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Displaying Character Names


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#1 riuthamus   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4300

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:20 PM

What would be the best method for displaying character names? We want a system that looks clean and can accommodate customization. For example a player sets their name to Rudolf, but they earn the title Master, we could modify the display to be Master Rudolf. Key here is to make something simple but clean... I hate how in some mmos and in other mp based games the UI element for other players is rather choppy.... i guess it doesnt need to be good but i would see what other people are doing to make it happen first i guess.

Examples:
Posted Image
Posted Image

Also, if you know a game that has a good setup, link it or let me know so I can see it. Thanks in advance.

Edited by riuthamus, 19 November 2012 - 03:27 PM.


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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18419

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:45 PM

In AAA games this is handled through their localization libraries.

You don't know what the required format is for every language. Some languages require prefix, postfix, or both.


Using a C# style syntax, I like this format:

LocalizeString( actor.IsFemale, "StringKey", actor, foo, bar, ...);

Or a more concrete version:

LocalizeString( actor.IsFemale, "Rank70withGuild", actor, actor.GuildName);


which gets localized to:

M: "Overlord {0:ActorName} of {1}"
F: "Empress {0:ActorName} of {1}"
or
M: "Suzerain {0:ActorName} d'{1}"

or whatever matches for that particular language.

Edited by frob, 19 November 2012 - 03:46 PM.

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#3 Khatharr   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2775

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:29 PM

I've played Spiral Knights, but what's that game in the second pic?
void hurrrrrrrr() {__asm sub [ebp+4],5;}

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#4 riuthamus   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4300

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:32 PM

Dota2, just showing some UI elements that follow the player like a name.

#5 RedTheGreen   Members   -  Reputation: 129

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

I think it really depends on what kind of game it is. Top down? First person?

#6 riuthamus   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4300

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:06 PM

First and third person. Depends on what mode the player chooses and what they are doing.

#7 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3535

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:46 PM

Why not just use tiny floating versions of their names, and then keep the titles and anything else for the chat windows. Or you could use a circle under the player with a color for health (or whatever), and have their name in there too.

This coming from someone who hates having floating names all over the screen. :)

#8 riuthamus   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4300

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:09 AM

i hate the floating names as well, but with heros who look alike...( say the same armor ) there is no way to tell your friend from foe ( other than indicators which we will make later ). They would be disabled as well... if you chose to do so in the interface options. This is what i am going for

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/41065/Java%202012-11-20%2000-04-00-58-1.mp4

#9 Khatharr   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2775

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:31 AM

Color coding the names or adding a small icon would not be sufficient? Have you ever played League of Legends? I find it easier to keep track of tight cluster-f battles if I look at the tags and the mouse auras instead of the champs.
void hurrrrrrrr() {__asm sub [ebp+4],5;}

There are ten kinds of people in this world: those who understand binary and those who don't.

#10 Xanather   Members   -  Reputation: 703

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:19 AM

Yeah, the league of legends name/hp/mana overlay is really good. You should take a look at it.

#11 riuthamus   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4300

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:07 AM

ill look at it now

#12 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6569

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:28 AM

First you should think about the goal, then the representation. It is a UI, therefore useablitly >> prettiness

So, break down the elements you want to communicate:
1. name
2. alley/neutral/opponent
3. title
4. in combat
5. health
...

Then think about what is really important for the game, which should be hidden, what should be optinonal. Then try to use secondary tools to distinguish between elements
color encoding (alley/neutral/opponen), icons (master=*, overlord=** , in combat=crossed swords).

And finally think about what impact your game have on the kind of communicating, e.g.
1. lot of people crowded in a fast paced game => you need to quickly assign and read informations about an entity => overhead, iconized
2. you select an object to interact with it, slower paced game => select it and display all necessary information in the hud

#13 Yrjö P.   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1412

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:07 AM

This feels more like a UI design question than a programming question.

A floating overhead marker should perhaps be scaled for readability instead of being stuck at the character's scale. There's no point in showing floating text at all if it's too small to read, and on the other hand, there's no point in growing the text beyond a certain point no matter how close a character comes to the screen.

Also, I think it's worth considering whether to show a different amount of information for characters at different distances. Just to give some ideas:
- a character at very long distance does not have a marker
- a character at long distance has a simple downwards-pointing triangle marker that is color-coded to facilitate friend/foe identification
- a character at middle distance has name, HP bar visible
- a character up close has name, title, affiliation, HP bar visible

#14 riuthamus   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4300

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:24 AM

Design, maybe, but coding.... well i wanted to talk about HOW one might do it. Not the design. It kinda spun off to be design ( which I dont mind either ). My idea was to have it only show up when they are in range, and when not in combat mode. That different elements would be showing. I also want to kinda mimic what forge did. Show the health and skill points of the character in the indicator under them.

#15 riuthamus   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4300

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:25 AM

One more thing to note, we need to know the stuff behind how to do this, not really the design. So any idea or help in that direction is greatly appreciated




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