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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:28 am 
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eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Is stationary at the top right and moving at the top left intuitive? It could be changed or made configurable.

I don't think any corner would be more or less intuitive than any other. IIRC MoO always used the right side for ships staying and the left for ships leaving. I moved the leaving corner to the upper left to avoid overlapping with the star name.
Do other major space 4x games (that use corners similarly) use different corners? If there's a lot of variety we might consider making it configurable, otherwise i see no point.

Can the player actually know what orders his opponents have given to their ships before the turn is over? If not, there will only ever be one ship in the "leaving the system" position, so it probably wouldn't interfere with the star name if it were put at a bottom corner. Unless I have no idea what I'm talking about, which is a possibility.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:38 am 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
Can the player actually know what orders his opponents have given to their ships before the turn is over? If not, there will only ever be one ship in the "leaving the system" position, so it probably wouldn't interfere with the star name if it were put at a bottom corner. Unless I have no idea what I'm talking about, which is a possibility.

Good observation. There may usually only be one ship in the departing area. Though AI moves and and multi-turn queued moves might show up in the leaving area-- it could be argued that they player shouldn't be be allowed to see that.

But still one ship in the lower right and the starname will interfere with each other at the lower zooms. See this post and use a little imagination

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:28 am 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
Can the player actually know what orders his opponents have given to their ships before the turn is over? If not, there will only ever be one ship in the "leaving the system" position, so it probably wouldn't interfere with the star name if it were put at a bottom corner. Unless I have no idea what I'm talking about, which is a possibility.


Much of the time. But when all the fleets at a system are retreating after a fight, we may show where they are immediately retreating to. I don't know if this is addressed in the DD.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:46 am 
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We might (eventually) update allies of eachother's move orders issued during a turn.

There could also be cases where a ship is stuck in a system for several turns despite wanting to leave... perhaps due to fuel limits and needing to wait for fuel to regenerate (when away from instant refuelling from fleet supply). Showing the fleet as "departing", since it's trying to, would make sense.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:22 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
We might (eventually) update allies of eachother's move orders issued during a turn.
IMO, that's a bad idea, especially since you can change move orders an indefinite number of times each turn. It could just prove confusing as a player tries to base his turn movements on his ally's fleet movements only to find when he's finished that his ally has changed his fleets move orders again.

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There could also be cases where a ship is stuck in a system for several turns despite wanting to leave... perhaps due to fuel limits and needing to wait for fuel to regenerate (when away from instant refuelling from fleet supply). Showing the fleet as "departing", since it's trying to, would make sense.

If that were the case, I as a player would always be waiting to issue my move orders until my fleet had sufficient fuel, so as to not give away my intentions and my obvious plight to other empires, which is additional micromanagement on my part. Why should my fleet be overtly labeled as a sitting duck if it runs out of fuel and I still want to go somewhere?
tzlaine wrote:
Much of the time. But when all the fleets at a system are retreating after a fight, we may show where they are immediately retreating to. I don't know if this is addressed in the DD.
That's a legitimate concern, which might throw a wrench into things. My basic idea is that we put leaving ships and orbiting ships on opposite corners so there's maximum room for the orbiting ships. A possible way to solve this would be to simply give retreating ships a head start into the starlane, not enough to give them a significant advantage, but enough that we don't have to say that they're still orbiting the star but have been issued orders to leave (which makes more sense conceptually anyway), for the sake of simplifying the UI.
eleazar wrote:
But still one ship in the lower right and the starname will interfere with each other at the lower zooms. See this post and use a little imagination

IMO those ship icons need to be smaller. Take a MoO2 ship icon at min. zoom for example; if it were at the bottom left corner of the star it would still probably fit above the star name.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:12 am 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:
But still one ship in the lower right and the starname will interfere with each other at the lower zooms. See this post and use a little imagination

IMO those ship icons need to be smaller. Take a MoO2 ship icon at min. zoom for example; if it were at the bottom left corner of the star it would still probably fit above the star name.

Did you even look at the link i pointed you too?
I don't see how you could have and come to the conclusions that:
1) the ships are too big
2) they could fit in the bottom left without messing with the text.

Anyway MoO2 was designed when screens had many fewer pixels. What worked then doesn't necessarily work now.
But as it turns out they are about the same length, but mine are skinnier, at least according to these screenshots. My copy no longer works.

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Last edited by eleazar on Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:52 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
How exactly should fleet buttons be positioned?

A few empires' buttons are shown here they are shown uncoloured and in a vague concentric partial ring arrangement. How are these positions determined from the fleet icon size and the ring / system icon size?


I'm trying to provide a system that is pretty flexible, simple, and avoids wasting space or encroaching on other stars.

The example below is for max zoom simply to make things more visible.

Each blue box represents the size of the fleet icon file 23x24 for this size. I shaved a pixel off one side because wanted the icons to be able to have a pointy tip that wasn't off center, thus they needed an odd width.

The smaller fleet icons will be placed according to the same rules, but of-course with smaller boxes.

The numbers mark the order that the different positions should be used. I.E. there will be no fleet in box "8" unless there are at least 8 empires.

The first fleet icon is placed so a 45° line from the star's center passes through the center of the icon. The icon's box is as close to the system circle as it can be without crossing it.
The other boxes are stacked up against the first box and the system circle.

It is clear how you would add more than 17 fleets if (shudder) that was necessary, right?

The stay-in-system ships and the leaving ones stay on their own side of the red vertical line that splits the star. Obviously with a smaller system ring you couldn't put a box in all the same places.

The pink box is for the first departing fleet. These boxes are placed according to the same system, except the shape is a little different.


Is that all clear? Is butting a square up against a circle easy enough to code?


Attachments:
fleet position.jpg
fleet position.jpg [ 50.7 KiB | Viewed 831 times ]

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:07 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
The smaller fleet icons will be placed according to the same rules, but of-course with smaller boxes.

You haven't provided many rules, really...

1) First fleet is on 45 degree angle and at the closest edge of the system - OK.

2) The other boxes are stacked up against the first box and the system circle - Too vague.

What about different zoom levels? Now that the fleet icons only appear in several discrete sizes, the relative sizes of the fleet icons and the system circle will be different at different zooms, so that packing arrangement isn't always usable, and so a more general set of rules for positioning is needed.

Quote:
there will be no fleet in box "8" unless there are at least 8 empires.

So are the different icons for different types of fleets never used on the map then?

[edit]I'd like to reconsider showing icons for each fleet when at very close in zooms. I doubt having 17 or more fleets at one system will be a common occurance, even with multiple empires' fleets being included.[/edit]

Quote:
It is clear how you would add more than 17 fleets if (shudder) that was necessary, right?

Not really... Icons 1-5 are the inner circle, and then 6 and 7 are the second ring, but 8 looks like it's on the third ring, after which you go back to the second ring until it's full, after which 13 and 14 resume filling the third ring, but then 15 and 16 jump to the 4th ring and 17 is on the 5th, despite lots of empty space on lower rings. It's not clear at all how to generalize this for different relative sizes of icons and system ring.

Quote:
Is butting a square up against a circle easy enough to code?

That part should be doable.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:24 pm 
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Sorry, I believe I misinterpreted the zoom level of that link. Nonetheless, at least one of those ships is in a decent leaving position: the one just below the centre (of the star) on the left. Also, there would, as far as I can see, be enough room without those rings there....but I suppose that's pretty much been decided upon...

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:12 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
The smaller fleet icons will be placed according to the same rules, but of-course with smaller boxes.
You haven't provided many rules, really...

1) First fleet is on 45 degree angle and at the closest edge of the system - OK.

2) The other boxes are stacked up against the first box and the system circle - Too vague.

What about different zoom levels? Now that the fleet icons only appear in several discrete sizes, the relative sizes of the fleet icons and the system circle will be different at different zooms, so that packing arrangement isn't always usable, and so a more general set of rules for positioning is needed.

OK, i'll try again with less reliance on pictures and more on words. The following is for the upper-right staying-in-system ships. Flip "left" and "right" for leaving ships.

We have the first one down right? The second box position is immediately to the left of the first, and displaced vertically (away from the star) just enough to avoid intersecting the system ring. Similarly the third position is immediately below the first box, and displaced to the right (away from the star) just enough to avoid the system ring.

Any other columns of boxes on the upper left (if there's room for more) are similarly butted up against the previous column horizontally, and displaced away from the stars center so it avoids overlapping the system ring. Any additional rows on the lower-right similarly butt up against the underside of the previous row and the system ring.


:arrow: If you want to be fancy you could use a box the actual size of the non-transparent part of the icon, instead of treating all icons of a given filesize as if they filled up the pixel dimensions of their file. This would save a good bit of space since some fleet icons are a lot shorter, but may make fitting the icons together too complicated.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
It is clear how you would add more than 17 fleets if (shudder) that was necessary, right?
Not really... It's not clear at all how to generalize this for different relative sizes of icons and system ring.

In short, you choose the valid, empty position which is closest to the center of the star measuring from the center of the potential box. Often you'll have two nearly equal options, In the previous example, I arbitrarily chose the one on the left, but now that i actually measure it, due to the unequal sizes of the ship icon, the lower right extremity should be chosen before the the upper left, since it is actually a bit closer. This is fixed in the current post's example.

Also, we'll need a limit on how far away from the star the fleets can pile up, when using the tiny fleet icons, because even a modest number of fleets can cover near-by stars. At level 5 there room for just 1 icon per corner. I haven't yet figured out how many additional fleets can legitimately fit in at each zoom level. Once we start using the small, differentiated fleet icons (at level 9 or 10 there should be enough room that only a very rare congregation of fleets will cause trouble with adjacent stars, so i've only made a multi-fleet icon for the tiny size.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
there will be no fleet in box "8" unless there are at least 8 empires.
So are the different icons for different types of fleets never used on the map then?

I don't follow.
At the lower zooms, approximately 5-8, the tiny, generic fleet icons are used. At the higher levels the icons which roughly indicate the size of fleet and the type of ship are used. I'm not sure if that addresses the question.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
I'd like to reconsider showing icons for each fleet when at very close in zooms. I doubt having 17 or more fleets at one system will be a common occurance, even with multiple empires' fleets being included.

If you want to code it in as an experiment, go ahead. That will make answering the question of weather it is a good idea easier. I think it's more likely that it won't work out. In addition to the problem of room, it could be confusing to sometimes click on an icon and bring up a particular fleet, and sometimes find it to be an aggregation of fleets.


Attachments:
fleets.jpg
fleets.jpg [ 47.15 KiB | Viewed 782 times ]

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Last edited by eleazar on Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:29 pm 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
Also, there would, as far as I can see, be enough room without those rings there....but I suppose that's pretty much been decided upon...

Weather or not we have rings sometimes or always, i feel very strongly that the star should always be a large enough click-able target without other clickable targets covering it up. It's an entirely unnecessary pain to make the player find the right small button in a stack small buttons. Remember how tricky it used to be in FO sometimes to select the star/fleet you wanted? Yeah, that could have been optimized, but part of the trouble was the unavoidable result of putting small buttons, with badly defined edges, in very close proximity.

The big rings at that level roughly define the area that gives the star a decent sized clickable area, so no other buttons should be inside that zone.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:41 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
there will be no fleet in box "8" unless there are at least 8 empires.
So are the different icons for different types of fleets never used on the map then?

I don't follow.
At the lower zooms, approximately 5-8, the tiny, generic fleet icons are used. At the higher levels the icons which roughly indicate the size of fleet and the type of ship are used. I'm not sure if that addresses the question.

If we only show one fleet icon per empire (as implied by needing 8 impires to place the 8th fleet icon in the 8th box), each empire's icon represents all the fleets in the system belonging to that empire (ie. more than one fleet). We thus can't show the size of the fleets with the icon, because one icon can't describe the sizes of multiple fleets.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:13 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
We thus can't show the size of the fleets with the icon, because one icon can't describe the sizes of multiple fleets.

We add up the sizes of all the fleets, and show that size with the icon. I don't see the difficulty.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:21 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
We thus can't show the size of the fleets with the icon, because one icon can't describe the sizes of multiple fleets.

We add up the sizes of all the fleets, and show that size with the icon. I don't see the difficulty

What should be used for the head of the icon? Does a single ship of battle / colony / scout classification make the multi-fleet icon look like the ship's icon style?

Edit: The current small and medium icons' size indicator file names are numbered differently (small start with one tick for size one, whereas big starts with no ticks) and look different for larger numbers (more ticks while maintaining the old ticks for big, a second row of ticks without the original ticks for small).


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File comment: same fleet at two different zooms showing different number of ships icon part
Alignment_and_Numbering.png
Alignment_and_Numbering.png [ 22.49 KiB | Viewed 949 times ]
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:26 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
What should be used for the head of the icon? Does a single ship of battle / colony / scout classification make the multi-fleet icon look like the ship's icon style?

The multi-fleet icon is only for the lowest zooms where there are extreme space constraints and so the tiny icons are used which don't differentiate between ship type and number.

There will be somewhat arbitrary hierarchy of ship types. In any given group the type of ship that's highest on the hierarchy list is the one that determines the icon. Ships higher in the hierarchy are considered "more important". Sure the hierarchy won't always match what is important to the player, but it's easily understandable and provides more info than a generic icon.

So currently i have a icons for a simple hierarchy:
    War ships
    Colony Ships
    Scouts

In a fleet of colony ships and scouts the colony icon is used. In any fleet with warships the warship icon is used.

Most likely we'll want to add more icons to distinguish between different sizes and/or types of war ships.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Edit: The current small and medium icons' size indicator file names are numbered differently (they start with one tick for size one, whereas big starts with no ticks). (The small ones are also being placed oddly, but I don't think that's a file issue...)

Oops, i'll fix that.

EDIT: I also noticed i have the tiny icons pointing right, and the other icons pointing up. I should probably point the tiny icons up so you don't have to rotate them differently.

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