• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

Make symbols on map more clear (RTS game)

This topic is 575 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

Hi

Im doing a multiplayer RTS where you control cities and build armies and nuclear missiles. Artstyle and scope has similarities to defcon but gameplay differs.

 

http://static1.gamespot.com/uploads/original/1525/15257558/2601993-0416836966-defco.jpg

 

See early screenshot. How to convey information about army/fleet strength? Right now each unit is an icon.

round = infantry

square = tank

arrow = cruiser

black arrow = submarine

 

So an army (i will change that icon) with 4 squares next to it has 4 tanks in the army. Another idea is to have an icon with a number next to it. Like a square and a four for the army mentioned. I could limit armies to max 6 units (players can send several armies instead) if this would make the icons fit better.

 

Im not sure this is good. Any other ideas? I experimented with having an icon actually looking like a tank, a soldier etc but that's hard in this scale. Maybe with a number next to it, but tiles are small and armies can have both cruiser and submarines in them (for example).

Edited by suliman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

If theres a few units, you can overlap those symbols to get more space (maybe even two interleaved rows so new tanks go like /\/\/\ which might take less space). If the rows get too long, cluster them to simplify counting. Like replace every sequence of 5 tanks, with a single symbol that stands for "5 tanks" and is more compact and readable. Mostly overlapping the similar symbols allows making them bigger so it can look like a simplified tank etc.

 

If theres many units, the player probably doesnt need to see exact numbers, only the total strength and the ratio of unit types. You can represent the ratio of unit types in a constant amount of space (using some bars or symbols sized according to representation or a pie chart...). Then put a single number for the total number of units. This might not work if some units are vastly more numberous than others (like 10000 infantry vs 1 boat), so might want to group the numerous units into bigger ones until the numbers are of similar magnitude. Of course you can add the detailed data in some menu.

 

If the numbers are big, and the player needs to do a lot of calculation/comparison, I would say its necessary to have the exact numbers there. And add some visual approximation so a force of 1 unit and 100 units are differentiated by more than just two additional digits (different icon/size for example).

 

You could also represent different unit types and counts using different approaches (like switching to numbers once there start to be too many, if your game changes in nature toward end-game like that). If some unit is never going to be more than 1 or 2, you can change the map icon itself (the blue thing), like add some circles around it. If some unit is always going to be numerous (like if theres always lots of supporting infrantry), just always use a number and find some special spot on the map icon to display it (so there would be a "base strength" like you have the number at the bottom, and "supporting units" individually counted like you have the tiny symbols). Making units special like this might differentiate the units more, so they dont feel all the same with just a different shape and stats (gives impression of higher complexity, and also makes it easier for you as the designer to add that complexity when theres no pressure to keep all units following the same rules).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good points! Yes i might need different systems.

 

I tried making lines next to larger symbols, isnt this a little better? So these navies has (for example) 4 cruisers and 2 submarines. (the cities are still messed up, just look at the stuff outside cities). The land-armies has 4 tanks each.

 

Click on the image to not see it compressed (compressed its hard to see the lines)

Edited by suliman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your entire screenshot is purple-tinted. I'd make the key elements of the game be a different color - for example, a white/grey color, not purple-tinted, or even orange, since orange is generally an good complementary color for purple.

 

This helps the important elements stand out, and makes the player have to squint less.

 

PaintShoPro suggested this color as a complementary:

a44d7884c2.png

I'd probably up the brightness though.

 

Here's with orange, my intuitive choice:

16366fe613.png

 

And here's white:

00255a8784.png

 

Or, perhaps red for enemies, cyan (or green) for allies:

8cfb0b15e9.png

 

(Personally, I'd go with Cyan for allies, and the orange color above for enemies, because Cyan and Orange also go well together. I'm not liking that red with the cyan)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input!

Colors will depend on the empire though, so there's at least seven different colors for units on the map (in the entire gameworld that is):)

But yeah higher brightness and other implementations of clarity is a surely needed thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement