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Item distribution and usability. (Help needed)

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I need help with screen distribution. I've got: - The main board: a 3D rectangular map made of 20*30 hexagons (dimensions might change). It will contain a small number of buildings and units moving around. Think 3D hexagonal chess board. Each side has the main tower in the center (like the king in chess but static). - The magic pool: eight different spheres; fire, stone, etc... Each sphere has an amount number, so the player might have 3 fire, 2 stone and 29 water spheres. - The spell weaving canvas: A surface orthogonal to the line of sight where the player puts the spheres to weave spells with. Think of it as a painting canvas. - The spell pool: here, the weaved spells are saved until the player chooses to cast them. - The Opponent's spell weaving canvas: I'd like to show the opponent's canvas, so the players may see what the opponent is building and try to stop it before it's too late. However this can be removed if there's simply no space, or be left in a corner like an optional translucent mini-map. The main action is: the player grabs magic from the magic pool, puts it into the canvas, weaves the spell, moves the spell to the spell pool to be cast later or casts it directly, by dragging it to the targeted position of the board. I have no idea how to put all this in a screen. What I've thought up till now: Option A) - The board is put in perspective and occupies the bottom half of the screen. - The canvas occupies a square at the center of the top half. - The magic pool to the left of the canvas. - The spell pool to the right of the canvas. However that forces me to block the board view (not allowing rotations, zoom, etc...). Option B) I thought about making the canvas a translucent circular surface over the main tower and the opponent's over his main tower. Around the canvasI would put the magic pool and somewhere else, the spell pool. This lets me move the canvas with the board. However that puts the canvas over the board if it's moved and would make the selection of things a bit confusing. P.S.: I didn't put this in "visual arts" because I felt it was more a thing of design but I could be wrong.

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pop up on screen?

like there is a button at the side for all of this stuff, you click it, the "canvas" pops up, you do your spell and then there a two buttons, "cast now" and "save in pool" and that way u can open it and do the spell then close it. that way you can have as much room as you need on the screen.


okay?

Ian.

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Quote:
Original post by Mr Thompson
pop up on screen?
Ian.

The problem with a popup screen is that the canvas is the use time.

A game could go:

- put 3 spheres into canvas, weave magic, cast it into the board to build a mage guild.
- put 4 magic spheres into canvas, weave earth, save.
- put 4 magic spheres into canvas, weave earth, save.
- put 4 magic spheres into canvas, weave earth, save.
- put 4 magic spheres into canvas, weave earth, save.
- put the 4 earth spheres into canvas, weave fire, cast earthquake into the board.
- etc...

So, the player must be watching the board, but he's using the canvas constantly.

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A lot of games have the playing field on the left 2/3 of the screen and the right 1/3 divided into the opponent's area on the top and the player's area on the bottom. But if your playing field is more wide and less tall, you could put the playing field on th bottom half, the player's area in the top right corner, and the opponent's area in the top left corner.

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
A lot of games have the playing field on the left 2/3 of the screen and the right 1/3 divided into the opponent's area on the top and the player's area on the bottom. But if your playing field is more wide and less tall, you could put the playing field on th bottom half, the player's area in the top right corner, and the opponent's area in the top left corner.

The main problem is that I have two areas as main playing field: the weaving part, where the player is constantly moving things around to weave spells and the casting board, where the player just casts a spell every 3~15 seconds but which he must be constantly watching.

I've thought of replacing the magic pool (the "bag" from where spheres are taken to put in the weaving canvas) by hotkeys. So, a beginner player will need the pool in sight, but an experienced player can hide it.

I've also thought about joining it with the spell pool. this has other connotations. For example, that would imply you can use formed spells as threads to weave new spells. I like the idea but I don't know if I'll be able to implement it.

That would allow me to join magic and spell pools, hot-key them to 1-8 for elements and qwerty for spells. I would toggle this window visibility with tab (or whatever) in case the player doesn't remember which slot is his spell in.

So, the main screen would be top half canvas, bottom half board. Tab switches translucent magic and spell pools, but only as a slot reminder, the items must be selected by hot-key anyway (to quickly explain the player he doesn't need to show the pool window.


This seems like a great solution. You've been great muses, thank you. :)


P.S.: Damn programming without design. Half of what I've already done isn't needed now.

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Well my first question is really is about the clicking and draging of spheres onto the canvas. Why does the player have to do this to cast a spell? Unless you are using gesture based spell system, this sounds like a lot of work to do anything. Rather then just clicking on the sphere you want to use next.

If you don't need to drag and drop style casting then you could go with diamond shaped board.

The game board is displayed in diamond or hex shaped box in the center of the screen. In each corner you have a differnet user box. Bottom right magic pool, bottom left spell pool, top left enemy canvas, top right player canvas.
____________
| /----\ |
| / \ |
|/ \|
|\ /|
| \ / |
|__\____/__|


That being said a gesture based magic systme could be very cool. Weaving spells by combining different colors in the air to make different spells would be an interesting game mechanic.

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Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
Well my first question is really is about the clicking and draging of spheres onto the canvas.
Why does the player have to do this to cast a spell? Unless you are using gesture based spell system, this sounds like a lot of work to do anything. Rather then just clicking on the sphere you want to use next.

Actually, I only need the player to specify in which place inside the canvas he'll be placing the spheres.

Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
If you don't need to drag and drop style casting then you could go with diamond shaped board.


____________
| /----\ |
| / \ |
|/ \|
|\ /|
| \ / |
|__\____/__|
[/quote]

Strange. I understood you easily, but strangely I can only see the actual hexagonal design while editing (font must be fixed only in the edition box).

It's not exactly gestures, but I need drag and drop. However, I could use the inverse of that:
____________
|\ /|
| \ / |
|__\____/__|
| / \ |
| / \ |
|/________\|

Inverted, because I think it's better to have the board in the lower part (being the ground and all that) and the board is viewed in perspective.

This would leave the top part for the canvas, right for magic and spell pools and left for opponent's canvas and magic pool. Opponent's spells should not be visible, they should be known by paying attention to the canvas.

Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
That being said a gesture based magic system could be very cool. Weaving spells by combining different colors in the air to make different spells would be an interesting game mechanic.

hummm ... combining colors...

Ok, I'll open a thread just for the spell mechanics. Too many good ideas floating around to lose them.

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