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Making It Work: Journal

2

Comments

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited September 2016
    I believe so...

    @Pecca - the exact behaviour (on filtering) would need to be agreed / reviewed. But the need to search for both is evident. For example, the first Dorn quest (after meeting in FAI is entitled 'How Rude' in the TPU, 'Dorn-il-Khan' in the journal and the quest entry is listed as: 'A brooding half-orc ... ')

    The ability is needed to be able to search for:

    How Rude
    Dorn
    half-orc
    brooding
    ...


    And be able to find that quest, in my opinion.

    JuliusBorisovPecca
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    Nice mock up of your ideas. :) I would add that the journal should also be accessible by clicking the icon from the inventory screen as well.

    Mr2150JuliusBorisov
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    I agree ... however, I think because it's something you are doing whilst in the inventory screen, (now open the journal) it should be a request under the inventory screen changes (if that makes sense!)

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    No, it is as important to mention it when talking about the journal as it is to say “by pressing the journal icon on the main screen”. It is about accessing the journal.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited September 2016
    Yes... but this thread is about the journal. How you get into the journal isn't changing... Pressing J, or clicking the journal icon, does that.

    The change you want is for the journal icon and J to function whilst you are IN the inventory screen. Therefore the coding changes are part of the inventory screen.

  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,280
    Mr2150 said:

    Yes... but this thread is about the journal. How you get into the journal isn't changing... Pressing J, or clicking the journal icon, does that.

    The change you want is for the journal icon and J to function whilst you are IN the inventory screen. Therefore the coding changes are part of the inventory screen.

    In fact, this is the left sidebar code that disallow opening the journal while in the inventory.

    Mr2150RavenslightJuliusBorisovgorgonzola
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    Yup - you are absolutely right @lefreut - my bad.

    It might actually be deeper than that - as the code is: game:GetJournalOpenable() which I guess is an engine function.

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
    I can also see it as directly involving with the journal screen, so it should be here. Among other journal features, the journal button should be accessible from other screens.

    Mr2150RavenslightJuliusBorisov
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    Whilst I do disagree - I've added it nonetheless.

    PeccaRavenslightJuliusBorisov
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    In my mock-ups I deliberately didn't have a header like the other windows - reasoning was that directly underneath where the window header would be is a button named 'Journal' - it would end up looking like this:



    I thought it might be odd/confusing to open the journal and then be presented with the header journal and a button that lets you switch to the journal.

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
    edited September 2016
    In that case, I would put the buttons to the bottom an keep the header, it should be there for consistency with other screens (just like in the SoD beta screenshot).

    Ravenslight
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited September 2016
    That's a good point - and a good solution - I'll not update the six examples I posted yet, but let's assume I've done that for now :)

    EDIT: I updated just one by adding the header and moving the button box to the bottom (which is also nice as it mimics the button box at the bottom of the record screen).


  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
    edited September 2016
    I don't know about the chapter at the bottom. I think it should be at the top under the header, or at least above the bottom buttons. Basically very similar to this:

    Ravenslight
  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 1,930
    Yeah, that would work best I think.

    Mr2150gorgonzola
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited September 2016
    If anyone wants to have a play themselves, and they have Powerpoint (which is what I did the mockups in) then please find my files here...

    EDIT - Updated it to improve alignments and colour the 'parchment' in clearer...

    All updated now @Pecca to have the buttons at the bottom.








    Post edited by Mr2150 on
    JuliusBorisov
  • cmk24cmk24 Member Posts: 605
    Just to add my 2 cents here: It would be nice if the journal text color was a higher contrast ratio to the background page color. In the current version there is dark text on a dark page for one of the tabs, and light text on a light page on the other tab. In both cases I find it difficult to read without leaning in close to my monitor.

    Mr2150JuliusBorisovgorgonzola
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited September 2016
    I had quite a few discussions with @Pecca this morning and we talked about the journal. The conclusion of the discussion was to make a few changes...

    Obviously this is still just a proto for discussion. As before, at this stage the layout is the key thing to look at as colours and highlighting etc are just for representation.

    Main conclusion was to try to minimise the UI changes when moving from one screen of the journal to another. To achieve that Pecca proposed to have single parchment piece stretching across most of each screen. There would be a need for a physical separator between the left and right sections of the parchment and this would ideally be some UI-skin relevant ornamentation - it could be a pretty bookmark, a dragon holding a spear, an gem-laden bar... whatever is appropriate art-wise.

    For simplicity these layouts represent it with a vertical grey box on the parchment.


    We made some other improvements to layout which also have the benefit of spacing things out a bit - and potentially giving more space for non-English languages.


    For me, certainly, it feels more like a journal now rather than a list of text strings.





    Quest Mode:


    On selecting a quest:


    Journal Mode:


    User Notes Mode:


    On selecting a user note:


    Editing a user note:


    JuliusBorisovgorgonzola
  • RatatoskrRatatoskr Member Posts: 310
    The latest mockup looks pretty good to me - though I am curious as the what the ........ button represents (a search button? I think we need a search button ) and whether the overlap between the quest text and journal text was intentional.

    Also, I'm assuming this is for a full page journal - do we have any kind of mockup for an improved small journal if the devs don't want to change back?

    Mr2150
  • gugulug5000gugulug5000 Member Posts: 211
    It's always confused me as to why they split the quests up into chapters. There really is no need for it. An "Active Quests" tab and a "Finished Quests" tab make much more sense to me. So you could have those two as well as a "User Notes" and "Journal" tabs. They could even just put two sub tabs underneath the current Quests tab to split the quests between active and finished. The journal section itself is really the only thing that might even need to be split into chapters.

    Maybe copied notes should have their own section as well.

    Mr2150swit
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited September 2016

    The latest mockup looks pretty good to me - though I am curious as the what the ........ button represents (a search button? I think we need a search button ) and whether the overlap between the quest text and journal text was intentional.

    Yup - I'm a lazy whatsit and I just copied the first page of text each time just so you can see where the text would be more as a placeholder than anything else.
    ........ is a space for the user to type search terms that are then searched when they hit the accompanying ? button.

    Also, I'm assuming this is for a full page journal - do we have any kind of mockup for an improved small journal if the devs don't want to change back?

    That's a very good point and I guess we should move on to that once there is a consensus over a large journal.




    It's always confused me as to why they split the quests up into chapters. There really is no need for it. An "Active Quests" tab and a "Finished Quests" tab make much more sense to me. So you could have those two as well as a "User Notes" and "Journal" tabs. They could even just put two sub tabs underneath the current Quests tab to split the quests between active and finished. The journal section itself is really the only thing that might even need to be split into chapters.

    Maybe copied notes should have their own section as well.

    I think the mock-ups cover those points (apart from chapters).

    For me, quests doesn't need to be split by chapter but I think it always has been hence the decision to continue that. I do wonder if it might make things trickier to work with (for one, the lists of quests would be HUGE by the end of the game if they weren't divided by chapter).
    Another thought is that the chapters are pretty much arbitrary. I can go to Nashkel in BG1 as soon/late as I want. As soon as I get there, Chapter 2 begins so actually the list of quests marked Chapter 1 or Chapter 2 can vary massively each game but the only quests that do rely on chapters are the Important Events quests (the main questline) - So not having chapters as a means to split quests could result in problems in the main quest line as the Important Events quests opens and closes each time.

    Post edited by Mr2150 on
    Peccagorgonzola
  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,280
    edited September 2016
    Mr2150 said:

    Another thought is that the chapters are pretty much arbitrary. I can go to Nashkel in BG1 as soon/late as I want. As soon as I get there, Chapter 2 begins so actually the list of quests marked Chapter 1 or Chapter 2 can vary massively each game but the only quests that do rely on chapters are the Important Events quests (the main questline) - So not having chapters as a means to split quests could result in problems in the main quest line as the Important Events quests opens and closes each time.

    This may be one reason to not split quest by chapter. It can be hard to find a quest when you don't know in which chapter it will be.

    For information, here is what the journal looks like in Pillars:


    Mr2150
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    I've never played PoE but my mockup is very similar... That's good, I guess, but then how many ways are there to skin a cat :)

    JuliusBorisov
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    I think it is better not to change how the entries are categorized to much from the original games. I know for myself, after searching for certain quests by chapter for fifteen years it would be confusing to try to find them if the chapters were to be dropped.

    As far as layout, without any of the artwork added to the design it is hard for me to tell. Is there going to be room to add the familiar BG elements at the top of the screen? For instance with the journal bar running corner to corner as you have it now?

    Mr2150JuliusBorisov
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    I agree - I think taking away the chapters would be wrong and confusing overall.

    There is plenty of room to add the familiar BG elements... I left a little more space for the text to start with as I'm not sure (at this stage) how much room is needed for the word Journal in other languages but of course, that box can be made much smaller as needed. In the next update I will shorten it so that it matches the size of the Inventory header in the mock-up that @Adul did...

    RavenslightJuliusBorisovRatatoskr
  • gugulug5000gugulug5000 Member Posts: 211
    edited September 2016
    @Mr2150 How about splitting up the journal by areas then, instead of Chapters? So having subsections that can be expanded to show quests in the area. For example (a real quick, basic, mockup):

    -Candlekeep
    -Hull's Sword
    - Journal entry: "I need to go get Hull's sword from the barracks."
    +Firebead's Scroll
    +Potion for cow
    + etc

    +Beregost
    +Nashkell
    +Baldur's Gate
    +Ulgoth's Beard
    +Wilderness Areas

    So you could click on the + by the location name to expand it and show all of the quests you have in the area. Then you could click the + again to expand the quest into giving more details. Sorting quests by areas they are given at makes more sense than arbitrarily assigned chapters. If it were done this way, you could even leave it at a single quest tab instead of two (Active and Finished Quests) since the quests would already be sorted out better to avoid clutter.

    If the Chapters thing is left in, then any unfinished quests from the previous chapter should probably be carried into the next one.

    Also, if there are two tabs to divide quests between Active and Completed, then by the end of the game the only list that will be huge is the Completed quests list, and frankly, how often do people go back and look at the entries for quests that are already done? Skyrim has quests split between active and complete ones, and no one complains that the list ends up being too big.

    EDIT: Apparently the forum doesn't show when you tabbed over, but the subsections under Candlekeep should be tabbed over a little bit to make it seemed less cluttered. I don't know what the forum has against tabs.

    Mr2150RavenslightJuliusBorisov
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    I understand exactly what you mean @gugulug5000 and I personally think it would be a great idea.

    However, I do have some concerns:
    - It might require extra strings to be created and added for all the places where you get quests
    - Because it is such a radical overhaul of how the journal works it may also require edits to every quest to include its received location
    - it's not just a case of swapping the chapter for location, and the structure of the journal in the code, may not allow for it

    That said, it is a completely different approach and fits with the fact that quests aren't tied to chapter, and provides extra guidance to the player. I think it is also more practical...

    It might be too radical for some? Maybe it would be an ideal mod ?

    JuliusBorisov
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,602
    I do think chapters should be kept as they are. Having said that, I like the idea of having quests listed by area as well. I could see that being very helpful to new players and experienced ones alike. It can be very confusing when trying to remember what is where in a game this large.

  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,280
    Splitting quests by area (or by categories like in Pillars) is nice but requires a lot of work.

    Mr2150RavenslightJuliusBorisovgugulug5000
  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,254
    Would the Area be the Area in which the Quest was initially added or most recently updated? I think that's the only way to do it without going back and actually adding an area to every single possible quest (which obviously would screw up all quests from existing mods).

    However, that can often be misleading. Say I hear about Bassilius in Beregost, so the quest is added to the Beregost area. Then checking my quest log, it looks like something I can do in Beregost, but I obviously cannot.

    I personally already dislike having active quests spread out over multiple chapters, and would much rather see all active quests bumped up to the current chapter, so I can see them all at once, rather than having to tab forth and back between different chapters.

    Ravenslightgugulug5000
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