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Author Topic: Revisiting the Intel UI  (Read 10859 times)

Alex

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Revisiting the Intel UI
« on: May 07, 2018, 10:01:20 AM »

Blog post here.
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Sarissofoi

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 10:12:25 AM »

Hello there.  :D
I was just thinking how nice it would be to read some blog before getting some sleep.
Yay.
Lucky me.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 10:16:19 AM by Sarissofoi »
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Robbie Vulcan

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 10:35:52 AM »

All good stuff. Will the brief sensor ping on the map (especially the in-system one) for certain quest locations be more easy to use in this new intel screen? Previously, it was a pain to use the ping, and I don't even remember the exact process of how it's done; it was never clear when you could use the intel screen for that to begin with.

I disagree with the circular icons on the basis that they are completely out of order with the TriPad style (rectangle with clipped corners). I find the stylistic dissonance much more irritating than the icons "not lining up to a grid," which has never even crossed my mind in my time playing. They also appear to be "suffocating" the icons, which have all been designed for use with the square shape, as seen on the left of the screen. They feel messier in the new setup, and much cleaner before, as I see it.

Good luck with further progress.

P.S. Add orbital bombardment (even if it's just a text event) and I will love you forever.
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Alex

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 10:53:17 AM »

Hello there.  :D
I was just thinking how nice it would be to read some blog before getting some sleep.
Yay.
Lucky me.

Well, that worked out :)

All good stuff. Will the brief sensor ping on the map (especially the in-system one) for certain quest locations be more easy to use in this new intel screen? Previously, it was a pain to use the ping, and I don't even remember the exact process of how it's done; it was never clear when you could use the intel screen for that to begin with.

Yeah, it should be smoother. You just select the item in the list and press "S" (or the show-on-map button), and it opens the map on the target location, along with a ping there. As there's an actual button, it should also be more clear that you *can* do this, as you say.

Also, when you just select the item on the list, it centers the intel screen map on it and pings. That's good enough for most cases; you don't need to switch screens or tabs and you can see where the item is located. It's only when you want to see the in-system location that you really want to switch to the map using "S".

I disagree with the circular icons on the basis that they are completely out of order with the TriPad style (rectangle with clipped corners). I find the stylistic dissonance much more irritating than the icons "not lining up to a grid," which has never even crossed my mind in my time playing. They also appear to be "suffocating" the icons, which have all been designed for use with the square shape, as seen on the left of the screen. They feel messier in the new setup, and much cleaner before, as I see it.

Fair enough; we'll just have to disagree :) There's definitely an element of personal preference here.

Good luck with further progress.

Thank you! Welcome to the forum, btw :)

P.S. Add orbital bombardment (even if it's just a text event) and I will love you forever.

That may possibly have several TODO items related to it. Or it may not. No promises, though, but naturally this is something that'd be at least considered.
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Robbie Vulcan

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 11:21:16 AM »

Quote
You just select the item in the list and press "S"

Ah, I missed that. Good to hear.

Quote
Quote
Quote from: Robbie Vulcan on Today at 10:35:52 AM
P.S. Add orbital bombardment (even if it's just a text event) and I will love you forever.

That may possibly have several TODO items related to it.

Hooray! It's always been one of my favorite sci-fi mechanics, up there with spinally-mounted railguns. I don't think anybody would ask for Stellaris-tier genocide mechanics, but dropping some reapers or a stellar shade (like the Luddics did with that one planet; you know the one) on the enemy would give a sweet, sweet feeling of late-game power, revenge, and also roleplaying goodness.



Quote
Or it may not. No promises, though

Why must you tease me so?
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Wyvern

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 11:22:40 AM »

The first thing that hits me, reading this, is how the tags work.  Yes, it's a definite improvement over the current UI... but when bounty hunting (for an example of one plausible activity), here's what I actually want out of the intel screen:
Show me a map, with fuel range indicators.
On that map, show the location of every bounty that will reward credits (i.e. not just Hegemony-tagged, but all non-hostile factions' tags).
With the remaining duration on the bounty in -days- (not the current intel UI's useless '1 month remaining' that could mean 'you've got 30 days to get out there and have plenty of time' or could mean 'this expires tomorrow and you should just ignore it').
And the ability to click on any of those icons to get the full details of that bounty.
  (Edit: Actually, I'd also like to see bounties that won't award credits in some greyed-out form, because otherwise if you get multiple bounties in the same place you could get a real surprise when you jump in expecting to fight one pirate fleet, and instead get two - one of which won't give you a payout.)

Similarly, for your trade fleet departures, I'd want to be able to tag "all hostile factions" rather than one faction at a time.  (Assuming we can get trade fleet departure info for hostile factions?  Hm... perhaps that's a good use for the old install-a-comm-sniffer action?)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 11:25:42 AM by Wyvern »
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Robbie Vulcan

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 12:04:42 PM »


With the remaining duration on the bounty in -days- (not the current intel UI's useless '1 month remaining' that could mean 'you've got 30 days to get out there and have plenty of time' or could mean 'this expires tomorrow and you should just ignore it').

Looks like he already fixed that one.


Agree with all your intel goals.

Quote
Assuming we can get trade fleet departure info for hostile factions?  Hm... perhaps that's a good use for the old install-a-comm-sniffer action?

I wonder if comm sniffers will affect the profitability of any civilian fleets from colonies? After all, it's not like they were ever particularly helpful to the player, and Starsector just isn't a good trade game as of current (excepting early-game smuggling, which is awesome). Using the comm sniffers for pirate activity seems like a smart move, as it is exciting, and the reputation penalty isn't that bad (you clearly didn't love the faction anyway if you're attacking their fleets). Also seems like it would maintain its usefulness throughout mid-late game. If you wanted to get really fancy with it, a comm sniffer might be used to manipulate transmissions, luring part of a defense fleet away from a planet , for instance, or perhaps giving special orders to not intercept a ship that happens to have your transponder (it's Hegemony ComSec level 12 business, of course). This would make the comm sniffer a viable, while still a bit risky (eg: the faction finds out about your interference and the opposite effects take place [more security/ actively dispatch patrols to intercept you]) mechanic in both early and late-game scenarios.
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Alex

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 12:48:53 PM »

The first thing that hits me, reading this, is how the tags work.  Yes, it's a definite improvement over the current UI... but when bounty hunting (for an example of one plausible activity), here's what I actually want out of the intel screen:
Show me a map, with fuel range indicators.
On that map, show the location of every bounty that will reward credits (i.e. not just Hegemony-tagged, but all non-hostile factions' tags).
With the remaining duration on the bounty in -days- (not the current intel UI's useless '1 month remaining' that could mean 'you've got 30 days to get out there and have plenty of time' or could mean 'this expires tomorrow and you should just ignore it').
And the ability to click on any of those icons to get the full details of that bounty.
  (Edit: Actually, I'd also like to see bounties that won't award credits in some greyed-out form, because otherwise if you get multiple bounties in the same place you could get a real surprise when you jump in expecting to fight one pirate fleet, and instead get two - one of which won't give you a payout.)

Similarly, for your trade fleet departures, I'd want to be able to tag "all hostile factions" rather than one faction at a time.  (Assuming we can get trade fleet departure info for hostile factions?  Hm... perhaps that's a good use for the old install-a-comm-sniffer action?)

(Related: bounties now pay out etc regardless of faction relationship.)

But, yeah, this is a good point, and I think it can be solved nicely by adding a pair of Hostile/Not Hostile tags. So, there, did that.

For fuel, hmm. I think I can actually work that in - didn't want to put the full-fledged map filter in there, but it really doesn't have to be that. There - something like this (in fact, so much "like" this that it is this):



(Click for full-size.)

For your other points, I think the new UI has all of that covered. I mean, if it was a dedicated, specifically-for-bounties UI, it might also show the days remaining on the icon (or it might not, depending on how busy that looked), but with a few allowances for the UI being general-purpose.
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Wyvern

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2018, 02:25:02 PM »

For your other points, I think the new UI has all of that covered. I mean, if it was a dedicated, specifically-for-bounties UI, it might also show the days remaining on the icon (or it might not, depending on how busy that looked), but with a few allowances for the UI being general-purpose.
I really can't agree here - the days remaining for a bounty is information that -needs- to be visible on the map, because otherwise I have to click through every icon, see which bounty it matches up to, and then manually ignore entries that are too close to expiring.  Now, this doesn't necessarily need to be presented in text form; a way to filter events by time in addition to tag would work (especially if it combined with travel time so I could filter out "events my fleet cannot possibly get to before they expire"), as could some sort of time display built into the icon (though most of the simple ways of doing that only work if we assume all bounties have the same initial duration).

I'll admit, I'm focusing on bounties here because that's what, in the current game, is the important thing on the intel screen for my playstyle.  However, the same thing applies to any form of time-limited event.  If I'm a trader looking to take advantage of temporary shortfalls, I need to be able to figure out whether I can get there in time.  If I'm a pirate looking at intercepting a trader's convoy, I need to be able to figure out if I have enough time to intercept the fleet.  This is critical information; without it, I have to check through each map icon individually to figure out which ones represent actual opportunities and which ones are just chaff.

The only two cases (of those currently presented) where time isn't a critical factor are missions (where the timer starts ticking when you accept it and thus you won't have ones that are almost-expired cluttering up the map), and hazard beacons (which have no time-relevant data at all, though for these it'd still be nice to be able to mark systems that you know you've cleared; a sort of a 'tag as unimportant' rather than the current 'tag as important' option.)

Speaking of which - what's the sorting criterion for the event list on the left, there?  Time remaining would be a useful option for some event types.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 02:32:37 PM »

I would like to be able to see exploration missions and bounties on the same map since I often try to chain multiple different mission types in one expedition. Will selecting 'bounties' and 'exploration' show only events with both the mission and bounty tag? or will it show both missions and bounties? A good alternative might be player-placed markers on the map that persist when switching tags. Or I guess you mentioned the 'important' tag, that could be a work around maybe.
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Kyuss11

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2018, 03:04:13 PM »

I'm not sure if this has been added or already fixed when hovering over a planet on the map. I want to know my relationship of said faction in that sector. When I hover over Corvus,it will show Hedgemony but in order to see if I'm friend or foe I have to go to factions tab. It is a pain do bounce back and forth on these tab since you lose information of what your doing.
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Bribe Guntails

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2018, 03:11:39 PM »

That tag-based filter is a definite improvement over the categories used in the current Intel screen.

Can you hide certain tags which can be spoilers until the player encounters them in the world? I'm pretty sure the
Spoiler
Remnants
[close]
are a spoiler for newcomers.

Lastly, is it possible for the map to be functional while the game is unpaused, perhaps with additional time acceleration functions? If the player wants to pass time while keeping appraised of Sector happenings, that would be a way to do it.
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Gothars

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2018, 03:20:08 PM »

This is highly relevant to my interests.

No, seriously, I'm loving this. Tag based systems are so wonderful, I wish I could use tags to organize all my real-world stuff, too. And I'm sure that you made it easy to, as you put it, "visualize the spatial relationships between events" is a huge step forward for game flow.

I had my gripes with the Intel tab from the very beginning, but now I finally see me becoming a fan of the design. The only thing I can think of that's still sub-optimal is the separate map. It could probably be rolled completely into the intel UI. Oh, well.
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Gothars

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2018, 04:14:23 PM »

I would like to be able to see exploration missions and bounties on the same map since I often try to chain multiple different mission types in one expedition. Will selecting 'bounties' and 'exploration' show only events with both the mission and bounty tag? or will it show both missions and bounties? A good alternative might be player-placed markers on the map that persist when switching tags. Or I guess you mentioned the 'important' tag, that could be a work around maybe.

Ideally, I think, it would show all, but items whetr both tags apply are on the top of the list.

And I agree that custom markers would be nice.


some sort of time display built into the icon (though most of the simple ways of doing that only work if we assume all bounties have the same initial duration).

Great Idea, I'd love a clock-like timer build into the icon. Another potential advantage of round icons:)
Maybe it could only start to tick down when "absolute time left" + "projected player travel time to icon location" reach a certain treshold.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Revisiting the Intel UI
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2018, 05:07:47 PM »

For fuel, hmm. I think I can actually work that in - didn't want to put the full-fledged map filter in there, but it really doesn't have to be that. There - something like this (in fact, so much "like" this that it is this):

Hopefully this will put the fuel range overlay in front of my face more often. [Insert self-deprecating smirk]
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