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Interface Questions

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Been a long time lurker, and have just registered recently to join in some of the excellent discussions here. Just wanted to thank people like Naz, dwarfsoft, Wavinator, Ketch, Landfish et al for some brilliantly inspiring ideas I''m trying to make a world simulator/hybrid RPG, with the goal to have it fully interactive by the end. I love creating simulations, no matter what kind of subject matter they are on. I''d love to be able to create a program which generates a world for you, towns, villages, inhabitants, and then just plays out history automatically, while using some of the principles I''ve learned in this forum. If I get this far then I''m doing something right, I hope. At the moment, the design process is going quite well. I have one problem though - I''m awful at graphics. Absolutely awful. Unfortunately, I don''t really want to do it in pure text format, but I do want to have some way of displaying certain items..does anyone have an ideas as to how I could create an interface without using intensive graphics (small ones would be fine), but I''d prefer just to have a display of information. For example, I need to be able to view towns, inhabitants, things like weather, history...etc. I can''t think of a good interface for this. Any help? Thanks, exile.

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Hey exile and welcome!

From your post I get the feeling that most of the feedback in your game will be in text form, like if a town grown its size, you''ll have just a stat number increase, instead of displaying an image of expanding town.
The simplest thing to do is mimic an operating system. I.e. have a tab-based navigation, like, say, Windows Display properties. You could have a small icon next to each tab''s name, corresponding to the info that the tab presents, i.e. a small person, or group of them in the "Population" tab. Also a menu system: drop down menus and contextual popups. You will certainly need to filter/sort the information in some way: selection boxes, radio buttons, checkboxes, buttons. If needed you could replace certain buttons with graphics to better represent the action they invoke.

This is as simple as can be, though not as helpful as I wanted…



Boby Dimitrov
boby@azholding.com

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So you want to create a simulation where the player is able to live through a time in the world''s history?

That''s cool but it can be hard. Since you''ve said interactive, I believe that the player may change history and your future is spoilt. If you''re limiting the player''s interaction, then the idea is feasible.

Added with random events, it will make a very cool game.

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I''ve got a small version working at the moment that does just that. It generates anything from 5-10 towns depending on the size of the land (I''ve only got 1 "island" land so far), and each town is different in terms of its production of exports etc. depending on the land (for example, one town is a mining town because there is a mine nearby). I have a few flags set - not many at the moment - mostly just things like a "hero" flag and people that take on quests. I can get it to simulate a hundred years into the future, and so far I''ve only got a little bit of text reporting on some of the history (i.e. John has taken over the crown in 455A.D.), but I''m still working on the cool features (cliques of pirates, mages, magic system).

It''s going well but so far there''s too much information..and I can''t present it properly. Thanks for your input Boby, I think I''m going to have to go for a simple Windows app with tabs and menus etc - it''s the only way I can do it (for now).

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Sounds pretty complex for a small working demo. So all you''re planning to do is, I believe the word here is, simulate a history of a world. And in the process creating worlds with a lot of statistics.

I actually thought that you were going to simulate the actual towns and in-game places. And what is the windows app going to do? It will be the simulator? When are you going to make the actual game? I''d be glad to see it. =P

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