How to Display Many Fleets in One System?

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Geoff the Medio
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How to Display Many Fleets in One System?

#1 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Dec 03, 2006 3:21 am

If there are more than one empire's fleets in a system, they get lined up vertically. This gets somewhat silly looking with more than two or three empires' fleets:
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Can someone suggest a better way to deal with this situation, and multiple fleets / empires' fleets in a system in general?

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#2 Post by Impaler » Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:08 am

two simple ideas spring to mind

- Each player in the game is assigned an imutable Angle at game creation, evenly divinding the 360 degree pie between them. Each fleet icon is shown equal distance from the star at their unique angular offset guaranteeing no Icons can ever overlap. One particular position (12:00 perhaps) could be reserved for the player (note that in networked games this is done for everyone by just subtracting the difference between their angle and the desired position, esentialy spinning the wheel)

- A single "not your fleet" Icon is displayed at some point different then the players Icon and must be selected to open up a menu and see all the races and fleets within. When possible (one race) the icon will have that races color, otherwise it has some nutral color or is multi-colored.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

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eleazar
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#3 Post by eleazar » Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:08 am

Immutable Angles are not a good plan. It unneccesarily limits the max number of players, and ignores the fact that relative position to the star currently sensibly indicates if the fleet is leaving.

Empire fleets appear above the upper-right corner of a star.
The second fleet can show up directly above it, the third directly to the right, and the fourth can complete a square.

For additional fleets contintue expanding the square away from the star.

IIRC departing fleets are displayed in the lower left. They should also describe a box expanding away from the star.

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#4 Post by pd » Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:43 pm

I would prefer aligning them horizontally above the star. That's also the reason why I left free space above the system selector.

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#5 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:21 pm

pd wrote:I would prefer aligning them horizontally above the star. That's also the reason why I left free space above the system selector.
You mean like this?
Image
There's no way to get more than four or so fleet icons in a row between the top inner edges of the indicator without making them too small to be clickable at reasonable zooms... and even four is pretty small. So, that would require going to a second row above the first if more than three or four empires' fleets were co-located... Unless you're OK with overlapping the system selection indicator.

Or were you expecting a much smaller indicators compared to the star, so that the fleets would be above it? (In that case, why is the hole necessary?). I didn't make it smaller because halos are enabled in RC5, and they grow bigger than the star at close zooms, and I didn't want the indicator to be too close and thus covered up by the halo.

Alternatively, you could shrink the indicator vertically (but not horizontally), so that the fleets could be lined up in one row without getting in its way.

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#6 Post by pd » Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:36 pm

The icons should be shown above the selector(not inside). The selector was initially a circle - but it's cropped on top and on the bottom. The top is reserved for the fleet icons, the bottom for the star name.

edit:
Image

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#7 Post by eleazar » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:17 am

pd wrote:The top is reserved for the fleet icons, the bottom for the star name.
Don't forget that departing fleets currently move to the bottom of the star until the player's turn is up. This makes it very easy to distinguish between fleets that have orders and those that don't. Something much more valuable IMHO that making things line up in near rows.


EDIT:
geoff wrote:I didn't make it smaller because halos are enabled in RC5, and they grow bigger than the star at close zooms, and I didn't want the indicator to be too close and thus covered up by the halo.
That shouldn't be a problem anyway. The halo should be drawn lower than the selector, names, blinking-ship-paths, and ships. The only thing the halo should be drawn over is the background and starlanes.

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#8 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:04 am

eleazar wrote:
pd wrote:The top is reserved for the fleet icons, the bottom for the star name.
Don't forget that departing fleets currently move to the bottom of the star until the player's turn is up.
It might be assumed that there's only ever one empire's fleet icon at the bottom to indicating it's moving, which is presumably the player's fleet... However we might have multiplayer in which orders are shared between allies, and thus want to be able to show more than one empire's fleets being ordered to leave the same system on the same turn.
The halo should be drawn lower than the selector, names, blinking-ship-paths, and ships. The only thing the halo should be drawn over is the background and starlanes.
Even if it's drawn under all those things, it still might make them hard to see if it gets big enough. To exaggerate somewhat, if I put a large white piece of paper under a smaller white piece of paper, it's hard to see the one on top. pd's last mockup seems to have shrunk the selection indicator somewhat compared to RC5, which would cause any halos added to grow as large as or larger than the indicator at medium or close zoom levels.

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#9 Post by eleazar » Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:20 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:The halo should be drawn lower than the selector, names, blinking-ship-paths, and ships. The only thing the halo should be drawn over is the background and starlanes.
Even if it's drawn under all those things, it still might make them hard to see if it gets big enough. To exaggerate somewhat, if I put a large white piece of paper under a smaller white piece of paper, it's hard to see the one on top. pd's last mockup seems to have shrunk the selection indicator somewhat compared to RC5, which would cause any halos added to grow as large as or larger than the indicator at medium or close zoom levels.
Yes, but that small piece of paper will be easily discernible if you trace the edges with black— like the edges of the selector graphics.

I would change the halo graphics if they got so big such a thing was a problem— but i doubt it will be. A little spillage in certain situations is a good thing.

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#10 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:54 am

eleazar wrote:...trace the edges with black— like the edges of the selector graphics.
The black edges are fairly thin... so I'd expect some blurring with the transparent pixels beside the black ones when the image is resized and with the white pixels on the other side, which would presumably blur out the contrast.

I suppose we'll have to try it and see, though. And as you said, it can be fixed if it's a problem.

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#11 Post by pd » Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:12 am

What halos are you talking about?

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#12 Post by eleazar » Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:41 am

pd wrote:What halos are you talking about?
these. The glow around a star.

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#13 Post by The Silent One » Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:10 pm

eleazar wrote:
pd wrote:The top is reserved for the fleet icons, the bottom for the star name.
Don't forget that departing fleets currently move to the bottom of the star until the player's turn is up. This makes it very easy to distinguish between fleets that have orders and those that don't. Something much more valuable IMHO that making things line up in near rows.
Could you rephrase that? I don't understand what you mean as I don't see any problem. IMHO, pd's proposal should work very well.

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#14 Post by eleazar » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:27 pm

The Silent One wrote:
eleazar wrote:
pd wrote:The top is reserved for the fleet icons, the bottom for the star name.
Don't forget that departing fleets currently move to the bottom of the star until the player's turn is up. This makes it very easy to distinguish between fleets that have orders and those that don't. Something much more valuable IMHO that making things line up in near rows.
Could you rephrase that? I don't understand what you mean as I don't see any problem. IMHO, pd's proposal should work very well.
Have you played the game? (as far as it's possible)
If you command a fleet to leave a system the fleet icon is no longer diplayed above the star, but is instead displayed below the star. Thus it's easy to tell at a glance which fleets have orders to move.

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#15 Post by The Silent One » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:04 pm

Eleazar wrote:If you command a fleet to leave a system the fleet icon is no longer diplayed above the star, but is instead displayed below the star. Thus it's easy to tell at a glance which fleets have orders to move.
But why would that no longer be possible with the fleets above the system selection indicator like in pd's mockup? - I don't think pd meant to change that departing fleets are placed at the bottom.
Geoff the Medio wrote: It might be assumed that there's only ever one empire's fleet icon at the bottom to indicating it's moving, which is presumably the player's fleet... However we might have multiplayer in which orders are shared between allies, and thus want to be able to show more than one empire's fleets being ordered to leave the same system on the same turn.
That'll probably be rare and if, it should still be no problem to have the star name overlain for one turn.

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