Quick progress reports discussion thread - March 2016

Previous thread: Quick progress reports discussion thread - February 2016

Continuing the discussion from Quick Progress Reports - Engineering:

I’d prefer a keybinding to toggle the ship I pilot after spawning. F5 toggles the ships name, next time I die, I will respawn with that ship.


In regards to the ‘Unknown’, I use to have that problem when logging via Google and it could possibly be because my Google account uses a different name. Anyway, I log in with I-Novae account now so no problem.

Really happy we are not going to have to endure 30 minute flight times between points! 30 seconds sounds good. And the Alcubierre drive - very interesting. Still think the present warp name should be changed but a name isn’t a game changer so no biggy really.

Well if he is indeed going for the Alcubierre drive the name fits.

Other then that, eh, the current Newtonian “warp” model with some restriction would have allowed for some pretty crazy stunt moves for skilled player. In some way that intrigued me. But separating it from the newtonian model is the other way and might work well. It also limits people reaching high speeds and it’s wonky nature (weapon fire, lag etc.). Even though I would have loved to see moving fights.

I would suggest rewriting it from scratch though. There’s quite some wonky behaviour with Flight Assist, forward boost and such and I think they may persist if rewritten.

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Could you give people the ability to group nodes and save them as a new single group node? Kinda like how you can group objects in adobe illustrator to create new objects? I understand that programming new nodes would probably be better for performance, but having the ability to create new nodes by combining existing ones would help cover those cases where an artist needs to use a combination of nodes a lot.

That’s on the TODO list.


@InovaeFlavien Before finalizing your next update, I’m wondering if the color of enemy ships will turn from red when they go into warp. Will they stay red or will they turn another color, such as purple?

It would be helpful for everyone if enemies changed from red to a different color when in warp. If not, you’ll catch up to someone not knowing they’re in warp and then they just blast away because you didn’t know beforehand.

They’ll stay red for now, we want to minimize the amount of colors on the HUD. Later we’ll use different icons to show that a ship is in warp.


Boo. I happen to despise icons - as I’ve probably made abundantly clear. Something more organic would be nice. Perhaps making the ship into a bright glowing spark like you did in the campaign video. I tire of mechanisms that just don’t scale. If I see you at 1AU or I see you at 1km, I still get the same visual - those inane icons.

Get rid of the icons, already. If you’re going to highlight ships, just highlight them. Give them artificially-bright lighting so that I can easily see them. But the farther away they are, the less easily I can see them. If that proves to be too much, artificially inflate the ships so that I can see them as far away as I need to. It’ll be a lot more interesting to know that the guy is turning around to shoot me without having to consider a change in the icon - or to look somewhere else on my screen to see his orientation.

Make the indications organic and integral to the game world.

I hate icons. I don’t want to play an icon game. I want to play a space game.

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No UI can ever really work without some kind of icons. You can give them the smallest visual impact possible, as done in real military huds. And icons can be made to scale in many ways, size, colour, transparency, situational filters and so on. But no icons at all is know as hud off for a good reason.


I would hate for ships to scale the farther away they are. This would be such a immersion breaking thing and would make it goofy IMO.


Were you at some point traink-wrecked in “Dark Age of Camelot”? :smiley: Legends says big players used an “optmized” game engine, for Realm vs Realm, where all players were just simple icons. This was used to reduce bandwidth usage and PC usage. They were playing at a whooping 50 ms ping without any freeze while the “casual” peasants bearly saw them that they were already dead :smiley:

More seriously, I like your idea of higlighting ship. But having a “no icon” game? That’s quite extreme. Icons at least don’t lie, you can’t confuse a circle :red_circle: with a square :diamonds: or a triangle :small_red_triangle:. Then it’s all a matter of getting those icons even better distinguishable: like that diamond more thin and that triangle more flat.

Colors, on the other hand, can get more easly confused as they are more of them. I think I’ve shown that in a very nice GIF last year: no shade of grey can be uncorrelated from its surrounding context.

With a game that will have 3 factions, plus probably a dozen of ship indicators, plus POI, plus specific flight indicators…
You’re bound to have at least some icons.


a scaling wireframe that phases in as a ship gets too far to see through ordinary means might be acceptable. ultimately games that involve realistic scales will often be forced to be games about shooting at triangles/dots, and im ok with that.

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I like your idea to show a small wireframe instead of a plain icon. That would be much more useful in combat I think, you could see ship orientation at a glance, and It wouldn’t be weird like a fully textured scaled up ship.
I’m for a very minimal purely functional hud, preferably with a flat design and ideally integrated into the ingame ship windows.

But keep in mind that we’re doing a space game with large battles. What’s going to happen in combat when you have dozens of ships cluttering to the same screen space area ?

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I always thought that an old - school solution would work best: You get a zoomed - in view of the ship you have locked on to on a separate “monitor” in your hud/cockpit. Everyone else is real scale and/or icons. You can see the locked on ship’s orientation, trusters and weapons fireing and the health/shields/energy/whatever data that your sensors are able to pick up. All the non - locked on ships only show basic info next to icons to reduce clutter.

Ultimately, UI will never be one size fits all, imho. The more customization/filters we will have in the long run, the better.


It’s a philosophy thing. I’m also tired of icon games. Space is big. Icons work, sure, but 90% of the time that’s all you ever see.

So I think maybe thinking about a new approach is a good idea. I’m sure we’ve already covered numerous ways to solve several problems that may crop up.

Like only showing a “ghost” of a selected ship. Or artificially spacing ships close by to each other out.

Swithching off the “HUD” could have the same effect by removing “ghosts” and other “vision enchancers” like the glow effect JB mentioned. (Really liked that in the KS trailer)

I don’t really think the chalenges when going the “minimal icon route” is any harder then going the “full icon route” … there are a lot of caseses where icons don’t work either. Even the above case of a fleet. A bunch of icons close together have the same issue as a bunch of wireframes close together.

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i was thinking the effect would only apply to the ship you’re targeting, the rest would be the usual. more or less it would allow you to visualize your weapon impacts and the orientation/profile/likely future heading of the ship

Jea, how to handle lots of close/overlaping icons/objects/points of interest is one of the hardest aspects of any UI design. And with the scale of fleet battles that Battlescape is aiming for, it will be tougher than in other games.

I do not think that any single ship will ever get to see the whole picture of the entire solar system, but that each will have information available that it needs for its role, Fighters, Bombers, the different kind of capital ships. Carriers for example might have UI needs that are closer to an RTS than classical space fighter games.

Figureing out those needs and experimenting with ways to best meet them will ultimately decide what really works and what does not. I am all for experimenting with alternative ideas, ghosts, wireframes and others.

I remember the RvR there. What a mess. When I was playing, I always wondered why they insisted on displaying every character in full detail. Once every 5 seconds. For pity’s sake, just show me a cube for each one.

That’s the very point of getting rid of them; they don’t lie. They’re unequivocal. Understanding the tactical situation is a critical player skill.

I’m not sure how much time INS has set aside for experimentation with the sensor UI - or for creating multiple such UIs. What I want most of all is to make clear that the use of icons has gameplay consequences.

To somewhat mollify those who love their icons, retain a sensor mode that allows icons to be displayed when the icons aren’t providing a tactical advantage. So if I can easily spot a fighter with other sensor modes at 10km, then icons can be shown at 10km. Until then, some other, more ambiguous, indication would have to be used. Done wrong, if icons are visible at 100,000km, but all other sensor modes are seriously limited at that range, nobody would be competitive unless they used icons; the other sensor modes would be ignored.

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How about leaving it up to the player? Have a simplified version of Eve’s overview system or if there are many of the same type of symbol group them up. Just a thought with no real input but I don’t see why it couldn’t work.