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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:40 pm 
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This could be the mouse-over or selected mode of an enemy ship.
It uses the same basic layout, however, all the components/armor the sensors could not detect/identify are hidden.

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:30 pm 
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How many models is too many?

That is the real question as I see it. Let me put in my worthless 2 cents.

If FO is going to have 5-6 combat ship types, plus 2 for the scout and colony ships, that gives us a base of 7-8 designs to model. If the 5-6 combat ship types are customizable, the outer appearance for each component has to be modeled IF the component would radically change the profile of the ship. I'm guessing that only 1-2 components would radically change that appearance (engines, of course, but their might be others), and that there would be an average of 3-4 variants for each of those major components. So add in 3-8 component models for each of the 7-8 designs, giving you 28-72 models so far.

Now, if there are 20 races to choose from and you want to add in a distinctive appearance to each race's ships/components, you have 560-1440 models to come up with. If only the basic hulls will vary by race, the model count is significantly lower: 47-91 models. that of course ignores the modelling for non-ship objects, such as orbital platforms.

So, how many models are the 3D graphics wizards willing to make, and how much code will it require to include all the models that you wonderful programmers decide to add in?

Correct me if I'm wrong.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:58 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
Image

I don't think the ring layout works very well. The subsystem icons are unidentifyably tiny, and the whole thing takes up a huge amount of space.

Why not something much simpler, like:
Image
Shields and armour / hull bars up top. Subsystem icons below. There could also be an empire icon, and perhaps a current activity icon (moving, holding position, attacking, hiding, scanning, etc.) at the sides.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:05 pm 
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I agree, that a circle might not be the ideal choice. Also, your ship is firing backwards Silent :)

Here are some mockups, to get some ideas out:

- health + shield meter combined (only works, if there aren't any weapons that ignore the shielding, so probably not?)
- health + shield in numbers at the sides
- subsystem icons in the corners, there can be more, but the 4 corners could be LR, SR, PD and Fighters or something
- still room left at the bottom (could be used for the engine type, if it's that important)
- current activity(moving) is indicated with a large symbol, which is mapped to the 2D plan
- selection border(corners) could indicate friend/enemy depending on it's color

Image

zoomed out:
Image

The planet special icons used here, aren't suited that good in this case, where so much information is shown on so little space, so simpler ones would be preferred I guess. Here is a shot without them:

Image

edit: mockups with subsystems plugged on the hull will follow tomorrow.


Last edited by pd on Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:09 pm 
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spottboy wrote:
How many models is too many?

Well, when we don't have to do models for sub systems, I guess having around 10 ships per race is reasonable.
20 races is way above anything we could handle though(graphics-wise at least). I was thinking about 3-5 for v1.0


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:53 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Image

The problem with this is that it doesn't convey the facing of the ships. The 0.4 design pad says somewhere "facing must matter"; the circle layout accomplishes this neatly.

However, I agree that in my mockup the subsystems are too tiny and this definately would have to be dealt with. Maybe the shield/armor arcs could be kept, and the subsystem icons arranged differently; although this may mean giving up facing for the subsystems.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:28 am 
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The Silent One wrote:
...doesn't convey the facing of the ships.

Facing matters doesn't mean there have to be separate shield arcs for different directions. Unless they're shown to be very important in a later design thread, we won't have them.

For facing of parts, we could do something similar to Empire At War...
Image
(grabbed from a preview on gametrailers.com)

A hovered-over ship's parts are located by icons or indicators superimposed on the ship model. These are colour-coded to indicate damage.

Also visible is as fairly simple selection indicator for when multiple ships are selected.

There are also larger icons for groups of fighters that can't be controlled individually, but work as a group. It's not yet clear how FO fighters will be controlled (separate unit or controlled as weapon of their carreir?), but this suggests how to show any ship or ships that are too small at the current zoom level.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:02 am 
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pd wrote:
- current activity(moving) is indicated with a large symbol, which is mapped to the 2D plan
Image

I think this moving symbol should only be displayed when paused to give orders, as it would be useful to know where your ship is moving, we could show the movement path in fact.

pd wrote:
- health + shield meter combined (only works, if there aren't any weapons that ignore the shielding, so probably not?)
- health + shield in numbers at the sides

No shield or health numbers, bars only for me. Also, a circle is prolly best, though I am open to sorting the exact appearance of the bars, multiple bars, etc. It depends on whether we have, health, armour, systems and shields.

pd wrote:
- subsystem icons in the corners, there can be more, but the 4 corners could be LR, SR, PD and Fighters or something
- still room left at the bottom (could be used for the engine type, if it's that important)

I have a better suggestion for displaying weapons, etc used:
Image
It's a rough mockup.
-Simple selection method, same as in many RTS games.
-Red impact marker to highlight which side of the ship is hit. Prolly not important, if we show the actualy impact on the model, eg shield fluctuation.
-Only two weapons/skills are shown at a time. The previous one used as at the top, slightly faded and smaller. The current weapon being used is the fireball one, it is not faded and is bigger.
-Further icons displays or information can be gained from scanning or mouseover of your own ships, although mousing over enemy ship could be an automatic scan, so maybe shows pop up hover window of ship while mouseover.
-Circle: Yellow is internal systems, green is structure of ship, purple is armour, blue is shields. Grey is depletion of bar. Shield seperated into quarters. Exact details of this can be changed around however is required. I have at least shown the max possible meters that we could have (moo2 has these ones).


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:15 pm 
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Just so that one can compare, here are some mockups of how it could be done using 3d models for sub systems.
Image

1. Even at this rather zoomed-in view and using bright colors the parts are hard to make out.
2. Not to mention that some won't be visible unless one rotates around the other side.
3. The scale is exaggerated, which results in the cartoony look, I was talking about. Also, when zoomed out, this will still be too small.
4. 'realistic' scale, with proper textures(fitting to the ship). It's nearly impossible to recognize the parts.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:54 pm 
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All I know is, if I see a glowing red teapot strapped to the side of an enemy's ship like that, I'm retreating.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:38 am 
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Nice find :)

Beware of the evil teapots.


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