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DROP DOWN ROSTER GRAPHIC CONCEPT:

This is a drop down graphic that is activated, and minimized by clicking the button ROSTER placed on the upper right side of the screen (compass moved to the left). This valuable tool solves many problems for keeping track of the situational status of the entire force especially for the RTS player. It shows the following status C2 , Fitness, Morale, Contact, and Ammo status of each unit without actually having to select the unit. Hitting the ROSTER button expands/collapses the graphic. Clicking on a unit selects that unit. Double clicking moves the camera to the unit like the TAB key. Again the Roster can be minimized, has a scroll bar, and in the lower left corner would be a drag button that the player could resize the box to preference. It could be half screen as shown, smaller, or the length of the screen to see the most units. For the inch and a half the player would lose of the battlefield the gain is worth it I feel.

Below is a sample that uses some of the old icons from Cmx1. Color code is Green, Yellow, Red, and Dark Red. The end product may not have to look just like this, but here is the general idea that is easy to read. Some players have requested the old command lines, and others have requested a radio traffic log similar to TOW, and other RTS games. This is better than having to read words, and gives the whole story at a glance. With this one can be zoomed in with the camera in one place while still being able to keep tabs on units not in the screen view. Imagine being able to see the whole C2 chain at a glance as well as ALL the key info one would have to get only by selecting each unit! This puts all this information in a simple, concise list summery format.

EXPLAINED:

The CIRCLE represents C2. Green = good C2 either close voice, radio, or close visual. Yellow = Far away visual. Red = out of contact.

Fatigue is represented by the FIGURE. Green = good (rested, ready, tiring). Yellow = tired. Red = exhausted. For tanks this would refer to mobility status.

The HEART represents morale. Green = good. Yellow = Rattled. Red = Panic.

Lightning bolt represents contact. Green = No enemy contact. Yellow = Visual enemy contact, or engaged giving, or taking fire, or both. Red = Pinned, taking lots of fire.

Ammo is represented by BULLET, and is based on the overall main ammo of the unit. Green = good, Yellow = low. Red = out of main ammo.

Dark red = Unit is destroyed.

This allows the player to get key information about all units at a glance without having to actually select the unit. Given the explanation above can you tell at a glance, which units are in a panic, are fatigued, out of contact, and destroyed even though they may be out of the current camera view?

Also, just as the unit icon flickers briefly the corresponding ROSTER so the player does not miss that if zoomed in to close to miss it.

I truly think this makes sense, and solves many situational awareness problems. Think of it as a visual radio traffic log.

rosterfullcopy.jpg

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Iif the guy were exhausted he wouldn't be running, so maybe change symbol to "exhausted looking"?

I love the concept, but I suspect you'll have to start your own game company and develop your own title to get it in.

Then you could also have symbols for "horny" but "erudite reader, though not formally educated" etc.

:)

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Then you could also have symbols for "horny" but "erudite reader, though not formally educated" etc.

:)

When “horny” becomes important to know I’ll add a symbol of a guy with a hard on :)Until then let’s stick to the most relevant info the player wants to keep tabs on about each unit which he can only know by selecting each unit individually, and are C2, Fitness, Morale, Contact, and Ammo. More efficient to look at a list that changes in real time.

Also, since units can be selected from the “Roster” this becomes another way to navigate in the game.

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Two distinct advantages of using a graphic visual “Radio traffic log” as opposed to a text driven one for example as used in “Theatre of War”.

*Symbols and colors are deciphered by the mind differently, and quicker than words that must be read. Anyone who has tried Vin’s animated text will tell you it is easier.

*Icons, and colors can be MODDED easily. This creates the potential for variations to ones preference. Blue scale colors can be used for color blind for example, or say one wants an icon of a sub machine gun instead of a lightning bolt? Easily done.

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Vinnart,

OT question:

How much RAM do you have? (i have the same graphics problem and i think it's RAM related).

That is a very old screen shot from when I first got the demo. I chose it because it had the stock unit icons in it, which I wanted for the illustration. Since, then my graphics as SO much better even for an old machine.

My specs are 3G Pentium 4 processor, 2.5 G RAM, GX430 graphics card. Optimizing game, card, and terrain tile resolution has made day and night changes in the how my game looks now from when this shot was taken.

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How did you optimize terrain tile res?

Steiner, One can lower the resolution of terrain tiles in a photo editor. There is low res terrain in the repository. Look for Wolfe’s Low shimmer terrain. Try those with these settings. These are my setting that work good with my card, and look SO much better than the screen shot above that I used for the Roster illustration. Give these a try. Hope it improves the way the game looks as much as it has for me.

NIVIDIA SETTINGS

Anisotropic filtering 16x

Antialasing gamma correction - on

Antialasing - mode - override anny app setting

Antialasing - Setting 4x

Antialasing - Transparency 2x (supersample)

CUDA-GPU's - All

Eztension Limit - Off

Max prerendered frames - 3

Texture Filtering - Anissotropic sample - off

Texture Filtering - Negative LOD bias - clamp

Texture Filtering - Quality - Quality

Texture Filtering -Trilinear opt - on

Thread opt -auto

Tripple buffering - On

Verticle sync - Use 3d app setting

GAME SETTINGS

Verticle sync - on

3d model quality - better

3d texture quality - fast

Antialasing/multisample - on

High priority process - on

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4 YEARS IN THE MAKING. THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS, AND THE REALIZATION OF REFINED DESIGN:

About 4 yrs ago I presented a similar concept to the developers of Sudden Strike to try to improve their game. Here is a pic of the original design that was placed in the strategic map screen for that game. The tabs were filters to show ALL, only infantry, tanks ect.. Here I am using a more “Theatre of War” approach.

Tacticalmap.jpg

Nice, but words take up more space than symbols, and do not process by the mind as efficiently.

Hey, I even spelled Roster right the first time for that one. I must not have been as Roasted that night when I made it :)

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Meanwhile on the other side of the world another guy, ClarkWGriswald, was also getting similar thoughts to invent the wheel. Here is a similar design, and concept Clark made. I applaud Clark for taking the initiative to brainstorm, and making such a nice graphic.

CMBN_edit.jpg

In comparing the two designs I feel mine is the more effective. I say this not because I made it, but in looking at it objectively. The “Roster” design is easier to process at GLANCE, in that it maintains a more KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid)approach.

*Easier to see the C2 marker next to the unit icon in a list format, rather than the eye to have to travel a lined path.

*It is more compact, and concise which also makes it easier to process at the glance. The more compact design also offers more room for more units to be shown in the box at any given time.

*Optimal placement is on the RIGHT side of the screen. Studies show people notice things more to their right. Ever notice webpages usually have the ads on the right side of the screen? It is no accident they are placed there.

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REFINING THE DESIGN:

ROSTER v3-

Graphic changes:

*Added slight indents for a more organized outline format to better show separation between platoons, and to better show the hierarchy to find units easier.

*Improved icon spacing, and sizing (made heart smaller).

*Changed to less saturated green.

Rosterv3.jpg

Added function:

As stated the Roster unit icon should mirror the battlefield unit icons.

*Selected battlfield icons visible in the current Roster window should highlight in some way if in the current Roster view.

*Casualty icons in the Roster should flicker too. The scroll should also automatically move to either the top, or bottom most slot(if unit is above/or below the current Roster view) To alert the player that a casualty, or that any unit has changed RED status. Example: In the Roster shown 3rd platoon is not in the current view. 3rd platoon HQ takes a casualty. The roster would automatically scroll till 3rd platoon HQ is shown in the bottom most slot so that the player is alerted to it, and does not miss it. The Roster automatically scrolls just enough to get the needed unit shown. This auto scrolling only happens once to alert. In other word if the mortar is out of ammo it will not keep moving the scroll to be seen in the current window view after it alerts the player once.

*Destoyed units should be dark red, and faded.

In regard to Erwin’s comment of using different symbols to show different status this is also a possibility, and offers more flexibility variation. For example instead of the circle I am using the different C2 markers Clark is showing could be used (radio, voice, ect..). The bottom line is that as long as the bmp’s are there in the first place they can be modded for variation to individual taste. If I want different color circles, and you want the more detailed C2 markers it can be done. Anyway the Roster should have its own set of Bmp’s separate than the battlefield unit icons. For example this would be needed if one wanted the battlefield unit icons to be blue, and the Roster unit icons to be olive green they cannot share the same bmp.

NEXT. I want to do a mod for it using Wolfe’s geometric icons to see if the different shapes help to create more separation of platoons. I think it will.

To be continued….

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In the past guys have said it would be good to know more about the situational awareness of units when out of camera view, or just by looking at the screen. There was a thread geared toward playing the game at ground level for a more immersive experience and the wanting of a radio traffic log similar to TOW so I thought of this:

Radiolog.jpg

Obsolete!

The ROSTER is better, and so much easier to make sense of at the glance. Most RTS games are played in an overview, and do not have the terrain sophistication so going to ground is not as important. CM however requires the player to drop low at times. The problem is you lose sight of the other units and can miss stuff. The Roster allows you to still “see” units that are not in the current screen. One could play an entire game from ground level, and still know what’s going on with the units on the other side of the map out of camera view.

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Why don't you use the voice, eye, figure icons that come with the game for the C2 symbols, people are used to them so it would be more user friendly, then use your symbols for the rest of the information.

Yes, that is certainly a possiblity.

Look above noob (post #15)

"In regard to Erwin’s comment of using different symbols to show different status this is also a possibility, and offers more flexibility variation. For example instead of the circle I am using the different C2 markers Clark is showing could be used (radio, voice, ect..). The bottom line is that as long as the bmp’s are there in the first place they can be modded for variation to individual taste. If I want different color circles, and you want the more detailed C2 markers it can be done. Anyway the Roster should have its own set of Bmp’s separate than the battlefield unit icons. For example this would be needed if one wanted the battlefield unit icons to be blue, and the Roster unit icons to be olive green they cannot share the same bmp."

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Look above noob (post #15)

"In regard to Erwin’s comment of using different symbols to show different status this is also a possibility, and offers more flexibility variation. For example instead of the circle I am using the different C2 markers Clark is showing could be used (radio, voice, ect..). The bottom line is that as long as the bmp’s are there in the first place they can be modded for variation to individual taste. If I want different color circles, and you want the more detailed C2 markers it can be done. Anyway the Roster should have its own set of Bmp’s separate than the battlefield unit icons. For example this would be needed if one wanted the battlefield unit icons to be blue, and the Roster unit icons to be olive green they cannot share the same bmp."

Ok, the roster is a good idea, anything that can make information easier to process is a definitely worth having.

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Ok, the roster is a good idea, anything that can make information easier to process is a definitely worth having.

noob, I know it in my bones. When I feel it there, and have this kind of creative buzz I know I am on to something good.

It solves many situational awareness concerns, and is one of the last remaining pieces of the puzzle to make CM the BEST controllable RTS game over anything else I have seen to date.

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I love any way that makes info more visual and less verbal. So, well done. But can these be implemented by modders or would it take BF deciding to implement all this?

Also, thanks for the nVidia settings, Vinnart. It's always interesting to see how others optimize the settings. Was curious why you only have 3 prerendered frames. I use the max of 8. Doesn't more make things smoother?

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I love any way that makes info more visual and less verbal. So, well done. But can these be implemented by modders or would it take BF deciding to implement all this?

Also, thanks for the nVidia settings, Vinnart. It's always interesting to see how others optimize the settings. Was curious why you only have 3 prerendered frames. I use the max of 8. Doesn't more make things smoother?

Thanks Erwin. This would definitely have to implement by BF. I am not a programmer so I do not know of how difficult, and what complications are involved in making something very close to something like this with ALL these features. For example I recall comment about scroll bars being difficult to implement for the saved game screen. In this case for example use what we can. Create buttons to scroll as in the way it works in the QB purchase screen. UP/DOWN. Things like making the box dragable to size to taste might be a pain for all I know. In that case having the bar extend the length the screen would be best to show the most units for large forces. You can always click the ROSTER button to make it disappear if one wants. I would rather have it there of course because one gains much more, and easier situational awareness of the force than they lose in scarifying a bit of battle screen. Long narrow vertical format is space efficient, while offering the most room for the longest list. List format is definitely the format to stay organized for this. I am confident it can be done as I have seen similar controls on side menus in other games.

In regard to the Nividia Q I’m no expert. I only know that I finally found a happy medium given my system specs between detail and FPS that works for me.

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