Games and their Widgets

Games and their Widgets

Discuss game development here, from a distinct game project to an accessible third-party mutator, down to the interaction and design of individual units if you like.

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Jazcash
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Games and their Widgets

Post by Jazcash » 25 Nov 2010, 23:28

Ok, now this post is primarily directed and current game developers regarding the default widgets they choose to put into their games.

Over the past year I've played just about nothing but BA and my selection of widgets is now pretty precise and clear. I've downloaded, installed, updated, tweaked, renamed and reconfigured no end of widgets to get the setup which is perfect for me. I have my favourite widgets, widgets I think could use some improvements and widgets I just couldn't do without such as CustomFormations, Ice UI and Defence Ranges.

Now, because LuaUI is so user friendly and easy to customise, I've been able to get the setup which is just right for me. A lot of people trying my widget setup out, would be horrified and wouldn't like to play games with it, others may like it. This is why user preference is so important, it lets players use their own style and format of GUI to allow them to play the way they want to play, chat the way they want to chat and form their own setup to suit them.

I'd be willing to bet I'm the not the only one who is absolutely petrified by CA/ZK's widget list. When I played it for the first time in a year or so, I had all sorts of crap on I didn't want, all sorts of awesomeness off that wanted and all sorts of brilliance not even listed that I couldn't install. It took me a while to get it sorted and find out what everything did and decide what I didn't like and what I did like. It was even more frustrating trying to get my exact BA setup replicated in CA but I could rant for ages about that so I'm not going to :P

I recently played KP and Evo, much the same frustration occurred, although, KP didn't take even half as long to sort out, (despite being a completely different game mechanic altogether). However, I discovered Evo had adopted Chilli UI, a user interface I really do despise (Sorry Car!). This normally wouldn't be a big deal for me as I'd just spend another half hour or so disabling all the widgets and chucking my usual ones back in there, however, Forb decided to lock Evo's widget list and disallow any other user widgets from being used at all. I'm not having a bash at Forb as many game devs have taken this route with their games. It's also not a bash at the games themselves.

Anyway, the main point is, I gave up playing CA, Evo, S44, old Gundam etc simply because I either didn't want to spend ages remaking my setup, or, because I couldn't replicate my setup at all due to locked widget selections. This for me, is a shame, because I do like pretty much all these games and would really like to get into them, however, if I can't tweak the GUI to allow me to use the setup I am used to, I find it hard to get into them. Whether this is because I've used pretty much the same layout for years or because I actually just think the widgets are worse than the widgets I use, it doesn't really matter, I should be able to use my own widgets.

The biggest killer for me is Chilli. I'm not going to go into detail but for me, Ice UI does the job in a simple, clean way without looking like some sort of NASA Space Station.

I just don't see what the big deal is with allowing users to choose their own widgets. In my opinion, it would be better to create a blacklist of widgets that shouldn't be allowed rather than a whitelist of widgets that are allowed. As for the default widgets, I couldn't care less, make them as awesome as you want, but locking them and setting them in stone is a real shame.

Again, don't see this as a dig at developers or their games, but rather, some advice from a long time BA player wanting to play different games.
Last edited by Jazcash on 26 Nov 2010, 23:01, edited 1 time in total.
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trepan
Former Engine Dev
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by trepan » 26 Nov 2010, 00:03

- black-listing is not likely to work
(not that the current setup is iron-clad)

- create a luaui-unlocked mutator, and have at it

IIRC, the one big loophole left in the LuaUI API was
the unitID tracking vs. loss of LOS and radar. Is that
the reason for mods and games using LockLuaUI.txt?
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FLOZi
MC: Legacy & Spring 1944 Developer
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by FLOZi » 26 Nov 2010, 01:08

I imagine its more to do with not wanting people to have an unfair competitive edge just because they are a good lua coder.

N.B. S44 does not use lockluaui.txt. If you're really missing a useful widget in S44, tell us and we'll most likely add it.
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smoth
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by smoth » 26 Nov 2010, 01:33

I am not even sorry I am not going to compromise my design so you can have it your way. Seriously, your ice ui crap osn't going to cover half the information that is important to the game by all means disable the ui etc I didn't fucking lock shit. So don't pretend I did I swear to fucking god what is wrong with you!?!

Go ahead disable the gundam widgets I am not using the ice ui framework. Meltrax please don't think it is a reflection on you, just don't like it.

Seriously I am not fucking stoping you jaz so go ahead have at it, enjoy having a shortage of informatio in grts.


P.s. If had tried to use Iceui you would god I was at least nice enough to use the unit info space so shit like iceui could see some of the info. I'll strip that out just because of your attitude in this thread.

Really jaz the FUCK?!?

Serious bro asshole move. Shit is going to be fun when I strip out my resource display and chilli it, I hope you a fucking blast! Seriously mad at you!
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oksnoop2
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by oksnoop2 » 26 Nov 2010, 01:48

I looked into black listing widgets for ct, then i had a change of heart for some reason. Well not so much a change of heart but i lost interest in trying to do it. I guess I won't now. Thanks for your opinion jazcash.
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Satirik
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by Satirik » 26 Nov 2010, 03:27

the thing is ... IceUI is still the best alternative UI, chili is a mess (as it is in CA at least), it's buggy etc the best thing would be to make chili better than iceui, with a default setup using the same settings for all the games (positions of windows, options, sizes etc)
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smoth
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by smoth » 26 Nov 2010, 03:43

Because all games in this engine require the same screen elements.

Fucking iPhone.

Anyway, what I was saying is there is no one size fits all solution. It really isn't that simple and you would be shoehorning a ui which may or may not suit my or other projects.

Also the colossally ignorant statements about the appearance of chill, it is skinable. Some of you may say but I like a minimalist like ice. Well the rest of the rts world disagrees. So if we want bits of suitable glam in our ui, that is only normal.

But but chilli is so bugged! Is it, or are the widgets using it bugged? Hard to say when you guys have obvious bias.

Yes I agree that making it better would be the solution but the chief complaints are typically about visual styling or bugged widgets which you blame the framework for. To fix whatever it is you feel is broken first requires actually looking at it.

Again, you cannot have a one size fits all layout or appearance as these are part of the game's identity. Disagree? Talk to Mac users.
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SanadaUjiosan
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by SanadaUjiosan » 26 Nov 2010, 04:48

It's really sad to know that (some) people won't play other games because of Widgets. As a game developer I find that very disappointing.

But it's your loss, really. I can't say I have any sympathy for such motives. You created your world of BA-specific widgets, and you're living in it.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by Forboding Angel » 26 Nov 2010, 06:23

Jazcash wrote: I recently played KP and Evo, much the same frustration occurred, although, KP didn't take even half as long to sort out, (despite being a completely different game mechanic altogether). However, I discovered Evo had adopted Chilli UI, a user interface I really do despise (Sorry Car!). This normally wouldn't be a big deal for me as I'd just spend another half hour or so disabling all the widgets and chucking my usual ones back in there, however, Forb decided to lock Evo's widget list and disallow any other user widgets from being used at all. I'm not having a bash at Forb as many game devs have taken this route with their games. It's also not a bash at the games themselves.
User widgets will not be allowed period. You wouldn't have had a problem if you had simply cleared your widget config on your local end (spring/luaui/config -- delete everything in this directory that says "Evo" in it), but you wanted to do it the hard way. Also, if you disable integral menu in evo, you get a very nicely formatted default build menu.

Blaming us gamedevs because you have configs from omg ass old versions that you have not cleared so now when you try it everything is all fucked up, is silly.

Edit... Also, you were using MT... Wtf?
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Jazcash
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by Jazcash » 26 Nov 2010, 09:46

@ Smoth: Was talking about an version of Gundam from over a year ago, I thought I mentioned that but apparently not. I understand more with games that have different elements to that provided by widgets such as Ice UI. Also Forb, this is nothing to do with MT or the layout I had when I loaded up Evo, it's about the fact that Chilli doesn't do half of what I want it to do that Ice UI does do and the fact that Evo is an example of a type of game that doesn't need its own elements as it uses Energy and Metal, just as *A games do.

Sorry if I come across like a complaining prick, and I pretty much am, but all the little things like Chilli chat and Chilli chat bubbles being annoying to use just build up.

However, I also have my own widgets such as hide_cursor, which hides the cursor and sets the camera to rotatable for easy screenshot snapping. Then I have widget_toggler which binds a hotkey to toggle widgets on and off and graphic settings to improve FPS or improve looks. I miss these little things that make things easier for me but meh...

Again, Smoth, you seem pretty upset so I'll state again this has nothing to do with the recent Gundam. I'll be trying Gundam soon so you'll probably have a legitimate reason to hate me then.
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quantum
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by quantum » 26 Nov 2010, 10:25

You can use local widgets in CA, but the checkbox to enable them is hidden in the options.

It's done this way to prevent you from inadvertently using incompatible widgets. RedUI does not display custom buttons so you will lose important commands like jump. Many other widgets have problems.

When local widgets are allowed by default, people load their usual setup, play CA, get loads of errors, think the mod is broken and go back to what they were playing before.
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Jazcash
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by Jazcash » 26 Nov 2010, 13:56

quantum wrote:You can use local widgets in CA, but the checkbox to enable them is hidden in the options.

It's done this way to prevent you from inadvertently using incompatible widgets. RedUI does not display custom buttons so you will lose important commands like jump. Many other widgets have problems.

When local widgets are allowed by default, people load their usual setup, play CA, get loads of errors, think the mod is broken and go back to what they were playing before.
Yeh, I was happy when this was implemented in Chilli, and is one of the few things I do actually like about Chilli.

I can understand why Game devs want to lock widgets to their own set as it makes the game more stable, prevents cheat/ghey widgets from being used and allows the devs to display the GUI exactly how they want it to be displayed without any external crap.

I don't have any problem with this, so long as the widgets chosen are suitable and clear. When I am loading a game for the first time and am presented with bubbles, popups, misplaced elements and inconsistency, it really annoys me. This isn't a specific attack on any game, apart from the games that this applies to, you know who you are :wink:
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SirMaverick
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by SirMaverick » 26 Nov 2010, 14:00

quantum wrote:You can use local widgets in CA, but the checkbox to enable them is hidden in the options.

It's done this way to prevent you from inadvertently using incompatible widgets. RedUI does not display custom buttons so you will lose important commands like jump. Many other widgets have problems.

When local widgets are allowed by default, people load their usual setup, play CA, get loads of errors, think the mod is broken and go back to what they were playing before.
Exactly. The design choice was that the game should be playable directly for new players, do that they don't have to configure anything (or have to download widgets first etc.). Of course this leads to more configuration setups for experienced (BA) players that already play with a different setup.

CA/ZK in default setup aims at new players. This is nothing new and nothing that is going to change.

Btw: you can disable the widget lock in CA.
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SirMaverick
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by SirMaverick » 26 Nov 2010, 14:03

Jazcash wrote:I don't have any problem with this, so long as the widgets chosen are suitable and clear.
This is a very subjective definition. You won't get a setup that will please everyone.
When I am loading a game for the first time [...] misplaced elements and inconsistency
Sounds like bugs. If you want this to be fixed you should this report accordingly and not hide somewhere in a general discussion thread.
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pintle
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by pintle » 26 Nov 2010, 14:18

Chilli has created unplayable framerate issues for me. In CA, Cursed and WarEvo.

JK acted like a total dick to me in #CA when I mentioned this in trying to help a newbie with his fps issues.

I don't share Jaz's passion for lua, I roll with the mod default, and maybe some stuff BD gave me like a smart stockpiler or whatever, but 99% mod default.

I loath chilli.

If you have specific resource elements etc, and chilli is the best way to deal with this, by all means do it.

I do have this to say tho: Chilli significantly hampered my enjoyment of every spring project that utilises it. I have received staggering amounts of hostility and arrogance, specifically from the CA dev team, when trying to make the game playable on my system in light of this largely uneeded resource hog.

Normally I wouldn't post in this thread as I don't see it as leading anywhere good, but this Chilli bullshit has reached tipping point.

It seems like the overwhelming feedback (from anyone I have spoken to in lobby) is resoundingly negative for Chilli, and there is pretty much 0 support for regaining the framerates it will cost you with its Fugly chat bubbles etc (yes smoth i know it is skinnable). What benefits does it give a player? Sure I may be able to see your LUA resource bars, but other than that, really, what does it add, for a player? Nothing worth the disrespect you (always) get from CA devs, and nothing remotely worth the loss of fps.

I really dont particularly care about gui layout and hotkeys etc. However, unecessary use of system resources for stuff that gets in between me and playing= unecessary, and extremely frustrating given the hostility of the devs.
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smoth
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by smoth » 26 Nov 2010, 14:49

Chilli will be very important when I start to add help menus, research trees, better unit info display, custom group displays, replace adv player list, replace my resource ui, an actual console(like ~ in quake).

The buttons, scroll bars folder acess(within game) nesting and skinability are chief on my list of liked features. I find chilli to be more flexible than ice and easier to use.

As far as fps drops I do not see much if at all but then again i have a strong machine. Also my plans are forward thinking as far as hardware requirements so if an older machine cannot run grts I am not going to hamstring my development over it.
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zwzsg
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by zwzsg » 26 Nov 2010, 15:27

I noticed a huge drop of FPS in projects that use Chili as well. But mere impression can't be acted upon, factual numbers are needed.

I would not say to drop chili completly, but that a chili coder should seriously investigate the issue, measure up precisely what eats the processing power, then fix the bottleneck or issue guidelines to avoid it.

Would be stupid to amass all that chili hatred just because of a badly written subroutine. But even if a comprehensive redesign of chili internals is needed, it would still be worth it.
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KDR_11k
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by KDR_11k » 26 Nov 2010, 15:31

I always assume the user will provide his own widgets so I don't include anything beyond mod-specific widgets (stuff like keybinds).
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pintle
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by pintle » 26 Nov 2010, 15:37

zwzsg wrote:Would be stupid to amass all that chili hatred just because of a badly written subroutine.
That was my approach initially. CA team sharply changed my mind tho.
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knorke
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Re: Games and their Widgets

Post by knorke » 26 Nov 2010, 16:20

pintle summed the chili issue.
Just want to add this:
Also my plans are forward thinking as far as hardware requirements so if an older machine cannot run grts I am not going to hamstring my development over it.
That is said by #ca all the time and it is totally missing the point.
Games with chilli do not kill the FPS because there are too many units, particle effects or shaders.

There clearly is a bug that cause the game to completly stutter on some simple 2D crap like displaying a tool tip.

Now I do not care that much for ca because i can spam flash&windmills in other mods but it is sad that other games like Cursed or GundamRTS (did not test yet but I dont expect any better) are now also unplayable because they wanted a different playerlist.

-----------
IIRC, the one big loophole left in the LuaUI API was
the unitID tracking vs. loss of LOS and radar. Is that
the reason for mods and games using LockLuaUI.txt?
Isnt that fixed now by units getting a different unsynched unitID every time they enter LOS?


Disabling local widgets as not to confuse noobs is okay I think, as long as there is an easy to find option to renable them. I know there is one for CA but I could not find it anymore. (didnt really bother to search though but should not have to imo)
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