Author Topic: The Big Damn Polish Thread  (Read 4756 times)

GGLucas

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The Big Damn Polish Thread
« on: August 21, 2010, 02:08:55 PM »
As you've all no doubt realised. This game, while having potential, is in desperate need of a lick of polish. Let's list all the small stuff that isn't worth its own thread here as a sort of reference for the future. I'll add all the suggestions from the thread to this post as they are posted.

  • Usernames in multiplayer
  • See which empire is controlled by what username
  • Ship icons should change brightness when selected, the selection rings are impossible to see at any decent zoom level
  • The selection box on the right should have more info (sure that's already on a list somewhere)
  • Sub-selection: When you have a bunch of ships selected you should have one "sub-selected" (cycle with tab or something) so you can see their stats in the info pane
  • Fleet icons: Sins did this really well in my opinion. When you create a fleet you should see a different icon hovering above the entire fleet that you can press to select it.
  • Empire Color/Icon selection (Duh, sorry, too obvious :P)
  • You should be able to tell which systems have colonised planets in them from a large distance, maybe add an easily-noticable pip to the ownership ring for each planet that has been colonized by each player?
  • I don't know _why_ exactly, but the rotation system confuses me. This will require further investigation.
  • Usernames/colors/empire names in the chat box.
  • A way to change planet and system names.
  • The path line should be visible for every ship you have selected instead of only being displayed when you have one ship selected.
  • The path line should scale with zoom distance, it should be smaller than it is when zoomed in and larger than it is when zoomed out.
  • Saved build queues.  Bonus if the interface actually does a population calculation when you create the queue and shows the number of remaining slots.
  • Start the game paused when loading saved games.
  • Save camera position in save game file.
  • Addition of a tooltip info window in the build queue.
  • Resizable/movable windows: It would be nice to move the unmovable windows and to resize the long list windows.
  • Better fleet/planet/ship management interface: Sortable, separate lists
  • More governor options (i.e. automatic renovations, ships/buildings only)
  • Move to top of queue button for research and build queues.
  • War declaration pop up window so that we know that we're at war now.  Bonus for checkbox in corner to auto-pause for single player.
  • Empty build queue pop up window.  Auto-pause for single player. Disabled for governed planets.
  • Time remaining to research in tooltip info.
  • Button to auto-queue all Hunch/Guess items for when 300-700k research is trivial.
  • Forward/Back buttons that cycle through all of your planets, not just the ones in the currently selected system.
  • Time manipulation buttons.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 04:56:30 PM by GGLucas »

echo66

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 02:19:25 PM »
Colonization limitation, depending on tech level

lordxorn

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2010, 02:42:56 PM »
When you quit the tutorial by going to the main menu, then load a non tutorial game at the main menu, the tutorial is still activated.

GGLucas

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2010, 02:47:58 PM »
lordxorn, that's not really polish, more of a bug.

I have another one

  • Usernames/colors/empire names in the chat box

Bodyless

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2010, 02:51:32 PM »
the game should not display a message for every single structure built. a message when the queue is empy and the governor is out of ideas may be useful though.

GGLucas

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2010, 03:40:23 PM »
  • It should be possible to have multiple planet/system windows open at the same time

Thy Reaper

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2010, 03:42:03 PM »
The UI system doesn't support that very well as it stands. We'd have to completely revamp the planet/system windows to do that.

GGLucas

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2010, 03:46:16 PM »
Oh? From what I see in planet_win.as you have the init() function create the interface and then store in in a global variable. Wouldn't it be possible to make that global an array and change the hooks/tick() to loop through that array? Obviously I've only looked at it briefly so in all likelihood I'm terribly wrong, but it doesn't look that difficult.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 03:47:55 PM by GGLucas »

Thy Reaper

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2010, 03:47:42 PM »
The same functions that handle events for one window would handle the events for all windows, so first the associated window would have to be identified. All data related to the window would also have to be duplicated. It's a lot of effort.

GGLucas

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2010, 03:50:42 PM »
I guess I'm not properly getting how the angelscript creates windows then. Let's put that on the "maybe someday" list, since it's not that important anyway.

echo66

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2010, 03:52:11 PM »
a simple request: a way to change planets and systems name

Chop

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2010, 04:58:04 PM »
Also, all you 4x guys that know your way around the techs, resources etc, it would be nice to get the Wiki updated with tips for beginners/a starter guide.

GGLucas

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2010, 03:49:23 AM »
  • The path line should be visible for every ship you have selected instead of only being displayed when you have one ship selected.
  • The path line should scale with zoom distance, it should be smaller than it is when zoomed in and larger than it is when zoomed out.

echo66

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2010, 11:51:41 AM »
Add ship maintenance cost to avoid spamming ships like there is no tomorrow.

Hertston

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2010, 12:44:44 PM »
As far as 'polish' (rather than anything else) goes some more artwork would be nice; icons for farms, factories and such just to make the UI boxes a little less spreadsheety.   I second all the OPs suggestions as well.

Oh, and 'dreadnaught' is spelt dreadnought.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 12:54:52 PM by Hertston »

Chreo

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2010, 01:02:36 PM »
That's not a bug, it's a feature.
The AI builds very naughty dreads.  :D

*scnr*

Texada

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2010, 01:03:37 PM »
Dreadnaught is an alternative spelling of Dreadnought

Krob

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2010, 04:03:21 PM »
As you've all no doubt realised. This game, while having potential, is in desperate need of a lick of polish. Let's list all the small stuff that isn't worth its own thread here as a sort of reference for the future.

It'd be swell if you maybe took a little time to add things up top so the dev(s) does not have to hunt through it. :P

Here are the things I came across so far.  Some are obvious and some may have already been suggested; I'm just including my laundry list.

  • Saved build queues: I reckon most of us will continually use the same set of build queues for our planets (research, shipyards, etc), so it'd be nice to save some of these.  Bonus if the interface actually does a population calculation when you create the queue and shows the number of remaining slots.
  • Start the game paused when loading saved games.
  • Save camera position in save game file.
  • Addition of a tooltip info window in the build queue.
  • Resizable/movable windows: It would be nice to move the unmovable windows and to resize the long list windows.
  • Better fleet/planet/ship management interface: Sortable, separate lists
  • More governor options (i.e. automatic renovations, ships/buildings only)
  • More obvious selection indicators: brighter, more obvious indicators that scale as you zoom out.
  • Move to top of queue button for research and build queues.
  • War declaration pop up window so that we know that we're at war now.  Bonus for checkbox in corner to auto-pause for single player.
  • Empty build queue pop up window.  Auto-pause for single player.  Disabled for governed planets.
  • Option to make move lines visible when zoomed out.
  • Option to make ships visible when zoomed out or some kind of presence indicator.
  • Time remaining to research in tooltip info.
  • Button to auto-queue all Hunch/Guess items for when 300-700k research is trivial.
  • Forward/Back buttons that cycle through all of your planets, not just the ones in the currently selected system.
  • Time manipulation buttons.


K

GGLucas

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2010, 04:58:27 PM »
Done. I'm not sure about these, though:

Quote
Option to make ships visible when zoomed out or some kind of presence indicator.

Isn't that what the icons are for?

Quote
More obvious selection indicators: brighter, more obvious indicators that scale as you zoom out.

I already had something similar to that in my original list.

Quote
Option to make move lines visible when zoomed out.

Also had that already. Technically the move lines are visible, they're just too tiny to see.

Ignus

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2010, 05:31:55 PM »
1) There should be more feedback to the user. When I tell a ship to move or select something to build it isn't immediately obvious that it was successful. Something such as a little "beep" would be all it needs.

2) The camera controls are mind bending! Well, not quite. After a while I got the hang of them, but I feel like I'm fighting with the controls far more than I should. Zooming in is especially twitchy and capricious, as is trying to scroll while having something selected. I find myself wishing for a 2d plane to work on, but that might just be me.

3) I second (Third? Fourth?) the wish for pop ups on buildings when you go to build them. Would be nice to know what they do before you use them.


Other than that, really nice game. Looking forward to seeing where it goes.

GGLucas

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2010, 05:34:01 PM »
There is already a beep when you tell a planet to build something. If you move you should see a green line (although it doesn't work when you have multiple ships selected, but that's already on the list).

The camera controls feel off indeed.

Ignus

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2010, 05:58:42 PM »
There is already a beep when you tell a planet to build something. If you move you should see a green line (although it doesn't work when you have multiple ships selected, but that's already on the list).

Sorry, wasn't too clear I meant it in a more general way, such as moving when zoomed out, selecting system-wide builds (really vague indication when it works) etc. I'm not saying everything should beep, just that the indicators should be a tad more obvious.

Chreo

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2010, 06:10:20 PM »
I don't think the camera movement has to be changed. I do miss the function of the invert button, but despite that it's fine if confusing at first. It's simply 3D - and for such an evironment you need complex movement. I found the turning of the camera on the edge of the screen especially handy, something I'd now definetly miss in other space games.
It might take some more or less getting used to, but it just is complex and without taking the game to a 2D playfield (which beats the whole idea of 'space') I don't see how you could make the controls more intuitive.

Ignus

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2010, 06:18:31 PM »
I don't think the camera movement has to be changed. I do miss the function of the invert button, but despite that it's fine if confusing at first. It's simply 3D - and for such an evironment you need complex movement. I found the turning of the camera on the edge of the screen especially handy, something I'd now definetly miss in other space games.
It might take some more or less getting used to, but it just is complex and without taking the game to a 2D playfield (which beats the whole idea of 'space') I don't see how you could make the controls more intuitive.

The problem is they aren't intuitive. Something as simple as Descent style controls or a set idea of "up" (and a shortcut to put you there!) would work. As it stands, at no time have I felt the need to go upside down.

Also, 2d play fields have traditionally worked wonderfully in space, such as in Sins of a Solar Empire, Homeworld or Distant Worlds. I'm not saying a game like this, with it's emphasis on Newtonian Physics and what-not, would be (at least aesthetically) suited but it's a benchmark of simplicity to aim for.

TrouserDemon

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2010, 06:21:05 PM »
If you don't have flatten on, solar systems can be placed on an entirely 3D axis. That necessitates a 3D camera.

Krob

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2010, 07:53:51 PM »
Done. I'm not sure about these, though:

Isn't that what the icons are for?

I already had something similar to that in my original list.

Also had that already. Technically the move lines are visible, they're just too tiny to see.

All three of these are linked...  Beyond a certain point, but still within what I'd consider a reasonable distance, all icons/lines other than the systems disappear and it can be a real bear to have to zoom in and out to move ships around.

It also seems that you cannot select ships beyond a certain zoom level; that's a bit annoying too.

K

Chreo

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2010, 08:12:29 PM »
Quote from: Ignus
The problem is they aren't intuitive. Something as simple as Descent style controls or a set idea of "up" (and a shortcut to put you there!) would work. As it stands, at no time have I felt the need to go upside down.

Intuitive is a term up for debate: For me, they are intuitive. I struggled at first, but I got the hang of it after about 30 minutes of game time. I haven't had any problems since then.
In Descent, I always moved with the numpad and shot with ctrl - I can't imagine that to be a good way to control an RTS' camera. (But Descent ... That's ages ago, my memories are blurry at best  :D )

Quote from: Ignus
Also, 2d play fields have traditionally worked wonderfully in space, such as in Sins of a Solar Empire, Homeworld or Distant Worlds. I'm not saying a game like this, with it's emphasis on Newtonian Physics and what-not, would be (at least aesthetically) suited but it's a benchmark of simplicity to aim for.
They do work, yes. For me such a 2D overlay would break the immersion and feel inadequate for a true space game. I never really liked games having such a feature (perhaps with the exception of Homeworld, since it only semi-limits movement - But SoaSE was a pretty bad game in my opinion, especially with the sync errors in MP)
For now, the games are all spiral galaxies, but given a little time I could imagine cubic galaxies and a 'proper space camera' is a must-have then =)

I guess it comes down to each single person when camera control comes up, eh?

machitis

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2010, 09:21:05 PM »
An option to lock the rotation of the camera would be very welcome. While the current camera is not unusable, and I understand the allure of a full range of camera motion, there's a pretty well-accepted convention of treating a single direction as "up" (the ships orient themselves, for instance...), to make the camera require less handling to get a visual on what you're looking for. Always having a similar orientation in one direction keeps things easily identifiable and helps you spatial orient things in your mind. I don't think "full-range camera rotation" is really a core feature of the game, but usability is.

mrooks1984

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2010, 05:08:51 AM »
I would like to see different ship looks.
e.g. when i am ship builder have a design selection, which just changes the look of the ship so lets say frigate ship doesent look anything like a small fighter, like in sins.
i also like to see all ready created layouts so you dont have to make your own layouts, again like in sins
one thing i find anoying is when i create a layout export it, start a new game none of my ships are listed
i think they should all be listed on every game (as long as you have the required research for it, if not it lists the ships when you do get the required research), instead of messing around geting the name spot on and importing it then saving, just such a pain if you have a few or a lot.
if you know what i mean.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 07:44:23 AM by mrooks1984 »

Texada

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Re: The Big Damn Polish Thread
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2010, 07:57:27 AM »
I would like to see different ship looks.
e.g. when i am ship builder have a design selection, which just changes the look of the ship so lets say frigate ship doesent look anything like a small fighter, like in sins.
i also like to see all ready created layouts so you dont have to make your own layouts, again like in sins
one thing i find anoying is when i create a layout export it, start a new game none of my ships are listed
i think they should all be listed on every game (as long as you have the required research for it, if not it lists the ships when you do get the required research), instead of messing around geting the name spot on and importing it then saving, just such a pain if you have a few or a lot.
if you know what i mean.

It already does a fighter looks like a fighter a colony ships looks like a colony ships and so on
only when you get to the normal combat ships does it get same-ly
There is already created layouts....where you build the ships