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UI Improvement Suggestions Thread

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Comments

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
    Yes, the sidebars are gone from the level-up screen since the BG2 vanilla:


    Ravenslight
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    For me a very important part of the iconic feel of the game was removed with the new way the spell book was implemented.

    Now when you open your spell book, instead of a book full of spell icons you are presented with what feels like a data base list. Clicking on an item in that list makes it light up with a bright red overlay.

    Lathander save me from all these data base lists and red overlays… sigh...

    I miss right clicking a spell icon to get detailed information about that spell on a separate screen.

    I really miss the unfurling scroll that should appear when you hover your mouse over a spell icon in the spell book.

    Please bring these iconic elements back to the game.

    Serg_BlackStriderAdul
  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
    I summed up my suggestions about the spellbook screen(s) in the OP. I agree that the screen suffers aesthetically a lot. Apart from the red shading and improper scrollbars, I personally much dislike having the memorize spell slots at the very bottom of the screen, almost pushed out of it. It is problematic though, to fit well three major areas into space that is divided to two parts by the art (a book). For my mod I tinker with this idea in a future update (heavily inspired by NWN2 and mainly PoE), obviously I operate with much more space:

    RavenslightThacoBellBaptor
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    @Pecca
    Does your solution allow right clicking on the spell icons to get a new widow to come up with the spell information contained in it? Also, is it possible to hover over the spell icons and have the animated scroll tool tip come up, as it used to do?

    I like your solution of having an overall bigger book and the memorized spells icons on the second page, but I think that only one spell level should be showing at once per set of pages.

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
    edited September 2016
    At this point it is just a concept. I would open spell description on the right-click, that would be necessary. And all of the memorized spells would be there not only because it's super convenient, but also to use the space intelligently. But it's hardly possible with the smaller default screen.
    My point was that it is possible to assemble the screen differently, and I think the known and memorized spells should ideally both have the most prominent places.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    @BillyYank
    Yes, I know some like the changes. But for me personally, the spell book has always been about mystical images on the old parchment pages of a mages spell book. Images that only the mages themselves could understand. The modern aesthetics of lists and lots of text just doesn’t fit the style. Especially as even the fonts themselves have been changed.

    I do love your idea of a page turning animation. Unfortunately though, I fear that Beamdog will only want to go to so much expense in beefing up this new UI.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,031

    but I think that only one spell level should be showing at once per set of pages.

    No, please, just no.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602

    but I think that only one spell level should be showing at once per set of pages.

    No, please, just no.

    Why is that distressing? That is the way it has always been done. Even with the current patch for BGEE only one level of spells is shown at a time. The level 1 spells on the first set of pages, level 2 spells on the next set, and so on.



  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,031
    @Ravenslight Because Pecca's mockup's biggest strength is being able to show all relevant information while simultaneously being less cluttered. I put up with only having one level visible currently because the current layout wouldn't really work otherwise. If given the option, I would love to be able to see all my memorized spells on one page.

    mf2112
  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,280
    Pecca's mockup is great but requires a widescreen. It's ok for a mod but I don't think it can be used as a default UI. The default UI must work for all kind of resolution (tablet or old computer).

    JuliusBorisov
  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
    edited September 2016
    Theoretically, it would fit the default screen with vertical placement of the memorized spell slots. Or maybe some other sorting, there is a room for 14x9 grid of slots. (note that I'm not advocating for this solution, just showing how it would look).

    lefreutJuliusBorisov
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    It is good to know that that so much versatility is possible. Especially as this gives modders the ability to customize things to fit many peoples differing tastes. But I do think it is important to have an option for a more traditional type set up as well.

    I know for myself that having everything crammed together on one page feels cluttered and out of place for this game. There is too much information all together on one page in this example.

    My eyes have to sort through the information and try to concentrate only on the parts that I want to think about. It feels very distracting. When I’m thinking about level one spells I only want to see level one spells.

    It also looses the feeling of a spell book. With a book you “turn the page” and go to a different section. With a data base you line everything up as neatly as possible and show as much information as possible all at once.

    lefreut
  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,280
    I agree with @Ravenslight, the default UI should keep the BG feels. We already see what happens with 2.0. Nostalgia is very strong, people are used to the old look and a lot of them do not want any changes.

    For the page turning animation, it should be possible to code it, but it requires a lot of graphics.

    RavenslightAdul
  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
    edited September 2016
    Keeping everything as it was would be a missed opportunity, and I'm glad these threads go the other way. Generally I think the default UI should benefit from the new possibilities of the 2.0 engine, while keeping the BG "feel". Of course the "feel" is a tricky thing.
    I came to believe, that most of the "feel" was lost from the 2.0 because the existing art and artistic style wasn't considered enough when new layouts and functionalities were introduced. With proper care, a lot of new functionalities can be added without losing it.

    ThacoBell
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    Pecca said:

    Keeping everything as it was would be a missed opportunity, and I'm glad these threads go the other way. Generally I think the default UI should benefit from the new possibilities of the 2.0 engine, while keeping the BG "feel". Of course the "feel" is a tricky thing.
    I came to believe, that most of the "feel" was lost from the 2.0 because the existing art and artistic style wasn't considered enough when new layouts and functionalities were introduced. With proper care, a lot of new functionalities can be added without losing it.


    Though I agree that the graphics played a big part in it, it’s not the only problem. Losing so much of the old functionality that has always been a part of the game has a big impact on “keeping the BG feel” as well.

    I’ll use what we are currently discussing as an example. Having all spell levels showing at once in the spell book is a huge departure from how the original games did it. Though some people may like this new approach, I don’t think it is fair to say that it wouldn’t affect how the game feels for others.

    Not being able to right click spell icons, no hover over tool tips, no unfurling scrolls, lists instead of icons, having separate pages for spell levels in the spell books, all of these things contribute to the “Baldur’s Gate feel” of the game.

  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 334
    lefreut said:

    I agree with @Ravenslight, the default UI should keep the BG feels. We already see what happens with 2.0. Nostalgia is very strong, people are used to the old look and a lot of them do not want any changes.

    Exactly what have "we" seen? Please provide data-based proof that the people who like the old UI outnumber those of us who like the new UI (and note that claiming "a lot of people on this forum prefer the old UI" does not constitute proof in any way, shape or form).

  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,280
    kanisatha said:

    Exactly what have "we" seen? Please provide data-based proof that the people who like the old UI outnumber those of us who like the new UI (and note that claiming "a lot of people on this forum prefer the old UI" does not constitute proof in any way, shape or form).

    I never said more people like the old UI, I said a lot (and from all the posts on different forums, I think it's true). And I'm not talking about the skins, I'm talking about how the elements are placed.

    For example, I don't think I have seen someone saying that the new dialogue box is better than the old one.


    Ravenslight
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    @kanisatha
    How do you interpret “a lot of them” to mean, “the people who like the old UI outnumber those of us who like the new UI” ? Nobody said that.

    You have every right to state in this thread how much you love it and why. If you want to keep it great! Some others want the opportunity for a more familiar option.

    If you don’t believe that many people do not like the new UI I would suggest that you run some searches on this forum. The subject has come up time and again in threads concerning version 1.3 and the 2.0 patch. Nobody owes you any data-based proof in order to express their opinion.

    Please feel free to go on your own data-based, fact finding mission in order to prove your own point.

    Of course there are people who love it. There are also many who don’t. The very reason these UI improvement and Making it Work threads exist is because not everyone likes the changes.

    Serg_BlackStrider
  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930

    Pecca said:

    Keeping everything as it was would be a missed opportunity, and I'm glad these threads go the other way. Generally I think the default UI should benefit from the new possibilities of the 2.0 engine, while keeping the BG "feel". Of course the "feel" is a tricky thing.
    I came to believe, that most of the "feel" was lost from the 2.0 because the existing art and artistic style wasn't considered enough when new layouts and functionalities were introduced. With proper care, a lot of new functionalities can be added without losing it.


    Though I agree that the graphics played a big part in it, it’s not the only problem. Losing so much of the old functionality that has always been a part of the game has a big impact on “keeping the BG feel” as well.

    I’ll use what we are currently discussing as an example. Having all spell levels showing at once in the spell book is a huge departure from how the original games did it. Though some people may like this new approach, I don’t think it is fair to say that it wouldn’t affect how the game feels for others.

    Not being able to right click spell icons, no hover over tool tips, no unfurling scrolls, lists instead of icons, having separate pages for spell levels in the spell books, all of these things contribute to the “Baldur’s Gate feel” of the game.
    That's why I said the "feel" is a tricky thing, people are bound to have different opinions about it. For me, the visual part is the greatest setback. While a lot of new functionalities were an improvement, visual side of the UI got worse. All the discussions about major screens like the record or inventory didn't result in wanting the v1.3 state back, but instead it was mostly proposed to use new improved functionalities in a way which was visually closer to the original, than the current state.

    In case of the spellbook, what doesn't work visually for me is the memorized spells area at the very bottom of the screen, thus I suggested to use the space differently.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    edited September 2016
    I would say that those screens are a satisfactory compromise. To be fair, it was stated fairly strongly that just reverting to a version 1.3 version wasn’t a possibility. So it was necessary to find that compromise.

    I do like your idea of putting the known spells up on the left hand page. The original game did that. I just don’t like the part where you have all the spell levels together on the same page.

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
    edited September 2016
    But it wasn't a compromise between players and the devs, it was just players. Devs didn't participate and didn't root for the v2.0 changes, yet new functionalities and solution were proposed and agreed upon (like the inventory information area) while considering visuals carefully. I think the discussions and their results would have looked quite differently, if majority of people there would just want the v1.3 state back. Instead I see the results as a good balance between a BG feel and introducing improved functionalities and I'm pretty satisfied with them so far.

    The case of the spellbook is a bit similar with the case of the record screen. New functionalities allow for a pretty massive improvement (in a way that more information can be accessed more conveniently), but their implementation hit the visuals and the feel equally massively too. And just like in the result of the record screen suggestions, I think the spellbook can benefit from new functionalities while remaining the feel. And I'm not specifically talking about the all-in-one screen memorized spells here.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    The devs were involved, and the fact that 1.3 wasn’t an option certainly affected how I went about trying to find a compromise.

    It sounds like you are wanting some big changes to the spell book @Pecca. Perhaps you would like to start a new “Making it Work” thread for them so as not to take over this thread with talk only pertaining to them?

    I look forward to seeing what ideas you have, other then the all-in-one screen. :)

  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,280

    The devs were involved

    Even if Dee starts this discussion, he clearly said that there is no guarantee about future implementation. So I don't think we can say that devs are involved. And for me it's sad because we don't know what are the devs plans about the UI :(

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930

    It sounds like you are wanting some big changes to the spell book Pecca. Perhaps you would like to start a new “Making it Work” thread for them so as not to take over this thread with talk only pertaining to them?

    I look forward to seeing what ideas you have, other then the all-in-one screen. :)

    I put all the points in the OP. About the memorized spells at the bottom, I have no good solutions there, the window size is pretty limiting.

    Ravenslight
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,031
    I major issues with calling the spell book "iconic". When I think of BG, it never crosses my mind. It was very limited in the information it gave you, and was very limited by the engine and technology in what it can do. We have a chance to improve what was always a very underwhelming menu and people already want to cripple it, because changing a dated interface is apparently some kind of sin.

    BillyYankShadowdemon
  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,526
    One thing I certainly wouldn't want to lose is the spell description on the same screen. Having to open a separate dialog box and then close it to see another spell is just clunky and annoying.

    ThacoBellShadowdemoncmk24
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    Options for everyone! You are a prince @Pecca! :)

    The last screenshot made my heart skip a beat. ;)

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
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