The unavailable techs' names and other text might be a bit hard to read... can it be the same shade as the available ones?
it's intended to be darker than the other text. but possibly a bit too much?
i can still read everything fine though. please make sure your monitor is set up right and your environment isn't lit too much.
My monitor is fine and I can read it if I need to... My complaint is that the unavailable techs are just a bit too hard to read... and unnecessarily so. The text could be made whiter while still leaving lots of contrast between the light / dark backgrounds and outline of the available / unavailable techs' boxes. The issue is only with the text... which should be as easy to read as possible. As they are now, it could lead to some eye strain, especially for the "Building" and "RPs" text on the darker "yet unavailable Tech". It *can* be read as it is, but it could be read much more easily with brighter text, without losing the obvious visible contrast in tech status...
oh, and "RPs" should be just "RP". When using unit abbreviations, one shouldn't indicate plurality. (eg. it's km, min, sec, not kms, mins, secs)
i refuse against adding COMPLETED or something in the middle section.
since the finished techs are the only ones which receive coloring and the middle section is additionally removed(because it's info is no longer required), i think the finished items are distinct enough.
If the preceeding was an "it is decreed" statement, then ignore the following:
I agree that the finished items are distinct, but it's not immediately clear what their distinction signifies, which is the real problem. The lack of time and cost on a tech could conceivably mean they don't have a time / cost, or that they aren't available yet so that info is hidden, just as it could mean the tech is done. The colouring conveys no obvious meaning, other than perhaps category (was that intended?)... There's no obvious reason why finished techs would be coloured and others would not, to me. The colouring is fine... but it's not enough on its own.
keep in mind that this is just a static presentation - in-game the player is able to interact and will easily find out everything. we don't need to tell him everything. in fact this would be even annoying/boring, especially to experienced players. when the screen is opened the first time we could also give a short introduction to clear obscurities.
As above, ignore if decreed:
Why would putting "COMPLETED" be annoying / boring...? It's essentially the same as colouring, but easier to understand and see for new or (especially) colourblind players. I also also don't see how being able to interact with it helps... shouldn't the player be able to tell without having to click on something to check what the colourations mean? Yes, they'll eventually figure it out, but why not make it obvious from the start, so they don't have to?
We should probably have a "Description" / "Effects" toggle button, to switch between a lengthy full explanation of the effects, and the lengthy descriptive text...
i've had this in my prior mockup, but removed it because i thought it would be needless now. do we really need a longer description of the effects? isn't it the purpose of the effects to be short and summarize what effect the tech has? otherwise we could put it in the description itself.
We do need a longer description for effects. The three or four word version is only a "bullet point" version that can fit on tech boxes on the tree or queue. The full description would be much clearer and easier to understand and more accurate than is possible in three words. Consider an effect like "Gives +3 to farming on primary farming focus worlds and +1 to farming on secondary farming focused worlds and +1 to farming on primary balanced focused worlds in your empire or empires with which you are allied" ... can you summarize that in 3 words? If so, I can make a more complicated and still plausible one that you couldn't, I imagine.
How about a brighter outline for the selected / on category buttons?
brighter the pure white?
The button outlines are not pure white. A zoomed in view:
The Learning button is active, but is still outlined in grey. The RGB colour box over top of it does appear to be in white, or at least something a lot brighter.
again, keep in mind that this is static. and in this case the selection is applied to the brightes boxes around - so it's missing some contrast.
... I don't know what you meant by that...
when the player clicks on an item, i'm sure he will notice the white border line which suddently appears.
The player should be able to easily tell which category buttons are activated without clicking them on / off to check. Having whiter outlines for the active ones would help with this. The difference is just a bit too subtle right now, I think... this isn't a huge issue, and it would be ok as it is, but I just think it could be a bit better.
i'm aiming for zoom levels too and i've also thought about 3-4. after all, i have proposed this. displaying percentages is the common way to visualize zooming and not at all silly. in our case we could use 100%, 50% and 25% for example.
personally i would like to see zooming implemented first(can't we just grab the code from the starmap and tweak it?). we can then decide what zoom levels to chose(via xml?) and then how to display the boxes at those levels.
I wasn't thinking of zooming in terms of actually zooming the image in and out like on the starmap. This wouldn't really work because the text on the tech view is already pretty small, and would be unreadable if the the whole thing was zoomed out. Instead, I figured the more zoomed out levels would have just tech names in smaller boxes closer together, coloured to incidate complete/available/unavailable/etc. These wouldn't be the same shape as the fully zoomed in boxes, so it's not really like a % zoom... it's just "zoomed" or "not zoomed"... or maybe it should be called something other than "zoom" if that makes you think of scaling the image like the starmap... "detail" and "compact" views maybe?