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Making it Work: Inventory



  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Okay, working draft mock-up here:

    The red square is the color picker; the gold block is the stack of gold graphic; the multicolored block on the bottom left is your backpack, with the weight numbers on it.

    I've condensed some of the elements, mostly to give us a more geometric perspective (it's unlikely that the layout of the item slots will actually change, because moving those boxes gets expensive once you start changing art).

    For the purposes of discussion, the important pieces are the black empty box on the left (which currently houses error messages) and the grey empty box on the right (which currently switches between your character's combat stats and a comparison table when you select an item). Those are the parts that seem to raise the most concern for people, so those are the things that I've left blank.

    I've seen one pitch to move the comparison data into the black box on the left, which would allow the box on the right to remain static with the existing iconography for HP, AC, THAC0, and Damage.

    Does anyone have an alternative proposal for how to handle comparisons, or something that they'd like to see tweaked in the mock-up?

    Again, this is only for discussion purposes; nothing here is being implemented, it's just to give a sense of what we're dealing with, without the art that may be getting in the way for some people.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    This is a minor gripe, but I don't like the placement of the shield and ring slots there. I'd keep the rings directly across from each other and shield directly across from quick weapons.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    My first thought is, what happened to the little icons (I don’t know what they are called.) that looked like a shield etc. that the Armor Class, Hit Points, Thaco etc. sat in before?

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    As you said that it is unlikely that the item slots will change, in the current patch version of BGEE the color picker button sits up at the top, directly across from the necklace slot.

    Also the ground item slots run up and down rather then across. All the way to the right.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    Ok, drum roll…… I’ll just get this out of the way now. I had no problem with how it was done in Ver. 1.3. ;)

    And I will just add my voice to those who have said that the current flipping screens back and forth is irritating.

  • DanathionDanathion Member Posts: 172
    I like both of @Mr2150's suggestions.

    Moving the item comparison to the black box on the left would give it a more meaningful function. Can you tell us @Dee if that is implementable, (with the understanding that even so, there's no suggestion that it will be implemented)?

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    If you moved the new information down into the left hand box, what would happen to the text such as, “Your wizard spells have been disabled”?

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    That information would still be there but hidden... you would only see the change information when you pick up an item. When you put it down again the old information would come back as nomal.

    It would work much like the existing way the THACO/AC/HP/Damage details are temporarily hidden.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    So once I equipped the item, the “Your wizard spells have been disabled” would still appear as the new text would disappear.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    Yeah, just like it works now.

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,328
    Natreg said:

    I wasn't thinking about changing anything on the base inventory screen. The "six backpack" should be an additional screen that may be accessed from the main inventory screen and is totally optional to use since the old way of trading items would still work.

    Yeah, I could see it work as a separate screen.
    Dee said:

    The red square is the color picker

    It would make sense if the color picker would be the color that is used for the selection circle. That's their primary color, right? So it would make sense if that color is the button to change the color.

    As for the value comparisons, I still don't like the "new" stuff. Say I have a sword equipped and an axe in my backpack. I take the axe from my backpack and replace the sword with it. The "NEW" value then lists the value of the sword, rather than the value of the axe, while the axe is the new weapon.

    Would it be possible to list the information in either the tooltip or the item's description?

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited August 2016
    It was a prerequisite of my proposal that the 'new stuff' could be toggled to always off @Thels and the toggle would be in the options menus.

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,328
    Regardless of there being a toggle to enable or disable it, the labels should be different. "NEW" is just not a good label at all!

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    For me, the color picker button is redundant as that option is also found under customize. The real problem I have with it though is that I tend to use red options in my characters clothing, so the color picker button is this constant red eyeball affect that is a very irritating distraction every time I go into the inventory screen.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited August 2016
    My proposal reduced the info to:

    EDIT - took out the bad text description as I got back to my PC so could copy the link:

    @Thels - here was the proposal - no worries as there is no 'new'... it just shows the values.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited August 2016
    Just thought of another potential way to do the feedback on picking up an item information...

    Using the same area as I used before - with the same conditions - but rather than showing numbers (which can be misleading if you intend to put the weapon in your offhand, for example) it just simple shows a + or - denoting improvement or not.

    I've seen other RPGs do it in a similar way to this.

    It would probably take up less space too.

    Or maybe a little more abstract, even.

  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,739
    This may be way out there, but...

    With the quick loot bar, especially if BD adopts something like @Adul 's improved version, do we really need the ground slots on the inventory screen any more? I don't think I've gone and picked up items directly since 2.0 came out. We'd really just need a square to drag stuff to if you want to drop something. Then the remaining space could be used for something else.

    Personally, I like seeing the old->new values when I pick something up, and I can see where it would be especially helpful for a new player. I do think finding a way to work in APR would be even more helpful.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    Regarding the ground slots - I often use those to rearrange my inventory or as a temporary storage while I'm moving stuff in and out and between other characters so I wouldn't actually want to lose them. A better solution there might be to get rid of the ground slots as they only represent where you are standing, and replace them with the quickloot slots which is the area around you. That way the same functionality exists but 'ground' shows a lot more items.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    I personally don’t use the quick loot option. I do use the ground slots and pick everything up individually as my character walks to it. I would not want to loose the slots representing what is under my characters feet.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 745
    Dee said:

    It's jarring for half of the screen to be visibly altered when an item is selected. The two views should be unified, if they're going to change at all.

    I'm surprised that most people seem to agree on this. In my opinion this new screen is a very helpful addition and it's beautifully implemented. The devs took care of making it visually compatible with the rest of the UI and also quite simple, which is almost always the best option. Helpful, simple, and visually fitting. What's there not to love?

    By the way, very nice ideas about the other point discussed.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    edited August 2016
    Here's my take on the issues with the upper right box:

    1a. The graphics around the HP, THAC0, and Weapon Damage displays are too small for the information in them. The font sizes for all three of these displays are having to be reduced in the example above because there isn't enough room. That's not a good design. If graphical embellishments are going to be used, they should be big enough to hold the information at normal font size.

    1b. The displays are unlabeled, and aside from the AC graphic (shield = armor), the graphical embellishments don't convey what the display is showing. As an example, IWD2 used a heart embellishment, which conveys "health" much better than "spiked dog collar" the EEs use.

    2. The stat breakdown boxes are too small. These boxes simply cannot hold all the information they need to display. Mid- and high-level characters generally have so many modifiers, that stuff scrolls out of the tiny window. It's really bad for THAC0, where you potentially have off-hand and main-hand modifiers mixed together.

    3. The blank line tells the user that there's no more information, but surprise, there's a scroll bar, so some of the weapon damage breakdown is not viewable. There shouldn't be a blank line in the middle of the weapon damage breakdown info.

    EDIT: For #3, I realized that the blank line is because of the second weapon. So, the problem is more #2 again. Four lines is *never* going to be enough to show damage breakdowns for two weapons.

    Please excuse the crude model here. I created separate displays for main and off-hands. The stat breakdowns would go to a tooltip, as in the original SoD beta.

    Post edited by AstroBryGuy on
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,839
    Why does it need to be in inventory screen? Can we not have it on the weapon information screen instead, like this:

    Click the button, and an overlay happens comparing the currently equipped item stats, right beside the stats of the item currently being looked at. Add stars (both sides) during the overlay to show proficiency.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    For me, the equipping decision is made on the inventory screen - not the description screen. Pushing the comparison there would take away half its value as it is meant as 'at a glance guidance'. Also, the comparison is aimed at less familiar users so should be easy to find not pushed two levels deeper.

    I like your bigger icons and font placement @AstroBryGuy but I wonder if that approach would be too radical and miss the point that each value is composed of multiple components. Your comments there are pretty much spot on otherwise. Maybe the icons could take up the top two rows and the bottom rows could be used for the detail (on click or on mouseover depending on system).

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    @Alonso - I think it is not necessarily the information shown but rather the amount of space taken and the sudden jump from the familiar to the new. Just my opinion, of course.

    I personally don't use it so much, but I can fully understand why it's there hence I'm a strong advocate for keeping it but making it less intrusive.

  • AdulAdul Member Posts: 1,912
    I'm happy with the current inventory design, my only big concern is the lag caused by the item comparisons. I'd like to be able to turn off item comparisons both on the inventory screen as well as the party-wide comparison that discolors portraits when an item is picked up. (Having separate options for these two functions would be cool, but I'm fine with one big item comparison kill switch as well.)

    And just a little note: I'd say it's somewhat mistaken to state that this lag issue only occurs on older hardware configurations. I myself have a computer that can run GTA V on the highest visual settings just fine, and I still get pretty bad lag when moving items around in a party of 6 characters.

    It's also worth noting that no game should assume it is the only program running on a computer - there could be browsers running in the background, there could be a video playing somewhere, there could be multiple displays attached. The OS could be performing background tasks, check-ups, backups, and/or installing updates. There might be an antivirus program running. For these reasons, it's best not to take up all the available processing capacity for something as simple as handling inventory items should be.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    I fully agree with that @Adul - turning them off should be an option for those that are more familiar with the game.

    Those that are not as familiar should still be able to use them. The people that do want that function will not be as annoyed with any consequence of using it, eg the potential lag, as they have no baseline comparison... and that doesn't mean that the lag shouldn't be fixed.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    I also have very good hardware and the clunkiness that I’m experiencing moving inventory items is terrible. An old game like this should not be giving anyone trouble, even if they have older hardware.

    Before the SoD updates it all worked very smoothly. Any intended changes that caused problems like this should have been dropped before release.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170

    I also have very good hardware and the clunkiness that I’m experiencing moving inventory items is terrible. An old game like this should not be giving anyone trouble, even if they have older hardware.

    Before the SoD updates it all worked very smoothly. Any intended changes that caused problems like this should have been dropped before release.

    That's the point though - it's not an old game anymore.

    It's an old game sat inside a new UI. They aren't going to revert the UI. Eliminating functions that people like doesn't solve the problems with the UI, it just hides them and those underlying issues still remain.

    There is a lag when moving items around in the inventory, it's believed that the way the UI works is causing it, and Beamdog will hopefully solve that problem, not hide it away, and not reduce functionality.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    Functionality is not increased if it causes other usage problems. Whether those new functions are a good idea or not may be personal opinion, but making the game less playable by creating new problems isn’t.

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