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Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:46 am
by Oberlus
LienRag wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:33 pm
I'd just like to say that I really like (for irrational reasons maybe, not trying to criticize your work) the bushy aspect of current tech tree, and that your proposals seem quite cold to me (ditto, it's my gut speaking, I have no way to tell if other players will feel the same way).
I think you're gonna be alone on this: it is my perception that most people either does not care or greatly prefer a more ordered form of tech tree than current mess. You're the first person I see expressing preference for the mess.

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:24 am
by The Silent One
LienRag wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:33 pm
I'd just like to say that I really like (for irrational reasons maybe, not trying to criticize your work) the bushy aspect of current tech tree, and that your proposals seem quite cold to me (ditto, it's my gut speaking, I have no way to tell if other players will feel the same way).
You know, I like our current tech tree too, but I think it has some key disadvantages, like not offering enough strategic choice, bad overview, empty techs, not to mention balance issues (just to mention a few); which all could probably be handled better with the tier system.

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:21 pm
by LienRag
I do not contest that, and while some of my other posts have been the outputs of relatively elaborate thinking, here I just wanted to express some of my gut feelings as feedback of how it spontaneously appears to new players (at least to some new players).
So yes, I feel the current tech tree's bushiness to have some warmth to it, some of an organic feel.
Apparently some people (including you) prefer the colder, more mechanical feel of your new design (I mean, apart from its intrinsic properties that made you reach a consensus towards it).

So, how about keeping the Bio tech tree... organic, making the Mech tech tree... mechanical, the Crystal tech tree... crystalline, the Cyber tech tree... cybernetic, and the Energy tech tree... energetic (the heck do I know what that last one would mean)?

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:59 pm
by The Silent One
LienRag wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:21 pm
So, how about keeping the Bio tech tree... organic, making the Mech tech tree... mechanical, the Crystal tech tree... crystalline, the Cyber tech tree... cybernetic, and the Energy tech tree... energetic (the heck do I know what that last one would mean)?
And what exactly do you mean by that?

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:05 pm
by LienRag
Having differents patterns/feels for different parts of the Tech tree...
Mechanical: keep it like it is in your new design
Organic: keep it bushy ("foisonnant") as it is now, even maybe have it sprout new techs now and then
Crystalline: have it like a crystal (regular pattern of technologies allowing for other techs which will combine to allow for other techs)
Cybernetic: have the tech tree rearrange itself in a complex way (deterministic is okay but it has to be determined by a lot of factors) after completion of any Cyber tech
Energy: ???? maybe each tech has an "energy token produced at completion" and each has also an "energy token consumption" needed to research it (so no Energy tech will depend on precisely another but only on the sum of preresearched techs)?

I'm not saying that it's a good idea, but it would definitely be original and I'm under the impression that well done it can work (and I know that most plans like this one do not resist contact with the implementation, but I still like the concept).

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:36 pm
by The Silent One
This would be a crazy amount of work, likely create countless problems, and lastly I'm doubtful it will significally enhance the game. Remember, KISS.
Vezzra wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:37 pm
That said, I think at this point I'd defer the final decision to Geoff (as acting project and design lead) - Geoff? Don't know how closely you've been following all the discussions about the tech tree in the last weeks (months?), but at least knowing what your thoughts and preferences are would be somewhat important now...
@Geoff, are you reading this?

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:43 pm
by LienRag
Work, yes.

Crazy amount of it, I'm less certain. Only the permanent rearrangement of the Cybertech tree would require some careful design about it's implementation, balance and design; the others are quite standard.

Create countless problem, I'm not sure either. What it will certainly do is set in stone the separation between the different themes.
And I don't know if it's good or bad, frankly.
It also eliminates the possibility of having one synthetic panel for all themes, except for a general view (but not a practical one as relationships between techs would take multiple forms and even mutable ones for Bio and Cybernetic). With a good explanation (as Vezzra wrote on another topic) about what each Theme do, I think it's not that big a problem

Significantly enhance the game: I can't vouch for that, but apart the fact that I would greatly like it, it has many advantages:
- first, as if I understand correctly you're the Graphics/UI guy, you should understand that the general "feel" of the game is very important to make it enjoyable, and I think that the variety of "feels" for different Themes (and the fact that each player can choose the one he groks best) would give the game a much more interesting (and original) "feel".
- each Theme will make for a different Research Strategy, so fulfilling one of the design objectives of a wide variety of gameplays
- it will allow not only each vision of the Tech Tree in the design team to be fulfilled, but too allow each player with a particular affinity with one of these vision to get his heart's content

Note too that it doesn't have to be implemented just right now as indeed it'll probably make balancing techs between themes a bit more difficult, so doing it for FreeOrion 1.0 (or a version before in order to test that it's actually a good idea) would make sense.
And that KISS means having independant elementary units rather than complex intricated designs, not refusing to build grand things with those elementary units...

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:44 am
by Oberlus
LienRag wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:21 pm
So yes, I feel the current tech tree's bushiness to have some warmth to it, some of an organic feel.
Apparently some people (including you) prefer the colder, more mechanical feel of your new design (I mean, apart from its intrinsic properties that made you reach a consensus towards it).
It has nothing to do with warmth/coldness or organica/mechanic. Those are absolutely subjective perceptions. The real reasons you will be preferring one way or the other are (probably) due to your expectations acquired in previous games in conjuction with your brain configuration that makes you like more some kind of problems and less others. That's why my father likes to do crosswords and sudokus when in the crapper and despise logic games while I prefer much more logic quizzes. It has nothing to do with me or he being colder or warmer, it is just that some brains find pleasure doing certain stuff and not doing some other. FreeOrion is a 4x game, not a spacefaring civilisation simulator. Whatever feels warmer but goes against gameplay principles is not warmer, is just worse.

Regarding the "have different tech tree structures and rules for different tech themes" idea, ABSOLUTELY NO-NO.

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:01 am
by Oberlus
LienRag wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:43 pm
Work, yes. Crazy amount of it, I'm less certain. [...] Create countless problem, I'm not sure either.
You are wrong here. Utterly. But explaining that is pointless, so I encourage you to go check several FOCS files defining techs, some of the buildings/parts that those techs unlock, and how they affect each other. Specially check out how a tech can be unlocked, and consider that we want conditional unlocking (some techs can be cheaper or more expensive depending on other techs/species/buildings you have; and we want to introduce alternative paths to get to the same point, like you can research 4 related apps instead of a general theory to unlock the next tier, or half of the theory and 2 of the apps, etc.). Then you can start reworking the whole tech tree, keeping in mind that you want different set of rules for different tech trees. Then, if you come back with a set of FOCS file that do what you propose, I'll praise you on my knees.

And I'm leaving aside all the graphics work, that would multiplicate. Those are hours and hours of programming, compiling, testing, merging, receiving reports of players that don't see this or that right, etc.

If Geoff was Blizzard's CEO, then I'd side with you. But with FreeOrion, with fully unpaid workers that have families to attend, you can not expect that a "work, yes, but not crazy amount of work" will be finished in less than 5 years.

Regarding your other point:
- Each theme will have it own feel thanks to the theme itself. Just by doing fancy rearrangements you're not making that clearer. The main theme identity comes from the tech descriptions and artwork and the tech actual mechanics. And I'm sure this is exactly what works for me, another player.
each Theme will make for a different Research Strategy
How?

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:18 pm
by LienRag
Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:01 am
each Theme will make for a different Research Strategy
How?
That's the easy part to answer:
- with Mechanical tiered system one would pick the minimal number of Techs from a Tier to be able to research higher Tiers.
- with Cybernetics permanent rearrangement system one would care to pick the most important Tech available (even if he'll need it only later in the game) lest it goes away quite far in the tree after the next rearrangement.
- with Energy one would probably keep researching Techs that creates more Energy tokens than they consume, and amongst them more often than not the cheapest of them (in order to get enough tokens to research the Techs that he actually wants). This may even allow to research one quite powerful Tech relatively early and then not having enough tokens to research anything else than Techs that do not require many tokens for a while...
- I'm not sure which of Crystalline or Bio would be better suited for the TAR model that Labgnome favors, but it generates its own playstyle too.
- Having Techs sprout from the Bio tech tree would make for different games depending on which Tech sprouts and when/where. And it's not absurd either: emerging breakthroughs (which, by the very definition of emergence, cannot be predicted before they happen) exist in the real world.

That makes me think that for tiered system as it seems that you're aiming for, Techs with long research time are an important factor to balance as those with low RP cost per turn would allow to go to higher tiers with comparatively less research points investment (which is important to low-research species) and those with still high global cost would be a handicap for rush-to-higher-tiers strategies.

Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:01 am
If Geoff was Blizzard's CEO, then I'd side with you. But with FreeOrion, with fully unpaid workers that have families to attend, you can not expect that a "work, yes, but not crazy amount of work" will be finished in less than 5 years.

Let's agree then that we'll implement it when one of us becomes Blizzard's CEO, or when I'll be able to do the implementation myself, whichever comes first (all bets being open on that question)...

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:36 pm
by Vezzra
The Silent One wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:36 pm
@Geoff, are you reading this?
Only maintaining a (very) sparse presence myself for months now I don't notice such things, but this raises some worries on my part - how much has Geoff been present (both on the forum and contribution-wise) recently? Because usually he reacts to such inquiries, not getting a reaction from him even after bugging him a second time raises a flag, at least for me.

Geoff? Are you still there? If you are bowing out now too, we're in trouble. That would mean that with the exception of myself (who, as mentioned, is only sparsely present currently, and will remain so for at least a few more months), all project leads are MIA. Something which needs to be addressed... :?

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:00 pm
by Ophiuchus
Vezzra wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:36 pm
Geoff? Are you still there? If ... all project leads are MIA. Something which needs to be addressed... :?
Seen Geoff very sparsely on the forums, but quite active in code review and on- and off active on the government branch.

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:45 pm
by Vezzra
Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:00 pm
Seen Geoff very sparsely on the forums, but quite active in code review and on- and off active on the government branch.
Ah, ok, good to know. So no need for emergency actions right now... :D

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:33 am
by Geoff the Medio
The Silent One wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:36 pm
This would be a crazy amount of work, likely create countless problems, and lastly I'm doubtful it will significally enhance the game. Remember, KISS.
Vezzra wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:37 pm
That said, I think at this point I'd defer the final decision to Geoff (as acting project and design lead) - Geoff? Don't know how closely you've been following all the discussions about the tech tree in the last weeks (months?), but at least knowing what your thoughts and preferences are would be somewhat important now...
@Geoff, are you reading this?
I've looked at some of the posts from time to time, but am not actively following this discussion. The Silent One's interface mockups look good in general.

I'd use separate pages / tabs that one can only view one at a time, rather than expandable sub-pages within a scrollable list. Ophiuchus' point about left-right scrolling (especially on laptops) is good; I'd avoid any left-right scrolling if possible, and instead have separate independent category tabs with tiers ordered / scrolled vertically, rather than having a vertical scrolling list of category sub-pages that each are horizontally scrolled within to see tiers.

I'd err on the side of a smaller number of categories, rather than many overly-specific ones. But this is a rather vague guess as it's difficult to know how things will work from a static mockup, and I don't have a strong preference.

Unless it can be implemented within a single set of research mechanics, having multiple substantially different tree topologies is probably impractical. Having different content subsets have different UI implementations is a bad idea. Things need to be usable and easily understandable foremost.

Re: About Tech Tree GUI

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:02 am
by The Silent One
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:33 am
I'd use separate pages / tabs that one can only view one at a time, rather than expandable sub-pages within a scrollable list. Ophiuchus' point about left-right scrolling (especially on laptops) is good; I'd avoid any left-right scrolling if possible, and instead have separate independent category tabs with tiers ordered / scrolled vertically, rather than having a vertical scrolling list of category sub-pages that each are horizontally scrolled within to see tiers.
Adapted mockup below. Top bar: category tabs. Tiers are arranged in rows, depending on horizontal space there is 1-6 rows (here 2 rows). Researched techs bright, unlockable techs medium, not unlockable techs dark. Bottom bar: filter.
[Edit: removed outdated mockup, newer one in the next post.]