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Making it Work: World Map

DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
edited August 2016 in UI Discussion and Workshop
The discussion here pointed out that the World Map could use some love. Let's talk about that.

The key features at play here:
  • The extra text under every area adds clutter to the screen, which can make it harder to see what the player needs to see.
  • The world map screen is not as mod-friendly as it once was; it should be externalized so that modders can change how the screen looks and operates.
Be aware that any mock-ups or designs posted in this thread are advisory only; nothing is promised or guaranteed for future implementation. All we're doing is discussing and honing ideas.

JuliusBorisovDoubledimaslolienmf2112Adul
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Comments

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,226
    Travel Time

    Click once, a text box by the travel button (under, over, on, where ever) tells the player how long it will take to travel there. Maybe even display the name there as well. "Friendly Arm Inn - 12 hours"

    Click travel, or click the same map again to travel to that location.

    JuliusBorisovRavenslightsparkleav
  • 00zim0000zim00 Member Posts: 265
    edited August 2016
    Random Idea, I cant make a super strong argument on how it would make things better for a veteran player but it might be good for new players. I thought I would post it anyway as it might at least give someone else an idea about the map that they didnt think about before.

    When you hover your mouse over each location you see a dotted line along the path your PC is going to take to get there
    -Might help new players find out how things are connected
    -If the path goes though a town you might then decide to stop at the town first



    If you pick a location that you havnt been to yet and have not found the connected path. The remaining line is grey or a different colour
    -That way people can kinda guess which map they need to travel from in order to get to the destination.
    -Even now after playing 100s of hours I still sometimes forget what map im supposed to go to in order to find the connecting path. Also in some cases the obvious path or direction isnt apparent by looking at the map.



    lolienJuliusBorisovRavenslightsparkleav
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    I personally like your ideas, @00zim00 . Though I might use the red dash lines for a path that the player has not yet discovered, and maybe green for paths that they have previously opened up. If this were actually implemented, I think the dash lines should be small, or maybe the dashes could be tiny little feet. :)

    lolienJuliusBorisov00zim00sparkleav
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    The thread exploded overnight! That's awesome.

    I'll try to summarize the bigger changes that have been brought up, then offer my own thoughts:

    Travel Times: On Selection

    The suggestion is to show the travel times in a central location once a destination has been selected, instead of on the destinations themselves. This is a good idea; it would make the screen easier to read, and place the important information in one location rather than several.

    Another suggestion is to include the travel time and destination name in a tooltip when you hover over the location on the map. Again, this is a solid idea. But it also duplicates functionality from the On Selection suggestion above. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it's worth paying attention to.

    Initiating Travel

    The suggestion here is to allow double-clicks to initiate travel times immediately, which would help eliminate the extra step of clicking "Travel".

    Destination Display

    The suggestion here is to make destinations change color while hovering over them with the mouse. Hover effects are good UI design in general, since they communicate to the player what clicking will do.

    Destination Routes

    This one is a bit more cumbersome, and runs the risk of communicating false information. Your current destination is marked on the map, and travel always takes place in a straight line; obfuscating that with roads and lines through other areas is probably a bad idea; it also doesn't work well for BGII:EE, where the world map destinations aren't necessarily going to fit on the screen all at once.

    It's a nice idea, but I don't think it would be appropriate for these games.

    RavenslightJuliusBorisovsparkleavlolien
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    @argent77 said:
    They might get confused by it and assume they have to visit each connected area in some way

    Good point, I hadn’t thought about that. And they might assume that there is only one way to get there.

  • 00zim0000zim00 Member Posts: 265

    I hadn’t thought about that. And they might assume that there is only one way to get there.

    Good point, and i agree to with Dee.

    Maybe just keep it in mind for BG3 ;)

    Ravenslightlolien
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,370
    I just know that I'm going to get into a world of trouble for saying this but I'm going to day it anyway:
    What's wrong with the way it is in 1.3?

    One click on Travel icon brings up the map.
    Hovering cursor over a destination tells you whether you can travel there or not (it changes colour if you can).
    One click on destination and you arrive there (unless you're waylaid by bandits).

    Two clicks, that's it, job done.

    All that needs to be added is the travelling time to the selected destination, which surely can be displayed with the colour change when the cursor's hovering over it.

    This also begs the question: Why do we need to know travel times anyway? It's fairly obvious from the map which areas are close and which are far away and it's not as if we need to know how many packed lunches to take. Besides, we soon learn the hard way trying cross the entire map with a single bound increase the chances of being waylaid and will leave you fatigued on arrival.

    As for BG2, it's all fairly irrelevant because there's no sensation of 'travelling' anyway, you effectively just teleport.

    sparkleavRavenslightswit
  • 00zim0000zim00 Member Posts: 265
    dunbar said:

    I just know that I'm going to get into a world of trouble for saying this but I'm going to day it anyway:
    What's wrong with the way it is in 1.3?

    Im not sure how others are treating these threads but the way im appropriating it is that besides some of the other menus obvious faults/complaints. Im just more using this to brainstorm ideas in order to see if we can come up with anything fresh, new or helpful. Not necessarily meaning we NEED to change something but if we at least have the discussion about it we might find its fine as it is or we could come up with something amazing we never thought about before.

    It all starts with a discussion :)

    Ravenslight
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,945
    I think some routes in BG1 do go through other areas, though. Sometime in the past year, someone (maybe @Tresset?) posted a map showing all the world map routes, but I can't find it now. It wasn't as simple as all travel being in a straight line. This is also reflected in the game's behavior: I've noticed situations where, when traveling from map A to map B, you arrive on a different edge of map B depending on whether map C is accessible yet.

    00zim00
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    dunbar said:

    I just know that I'm going to get into a world of trouble for saying this but I'm going to day it anyway:
    What's wrong with the way it is in 1.3?

    One click on Travel icon brings up the map.
    Hovering cursor over a destination tells you whether you can travel there or not (it changes colour if you can).
    One click on destination and you arrive there (unless you're waylaid by bandits).

    Two clicks, that's it, job done.

    I fully agree with you - the World Map does not need any extra functionalities as it's function is very basic - 'let me see where I am, where I can go to, and let me make that happen'.

    Like you say, 1st click brings up the map, hovering over an area changes its colour if you can, and a final click takes you there.

    The only thing I would add is that the 'travel time' and 'destination name' should appear in separate area away from the map during the hovering phase/mouseover so they are not tied directly on the map.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    I agree with @Dunbar and others who have said that it already worked well in ver. 1.3. I’m not wild about adding yet another box on the map to show destination times etc.

    In ver. 1.3, the traveling hours do appear in a little scroll over your destination when you hover over it.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    Who said anything about another box?

    I said in a different area - both the 1.3 and 2.0 SOD interfaces have unused areas where the information could easily go:








    The advantage is that it clears all the writing off the map in the second picture - that text only appears in the marked box when you mouse is hovering over a destination.

    00zim00JuliusBorisovsparkleavDanathion
  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,243
    Dee said:

    Travel Times: On Selection

    The suggestion is to show the travel times in a central location once a destination has been selected, instead of on the destinations themselves. This is a good idea; it would make the screen easier to read, and place the important information in one location rather than several.

    Another suggestion is to include the travel time and destination name in a tooltip when you hover over the location on the map. Again, this is a solid idea. But it also duplicates functionality from the On Selection suggestion above. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it's worth paying attention to.
    IIRC, tooltips have always been the way to inform the player, not? The thing is, there haven't always been touchscreens, which obviously lack mouseover support. Thus, a singleclick to show the travel time would be required new functionality. However, when you do have a mouse, mousing over is more convenient than having to click each potential destination, so it's nice to have both.

    Mr2150Jairyanna
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,370
    @Thels Yes you're quite right (I've just checked my current game), in 1.3 when you move the tooltip over an area it first lights up if you can travel there and then, if you let it hover for a couple of seconds, the travelling time appears in a little scroll beneath the tooltip.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    @Mr2150 said:
    The advantage is that it clears all the writing off the map in the second picture - that text only appears in the marked box when you mouse is hovering over a destination.

    How is this an advantage? The names of the towns belong there. Though it would be nice if the font matched the original better.

    Jairyanna
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited August 2016
    I meant things like "Travelling Hours: X" and "Destination Unreachable" - surely those are the things you don't like because they are new... ?

    So - just to be explicitly clear, @Ravenslight

    1st click brings up the map
    Hovering over an area changes its colour if you can travel there - a dedicated space shows 'Travelling Time: X hours' (although I would prefer it say, for example, 'Nashkel - Travelling Time: X hours' but repeating the name is not essential).
    2nd click takes you there

    That way the map is nice and tidy and looks just like it did before.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    Okay, how about this:



    Key differences between v2.0 and this one:
    • An added checkbox to toggle One-Click Travel (which is how it worked in v1.3)
    • Hovering over a destination causes it to pulse from black to blue (or to white, if it's somewhere you've already been)
    • The travel time is displayed in the text field below the screen title, along with the name of the destination.
    • The "Travel" button is located above the map instead of in the bottom right corner, and is disabled (but visible) if "One-Click Travel" is enabled.
    Ignore my box art for the moment; is that what people were envisioning?

    Mr215000zim00sparkleavcmk24
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    That makes sense @Dee - I like that and I think it's practical and supports most people's needs (tablet, mobile, PC etc)

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    @Dee
    Does your mock up of the tool tip hovering over the destination and bringing up a visual indicate that it would be an unfurling scroll, complete with sound?

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438

    @Dee
    Does your mock up of the tool tip hovering over the destination and bringing up a visual indicate that it would be an unfurling scroll, complete with sound?

    It'd be like the tooltips on the main game screen. I don't recall if the v2.0 tooltips unfurl, but the sound would be there.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    The 2.0+ tooltips don't unfurl... there is an unfurling sound only.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438
    Mr2150 said:

    The 2.0+ tooltips don't unfurl... there is an unfurling sound only.

    Okay, that's good to know. Any changes to this screen wouldn't change how tooltips work, since those are universal (that doesn't mean they can't or won't be changed, but it's not part of the World Map.)

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    Dee said:

    @Dee
    Does your mock up of the tool tip hovering over the destination and bringing up a visual indicate that it would be an unfurling scroll, complete with sound?

    It'd be like the tooltips on the main game screen. I don't recall if the v2.0 tooltips unfurl, but the sound would be there.
    The latest patch just throws up a plain scroll image with no unfurling. I like the unfurling scroll, complete with sound. The use of this scroll is certainly iconic for a Baldur’s Gate game to me. Is there a reason it was removed?

    Jairyanna
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438

    Dee said:

    @Dee
    Does your mock up of the tool tip hovering over the destination and bringing up a visual indicate that it would be an unfurling scroll, complete with sound?

    It'd be like the tooltips on the main game screen. I don't recall if the v2.0 tooltips unfurl, but the sound would be there.
    The latest patch just throws up a plain scroll image with no unfurling. I like the unfurling scroll, complete with sound. The use of this scroll is certainly iconic for a Baldur’s Gate game to me. Is there a reason it was removed?
    It was changed in order to accommodate larger font sizes; the unfurling is something that will need to be implemented separately, to work with the new scaling graphic.

    We're getting off topic, though; this thread is about the World Map, not the tooltip animation.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    @Dee
    How is it off topic if we are talking about how this feature will work with the new map screen? I don’t understand. There is a difference to how things will look if it is a plain scroll or an animated one.

    If the question of the scroll animation needs to be brought up somewhere else, where should I do that?

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,438

    @Dee
    How is it off topic if we are talking about how this feature will work with the new map screen? I don’t understand. There is a difference to how things will look if it is a plain scroll or an animated one.

    If the question of the scroll animation needs to be brought up somewhere else, where should I do that?

    It's off topic because the tooltip is a universal feature; you might as well ask about the mouse cursor being low-resolution, or changing the Sherwood font. It affects the entire game, so it's outside the scope of this discussion.

    The tooltip scroll not unfurling is a fairly straight-forward bug report; just submit a ticket on Redmine: http://support.baldursgate.com

    Mr2150mf2112
  • switswit Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 405
    edited August 2016
    Dee said:

    Okay, how about this:



    Key differences between v2.0 and this one:

    • An added checkbox to toggle One-Click Travel (which is how it worked in v1.3)
    • Hovering over a destination causes it to pulse from black to blue (or to white, if it's somewhere you've already been)
    • The travel time is displayed in the text field below the screen title, along with the name of the destination.
    • The "Travel" button is located above the map instead of in the bottom right corner, and is disabled (but visible) if "One-Click Travel" is enabled.
    Ignore my box art for the moment; is that what people were envisioning?
    One important thing - destination unreachable should pulse red when hovering over it, just like in vanilla BG2 and patch 1.3. Animations for it exists for all BG2:EE and SoD icons but not for BG:EE. If due to this the feature won't be implemented at least please consider externalizing it to UI.MENU, so mods can restore this neat effect.

    ---------

    While not entirely related to GUI I'd like to ask if this problem should be reported on Redmine: SoD icons uses BAM v1 instead of BAM v2 format which caused color loss (BAM v1 is limited to 256 color palette) and transparency problems. Example:

    Color loss here is obvious. And those empty pixels are typical result of saving image with transparency into BAM v1 which doesn't support it.

    Post edited by swit on
    Mr2150RavenslightDoubledimasALIEN
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