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:
ships3.jpg [ 53.36 KiB | Viewed 2254 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:
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.