GUI / HUD can be impoved alot


exgamesadrenaline

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First of all, just tried the game and I love it.

Atmosphere, music, art style, gameplay is great.

Thanks for that.


UPDATE: Adding screens here - for newcomers:

Inventory:

WngDcUw.gif

aPyVx3d.gif

Survival dashboard:

EOT03Hm.jpg

Start fire:

Jur5i8j.jpg


Original post:

  • First ~7-10 times UI made me confused alot!
  • Pretty hardcore learning curve of "hidden" UI elements for newcomers

iCDsRAUPhHQRN.gif

GUI could be improved:

  • Highlighting and filtering useful loot / bad items / those that needed in context
    Example:
    You're biten by a wolf > Icon, red glow, etc. started to blink, inviting you to use bandage and antibiotics | or inviting you to inventory > in Inventory all neccessary items immediately highlighted and added to the top/prominent area as a hot item / _your_name_it_section_ of the inventory list, and hitting a few buttons gives you the cure immediately.
    [align=right].[/align]
  • Also playing on PC using W,A,S,D keys - inventory is a huge pain.
    Example:
    Let's assume I'm fighting with wolves with WASD keys, now in inventory I need to swith to mouse & cursor arrows & Enter keys to move selector or use items in inventory! I understand that this is harcore survival... but i hope not usability horror.

Reduced UI and control 'friction' brings more engagement and fun.


Better Engagement

In UI terminology less "callories" is better = more engagement.

Treshhold of 10 callories or less is good = (10c)

  • (31c) Now = not so good
    > Just rescued from wolf's bites (smashing mouse buttons)
    > (3c) Inventory - moving hand to "I" key
    > (20c) confused with sorting and filters, removing filters if needed with mouse and arrow keys!
    finding items - scrolling to bandages using mouse!
    > cursor keys not "W","A","S","D"! (8c)
    > Done...
    [align=right].[/align]
  • (5c) Faster
    > Rescued
    > (1c) Glowing red icon with "Press "F" to open iventory and heal!" ("F" is much closer to WASD than "I")
    > (2c) In Inventory: bandage and antibiotics are highlighted and set on top of all filters (glowing red, etc.)
    with highlighted text "Choose bandage and antibiotics to heal"
    scrolling / moving within items with "W","S" keys
    > (2c) healing with "E" key
    > Done!
    [align=right].[/align]
  • (1c) Even faster
    > Rescued
    > (1c) Glowing red icon with "press let's say "E" to heal" - healing "E" key
    > Done!


Later I'll add more, if this research worth it / make sense.

I mean, if someone from the core team could say something like this:

"It's worth it, we want more research and GUI could be tweaked a bit to increase engagement for sure!"

Anyway thanks for your efforts. TLD It is an awesome experience!

ps. UI guys (from Hinterland's website > Partners > UI consulting)

I hope you are reading this thread too...

Sandbox mode > Alpha 122.

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GUI impovements that was promised earlier:

Inventory > choosing items: (controls optimization)

This improvement can make item selection much easier, intuitive and it's based on natural skill development

(I mean, first time users can use a mouse, later they can discover shorcuts and make their operations with items much faster = more survival skills)

WngDcUw.gif

Here is what happened:

  • choosing Inventory by pressing "i" key (in my binding settings it's "q" key - closer to WASD)
  • I'm injured in game, so 'First aid' is highlighted by red color
  • from 'Food and drink' I'm quickly move to the 'First aid' by pressing "A" key
  • here I can see highlichted items in context. Those items must be used asap (injury)
  • ok, i'm selecting Antiseptic item ("W" move up, "S" move down in items section) and pressing 'Use' (it could be Left Mouse Button* or 'E' key - closer to WASD keys)
  • also I can easily sort items by clicking on columns (keyboard / gamepad solution is in progress)
  • and using double-click I can make default action instantly (highlighted with thicker borders) 'Use' item
  • After than I'm pressing "q" or "i" key to exit inventory

*By default Left Mouse Button binded to 'Use' action,

however it doesn't work well with menu, where I can use mouse and keyboard simultaneously

in my vision of Inventory GUI

Full view:

aPyVx3d.gif

** Fontawesome Icons are just a dummies (icons must be redesigned or used the current ones) to develop this prototype faster

---

I hope no one has forgotten why SKY UI (interface overhaul) in Skyrim become mod #1 !

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Weirdly enough, I'd rather they *didn't* highlight exactly what I need at the moment. If I am bleeding IRL, and I open my medicine cabinet for a bandaid, it won't be glowing in order to stand out from the toothpaste. As it stands, it adds to the tension - you are bleeding from a wolf bite, you need a bandage, you root feverishly through your bag to find it before it's too late... so if this were a democracy, I'd vote against conditional highlighting.

I do like the use of icons to filter the inventory, though. That, to me, is like organizing your bag ("All the food goes in this section, all the medicine in the front pocket, etc."), so it doesn't break the realism.

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they *didn't* highlight exactly what I need at the moment.

so if this were a democracy, I'd vote against conditional highlighting.

I'd probably downvote this feature too in described above situation,

however game design is not only for hardcore players:

HQfR0Ud.jpg

and:

6tnKUbT.jpg

As you can see plenty of casual gamers migrate from pure casual platforms to PC/MAC etc.

So for them this feature could be pretty handy, for hardcore gamers we can always turn off all "cheats" in options.

More gamers > more profit, more TLD content! Win-win situation ; )

Let's make this game even more awesome together!

I do like the use of icons to filter the inventory, though. That, to me, is like organizing your bag ("All the food goes in this section, all the medicine in the front pocket, etc."), so it doesn't break the realism.

Thanks for that, here is the raw version of survival panel prototype:

EOT03Hm.jpg

Here everything is unified with ease of use in mind.

Not only for mouse control, but for gamepad and keyboard too.

Now with 2 key press only you can access most frequently used actions (order of icons can be tweaked easily) wthout need to use mouse at all.

Stay tuned. To be continued ;)

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in order not to break the realism, I would highly advise against the double E to heal. Part of the experience is having to open your bag in order to heal. okay, having the option to type to search would be nice, but healing "too quickly" would make getting damage in the first place oblivious and seems somehow unrealistic to me. then we might as well add packs that heal your condition, submachine guns, an online versus mode and call it Medal of Honor: The Long Dark.

Well so far the developers made excellent choices in the developing of this game and will know what to do. but honestly, if every game was made for mainstream players, I would've quit playing altogether a long time ago..

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I'm still thinking about weather effects applied to the 'feel like' gauge.

For me I don't need four additional metrics (that was made for symmetry?) at all, like windchill...

If one gauge with sum-it-all temperature is not enough, there a few solutions to that:

- 4 icons on the right with numerical degrees on the right of icons.

- or fading 5 slides in the gauge that show each effect

- or ... mouseover (however minesweeping is always a bad design decision)

---

Also I don't huge fan of text only visual states of players body

like 'freezing', 'starving' etc. Voice hints are great.

However visually this could be done better.

Visual states research topic is planned.

After UI improvements

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in order not to break the realism

...

then we might as well add packs that heal your condition, submachine guns, an online versus mode and call it Medal of Honor: The Long Dark.

.

Hahaha =) Don't worry, I'm not huge fan of casual games.

I'm just fighting for the polished UI with major friction points eliminated as early as possible.

So todo list is smt like this:

- general improvents in UX / UI

- reduction of mouse only interface

- and try to stay as close as possible to TLD original design / style / atmosphere

-

This survival menu prototype not so academic as original one,

those gauges are still WIP for me in design / style department.

So let me know what do you think.

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  • Hinterland

Thanks for your thoughts and for taking the time to mock up some of your ideas!

The UI is in a constant state of improvement so you can expect to see us roll out some new functionality and design in the coming months.

In general, the UI for this game doesn't fall into the "conventional" design philosophy due to our player knowledge model. But, it's always useful to hear other ideas!

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Thanks for your thoughts and for taking the time to mock up some of your ideas!

You are welcome Raphael!

I would like to thank you and all your team for taking risk on this awesome game.

For now I'll try to revisit whole UI with my comments/mockups, so you guys can see another vision of this.

And later create in 3dsmax / Unity visual body states / post effects (frozen, straving, etc.)

Maybe later I can be helpful in game / level design. Who knows.

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Start fire menu

Jur5i8j.jpg

- More visibility for sub items (up to 4 peaces, than scroll)

- Added huge torch to highlight the success rate (style/design must be the same with in game flame)

if chance to start fire is 50 or lower + high wind speed = flame will be flickering frequently, if 60-80+ - steady and bold

- Mouse only reduced, easy for WASD, gamepad

- added 2 very helpful in context buttons: 'find tinder' and 'find fuel' (unfied names for similar actions for foreign players - easy to understand) for those who doesn't understand gameplay mechanics yet

- 'find tinder' is the 'forage wood' action duplicate, however this could be focused search with higher success rate for finding tinder.

Not included:

- helper / hint how to find tinder / fuel here

- and if they are not here > then where player can find them, some basic info.

- hints (above buttons?) to help understand fuel / tinder search success rate in this local area

Design is still not included here

- detailed icons with polygonal + cutout Photoshop filter style

- detailed scratches on button borders

- gauge design is still looks out of place, too modern. must be toned down.

- more vintage and old feel for gauges is planned

What do you think about vintage-old style?

Is it closer to your vision? Or maybe smt different?

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