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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 11:27 am 
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Different fleet icons for different sized fleets.

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At the bottom are two possible sets, one varies in total size, one doesn't. The shapes are based on Josh's previous work. The more complex the shapes are, the larger(more complex) the fleet is.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 2:14 pm 
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Nice work on those fleet icons, pd!
One objection, though... the shapes don't convey the fleet size easily; here's a quick modification with icons that appear more straight-forward to me:

Image

- No idea yet as to what fleet strength these icons represent. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9; 1, >1, >5, 10, >10, >15, 20, >20, >25? We should figure out a smart counting system.

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:01 pm 
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In order to keep track with growing ship numbers in fleets in later tech eras, one should let the program sum up all ships on map and take this number to define small, medium and large fleets (up to 1/20 for small, from 1/20 to 1/10 for medium fleets, more than 1/10 for large ones for example).

Or one sums only the ships of each race individually up since that's what's defining the quantity of a fleet, the percentage of it with regards to total ship numbers of that empire. So a large fleet for one race in-game wouldn't be a large fleet for another one which has more or less ships in total.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 3:28 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
One objection, though... the shapes don't convey the fleet size easily

I didn't mean to just show fleet size, but also liked how different formations or maybe different ship types, working as a group is suggested in those Icons.
Thanks for your icons.

M4lV wrote:
In order to keep track with growing ship numbers in fleets in later tech eras, one should let the program sum up all ships on map and take this number to define small, medium and large fleets

That is assuming, the number of ships is the most important thing, which might not be the case. Maybe not the size is important but the strength. A single ship might be stronger than 10 others.


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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 11:58 pm 
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pd wrote:
Different fleet icons for different sized fleets.

At the bottom are two possible sets, one varies in total size, one doesn't.


I like having the icons vary by size. But i also like how silent's icons more clearly separate "size" and "type"... whatever "type" is.


I think the fleet display one of the things that should change quite a bit at different zoom levels.

Attachment:
ships.jpg
ships.jpg [ 50.16 KiB | Viewed 4122 times ]


* For instance at the smaller zooms, a single tiny icon with no variations simply indicates that a fleet is there. Actually at min zoom there's not really room for what i have in my example.

* at medium zooms we can have a single ship icon per system (actually 2 one in the upper right and the one in the lower left) , but the icon varies to tell you something about the ships.

* at very large zooms we have room to show each fleet as a separate icon. (my example on the right).


In addition to whatever info the icon shape conveys (if there's enough room, i've included a little info in direction the icon points:
Left: A fleet queued to leave the system.
Right: A ship that continues to travel.
Up: A ship that's not traveling.

It's not a big deal, but i think should be slightly useful.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 12:37 am 
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eleazar wrote:
Left: A fleet queued to leave the system.
Right: A ship that continues to travel.

If a ship is in a system this turn, and is leaving the system, what difference does it make whether the ship was in another system last turn (which I assume is the meaning of "continues to travel")?


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 2:16 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
Left: A fleet queued to leave the system.
Right: A ship that continues to travel.

If a ship is in a system this turn, and is leaving the system, what difference does it make whether the ship was in another system last turn (which I assume is the meaning of "continues to travel")?

Sorry, my example wasn't really making my point. Sometimes the left and right sides of my brain don't talk to each other enough.

Attachment:
ships2.jpg
ships2.jpg [ 46.39 KiB | Viewed 4113 times ]


Ships that "are continuing to move" are on StarLanes. Not as in my previous example.

The purpose of pointing the icon in different directions is to avoid the ambiguity that can occur especially at smaller zooms where ships on starlanes very close to the planet look like they might be in one of the in-system positions, or when stars are close together, and it's not clear if a ship is in the lower left corner of one star or the upper right of another.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 2:46 am 
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eleazar wrote:
Ships that "are continuing to move" are on StarLanes. Not as in my previous example.

The purpose of pointing the icon in different directions is to avoid the ambiguity that can occur especially at smaller zooms where ships on starlanes very close to the planet look like they might be in one of the in-system positions, or when stars are close together, and it's not clear if a ship is in the lower left corner of one star or the upper right of another.

If a fleet is actually on a starlane, and thus rendered in the position it actually is in the universe (as opposed to fleets at systems that are rendered on the corners of the system icon), then the fleet could actually point in the direction of the starlane it's travelling on, rather than only pointed left or right. You might want to play around with that to see if it looks decent...

Regarding different size / type of icons for different sized or power level of fleets, we probably don't need to rescale for the total ships in the universe or that an empire owns. A logarithmic scale could be used instead, so that each subsequent icon represents a power of (2, 10, X) or more ships / level of power in a fleet. With four or five icons, you've probably got more than enough dynamic range of indicator levels to be useful.

Separating how level / size / power of fleet and how type of fleet (however that's defined) are indicating would also be a good idea.


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 10:18 am 
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Nice work!

The icons that i've used and Josh has created should perhaps not be seen as a linear progression - it's more like pieces from a much longer row, which might look in detail like Silent's approach. I really like the diversity and especially the löwer part in the largerst icons, that to me suggest some kind of formation.


I agree that for different zoom levels, we need to find different solutions.
I like how the direction of the icon is used to suggest what the fleet is doing.
Shouldn't the leaving fleet have a dotted line, pointing to the star it's leaving towards?
Maybe the "ownership" rings could be useful for displaying fleets as well? Just a thought.


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 9:58 pm 
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Those icons look familiar... O yeah now I remember.

eleazar wrote:
Sometimes the left and right sides of my brain don't talk to each other enough.


I feel like that all the time.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 3:02 am 
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pd wrote:
Maybe the "ownership" rings could be useful for displaying fleets as well? Just a thought.

I'm not sure what you meant, but here's what it made me think of:

Attachment:
ships3.jpg
ships3.jpg [ 53.36 KiB | Viewed 4051 times ]


Notice that the starlanes end at the outside of the circle. With in-system ships actually inside the circle, i think it's a lot more obvious what's going on. Also since the starlanes can't intersect with where the in-system ships are displayed, there's no worries about mixing them up.
Obviously we can only fit a limited number of fleet icons inside the circle, but that would be the case no matter where we put the fleets. We just need a "+" icon or something that means there are more fleets here than there's room to show you.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
The purpose of pointing the icon in different directions is to avoid the ambiguity that can occur especially at smaller zooms where ships on starlanes very close to the planet look like they might be in one of the in-system positions, or when stars are close together, and it's not clear if a ship is in the lower left corner of one star or the upper right of another.

If a fleet is actually on a starlane, and thus rendered in the position it actually is in the universe (as opposed to fleets at systems that are rendered on the corners of the system icon), then the fleet could actually point in the direction of the starlane it's travelling on, rather than only pointed left or right. You might want to play around with that to see if it looks decent...


I think they will tend to look better like that. Even if we don't put the currently in-system ships inside the circle the chances for confusion are much sighter, i.e. only when the starlane is near horizontal.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
Separating how level / size / power of fleet and how type of fleet (however that's defined) are indicating would also be a good idea.

The size/power could be indicated with something like the bars from Silent' example. Until we know more about our fleets the type of "head" on the icon could indicate what sort the biggest or most special ship is.
For instance scout ships and colony ships would probably get their own icon "head". If you have 10 scouts in a fleet, the scout "head" would be used. If you add a colony ship to those 10, the colony-ship "head" would be used for the icon since it's a bigger and more special type of ship.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 7:37 am 
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I really like this. Some questions: What happens if there is no fleet at a system? No ring? What happens to the starlanes in this case? Or should a white/grey ring be used?

Should this be a permanent thing or an overlay, that the user can toggle on? Any idea how this could work together with ownership rings, without getting too confusing?

edit: I just noticed, that those are perhaps meant to be ownership rings. With my initial suggestion I thought that such rings could perhaps be used to display the fleet strength at a system. I'm not sure if this is what you did in your latest mockup or if the rings show ownership just like in the other thread. In this case, I still like it a lot.


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 4:02 pm 
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pd wrote:
I really like this. Some questions: What happens if there is no fleet at a system? No ring? What happens to the starlanes in this case? Or should a white/grey ring be used?

Should this be a permanent thing or an overlay, that the user can toggle on? Any idea how this could work together with ownership rings, without getting too confusing?

edit: I just noticed, that those are perhaps meant to be ownership rings. With my initial suggestion I thought that such rings could perhaps be used to display the fleet strength at a system. I'm not sure if this is what you did in your latest mockup or if the rings show ownership just like in the other thread. In this case, I still like it a lot.


I think we are very much in the brainstorming phase, so any answers are provisional.

I'm tending to think of the circles as always present (at least at the zoom levels where there's room) but the player has many options about what they show. Fleet strength or military strength would probably be one of them.

In the case of uncolonized systems (or systems that register 0 on whatever the circle is set to display) we should probably use a very thin starlane grey colored circle.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 5:35 pm 
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We could use a compressed counting system with the icons involved, like this:

Image

And in case someone misconstrues something like this again, disclaimer: this is an example. I'm not saying to actually use circles, bars and rectangles. We can use some kind of fleet icon system in the fashion I've shown above. Would this work or would it be too complicated (i.e. having the player sit there and count, or just good for a rough size of the fleet?) This system gives precise numbers, but we can have something else that may incorporate just an estimate of how many there are in the system (for example, we could have a rectangle and bar, which would mean exactly 25, stand for something like 23, so we don't need to use the dots).

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 7:37 pm 
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shrinkshooter wrote:
We could use a compressed counting system with the icons involved, like this:

I don't think we want something quite as involved as a counting system, but we could use some of those visual ideas to make some easy-to-read icons.

Here are three possibilities, each slightly more complicated than the previous:

Attachment:
counting.png
counting.png [ 6.63 KiB | Viewed 3976 times ]

These represents levels of fleet strength, or exponential increases in the size of the fleet.

If, for instance, each icon indicates twice the (whatever) of the previous one, icon #9 is 256 time bigger than icon #1. Icon #12 would be 2048 times bigger.

I'm not sure we'll even need so many icons, 6 or 7 might be enough, but i really don't think we'll need more than 12, though of course, any of these systems could continue indefinitely.

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