What to do during turn processing?

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pd
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#16 Post by pd » Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:58 pm

well, basicly we have a turn screen, because it was part of the design document and now we are simply trying to make it more usefull.

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Geoff the Medio
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#17 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:34 pm

Perhaps the suggestions to make the turn screen work like an alternate map screen should be taken as an indication that a separate turn screen isn't such a good idea after all...

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#18 Post by drek » Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:37 pm

well, basicly we have a turn screen, because it was part of the design document and now we are simply trying to make it more usefull.
There are other instances wherein the first dd said "screen" but in implementation the "screen" became a window.

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#19 Post by miu » Thu Aug 19, 2004 5:31 pm

I see this as matter of taste:
Small unnoticiable window that doesnt distract you from the gameplay almost at all, you just see the screen where you were before, it's just frozen and there's a progress bar with explanation. Intuitive.

or

Turn-screen that works as empire/galaxy summary with pretty renders. I prefer this - it's a excellent change to show player pictures of his/her citizens, buildings, technology, everydaylife in empire and aliens - adds to immersion. I want to show them stuff like diagram/autopsy of certain alien race with simple explanations of their biology and social structure - player rarely go to encyclopedia to look these things.
There's some benefits of seeing strategical minimap of whole galazy at the end of each turn- you may notice changes in the ownership of systems that are not directly related to you, which often go unoticed in normal zoom. I mean this map being quite small - not concentrad on showing starlanes, maybe not showing them (and the fleets) at all, but clearly who controls what systems. And I like the feeling of progress you get by looking this map as your empire grows. edit: as said, the idea of show enemyfleets in minimap is great, helps to catch those scouts :)

Other thing to consider showing: leading 3 empires.

There's already quite a few things to show in this empire/galaxy summary- which do you think are most important to show and is there any others? Some of them (like empire production values) are seen on starmap all the time and as I would like to leave much space for that background pic - everything may not fit in. (Can't say until doing a mockup, anyone interested? :))
Last edited by miu on Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pd
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#20 Post by pd » Thu Aug 19, 2004 5:59 pm

it's a excellent change to show player pictures of his/her citizens, buildings, technology, everydaylife in empire and aliens - adds to immersion.
exactly my point of view and the reason why i couldn't understand the initial argument, that a bg picture destroys immersion.

this mini map sounds good to me.

if i wouldn't be that busy i would make a mockup to convince drek and geoff :)

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Geoff the Medio
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#21 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:39 pm

Wouldn't we have a minimap anyway?

I don't object to having a small window that indicates the turn processing progress or other information that the normal map view, but I just can't see what we'd want to show in that window that we wouldn't have another window available to show at any time...

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#22 Post by miu » Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:57 pm

If we show pictures with encyclopedia information between turns, we can shown some useful info there as well.. like the central info of diplomacy screens and history that aren't visited so often.

Currently we don't have minimap anywhere else in UI, expect if you zoom far out. Where would you put it? Should we have one at the corner of galaxy-map ... I think we can do without, as zooming out works well and if we place one between turns- crucial information gets delivered. Maybe optional minimap-window for those who want to have it turned on, I think it would work well.

But yes, all of the information that would be collected to turn-screen is shown elsewhere already - but it's not a bad thing, allow player to see crucial info from different sources, - I personally would enjoy seeing general empire/galaxy status each turn without need to browse those other screens - but to be able to do that when I want to see things in more detail.
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#23 Post by pd » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:44 pm

i found some time and made a quick mockup.

Image

note, this is only a quick sketch and you are of course able to view different graphs, display different map types and browse through the entire encyclopedia.

i'm looking forward to your suggestions what also could be displayed.

also note, that this is a rather low screen resolution, with a higher resolution you would have more space available.

i imagine this beeing fully customizable. you should be able to load the info you want to have and place it where you want it to be.

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#24 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:21 pm

Looks very nice.

But I still don't see why showing that background image is preferable to using the space to show the standard galaxy map. Rather than constraining the map info to a small window (the minimap), why not just show the standard galaxy map over the whole screen, optionally scrolled out to show the whole galaxy (as in the minimap)? The map could be displayed in "political mode" which would use coloured dots for ownership of systems rather than star colour, as in the mockup. The histograph and encyclopedia windows could also be standard windows you could open at any time while playing, though I do imagine the most convenient time to do so during a multiplayer game would be during someone else's combat.

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#25 Post by vorenhutz » Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:29 pm

The graphics guys seem very attached to their backgrounds (and since they look great, I can see why!). Why not just put them behind the starmap the whole time, on some sort of rotation, making them more opaque during turn processing?
BTW like Daveybaby, I dislike the splashscreen idea mainly because of MoO3. As long as there's something to do other than stare at the picture for 40 seconds, I'm easy :)

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#26 Post by miu » Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:18 am

I would combine the encyclopedia entry to the background picture, there would be a fullscreen picture of those lizards running around (keep those black-bars), with short summary written _in_ the background pic. Example of informative backgroundpic:
http://well-of-souls.com/outsider/conce ... uettes.gif
(that link is really just an excuse to introduce you to a great webcomic :))

On top of that pic at right side would be constant, non interactive data-panel that could not be scrolled, moved or resized.
I understand the idea that bigger resolution would allow you to show more misc info if you use separate windows that can be turned on/off, but it clutters, and I like turn-processing screen to have peaceful atmosphere: You sit back, breathe, don't click a thing, observe the information on the screen and think about your next step as the progressbar grows. Having interactive screens there.. nawh, assuming turns won't take ages, you should do that more detailed encyclopedia and statistic browsing from UI's properly designed for those purposes. Also we could make all this info customizable, but I dont think this is so big issue that players really care to finetune it - unneccessary options, wellthought set shuold be enough for most, modders do the for the rest.

hmm, have to do a mock-up myself to see how my idea will work :)

edit: vorenhutz: yep, I'm against just staring the progressbar, there should be something else, something useful, but I'm against allowing encyclopedia browsing/ interactive stuff if it doesnt sit really well. Would it be any better/different if you stare at the frozen starmap instead of random picture.
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Geoff the Medio
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#27 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Aug 20, 2004 7:46 am

From here: viewtopic.php?p=14221#14221
Odi wrote:how about mini-games implemented in the waiting screen, maybe a card game that can be played while waiting for other players to finish their turns/combats? (always missed something like that in MoO 2 + 3 :-)) [a small magic the gathering-clone would be nice - using sci-fi-theming]
IMO this might be good... especially if you can gamble in the minigames (against other players) using money from your empire's treasury :D

Could be like Poker with standard betting, or something like Go or Chinese Checkers where pieces are worth credits.

In either case, I'm taking rather small amounts of money in game terms... this should be for fun, and without serious consequences.

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#28 Post by noelte » Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:19 am

very nice mockup, pd. Of cause there have to be some additional UI Design. For instance, do the player have to press start turn when turn processing is done and the player can go ahead. He might doing some encyclopedia reading.
Press any key to continue or any other key to cancel.
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#29 Post by Yoghurt » Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:13 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:Could be like Poker with standard betting, or something like Go or Chinese Checkers where pieces are worth credits.
Hmm, Go and Chinese Checkers are both too deep (we don'T want to distract the players by having to mentally switch to a whole new stategy) and take too much time.
Poker might be a nice idea, as you can see who can bluff and who can't (or pretends like he can't); you could use this infomation for Diplomacy later.

But maybe something light-weighted like hearts (or tetris!) would be more appropriate.

The players should at least be able to chat, so that they can form alliances during the turn-processing; ala (please forgive my horrible english) "Hey Red, Green (my ally) is again fighting with Blue (your ally) for Tau Sigma, how about spreading misinformation about a preparation for a big strike? This way, we can get Green and Blue to spend all their resources fighting each other; we than can split their empires between ourselfes after we conquered them."

BTW: Magic and other trading card games wouldn't really work IMHO, besides, WOTC is holding a patent on this game, so we can't use it anyway.

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Rotating pictures

#30 Post by guiguibaah » Fri Aug 20, 2004 11:55 pm

Personally, I do like to rotating picture idea, however there would have to be quite a few of them to make me want to peruse them each turn, or while I am waiting. Maybe have a pop down menu to look at graphs, star replays, trends, info, populations, statistics, etc...

As for combat resolution... Couldn't players not in combat still do things like change build queues and the like?

I'm thinking of over 50 rotating splash screens, and each would rotate depending on the mood of the game (IE: if you are in an intense war, early game, etc... )
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