Screen centering/cycling around map UI idea


  • Admin

    @Frostion I'm so on the fence about a wake-all! 🤔

    It could be useful for misclicks. Perhaps waking a unit if it is clicked instead of only if it is moved? I don't know if that would actually be more intuitive or not. Seems play testing would be needed to know for sure. I've done some myself and so far have been pretty happy with which units sleep. I suspect is the key is to not sleeping units that you want to move eventually, but really the units that you want to stay put until you pay attention to them.

    I like the idea of a bell icon if we go with having a wake-all.

    I hope and wonder if it works so well that old/new players would chose to always run through all their units one by one this way, as it is convenient and easy.

    There is a bug to fix where the map loses key focus on multiplayer games: https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/issues/4959

    I think we'll need to get that fixed or otherwise the hotkeys are going to seem worthless and clicking buttons is not fun. Otherwise, my limited play testing, I've been successfully reminded to move a US bomber to bomb Germany that I had otherwise totally forgotten and the "you've moved everything" confirmation has really helped boost confidence I can actually end the game phase.

    Does the screen center on a unit/territory automatically when pressing next?

    Yes. I added in a behavior tweak so if you center on a territory, move all the units out of it, and 'center' again that it'll go to the next set of units.

    Maybe there should be an option where players can select if the system controls next/prev/center/sleep of individual units or intire territories?

    Was a consideration, I suspect the individual units will be unworkable and is not as needed as simply looking at the territory and knowing units are there to move. The unit avatar lets a player know which and how many movable units are in the territory. I can imagine a scenario where you have a 50 unit stack of infantry that you would not want to cycle through. FWIW, if you use ctrl+click move to say move all the infantry, re-center will go back to the same territory and can then move the other units. I think perhaps the use-case is covered by simply 'centering' and moving and repeating until the territory is empty or skipped/sleeped.


  • Admin

    @Cernel Civ has the concept of sentry and fortify, which would be similar terms to sleep and somewhat analogous but we should not borrow those terms. Fortify conveyed a defensive bonus and was represented a castle, which is not applicable to us. The civ sentry woke the unit when there was an adjacent attacker, hence we should not borrow 'sentry' or anything resembling 'watching guard as the units do not wake up on their own.

    The term being used is 'sleep', swapping out for an icon that does not represent that would be really inconsistent. If there is a better term to be used, then perhaps we can find a better icon. Otherwise how to best represent 'sleep' as an icon is the question. Since it's an icon, it needs to be relatively simple and pretty universally identifiable. At the same time it does not need an exact 1:1 match to what we are representing as it is a matter of learning once what the button does and then from on it's fine as long as it keeps that meaning and stays consistent.


  • Moderators Admin

    @LaFayette Of course, I also meant changing the term from "sleep" to "stand" (thus the dude in the stand-at-ease military position). Just my idea, of course.


  • Moderators Admin

    @Cernel Irrelevant curiosity, that military position is, instead, called "riposo", in Italian, that actually means "rest" or "sleep".


  • Moderators Admin

    I really think the mechanics are a very cool concept... I care much less about the iconography... so if there is ever some consensus on what you need/want... just gimme me a nudge. I'm never that far away.



  • Just playing around with this in the pre-release. I dig it. Takes up a fair bit of real estate on the sidebar but its very useful.

    One thought, for the cluster of unit icons (showing multiple units in a group) it would be nice if Infantry was always in the foreground. For some reason it looks odd to me when they are behind a larger unit like a tank or aagun etc. Probably because it upends the imagined perspective somehow. On land I think Infantry first in the foreground, tank types in the midground, air last in the background would probably look best just for the relative scale of unit types within the group cluster.

    For the ships looks great. Very tidy. I like how convenient this is for skipping around the map with player nation like UK in the WWII games, where you're just scattered all over and frequently forget something in the southern hemisphere hehe. Nice work man


  • Admin

    Good feedback, thank you. I created a TODO list for unit scroller improvements and added the 'sort units' suggestion: https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/issues/5181

    @Black_Elk it's also possible to make the unit avatar image larger and to increase the separation or offset between the images, any thoughts if that might help? It would add yet more space for the component, but perhaps could be a win for visbility. I've also been wondering as well if it makes more sense to show up to 3 units max instead of the 4 (current IIRC is 4). I went with 4 as when I toyed around with 3 it did not convey quite the same 'mass' of different units, it more seemed like there would be exactly 3 rather than a large mass of multiple types.

    I'll see if I can get some time to demo out a few of these variations and post screenshots, wanting to wrap up a few other projects first. In the meantime curious if you have thoughts on those few additional dimensions that can be changed.


  • Admin

    @LaFayette
    I have now been playing with the unit scroller on a few maps. It works pretty well and is a nice addition that heightens the quality of game play if you ask me. A game that potentially has the players manage hundreds of units really needs this new feature.

    I have also seen some things that I think can be improved:

    The image icons are OK but could be better (I think I made a few of them 😜 ) I have made a new set of icons that might improve the “uniformity” of the images. I replaced the highlight lamp image with a sun/lightsource, so that the sun can really shine on the player units when player wants to find them 😃 These images are also all made with a thin dark shadow so that the images might work with both white/bright UI and grey/dark UI.

    I also made a “wake up” image that could be used to wake up sleeping territories. I really think this is needed. It would be a good way to let the player “reset” all sleeping units and do a new scroll through them to see if they still are to sleep.

    Comparison: Old icons have trouble with bright UI, new might work?
    Unavngivet.png

    Here is the zip with the icons - I hope they can be used : ICONS-V2.zip


  • Moderators Admin

    I think the difference between the checkmark and the moon needs to be clarified. Or at least can someone clarify it to me?

    @Frostion Is your wake up only for the units put to sleep or also for the checkmarked ones?

    Anyways, a wake all is due. Nothing of this feature should be irreversible. Maybe sleep and wake all can be represented, respectively, with a closed eye and an open eye.

    I don't think the sun is very intuitive for highlighting units that haven't moved, and it might be seen as the wake all button, being substantially the opposite of the moon symbol.


  • Moderators Admin

    Maybe off topic, but the new "Flag Display Mode" doesn't show what is the current setting. It would be better if pointing it out like the "Unit Size" one (or just having a "Show Units Flags" checkmark for the small ones, dropping the large option (that it is also not very well named, as it actually shows the normal flags, not the large ones, but I see this is fine on the users side)).


  • Admin

    @Cernel
    This is how I understand it:

    Check: "Yes, I have looked at this unit and I am fine with where it is...for now. So don't bother me with showing this unit as unmoved during this turn. Let's just look at / scroll through the other unmoved units. But I would like to be reminded about this unit during next turn." (In some games, this would be called "skip")

    Sleep: "This unit is exactly where it needs to be. It can sit here indefinitely and I do not need to be reminded about it ever again. If I ever need it moved, I will come back to it myself."

    I would think a wake-up could maybe "reactivate" all sleeping units + checked/skiped unit. It would be nice if a player could re-set every unit that has not moved to a state where it can be identified as movable.

    Like if you have hundreds of units to go through, and you Check a few, Sleep a few and then suddenly "No, no ... I think that I chose a wrong and bad plan. I want to redo all my unit commands." Then it would be nice if all sleeping and skiped units could be reactivated.


  • Moderators Admin

    @Frostion Well, I can understand in some games you have a number of islands with 1 dude in it remaining there indefinitely, but this sleep thing seems too strong to me (also a moon makes me think of something that will last for the turn, not like perennial night). For skip/sleep I would rather go with them lasting, respectively, for the whole phase and for the whole turn (so, you skip the units you plan to move during non combat movement and sleep the units you plan to leave there for the turn).


  • Moderators Admin

    Anyways, I might be slow, but I assure you I've read the tooltips multiple times couldn't guess what was the difference between skip and sleep. So maybe that is something that needs to be made more understandable.


  • Admin

    @Cernel Generally the way @Frostion explains the functions are how they work for most other games. Generally you either want to "ignore a unit for this turn" or "ignore a unit forever". These functions would mostly be used during NCM to ensure you didn't forget to move any units. Whether the "check" should reset at the end of each phase or the end of the turn I think could be debated but turn is probably the most natural and aligns with how most other TBS games work.


  • Admin

    Re: Shadows/Icons on Light vs Dark Background

    This was a concern I had been wondering about. I was thinking a next feature improvement would be to include a set of graphics for dark backgrounds and we would swap the images when a player changes their Look and Feel to a dark or light background.

    The dark shadows is a good idea that could make that feature less needed or not needed at all.

    Re: Updated Images

    @Frostion you can upload new images directly if you'd like "upload files" button: https://github.com/triplea-game/assets/tree/master/game_headed_assets/unit_scroller

    I think I'm happy updating the images otherwise, just noticed that you did provide a Zip file with them, thank you.

    Re: Skip vs Sleep

    @Cernel there are some units where they are endless skipped. The US infantry on Midway and AA guns in USA on WWII revised are units that I sleep. The German AA gun is another that gets sleeped as well. Skip I've often used for planes, a bomber that has landed but still has movement left for example. Sometimes instead of 'sleeping' I'll skip units and on the third turn skipping them, they'll be sleeped.

    Re: Wake-All

    That is a feature that does seem logical. I'm only a bit concerned that players will become 'worried' about the sleeping units and revisit their decision every turn. It can be 30 minutes or an hour on a multiplayer game to cycle back to the same player turn, it can be pretty easy to reconsider decisions made.

    I think for now the intent is that sleep should be a "you are sure you want to do this" kind of action. For the misclick case, clicking a unit should probably wake them back up.

    I am a bit on the fence:

    • Civ did not provide a wake-all
    • Having a wake-all could encourage "sleep-abuse" where units are slept instead of being skipped for the one or two turns. (But again, who is to say that is feature-abuse vs using it in a way that fits a player better).
    • Maybe a wake-all but with a confirmation dialog: "Are you sure you want to wake-all?" to add some friction to the process.

    Re: Centering and Top Row

    The top row of the unit scroller is not super cohesive. I've been wondering if maybe the unit image itself should serve as the centering button. If it could be made to look clickable, then we'd be saving on screen real-estate.


  • Moderators Admin

    @redrum I've no doubt the skip should reset end phase, not end turn.


  • Admin

    @redrum , @Cernel Currently it's end-phase, I'd agree it should be that way. Part of the goal is so you can always zero out the units left to move on each phase and then trust when you get the "No more units left to move pop-up", that you can confidently end the current phase. Before the unit scroller, on live games I would typically spend a few minutes checking the entire map to be sure nothing was left to move, the pop-up is meant to help automate that and hopefully save time and reduce 'forgot-to-move-unit' mistakes.


  • Moderators Admin

    @Frostion said in Screen centering/cycling around map UI idea:

    @LaFayette
    I have now been playing with the unit scroller on a few maps. It works pretty well and is a nice addition that heightens the quality of game play if you ask me. A game that potentially has the players manage hundreds of units really needs this new feature.

    I have also seen some things that I think can be improved:

    The image icons are OK but could be better (I think I made a few of them 😜 ) I have made a new set of icons that might improve the “uniformity” of the images. I replaced the highlight lamp image with a sun/lightsource, so that the sun can really shine on the player units when player wants to find them 😃 These images are also all made with a thin dark shadow so that the images might work with both white/bright UI and grey/dark UI.

    I also made a “wake up” image that could be used to wake up sleeping territories. I really think this is needed. It would be a good way to let the player “reset” all sleeping units and do a new scroll through them to see if they still are to sleep.

    Comparison: Old icons have trouble with bright UI, new might work?
    Unavngivet.png

    Here is the zip with the icons - I hope they can be used : ICONS-V2.zip

    Now that we clarified that means "standing indefinitely", I suggest changing the "moon-zzz" symbol with a "stop-hand" symbol (assuming adopting these proposals, I could try to do it if @Frostion tells exactly what are the settings he used for drawing those pictures; otherwise he would need to do it, in case it is wanted, to keep all images coherent).

    Example (free for personal use only):
    download-stop-hand-sign-clipart-signage-clip-art-502467.png
    https://flyclipart.com/download-stop-hand-sign-clipart-signage-clip-art-and-sign-clipart-502467


  • Admin

    I'd opt for an entrenchment tool as a symbol for the 'sentry' or 'sleep'. (really sleep, as 'sentry' in civ had specific functionality which we do not have). I'm not sure though if an entrenchment tool would be universally well recognized and/or confused as having a defensive benefit.

    The problem I'd draw with a stop sign is that it implies the unit was moving. If the unit is already stationary, and then slept, it does not really make sense. For example the units on islands or AA guns, those are typical candidates for 'sleep'.

    I am very curious what people think about combining the 'center' button with the unit image, whether it sounds like a good idea to combine the two and if it would be intuitive enough, or perhaps better to leave the two as independent.


  • Moderators Admin

    @LaFayette Nah, the moon is at least better than an entrenchment tool, that would definitely imply units not moving are doing something to better their defence capabilities (which would be a cool feature).

    A major issue, currently, is that this feature overboard for relatively thin side bars, meaning skins having narrow small maps. I like diminutive right side bars, as they leave more room for board view. You can see the issue in any games of the 270bc_variants map (but not 270bc, that has a wider small map).


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