Brainstorm Creature Mechanic - Creature groups and rally flags
#16
What about naming squads? I love the icon idea, but I think it would be helpful to be able to name the squads. A player given squad name would be easier to remember than a letter or number generated by the game. At least I think it would be.
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#17
That's a great idea, prof. Player defined names could also be more descriptive of the main purpose of the squad, whether it's an archer squad, a patrol squad, a heavy infantry squad or an expiration and scouting squad. +2 prof! Smile
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#18
I like the idea of naming groups. We could set that all groups will have their own default names for specific squads, like the group of Impanzees is "Impanzee Squad", but by clicking on the group name player could name it as he or she want, to for example "Chimps". That makes more sense for setting symbols to each group, so we could set a symbol that indicates units that has healing abilities and even name this group as "Brutal Healers" for example.
Good idea prof_ion, +2 from me. Smile

I also thought about how we could recognize which group has what key ascribed to?
I assume that player could set it's own keys that indicates each group and that number of groups will be limited, for example to 10 and I assume player will know about that by looking at group bar slots, everything like here:
[Image: barik.png]
So by default group number 1 will have "1" button ascribed to etc, but if player had set other combination of keys we could see instead of [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][0] for example [V][F][3][J][5][6][P][8][9][.], whatever.

I think answer for which creature is ascribed to what group Mello gave the best one.
+3 to Mello Tonin from me for very nice idea and artwork. Smile
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#19
Thanks, again guys. Prof. Ion, love that idea about the player naming the group. I think there would need to be a character limit to it just to keep it from occupying too much screen space, so maybe 10 would be enough for a descriptive name?

Yeah SU, that was what popped into my head (avg HP) first and foremost when I was thinking squad strength. I figured if you lose a squad member then if it was 10/10 before, then after losing one your squad would be 9/9 and you would then then to assign a new creature to get it back to 10 if need be. I could see it being like 9/10 if the creature was incapacitated and waiting to be moved to be revived though.
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#20
(06-04-2014, 10:07 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote: Thanks, yeah I was thinking having an icon to signify what type of group/squad it was would look nicer than just having an indicator saying 'Group 1,a,or whatever'. I really liked the idea SU had where there was some kind of indicator of group strength too, so you know if they are ready for battle or should stay rested. I wouldn't think it would be too difficult to get the average HP of the group members and have that represented with a meter like the XP meter.

I was thinking that the group strength could have two values actually, one for how much "hp" the group has, and one that shows how well equipped it is according to the squad profile.

(07-04-2014, 01:55 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote: Will it be possible to make a multi-specialty squad too? Like, say, a squad that features a combination of archers and melee fighters? IMO that would save considerable micromanagement when sending squads into battle or arranging them into patrols/guard postings so you'd have a balenced mix of skills being assigned a task with 1 click, rather then having to search for several squads to assign to the same task to get that balanced mix of skills. For example sending warriors to attack a large impanzee lair with archer support, if the squad already had archers included in it they could provide ranged cover fire for the warriors while the warriors could protect the archers and keep the enemies at a distance so the archers can continue to fight how their most effective, at long range where they can shoot arrows at the enemies rather then having to use their bows as clubs or draw a lesser weapon like a knife or dagger to fight hand to hand, which archers alone would be vulnerable to. Warriors alone would be vulnerable to enemy archers, especially if there's also melee fighters between your melee fighter and the enemy archers.

This could actually be easily arranged by binding two groups together as one. But I must say that I am getting some second thoughts, there are already a lot of variables included into the group making, and in my experience it is always better if it is kept as simple as possible. By just being able to assign creatures to specific groups manually would actually be the easiest approach and that is what I will start will start with. Then when that is done I will move on to having the creatures auto assigned to groups upon creation. Then move on to having specific equipment configurations for each group. There is a lot of steps here, so I will have to do them one by one and see how it goes and if it is really necessary to add the next step, the less step I have the better it will be.

(07-04-2014, 08:17 PM)prof_ion Wrote: What about naming squads? I love the icon idea, but I think it would be helpful to be able to name the squads. A player given squad name would be easier to remember than a letter or number generated by the game. At least I think it would be.

(08-04-2014, 05:26 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote: That's a great idea, prof. Player defined names could also be more descriptive of the main purpose of the squad, whether it's an archer squad, a patrol squad, a heavy infantry squad or an expiration and scouting squad. +2 prof! Smile

(08-04-2014, 09:18 AM)Sebt Wrote: I like the idea of naming groups. We could set that all groups will have their own default names for specific squads, like the group of Impanzees is "Impanzee Squad", but by clicking on the group name player could name it as he or she want, to for example "Chimps". That makes more sense for setting symbols to each group, so we could set a symbol that indicates units that has healing abilities and even name this group as "Brutal Healers" for example.
Good idea prof_ion, +2 from me. Smile

Naming squads is good, but having a letter or a icon for a squad would make the GUI less messy. Then again, when hovering the icon or letter the player could have a custom made "nametag" for the group so that the player associate with the icon more easily.

(08-04-2014, 09:18 AM)Sebt Wrote: I also thought about how we could recognize which group has what key ascribed to?
I assume that player could set it's own keys that indicates each group and that number of groups will be limited, for example to 10 and I assume player will know about that by looking at group bar slots, everything like here:
[Image: barik.png]
So by default group number 1 will have "1" button ascribed to etc, but if player had set other combination of keys we could see instead of [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][0] for example [V][F][3][J][5][6][P][8][9][.], whatever.

I think answer for which creature is ascribed to what group Mello gave the best one.
+3 to Mello Tonin from me for very nice idea and artwork. Smile

This is really good, I really like the artwork and this is something I definitely could work with Smile

(08-04-2014, 04:26 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote: Thanks, again guys. Prof. Ion, love that idea about the player naming the group. I think there would need to be a character limit to it just to keep it from occupying too much screen space, so maybe 10 would be enough for a descriptive name?

Yeah SU, that was what popped into my head (avg HP) first and foremost when I was thinking squad strength. I figured if you lose a squad member then if it was 10/10 before, then after losing one your squad would be 9/9 and you would then then to assign a new creature to get it back to 10 if need be. I could see it being like 9/10 if the creature was incapacitated and waiting to be moved to be revived though.

Okay, so if we would have names for the groups instead of icons, then how would that be presented in the GUI or on rally flags? IMO it is a lot easier to have a sigil for a group rather than the whole name, it could be very distracting having to read text in the menu.

Maybe I misunderstand this, but for me this is the same as replacing a mailbox icon in a game with a button that says "mail", it is much harder for the player having to read everything rather than just see a picture of it.
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#21
(08-04-2014, 09:58 PM)Rasmus Wrote:
(08-04-2014, 04:26 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote: ...I think there would need to be a character limit to it just to keep it from occupying too much screen space, so maybe 10 would be enough for a descriptive name...

... if we would have names for the groups instead of icons, then how would that be presented in the GUI or on rally flags? IMO it is a lot easier to have a sigil for a group rather than the whole name, it could be very distracting having to read text in the menu...

Yeah I think what you mentioned about being able to mouse over the icon to get the custom name to pop up would be the best way to handle that.
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#22
(08-04-2014, 04:26 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote: Thanks, again guys. Prof. Ion, love that idea about the player naming the group. I think there would need to be a character limit to it just to keep it from occupying too much screen space, so maybe 10 would be enough for a descriptive name?

Yeah SU, that was what popped into my head (avg HP) first and foremost when I was thinking squad strength. I figured if you lose a squad member then if it was 10/10 before, then after losing one your squad would be 9/9 and you would then then to assign a new creature to get it back to 10 if need be. I could see it being like 9/10 if the creature was incapacitated and waiting to be moved to be revived though.

Actually, my thinking here is that a squad could have a size (in number of creatures) assigned to it, so whenever a squad has fewer then the assigned number it would automatically attempt to assign idle creatures that fit that squad's profile and aren't already assigned to another squad. So if, for simplicity sake, Rasmus started out with all squads being of a single race, then you could make a squad of 10 orcs, and it would initially have 0 orcs in it, the squad could have an action of "Recruiting" at this point, and it would stay in that status until it reached 10 orcs or the player overrode that status by placing it's rally flag or assigning it to a guard post or something, until it reaches 10 orcs and if it ever lost any orcs to death, or defection or any other way a creature can be lost, it would then queue up to receive orcs until it's back up to full strength (10 orcs) again. Basically, any time a squad has fewer then the assigned number of creatures in it, the squad would go into a recruiting status and would attempt to fill the vacancies as quickly as possible.

Other statuses a squad could have could be:

"Wounded" if it has wounded members, in which case the squad would look for the nearest bed to rest in or healer to tend their wounds until their wounds are healed.

"Hungry" 1 or more creatures are hungry and need to eat, the squad will go to the nearest bar room with food in it and the hungry member(s) will eat.

"Thirsty" same idea as "hungry" but will seek out beer instead of food.

"Tired" members are sleepy and will seek out a bed to sleep in.

There could be many other statuses, some good, some bad that could affect a squad's performance and availability, some of which could be active simultaneously, such as a squad could be recruiting, tired and wounded at the same time, for example. Other statuses that contradict each other could be mutually exclusive. Such as a status that improves teamwork in a squad and a status that creates discord in a squad couldn't be active at the same time.

I have more to say, but not enough time to say it now so I'll be back to post more ideas later.
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#23
That makes sense. I like the idea of being able to see what needs the group has by status. Maybe the overall health indicator could take into account those statuses as well as avg HP when showing strength, so if the strength is tarting to get low you could check the group/squad menu? In the menu you would have icons for all the possible causes which would be filled with color as the status improves like so:

[Image: GM54.png]

I know that's a bit crude, but you can see where I am going with that. I didn't have time to make the image as I wanted it, so just imagine the half filled icons instead of just an outline of the item that is in demand, the outline would really be the remaining part of the icon but in black and white.
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#24
1. "the idea of being able to see what needs the group has by status", is something I like, good idea. Smile This way you could even regroup units heavily harmed to one group and take care of them - just for example.

Also I would like to improve a way of showing group statuses. I assume as less menus as the better. So what if these stats could be showed just by hovering mouse on target group icon in group bar in it's tooltip pop-up small window? So except possibility of changing the name of group, ability to see how many and which creatures are in selected group we could see average value of each status? It could be showed as symbols like you Mello showed.
I think all the info of a group if stored in one, easy and quickly to access place could really help especially in fast action.

2. If it comes to showing which creature is in what group we could place additionally a group icon next to the name of group below creature's name bar that Mello Tonin presented. It's far easier to remember the image than text.

3. The way of showing groups in GUI could be like I suggested by looking at group bar and seeing group icons and small mark that indicates a hotkey for this group.
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#25
What do you think about this then? I figured this could be an option to either show or hide the group/squad bar in the game menu. I compiled this with an image Rasmus posted in the news letter and superimposed the bar.

[Image: GMnJ.png]

What is happening is that when you mouse over the group number a tooltip window pops up displaying the group membership, and needs status. Also the health of the group is displayed without the mouse over by showing the button filled to the level of health. Group 1 and 2 are 100%, but you can see that group 3 is unhealthy. Mousing over shows why they are unhealthy.
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#26
Melow Tonin Wrote:I know that's a bit crude, but you can see where I am going with that. I didn't have time to make the image as I wanted it, so just imagine the half filled icons instead of just an outline of the item that is in demand, the outline would really be the remaining part of the icon but in black and white.
That's an awesome demo of concept.

Sebt Wrote:1. "the idea of being able to see what needs the group has by status", is something I like, good idea. Smile This way you could even regroup units heavily harmed to one group and take care of them - just for example.
That's one of the reasons why I want that, in addition to knowing when to send a group into battle and when to order a retreat.

Sebt Wrote:2. If it comes to showing which creature is in what group we could place additionally a group icon next to the name of group below creature's name bar that Mello Tonin presented. It's far easier to remember the image than text.
That really depends on the individual. Some work better with icons, others work better with text. Making this a user selected option would be the way to go here, IMO.

Quote:3. The way of showing groups in GUI could be like I suggested by looking at group bar and seeing group icons and small mark that indicates a hotkey for this group.
This is a good idea for quickly checking the status of a single group, but the menu still is very useful for comparing the statuses of several groups quickly or checking the status of all groups at a glance. IMO both methods have their advantages and flaws, and both are useful for different reasons and in different situations.

Mellow Tonin Wrote:What is happening is that when you mouse over the group number a tooltip window pops up displaying the group membership, and needs status. Also the health of the group is displayed without the mouse over by showing the button filled to the level of health. Group 1 and 2 are 100%, but you can see that group 3 is unhealthy. Mousing over shows why they are unhealthy.
This would be great for a quick check. I'm assuming that the display for groups 4+ means that those groups are empty?

EDIT: and one more thing, +2 Mellow, +2 Sebt
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#27
(10-04-2014, 09:40 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote: ...I'm assuming that the display for groups 4+ means that those groups are empty?

Yeah, since it has a grey background. I based that screen mock up on the Groups windows prior which has the 3 groups. We can see 1, 2, and 3 are populated with group assignments because the bar is filled in with color which also doubles as a group health meter to quickly see the status of your groups.
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#28
@SU - that really may depend on individual preferences of people how they remember something easier, however if you read about mnemotechnique (small reference - http://www.skillstoolbox.com/career-and-...-vs-words/ ) you'll get info that image is much efficient way to remember anything by human as for example our brain is able to abstract thinking.
Ask yourself is there something that you've remembered as picture and that this you remember better than text, in my case I still remember a product live cycle chain in images that covered words, that these actually the most I don't remember anymore... I learned that 2 years ago. What's more image is very often connected with something you'd experienced, learning by making mistakes is the most efficient and mind developing learning technique.

@ Mello - that's a very nice visualisation, +2 for you. Smile Not sure about having it above the menu bar, but the same ideology is something that I thought.
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#29
Nice Sebt, yeah I didn't know where it would go best, but the center above the action buttons seemed good enough. I'm thinking now I would like to see what it would look like with the action buttons on the left side of the screen so that group bar wouldn't look odd sitting above it.
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#30
(10-04-2014, 09:51 PM)Sebt Wrote: @SU - that really may depend on individual preferences of people how they remember something easier, however if you read about mnemotechnique (small reference - http://www.skillstoolbox.com/career-and-...-vs-words/ ) you'll get info that image is much efficient way to remember anything by human as for example our brain is able to abstract thinking.
Ask yourself is there something that you've remembered as picture and that this you remember better than text, in my case I still remember a product live cycle chain in images that covered words, that these actually the most I don't remember anymore... I learned that 2 years ago. What's more image is very often connected with something you'd experienced, learning by making mistakes is the most efficient and mind developing learning technique.

This is true, visuials are an essential part of learning. I'm also thinking though that when working on something new, I don't always connect what a picture is meant to mean without some text to describe it. Also, depending on how big Dwelvers gets, if there are a lot of squads with a lot of different names and attributes, then it's much easier to implement search and filtering features based on text then on a picture.

For example, could you imagine having to draw a picture of a tracker every time you wanted to search for some sort of info about tractors? What's more, how could you draw that picture if you had never seen a tractor before in your life?

That's why I say that both are important.

Also, I tend to work better with words then pictures, that's one of the reasons why I hate MS Office since the 2007 version which pretty much abolished all text descriptions of its features. Usually when I'm looking to use a feature, I'll remember what that feature's name is, but won't remember what picture someone chose to use to represent it, so where I could before look for it in the standard Windows menu system, once the 2007 version came out and that wasn't even an option any more, I found myself having a hard time finding features that I do know how to use, but can't find how to activate it because I don't remember what cryptic picture represents it and I can't do a search based on a nameless picture.

Quote:Not sure about having it above the menu bar, but the same ideology is something that I thought.
I'm sure Rasmus will figure out the best place for that to go. The important thing is Mellow's picture does get the basic idea across better then words alone could.
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