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riuthamus

Displaying Character Names

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riuthamus    8361
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:
[img]http://www.bhslaughter.com/forum/uploads/gallery/category_8/gallery_1_8_462576.png[/img]
[img]http://www.bhslaughter.com/forum/uploads/gallery/category_8/gallery_1_8_1134.jpg[/img]

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

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frob    44903
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

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Daaark    3553
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. :)

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riuthamus    8361
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

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Khatharr    8812
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.

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Ashaman73    13715
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

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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

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riuthamus    8361
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.

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