A suggestion for a more TA like interface...

A suggestion for a more TA like interface...

Various things about Spring that do not fit in any of the other forums listed below, including forum rules.

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Snooky
Posts: 39
Joined: 12 Apr 2005, 19:28

A suggestion for a more TA like interface...

Post by Snooky »

First and foremost - Awesome work gentlemen :-) I can't thank you enough for this and I know many others feel the same way.

I have a couple of suggestions for the interface though. I just don't get the use of the right button over the left (as in TA). I am hoping you will offer the ability to customize so that some of us can use the classic TA left button option instead. For what it is worth, I would suggest the following option:

Left Button - Just like TA for all orders.

Right Button - Mouse look while held down (in conjunction with arrow keys).

Mouse Wheel - Fast move / Zoom (which option to inverse mouse wheel direction in the setting files).

I beleive this would feel a bit more natural and would coincide with the original TA interface a bit more.

Anyway, thanks again for Spring regardless! Cheers!

-S
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Redfish
Posts: 289
Joined: 27 Feb 2005, 16:12

Post by Redfish »

I doubt they'll change it. I wasn't a big fan of the switch myself. But according to the SY's the switch is nessecary to allow for some new more advanced commands to be implemented with the mouse buttons. It only took me about 1 hour of playing to get used to it. Besides it's not TA(exactly).

In general the GUI could be better but I think the guy doing it has gone missing?
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SJ
Posts: 618
Joined: 13 Aug 2004, 17:13

Post by SJ »

Yes there is a new gui mostly ready but Pius that was working on it went missing some months ago...

As for the buttons having select and default command on the same button prevents a lot of usefull defaul commands, like guard,repair etc.

Also it makes it impossible to give area commands via the default command. (cant decide if it is an area command or an area selection)

I was a left button fan myself in TA but this just makes more sense in spring.
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Liam
Posts: 93
Joined: 02 Nov 2004, 22:43

Post by Liam »

to be honest, try it for an hour or so... and you get used to it, it is so much better in my opinion, might be nice to be able to switch between them but i think everyone will eventually get over it :)
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zwzsg
Kernel Panic Co-Developer
Posts: 7017
Joined: 16 Nov 2004, 13:08

Post by zwzsg »

SJ wrote:Also it makes it impossible to give area commands via the default command. (cant decide if it is an area command or an area selection)
Well, you could still give area commands with the specific commands. For instance pressing L or the load button before a left click would mean to use the "area load" and not the "select in area". That would not cause me any problem to have to press the appropriate key on my keyboard before giving area commands.

I'm very used to left click interface, left button to give order and right button to deselect, and in Spring it's not just a bit different, it's completly inverted: left button to deselect, right button to give order. I keep on losing the order queue when I want to deselect and on deselecting when I want to give a move order. Even when I know it, I lose a few seconds hesitating before clicking and click the wrong button.

Would it be that hard to let each player choose between right click mode and left click mode?
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sparkyhodgo
Posts: 128
Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 19:05

Post by sparkyhodgo »

Can we get an equivalent of the space bar in OTA? I allowed us to see our unit total and everybody's kills.
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JeeZ
Site Admin
Posts: 62
Joined: 19 Oct 2004, 16:12

Post by JeeZ »

As SJ mentioned, a new GUI was on its way but then Pius disappeared. We have a LOT of ideas on how to improve the GUI, it's just not there yet.
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BlackLiger
Posts: 1371
Joined: 05 Oct 2004, 21:58

Post by BlackLiger »

Im learning C++ ASAP so if you want, if i get any good at it, ill do the GUI for you :P
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The Grand Poobah
Posts: 35
Joined: 13 Mar 2005, 00:12

Post by The Grand Poobah »

Wonderful game guys, great job! As for the mouse, one way to make it more TA-like is to just flip-flop the current configuration: right button selects/deselects, left button issues orders. It wouldn't lose any functionality and I think would would be much easier for most of us to get used to.
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JeeZ
Site Admin
Posts: 62
Joined: 19 Oct 2004, 16:12

Post by JeeZ »

One of the things I would like to see is an improved build menu.

For example, by pressing spacebar, a half-transparent build menu would popup in the game area. Since the menu could be quite large (covering the whole screen if necessary) it could contain all build items (icons) in a grid layout on one single screen. When space bar is released (or one of the items are selected), the menu will disappear. Alternatively, space bar could toggle the menu on and off (no need to keep it pressed).

Of course, it should be possible to configure the layout of the menu and so on. It should also be possible to have custom keyboard shortcuts for each item in the menu.

I think Pius added this kind of functionality to the "new GUI", or at least was planning to.
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Sean Mirrsen
Posts: 578
Joined: 19 Aug 2004, 17:38

Post by Sean Mirrsen »

In that case, only the order menu of any selected units should appear. Then pressing space to bring up a pop-up construction menu is good, but I think it's better to keep it small, possibly extend it to four columns by eight rows (32 items per page), and possibly replacing the order menu. I don't think it'll be good to have it cover the whole screen, since you'll want to place something you want to build, and the menu won't allow that until you close it. And then you'll have to open it again for another building type, etc.

Having shortcuts would of course be great, but do we really need such things for TA, where micromanagement and rapid construction aren't so very much important? Also, with the hundreds of things to build, where will you get so many free keys on the keyboard?

And another thing about menus: the download tdfs that form the build menu should be unlimited in length (currently, only the first 5 entries are read, in TA at least).
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Shade
Posts: 56
Joined: 14 Apr 2005, 17:29

Post by Shade »

You know.

It might be a good idea to take a page from Rise of Nations

http://www.firingsquad.com/media/gallery_image.asp/71/3

Now, this is good for a couple reasons. I'll focus on the upper half of the screen:

Foldout. Foldout foldout foldout. This will solve many problems. Energy, units and metal et cetera can be folded in or out depending on user preference

I'll have to take one of the screenshots and do a mockup to show you what I mean.

-Shade
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Agiel
Posts: 30
Joined: 21 Feb 2005, 15:53

Post by Agiel »

One thing I've noticed about the GUI is that I'm used to scrolling with the numberkeys, and that makes the current GUI seem really slow. Luckily I'm used to right-clicking already.
There was a patch to WC3 that mapped the GUI grid to the buttons "qwerasdfzxcv", and that has to be the best thing ever! The only game I know that does this "officially" is the mod Natural-Selection for Half-Life.
So if anyone makes a new GUI, could you please have something like that in mind? (and also, I'm using a swedish variant of dvorak, so in my case that would be "å,.paoeuäqjk" ;))
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JeeZ
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Posts: 62
Joined: 19 Oct 2004, 16:12

Post by JeeZ »

I can only speak for my self, but I want a slick GUI, taking as little space as possible (leaving room for the actual game). Menus etc should only be displayed when you need them.

Sean, you say:
I don't think it'll be good to have it cover the whole screen, since you'll want to place something you want to build, and the menu won't allow that until you close it.
If the menu closes as soon as you release space bar or if you select a menu item, what is the problem?

But the standard layout could be like the TA layout with a smaller, "sticky" build menu, to make the game more accessible for new players. Personally, I would quickly switch to the popup-menus though.

Also, I like to have shortcuts etc to allow a fast gameplay, e.g. for build items and especially for orders. All competitive players only use the buttons for "Move", "Repair", etc. in the beginning when they are new to the game. But they soon realise that it is far to slow...
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Sean Mirrsen
Posts: 578
Joined: 19 Aug 2004, 17:38

Post by Sean Mirrsen »

Problems with having to close/open the build menu all the time are the following:

1) If the spacebar toggles the menu - it leads to excessive wear of the spacebar, which is rather bad.

2) If the spacebar must be held to keep the menu visible - you'll have to do weird things to do ctrl- and shift-clicking to queue multiple units, as you'll have to hold spacebar as well.

3) If clicking on a menu item closes the menu - what about factory menus?

It's generally better to have the build menu only cover up a portion of the screen, it just allows for more control.

I agree to have hotkeys for orders, but having them for build menu items is impractical in TA, it would require a complex system of manually defined hotkeys, since the number of possible items in the menu varies from 4-5 to 15-20.
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JeeZ
Site Admin
Posts: 62
Joined: 19 Oct 2004, 16:12

Post by JeeZ »

My answers to your "problems":
1) If the spacebar toggles the menu - it leads to excessive wear of the spacebar, which is rather bad.
Well, at least the mouse buttons will be happy! :-)
2) If the spacebar must be held to keep the menu visible - you'll have to do weird things to do ctrl- and shift-clicking to queue multiple units, as you'll have to hold spacebar as well.
I can see a number of solutions to this problem:
  • - Use mouse motion and/or the scroll wheel instead of shift/ctrl. I.e. press and hold a factory button, move the mouse up and down to increase/decrease the number of units to build. Large movments -> big increase/decrease. The scroll wheel could be used to increase/decrease the numbers in steps of 5.
    - Use ctrl/shift as usual, shouldn't be to hard
    - Use a toggling menu instead press-and-hold
    - Use another key than space bar for the menu
3) If clicking on a menu item closes the menu - what about factory menus?
Closing the menu automatically when selecting items for factory menus would be disabled. However, I think it's best to never let the menu close when an item is selected. Probably best to let it stay until it is toggled off or space bar is released (if the press-and-hold menu variant is used).

But as I said earlier, both "normal menus/TA-style" and popup menus should be supported, since there are obviously different opinions about this kind of stuff...
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PauloMorfeo
Posts: 2004
Joined: 15 Dec 2004, 20:53

Post by PauloMorfeo »

zwzsg wrote:Would it be that hard to let each player choose between right click mode and left click mode?
I think that what you are asking is not merely changing from right click to left click.

Of what i understand, you are asking:
Change from left-click->selects, right-click->orders to left-click->selects, left-click->orders.

This is very diferent and would be a great change in TA. Also, the actual system would loose possibilities.
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zwzsg
Kernel Panic Co-Developer
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Joined: 16 Nov 2004, 13:08

Post by zwzsg »

I don't see what possibilities would be lost, since having chosen a specific action before left click would still do that action and not selection.
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sabre
Posts: 1
Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 05:50

Menu for Building

Post by sabre »

Anyone here placed Kill Krush and Destroy ?

The build menu for that was and still is the best I have ever played with. Each "type" of factory had a 1x1 build icon on the right hand side of the screen. Clicking this expanded it so you could see the buildable units and queued builds (a subscript number) for each factory of that type. Left/right mouse clicking would allow you to set it from 1-9 and then infinity.

I loved infinity build. Do most people here have favorite units they churn out, I do. Infinity build meant you don't have to micromanage so much.

The icons on the side meant you didn't have to hunt down the factory, you could queue at any time in the game without losing your place, ie in the middle of a battle and you lost an important/expensive unit, no worries. Cliick factory, queue another one, continue with battle.
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Webbie
Posts: 89
Joined: 31 Mar 2005, 20:27

Post by Webbie »

Could the metal and energy bars possibly be made less intrusive? Maybe they could be two colored bars placed vertically next to the minimap in the finalized interface, with the maximum/current level for each indicated in small numbers underneath?

Maybe what I described could even be put in the bottom right.

Oh, and I like the foldout idea. What would be really cool would be if the panels kind of rotated out, like they were on hinges, but i'm getting ahead of myself. ;)
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