0.3 UI Theme, galaxymap & planeview UI

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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0.3 UI Theme, galaxymap & planeview UI

#1 Post by miu » Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:00 pm

discussions goes here.
Not much to say yet, I promised you a sketch of how to show amout of planets per star as discussed earlier - havent done it yet, will do. Also my next task is to think how to edit the galaxymap, sidepanel and planetview UI, I'll post sketches as I get there, also I'll suggest a new theme for our graphics, and this is your change to do the same- How our ui should be colored, decorated, how our menus, buttons, forms etc.. should look? Also consider colorusage from point of view so that attention is drawn only to most important areas without cluttering the view too much. (there was link to essay about this, overusage of fancy details.. have to dig that up too)

Current one is simple, but too plain and doesnt have personality. I like it having lots of transparency and not too much decorations. I think the resourceicons currently are too strong in color, they attrac more attention to themselfs that probaply is good. My vision for our is something like OsX goes scifi minus that liquidity - and to have some decorative elementes to feel you'll see ;) how would you like FreeOrion to look like?
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Satyagraha
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#2 Post by Satyagraha » Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:25 pm

how about something like the new chessmaster UI design (click screens)?
http://chessmaster10.ubi.com/uk/screenshots.php
(forget about the pics in the middle row - those are buttugly)
could need some additional colors, tho.

Osx goes SciFi... like this? ^^
http://www.antikoerperchen.de/linuxfoto ... photo9.png
still makes me think of candy.

or with lots of chrome...
http://files.themexp.org/screenshots/vs/35346.jpg

i´ll keep looking for some more examples.

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Impaler
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#3 Post by Impaler » Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:12 am

Heres an idea, how about a small tilted full solar system view placed at the top of the side panel. Each position would be tacked to a specific spot and a very miniture planet (take the current planet stills and shrink them to a fraction of their current size) would go their. Mousing over them makes them Expand and glow and scrolls the side panel bar down to that planet clicking the mini planet brings up the planet view, thus all planets will be accesable with 1 click without needed to scroll down the sidebar.

Also I would move the scroller for the side bar from the right hand side to the left esentily in or behind the vertical colum of planets, their would be an Up and Down arrow at top and bottom of the planets colum. When you have reached the extreams of the list the button simply greys out/becomes hollow.

EDIT - Also just realized if we have rotating planets we should also make the Asteroid Belt move as well. Some kind of looped animation ware the Asteroids slowly tumble along from one edge to the other and reapear later.
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pd
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#4 Post by pd » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:25 am

EDIT - Also just realized if we have rotating planets we should also make the Asteroid Belt move as well. Some kind of looped animation ware the Asteroids slowly tumble along from one edge to the other and reapear later.
already done, just not implemented in v0.3.

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miu
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#5 Post by miu » Tue Sep 14, 2004 4:00 pm

Impaler wrote:Heres an idea, how about a small tilted full solar system view placed at the top of the side panel. Each position would be tacked to a specific spot and a very miniture planet (take the current planet stills and shrink them to a fraction of their current size) would go their. Mousing over them makes them Expand and glow and scrolls the side panel bar down to that planet clicking the mini planet brings up the planet view, thus all planets will be accesable with 1 click without needed to scroll down the sidebar.
Basically what that is a quick menu to access all planets, and it takes quite much space (and more info we show there, uglier it gets). We could for example include a row of buttons for each planet for quick-access, but as we implement sorting tools to sidepanel, I think we can do without such quick-menu. Example: you can chooce sort sidebar always automatically by planet population, so those planets that you want to access directly will almost always be visible in sidepanel and thus reachable by one click. Of course adding planetmenu/view would be adding alternative way to do same thing, which is good, but I'm quite careful of adding anything non-crucial to sidebar as it is going to be very crowded already.
Difference between a man and a gentleman is that a man does what he wants, a gentleman does what he should. - Albert Camus

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Impaler
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#6 Post by Impaler » Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:55 pm

Yes a quick menu of any sort would likly decresse the number of planets or objects that could be shown on the side Panel. I personaly wouldnt want any information show in it though, just let it act as a way to jump around the list.

Another Idea (realy a feature request) can we see the Fleets in a System on the Side Panel and select them to bring up a Fleet managment window?
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BreadMan
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#7 Post by BreadMan » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:33 am

Been thinking what sort of things could be done to the current ui to make it more flashy but retain the inherent simplicity. Was messing around, came up with this...

Image

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Tyreth
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#8 Post by Tyreth » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:46 am

Looks nice, BreadMan. I personally don't see the need for minimise and close buttons on every window. In fact, I really dislike it. Most games have a 'cancel' button rather than something in the top right corner. Also, simply hitting escape should be the equivalent of 'cancel', and hitting enter equivalent of choosing 'ok'.

I can't think of any cases where we'll want to minimise a window. You should be able to safely close it off (eg, the sitrep) and then open it again and see what you want.

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#9 Post by Impaler » Wed Sep 15, 2004 3:55 am

Agreed Minimizing is to "windowsey" and adds a lot of unnessary clicks to the game, death by over-clicking if a major threat to 4X games.

The look of Breadman's mock up is quite nice but I would hope that tha blue color could be changed by the user, possibly made to match their Empire Color/s.

Oh another Feature Request, a FreeOrion Mouse Pointer. The mouse pointer is currently a traditional pointer with black and white inverted. I think something like that found in StarCraft would be good. Color would idealy be changed along with the rest of the UI. Also some kind of change to the pointer when you mouse over a star, again I would point to starCraft as having a nice effect when your mouse is over something selectable you see an animated ring rotate back and forth around a smaller inner ring. Something like this or in some way sugjestive of a camera focusing would be nice. One of the obvious benefits is the visual feedback that you are within the clickzone for an object. Note that this animation would be used just for selecting pictographic things like planets and stars, mousing over a legitimate button dosent change the mouse insted the Button highlights to show selection.
Last edited by Impaler on Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BreadMan
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#10 Post by BreadMan » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:02 am

I only left the minimize in there cause there are certain windows in v.2 such as fleet management that have it. I don't see a need for it either, just put it in as a "it could look like this if it's needed" thing. I'm conceptualizing.

As for color, I just started with blue cause its easiest to make look good. I'm planning to mess around with it a bit more. I kinda like the idea of it changing to fit your empire color, though it might have to be subdued for some of the schemes. I can imagine getting tired of bright yellow or hot pink.

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Impaler
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#11 Post by Impaler » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:17 am

This brings up another Idea that I have been toying with, having 2 Empire Colors much like in HomeWorld in which you select a Base and Strip color.

I read we are planning to improve the Empire Color selection options, I would hope we go with a fullblow Palate like that used in HomeWorld (I had so much Fun with that thing). Theirs nothing better then making your fleet apear is off the wall colors like Pumkin Orange.

With 2 Colors to work with a lot of interesting things become Possible, say for example if the UI is made to match you Empire Colors then Borders and Buttons apear in your Primary Color and Buttons that your mousing over change to your Secondary Color.

Or Fleets apear in your primary Color and dashed movment lines apear in your Secondary Color.

With 2 Colors their are more elements of the UI that can safly be colorized without causing confusion or washout.
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miu
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#12 Post by miu » Thu Sep 16, 2004 5:30 pm

*nod*
I agree with two colors to be chosen by player, at least when we get to 0.4, and having whole rgb-scale to choose the colors from.
But I dont think it works as way to color whole ui. Leaves too much freedom to player to make the UI look awful. There will be elements in UI where empire colors will be used by purpose, but decorative use.. in theory could work but I find it difficult to find exactly how.
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#13 Post by Daveybaby » Fri Sep 17, 2004 9:19 am

I agree that having customisable ship colours a la homeworld is a fantastic idea - but customising the UI with the player's empire colours is asking for migraines. Best thing to do is to make the game as skin-friendly as possible, and before you know it people will be producing star trek skins and what have you.

2 (or maybe even 3) colours for ships is pretty easy to do, (as long as its planned for in the rendering engine - i say 3 colours as you could use RGB channels for each texture to define the mixture of the 3 player chosen colours and their brightness levels). As along as there is also some other way to distinguish whose ships are whose in battle it shouldnt be a problem (because chances are high that some players might pick similar colours). Also, if some bright spark decides to paint their ships black with black highlights, they should still be visible to the enemy :roll:

This also brings up another question : player/empire flags. Assuming people want them, there are a couple of possible approaches:

(1) Full colour bitmaps. Simply allow players to use any bitmap (of a predetermined size, say 64x64) they like as a flag. On the plus side, this gives total flexibility. One the downside, well... there's probably always going to be at least one 'special' person in every game who will have a pr0n flag. Sigh...

Also, giving people free reign would mean that many of the non-pr0n flags might just be... rubbish. Kinda destroys the feeling of immersivity IMO if youre fighting tooth and nail for victory against a star spanning empire which has got some cack-handed rendering of their favourite corporate logo or national flag (hmmm... arent those the same thing nowadays?).

(2) Go with something like the Moo3 approach, but *better*. i.e. provide a set of flag shapes, and set the colours based on the player's ship colour choices above. This *doesnt* have to look as rubbish as in Moo3. You could let the players choose up to (say) 3 colours, and use all of them in the flag. Moo3 for some reason chose monochrome flags because they wanted to be able to mess about with transparency - though i cant actually see much use of it in the final game.
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#14 Post by Impaler » Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:03 am

I see the point about using Empire color/s in the User Interface, it could be over the top and look ugly/excessive. We should resolve to use Empire Color/s on "things" that are are "owned" by an Empire and be very carefull when extending it to anything else. UI might be colorable by the user but that would be independent of any Empire colors.

As far as Empire Icons go with DaveBaby's #2 option esentialy a Coat of Arms with several layers.

First layer is a Background using the "Primary" User selected Color
Second layer is a heraldric "patern" Select from several Shapes (probably predefined) displayed in the "Secondary" User selectable Color
Third Layer is a User creatable "Icon" displayed in the "Tertiary" Selectable Color
Forth Layer is a "field" stensle that mearly cookie cuts out the final shape.

The finalized flags can be saved as well.
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BreadMan
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#15 Post by BreadMan » Mon Sep 20, 2004 6:01 am

Spent a little time this evening messing around with what I made earlier. Changed things up a little so I can pretty much make any variations or new stuff easily, like so:

ImageImageImage

Can't decide which color scheme I like better, so I think user selectable is the best option :)
Good afternoon! This is the Earth Alliance embassy diplomatic office. My name is Alex. How may I assist you?
HUMANS! BLAUGHRAN EMPIRE CLAIMS PLANET KREIGHTON! YOU GIVE RAY GUN SCIENCE OR BLAUGHRANS DESTROY HUMANS ON KREIGHTON!!!

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