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goldfinger8

What should a GUI for an RPG consist of?

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Should I make it access every function in the game or should I keep game options seperate. I know it has to be able to show every part of the users status, but should the style be menus, fullscreen, font type, etc? Also should it be done in Window with GDI or with Direct X. Umm...

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(IMO) The fewer use of world-external systems, the better. If you can replace the functions of life meters, hit points, inventory lists, etc... with in-context indicators at the same or near level of efficiency, go for it. This amounts to literal wounded images of characters (I.E. Doom), and realtime inventory. Also intersting, real-time inventory is ver realistic, no carrying 2000 pounds of gold on your person...

But if you are any kind of traditionalist, you will simply ignore my opinion.

This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish!"

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Guest Anonymous Poster
list every possible thing you can imagine (including things from other genres) and then just go down the list and see if you need it. Don''t decide whether you''re going to have a big interface or something minimal, just include exactly what you need and don''t even consider how much screen space it takes. Leaving something out forces the player to go to unnecessary sub menues constantly. Adding something extra in just wastes screen space that could be spent on the main view or making another component better.

Ok now for my opinion. Personally I think the bottom 1/4 of the screen is about right. Put the interface on the bottom, if you need more room put some of it on one side. The bottom is best because it makes it horizontal. People are used to looking at horizontal things because we read horizontally. It will be easier to scan across that way.

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I have one disagreement with the anonymous poster. I think that an interface along the side can be better than one across the bottom in many cases. My main reason for saying this is the fact that it can give you a square viewable area for the game map.

Of course, it seems like most games are perfectly happy with an interface across the bottom. This can work just fine for isometric games (where the ''depth'' gives the illusion of more vertical room) and for side scrolling games where seeing to the sides is much more important than above and below.

Anyway, those are just MY thoughts on the subject.

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I just thought of something my strange illustrator friend would want to add to this, so I will speak for him;

Break the stranglehold of quadrangles on our society! Use circles. Don''t be a slave to the square frame!

(Me again)
There''s actually something to this. Try more rounded or othersuch strange shapes. You might even make the menu a reversed "L" shape with a curve on the inside. That way, you still have a large, relatively rectagonal viewing space with an interesting bending kinda thing. Come to think of it, I should use that myself!

This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish!"

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Landfish,
Wow...circles...never thought of that

I see that you surround yourself w/ ppl that are as unconventional as you are. I respect that

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I''m making a big "L" with a curve on the inside.
It is reverse though(this way _/ ).
I had seen it once in a game(don''t remember which) and thought it was really cool.But i see other people too have played the game.
Oh well...
But i don''t think circles would help the interface cause it is not convinient since th SCREEN is a quadrangle.
Maybe solutions of "L"-kind would be the most appropriate.
Voodoo4

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How about a transparent GUI or animating GUI. So when you click on a feature it changes into the next feature. Consider also the fact that a player can only click on one thing at a time. Also a GUI should only display 2 types of data. The first type is the data/icons required are the status icons e.g. Health, map, mana (Status Data). The second type is input (Input Data). So you have two different sets of icons, one for the info the other for input. The next trick is to design icons that explain themselves.

Or how about this for an idea, the icon that represents things such as inventory, change. This is kind of merging Input and Display icon together. As your inventory fills up then your inventory icon displays this change (like a red bar over the inventory icon that fills up). This (icon animation) helps make more space on the GUI and reduces the amount of clicking between screens.

Animation is the Key! [Finger pointed to the sky with look of bemusement]

Paul C

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Naz, actually that particular kid is WAY more unconventional than I am... but you''re right, I guess. =)

As for Voodoo: Don''t give in to the seduction of the quadrangle! Sure, it seems easier, but soon you will find that all you use is quadrangles, and you''ll be hooked, heavy as lead! Since your screen already has a converse curve, try making individual fields circular! That creates more open space, which is good for design interfaces. Oh yeah! Make open space in your guis! Crucial design technique. The user''s eye loves open space! Makes stuff easier to pick out!

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I think that you shoudl also look into having hotkeys for your menus, so the player can get to them quickly in the heat of battle.

You can maybe have the really common menus on the sidebar, and the less comonly used, more detailed ones can be accessed from those ones.



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