Drifter UI Thread

Drifter is Celsius' in-development Space Trading game. Take part in the discussion about the game and its development here!

Re: Drifter UI Thread

Postby Scurra » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:28 pm

Wow, it hadn't occurred to me before that tooltips + touchscreen was not a good combination, but a moment's thought made it obvious.
Which is a shame, because they are one of the best UI assists around, especially when people remember to include the option to turn them off...
What sort of replacement systems have been developed for touch? (In general I mean, not for this game specifically!) Or hasn't anyone managed to come up with one yet?
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Re: Drifter UI Thread

Postby stevecourtney » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:26 am

Tooltips have always been a bit of a crutch for UI designers. We didn't have to make things foolproof if we could just add a tooltip in there as a backup. Since touch devices have taken them away, UI designers have had to focus on making their designs clean and simple. It can be a tough balance to make a UI that is easy to understand to the new user, without being too cluttered to the experienced user, so a lot of apps will try to teach users the interface upfront with a series of introduction slides, or an overlay that points out all of the controls and says what they all do, but I've sat in on a lot of usability studies, and seen that users don't pay attention or forget the instructions the next time they use the app.

The best solution is to stick to good UI fundamentals, set a clear hierarchy, and keep it simple.
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Re: Drifter UI Thread

Postby DatonKallandor » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:53 pm

A small ? button in one of the corners that re-enables an overlay which clearly labels all UI elements is an easy solution for touch devices. For a mouse and keyboard environment nothing will ever beat tooltips. Except tooltips combined with a right-click accessible encyclopedia document. I heartily recommend any UI designer plays Master of Magic to see the pinnacle of M&K user friendly UI design. It's incredibly low res, for an incredibly complex game yet it is utterly clear and explains anything the user might want to know in ever-more-detailed increments, at the users discretion.
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Re: Drifter UI Thread

Postby boolybooly » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:46 pm

I am enjoying the current build, it has a nice ambience, the music and the interface seem to flow together, most of the time, at least I feel that is the direction it wants to go in. So I had a few ideas about that while playing which I thought I would jot down in case they help, but I apologise in advance if they are impractical.

Something about that I have noticed with the UI (playing on my PC with KB/M) is the exit method for screens varies in location. Sometimes it is an X in the top right and sometimes it is an exit band at the bottom of the page. IMHO it would be ergonomically smoother navigating the screens if the convention was the same for all screens so you can just click away with your mouse in the same spot when you want out and dont have to dart up and down the screen.

Another idea which struck me it might be worth suggesting was that it would be easier if you could facillitate price list checking in the galaxy map without having to go down a level for each star system. Either show the € sign in the main map when you have the system selected, or maybe even split screen with the price list on one side and a part of the map on the other if the € is toggled on, changing listing dependant on which system is selected.

In addition to that I am hoping that we will be able to investigate the galactic map in station eventually though I realise its early days yet. :D
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Re: Drifter UI Thread

Postby _discovery » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:46 pm

Hopefully you looked back one page at what the UI will become, it most certainly will be consistent at that point :)

Good feedback though!
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Re: Drifter UI Thread

Postby sudobash » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:16 am

One of the things I like most in a ui is when it is usable through keyboard bindings. I am one of those keyboard ninja people who like to be able to control everything via buttons. This is also nice because I like to play games like these in bed with a laptop and it is nice not to rely on the built-in touchpad.

Great looking mock-up BTW. From the looks of it, it should be very easy to operate via gamepad. That is great news.
One thing I think is very nice in a ui for people new to the game is percentage bars beneath the individual stats. It helps people tell at a glance "25 damage, is that a lot?" Also, sorting (especially in places like the commodity exchange) is extremely nice to have.
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Re: Drifter UI Thread

Postby novastatic » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:47 pm

As someone who loves to play games with a pad, I have to say how much I appreciate the focus on making things work for that input method, particularly at an earlyish stage. Having a UI that supports pad or touchscreen as well as Kb/M is often an afterthought for PC games. Would love to see this on my Vita too, when the time comes.
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Re: Drifter UI Thread

Postby Gn0 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:32 pm

I can see you're making a new UI so this may be redundant but here goes my wish list:

Keep buttons in the same place every time.
Exit, go back, cancel, X, etc.. all have to go in the same place every screen every menu, not interchange.
humans love patterns (oh shit boolybooly beat me to it)

I rekon if you re in the spaceship navigating menus, then escaping one menu should bring you right back to flying the ship (so you can react to surprises better).

currently we use the starmap to plot a course which highlights relevant points of interest and keeps us going in the right direction.
can we do the same in the system map (especially considering patrol coordinates)
and allow us to select anything that is space with the mouse, including waypoints and targeting ships.

Also, as we follow our starmap course, our previous destinations disappear, showing only the way forward. this would also be very useful when patrolling

Also, can I vote that we change "system map" to "local system", to help mentally differentiate "system map" from "starmap" (cos they're both star maps)

Aaaand can we filter the stockmarket (like excel filters) even just re-order via the column title.

aaaaaand what sudobash said about keyboard shortcuts.

I'm already loving the game.
I like that it's getting prettier, but it doesn't need to be pretty to be awesome.

I'm re-reading this post and it feels kinda grouchy but it's not meant to be, I'm barracking for you.
and I backed the kickstarter so.. yeh. go team.
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Re: Drifter UI Thread

Postby CGSColin » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:16 pm

Doesn't seem very grouchy at all to me! Thanks for the feedback :)
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Re: Drifter UI Thread

Postby The2ndPete » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:25 am

Gn0 wrote:Keep buttons in the same place every time.

Yes, please! Except maybe the "End Game and back to Main Menu" button, which should be in another corner.
And talking about Main Menu: I love to sit and watch the galaxy spin :)

Gn0 wrote:Also, as we follow our starmap course, our previous destinations disappear, showing only the way forward. this would also be very useful when patrolling

Definitely! The few patrol missions I accepted weren't difficult in themselves but it was kinda annoying to encounter an enemy, whirl around until one of us exploded and then have to open the map multiple times to get back on course to the correct waypoint.

Gn0 wrote:Aaaand can we filter the stockmarket (like excel filters) even just re-order via the column title.

What I'd like to see were different filters: one for agricultural products, one for industrials, one for high-tech and so on. Or the ability to switch between sorted in these groups or all in one list, aphabetically sorted.

Me wrote:Would it be possible to give the player a choice of three different starting equipments?

One for "explorer", being the standard one. Another for "miner" with the lasers replaced with mining lasers and maybe a third for "fighter" with some more powerful weapons but something else missing/weaker? Like money, since all other stuff is the basic of their tier.

Gn0 wrote:I'm already loving the game.

Me too, especially since the developers listen to their community and aren't afraid to take ideas in.
Much better than a "you bought it, now live with the jumbled mess" policy from large studios.
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