What to do during turn processing?

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vorenhutz
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What to do during turn processing?

#1 Post by vorenhutz » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:18 pm

I think the current splashscreen approach for turn processing could be improved. Completely obscuring the game during turn processing destroys immersion IMO. A small window announcing 'turn processing' would work better. Ideally, you would be able to view all the game screens but all controls would be disabled, but obviously this would involve a lot more coding.

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pd
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#2 Post by pd » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:46 pm

Ideally, you would be able to view all the game screens but all controls would be disable
i can't imagine something being more boring.

i think displaying a nice background is a good idea, especially if we have plenty of them.

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Geoff the Medio
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#3 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:56 pm

pd wrote:
Ideally, you would be able to view all the game screens but all controls would be disable
i can't imagine something being more boring.
You have a horrible imagination.

And a rather odd sense of what's interesting... I'm inclined to agree with vorenhutz on this. I'd be much more interesting in what's going on in the game than a prerendered picture of a planet I've already seen 50 times...

Additionally, while it's happening, progress in turn processing could be indicated graphically, in term of fleets moving along (depending how that's calcuated), and battles that will happen at the end of the turn being notated with an icon. The player should also be able to adjust focus settings / research / production or read spy report info and such while the turn is processing. None of these orders would be implimented until the next turn, though.

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Re: What to do during turn processing?

#4 Post by drek » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:02 pm

vorenhutz wrote:I think the current splashscreen approach for turn processing could be improved. Completely obscuring the game during turn processing destroys immersion IMO. A small window announcing 'turn processing' would work better. Ideally, you would be able to view all the game screens but all controls would be disabled, but obviously this would involve a lot more coding.
I agree 100% with this.

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#5 Post by pd » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:21 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
pd wrote:
Ideally, you would be able to view all the game screens but all controls would be disable
i can't imagine something being more boring.
You have a horrible imagination.
hey, no reason to offend me.

what i was going to say is, that i don't see a benefit in being able to see all game screens but not beeing able to actually do something.

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Geoff the Medio
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#6 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:24 pm

pd wrote:hey, no reason to offend me.
I apologize if I did. The comment was meant to be facetious
what i was going to say is, that i don't see a benefit in being able to see all game screens but not beeing able to actually do something.
-even if you can't do anything, you can look at all your settings / choices and make sure you haven't forgotten anything / set anything wrong / missed an enemy fleet sneaking up on you
-hopefully there will be things that can be done, as I mentioned above
-even if you can't do anything, is that a reason to force the player to look at a meaningless picture while processing? The immersion point still holds... Surveying the great empire for pleasure and such.

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#7 Post by vorenhutz » Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:46 am

This is a matter of personal taste I suppose, perhaps it should be optional, so people who like the wallpaper can have it :)
To expand on why I suggested having controls disabled, it seems to me that that would create synchronisation problems... if something is going to happen later in the turn processing that invalidates your order (say combat happens and a ship is destroyed) it could get complicated to code and confusing for the player.

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noelte
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#8 Post by noelte » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:09 am

The player should also be able to adjust focus settings / research / production or read spy report info and such while the turn is processing. None of these orders would be implimented until the next turn, though
As an sidenote: Changing any settings would conteract the current engine design. Right now, when you hit turn, all your Orders are transfered and executeed at the server galaxy view. after that the state of the galaxy on the server is the same as on the client (except visibility and orders of other empires). After that, only the changes of the server galaxy view is transfered to the client and merged with the last client galaxy view. if you change any settings, merging the turn update into the last galaxy view state is broken.
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#9 Post by Daveybaby » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:12 am

What i think would be really useful would be something like what is done in Moo1, i.e. a zoomed out galaxy map (so you can see the entire galaxy), with fleets moving on it. I always found this useful in Moo1 because it highlighted any enemy action heading my way, so i immediately knew the first places i had to check on next turn. It was also useful for spotting when scouts had reached their destination.

I hate the idea of the static screen - in Moo3 i always started the turn with a "now where am i?" feeling. I can see why some people like it though - maybe make it optional?

One thing that *does* bother me slightly, is the length of the turn processing so far in FO (several seconds on a 1.2 gig athlon) - admittedly i have no idea whats going on under the hood, but... it strikes me that there isnt much in terms of AI processing, combat calculations, etc going on yet. All that should be happening is fleet movement and planet growing - so whats taking so long?
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#10 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:22 am

noelte wrote:As an sidenote: Changing any settings would conteract the current engine design. Right now, when you hit turn, all your Orders are transfered and executeed at the server galaxy view. after that the state of the galaxy on the server is the same as on the client (except visibility and orders of other empires). After that, only the changes of the server galaxy view is transfered to the client and merged with the last client galaxy view. if you change any settings, merging the turn update into the last galaxy view state is broken.
As I said,
Geoff the Medio wrote:None of these orders would be implimented until the next turn, though.
Here's how I see this working: You send your orders at the end of the turn, and the server starts processing. While that's happening, you can start adjusting focus settings and designing ships and assigning move orders and the like. When your turn is finished processing, the results are sent back. Your fleet positions, visibility, etc. info are all updating from the server's info. Any orders you gave between turns are then stored just like any orders you can give after getting your turn results back. Likely we'd limit the orders you can give between turns to things like focus settings or build or research queues... which are things that aren't likely to be adversely affected by results of the turn processing on the server (unlike, say, fleet movement / combat etc).

Basically, as soon as you send turn N to the server, you immediately can start giving orders for turn N+1. Perhaps the types of orders you can give for turn N+1 before getting the results of turn N are limited, but there would likely be some that could be given without complication...

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noelte
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#11 Post by noelte » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:26 am

One thing that *does* bother me slightly, is the length of the turn processing so far in FO (several seconds on a 1.2 gig athlon) - admittedly i have no idea whats going on under the hood, but... it strikes me that there isnt much in terms of AI processing, combat calculations, etc going on yet. All that should be happening is fleet movement and planet growing - so whats taking so long?
As far as i can tell it's not an single issue. The galaxy state is stored as a XML File. Merging/reading those files might take a while. Other thing might be the dynamic cast of Universe objects for instance when looking for combat. But at the end i didn't analyse turn processing yet.[/quote]
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#12 Post by muxec » Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:37 am

Hey, what's about progress bar that is being filled with icons as the process goes? Icons are chosen among large number of possible icons in random way. With smilies this works pretty good, why not use icons of racesfaces, resources, curency symbols, weapon icons... :?: It looks full of hidden sence.


Possible bar with 20 icons

:? :P :wink: :( :? :arrow: :twisted: :roll: :D :?: :idea: :?: :x 8) :? :wink: :arrow: :twisted: :shock: :?

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#13 Post by pd » Thu Aug 19, 2004 1:15 pm

a progress bar, filled with icons doesn't make sense to me, but it might be a good idea to display some usefull information on top of the turn screen(yay, a compromise ;). any suggestions what kind of information this could be?

i think of relations to other races, simple planet statistics, simple fleet statistics. maybe even (history)graphs or a small starmap.

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#14 Post by miu » Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:02 pm

Pd: yep, that was the idea :)
I think we should have random backgroundimage (battleship-renders, planetary backgrounds, diplomacypics) with some useful data shown on top of it. UI-wise I think this info could be fitted in a panel on right side (think the idea of starting menu in moo2, with look/feel of our theme) so that there would be plenty of space for those pretty renders/posters.
What exactly that data should be? Should it show different info different turns?

some ideas:
-Small starmap showing the general sizes/areas of empires would be interesting. Each star would be (quite big) dot that is colored by owning empire. Something to mark locations of your fleet)
-total production values of your empire
-relationship/all the diplomatic stuff& amount of spies, not in 0.4
-number of colonies, amount of population, population growth, your population rank (compared to known empires),
-your top3 colonies (these could change by turn, turn1 - by population, turn2 - by production, turn3 - by research etc.)
-amount of ships/fleets
-system with most of your ships
-what is currently under research with estimate

edit: what kind of historygraph would be most interesting? -something that changes each turn as well?
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Geoff the Medio
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#15 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:47 pm

miu wrote: -Small starmap showing the general sizes/areas of empires would be interesting. Each star would be (quite big) dot that is colored by owning empire. Something to mark locations of your fleet)
-total production values of your empire
-relationship/all the diplomatic stuff& amount of spies, not in 0.4
[...]
-amount of ships/fleets
[...]
-what is currently under research with estimate
Isn't this the kind of stuff that would be on the galaxy map (perhaps under different view options / overlays in some cases) anyway? Why do we need a separate screen to replicate the one we already have, showing the same sorts of information?

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