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Things to improve in the menu and battle UI
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Tertsi
Mitorah Games Studio Head


Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 331
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:36 pm    Post subject: Things to improve in the menu and battle UI Reply with quote

Along with an improved tutorial, the 1.01 version might have some improvements on the User Interface and more improvements on it will be coming along the way to the Gold Version and afterwards if desired. Keep in mind that because of the game's try before buy nature, it makes sense for us to keep improving the game for a long time and not only with bug fixes.

The so far planned battle UI improvements are:

* Short tooltips on mouse-over on the commands and top left bar icons.
* The ability to switch between the current small and upcoming bigger icons (they'll be the bigger ones by default) on the top left UI bar and therefore those icons will also tell more clearly what clicking them will do.
* Probably a bigger command menu with bigger text, icons near the text and more space between the commands so you don't accidentally give the wrong command.
* MAYBE: When you click a command, some text will appear at the bottom of the screen reminding you what you need to do to issue the command properly. You'll be able to turn these texts off.

The so far planned menu UI improvements are:

* A clearer exit to main menu button on the clan menu
* MAYBE: A more intuitively functional Mercenary camp. - We don't have many ideas yet how to improve it while keeping the bidding process last as long as clans are bidding which is important.
* You'll be able to mark units in the Mercenary camp so that the quick info text in the mercenaries list will be displayed in a different colour. Those marks will stay on the mercenary until it leaves or is recruited from the Mercenary camp. Every mercenary you bid on will be automatically marked and you'll probably be able to unmark mercenaries.

All suggestions on the UI and opinions on the current planned improvements are very welcome, especially opinions on the 'MAYBE' going to be made improvements are much appreciated.
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Godzilla Blitz
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Random thoughts, in no partcular order...

* I agree with making the command bar buttons in the top left of the battle screen bigger. Be nice if they had mouse overs too. It took me a few battles before I even noticed them, and I'm still not sure what some of them do.

* I would suggest that the character window and battle log window default to open instead of closed for new and loaded games.

* The battle log window is somewhat small, it would be nice to be able to resize it. Repositionalbe would be even nicer. Often five or more lines of text will zip by in combat, and I have to scroll up to read what happened. Ideally, what I would do if I could would be to have a (perhaps smaller?) charcter window on the right of my screen, and set a huge battle log window on the left of my screen, but I realize that won't work for all monitor sizes.

* I'm not sure if it's just me, but I often have difficulty finding enemy units at the beginning of a battle and often during battle when they are near trees. It would be nice if there were a button to "center on next enemy unit", and clicking it a second time would skip to the next enemy unit, etc. That way you could cycle through the enemy units easily. Regarding this, it might also be a good idea to list up on the new, larger menu bar: the teams that are playing and the number of live units left on the map for each team.

* Not sure what can be done about this, but sometimes I really have to work to see if there is an ememy unit behind a tree, even if I have my cursor on the unit. Often the only way I can tell is by using the character info window and see if it changes when I click on the square in front of the tree.

* Maybe I just haven't figured out how to do this yet, but when units have magical effects cast on them, they get some kind of effect graphic slapped on them, but I can't find any way to tell what that effect is, unless I scroll up in the (narrow) combat log and look to see who cast what on who. This of course is pretty cumbersome to do in even mid-size battles. Not sure how to remedy this, but it would be nice if there were an easy way to tell what effect was on each unit. Maybe mouse-overs on the graphic effects? Or a expanded spot on the bottom of the character info window that lists the magical effects currently on a character?

* Although I like the idea of a medieval font for the game, I find it's pretty low-res and difficult to read. This applies mainly to the red text that comes up on the battle map and the division standings font. Be nice if there were something more clear.

* Might be nice if the battle log window used some colored text to indicate when someone got hurt.

* I would also think it would be handy to have a team roster window on the battle map. It would list the names of fighters on both teams. For your team, it would list the number of hit points left (23/27) for example, and perhaps the number of kills. Under this you could add a line when a unit gets an effect cast on him, like "slowed" or such. For the enemy team, it would have name, injury status, number of kills, and then underneath add a line if the unit has any magical effects. An entry might look something like this:

Arsuk Honor 45/48 1
slowed
poisoned

For enemies:

Ahrks Lolki badly injured 0
slowed

* Lastly, maybe it's just me, but linguistically I interpret "seriously injured" as worse than "badly injured", but in the game it's the other way around. Even switched though, I'm not sure it's intuitive which is worse than the other. Perhaps using "gravely injured" instead of "badly injured" would be a bit clearer?
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fandango
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Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
* MAYBE: A more intuitively functional Mercenary camp. - We don't have many ideas yet how to improve it while keeping the bidding process last as long as clans are bidding which is important.


I had a couple ideas about this while playing becuase I noticed that while the bidding system is a good idea, it can be a bit a of a drag when your trying to bid on four different mercs at the same time and other clans constantly outbid you. One possibility is a notification when another clan bids on your target merc. For example, "[clan's name] has bid on [merc's name] at [contract amount]. Do you wish to rebid at [new contract amount]?" or something like that. That way you both know when someone is bidding on your merc and can rebid with only 1 click instead of 2 (when your talking about 50 rounds of bidding that can make quite the difference). Double clicking on a merc should have some effect, such as letting you bid on that merc. Something that would be really helpful in deciding which merc to get would be side by side spell lists (overall it would be really good to be able to click things in the background and move windows around when you have spell lists or other windows such as item specs up). When a mercenary's contract expires you should be given the option to directly go to the merc camp. This would happen before the mercenary's equipment is sold and thus save you alot of time and money if your going to resign that merc. If you choose not to resign the merc or if you don't go to the merc camp then the equipment would be sold.

Just some ideas Rolling Eyes [/quote]

edit in reply to some of godzilla's ideas: I agree completely with the comments about trees: I've taken casualties becuase of that. As for the font, some of the teams are named either torn or tom... I'm still not sure which. When I started I thought that seriously was worse than badly as well, and then about halfway through my first game (division 4 or 5) I started to notice that it's the other way around.
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Tertsi
Mitorah Games Studio Head


Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 331
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, some nice suggestions there and all will be considered.

This easy change will definitely be in the next version:

Which of these is best:

Replace "badly injured" with "critically injured". (I would say this one.)

or

Replace "badly injured" with "grievously injured".

or

Replace "seriously injured" with "painfully injured" and replace "badly injured" with "seriously injured".
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AtmaVegeta
Senior member


Joined: 02 Jun 2005
Posts: 106
Location: Statside Finally

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd definately say the first one:

Quote:
Replace "badly injured" with "critically injured".


The other two, while not bad isn't as clear I believe as this one (especially painfully).
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Godzilla Blitz
Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, replacing "badly injured" with "critically injured" is better than my suggestions. Good idea.
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Bee
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Joined: 13 Aug 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, replace badly injured with critically injured.
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Oggy
Mitorah Games Member


Joined: 04 Jul 2005
Posts: 19
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GB is the man Smile He really nicely pointed on some stuff I can see almost everybody agree with. Something I haven't seen on this board (maybe I have missed that) is that there should be some better way of tracking the enemy movements - the screen is jumping around too much, and sometimes focuses too short on the playing unit, so it is easy to get lost in a bucnh of units.

Great game btw. spend several hours today on it.
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Godzilla Blitz
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few more little thoughts...

Hire Mercenary Window (the screen that lists all the mercenaries for hire)

1. To scroll down through the list I have to click click click click on the "scroll" arrows. Be great if the list would auto-scroll when I click-and-hold on the scroll arrow.

2. Clicking the the "jump" arrows moves the view to the top or bottom of the list of mercenaries, depending on the arrow pushed. It would be great if the "jump" arrow just moved you down or up one screen view of fighters instead. For example, when you click on the down jump arrow, the view moves the bottom fighter to the top of your screen and lets you see all the figthers below him. The way it is now, it's hard to quickly see the figthers that are in between the top "view" and the bottom "view".

Combat

1. Someone else mentioned this in another thread, but it would be extremely helpful if there were a way to quickly identify what's in range for weapons and spells. Maybe when you select "Shoot at torso" or "Cast heal" or whatever, the squares outside of range get a bit darker?

As it is, I usually try casting the spell or firing the weapon and seeing if I get the "out of range by ... spaces" message. But this gets a bit tiring.
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Tertsi
Mitorah Games Studio Head


Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 331
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can use the the mouse scroll in the hire mercenary window. Therefore you don't have to click anything to scroll through the list of mercenaries.

A new upper left battle UI icon will be added to the Gold Version which if clicked, will enable or disable showing the range to your mouse cursor from the active unit.


Last edited by Tertsi on Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Godzilla Blitz
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Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouse scroll! Ah, I have a trackball, but I think there is a way I can get that to do a mouse scroll. I'll check it out.

The range thing sounds great. Looking forward to it.

Thanks for the help!
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lourg
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Joined: 22 Aug 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things I would like to see.

1. An auto combat option. Selectable at the merc camp menu.

2. The ability to speed up or slow down combat.

3. An increase in spell and arrow animation.

4. Due a way with showing the random number being generatored above the merc's head. Like the idea of seeing how many points he has just don't like the idea of watching it being generated.
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Tertsi
Mitorah Games Studio Head


Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 331
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lourg:

#1 is better a Gold Version new feature suggestion which I'll need more opinions on.

What do you mean with #2? How speed up or down?
What do you mean with #3? So that they would be slower or better?

#4 is already implemented, click the metallic '5' dice icon at the top left battle UI to enable or disable fast dice mode. The icons are explained better in the soon to be released 1.01 version.
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lourg
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Joined: 22 Aug 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last idea.

5. When a merc contract expires a pop up box asking you if you wish to renew the merc for membership, 1 year, or a set number of battles.
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Tertsi
Mitorah Games Studio Head


Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 331
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That #5 has been suggested before but it's unfair for other clans and in case you didn't know, the mercenary will go back to mercenary camp so you can bid for it again unless it retired.
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