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Game News Colony Ship Update #41: Closed Combat Beta Begins

l3loodAngel

Proud INTJ
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Edgy
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First RPG I have desire to play in the last few years. It’s a sad thing when you think about it, it’s all what’s left of iso RPG rebirth.
 

MasPingon

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Castle Rock
VD, I have o lot of respect to you, you made the Codex along with couple of others, but belive us, this UI sucks ass. It looks even worse then Wasteland 2 UI before fixes. I remember people here were fixing it for Inxile, their versions were "professional" in comparision. This looks like someone did it in 2 hours, literally. I see it for the first time and I'm tired after looking at it for 30 seconds. Text font is also terrible, I wanted to destroy it on spot. How do you expect someone to read a lot of dialog with this? It's like equivalent to comic sans. Why is everything look the same, why is it the same color everywhere?
 
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Deleted Member 22431

Guest
VD, I have o lot of respect to you, you made the Codex along with a couple of others, but believe us, this UI sucks ass.
Consructive criticism, ever heard of it? Saying it is bad without explaining why or providing alternatives doesn't help.
 

Shadenuat

Arcane
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VD, I have o lot of respect to you, you made the Codex along with a couple of others, but believe us, this UI sucks ass.
Consructive criticism, ever heard of it? Saying it is bad without explaining why or providing alternatives doesn't help.
I can say a lot on the topic but generally when people in internet tell about constructuve criticism, objective/subjective, it just means that truth hurts them.

he doesn't need to explain why. if he says
I see it for the first time and I'm tired after looking at it for 30 seconds.
your job as designer is to figure out why. for explaining why you can hire experts. your clientele doesn't work for you to do job for you.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
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Messages
28,038
VD, I have o lot of respect to you, you made the Codex along with couple of others, but belive us, this UI sucks ass.
First, it would be much easier to believe it had everyone or at least most people complained about it. It's not the case at all (so far).

Second, which part sucks, in your opinion? All of it? Can the game even be saved at this point or the awful UI has contaminated every aspect of it?

Third, the purpose of the demo isn't to impress you with the fucking interface but to test the mechanics which is (some people say) what matters the most in an RPG. As such the GUI is far from finished (beyond the character system layout), but I will gladly note your (and everyone else's) criticism and suggestions. Our team is small and the list of important tasks is long, so prettying up the interface doesn't have a high priority at the moment.

Text font is also terrible, I wanted to destroy it on spot. How do you expect someone to read a lot of dialog with this?
You mean this font?

zJUiS9W.png
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
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Messages
28,038
VD, I have o lot of respect to you, you made the Codex along with a couple of others, but believe us, this UI sucks ass.
Consructive criticism, ever heard of it? Saying it is bad without explaining why or providing alternatives doesn't help.
I can say a lot on the topic but generally when people in internet tell about constructuve criticism, objective/subjective, it just means that truth hurts them.
Yeah, when someone disagrees with me, it's because my TRUTH hurt them! After all, it's the only possible explanation.

I see it for the first time and I'm tired after looking at it for 30 seconds.
your job as designer is to figure out why.
Do you honestly believe that it's possible to make an interface that every single person would like? That subjective preferences never ever play any role there at all?

Obviously, we'd very much prefer if every single person who liked AoD (including MasPingon) would like everything about Colony Ship as well, so we do pay attention to both the criticism and suggestions, and like I said, the GUI isn't finished yet, so don't treat it as finished and polished.
 

Egosphere

Arcane
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Jan 25, 2018
Messages
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Hibernia
Nothing wrong with that interface. No, it isn't pretty, but it does the job and gives you the info you need to know. I like it a lot more than I like Underrail's microscopic pixel art.
 

Shadenuat

Arcane
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Do you honestly believe that it's possible to make an interface that every single person would like? That subjective preferences never ever play any role there at all?
but why use the word as a shield then?
either shit is subjective ie art and people have no say about your vision, or it isn't and they do have a say.

but showing something to everyone and then going into defensive when people say something is shit is meaningless.

Obviously, we'd very much prefer if every single person who liked AoD (including MasPingon) would like everything about Colony Ship as well, so we do pay attention to both the criticism and suggestions
don't do the sale moves on me salesman :shittydog:

Nothing wrong with that interface. No, it isn't pretty, but it does the job and gives you the info you need to know. I like it a lot more than I like Underrail's microscopic pixel art.
Underrail at minimum groups parts of the system (like base stats, skills and perks) into different tabs afaik. also arguably its stylized look provides it with unique appeal characteristic to overall visual style of the game.
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
Developer
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Messages
5,718
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California
Re: subjective, etc.

To me, the frenzy of criticism in this thread smacks more than a little of Codexian self-destructiveness and maybe envy, and doesn't seem super helpful. I would think if there were ever a project to exert oneself beyond "this sucks, you're a coward for not facing up to it," it would be this one.

With that in mind, re: UI

You mean this font?

zJUiS9W.png
That font is not bad, but generally speaking, fixed width fonts are inferior to variable width fonts, so unless you have some need to go monospaced, I would use a variable width font. Further, your lines are running about 100 characters, which is too long for optimum readability. There is some debate about the optimum length on screens, but ~66 CPL is a reasonable number: http://webtypography.net/2.1.2 I wouldn't go much higher than 70. (Fallen Gods is ~60 CPL; PS:T is ~70.) The font is also a bit small, in general. Whenever a dialogue window is up, the player's focus is going to be on that window and the "action" is taking place there, so I think you should consider making the window a bit larger and the font a bit larger. (You'll need the larger window because at 66 CPL and larger font, you wouldn't be able to fit all of the text in a single window, and having a single dialogue node that requires scrolling is IMO a bad idea in almost all instances.) But these are mostly nits. I think the criticism of the dialogue font is mostly misplaced -- it's a readable font and a reasonable

The only font that I think is really worthy of a lot of criticism is the one used for the initial welcome screen. Also, as others note, I think you're using centering improperly -- really the only time text should be centered (if at all) is for headings. For anything else, either left-justified with ragged right edge or double-justified is the way to go.

In the status screen, the only thing I'll note is a bit odd, font-wise, is that you have headings (e.g., Str/Con) that are smaller than the items in the list below the heading (e.g., Melee Extra Damage). I think that actually works, but it's abnormal. Otherwise, the only low-hanging fruit that I can see is that "Tagged Skills" is positioned a bit oddly relative to "Skills" and "Available Point(s)" -- I think it should be farther to the left. The font used in the status screen, which I think is the same one I complained above for the welcome screen, is fine as deployed here. It's not a very readable font, but it's readable enough for single-word headings.

I think part of what people are reacting to may be informational overload (there's a ton going on in the trading and status screens), part of it may be the lack of "illumination" (in the manuscript sense) -- even compared to the Syndicate screen, which has whatever the techno-crap is in the background and the cool cyber-anatomical cutaway, and generally less information. AOD has a decent amount of illumination (the columns, the bezeling on stuff). I think you're probably going to want to add some illumination to the CSG UI at some point, but there's no reason to make it a priority. The informational overload issue is a higher-tier concern, I guess, but CSG is supposed to be grognardy, so it may actually serve a deterrent function. I think the information is conveyed in a readable format.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
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Messages
28,038
Do you honestly believe that it's possible to make an interface that every single person would like? That subjective preferences never ever play any role there at all?
but why use the word as a shield then?
Merely pointing out that criticism isn't universal. We've been dealing with it for over 10 years now. We show/release something, most people like it, someone says it's shit. Ask FeelTheRads what he thinks of AoD. He'd tell you it's shit. That's his truth and we're fine with it.

either shit is subjective ie art and people have no say about your vision, or it isn't and they do have a say.
:why not both:

Yes, every opinion on the interface, including mine and Mazin's and Oscar's, is subjective as fuck. That's pretty much a given. However, since we're making this game for a very specific audience (which has different preferences and sensibilities than Bethesda's or Bioware's audiences, for example), we have to pay attention to what this audience likes and prefers. Not what ONE TRUE TRUTH is, but what a relatively small % of the gaming market prefers. Of course, even within this small group there are strong, often polarizing differences of opinion, so we have to go with what the majority within this group prefers. Otherwise we'd still be redesigning AoD to make sure every member of this forum likes it.

Take the monochrome thing. It's not something that can be labelled as objectively good design or objectively bad design. For the record, it wasn't my idea, it was Mazin's, so I'm not defending muh vision here. Etc.
 

Shadenuat

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Re: subjective, etc.

To me, the frenzy of criticism in this thread smacks more than a little of Codexian self-destructiveness and maybe envy, and doesn't seem super helpful. I would think if there were ever a project to exert oneself beyond "this sucks, you're a coward for not facing up to it," it would be this one.

With that in mind, re: UI
considering at least few people every time ui shows up go into photoshop to take their time and redraw how they would prefer it this is not correct;

~but if you want more "objective" criticism with some developer nepotism here you go.

Take the monochrome thing. It's not something that can be labelled as objectively good design or objectively bad design.
Most of monochrome ui I remember, like moderntard skyrim/whatever, seems to use it for small amount of information and blocks, but not for a large list of skills. And then so far your game, judging from pictures, has a lot of dark areas of bluish shadows in them. I already feel kinda tired just from looking at it.
 
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Daedalos

Arcane
The Real Fanboy
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Apr 18, 2007
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Denmark
I get that people are very critic and passionate, but calm the fuck down.

I guess you should have made a bigger disclaimer for the demo, Vault Dweller. What are WIP, what's placeholder and such, so people 'know' what to expect I guess.
I mean even I critiqued some of the stuff in the demo, eventho it clearly wasn't the main purpose and intention of the feedback wanted (combat alone).

Game obviously is gonna change alot in the next 1-2 years, so let's move on people.
 

HeatEXTEND

Prophet
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Nedderlent
whatever the techno-crap is in the background
iirc that's a desk and the menu is portrayed as a holographic UI. That's a nice touch, fits very well with the corporate/techno setting. Nice touches are nice. I don't think anyone is worried about too much info (who here has never looked down at their charsheet, wondering where it all went wrong :lol: ), and AoD speaks for itself concerning ITS' cRPG gameplay chops. Only thing left is to get worked up over the minutiae. ITS GET YOUR FUCKING SHIT TOGETHER :lol:
 

Haba

Harbinger of Decline
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Codex 2012 MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
To me, the frenzy of criticism in this thread smacks more than a little of Codexian self-destructiveness and maybe envy, and doesn't seem super helpful.

When the head honcho himself calls all all criticisms "subjective" and takes the "climate denial" approach to the entire field of cognitive sciences, it leaves a little room for help.

Now this is not necessarily pointed at VD specifically, it just pisses me off when indie game devs disregard UI issues with the same bullshit claims.

UX is not black magic. Those things have been extensively studied for ages and we have a pretty good understanding on why certain approaches "work" and others do not. It all comes from the way that human brain works. Any decent academic textbook should cover the basic concepts, for the most part they are quite down to earth. For example, gestalt psychology in UI design.

Now, no UI is going to be perfect, what we're looking for is the acceptable compromise. Old-school game design breaks most of the modern day conventions (which is probably a good thing), but it doesn't mean we can't still do the easy things right. Especially on the screens the user spends the most time looking at. And the screens that contain the most complex information.
 

Deleted Member 22431

Guest
Now, no UI is going to be perfect, what we're looking for is the acceptable compromise.

There is nothing wrong with punching holes in the game. It doesn't matter how nasty and aggressive you think your commentaries are. VD heard it before. What I don't like is that you can make a bunch of butthurt posts about how resistant to the feedback they are but you are incapable of providing detailed criticisms. If your view is so scientific, show it with arguments and let the details speak for themselves. Don't waste your time and ours with generic complaints about other issues.
 
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Skills improving with use is worrisome. This is a difficult design feature to have in a single player game, due to the needs it places on content.
 

FeelTheRads

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Apr 18, 2008
Messages
13,716
There is nothing wrong with punching holes in the game. It doesn't matter how nasty and aggressive you think your commentaries are. VD heard it before. What I don't like is that you can make a bunch of butthurt posts about how resistant to the feedback they are but you are incapable of providing detailed criticisms. If your view is so scientific, show it with arguments and let the details speak for themselves. Don't waste your time and ours with generic complaints about other issues.

People keep posting suggestions and actual constructive criticism. Fanboys still go "but where are the suggestions and constructive criticism????"
Aren't you tired yet of sucking VD's cock and white-knighting him at every opportunity? If he has heard it all before then I'm sure he can talk for himself.
Oh but wait, no, yeah, VD can only resort to "everything is subjective therefore no criticism is relevant". Oh and also "but muh fanboys liek it so therefore iz gud".

Yeah, when someone disagrees with me, it's because my TRUTH hurt them! After all, it's the only possible explanation.
No, indeed. When someone disagrees with you it's because climate or they just don't like it.
 

luj1

You're all shills
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VD, I have o lot of respect to you, you made the Codex along with a couple of others, but believe us, this UI sucks ass.
Consructive criticism, ever heard of it? Saying it is bad without explaining why or providing alternatives doesn't help.
If he doesn't know no one should tell him. Devs who believe *composition* and *color palette* are subjective concepts deserve to remain ignorant.
 

Tigranes

Arcane
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
10,350
So uh just focusing on the actual substantive issue - how usable/not is the UI, what should be changed/fixed/improved -

Even when playing (instead of looking at a screenshot), the character screen is definitely too monochromatic and the font is very 'loud'. I'm no graphics designer so I won't try to pinpoint the issues, but there's no doubt that it's an unfriendly screen visually.

None of the other screens are anywhere as tiring in practice. The dialogue is fine to read, for example, and the combat UI is quickly fairly comfortable to use/read. The difference is that the character screen is the one place where you're expected to slow down and examine the totality of the available information.

In general, I think lower-budget indie games with this stark sci-fi aesthetic have it tough, because it's so easy for cold colours, etc. to dominate the visual vibe of your game - less approachable. You start the combat demo and you're in a dark warehouse container-style area with blue neon line-dominated UI. The music actually goes some way to mitigating this; it's a nice piece that doesn't fall for the typical 'uh vaguely electronica/aphex twin/fallout/buzzing noises' trap.
 

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