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Feedback/Modification I & S - Improving GUI Functionality
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City Builder Offline
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Post: #1
I & S - Improving GUI Functionality
Hi, I searched the forums for "GUI Suggestions" but didn't find anything relevant in the 3 pages of search results so... Here are some GUI suggestions that come to my mind. I absolutely love the right click pull up radial menu, and have always been a sucker for this type of menu system. I frequently suggest this type of radial menu to developers who's games I think would benefit from it. The more that you can clear off the screen the better, while still leaving good or great functionality to what you do have to have on the screen the better IMO.

Info
General improvements to the graphical user interface (GUI) that I believe would enhance the game. I realize the game is in alpha and the GUI will obviously change as development continues but thought I'd throw these out there to voice my opinion on what would enhance the GUI.

Appearance
[Image: 1QNaRiO.jpg]
Note: What I'm proposing in the mock up image above is more for functionality than it is for aesthetics. I'm sure Ben or you or your team are going to surprise us with an absolutely beautiful GUI by the time that you're done with your game.

Stats

Function: To make the GUI as accessible as possible without obscuring the screen anymore than it needs to, as well as to reduce all GUI elements either to a specific percent (I suggest a minimum of 50% reduction) or base it on the users screen resolution. Or even better let the user choose in an options panel to scale the GUI to the percent size that they wish to use in their game.

Basically the only things I'd like to see on my screen, are the icons in the upper left corner of the screen that would be configurable by the player by dragging them from the production menu into the 10 slots at the top of the screen, also make these have the ability to be hidden by pressing a hotkey.

The only other elements that I'd want to see on my screen would be the "tabs" along the edge of the screen that when clicked on would slide out those items (main menu buttons, production menu etc.) When the production menu, and main button menu are closed all you would see would be some sort of an icon pull tab indicating what item it is that will open if you click on that tab and then it would slide the menus out onto the screen. Hopefully in reduced size so that things like the production menu doesn't need to take up 80% of my view of what is going on in the game.

I would expect of course for whomever is responsible to dress up the icon holders, the production menu, the main menu buttons to what ever they believe is the best. Again, this is more about function and clearing up the main game screen than it is anything about aesthetics.

The way it is now, everything just seems so large and chunky when I personally think it should be more delicate, have great functionality as well as making it really darn pretty.

Hopefully nobody thinks it's silly to suggest ideas for function when it comes to the GUI since most would understand that the GUI is obviously going to change over the course of development but perhaps adding function to the GUI at this stage of development might be the correct time that it needs to be made since it would change function of the GUI and not just the aesthetics.
(This post was last modified: 23-08-2014 07:09 PM by Sebt.)
13-05-2014 11:47 PM
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Rasmus Offline
Main developer of Dwelvers
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Post: #2
RE: GUI Functionality Suggestions
I agree with you on some point here, something that have been bothering me for some time is that the scale of the GUI has been larger than I first expected. It would do no harm in shrinking it down. I will probably do some minor adjustments to the gui before the 0.7 release, and that would be the first step. There are some other things as well, BurningPet has sketched us some concept art on what he thinks would do the game well (and so do I), it is not finished yet so I can't show any direct images about it. But mostly it is about cleaning up the radial menu and move the buildings, constructions and spells from it and putting it in the "bottom menu" instead.

Most of the things presented here are really good I must say +3 to you for taking your time to do this Smile

Having the items/creatures menu in the left of the screen could be real nice, but it will be a lot of work that will have to wait until later releases.
I really do like the "reinforced wall" bar on the top with the icon. The only issue here is that there more than one "building" can be selected at once, therefore we need to come up with something that can show multiple selection without taking up the whole screen.

We are working on having items shown at the top bar, so this will be implemented.

I will try to keep this topic updated with the changes made to the gui, there are some objects in the new version that are not presented in this screenshot you provided, like the tutorial, creature icons and message system, which is understandable. But with your gui layout I don't think it would be much of a problem getting them in there.
14-05-2014 02:48 AM
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Mello Tonin Offline
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Post: #3
RE: GUI Functionality Suggestions
I like what you presented there CB. Yeah I think radial menus seem to fit the game well too. Having the Spells and Building buttons moved so that these are static should make those tasks easier for sure; hot-keys in the future would be excellent.
14-05-2014 03:14 AM
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Seriously Unserious Offline
The Ninja Dinosaur

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Post: #4
RE: GUI Functionality Suggestions
I love the ideas you came up with here. I agree that the GUI does take up more of the screen then it should. Some things like the hydraulics will likely need to be taken off the radial menu as there are getting to be too many options there to fit the radial menu format properly, and not all the features for the hydraulics have even been implemented yet, so I can imagine it will only get worse.

The rooms and many other basic tools work great in the radial menu, but things with more then a dozen options overload that system and need to be handled in another way. Pull out tabs from around the perimeter would be a great way of handling anything that doesn't fit the radial menus.

+2
[Image: 11619898803_7d3a89e6bd_n.jpg]
The Golden One!
17-05-2014 03:07 AM
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
So this is the result of this:

- I rescaled all icons to 66%
- Gave the player a option to have three items of his choice displayed at the top (will probably need more later on but this will do for now).
- Moved the menu, help, creature menu and production menu up to the top.
- Rooms, constructions, hydraulics, decoration, spells and sell got moved down to the bottom right corner.
- Message icons moved to the bottom left corner.
- The big mailbox in the bottom left will be for showing "Game objectives" / "Quests".
- Link room chain, room info, "build inside rooms" and rally flags moved to the mouse radial menu.

Still need to find a good location for the icon that switches between the surface and dungeon.
Also need to find a location for the "cancel rally flag" icon.

[IMG]replace_photbucket_link/GUIv2.png[/IMG]
18-05-2014 07:52 PM
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City Builder Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
Looks really nice.
Only the menu and help button shapes look odd.

-- first post made on my phone
(This post was last modified: 18-05-2014 08:27 PM by City Builder.)
18-05-2014 08:25 PM
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
(18-05-2014 08:25 PM)City Builder Wrote:  Looks really nice.
Only the menu and help button shapes look odd.

Yeah, they could need a update. BurningPet is now working on replacing a lot of the icons in the menu and make them more isometric, so maybe he will get to those as well then Smile

(18-05-2014 08:25 PM)City Builder Wrote:  -- first post made on my phone

Congrats Wink
18-05-2014 08:31 PM
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Mello Tonin Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
(18-05-2014 07:52 PM)Rasmus Wrote:  Still need to find a good location for the icon that switches between the surface and dungeon.
Also need to find a location for the "cancel rally flag" icon.

What about making a compass that encases the minimap, and move that closer to the top corner since it is kinda low on the screen there? You could then add your Surface/Dungeon icon as well as a Menu icon (maybe in the form of a desktop PC icon like in DK, a gear, or a list-like icon) and also a '?' for Help. These could attach to the compass in a similar way many MMORPGs handle their minimaps.

Also the Shards and Item tracking would look good in the upper left corner of the screen, and what would be really cool is some kind of collapsible button so you could show/hide them on the screen if you needed more visibility. As far as the Rally Flag, personally I kinda like the way you cancel it now.
18-05-2014 09:48 PM
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Seriously Unserious Offline
The Ninja Dinosaur

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Post: #9
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
Good ideas Mellow Tonin, but the way to cancel the rally flags would need to be updated if the rally flags themselves are being updated with multiple, specialized rally flags.The cancel rally flags would need to have a separate button for cancelling each unique rally flag, plus a button to mass cancel all of them. Either that or a checkbox beside each rally flag icon and a "check all" button with a cancel button as an option to select and cancel several at once.
[Image: 11619898803_7d3a89e6bd_n.jpg]
The Golden One!
20-05-2014 08:46 PM
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Mello Tonin Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
Yeah, didn't think about a cancel all option. I figured each flag could be represented across the top, and you would just click em off one by one. Perhaps a ctrl+'click on flag' cancels all?
20-05-2014 09:43 PM
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
This sounds good mello, hmm, the minimap is actually so much up in the top right corner it can be, but as I am in cheatmode when I took that screenshot it only shows the area that is claimed by me and not its surroundings. I will try to make the minimap a little bit smaller, and having the surface/dungeon button in the top right corner sounds as the best solution.

Cancelling individual creature rally flags can be done easily by just right-clicking the creature icons (bottom left). The main rally flag that rallies all the creature on the other hand needs to be put somewhere, it is possible that I will put it in the top left corner just as I did in the previous version, just with a little nicer graphics Wink
21-05-2014 04:30 PM
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Mello Tonin Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
I don't know if the minimap needs to be shrunk, but maybe the screenshot doesn't do the layout justice or isn't representing what it will look like in-game. It will probably be much easier to tell how that will affect visibility after getting the next update.
21-05-2014 04:41 PM
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Seriously Unserious Offline
The Ninja Dinosaur

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Post: #13
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
Actually, looking at that screenshot again, there is a faint black rectangle around the visible set of rooms.

I also just had a thought that could solve several problems to do with camera control and whether or not a mouse has a middle button or not, how about placing some basic camera control buttons near the minimap, there could be a set of 4 buttons to control rotation, another to 2 to control zoom. A pause/resume button could also be placed there as well as any game speed controls should a variable game speed ever be introduced in the future. That's a standard and natural place to find such controls and IMO would help enhance Dwelvers by providing a way right in the GUI to control the view.
[Image: 11619898803_7d3a89e6bd_n.jpg]
The Golden One!
22-05-2014 05:23 PM
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Mello Tonin Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
That's an excellent idea! Wish I had time to throw a sketch together, but I'm finally getting a drawing pad today, so no more mouse sketching which takes forever. I was thinking you could have 4 arrows (top, bottom, right, left) that looked wrapped around the edge of the compass showing the direction of rotation. I know an image would make more sense...
22-05-2014 06:16 PM
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Seriously Unserious Offline
The Ninja Dinosaur

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Post: #15
RE: Game Mechanics - GUI Functionality Suggestions
Actually, buttons to move the camera would also be applicable here as well.
[Image: 11619898803_7d3a89e6bd_n.jpg]
The Golden One!
23-05-2014 06:20 AM
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