Stars v3

Development of artwork, requests, suggestions, samples, or if you have artwork to offer. Primarily for the artists.
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miu
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#16 Post by miu » Wed Aug 11, 2004 1:00 am

That could be too cluttering, we already have plenty of small stuff on starmap with fleets and their details. I think we could just show the systems with more than one empire grey/white, or color they somehow partially according to empirecolors (as the ring around the star in Moo3 which showed)
But then again, if we get plenty of stuff that should be shown in strategical-map mode (like the presence of certain techs (shipyard), capital status, flags, etc.?) we can design a simple information tab/UI around the star to show all this detail.
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Geoff the Medio
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#17 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Aug 11, 2004 2:06 am

The idea was that this would appear on the political map overlay only. Other overlays would display the presence of ship yards, system resource production (an icon or perhaps a coloured dot for each resource similar to the ones I suggested for planet pop'n), system static defecnes (if they exist in the game), and more details about fleets than just who has one where. You'd probably only have a single overlay in place at a time, though they could also be designed to be used simultaneously, if that was desirable.

Point being, it's not a problem if the example looks a bit cluttered. All the other small stuff wouldn't be on the starmap at the same time. You'd switch between overlays to get a better idea what the situation is depending what decision you were making, so would want as much useful info on the relevant overlay. Ownership and relative population of planets seems like a good thing to have on the political overlay, hence my suggestion.

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miu
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#18 Post by miu » Wed Aug 11, 2004 2:36 am

Having >5 overlays would mean having a separate UI to turn on and off the ones you like and reserving several keys for this purpose. Not neccessarely a bad idea, but I would rather have ~3 well thoughtout map-modes that would have all neccessary data shown, so that you could cycle the modes by pressing one button, and then maybe somewhere in options a panel to define the modes in detail.

could go like:
normal map mode - basics.

political/tactical:
show empires in color, shipyards, show empire flag at homeworld + coreworlds, defence-estimate, amount of planets owned in system (- i liked those procentual circles in moo3)

resourcemode:
produced resources/ - or just the main one so that you will see which are your farming systems etc., ranges of area-effect wonders?, population

+ button to turn the extra fleetinformation on and off - still bit uncertain what this would contain.

thinking aloud: maybe we could have that basic UI mode would show the range of area effect buildings of selected system. and I would be much happier if this would be a nice range/circle instead of amount of starlane jumps :/
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Geoff the Medio
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#19 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:41 am

miu wrote:Having >5 overlays
I would rather have ~3 well thoughtout map-modes that would have all neccessary data shown [/quote] I think we're thinking of the same thing, basically... I wasn't expect 6 or more overlays... just 4: Political, Military, Resource, General
so that you could cycle the modes by pressing one button
Rather than "cycling", it'd be better to have a button for each, so you can get to any one with one click. The buttons can be pretty tiny, so it wouldn't be a huge load of screen real-estate.
and then maybe somewhere in options a panel to define the modes in detail.
Fully customizable display modes sound nice, but possibly a lot of effort to set up ... I suppose a few options for details of each mode would be fairly simple, but well designed modes hopefully wouldn't need many options... if any.

My suggested modes breakdown:

Political: ownership and population of planets in systems, happiness levels of planets, any details of whatever sort of espionage or culture war system gets included (drek's markers perhaps, or my loyalty levels in the system / planets, also spy locations / status)

Military: shipyard locations, fleet locations, with details of fleet strength and as much of the specific composition as possible. Ground troop garrisons on planets / system and any stationary defences. Supply routes for fleets, if this is included.

Resources: production of each resource sumarized by the system or planets. Indication of what's being produced in a system / at planets / shipyards (like in civ3 where production is indicated under city name). An option to show ranges for building effects. Special rare resource icons on relevant systems (things like "spice" that allows construction of certain things)

General: "basic" information from each of the other classes... ownership of systems (shared or not), loation of fleets, production of systems... can't really be sure what is most important and what isn't until all the systems are designed.

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miu
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#20 Post by miu » Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:55 am

We cant show too much per-planet data on this as its a map-view mode, and having to show details for each possible 9-10 planet/colony on system would be quite hard- gets very small, ugly and cluttery. Things should be generalised to empire/system level as much as possible.
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Geoff the Medio
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#21 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Aug 11, 2004 5:16 am

miu wrote:We cant show too much per-planet data on this as its a map-view mode, and having to show details for each possible 9-10 planet/colony on system would be quite hard- gets very small, ugly and cluttery. Things should be generalised to empire/system level as much as possible.
I'd conclude the opposite... things should be shown to planet detail as much as possible. Unfortunately, it might not be possible to show as much as could be useful. A bit of clutter isn't the end of the world, if it shows useful information that saves the need to click on each system when making decisions.

That said, maybe it'd be better to just show a population dot for each empire that owns a planet in the system, and size of the dot would be a rough indicator of the sum population of the empire's planets in the system. This would still have issues with the very rare situation of ten different empires having planets in a system, but that would be rather rare, and not impossible to display, even if it did occur. (it'd be tight... but not necessarily too tight to work)

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miu
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#22 Post by miu » Wed Aug 11, 2004 5:57 am

I can see that your suggestion could work as a ring with circle of dots/spots around the star with each of them colored according to empire and in resource mode colored by what is their biggest resource output, with 3 different sizes/dot to tell the amount of population or the amount how of resource produced. Limits for different sizes of dots should maybe scale trought the whole gameplay. We also could show the empty systems with white dots, and having a static- ring around star regardless of amount of planets, would bring uniformity to view and reduce clutterness. Hmm, I'll sketch that later today/tomorrow and see how it works.
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#23 Post by drek » Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:06 am

re: the bright center that remains the same size: with flares and glows that fade in and change size:

This might be a good idea; if the fade in is done right it could look fairly cool. But it would double (or maybe triple) the number of textures per star; might cause fill problems on older cards.

Btw, there should be an option to remove the background layers of stars and nebula (and perhaps these new star textures) to make things run smoother on older cards. Maybe an FX on/off toggle.

re: the planet dots around a star

Those should be relatively small I think, should disappear at the highest zoom levels, and perhaps should have an alpha.

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noelte
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#24 Post by noelte » Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:09 am

Btw, there should be an option to remove the background layers of stars and nebula (and perhaps these new star textures) to make things run smoother on older cards. Maybe an FX on/off toggle.
You can already turn off the music. Menu->Options->Music. (ups, i misread it)

I don't thing removing bg layers would speed up things. There is a way to define how often fo redraws the content at max (max fps). I think we should allow this option to be set from cmd line.
Last edited by noelte on Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Geoff the Medio
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#25 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:52 am

He's talking about graphics effects on/off, not music "sound FX".

Avoid using command line or config files for GUI alterations. There should be options in-game.

Actually, command line and config files should be avoided as much as possible for all things... imo.

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noelte
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#26 Post by noelte » Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:55 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:Actually, command line and config files should be avoided as much as possible for all things... imo.
If so, how do you save your settings? ;-)
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Tyreth
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#27 Post by Tyreth » Wed Aug 11, 2004 1:42 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote: Avoid using command line or config files for GUI alterations. There should be options in-game.

Actually, command line and config files should be avoided as much as possible for all things... imo.
There should be options in game, but also options in the command line, and definitely in a config file.

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#28 Post by tzlaine » Wed Aug 11, 2004 5:58 pm

Tyreth wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote: Avoid using command line or config files for GUI alterations. There should be options in-game.

Actually, command line and config files should be avoided as much as possible for all things... imo.
There should be options in game, but also options in the command line, and definitely in a config file.
This is where we're headed. Until the options set is realtively fixed, though, the end users are going to have to keep using the command line.

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Geoff the Medio
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#29 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:10 pm

noelte wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:Actually, command line and config files should be avoided as much as possible for all things... imo.
If so, how do you save your settings? ;-)
Ok, I should have been clearer. I meant there should be an in game GUI to set all configurable options, as opposed to forcing the player to edit a text file to change a setting. I don't care how the setting is saved after the player sets it (eg. in a config file).

Some things might not be possible to configure in the GUI, in which case command-line or config file editing only is fine. Mods are also excepted... I'm only talking standard options that would be change during a standard game.

Anyway, it sounds like that's roughly what tzlaine and Tyreth are thinking as well, so I'm happy.
Last edited by Geoff the Medio on Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#30 Post by noelte » Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:13 pm

I meant there should be an in game GUI to set all configurable options, as opposed to forcing the player to edit a text file to change a setting
Agreed.
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