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Author Topic: The new GUI  (Read 4835 times)

KZ

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The new GUI
« on: February 19, 2010, 09:00:12 AM »

I am sorry to say this, but I'll be brutally honest: I think the re-doing of the GUI was the biggest single major decision I strongly disagree with as it significantly reduced the appeal of the user interface, in my opinion. Here is a list of the most bothersome things I've found just from a 2-3 minute glance at the new GUI:

-when the game itself is loading, we see a hand with some random symbols on it and in the background: they have no relation whatsoever to what happens in-game and add a very superficial layer of "mystique", the simple hand was a much more powerful graphical design, as it showed the essence of Psy abilities- natural, no need for any extra fancy stuff, in addendum, the hand looks as if the skin was removed off it and the blue lines are representations of deoygenated blood in veins- a very repulsive image, to say the least
-when I tried to load the game, I realised that I cannot read what on earth is written in the save files as a). the print was tiny b). the font of the text almost completely blended in with the surroundings
-the GUI in-game gives a much darker and much more cliche feel: not only has it been used many times before, but the associations with other games are not really postive at all, nor does it add to the professioanl feel of the game; the text now is very difficult to read, 'cause the contrast between the background and the font colour is significantly reduced, and this makes it a significantly less pleasing experience to read text, and given that the game is text-driven and there is a lot of it, this is one very major drawback
-the battle-GUI also completly clashes with the tileset and makes the screen look much more cramped visually because it's so much dareker; it also blends into the tileset as it is not as differnet from the light blue with the black border used before, so it really is a nuisance to have on the screen at all and it's much more difficult to see the buttons; the re-working of the attack icons- that's another issue area as now they look completely unappealing, hard to see on dark background, using the most generic images used practically in any half-serious amateur RPG, instaed of using the unique, easy-to-identify, simple, and not visually daunting attack-icons- simple doesn't mean unprofessional; in addition, losing the original icons means that a very strong connection to TRPG2 has been lost, and I think that's a big drawback, as many players will otherwise be familiar with the icons from other games in the series
-when the objectives screen comes up for the battle, the button looks completely out of place, making a very unpleasant impression as it completely doesn't fit in with the writing stile nor the background- what was used before was much, much better and more natural
-the way the in-game menu has been re-arranged, and with the new style, I find it labourious to switch through the submenus and look at them: the GUI is visually very heavy, the contrasts are small and it's simply unpleasant to use it, as well, with the dark colours used and low contrast, it, again, feels very crampt and it doesn't look comfortable to use at all

One postive feature- the GUI does manage to convey the arabic feel a bit in the load-up page... but that is more than balanced already by the in-game graphics.

Overall: I strongly, strongly feel that the game lost a lot of visual appeal from this GUI overhaul and I very strongly recommend that the old GUI is brought back, along with the old attack icons. 'Cause the feeling I get from seeing this is a failed attempt at making the game look "professionally" made, so that people buy it, but instead, it lost a lot of its simplicity in style and easy-on-the-eyes, no distracting from battle/reading text/concentrating on the game visuals. I am confident that people would not mind having a relatively simply-designed GUI, that has a distinct style, but which is easy to use and isn't too graphically simple.
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CraigStern

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 09:04:21 AM »

I appreciate your thoughts. I'm still reworking on many aspects of the GUI, so this feedback is helpful to me. What does everyone else think?
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KZ

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 09:11:31 AM »

Aye, glad that the feedback is useful. As I said before, it's really unfortunate that, as I usually agree with/like most of the decisions made abuot the game, but this one has too many downsides to it for it to be taken on board. I am playing through TSoG right now, from scratch, and I find the experience rather painful, especially text reading and the new, non-inspiring, very unclear in their meaning and all looking very similar and murky attack icons (along with the victory screen), thus, sadly, that really is a big stumbling block at the moment. Still, I'm looking forward to trying to reach Crypt 2 and get through it ;).


PS
Again, this is a highly unplesant realisation (just had it, whilst playing the prison breaks sequence), but I'd rather be honest here: if I was playing this game for the first time, I'd stop playing it during the prison escape seuqnce purely on the basis of highly unplesant and diffciult to use GUI. I have done that before in the past, though rarely- and it is a big shame, as usually the content of the game isn't too bad, but when the GUI is a pain-in-the-back, you can only take it so far.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 09:15:21 AM by KZ »
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CraigStern

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 01:18:24 PM »

I'm already aware of the legibility problems with the attack icons--the artist is currently reworking them. For almost all of the icons, though, the design is actually the same as before! He just redrew them in a style consistent with the updated GUI. Unfortunately the black silhouettes don't mesh well with the dark brown button backgrounds. I'm still hashing out the new battle GUI design in general, so don't think the way it is now is the final iteration.

As for the legibility of dialog, I agree that that's an issue as well. I think the main problem is with the font, less so with the color palette and menu design. Of particular annoyance to me is how the "k" blends in with periods to make it look like a sentence is continuing on into a second one. I'm going to experiment with some alternative fonts this evening to try to find something that is easier to read, but still fits the aesthetic.

Anyway, those are my concerns that I personally have with the GUI as it stands right now. Aesthetically, though, I think the new GUI is a huge improvement! You may think it looks generic, but I happen to think it evokes the setting much better than the flat cerulean-blue menus the game was using before.
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SmartyPants

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2010, 02:46:19 PM »

I like the new changes. It has a cool Arabian Nights appearance.

Zhampir

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 12:13:31 AM »

I think it's beautiful, the hand could definitely not be... so... red (all though, your fingers have no muscles so they wouldn't be red if you removed the skin and blood) and the text could be a wee bit bigger (especially with smaller window sizes) but, other than that I think the GUI make the game look a lot more professional, helps distort confusion about it being a squeal, and fits with the overall stage of the game quite well.
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SmartyPants

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 08:51:14 AM »

The text is more difficult to read, but the overall appearance is better.

KZ

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2010, 05:32:03 AM »

Unless I'm much mistaken, the fonts have been altered slightly such that there is a black outline surrounding each letter? If that's the case, then I'd like to say that it's easier to read the text now. For the save files I suggest using a bit bigger font size, 'cause I have to lean into the monitor very closely to actually see what's written for the affinity of the Hero.

Other than that, as I mentioned in the first post, the new GUI does convey the atmosphere much better than the previous one. Methinks the real problem right now is getting that text contrast right so that it's easier to read the text and easier to see the buttons on the battlefield. Also, I like the new battlefield objectives screen: much better (I take it the other one was temporary?)! And the new attack GUI is great, the only thing I suggest is for the minimize button to appear on the right all the time, otherwise, if you want to fully minimize the attack menu, you have to move the mouse around back-and-forth, and that can be a bit of a nusiance.


PS
Also, maybe making the in-game menu a little larger would help: it seems cramped up with all that information, the previous one was larger and hence was less visually heavy.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 07:16:02 AM by KZ »
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KZ

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2010, 01:56:48 PM »

Having played the game a bit more, I have a minor suggestion that might make the battle GUI a bit easier to use (for those who are used to the old one):

-swap around the minimize and move-around-screen button, the second, methinks, is used much more often than the first, and it's more natural to have it in the corner to keep quickly moving around the GUI around the screen
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KZ

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2010, 02:29:37 PM »

In addendum, I think that during the new game character making screen, the descriptions of what each of the parameters do should be increased to twice the size, at least. Plus, I think it would be easier for people if the descriptors also came up when the cursor is on the level number, not just the increase/decrease arrows.
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KZ

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2010, 06:25:51 PM »

Ok, for the description of each part of the tutorial, the text needs to be really enlarged: it's like font 8 or something, I have to get really close to the screen to read any of it. And it a strain on the eyes, and that is not good.
Just general font size enlargment all around will do this new GUI a lot of good.
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Zhampir

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2010, 02:38:41 PM »

I think it would be interesting if the loading hand closed to a fist at 100% and when the play button is pressed it opens releasing a flash of light, instead of just jumping to the next screen (as on my computer at least it lags a little while the game menu appears and this could be part of a splash effect while the menu loads for a second)
A neat thing that could also be added, is that once you beat the game the "flash" could change to whatever element your hero had an affinity for.  though this is more of an Easter egg kind of thing... and purely for aesthetics, but I think it would be a nice improvement.  ;)
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Zackirus

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2010, 05:22:20 PM »

I think it would be interesting if the loading hand closed to a fist at 100% and when the play button is pressed it opens releasing a flash of light, instead of just jumping to the next screen (as on my computer at least it lags a little while the game menu appears and this could be part of a splash effect while the menu loads for a second)
A neat thing that could also be added, is that once you beat the game the "flash" could change to whatever element your hero had an affinity for.  though this is more of an Easter egg kind of thing... and purely for aesthetics, but I think it would be a nice improvement.  ;)

I would actually like an idea like that, it would make the game fun, in some sort of areas, still the hand creeps me out!
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CraigStern

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2010, 07:11:27 PM »

The loading hand won't be in the final game, since the final game will be on your hard drive. ;)
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Zhampir

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Re: The new GUI
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2010, 07:12:37 PM »

Well never mind then, lol.
but, if, for instance, you make another game but free (or hosted online, perhaps some sort of multi-player edition) that it would be a neat idea?
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