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Author Topic: Quality of UI life  (Read 15333 times)

Offline volutar

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2015, 05:52:27 pm »
Can you please drop the caps? I'm not visually impaired, thanks.
What's wrong with your perception? I only capsed two accented words. And I won't stop doing that when it's necessary.

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Like you said, it contraverse the original spirit.
It was an exaggeration + irony.
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XCOM2012 doesn't allow you to stop movement precisely to keep the original spirit. In this issue of  user-interface interaction, XCOM2012 is a model since it replicates the original behavior.
Wrong. Xcom2012 is not a model of any kind. It's a third-generation casualized stuff, which I can think of a "model" only in some really perverted world. The fact that they don't allow to stop movement simply means they didn't implement this. They have too fancy "running" sequence to be interruptable like that. It's the 1st. And second - their "Action point" concept doesn't imply any benifit from interruption. XCOM2012 has too many bad design desicions, spoiling the feel of game, to be any kind of a model.

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It's possible to add a ton of improvements to improve QoL. However, if you start adding them without considering the implications that they have on overall playing then you'll end up with a game that will be very different from the original in spirit.
Sure. But these changes are necessary. As necessary as considering the implications. And fear of making changes is the same BAD as excessive progress.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 06:14:03 pm by volutar »

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2015, 06:39:04 pm »
What's wrong with your perception? I only capsed two accented words. And I won't stop doing that when it's necessary.

I consider caps the equivalent to be shouting words. If you had a discussion like this with me in real life, I'd eventually ignore you, since it wouldn't be an exchange of ideas but rather you trying to impose your view upon me.

If you feel it necessary, there are better ways to emphasize words such as underlines or italics. Or, better yet, don't use any of those at all: if your writing is clear, then you have no need with me of emphasizing words to get your point across.

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And second - their "Action point" concept doesn't imply any benifit from interruption.

Wrong. If you start moving a unit and you activate an alien pod, then you'd want it to stop moving to prevent activating more alien pods. Having such a feature to stop movement in XCOM2012 would help the players.

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Sure. But these changes are necessary. As necessary as considering the implications. And fear of making changes is the same BAD as excessive progress.

That is your opinion, not a fact. To me they are not necessary, and my reasoning doesn't come from fear, as you are implying. Having such a feature makes both U/I and gameplay more easy - more UI enhancements is good, but please keep the gameplay close to the original, not your opinion about how the gameplay should be.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 06:56:42 pm by Hobbes »

Offline volutar

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2015, 07:19:54 pm »
I consider caps the equivalent to be shouting words.
And I'm not. Please consider this.

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Wrong. If you start moving a unit and you activate an alien pod, then you'd want it to stop moving to prevent activating more alien pods. Having such a feature to stop movement in XCOM2012 would help the players.
It's their design choice, it has nothing with classic xcom due to LOTS of things.

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That is your opinion, not a fact. To me they are not necessary, and my reasoning doesn't come from fear, as you are implying. Having such a feature makes both U/I and gameplay more easy - more UI enhancements is good, but please keep the gameplay close to the original, not your opinion about how the gameplay should be.
Thing is, some of "original" design choices (bad one, perhaps even unfinished interface things, or even bugs) can be _mistakenly_ assumed as "original spirit" features. Excuse me, but I will not give them any real weight to survive the oxc evolution. If they are flaw - they will be eleminated, even tho someone consider they are "essential vanilla feature".

Examples: not overridable "no line of fire", calculated light and vision only with final step, item limit, inability of AI to fire through the lifts, diagonal/outer wall(north/west) blocking standing/movement, ritual of equipping each time before the battle, inability for AI to pickup items, too few civilians on the maps due to lack of spawnpoints, too rare and too few triscenes, etc.

If someone thinks these "expected" things will survive, he's mistaken. OpenXcom is a true successor which already made quite big step forward that vanilla got the feeling of "alpha version" comparing to it. And I see no reason to stop that evolution. Of course with preserving of the "original spirit". As I understand it.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 07:24:52 pm by volutar »

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2015, 07:35:26 pm »
And I'm not. Please consider this.
It's their design choice, it has nothing with classic xcom due to LOTS of things.

I am considering this: you're deliberately ignoring what I said above.

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If someone thinks these "expected" things will survive, he's mistaken. OpenXcom is a true successor which already made quite big step forward that vanilla got the feeling of "alpha version" comparing to it. And I see no reason to stop that evolution. Of course with preserving of the "original spirit". As I understand it.

And you might be mistaken that everyone agrees with your understanding of what a true successor to XCom should be. Or that they will play it.

This one-sided discussion is over to me.

Offline volutar

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2015, 07:52:36 pm »
I am considering this: you're deliberately ignoring what I said above.
No. I just don't obey your orders. I'm used to talk like this, and was doing that for decades. And not gonna change myself because you asked.

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And you might be mistaken that everyone agrees with your understanding of what a true successor to XCom should be. Or that they will play it.
Are you sure Jullian was listening to thousands of people before implementing one or another thing?
Of course you are free of not playing it. You can make your own "game of dream". Or simply ignore OpenXcom with all these "no grenades pre turn 3", and stick to vanilla.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 07:54:43 pm by volutar »

Offline BlackLibrary

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2015, 07:09:07 pm »
A bunch of frakking felgercarb!  Don't be a bunch Adam Henry's.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 07:11:55 pm by BlackLibrary »

Offline bladum

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2015, 07:28:22 pm »
actually i found that someone already implement dozens of stuff mentioned here, just look at latest forks in the repo :)

Offline MasterShizzle

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2015, 02:02:08 am »
Of course you are free of not playing it. You can make your own "game of dream". Or simply ignore OpenXcom with all these "no grenades pre turn 3", and stick to vanilla.

This. There may be a few design choices that I would have made differently with OpenXCom, but I wasn't the one who designed it, coded it, debugged it, published it, or any of that. Design choices are the choices of the designers, which I am not. Even if a designer is deliberately ignoring comments and suggestions (which volutar is not), then it's the designer's right to do so.

In short: You don't like the game? Go make it better. Make a Github account, fork the repo, and get coding. (Also, XCOM2012 sucks.)[/offtopic]

Back to the suggested QoL improvements:

4.  This one makes me think of Minecraft, changing the I/O rates on my Resonant Energy Cells. If you're going to modify the Shift/Ctrl keys to work as modifiers, you may as well do a similar thing here: Click to add/subtract 1, Shift+Click for 10, Ctrl+click for 100. I'm completely in favor of letting the mouse wheel do scrolling and nothing else.

7.  I have no idea why this has been so much of a big deal. Make the RMB a universal "cancel/abort" key, make the space bar a "fast forward" key. The impact on gameplay and balance would be minimal. If it's not "vanilla", so what? Just because it doesn't work like the original is no reason to dismiss it offhand.

10.  It may be possible to implement something similar without adding anything to the loadout UI: since the Equip Craft => Soldiers screen is sortable, just add a dropdown to that screen with options to sort the list of soldiers assigned to the craft manually, lowest ranks first, highest ranks first, etc. If tanks are assigned to the craft, just add them to the list like normal soldiers and have them sorted in the same way. If a tank falls in an inconvenient place (odd number of soldiers in front of it) then just shift it up or down one space in the order before the battlescape loads to make sure it's aligned nicely.

17.  I'm all for this one. Possibly you could change the functionality of the battlescape "?" button (which, thanks to tooltips, is pretty much obsolete) to instead bring up the UFOPaedia when clicked.

19.  Yes, yes, a million times yes. Change armor from the loadout screen without adding a button? What's not to like? Among all the improvements suggested so far, this is at the top of my "wants" list.

Offline volutar

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2015, 11:20:39 am »
4.  This one makes me think of Minecraft, changing the I/O rates on my Resonant Energy Cells. If you're going to modify the Shift/Ctrl keys to work as modifiers, you may as well do a similar thing here: Click to add/subtract 1, Shift+Click for 10, Ctrl+click for 100. I'm completely in favor of letting the mouse wheel do scrolling and nothing else.
Added.

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7. I have no idea why this has been so much of a big deal. Make the RMB a universal "cancel/abort" key, make the space bar a "fast forward" key. The impact on gameplay and balance would be minimal. If it's not "vanilla", so what? Just because it doesn't work like the original is no reason to dismiss it offhand.
Mixing is bad, changing is bad too, that's why. But thing is, eventually every future-wise choice should be aligned with other possible things. The other option - make rmb fastforward, and ESC as cancelling. And I haven't yet decided which is better.

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10.  It may be possible to implement something similar without adding anything to the loadout UI: since the Equip Craft => Soldiers screen is sortable, just add a dropdown to that screen with options to sort the list of soldiers assigned to the craft manually, lowest ranks first, highest ranks first, etc.
Overloading interface with sorting things which aren't gonna be used like "categories" in the manufacture? Please, no.
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If tanks are assigned to the craft, just add them to the list like normal soldiers and have them sorted in the same way. If a tank falls in an inconvenient place (odd number of soldiers in front of it) then just shift it up or down one space in the order before the battlescape loads to make sure it's aligned nicely.
I have something like this in mind:


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17.  I'm all for this one. Possibly you could change the functionality of the battlescape "?" button (which, thanks to tooltips, is pretty much obsolete) to instead bring up the UFOPaedia when clicked.
"?" Is options, everybody knows that and used to that. Multilevel button, useless one, tho, could be altered for this.

Offline robin

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2015, 02:55:28 pm »
ufopaedia button if needed,
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 07:04:10 pm by robin »

Offline myk002

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2015, 09:53:26 am »
1. Remove "manufacture categories" entirely or make it enable in the advanced options (off by default). I never seen ANYONE using this. I don't know who would wanted that thing, but it steals list space and make almost ZERO use, statistically speaking.
I don't agree with this: I find the categories useful, especially when using mods that add items to the list (e.g. FMP)

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2. Make proper use of Shift/Ctrl as modifier keys, instead of "process as ordinary key". Tab/Shift-Tab is conventional way of switching between things, and we have tab/shift, which looks like it simply raw and unfinished thing. And previous unit should be as Shift-Tab, not just Shift. And inventory copy/paste should be not just C/V, but Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V, because it's CONVENTIONAL.
I don't mind this either way.  The current system is far from unwieldy, and single-key hotkeys are convenient.  If there were so many hotkeys that we were running into collisions, then I'd say implement modifier keys.  But we're not there yet.

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3. Implement proper drag'n'drop style for items and drop down menus (LMB down, moving to entry, and LMB up to switch). I don't think it worth discussion because it's conventional modern UI style. Item drag'n'drop tho is tricky, because classic xcom style also should be working "by default". It's better to make it autodetectable (by mouse moving beyond some threshold to "untie" and switch into d'n'd mode).
probably a good idea, but we'd have to make sure it doesn't get confusing when players use it in the battlescape inventory, where every tu counts.

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4. Make RMB for selling/transferring/buying screens work not as max/min but increasing/decreasing by 100. When you have 1000 alloys, it's pretty unhandy to scroll it to sell 500. Mouse wheel as increasing-decreasing values is not good advise, because it screws solid concept "scroll is always scroll", can cause accidental value changes, thus multiplies mess. It's bad to mix different things into single control. It's not how UI should work. As alternative - make Ctrl/Shift modifier key to work as scaler, i.e. change values by 10 instead of 1.
I believe it is already configurable to do exactly this.

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5. Add total expenditures into base info screen, showing expenditures of all project, not just selected base (there are plenty of space to add it without messing).
plus one to this.  The graphs are quite misleading as they are.

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6. Make inventory screen "copy/paste" layout buttons static. Why? 1. Because there are no dynamic buttons in the Xcom UI. Making exception leading to mess. 2. There's no need to show either it filled or not, since it "saves" layout only during single equipment session, and there's no need to mix "paste" with "clear". Mixing things into single control is a bad UI design, as I said earlier, and it's not "my" vision, it's conventional QoL thing.
as the author of that particular piece of code, I can say that the paste button does not mix with the clear functionality.  clear is a hotkey-only function ('x') that doesn't have a ui element.  in the code both hotkeys are attached to the paste button, but clear could have been bound anywhere.  the 'x' hotkey runs a separate subroutine from paste -- it was just convenient to bind it to that element since it shares the same enabled-disabled semantics.

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7. Need to add fast forward for walk animation. "RMB" as "fast forward" for firing was spontaneous choice, without consideration of the walk (RMB works as abort walk). Suggestion: Make "Space" button fast forwarding any animation - either firing (projectile, grenade throw), or walking (make walkers speedup their journey). RMB as cancel of long action - abort walking (as it was), and stop burst fire. Burst fire cancellation should work with the less impact on the gameplay, it shouldn't restore any TUs (it still will be spent), and perhaps, all bullets still gonna be spent. Cancelled bullets aren't gonna make any damage. The point of burst fire cancellation is to lessen "damaging" effect of fire misclick. Changing RMB behaviour for the fire is bad, but changing RMB for the walk is even worse, and leaving them not matching is bad too.
RMB for both speed firing animation and cancel walk made sense to me: in both cases, they're what you want to happen when you click something.  Just adding space as a fast-forward walk without the other changes sounds good to me.

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8. Make hint for each dropdown entry, not just single hint for the whole dropdown list. Because, obviously that 2 lines for 7 entries is not enough. Will need of translation work.
potentially good idea, but how many dropdowns have items that need individual tooltips?

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9. Mod descriptions (for EN-us by default and for each language optionally). Damage formula, as gameplay element, should be transferred from the advanced options to mods (because tftd has tftd formula and ufoeu has ufoeu, as default).
this seems like to very different ideas, but both seem like good ones.

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10. Make it possible to change unit positions during pre-battle equipment and show actual unit locations (small thumb-like top view) in the craft, considering tanks. Perhaps make tanks relocatable. For the base "craft eqipment" screen, and perhaps, for the pre-battle inventory too.
as long as it doesn't make the ui confusing, it sounds like it would be a nice feature.

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11. Fix the mess with fire/walk confirmation thing. Currently Path preview is tied to walk confirmation, and fire confirmation doesn't have any kind of preview. Need to split these options to "Confirmation"  and "Preview". Preview without confirmation should work in "hover" mode, with, like, 200ms delay if mouse is still or something (not to overload CPU when moving cursor around). Preview of fire can be done with using "projectile" rendering technique just with "dot sprites" spreaded through the trajectory, including throw parabola. Confirmation is needed thing for touch devices (walk preview, walk confirmation, fire preview fire confirmation).
sounds pretty non-invasive and useful.

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12. Grenade indicator should blink not only in inventory screen, but in the battlescape panel as well (in hands).
this sounds very useful

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13. Make it possible to drag item, and while holding it at the cursor, switch unit, and put at the other unit's slot, without using of ground. Also switch items if "dropped" one over another. Conventional inventory works like that. During actual battle these manipulation tweaks ain't gonna be working tho, it's only for pre-battle equipment, like copy/paste thing.
I worry that this, while convenient, would cause too much confusion.  different mouse behavior on the same screen can be jarring.

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14. Add support of modular fonts (to make it possible to add extra alphabets without replacing "classic", and add exotic thai, japanese, korean and chinese "fonts" + make UI elements "rulesetted" (bigger line heights, etc).
as long as it's not too complex, this would be a welcome feature

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15. Hint over the left/right hand slots of the panel should show item name and loaded ammo type/bullets left (instead of irrelevant Captain Obvious stuff like "Use Left Hand Item"/"Use Right Hand Item"). Also show grenade charging state/turns and Medikit P/S/H numbers.
definitely useful

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16. During pre-battle equipment "unload" should work even if hand slots are occupied, and in this case spread ammo/weapon to the ground slots. When hovering over the weapon - it should show ammo type/bullets left within the hint (as with previous #15).
again, I worry about making the behavior too different between the loadout version and the battlescape inventory version.  more info in the tooltip would be welcome, though.

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17. Ufopaedia available from the tactic screen (to see weapon/ammo/item properties). Perhaps replace "MultiLevel view" with ufopaedia button.
this could be useful

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18. When moving items between slots in the combat mode (not pre-battle), it should show NUMBER (TU cost) at the corner of the cell you're trying to drop to (when hovering), with "dim", not contrast color.
I very much support this!

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19. In pre-battle screen (perhaps just at the base), when clicking into paper doll image (square area in the chest), it should allow to change armour. Also when moving mouse over the paperdoll, it should show armour type as HINT.
good idea
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 09:56:37 am by myk002 »

Offline volutar

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2015, 10:38:48 am »
I don't agree with this: I find the categories useful, especially when using mods that add items to the list (e.g. FMP)
You're the 1 among dozen of who don't need that. For most of people it simply steals list space for no reason. It could be left for rare people like you within advanced options tho. It could be needed along with some huge mods, not in default xcom1/2.

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I don't mind this either way.  The current system is far from unwieldy, and single-key hotkeys are convenient.  If there were so many hotkeys that we were running into collisions, then I'd say implement modifier keys.  But we're not there yet.
Shift as previous is not conventional. There are lots of hardcoded shortcuts with CTRL, but they are _hardcoded_, thus it needs of more conceptual approach. The code is adult enough to go that way.

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I believe it is already configurable to do exactly this.
Nope. There's mouse wheel values scrolling, which actually adding mess, because mouse scroll is meant to scroll list, not change anything. Mixing them together, depending on which point on the screen you're pointing to is unconventional and not really good idea.

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as the author of that particular piece of code, I can say that the paste button does not mix with the clear functionality.  clear is a hotkey-only function ('x') that doesn't have a ui element.  in the code both hotkeys are attached to the paste button, but clear could have been bound anywhere.  the 'x' hotkey runs a separate subroutine from paste -- it was just convenient to bind it to that element since it shares the same enabled-disabled semantics.
I don't mind of leaving these buttons, and perhaps even making them slightly smaller, but changing visual look depending on are they "filled" or not isn't really good. It doesn't fit any other part of game, requires for extra unnecessary graphics and adding ambiguity to function, while used only till "OK" is pressed. This "enabled/disabled" symantics is the thing that goes out of xcom UI concept. If no templates are copied - "apply" pressings are simply ignored. And 'x' key could be accidentally pressed, why it even needed????

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potentially good idea, but how many dropdowns have items that need individual tooltips?
Some of. There are not many dropdown menus in the options. Scaling, Display mode, Scroll mode.

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I worry that this, while convenient, would cause too much confusion.  different mouse behavior on the same screen can be jarring.
...again, I worry about making the behavior too different between the loadout version and the battlescape inventory version.  more info in the tooltip would be welcome, though.
See, it's inevitable that in-battle inventory screen and pre-battle inventory screens are different. It comes from the vanilla. In pre-battle ground is common. It doesn't cost you any TUs to move them. Thus layout templates are possible, and tricky though handy manipulations.
TWO inventory modes: pre-battle (unlimited), and in-battle (limited by TUs). They are visually different.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 11:19:11 am by volutar »

Offline robin

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2015, 02:39:01 pm »
Am I the only one that sometimes has difficulty telling if an agent is crouched or not? For example when a lone agent is behind a wall that covers everything but his head -or part of it- (and maybe there smoke too). I was thinking of adding a little icon on a top corner of the crouched frames of my agents sprites, to mark the crouched stance and help distinguish it. Obviously this is an "hardcoded" solution, since the icon is drawn directly into the frames. (I still haven't thought about the look of this icon; but I guess it would be a little bright thing floating top left-or-right of the agent's head).

But maybe this problem is more widespread and it could be better to think about an official solution, not "hardcoded" so it can be turned on/off based on personal preferences.

(Ideally I guess the best would be to have the crouch button change look when the agent is crouched, but I don't know about feasibility; even if I have this issue I don't think it is that big to work too much on it).
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 02:46:53 pm by robin »

Offline Falko

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2015, 02:44:55 pm »
Am I the only one that sometimes has difficulty telling if an agent is crouched or not?
no need for coding
mod is enough
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,2389.msg27804.html#msg27804

Offline volutar

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Re: Quality of UI life
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2015, 02:48:03 pm »
Yeah there was a thread about that already.
Personally I think, there's no need of special additional signs or icons. It won't fit "less visiual mess" concept. It's just matter of unhardcoding of the arrow image (considering other super-mods could use entierely different palette and yellow perhaps won't be a good choice).
And allowing them look differently depending on kneel state. And perhaps even make the animation customaziable, same 8 frames. Use 8x2 spritesheet (first 8 standing, other 8 kneeled). Waving animation is not hardcoded - it's just sprite animation.
If anyone would like - he could make some fancy animation for the pointer.
Why not?