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Thread: UI/inventory look improvement ideas - Less wasted space, better handling

  1. #1
    Kickstarter Hologram Nomad eriongtk's Avatar
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    UI/inventory look improvement ideas - Less wasted space, better handling

    First things first. I have stopped playing the game for the while. I have recently started playing again, and I can barely stop!

    Congratulations on how huge improvements you made with the game so far!
    I do,however feel that the UI lacks a bit in both look and feel.

    The look: I feel that the UI suffers from a wasted space syndrome. Just like with skyrim, there is a lot of wasted space here as well. This especially problematic (annoying, unproductive, etc) with some elements of the UI. Other areas just lack functionality - but more on that in their own section.

    First, the look:
    1. Character UI
    The character UI is not a rant, more like a suggestion. The UI works here, although there are still lot of wasted space. Can the info panel be expanded?
    Many people feel that search function and/or ('and' please) could use a sorting system. I am proposing 3 different ones - Default (unordered), Type and alphabetical.

    "Tracked" recipes would allow us to see just how much materials we would need for a certain recipe (per crafted unit, or total -> 10 frames = x materials times 10)

    Alternatively, it could list a summary of items - like a total, that adds up all seperate items.
    "You have:
    [Carbon icon] = 190 | [Iron icon] = 207
    [Silicon icon]] = 204
    [...etc...]



    2. Building Blocks / Blueprint Library
    This is weird. There is a huge empty space that is easily half the screen...for emptiness. The biggest issues i think here is the fact that the panel is too narrow. It would be easily extended to twice the width, and there would be plenty of space to show info in a seperate window for mouseover items.

    Additionally, the sorting makes it really hard to find what we need. This panel coiuld hugely benefit from search function, and different types of ordered lists - Alphabetical - as name suggests, it would list filtered items alphabetically

    Craftable - only show or only highlight items that we can craft (Green border), almost craft (Yellow border). This function would be greatly appreciated!



    3. Machine/Block UI

    I have to admit,this mildly annoyed me, especially the single-line machine/block inventory that had a scrollbar...
    The picture can better show what i mean than me typing it down, trying to explain it
    I was too lazy to photoshop it more, forgive me.

    qCci2NQ.jpg


    As for the "feel" of the inventory handling - honestly, it feels okay, considering the progress of the game, this is more like a wishful thinking than anything else. Many games that involve a great deal of inventory management forget to implement these really nice quality of life improvements, like:

    ► Able to move ALL items from one inventory to another
    ► Able to move same type of items - like move all dirty water, carbon...etc from inventory
    ► Allow auto-split items if inventory slots are full but there are still available space for items.
    Example: Inventory is at 12/12, but we can still move 60 coal to max our stack. We would like to move 90 coal, and instead of dinging with error, it would put 60 to max out container stack, and it would leave us with remaining 30. I know there is a way to do it currently. Alt-drag item to specific stack...
    ► Mouse overing an unlocket item currently says what the prerequisites are. Would if be possible to have an overlay that is either color coded or displays
    actual numbers on said items? It could have 1,2,3 (depending on depth) overlayed on those items, or any kind of feedback, like a new tab that says Queue


    This could work really well with the "track recipe" system. It would list things in "Queue" tab, which would display only selected route. Left hand side is the top level recipe/block, and right hand side is the desired blueprint/block. This could also help new players to get used to mechanics as well!



    CRANEBALLS, my hat is off to you, this game becomes even more amazing with each update! I really love it, despite the above wall of text

    Thank you!
    Last edited by eriongtk; 07-03-2018 at 06:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hello eriongtk,

    Thanks for your suggestions. We are about to make sorting and filtering by name as well as transfer all. About other suggestions we have not decided yet.

    Expanding block catalog would mean that there will be many blocks on screen and that could be confusing. Maybe we could enlarge block icons then to keep number lower but images easier to distinguish.

  3. #3
    Kickstarter Hologram Nomad eriongtk's Avatar
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    Thank you for the reply!


    Thanks for your suggestions. We are about to make sorting and filtering by name as well as transfer all.

    Thank you! This will be a HUGE help to everyone! - Sorting and search are especially a godsent.

    Expanding block catalog would mean that there will be many blocks on screen and that could be confusing.


    I respectfully disagree. I personally find the current system weird, and feels like it more "tedious" than easy to use. I think having more items per row would actually help. As for "too many icons" - we have the option to choose category, even set our own favorite blocks. That would eliminate attack of the icons, and would keep the number of icons/list size to a more manageable way.

    Would it be possible to post a bulletin about this? A vote what people would want?
    You guys are amazing at listening to fans and general feedback, and actually wanting to do things people suggest. I think the vote results would be a good indicator if people are happy with the current system or not? I could photoshop something like that in a relatively small amount of time, but i think if it came from the Devs, it would carry more tracktion than just a random forum user posting

    Just a picture of the 2 layouts - 1st is the current, 2nd is the wide menu - it doesn't have to be functional, just a visual aid of that to expect


    Maybe we could enlarge block icons then to keep number lower but images easier to distinguish.

    That would also be a good option, i think.
    But it wouldn't solve the issue with the machine inventory - that single line with a scrollbar for a 2 line/row inventory is really weird. please please please consider moving the queue to the right side I can send you the image without the scribbling (only UI elements) if you want.

  4. #4
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    Here is an example how should wide block catalog look like. Do you think it's clearer?
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    It certainly will require less scrolling to find things. And with the categories on the side still, it should work just fine.

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    Sweet!
    I love the wide catalog look, it should make blocks much easier to find.

    Will we be able to adjust the size or shape?

    It should look fantastic at 3840X2160 on my 28” UHD monitor.

  7. #7
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    Looks better.
    I wonder if the unlocked building blocks should jump to the beginning of the list or rather stay on a fixed position, to allow the player to develop a reflex, to find his favorite blocks always at the same place.
    If the items could keep their position, then they could be ordered in the same categories shown on the left side.
    The categories could somehow be marked, maybe with a thin border or a slightly different background, to allow the player to have a reference when he is looking in the middle of the screen.
    The filter is a good addition to find rarely used blocks and for the future when you will have more building blocks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    I would prefer a fixed grid of blocks, it would be easier to have some familiarity with what blocks are where on the grid.

    I'd also rather see the rows utilized better, instead of the randomness of how the blocks are listed currently: 1st row is production, starting with emergency 3d printer then moving up through refinery, 2nd row armor blocks with all of the unlock shapes following, 3rd row starts with floor block and runs through all of the wall options, 4th is conveyors, 5th vehicle blocks, etc. etc. Just a general organization to it all, rather than having to filter by "type" tabs on the left. Then, taking this a step further, it would also be interesting if we could have them grouped in order of unlocking. So the entire block grid would gradually reveal from left to right as you built blocks and unlocked the next ones in the progression.

  9. #9
    Kickstarter Hologram Nomad eriongtk's Avatar
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    I personally love the wide catalog! We got used to certain locations (which row, which column) is a particular block is, but it shouldn't take long to take a note of the new positions. I think it is much clearer, easier to find what we need.

    People should not forget that we have a Favorites menu as well, so finding what we need is easy. Even easier with this.

    Definite +1 from me

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eriongtk View Post
    ...
    People should not forget that we have a Favorites menu as well, so finding what we need is easy. Even easier with this.
    ...
    And 10 hot-bars \o/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinsustek View Post
    Here is an example how should wide block catalog look like. Do you think it's clearer?
    I just noticed that I have the habit to close windows by pressing the X in the right top corner...
    And if I press the X in this window, the caret stays in the edit field and I cannot close it with the B key as I type "bbb..."
    Then I have to click near the window and try again the B key or to switch to the press escape key.

    I was missing a close button in all windows and I was trying to remember in what window I am to close it again: B, E, I ...
    I do not like moving my finger from the default access key to the escape key.

    On the 0.8.10 steam update page:
    http://steamcommunity.com/games/5040...72106021795587
    Quote Originally Posted by HaRR00ld
    The update to the UI is nice. Thanks. But, could you please re-enable opening the inventory and character screen directly from the containers? Now we have to press E (or escape) to close containers, before we could press I to open inventory from containers. It's a small QoL matter, but would be nice IMHO.
    Last edited by Menzagitat; 17-03-2018 at 06:18 AM.

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