Author Topic: Re-arranging the Manufacture Menu  (Read 5906 times)

Offline Hythlodaeus

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Re-arranging the Manufacture Menu
« on: June 08, 2013, 02:47:15 pm »
As a translator, I always found the X-COM UI to be troublesome and hard to deal with, when it comes to adjust translated text strings to particular menus. One of the most troublesome menus I've found so far is the Manufacture menu mostly because it features too much uncompressed information for its own sake:



Even in the original English, the various fields for each item seem to fit poorly. This is even worse in translated versions were the "Engineers Allocated" field eats up part of the item's name, as shown here:





The funny thing is that even Microprose realized how poorly structured how this menu was, resulting in a lot of information cut from it, in TFTD:



However, I feel the TFTD version of this menu cut too much information, forcing the player to open each item individually, in order to check how many engineers are attributed, and how many units have currently been produced.
In the meantime, I believe I have a small solution to save some space without sacrificing any information: mashing the "Units Produced" and "Total to Produce" fields into a single */* field, so it would be something like:

Production
2/100

This way, the player knows exactly how much units are left, and it saves a truckload of space that will surely make translated versions of this menu a lot more appealing.

Aside from this, does anyone else have any idea on how to save some space in the Manufactures menu?

Offline moriarty

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Re: Re-arranging the Manufacture Menu
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2013, 05:00:53 pm »
Considering the fact that you will rarely be producing more than three or for different items simultaneously, perhaps the central area could be reduced in vertical size and the upper labels could be turned by 90 degrees so that they are vertical?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 10:44:52 pm by moriarty »

Offline kkmic

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Re: Re-arranging the Manufacture Menu
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 06:18:56 pm »
That's a valid point.

However, rotating the labels 90 degrees will make the actual production listing too low in the page. It would be kinda odd to have the first item listed in the middle of the screen. Or worse, even lower, as we can't tell how long the strings will be when translating. We can guesstimate, of course, but...

Volutar

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Re: Re-arranging the Manufacture Menu
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 08:38:43 pm »
Another suggestion - to split long lines in 2. That will help in many cases (some languages could have long lines, and glyphic language will require taller lines). But that will make slightly harder list coding.

Offline moriarty

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Re: Re-arranging the Manufacture Menu
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2013, 08:53:50 pm »
...
In the meantime, I believe I have a small solution to save some space without sacrificing any information: mashing the "Units Produced" and "Total to Produce" fields into a single */* field, so it would be something like:

Production
2/100

This way, the player knows exactly how much units are left, and it saves a truckload of space that will surely make translated versions of this menu a lot more appealing.
...

this.

(I was just about to suggest precisely this, then I noticed you already had the same idea. so here's me emphasizing a very good idea, which I think will make the whole screen much better. ;)

Offline MyThos

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Re: Re-arranging the Manufacture Menu
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 12:26:00 pm »
In the meantime, I believe I have a small solution to save some space without sacrificing any information: mashing the "Units Produced" and "Total to Produce" fields into a single */* field, so it would be something like:

Production
2/100

This way, the player knows exactly how much units are left, and it saves a truckload of space that will surely make translated versions of this menu a lot more appealing.

I like this idea and would "vote" for this being implemented.

Offline Hythlodaeus

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Re: Re-arranging the Manufacture Menu
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2013, 12:54:14 pm »
Now that I think of it, one could also mash the Engineers Available/Allocated at the top as a single */* field.

Offline Warboy1982

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Re: Re-arranging the Manufacture Menu
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2013, 02:14:35 pm »
well, i added that, doesn't give you a TRUCKLOAD more room, but it should be an improvement

Volutar

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Re: Re-arranging the Manufacture Menu
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2013, 02:31:57 pm »
That's how I suppose it should looks like. Grouped rows ( or better multiline rows), and proper highlight of those.
BTW, lines are too close to each other (8 height instead of 9) thus they are overlapped slightly. Better to make them at least 1 pixel apart.