galaxy map information modes/overlays

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eleazar
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Re: General GUI re-stylization

#91 Post by eleazar » Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:44 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:Shipyards are IMHO too important not to be always visible on the galaxy map case, and can be indicated by underlining the system name and possibly an icon. There are of course other things that need special modes to visualize them.
I'd prefer icons for indicating shipyards or empire capitals in systems. An icon can be given a tooltip to indicate its meaning. An icon can indicate any number of things, but an underline could only be used to indicate one thing, and "shipyard here" doesn't seem like the most obvious meaning... (if any meaning of underlining would be obvious...)
The player is going to have to learn what a shipyard icon means just like he's would have to learn what an underline means. Neither is self-evident, but both are easy to understand once explained. The same goes for capitols (i'd forgotten about that one).

However the big advantage of something like an underline (bold and italic are other possibilities) is that it takes less space. An underline can appear at more zoom levels than an additional icon. Especially since were talking about 2 or 3 possible icons. If homeworlds work the way i envision them, they equally deserve emphasis with capitols and shipyards. Triple textual formating can occur at many more zoom levels than we can fit 3 additional icons in.

I'm thinking:
  • Bold for capitol(s)
    Underline for shipyard(s), and
    Italic for homeworlds
So your Starting Planet will generally have all 3.

These styles should appear over the whole name, even in multi-empire systems. This sort of Starname is just really too awkward and confusing. If the player doesn't know who owns what, he can drill down.


I'd like to also display capitol/shipyard/homeworld icons at higher zoom levels... but we'll have to if that can all fit. We might also use tooltips to explain what exactly is in a system.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#92 Post by Myckel » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:01 pm

Another possibility is to make the systems "tool tip"-able, that you will get the information what you want whenever you hover with your mouse over the system. The tool tip would show the planets that are colonised and what buildings/orbits/etc. are present (could be text and/or icons).

This way you also don't clutter the galaxy map with too much information, keeps the uniform appearance and is newbie friendly.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#93 Post by eleazar » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:34 pm

Myckel wrote:Another possibility is to make the systems "tool tip"-able, that you will get the information what you want whenever you hover with your mouse over the system. The tool tip would show the planets that are colonised and what buildings/orbits/etc. are present (could be text and/or icons).

This way you also don't clutter the galaxy map with too much information, keeps the uniform appearance and is newbie friendly.
Tool tips are great to explain information, or to go into greater depth, but they are a lousy place to put information if the player doesn't know where exactly it is.

You wouldn't want to scrub through the hundreds of stars on the map to find out where the capitols or shipyards are. But a tooltip could tell you who the shipyard belonged to and/or what a shipyard icon meant, and how many ships are being constructed.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#94 Post by pd » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:28 pm

I support the idea of indicating shipyards, homeworlds and capitols using textual formating. It's hard enough making the different fleet icons work and eventually add flags and markers.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#95 Post by eleazar » Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:31 am

Here's something pretty simple:
toomanynames.jpg
toomanynames.jpg (46.42 KiB) Viewed 946 times
The crowded parts of the galaxy are almost illegiable. Fortunately the type is large enough that shrinking is OK. Sizing the type according to the following should cut overlaps to an acceptable minimum.

Level5 11pt type
Level6 12pt type
Level7 13pt type
Level8 14pt type
Level9 and following 16pt type (current size)

If FO sizes does type sizes by pixels rather than points (and thus the current starnames are 12px type) thus use the following instead:
Level5 8px type
Level6 9px type
Level7 10px type
Level8 11px type
Level9 and following 12px type


Also the white labels on empty system are popping out too much compared to the colonized systems. They should be a light grey such as #A0A0A0 instead of pure white.

Freeing up room with the starnames should make a lot of other stuff easier.



Also i started a wikipage to consolidate the different things being suggested, so it's all easier for me and everyone else to keep track of the most current ideas.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#96 Post by eleazar » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:55 am

Fog of War
I tried a couple times to figure out a way to create a fog of war by darkening stars, starlanes, and/or star names, but the results weren't good. They made the empire-colors indistinct, tended to make everything look muddy, and weren't often unclear.

What i'm going for is something that is reasonably possible to play the game while leaving the fog on-- though some people may choose not to.

These faux-old-tv-scan-lines fit the bill. Since it's perceived as a texture, it's a lot easier to distinguish where exactly the fog of war covers. And the empire colors remain pretty recognizable. I'm not yet sure exactly what all it should cover:
  • Explored stars- definitely
    Info graphic rings and circles- definitely
    starlanes, unexplored stars- maybe.
    ships- should probably not be drawn inside a fog of war zone
    Starnames- no way.
The effect is simply black lines at 50% opacity alternating with clear lines. Does selectively covering much of the content of the galaxy-map sound do-able?
fog-o-war.jpg
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#97 Post by pd » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:39 am

Has there been a decision about fog of war? I like it by the way. It doesn't have to be scan lines though, a grid or checkerboard made of black and transparent pixels might work too.
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#98 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:03 am

pd wrote:Has there been a decision about fog of war?
Could you be more specific?
[The texture] doesn't have to be scan lines though, a grid or checkerboard made of black and transparent pixels might work too.
It can probably be a texture loaded from file. In fact, I suggest making such a texture, in whatever style is desired. It'll get tiled to cover the needed space.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#99 Post by eleazar » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:14 am

For no particular reason, i uploaded a checkerboard pattern.

It will be much easier to evaluate the different kinds of patterns after it's implemented by switching out the graphic rather than making mock-ups.


An opacity slider would make sense for this, if you want to do that.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#100 Post by tzlaine » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:37 am

FWIW, I really like the scan lines. But we really need an algorithm for when/where to draw these "interference patterns" so that we cover just the stuff we want to cover. How do I lay a square texture over the circlular star area and have it come out as nice as your mockup? In short, I can't. I have to do it in a shader, afaict.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#101 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:40 am

tzlaine wrote:But we really need an algorithm for when/where to draw these "interference patterns" so that we cover just the stuff we want to cover. How do I lay a square texture over the circlular star area and have it come out as nice as your mockup? In short, I can't. I have to do it in a shader, afaict.
Effects like this were done before shaders were invented... Couldn't it be done by rendering a circle to a stencil buffer and then rendering to the screen a quad that covers the star (or sreen) with an unscaled texture in the area where the circle was rendered?

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#102 Post by pd » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:43 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:
pd wrote:Has there been a decision about fog of war?
Could you be more specific?
Sure. I don't seem to remember reading about it and can't find anything in the design documents or the wiki. Even the forum search does not provide any results. So I'm just curious about how it could/will work in freeOrion.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#103 Post by eleazar » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:24 pm

pd wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
pd wrote:Has there been a decision about fog of war?
Could you be more specific?
Sure. I don't seem to remember reading about it and can't find anything in the design documents or the wiki. Even the forum search does not provide any results. So I'm just curious about how it could/will work in freeOrion.
There's been little discussion of "fog-of-war" which is a graphical way of representing what parts of the galaxy you have current information on.
There's been much more talk about "visibility" i.e. the game rules that determine weather or not you can see what is in a system or not. I don't think visibility has been all hammered out, but it has been pretty much assumed everywhere that there will be some sort of visibility rules. This is a different issue from stealth, though stealth may play a part.

Land-based 4X games generally make it much clearer than space games. MoO1 & 2 IIRC simply only displayed fleets when they were in your visibility range but gave no other indication of how far you can see, which is a weakness i very much hope we can avoid. The player needs to know if the reason he can't see any fleet around a neighboring border systems is because there are no fleets there, of if the system is simply too far away for him to detect them.

I haven't figured out what Moo3's concept is-- weather or not you can get info about a system seems to illogically vary with the GUI device you use.
Last edited by eleazar on Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#104 Post by tzlaine » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:20 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
tzlaine wrote:But we really need an algorithm for when/where to draw these "interference patterns" so that we cover just the stuff we want to cover. How do I lay a square texture over the circlular star area and have it come out as nice as your mockup? In short, I can't. I have to do it in a shader, afaict.
Effects like this were done before shaders were invented... Couldn't it be done by rendering a circle to a stencil buffer and then rendering to the screen a quad that covers the star (or sreen) with an unscaled texture in the area where the circle was rendered?
Yes, these things were done before shaders, but it's so much easier to do them with shaders instead, that they're all done using shaders now. Tiling a texture into a stenciled-out area so that it preserves the original pixels exactly is a lot of code to write and debug. An equivalent shader is probably 10 lines, and doesn't require recompiles during testing.

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Re: galaxy map information modes/overlays

#105 Post by eleazar » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:28 pm

If we were going to limit the "fog" to inside the system ring it would also be reasonably possible to create a circular fog graphic for each zoom level. Of course that wouldn't work for starlanes.

I haven't tested enough to see if fogging the lanes is necessary or desirable. The scan-lines version won't work well with fogged starlanes however, since a horizontal lane can fall completely into the clear space between two dark stripes, and thus avoid being marked.

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