Sign in to follow this  

RPG Interface Help

This topic is 3658 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hey all, I've started to get some feedback on my RPG "To The World Tree" (website http://www.prankster.com/ttwt), and the interface has taken some bashing. Not surprising, since I did the interface in MFC as the easiest way to get a functional UI up and running. Thus the interface looks very "Windows". So now, I'm investigating what to do about this. My thought is to pull the interface into Direct3D, and keep things pretty minimalist, rather than trying to make a big art-heavy interface. The current interface looks like: A mock-up of what the new interface might (approximately) looks like is here: A quick run-down: Top Left: Info on the current mouse-hover. Mid-Left: Quick info on the party members. Bottom Left: Quick-actions for the currently selected party member. Bottom: Messages. Top Right: Menu options. Bottom Right: Mini-map. Thoughts and comments? Ideas for alternate approaches are welcome. Thanks, Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's not too bad. The height of the text window should be adjustable, because I for one don't really need to see ten lines of text, and if I do, I'll use the scrollbar. I think three would do me fine.

Of course, something very serious to consider is that your new design covers up parts of the visible world, whereas your existing design exposes the entire world without any interference. Putting those extra controls in the way is going to prevent the player from clicking anywhere he might want. Good interfaces typically consolidate all information to one side of the screen, usually the bottom (because that's where the eyes naturally follow). Think about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a quick, and perhaps obvious suggestion: remove the scrollbar on the mini-map and make it a click-and-hold-to-drag instead. Scrollbars take up a lot of room in such a small box.

By the way, the acronym for your game's title looks like an english curseword; you might want to rethink that.

Overall it looks very nice though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree that you shouldn't use the first design. Making your players lose eye contact with the game completly every time they have to check something isn't that great.

But, I like your second set up. Everything seems to work well where they are.

A few things you could do are:

1. Make the 'Menu Options' Box invisible until the player rolls the mouse close enough to it. That way less of the screen is blocked while playing.

2. Same thing with the 'Mouse Over Information. Except with this one, make it visible only when your mouse is over something of interest. It doesn't have to display that it's pointing at the floor.

3. Again, a similar idea for the 'Party Member Information'. Make it visible for a short period of time when you roll your mouse over any of your party members. (i.e. Rolling over ANY party member will display the information for ALL of them.)

4. The last one I can think of right now is make all of these screens toggle-able. You can turn them on or off with the push of a button.


This game looks interesting. Did you make it yourself?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your interface layout should be similar to other rpg games. That makes it quick to learn and easy to use. Check out baldurs gate, neverwiner nights, jagged alliance etc. More specifically:

* You should probably put party members on the right side of the screen (like you had before), or on the bottom.

* You should make the shortcuts/quick casts adjustable, so that player could use f1-f10 keys to anything he likes (like baldurs gate 2).

* If you want a "floating" interface, make it so that player can move (and turn on/off) the windows as he likes.

Quote:
Good interfaces typically consolidate all information to one side of the screen, usually the bottom (because that's where the eyes naturally follow).

Old games had interfaces at the bottom mostly, but (and somewhat contradicting myself) I would advise to use sides (specifically left side) more, since nowadays many people have widescreens. That way you still have the "normal" screen space for displaying the play field. And you can design the interface to fit the height of the screen. If you place your interface at the bottom, you have to desing it for normal displays, and lose a lot of screen space when game is played on a widescreen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Tom
That's not too bad. The height of the text window should be adjustable, because I for one don't really need to see ten lines of text, and if I do, I'll use the scrollbar. I think three would do me fine.


Excellent point, thanks.

Quote:
Of course, something very serious to consider is that your new design covers up parts of the visible world, whereas your existing design exposes the entire world without any interference. Putting those extra controls in the way is going to prevent the player from clicking anywhere he might want. Good interfaces typically consolidate all information to one side of the screen, usually the bottom (because that's where the eyes naturally follow). Think about it.


I'm trying to push as much out to the sides so that I can keep the game view as tall as possible. Otherwise the north/south view gets obscured. If I could move the message window to the side I'd do that too but I don't think there's a good way to do that.

Thanks for the feedback,
Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by FartherThanLife
I agree that you shouldn't use the first design. Making your players lose eye contact with the game completly every time they have to check something isn't that great.

But, I like your second set up. Everything seems to work well where they are.

Thanks a bunch for the feedback! Some comments below.
Quote:

A few things you could do are:

1. Make the 'Menu Options' Box invisible until the player rolls the mouse close enough to it. That way less of the screen is blocked while playing.

Well, I do want the player to know it's there. But maybe I could have it be small and very transparent until the mouse gets close, and then grow it and make it opaque.
Quote:
2. Same thing with the 'Mouse Over Information. Except with this one, make it visible only when your mouse is over something of interest. It doesn't have to display that it's pointing at the floor.

I'm worried that it might be annoying if it is flickering in and out as the mouse moves around. However, it should be easy enough to code it both ways and decide what looks best.
Quote:

3. Again, a similar idea for the 'Party Member Information'. Make it visible for a short period of time when you roll your mouse over any of your party members. (i.e. Rolling over ANY party member will display the information for ALL of them.)

Definitely worth trying... good suggestion.
Quote:

4. The last one I can think of right now is make all of these screens toggle-able. You can turn them on or off with the push of a button.

Ditto.
Quote:
This game looks interesting. Did you make it yourself?

Yes, it's a one man effort. I'm coming to the realization that I'll probably need to acquire an artist at some point if it's to go forward.

Thanks,
Geoff


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the feedback! Some comments below:

Quote:
Original post by teebee
Your interface layout should be similar to other rpg games. That makes it quick to learn and easy to use. Check out baldurs gate, neverwiner nights, jagged alliance etc. More specifically:

* You should probably put party members on the right side of the screen (like you had before), or on the bottom.


I could go right or left. The Infinity Engine games had them on the right, but they also had a row of big buttons on the left that I don't like or need.

Quote:

* You should make the shortcuts/quick casts adjustable, so that player could use f1-f10 keys to anything he likes (like baldurs gate 2).


They already are; it's just a question of how to present the information.

Quote:

* If you want a "floating" interface, make it so that player can move (and turn on/off) the windows as he likes.


I'd rather get the interface "right" than make it configurable, if possible. But maybe you're right and I should just leave it up to the player.

Quote:

Quote:
Good interfaces typically consolidate all information to one side of the screen, usually the bottom (because that's where the eyes naturally follow).

Old games had interfaces at the bottom mostly, but (and somewhat contradicting myself) I would advise to use sides (specifically left side) more, since nowadays many people have widescreens. That way you still have the "normal" screen space for displaying the play field. And you can design the interface to fit the height of the screen. If you place your interface at the bottom, you have to desing it for normal displays, and lose a lot of screen space when game is played on a widescreen.


I tend to agree with the second poster; that bottom of the screen is really valuable for in-game display. Though the messages pretty much have to go at the bottom because they are so wide.

Thanks again,
Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 3658 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this