Help with turn-based UI, please?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by techbear, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. techbear

    Original Member

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    A couple months ago (on the dexterity forums), I posted about possibly starting work on a turn-based, cell-based game. Well, I'm well into building the engine, and it's going great. But, I could use some conceptual help.

    Given all the things a unit can theoretically do (move, attack, capture, dig-in, re-supply, heal, cast spell, etc), what's the best general purpose mouse-based UI?

    Right now, I left-click a friendly unit to select it, left-click an enemy to attack it with the selected unit, and left-click an empty square to move the selected unit to the square. I right-click-and-hold to bring up an options menu that includes end-of-turn. Simply moving the mouse across the screen shows info on whatever the mouse is currently over.

    More complex unit actions require that my selected unit and target(s) be both friendly (heal, for instance), or targeting multiple squares (Fireball spell, for instance).

    So, should I click-select a subject, click-select an object, and menu-choose a verb? Or is there a better, smoother way?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. LiquidAsh

    Indie Author

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    I didn't catch the thread from the Dexterity forums, but what about this:

    right mouse: selects/toggles sources
    left mouse: selects/toggles targets

    Then you have a hud with buttons for every actions. I think it would be best to then enable/disable those buttons graphically as allowed by the selected sources and targets. If there are really too many actions to fit into an minimally obtrusive hud, I guess you could have a double click or an action button bring up the available actions once all of the sources and targets have been selected. The advantage of the hud, is that the player can see all of their possible actions up front, and play with what source and target selections are allowed and required for each. This gives quicker feedback, and a more playfully way of learning their capablilities (for example, it might not be obvious that a fire spell can be cast over several selected target locations). The hud also limits your incentive for eliminating uncommon action-selections like healing enemy units.

    Now quite 2c, but hopefully still somewhat helpful.
    LiquidAsh.
     
  3. grimreaper

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    How about click selecting an object, bringing up a menu, and depending on the verb chosen highlighting the cells/units on which that action can be taken. So choosing healing will highlight all the friendly, damadged units.

    grimreaper
     
  4. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I would use left click to select, right click to attack or move and then put all of your options into smaller conceptual groups like spells/actions. And then put some big buttons somewhere. One for the group spells another for the group actions that break down into trees of other options somehow. Like you could click spells and then the button turns into 5 smaller buttons and then you click fire spell. The rest is contextual. If you select heal then you select one other friendly character. I'd probably have some context help in a bar of text somewhere on the screen as well. So when You select heal it actually says somewhere on the screen "select unit to heal"
     
  5. Jack Norton

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    if you use right mouse button forget about porting it to Mac world... ;)
     
  6. stan

    Original Member Indie Author

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    Mac users can still buy a real mouse ;) or use ctrl-clic (or so I'm told by a Mac user).
     
  7. Sunshine

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    I would recommend making it EXACTLY like WarCraft III.

    There were alot of diffrent commands and actions that could be done and much of it was done only by clicking.

    Also that interface was very good in part one, and just got better with each game.

    Why re-invent the wheel, ea?

    If you what to see a really cool interface based off somthing like this, try the game 'Silver'. When you click, 8 circles of options come out from the mouse, then when you chose one, 8 circles come out of that circle with sub options. The interface is really cool. :cool:
     
  8. Bluecat

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    Sounds a bit like the scheme used by Neverwinter Nights.
     
  9. GBGames

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    And Secret of Evermore for the SNES. It has been awhile, but I remember liking the interface. It looks different and so may be perceived as "better" by potential customers.
     
  10. Nauris

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    I think hiding End of Turn button in submenu is a bad idea. It could very well be the only ever-present button onscreen, but it should be there, methinks.
    Actually, turn-based game with only one button - End of Turn sounds kind of conceptual :)
     
  11. Diodor Bitan

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    I can't find the silver game on google - is there a link?
     
  12. techbear

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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    I was enamored of the idea of a "clean" UI, that is, a screen with no buttons on it until you clicked somewhere. However, the utility and intuitiveness of a bottom button bar has won me over. Plus, I can use just the left button with such an interface, which helps for porting.

    Thanks again!
     
  13. Sid Egg

    Sid Egg Guest

    Left Click Selects Units

    Right click pops up a circular menu, if you right click on a unit, you get attack etc, if you right click in the middle of no where you with no unit selected you get save, load, exit etc...

    Very clean, very simple./
     

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