Quick progress reports discussion thread - March 2016

#21

Eve’s overview can get quite complicated, especially in instances where there are lots of players and objects moving around. As a result, eve’s overview has lots of spreadsheet settings and some clutter.

1 Like
#22

10charrrrrrr

#23

Yeah, but Infinity is going to have complex battle scenarios and a max hundreds of players. If an eve overview were to be implemented, which is just a giant list, (has to be like that to work) it would take up too much space. Something like eve’s radial menu could work.

#24

I say simplified so that 100 people doesn’t mean 100 boxes. It can mean 20 fighters 5 capitals 20 cruisers and only 3 boxes with 20xF 5xCap 20xCr or whatever their abbreviated standards will be.

The aspect of Eve to take is its customizability on what and how you want to show up.

#25

Oh please, I hope you are not talking about the round hud for shields, armor and hull and all that other stuff…has to be one of the ugliest designs ever concocted by developer-kind. :fearful:

#26

oh nnoonooo no I’m talking about the menu that comes up whenever you click and hold. That’s fairly intuitive and modern and fits with battlescape I think.

1 Like
#27

Ah, I see. :relaxed:

1 Like
#28

Believe me, even when indicators are crystal clear, everyone will misplay more often than not. Even pros. Take a look at League of legends: while their spells / AoE / buffs and debuffs are getting more and more accurate throughout the seasons (some would even say they’re giving too much chewed information), pro players are still making mistakes, misreading and sometimes getting caught.
Or, since not everyone plays LoL, take Hearthstone or Starcraft.

My point is you can’t create correct tactics or strategies if your indicators are blurry at best, and only good enough when you’re too close to the lion’s maw for either your initial strategy to be viable, or most probably, utterly wrong.

And probably the most important: ergonomics and indicators that are confusing on purpose means the game is very much oriented “hardcore” gamers rather than casuals.
Given that the devs want for someone to hop in, have a 30 minute game then hop out, is it really necessary to add this kind of blur?

Creating amazing mechanics for the advanced players? No problem. Let the skilled players fully use the map / indicators / sensor informations to their full potential. They will most certainly do great. The casuals won’t anyway make half good use of even the third of the provided information.

1 Like
#29

The most important aspect to me is to not clutter the screen with Icons.
I do like JB’s suggestion for a visual cue.

Perhaps an “Aura” type system would be viable, where only the silhouette is illuminated, if that’s technically feasible. It should fade out after a certain distance, and can be colored depending on IFF.

For things further than that, just have it show up on a cockpit based radar. For things outside of the current viewing angle, perhaps a thin heat map. The current target, however, could retain an icon for more accurate tracking.

Unfortunately, most engagements will occur at considerable distances, so even then, the ships will be rather small. Therefore some kind of zoom system is almost necessary to reduce the feel of shooting at either icons or pixels.

1 Like
#30

You’re describing warfare as it has always been. Entering the lion’s den without scouting it is a classic tactical blunder.

Not “confusing on purpose”, but “incomplete according to some organic construct.” That means that if I want more information about you, I have to move closer. It means that if there is a bunch going on, it takes more people to sort out what’s happening. Those are organic feedback mechanisms that help to structure gameplay. They’re called “organic” because they match the way the world works.

It’s a multiplayer game. With 100 people per side. They’ll tag along with any group that’s doing something and join in. They don’t have to know anything about sensors or planning or tactics. They just join in and shoot stuff.

Note that there’s no need for any incomplete information about friendlies. They happily supply their location and status to everyone in their squad, wing, formation, group, side, whatever. That will give a novice an immediate indication of what’s going on for their side.

1 Like
#31

Ok, I probably misunderstood your previous posts.
I’m fine with moving closer to have a proper scan: I guess we’re only arguing about how far is “far” or how close is “close” then :slightly_smiling:

If a ship is yet unidentified, I want a proper marker telling me he hasn’t been identified yet. Could be the ship being highlighted in yellow or tagged with a interrogation mark. I think you’re just against any kind of icon while I’m ok with them as long as they’re not extremly intrusive.

I guess we’ve been telling the same thing but with different point of views and slightly different opinions on some parameters :smiley:

Well, to stay on topic, why not keep icons only for important POI that are few and far between and should only serve as reference points? Like planets, bases and perhaps capital ships.
Having 20+ icons of small ships in a same area could be distracting and not interesting, true.

1 Like
#32

Icons are okay in special cases. They are a command and control tool. I can see capitals tagging other capitals with icons. That tagging process consumes sensor resources because the ship’s sensors now have to track each tagged object. A typical small ship might be able to tag one object, at the cost of other sensor capabilities.

A small ship pilot should generally just see dots. Bright dots. That’s his sensors telling him that there’s something there. If the player sits still and the other ship sits still, then each will look like a star to the other. If either moves, then they’ll have parallax clues to realize that they’re ships. All those dots primarily serve as points of reference. It is the command ships that should be providing the intelligence.

It may be that the command ships can tag targets and the small ships can see them. As icons, if they want. So the command ships augment the capabilities of the smaller ships. Lose your command ship and you lose those advanced sensor capabilities. Among other things.

The small ship pilots can also play with various enlargement and enhancement tools on their ships to try to get a better understanding of what’s going on around them, but those are geared for sorting out the combat environment immediately around them.

I’m trying to encourage the idea that the guys in the small ships are flying by the seat of their pants. They’re the Spitfires and Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain, relying on instructions from the radar operators. They see the game world as it is, without all the HUD clutter, while the guys operating the capitals live in a world of data collection, processing and dissemination. The command and control centers.

Making every little ship its own command and control center makes sense in games where team sizes are less than a dozen or so. But when you’re talking about 100 ships per team, specialization helps to ensure that the team members depend on each other, and it allows different roles in the game to experience something very different from one another. It is a tremendous opportunity for interesting gameplay.

4 Likes
#33

I wasn’t really understanding how your vision was panning out, but I actually enjoy the thought that capital ships might be able to serve as a true C&C. Carriers, in particular, tend to be a bit dull as they don’t usually have much in the way of weaponry, and giving them the greatest C&C abilities not only gives it a unique role to play but also makes sense.

1 Like
#34

Agreed, there needs to be a way to promote communication and teamwork. If it’s not rewarded enough, we would just see people striking out by themselves in uncoordinated attacks far too often, kind of what happens in games like War thunder where the only incentive for teamwork is just to capture some points, without anything else. This leads to campers who don’t contribute to the team victory at all, since it’s not rewarded. By giving certain ships more information, and others less, it does really encourage teamwork with strangers.

2 Likes
#35

Something like zerging a game as opposed to to having to think and plan.

1 Like
#36

Here’s a video clip just posted by @SpaceJay from the prototype

https://vimeo.com/160472189

For those having diffculty imagining gameplay without the icons, well here’s the visual I want. No icons, no numbers, no clutter, just glowy dots. In an atmosphere, glowy dots with contrails.

Note that the glowy dots here are a result of sunlight reflecting off the ships. In the game, they would be as a result of the ship’s sensors. Either they’re actively painting the ships or the ships are emitting so much energy (e.g. from their power plant or engines) that they stand out on passive sensors. The more energy they’re emitting, the brighter the dot.

From there, grudgingly, gradually and subtly, add clutter to the screen as needed by the players.

Edit: The glowie bit appears to be the engine flame/exhaust.

7 Likes
#37

I’m also a fan of minimal HUD. I find it actually helps my combat if I can see the other ship and not have it surrounded by distractions. If a way of pointing out your target is needed, why not have a thin, glowing line from the edge of the HUD that points to and follows the ship without touching or obscuring it? Emphasis on thin and not too intrusive. Other ships can indeed be glowing dots of different colours.

2 Likes
#38

I remember that shot because I also almost hit the mountain. lol. And it was well worth it! Really great footage.

2 Likes
#39

Thanks Zen, I’ll be editing all day tomorrow/today (it’s 00.35 now, where I am), so I’ll have some more great shots for you guys, by Sunday evening UTC.:wink:

3 Likes
#40

video is broken… can re-upload it on youtube instead? i’d like to see it