A couple of quick game interface/input ideas.

HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
edited February 2011 in Ideas and Suggestions
1. Armoury, or Evolve buy menu:
QUOTE (Harimau @ Jan 24 2011, 05:28 PM) »
Pressing USE again, or pressing Mouse2 should close the buy screen, imo.
Makes sense. E to open, E to close. Left-click to interact, right-click to exit. One for the keyboard and one for the mouse.

QUOTE (Harimau @ Jan 25 2011, 12:15 PM) »
I'm a fan of having many ways to close the menu.
After buying. Pressing USE again. Right-clicking anywhere. Left-clicking an exit/cancel button on the menu. Pressing ESC. Walking away.
There's no reason not to have many options in this case. It's not as if it dilutes the game experience. It just makes it easier for people who prefer one way over another.



2. Egg-spawning & cycling:
QUOTE (Harimau @ Jan 24 2011, 05:39 PM) »
I would like to be able to cycle between eggs, using, say, mouse2.
So, Left-click to spawn in the current egg, or right-click to cycle to the next egg.

QUOTE (twiliteblue @ Jan 24 2011, 07:20 PM) »
Re: Egg-spawning & cycling:
In addiction to egg cycling, I think aliens need the ability to select the hive to respawn at. Hopping from egg to egg can be slow, and disorientating for new players (who do not know the maps well).

QUOTE (Harimau @ Jan 26 2011, 02:52 AM) »
[...] Marines should also gain vision of the IP a couple seconds before spawn. Same for aliens and their eggs - they should have vision through their eggs before they spawn.




Also (others' related ideas):

3. Cycle between player units:
QUOTE (Rulgrok @ Jan 22 2011, 11:36 PM) »
Maybe add a button that cycles through the available selectable players as commander this way instead of trying to hunt around the map and then click/drag box to highlight a player to give them orders you can just tap the button and toggle through the selection (moving the commander view as it does)

Honestly I am just always interested in adding keyboard functionality that can replace having to use the mouse as I usually find it quicker.

There could be a small button on the GUI, and also the possibility of just pressing, for example, Shift (or whatever your sprint key is) to switch to the next marine.


4. One key shortcut to drop ammo/meds at cursor
QUOTE (Plasma @ Jan 26 2011, 12:47 PM) »
In order to drop meds and ammo packs you need to click on Assist -> Ammo/Meds button or press a few shortcut keys.

I'd like to be able to instead just press a single key like H, or perhaps CTRL+something, that immediately drops meds (or ammo depending on the key pressed) at the mouse cursor, WITHOUT changing what I have selected at the moment, and without needing to click the mouse.

This means I can easily drop support for team mates as a commander in one key press without having to select meds/ammo first and then mouse click.



5. Marine requesting orders/assistance, "Hero Portraits":
QUOTE (Rebel @ Jan 24 2011, 03:08 AM) »
If players are requesting orders as like NS1, have a idle player icon in the commander hud that they can click on but instead of moving screen focus it just selects the closest idle player to where the commander is currently looking / working, allowing most efficient use of commander time / preventing soldiers running miles when someone else is closer. (then selecting the NEXT idle until etc until all units have been given orders)

QUOTE (Harimau @ Jan 24 2011, 06:16 PM) »
Yeah, it should be like other RTS games with heroes, you click the portrait on the side once, you select the unit only; but if you click it again (or double-click) it will centre your view on the unit.

To add to this, you could have a very small icon on the left side of the screen for each player, coloured based on their squad (the most icons you should ever have would be about 15 in a full 16v16 game).

If a marine requests orders/assistance, you'd firstly outline/highlight the icon;
if it's an order requested, overlay a "?" icon on top of their "portrait";
if it's assistance requested, overlay a "!" icon on top of their icon.
Dead players would either have an overlayed slash "/" through their icon, or a classic skull and cross-bones overlayed.
An extra highlight/outline for the currently selected player.

Hovering over player portrait icons with the cursor would display their name to the immediate right of the icon.

Quick 'n Dirty MSPaint mockup:
image

It occurs to me that "!" and "?" request symbols should also show up on the commander minimap.
Post edited by Unknown User on
Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
«1

Comments

  • twilitebluetwiliteblue bug stalker Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13116Posts: 1,804Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
    Re: Egg-spawning & cycling:
    In addiction to egg cycling, I think aliens need the ability to select the hive to respawn at. Hopping from egg to egg can be slow, and disorientating for new players (who do not know the maps well).
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    That's a good point. Marines should also have the ability to choose which IP to spawn at.
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • RuntehRunteh Join Date: 2010-06-26 Member: 72163Posts: 1,883Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited January 2011
    I never liked the idea of cycling through players, just being able to see them at all times and get to them straight away without fuss. But if that creates clutter then cycling is fine.

    As for the buy menu, I think someone mentioned CS in another thread. In that after purchasing the menu shuts - perfect in my opinion.

    Also choosing which IP to spawn at is a valid point.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • ScardyBobScardyBob ScardyBob Join Date: 2009-11-25 Member: 69528Posts: 4,983Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow mod
    +1 to all

    The only think I'd add is to have the cycling start with the first person who made a request.
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    edited January 2011
    QUOTE (Runteh @ Jan 24 2011, 10:01 PM) »
    As for the buy menu, I think someone mentioned CS in another thread. In that after purchasing the menu shuts - perfect in my opinion.

    I'm a fan of having many ways to close the menu.
    After buying. Pressing USE again. Right-clicking anywhere. Left-clicking an exit/cancel button on the menu. Pressing ESC. Walking away.
    There's no reason not to have many options in this case. It's not as if it dilutes the game experience. It just makes it easier for people who prefer one way over another.

    @ScardyBob: Good point.
    Cycling through players with a keyboard button (or "Next Marine" GUI button) is just a very quick way to switch your view and respond to a request immediately, or very quickly have a look at what each marine is doing, just by "Shifting" through. Personally I would use Tab as the default 'cycle through player' key, but that's already taken by the scoreboard, so Shift is a good alternate default key.
    Then again, the (default) space bar (or "jump") could be for the purpose of cycling through requests.

    So basically, Space to cycle through requests, Shift to cycle through marines (independent of requests?).
    Or, space to jump to the latest request (as it is in NS I believe). Shift to jump to the earliest request, AND cycle through all alive marines (the order prioritising earlier requests first, then later requests, then non-requesting marines - but it will cycle through all).

    Otherwise, with my 'hero portrait' idea, you'd be able to achieve all the same things, but have much more control.
    To sorta add (kinda common sense) to that idea, the most recent request would override any previous requests (and death would of course override any requests; and a new life would override death). Just something to consider when coding it. So if someone requests an ammo drop after they previously requested orders, it'll get rid of the "?" icon and overlay the "!" icon instead. I'm not sure what the conditions for clearing a request are, though (other than death). Ignoring? Fulfilling? A certain time limit (would probably work best)?

    My very crappy MSPaint mockup:
    (Borrowed supernorn's marine icon, cheers)
    (moved mockup to OP)
    Of course, the look is wrong (due to limitations - partly because of my crappy image editing skills, partly because it's MSpaint), but it's basically the idea I'm proposing.
    Column of very small icons on the left side of the screen.
    Marines coloured by squad. Ideally it's not as 8-bit, and colours the icon, rather than the background.
    Selected marine's icon boldly outlined.
    Dead marines with jolly roger icon overlayed, and grey outline--ideally it would instead look greyed/faded out.
    Requesting marines' icons outlined in white.
    Assistance request "!" overlayed.
    Order request "?" overlayed.
    Name displayed when cursor hovers over, or selected.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • SvenpaSvenpa Wait, what? Join Date: 2004-01-03 Member: 25012Posts: 2,427Members, Constellation
    QUOTE (Harimau @ Jan 24 2011, 01:42 PM) »
    That's a good point. Marines should also have the ability to choose which IP to spawn at.


    This could possibly crowd up a IP more than the other, wasting valuable time. It can only shurn out a new player every 10 seconds if the timer is same as NS1.

    Yes on all other notes.
    A doctor in the Medical Wing with one blank eye beat me to death with a rake, shouting “It’s just... a standard... procedure!,” then made a verbal note of my time of death.
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    edited January 2011
    I guess you're right; maybe just allow players to choose which CC to spawn at. (So it would be much the same as aliens choosing which hive to spawn at.)

    Added plasma's ammo/medpack idea to the OP, 'cause it's good and relevant.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • CerebralCerebral Join Date: 2003-06-25 Member: 17689Posts: 322Members
    It would be nice on the commander view if you could toggle on/off the location names with a button press rather than having to press M to pull up the marine mini-map overlay.
    #terror
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    edited February 2011
    It occurs to me that "!" and "?" request symbols should also show up on the commander minimap (from the "Hero Portrait" idea).

    Also, seeing as I've run out of quote boxes in the OP...

    6. Pressing USE on a locked door should open it, or get commander to
    QUOTE (Plasma @ Jan 27 2011, 08:16 AM) »
    Sometimes as a player I want to get through locked doors.

    1) I wonder if the player can open the door themselves by pressing USE instead of bothering the commander?

    2) If not to #1, perhaps USE on the door should make the commanders HUD drop a notification 'Player wants to get through locked door'

    QUOTE (Harimau @ Jan 27 2011, 11:46 AM) »
    I'd go for #2 only. Sometimes commanders lock doors to force their marines to go certain places, right? It can show up as a request, along with medpack and ammo requests.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • 1mannARMEE1mannARMEE Join Date: 2008-09-23 Member: 65064Posts: 290Members
    very good ideas +1
    'I object to all this sex on the television. I mean, I keep falling off. '
    ~Monty Python's Flying Circus

    'Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.'
    ~Terry Pratchett
  • NinjaWithSpoonsNinjaWithSpoons Join Date: 2011-01-27 Member: 79170Posts: 5Members
    edited January 2011
    I like all of your ideas

    I would like to add that the main menu interface could use some work. I don't like having to click the back button to to navigate through the join/create/options menus. Why not let ESC do that as well. Or even have tabs at the top to go between them

    If you are in game and press ESC, the menu opens. To exit the menu you have to click resume. You should be able to press ESC again to close.

    Also in the join game window, there is what looks like a button that says "play" up at the top left near the other buttons, however that is not the play button. A similar button is on all of the menus and acts as essentially a tab to show what you are looking at. However, the "play" tab is incorrect since you are actually on the "join" menu and its placement and appearance make it seem like a button.

    Also, it would be nice if you could just double click a game to join rather than mousing to the button at the bottom of the screen
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    edited February 2011
    I agree with everything you've said there Ninja.

    Oh, one other thing I've noticed, is that you can't disconnect from a server without exiting the game (or switching to another server). There is no disconnect option. What is up with that? Or have they fixed that already? I have yet to play Build 162.

    Plasma is a fountain of good interface ideas...
    7. Standardise shortcut keys for both teams
    QUOTE (Plasma @ Jan 27 2011, 07:27 PM) »
    The recent bld162 change to have commander hotkeys in the same order as they appear on the HUD is good, however, the hotkeys for marines are different to aliens.

    I cant press Q->E for extractors in both teams, its a different key sequence depending on the team.

    Can it be standardized please so that the same rows of keys are used?

    QUOTE (Harimau @ Jan 28 2011, 05:50 PM) »
    I'm for standardising it so that each button press/string has the same function on both teams, for those functions that are common to both teams. Like extractors, and builders, in terms of buildables.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • xVisionsxVisions Join Date: 2009-07-03 Member: 68021Posts: 189Members
    edited January 2011
    I like the spawning idea.... like if your a marine maybe 5 seconds before you spawn your camera moves to perspective over the IP where you will soon spawn.. have some crazy overscreen light effects and then bam your alive!... More like a polished feature later.. but be cool.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Aliens, you make me sick.
  • PlasmaPlasma Join Date: 2003-04-26 Member: 15855Posts: 605Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    Agreed xVisions; its just so you're not disoriented when you first spawn. Alien's get to pick when they hatch so they don't get disoriented while spawning, an effect that sees you about to spawn would definitely help for marines.
  • PricePrice Join Date: 2003-09-27 Member: 21247Posts: 1,281Members
    add:
    Icons over the head of units/player, for aliens and for marines, because its hard to know as aliens what the marine want or which marine say that.
    Buy NS2 @ Steam![Support the Indie Devs!]
    ( my english isn't the best... )

    ,,NS1 was one of the best mods."
    ,,NS2 is one of the best MP games."

    A NS2 classic mod, will it be a remake?
    New NS2 Maps: Biodome, Ignore: BVKnight, Metal Man
    EVERYONE is a Winner, because you won the race against 400–800 other Sperms :P
  • RobBRobB TUBES OF THE INTERWEB Join Date: 2003-08-11 Member: 19423Posts: 3,660Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow
    which is the point of different races. just listen to them. have no directional sound system? oops, something for christmas maybe?
    image
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    I do not understand the above two posts.
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • RobBRobB TUBES OF THE INTERWEB Join Date: 2003-08-11 Member: 19423Posts: 3,660Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow
    he wants to have a visual representation of marine requests as alien. I say that's stupid.
    image
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    edited February 2011
    I see... I agree with you there RobB. Aliens should not have that information.

    A couple more ideas:

    8. Line Drawn to Waypoint:
    QUOTE (l3lessed @ Feb 6 2011, 11:58 AM) »
    So this is a very simple idea. I remember in NS1, when I first started playing, getting lost numerous times trying to get to a way point. It wasn't until I got a good grasp on all the maps and different areas this didn't happen, and by that time the commander didn't even use way points. He would just shout out a room to get too and hope the majority of the marines knew where to go.

    I think a small edition in NS2 that would make a big impact for players is having a thin slightly illuminated blue trace line go from your current position all way to the next way point. Of course it would just use AI path finding to draw the shortest route. This way you didn't get lost in all the turns and so on trying to get to it.

    Of course you would put in a shortcut key to turn it on and off so the more experienced players could turn it on and off according to if they needed the help or not.

    Has been suggested numerous times before, but it's a good idea. Considering there's AI pathfinding already in the game, it could just use the same system, but have a visual representation: draw it on-screen.
    A twist on this, which has also been suggested numerous times before, is for teh commander to be able to draw an actual line on the minimap, a la Alien Swarm. But I think it'd be used even less than waypoints.


    9. Mini-map ping:
    For the commander.
    A la any RTS you can think of. Instantly communicates the importance of something.
    e.g. Alt+Click - on the overhead view OR the minimap.
    Independent of waypoints, does not require selecting units - instead displays to every unit on the team, just leaves a highlighted marker on the map (which is relatively temporary, maybe 30 seconds; or could be permanent but replaced with the next ping); this would display like a waypoint - so on the minimap AND the world; this is also accompanied with a "ping" sound and some visual effect (in most RTSs it's an expanding circle "wave" or waves).
    For the lazy commander who wants to tell his whole team to go a certain place, or pull their attention towards a certain point; for those commanders who don't even use waypoints, this is their tool of choice.
    As an extension of this, perhaps an option for field players to bring up their minimap and do the same? e.g. when the minimap is open, hold Alt, provides a cursor and locks the view, click on the minimap to ping. Or alternatively just press a key (e.g. Alt) and place a ping at their current location. Must be more temporary and less showy than the commander's ping.
    Of course, pings must be limited over time, to prevent massive ping spam which gets annoying.

    moved to next page
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    edited February 2011
    Now numbered!!
    Moving into the double digits... clearly more than "A couple".

    10. Player/Environment info summary (for ground troops):
    QUOTE (Rigor @ Feb 7 2011, 03:55 AM) »
    I'd like to see some info about your team members displayed in the HUD, or to reduce clutter, make it a popup like the scoreboard. Some things could even be added to the scoreboard itself.

    For instance, if I am in a squad, I should have a way to view my squad mate's names AND their load-out. This way, if I die and hit the armory to get back into the fight, I could make an intelligent decision on which weapon to bring. For instance, if I'm in a squad of four and someone already has a flamethrower, there is no reason for me to bring another.

    Building on the Marine squad point, once an observatory is up, I should be able to locate my specific squad members on the map.

    In the case of an alien, I would like to be able to view the alien life-form type of all my team members. This way, if I am fresh hatched from an egg, I can make an intelligent decision on what to evolve to for support or muscle.

    I'd also like to have a quick indicator of what research levels are complete, how many tech points are owned, etc.

    Nobody wants a lot of clutter on the HUD, I understand. So these things could either be toggled on and off OR just placed in another pop-up like the scoreboard, available at a quick glance.

    QUOTE (Harimau @ Feb 7 2011, 01:27 PM) »
    Great idea. I also think it's significant that players have access to the number of CC's, IP's, and RT's in the team's possession; as well as what Tier the team is at; this helps the ordinary field player gauge just how well their team is currently doing.

    All of this, including your suggestions, could be somewhere on the HUD which I would find preferable; but could just be on the scoreboard (that you access when pressing TAB).

    Possibly, in addition to this, a button to bring up the tech tree, to see what has already been researched.

    Edit: This is what happens when you skimread and rush into a reply... Apparently you already covered all these things. I came up with much of the same ideas in a thread about a month ago:
    QUOTE (Harimau @ Dec 27 2010, 01:15 PM) »
    I think ground troops should be able to see more information as to how the game is going, like pressing a button to bring up / view the current tech tree.

    QUOTE (Harimau @ Dec 13 2010, 02:54 PM) »
    Shouldn't there be some kind of "summary" implemented, for all the field players, so they know how the game is flowing?
    Number of res nodes capped, number of IPs, command station health.
    What I visualise though, is an icon (representing the IPs) and a number next to it, or superimposed on top of it (the number of IPs built and running). Same for res nodes, but maybe include the total number of res nodes on the map as well (e.g. "6/14"). And command station(s) health bar(s), and whether or not it is (they are) occupied. Any other relevant info, perhaps armouries. Technology tier number. This set of icons would be in the corner somewhere, maybe grouped with the resource values, unintrusive but available, so that everyone on the team knows how the game is going for their team. It sounds like a lot of information, but with the right visual approach, it can be very very simple and straight to the point.




    11. Commanding players - more depth:
    QUOTE (Harimau @ Feb 8 2011, 03:17 PM) »
    Commanders should have more tools with greater versatility, variety and detail to order their units, though. They should also be much easier to execute than going through the interface and selecting a specific order, and commands should utilise as much of the left half of the keyboard, and the two buttons on the mouse, as possible. Actions should be as context-sensitive as possible, and as instantaneous as possible.

    For example,
    rather than:
    Case A
    1. Select the Assist Tab using the hotkey
    2. Select the Medpack/Ammo using the hotkey
    3. Click to Drop at your cursor
    4... Repeat steps 2 and 3
    Instead, drop the 3rd step, so:
    Case B
    1. Select the Assist Tab using the hotkey
    2. Drop the MedPack/Ammo at your cursor using the hotkey
    3... Repeat step 2
    Of course, when selecting the Medpack/Ammo through the interface with your mouse, Case A must be used, but there's no reason not to also have Case B; hotkeys should be encouraged, with a little Q,W,E,R in the top right corner of an interface button, for example - so Case B would in fact be used by default, and Case A is simply optional.

    The same thing can be done with the Orders Tab, eliminate the Click - the "confirm". Of course, buildings require the confirmation, so you should leave the Build Tab as is.

    You could have multiple order 'types' in the middle row. These order types should be as context-sensitive as possible.
    In addition to Orders (for squads, individuals), add the capability for team-wide Markers (much like what the aliens have*); this can be in the same Orders tab, in the lowest row. Commanders could right-click a marker to quickly remove it.

    In addition, utilise the Alt, Ctrl, Shift, and Spacebar as much as possible.

    Alt+Click could do a temporary^ ping (a la any modern RTS) - this would be used most effectively with voice communication. The commander could say over the mic "take out that skulk" and ping the location on the map - the marines would instantly know what he's talking about and where it is.
    ^One way I envision the duration is: for example, a single ping lasts 10~15 seconds, and pings can stack on the map, but successive pings will decrease the duration of any previous pings. There should also be a minimum between-ping interval of say, 1 or 2 seconds, to prevent spammability.

    For that matter, field marines could also do minimap pings. For example, they bring up the minimap with M (which is a toggle), holding ALT will display a cursor and lock the player's view, releasing ALT will remove the cursor and release the player's view, clicking on the minimap while there is a cursor will result in a minimap ping.

    And I think the first thing a player needs to be told upon spawning is "Listen to your commander." I think that many people play with the absence of the understanding that the commander is a guiding and directing force, and not just a researching monkey. Just that one phrase will tell people that "this is how the game is meant to be played".

    * Before someone comes in with "there should be more asymmetry", differing the GUI visuals for each species is fine, but differing the GUI functionality for each species is stupid. People need and want these tools, and the asymmetry is not worth the cost of leaving each species deficient in functionality. Giving people a common, versatile set of tools will only make them play better; and it's not as if there isn't enough asymmetry already - just by the way that each unit on the alien team functions, the teams will of course play and function differently, but you don't have to sacrifice functionality for it.
    As a corollary, for those actions common to both species, you should be able to achieve them with the same keypresses or actions on either side. For example, placing a resource extractor/harvester should use the same Build Tab in the same grid slot, as well as the same building grid slot for the extractor/harvester itself - on both teams.
    To back this idea up, is there any high-quality RTS you've ever played that has completely different GUI functionality for each race? I didn't think so.

    Plasma in the I&S forums also came up with the excellent idea of having commanders able to issue general objectives at game-start - i.e. pre-plan their attack strategy. I'll edit in the link.
    Link: "Task/Objective system for commander orders, Dramatically improving team play and organisation for a team"

    QUOTE (Harimau @ Feb 9 2011, 10:56 AM) »
    One way you could combine the two, waypoints and markers, (but the point is not to remove either and leave them as options) is for the commander to place the markers which will be team-wide (but not considered orders); then select a marine and right-click* that marker, and it will be re-interpreted as a waypoint, an order. So to secure a room, a commander will place markers, and then if he chooses to, select individual marines to fulfil those roles, if one doesn't listen, it's a simple affair of selecting another marine and giving him the order instead, but marines may very well take the initiative and fulfil the role with just the marker and not a waypoint.
    *I just realised there would be a clash between this suggestion, and my 'remove markers by rightclicking' suggestion, so one or the other may have to change.

    Another way you could modify markers, is to ping an already-placed marker, and it will send a global message to your teammates that they need to get 'here' and do 'this'.

    There definitely needs to be a (visual, etc.) distinction between a marker (objective), waypoint (order) and ping (alertion).
    Waypoints could show up as text on the HUD in one colour, and markers in another - both would display in the 'game world' and on the minimap; pings would only display in the 'game world' and on the minimap, but they would be much more obvious than markers or waypoints (give it that sort of radar animation that RTSs have), however there would be nothing on the HUD for it.

    One concern that this whole commander thread has brought up for me; is the problem of multiple commanders. I think multiple commanders was toted as a way for players to learn commanding in a less intensive environment - but I see two reasons not to have this:
    1. It causes confusion in the chain of command and the team strategy
    2. If you make commanding generally more intuitive (by incorporating all of these suggestions, as well as making things more obvious for new players) you won't really need a secondary commander.
    I don't personally see the benefit of multiple commanders outside of this, as it simply takes another player out of the fight. If you had a super-organised team where you have 1 commander per squad providing support (with 1 overall commander calling the shots), then that's something different, and that's where it could be used very effectively.

    Re-working the commander interface / command system is definitely going to be some (graphical and game-coding) work, but it'll be worth it.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • DeadzoneDeadzone Join Date: 2003-07-03 Member: 17911Posts: 934Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Very nice thread here, and nice mockup. Only thing I'd suggest (for easy reading), is can you see if there's a way you can edit all the suggestions into the first post or two? If not, still a good thread :P
    <--- Tastes Like Skittles IGN
    image
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    Well I've actually hit the quote box limit in that first post. It doesn't let me add any more quotes. It'd be nice if I could insert a post straight after the first post, though. I've tried to make it as readable as possible otherwise, with the labelling, bolding, underlining and numbering.
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • RigorRigor Join Date: 2011-02-05 Member: 80545Posts: 27Members
    QUOTE (Harimau @ Feb 8 2011, 10:12 AM) »
    Well I've actually hit the quote box limit in that first post. It doesn't let me add any more quotes. It'd be nice if I could insert a post straight after the first post, though. I've tried to make it as readable as possible otherwise, with the labelling, bolding, underlining and numbering.


    You may need to make a new thread and post a couple of "placeholder" threads in reply 1, reply 2, reply 3. We need a better way to do this, but your efforts are about the best in the community. Keep at it.
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    edited June 2011
    Hasn't been anything much new lately, so I've done a...

    Re-cap/Summary:


    0. Definitions:
    Ground Troop: players on the field, taking direction from the commander(s).
    Commander: commander(s) of the team, sitting in the hive(s)/CC(s).
    Mini-map: the miniature map as seen by the commander on their GUI, and the ground troops by pressing M.
    World view: commander "overhead view" and ground troops' "firstperson view": the game world.
    HUD: Heads-up display, graphical elements on top of the firstperson view.


    1. Ground Troops: Armoury menu:
    USE armoury to open, USE again to close. Left-click (buttons) to interact, right-click (anywhere) to close. Press ESC to close. Walk backward/away to close. GUI Close button to close.
    (USE meaning, press the USE key on the keyboard, default E)


    2. Ground Troops: Evolve menu:
    BUY to open, BUY again to close. Left-click (buttons) to interact, right-click (anywhere) to close. Press ESC to close. GUI Close button to close.
    (BUY meaning, press the BUY key on the keyboard, default B)


    3. Ground Troops: Alien spawning:
    Right-click to switch egg. Vision through egg before spawning, left-click to spawn - spawns with the current view direction. Possibly, select hive to spawn at on minimap.


    4. Ground Troops: Marine spawning:
    Vision at/through IP a couple seconds before spawning - spawns with the current view direction. Possibly, select CC to spawn at on minimap.


    5. Commanders: "Idle" marine button and requested orders:
    .A. "Idle" marine button to cycle through marines. Also, keyboard key.
    .B. Click the "portrait" or button to SELECT ONLY, click AGAIN to SHIFT VIEW. Or, single-click and double-click respectively. a la any RTS.


    6. Commanders: No "confirm" click for Orders and Assists (streamlining):
    When using hotkeys,
    .A. No need to "confirm" your action with a left-click for Orders (Move, Defend) and Assists (Medpack, Ammo).
    .B. Simply drop the order or assist at the cursor (current cursor position).


    7. Commanders: "hero portrait" system.
    .A. Mockup: http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/3248/ns2mockup2.jpg
    .B. If a marine requests orders/assistance, you'd firstly outline/highlight the icon;
    .C. if it's an order requested, overlay a "?" icon on top of their "portrait";
    .D. if it's assistance requested, overlay a "!" icon on top of their icon.
    .E. Dead players would either have an overlayed slash "/" through their icon, or a classic skull and cross-bones overlayed.
    .F. An extra highlight/outline for the currently selected player.
    .G. Hovering over player portrait icons with the cursor would display their name to the immediate right of the icon.


    8. Commanders: Mini-map ping:
    .A. a la any RTS you can think of. Sound, visual effect and marker, displays on mini-map and world-view for a marine.
    .B. Instantly communicates a point of interest, can be used in conjunction with voice communication, and to slightly micromanage marines on the scene.
    .C. e.g. Alt+Click on the overhead view OR the minimap.
    .D. small button next to the mini-map to manually ping
    .E. context-sensitive (explored further later)
    .F. limited over time: time between pings is limited, and a new ping will decrement the remaining duration of any previous pings; this is to prevent ping spam and 'noise'.


    9. Ground Troops: Pressing USE on a locked door as a marine should request commander to unlock it:
    Shows up as an assist request, alongside order/medpack/ammo requests.


    10. Commanders: Standardise shortcut keys for both teams:
    Standardising it so that each button press/string has the same function on both teams, for those functions that are common to both teams. Like extractors, and builders, in terms of buildables.
    .A. e.g. (made up) Q->A will ALWAYS build an extractor, on either team. Q->C will ALWAYS build a HIVE/CC, depending on the team.
    .B. any common buildings should be "earlier" in the Build tab.


    11. Ground Troops: Line drawn to waypoint:
    Use AI pathfinding, or existing waypoint system, but represent waypoint order as a line drawn on the floor rather than a series of directions.


    12. Ground Troops: Field mini-map ping.
    .A. very much the same as commander ping, except less showy.
    .B. when the minimap is open, hold Alt, this provides a cursor and locks the view, click on the minimap to ping.
    .C. possibly, when the minimap is NOT open, press Alt to place a ping at their current location.


    13. Commanders: More versatile (and common to both teams) order system:
    Three interacting types: marker (objective), waypoint (order), and ping (alertion).
    .A. each visually distinct, and functionally distinct. (Waypoints arguably not useful to alien player style; but arguably not useful to a voice-comm marine commander either.)
    .A.a. markers are objectives, seen by the whole team, of "low" priority
    .A.b. waypoints are orders, seen by the selected unit/squad, of "medium" priority
    .A.c. pings are alertions, seen by the whole team but relevant only to those within proximity, of "high" priority
    .B. in "Order' tab: Waypoints in 2nd row, Markers in 3rd row
    .C. each of variety, move, attack, defend, possibly build/repair
    .D. each will display as a list on the HUD, each type in different colours
    .E. 'remove' button, also a keyboard shortcut, to remove markers, waypoints and pings


    14. Commanders: Context Sensitive actions:
    .A. With a unit selected, right-click will ordinarily be a move action, but
    .A.a. when clicking on an enemy structure will be an attack action,
    .A.b. when clicking on an unbuilt ally structure will be a build action,
    .A.c. when clicking on a built ally structure will be a guard action,
    .A.d. when clicking on an ally unit will be a guard&follow action,
    .A.e. when clicking on a pre-existing marker (objective), will redefine that marker as a waypoint (order) for that unit,
    .A.f. using the "move" waypoint in the "order" tab will override these.
    .B. With a unit selected, using the "guard" waypoint in the "order" tab will be a guard action,
    .B.a. ordering on the ground will be a defend this area / hold this position action
    .B.b. ordering on a unit or structure will be a guard action; etc.
    .C. Pinging:
    .C.a. similar to right-click's context sensitivity - mini-map pings become specific when applied to certain objects/conditions
    .C.b. pinging on a marker will make that ping specific to the marker's action, and highlight it (it will tell the whole team that they need to 'get here and do this')
    .C.c. specific pings will display on the marine HUD, as part of the list described in 13.D.


    15. Ground Troops: Environment info summary:
    .A. Some info displayed on the HUD, and/or added to the scoreboard
    .B. Teammate info (recently implemented?): equipment, status. Best added to scoreboard.
    .B.a. List of players in your squad on the HUD, special markers/colouring for members in your squad for the world view AND mini-map.
    .C. Info as to how the team is faring: Team res, number of resource nodes capped, number of tech nodes capped, current highest Tier of CC/Hive, current upgrades/researches, personal resources.
    .C.a. If on the HUD, can be very non-descript; simply an icon, with a number overlayed on top.
    .C.b. Some of this may fit better on the scoreboard.


    16. Commanders: NPC unit pathing:
    NPC units: ARC, MAC, Drifter, etc.
    .A. When giving a waypoint to an NPC unit, show the calculated path (as a line or a series of dots) for a second or so, which would help the commander know immediately the route that will be taken.
    .B. Queued waypoints (for example, holding Shift a la any RTS), so that you can pre-micromanage (rather than live-micromanage) an NPC unit's path.


    17. Ground Troops: Weapon-select:
    .A. Lastinv (last used weapon) button, e.g. Q; switch from your current weapon to your last used weapon immediately.
    .B. Instant weapon switch when using the numbers, does not require click to confirm. (Already in?)
    .C. Current weapon's draw animation not required to complete before it allows you to switch to a new weapon. (Already in?)
    .D. Weapon scroll on mouse-scroll re-bindable or reversible.


    18. All: Location in Chat:
    .A. Location displayed first in chat. e.g. (Repair Room) Commander: Aliens in MS
    .B. Commander identified to teammates in chat (by something like a star next to his name)
    .C. Commander location of viewing displayed to team in chat.
    .D. Player locations not shown to the enemy team in chat.
    .E. Voice chat displays name of currently-speaking, and their location.


    19. All: Persistent Orders:
    .A. Orders should persist through death and respawn.
    .B. Orders should be visible to the commander upon selecting a unit (player).
    .C. Units (players) without orders enter the idle list.


    20. All: Suggested Weapon Load-outs:
    .A. The commander selecting the Armory will display all the currently unlocked weapons.
    .A.a. Left-clicking an unlocked weapon will increase the counter (quota) for that weapon by 1, towards a maximum of team player count.
    .A.b. Right-clicking an unlocked weapon will decrease the counter (quota) for that weapon by 1, towards a minimum of 0.
    .B. The player using the Armory will see a buy menu as before, however, there will also be numbers displayed:
    .B.a. Current number of this weapon equipped by the team / The quota for this weapon.
    .C. e.g. The commander could create a quota of 2 rifle+GLs, 2 shotguns, and 1 flamethrower. It could be that currently there are 2 standard rifles, 1 rifle+GL, 3 shotguns, and 1 flamethrower (equipped not merely purchased).
    .C.a. The armoury buy menu would display the following information: Rifle: 2/0; Rifle+GL: 1/2; Shotgun: 3/2; Flamethrower: 1/1
    .D. Another number can be added for players in squads, to display how many of this sort of weapon is equipped by fellow squad members.
    .E. The weapon currently equipped by the player should be highlighted in some way, for example, the currently-equipped number could be coloured red.
    .F. This information should also be available on the scoreboard.


    Re-working the commander interface / command system is definitely going to be some (graphical and game-coding) work, but it'll definitely be worth it. A versatile system that is common to both teams will make it much easier to learn to command, as well as allow you to be more effective at commanding.


    ---


    Anyone got anything else to add? I'm planning on chucking this up on getsatisfaction so it gets more exposure.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • PapayasPapayas Join Date: 2010-07-01 Member: 72219Posts: 812Members
    What about if the commander chose which Marine would spawn at what IP.

    Perhaps the commander could click on the infantry and go into a new tab. Then click on what squad that he wants to make spawn at that IP
    It would be useful if you want 1 squad to be on 1 side of the map and then 1 squad on the other.
    Sig images should be no larger than 400x75px in size.
  • KoruyoKoruyo AUT Join Date: 2009-06-06 Member: 67724Posts: 1,693Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited May 2011
    Great work!

    I hope uwe will listen to your suggestions Harimau. (and implement them 1:1)

    Only the Armory weapon loadout stuff is questionable, or i dont really understand it...
    The counter can be tricked with drop and pickup.(uwe said they ll implement this, droping + physics are already in)
    If you d lock slots until they despawn to prevent this, you are screwed. ~ 60s no weapons if a lot ppl die deep in enemy territory.
    If the weapon would despawn if more than e.g 3/3 are on the field, it kinda makes the pickup not really usefull. (Marine dies in field, respawning players camp amory to repick weapons => weapon instantly despawns in field => crappy lmg dude cant pick up imba weapon, or only with time luck)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    edited May 2011
    No, no. It's a guideline only. "Recommended weapon load-out."
    So it's like this:

    The commander will click the Armory, and it'll display the four weapons or whatever.
    He'll click on each one, to increase the counter for that weapon by 1, or right-click to decrease the counter by 1. By default, all counters will start at 0 (and cannot be decreased below this), and cap at, say, 16 (since that's likely the maximum number of players on any team).
    This is the recommended amount.
    For example, he could recommend:
    0 rifles, 4 shotguns, 2 gl's, 1 flamethrower

    The marine will use the Armory, and it'll display the four weapons or whatever.
    For every weapon, it'll show the number currently equipped by the team - as well as the recommended amount.
    So it'll display to this marine:
    4/0 rifles, 1/4 shotguns, 0/2 gl's, 1/1 flamethrower.
    This marine could then see, well, we have enough flamethrowers and rifles aren't in demand, we could do with another shotgun or a gl, so I'll decide to go with one of those. Or I could simply decide, f*** 'em, I want a flamethrower. (There are no restrictions.)

    Papayas: Interesting idea. I might prefer it if I could, myself, choose which IP to spawn at though. On the other hand, always spawning
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
  • KoruyoKoruyo AUT Join Date: 2009-06-06 Member: 67724Posts: 1,693Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Now i got it - very good idea!
  • JirikiJiriki retired ns1 player Join Date: 2003-01-04 Member: 11780Posts: 608Members, NS1 Playtester, Squad Five Silver
    There are a couple of good ideas here.
    ENSL Head Admin 2006-2012
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Posts: 3,883Members
    QUOTE (Harimau @ May 11 2011, 11:41 PM) »
    Papayas: Interesting idea. I might prefer it if I could, myself, choose which IP to spawn at though. On the other hand, always spawning

    I don't know what happened here, I must have gotten distracted. I think what I was going to say was: On the other hand, always spawning with my squad (where the commander would dictate where my squad spawned) would be very beneficial.
    Suggestions: ! @ # $ %
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.