Suggest - Features and Improvements

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luciderous
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Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby luciderous » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:01 pm

NOTICE: This thread is intended to become the main rally point where you can post your suggestions and feature requests to be implemented in the game. That doesn't guarantee they will be implemented, obviously, only that they will be heard and possibly considered. Please, try to be concise, to prevent topic littering. If some suggestion/feature requires further elaboration or more debate - feel free to create a dedicated topic for it and provide a link to it here, along with a short feature description.

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echo2361
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby echo2361 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:45 am

As I progress into the mid-game I find myself wishing there was an empire overview screen of some kind. Something I can glance at to see all my planets and what they are currently building. Every time a colony finishes a construction project I need to stop and think about what I need next. This can sometimes require me to click on all my other colonies to see what they are building to make sure I'm not duplicating something I won't need, like a transport or a colony ship. Being able to see what all my colonies are producing at a glance would help a lot with mid-to-late game colony management.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby sven » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:34 am

echo2361 wrote:As I progress into the mid-game I find myself wishing there was an empire overview screen of some kind. Something I can glance at to see all my planets and what they are currently building. Every time a colony finishes a construction project I need to stop and think about what I need next. This can sometimes require me to click on all my other colonies to see what they are building to make sure I'm not duplicating something I won't need, like a transport or a colony ship. Being able to see what all my colonies are producing at a glance would help a lot with mid-to-late game colony management.


This is actually a feature that was almost finished by beta. When it starts working, you'll bring up the overview pane by clicking on the wrench icon at the top of the screen that currently says "TODO". I'll try to get a preliminary version posted tomorrow. We all agree, I think, that it would be a real improvement over the current flow of gameplay, and it's connected to the broader "report system" changes that are my current official priority.

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Big Imp
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby Big Imp » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:15 am

Shortcut keys and hower info when you move cursor over a button,item, ship etc.
I would also like to have - to use "Enter(or another key on the keyboard)", when I want to end turn. I know this is a beta, but I feel there is too much mouse clicking and not so much keyboard interface at the moment, but I do hope you will implement keyboard shortcuts in the furture.
The movement of ships is not very informative at the moment, how do I select a part of ships and move them in another direction?(Figured it out, but not obvious)
Hightlight selected planet or ship etc. either by a making it flash or hightlight with a sparks contour or whatever comes to mind.
Able to queue ships, buildings etc
Movement range - you should show the area where it is possible to move within.
Be able to flee before going to combat.

This is just my thoughts this early in the game.

I hope you can use it.
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby LongSquared » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:36 pm

This is actually a feature that was almost finished by beta. When it starts working, you'll bring up the overview pane by clicking on the wrench icon at the top of the screen that currently says "TODO". I'll try to get a preliminary version posted tomorrow. We all agree, I think, that it would be a real improvement over the current flow of gameplay, and it's connected to the broader "report system" changes that are my current official priority.


I was really excited to see this show up in one of the more recent builds! It's a great improvement. As has already been mentioned, managing all the building across the empire was cumbersome without it, and since it's showed up I've had it open constantly while playing.

I agree with the suggestion for more mouse-over text, and would particularly like to see some more information about factories/labs. At the moment, the only way I've found to get at the full formula used for them is by clicking on an empty improvement slot, and then clicking on a built factory/lab. It would be nice to get the math out of your head and have the game supply you with the effect that a new factory/lab would have on the planet in its current state before you engage in building it.

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luciderous
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby luciderous » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:23 pm

More ambiance in the game

I really adore all those small visual touches that make the game more immersive, like planets rotating in the UI or star systems getting animated on mouseover. I strongly feel that the game will benefit if more of those are added here and there. Because right now, the starmap still looks a little static. One suggestion would be to give stars some random shimmer, or some simple animations, so that they feel more 'alive'. I also dearly miss those heartwarming news (GN, research, spying, capturing) animations from MoO 1-2. I understand that this might be way above the budget for such a compact indie team at the moment, but if eventually implemented - it would definitely make the game shine.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby sven » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:22 pm

luciderous wrote:More ambiance in the game


We certainly can and will do more of this kind of stuff. There are a number of planned ambient effects that didn't make it into the current beta build -- you might notice that at present, only the Ashdar and Orthin fleets have ships with engine glows or animated running lights. We also have systems in place to display damage overlays on ships that have picked up combat damage, but, atm only the Ashdar Battlecruiser supports this, and even there the animations aren't entirely finished (I believe the feature is turned off in the current distro).

Making the smaller stars a bit more dynamic is an easy one -- like the expanded ship lights/engines, it's been on the list for a while. Low priority, but, I'm pretty confident I'll be able to find a little time for it before release.

Something along the lines GSN bulletins are another one I'd like, and which Arioch and I have certainly talked about.

Of course, there's a whole host of important gameplay features and UI revisions that we also need to get done, so these kinds of things will have to take their proper place in the priority queue. :)

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby Arioch » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:53 pm

In addition to having the stars shimmer (which we talked about early on), I think it would be cool to have all of the orbits animate all the time (though much slower than on mouseover), provided that it does not tax the framerate. The planets can still speed up as they currently do on mouseover and selection, but I think we have always needed a more obvious selection telltale; the animated orbits aren't sufficient to catch the eye when you're trying to find the selected system on the map.

I also think that the pane at the bottom of the screen (whether it's displaying a system or planet or fleet) should probably have a small "zoom to" magnifying glass icon somewhere that centers the strategic map on the current action.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby luciderous » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:10 am

Arioch wrote:... it would be cool to have all of the orbits animate all the time (though much slower than on mouseover), provided that it does not tax the framerate.

That was my immediate idea when I saw those cute animations for the first time :D. And I didn't mention it previously only because of the framerate concern - just as you pointed out. It might be not that taxing for a modern PC, but if you later decide to port your game to something like tablets - this might become noticeable. Maybe some toggle on/off option would be viable at that time. But I digress. The idea is very exciting, and if you are thinking what to do with star system selection in that case - perhaps simply 'stopping the animation on mouseover' when other systems are in motion would do the trick? You know - like an 'focus freeze'.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby sven » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:12 pm

luciderous wrote:Maybe some toggle on/off option would be viable at that time. But I digress. The idea is very exciting, and if you are thinking what to do with star system selection in that case - perhaps simply 'stopping the animation on mouseover' when other systems are in motion would do the trick? You know - like an 'focus freeze'.


at one point -- the alpha actually included this on-off toggle :)

it's not there right now because i decided i didn't like the way the universe looked when all the systems were animated. felt too "busy" imo. i may add a toggle for Arioch-style slow vs. fast selction hinting though -- and we can see what people think of it.

(and there's no frame-rate issue associated with spinning star systems -- the way the system's implemented atm, it's exactly as expensive to render a static star system as it is a dynamic one. if this sounds like sloppy engineering -- that's because it is :) but, fundamentally, the main measurable rendering bottlenecks we're hitting up against right now have to do with inefficiencies in the planet texture handling -- i won't bother optimizing the stars unless or until i see numbers suggesting it's worth the effort :) )

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby Arioch » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:37 pm

I think if you make the orbits slow -- on a par with the speed of planet rotation -- the effect will just be cool and not distracting.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby sven » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:22 am

Arioch wrote:I think if you make the orbits slow -- on a par with the speed of planet rotation -- the effect will just be cool and not distracting.


ok -- this is now the default behavior in stable. (initially, i had them going a lot slower but, didn't really like that effect. um -- if you want to try alternate speeds, the equation's at Lua State\GUI\~GalaxyMap\@Starfield.lua:207.)

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby Arioch » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:01 am

Oh, I like it. It's sexy. That's $50 of sexy for a 50¢ change.

The one (very minor) addition I would suggest is to randomize the starting positions of the planets. Because otherwise every system with the same number of orbits looks the same.

I hope the beta testers don't mind seeing the developers discussing these things in the forums... seeing a bit of how the sausage is made, so to speak.

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echo2361
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby echo2361 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:02 am

Arioch wrote:Oh, I like it. It's sexy. That's $50 of sexy for a 50¢ change.

The one (very minor) addition I would suggest is to randomize the starting positions of the planets. Because otherwise every system with the same number of orbits looks the same.

I hope the beta testers don't mind seeing the developers discussing these things in the forums... seeing a bit of how the sausage is made, so to speak.


I don't mind it at all. It is nice to see behind the curtain a bit IMHO :)

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby sven » Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:26 am

Arioch wrote:The one (very minor) addition I would suggest is to randomize the starting positions of the planets. Because otherwise every system with the same number of orbits looks the same.


Ok, sure. Should be working on dev (but I'm not marking the patch as stable, as I'm headed to bed, and if that just broke something, it won't be fixed till morning :)).

(*also, as i read my old code here -- it's worth pointing out that in an earlier draft, i had the speeds of each planet randomized slightly. then, after staring at it for a while, i decided that that was very likely *wrong*. made them look like they were breaking kepler's third law :roll: )


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