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OpenLayer experiments!
Richard Phipps
Member #1,632
November 2001
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I've been at home today, and since I got OpenLayer to work last night I've been doing some work with it.

I've worked on the interface design and look for my new game. This is one of those cases where I wish I had a graphic artist or designer to do it for me. But I've finally come up with something I'm quite happy with.

The background is dark on purpose to fit in with the game style, and this is offset by the colours on the different controls.

So, powered by OpenLayer, here is a WIP part of my game interface:
http://www.reflectedgames.com/Images/wip_panel.png

Any suggestions on how I can improve it? :)

Fladimir da Gorf
Member #1,565
October 2001
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Hey... That looks pretty nifty indeed! You could maybe just add a line to show the angle below the number or something... By the way, is that mostly one big picture?

OpenLayer has reached a random SVN version number ;) | Online manual | Installation video!| MSVC projects now possible with cmake | Now alvailable as a Dev-C++ Devpack! (Thanks to Kotori)

Inphernic
Member #1,111
March 2001

It looks.. uh.. "cheap", in a way. I can't exactly point my finger at anything, but something just seems to be/feels wrong.

Fladimir da Gorf
Member #1,565
October 2001
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Maybe making the gradients less gradient-looking and using a better font would improve it?

OpenLayer has reached a random SVN version number ;) | Online manual | Installation video!| MSVC projects now possible with cmake | Now alvailable as a Dev-C++ Devpack! (Thanks to Kotori)

Richard Phipps
Member #1,632
November 2001
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Flad: It's created form different elements each frame if that's what you mean. I could always pre-render some of it if the frame rate suffers. :)

Inphernic: It's probably due to a lack of design and artistic experience and skill. If you can come up with something that would improve it let me know. In the end, I'll have to go with the best work I can come up with.

Matthew Leverton
Supreme Loser
January 1999
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It's hard to say without seeing the whole screenshot, but it appears to get too dark on the right side.

The green, yellow, and orange text is very bright compared to the blue/red/purple buttons. The brighter ones seem more important, and the dimmer ones almost look like non GUI elements.

I think the "cheapness" that Inphernic is talking about has something to do with the text just seems plopped on to a "rendered" background. I think it (the text) needs to be integrated better for a more professional look.

Sometimes screenshots can be deceivingly poor; if things are moving or animated, it might make a difference. It's better than anything I would do, and I wouldn't necessarily get hung up on it right now. It looks good enough to continue on with your game...

Fladimir da Gorf
Member #1,565
October 2001
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Quote:

Flad: It's created form different elements each frame if that's what you mean. I could always pre-render some of it if the frame rate suffers.

No, you're doing it just right... don't pre-render too much unless you really need to ;)

OpenLayer has reached a random SVN version number ;) | Online manual | Installation video!| MSVC projects now possible with cmake | Now alvailable as a Dev-C++ Devpack! (Thanks to Kotori)

Rampage
Member #3,035
December 2002
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There's too much padding, IMO. The elements should be closer to each other, and the information should be more visible.

-R

Richard Phipps
Member #1,632
November 2001
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Thanks Matthew. That's useful.

I've tried different fonts and the plainer one look poor to me. Do you have any ideas of how I can better integrate the text?

I'll also try to tweak the background texture a little I think.

EDIT:

Here's the old version:
http://www.reflectedgames.com/Images/wip_panel.png

How does it compare to this new version?
http://www.reflectedgames.com/Images/wip_panel2.png

Michael Faerber
Member #4,800
July 2004
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I find the new version with the brighter background much better!

--
"The basic of informatics is Microsoft Office." - An informatics teacher in our school
"Do you know Linux?" "Linux? Isn't that something for visually impaired people?"

gillius
Member #119
April 2000

I agree with MF as well on the brighter version. Also, as CRTs age, they get darker. It is more likely that your user has an overly dark screen than an overly bright screen. Same for LCD/laptop users. Therefore, I usually try to stay away from "darkness" as a game theme in general since some users will have a problem with it, and people who have still bright monitors will likely just turn up the brightness anyway to "cheat" (you see this on FPS games all the time). It's regrettable, but it is hard to impossible to build a game based on hiding things in darkness due to either cheating or it being unplayable for some people.

Gillius
Gillius's Programming -- http://gillius.org/

spellcaster
Member #1,493
September 2001
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Hm.. it's just an idea.. but what if the text isn't on the actual bg, but the text is on a plate that's "mounted" to the bg.
Another option would be to "emboss" the text into the console. I'd also say that some more pixels above the text would make the console look less loaded.

Other than that, I really like the arcade-box-scifi-feel :)
I also think that I have anidea what game this is going to be... is there a "laser" in the title?

--
There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

Carrus85
Member #2,633
August 2002
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Maybe put the degree symbol next to 180?

Does the shield indicator change color when you gets "low"?

Doesn't look "horrible" to me, but it is hard to judge such things without seeing it in action.

Paul whoknows
Member #5,081
September 2004
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Green, blue, yellow, orange, red, purple, arghhh!, a lot of colors will not make it look better, just select the right ones, specially if you want to achieve a dark atmospheric look.

____

"The unlimited potential has been replaced by the concrete reality of what I programmed today." - Jordan Mechner.

amarillion
Member #940
January 2001
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It would be cool if the displays interact with the game, e.g. start blinking or show static for a moment when you take a hit in the game.

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Fladimir da Gorf
Member #1,565
October 2001
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RP, just some questions about the code... are the glowing blots and the ring in the shield meter done with CircleGradient? Are the shadows of the components blended on top of the background or pre-rendered in the background?

OpenLayer has reached a random SVN version number ;) | Online manual | Installation video!| MSVC projects now possible with cmake | Now alvailable as a Dev-C++ Devpack! (Thanks to Kotori)

Richard Phipps
Member #1,632
November 2001
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Flad: Yes, with CircleGradient, not pre-rendered. Is that the best way to do it, or should I prerender things like the shadows? :)

james_lohr
Member #1,947
February 2002

You may as well prerender the shadows unless you've got lighting affecting the control panel.

gillius
Member #119
April 2000

The benefit to not prerendering is that the screen resolution can be whatever you want it to be, because you are defining mathematically the display, so the image will scale without loss of resolution to any screen. This is one of the coolest things I liked about Sunny Ball, as I believe the graphics are in a vector-type format which causes the game to be quite small and "portable" to any resolution.

Gillius
Gillius's Programming -- http://gillius.org/

Fladimir da Gorf
Member #1,565
October 2001
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Quote:

Flad: Yes, with CircleGradient, not pre-rendered. Is that the best way to do it, or should I prerender things like the shadows?

Just as gillius said not prerendering anything makes the bar more dynamic. You'll be able to take out elemets and move them as much as you want without trouble. I'm just curious to know which features people usually use ;)

OpenLayer has reached a random SVN version number ;) | Online manual | Installation video!| MSVC projects now possible with cmake | Now alvailable as a Dev-C++ Devpack! (Thanks to Kotori)

Richard Phipps
Member #1,632
November 2001
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Ok, I've been playing around with the placements and colours. I tried a single colour scheme for the controls with various colours. I tried a two colour scheme, but both seemed a bit bland. So currently I have gone with a Green-Yellow-Red combination which nicely groups the different controls.

I think I will keep the layout dynamic for now. It will also let me change things easier if I need to.

Flad: For v2.0 is it possible to have a transform option that rotates the screen in a 3D perspective? It would be very handy for nice screen appearing animations and such..

Also, I have been getting more used to OpenLayer now, and I just want to say:

1) I LOVE IT!
2) So much power I never had before!
3) So easy to do cool graphical effects!
4) So easy to use, like Allegro has always tried to be.
5) Did I mention I LOVE IT?

:)

Fladimir da Gorf
Member #1,565
October 2001
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Quote:

Flad: For v2.0 is it possible to have a transform option that rotates the screen in a 3D perspective?

Guess what? I just thought about that!

The only thing I actually need to do is to find a projection mode in which if you render stuff with Z = 0 it'll look like normal orthogonal 2D graphics but if z != 0 it'll look like 3D.

OpenLayer has reached a random SVN version number ;) | Online manual | Installation video!| MSVC projects now possible with cmake | Now alvailable as a Dev-C++ Devpack! (Thanks to Kotori)

kentl
Member #2,905
November 2002

It looks really cool Richard! Never thought that those graphics where real time rendered until you wrote it. :)

Suggestions:

  • Center the angle text properly inside the circle.

  • Have an arrow / marker point in the angle direction (as suggested).

  • Make the "Shield" etc text one notch brighter.

I attached a picture of how it might look (no angle arrow in it though).

Zaphos
Member #1,468
August 2001

Quote:

to find a projection mode in which if you render stuff with Z = 0 it'll look like normal orthogonal 2D graphics but if z != 0 it'll look like 3D

Isn't this the behavior of a normal non-orthogonal projection mode? ???

Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
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Quote:

1) I LOVE IT!

yes! You have joined the dark side.

My first initial reaction was "oohhhh!". The kind you give a magician when he finished a trick. After looking, I think you should change the font so that it looks like part of the panel, and change the gradients in the circles. Something that looks like the eye of HAL is a good example of an improvement.

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