom, I wouldn't think the jarring graphic replacement issue alone would be sufficient reason to not do so. And in other cases, replacement of a detailed graphic or many graphics with a less detailed icon or an icon that represents a collection of things should be jarring as the meaning of the icon(s) has changed and should be obvious / noticable... Consider, for example, transitions between multiple fleet icons and grouping multiple fleets under a single icon.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:33 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
...the kind of stuff we're doing will tend to look better if we stay with stepped. I.E. At the small levels we're using pixel perfect little graphics like the tiny-stars. These won't hold up well being shrunk/expanded by 10% or 27.5%

Probably any graphics that are meant to be pixel perfect or small won't be graphics we'll scale with zoom level. If an image is hundreds of pixels across, 10% reductions can still look ok, but I wouldn't attempt to rescale 32x32 icons. This is probably a good rule to keep in mind when doing graphics actually, assuming there are no objections...

Certainly i agree, though in rare instances there could be exceptions.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:25 am 
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To be able to easily identify star-color at the lower zooms (that are however closer than the tiny-star levels)
we'll need to have an intermediate set of star graphics between the tiny ones and the large ones currently used for most of the zoom levels.

Is that going to be a technical problem? Since the graphics would be smaller it might speed things up a little.


This is going to take a while working with all these zoom-levels... do you want it piecemeal with the possibility of revisions, or all in one final chunk?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:15 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
To be able to easily identify star-color at the lower zooms (that are however closer than the tiny-star levels) we'll need to have an intermediate set of star graphics between the tiny ones and the large ones currently used for most of the zoom levels.

Why...? Having two sets of graphics - one for small and one for big - is reasonable, but I'm skeptical of the need for three. What can't be accomplished by adjusting the textures used above the current tiny size?

Quote:
This is going to take a while working with all these zoom-levels... do you want it piecemeal with the possibility of revisions, or all in one final chunk?

You don't need to do a separate mockup for all zoom levels. If there's a transition point, indicate that and what happens with a closer-in or farther-out zoom levels. The same rules then apply between any two transition points (or the max and min zoom possible).

That said, posting more and more often is preferable, if for nothing more than feedback during the design process. I won't start coding anything at least until its decided that something's final, although that doesn't mean *everything* has to be decided and final before I'll do anything.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:21 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
To be able to easily identify star-color at the lower zooms (that are however closer than the tiny-star levels) we'll need to have an intermediate set of star graphics between the tiny ones and the large ones currently used for most of the zoom levels.

Why...? Having two sets of graphics - one for small and one for big - is reasonable, but I'm skeptical of the need for three. What can't be accomplished by adjusting the textures used above the current tiny size?

Saturation is the issue.
The tiny-stars are highly saturated to make the color distinguishable with only a few pixels. However the big stars are significantly less saturated, to keep them from looking cartoonish or non-illuminated. (General rule: the larger an area you cover with a single color, the more vibrant or saturated it will seem)

I've never been ecstatic about how the big star graphic looked at their smallest sizes, but when we add the brightly colored rings, (saturation necessary to tell the rings apart) they tend to overshadow the colors of the shrunk-down big stars.

Notice how much easier it is to confuse yellow&orange, or blue&white stars in L5 (which uses the shrunk big graphics) than L4. (Your actually viewing ease will vary quite a bit based on browser, system, monitor etc. If you can't tell any difference between L4 and L5, then buy a new monitor, or take my word for it. ;) )


* Also it probably slows things down to use hundreds of 128x128 graphics in the L5-L9 range when they don't appear larger than 24x24

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zoom4-5.png
zoom4-5.png [ 186.08 KiB | Viewed 1251 times ]





Geoff the Medio wrote:
You don't need to do a separate mockup for all zoom levels.

True, but unfortunately i have to do most of them, if i'm really going to know if my schemes work.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:36 pm 
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Rather than scaling the fleet symbols depending on zoom level, how about keeping fleet symbol size independent of zoom?

Also, I really liked eleazars idea about different symbols for scout fleets, warship fleets etc. Distinguishing between classes of ships based on armament, equipment and hull category, and then adding an indication on how many ships of that class you've got, also eliminates the argument about 1 ship being worth 10 others. Toss in another symbol for a mixed fleet (or several symbols for several mix-fleet categories), and finally use chevrons to indicate number of ships (say, 1-10 ships = symbol only, 11-25 = 1 chevron, 26-50 = 2 chevrons, 51+ = 3 chevrons).


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:33 pm 
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MrV wrote:
Rather than scaling the fleet symbols depending on zoom level, how about keeping fleet symbol size independent of zoom?

Well, we certainly can get by with less fleet symbol scaling than we see in Geoff's screenshots above. But we need some about of scaling and/or alternate sets of icons, because the nice, informative fleet icons developed in this thread can't be shrunk down small enough (without becoming pixel mush) to be used at the low-medium zoom levels.

MrV wrote:
and finally use chevrons to indicate number of ships (say, 1-10 ships = symbol only, 11-25 = 1 chevron, 26-50 = 2 chevrons, 51+ = 3 chevrons).

Yes, we've already decided to do something like that earlier in this thread.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:39 am 
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This post is a continuation of this one, however it's a bit more tentative.

The lay out thus far:
    Level 1
    No Ships
    No Star names
    By default rings around colonized systems indicate ownership
    Multi-owner systems indicated by white ring
    ...

    Level 4
    Tiny fleet icons introduced. Tiny icon does not distinguish between different types of ships.
    No other change.
    ...

    Level 5
    Tiny-stars replaced with scaled-down stars (not L4 as currently)
    Rings graphics now start expanding with stars.

    Level 6
    Starnames introduced (Not L5 as currently)

Attachment:
zoom4-6.jpg
zoom4-6.jpg [ 166.87 KiB | Viewed 1149 times ]


* At this size we can't use the informative fleet icons seen earlier, there's not enough room to fit in the detail, so we just have a one-image-fits-all fleet icon for these zoom levels. If you want to know more you need to zoom.
- Or it would be nice if a tooltip at all levels that have fleets would tell you what the fleet is made of.

* The feet icons are of-course a big mess when you have a lot of in a single system, but i'm illustrating an unlikely worst-case scenario. It is not certain that we will even allow 11 empires at once.

* Note the angle of the ship icon indicates weather the ship is leaving or a system or staying— to help clarify when it's ambiguous what star a fleet is attached to.

* Fleet icons are working really badly with starname labels at this size. I'll have to rework something.

* Starnames should be the nice black outline ones discussed in another thread, i forgot to put that in.

* tiny fleet icon committed to trunk

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:40 am 
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Is there a reason you're not grouping all moving and all stationary fleets in a system into two icons (one for each group), including all empires' fleets under the single icon, at far-out zooms? We'd need to figure out what fleetwindow to open up if such a button was clicked, but it would certainly help with the clutter in the 11 empires case.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:56 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Is there a reason you're not grouping all moving and all stationary fleets in a system into two icons (one for each group), including all empires' fleets under the single icon, at far-out zooms? We'd need to figure out what fleetwindow to open up if such a button was clicked, but it would certainly help with the clutter in the 11 empires case.

I'm not quite sure i understand the question..

Each empire should only get one fleet icon max in the "stationary area" and one in the "leaving system area". I was just lazy in re-coloring, and left multiple green icons in the big group.

But if you are asking, "why don't we use one icon no matter how many empire's fleets are present", i don't think that would be meaningful enough. Its not very useful to know that there are ships at system X if you don't know who the ships belong to.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:09 am 
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I was asking about one icon no matter how many empires' ships are present.

eleazar wrote:
Its not very useful to know that there are ships at system X if you don't know who the ships belong to.

It's more useful than not being able to see where ships are at all at that zoom level.


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