Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Postby JoonasTo » 05 Feb 2018, 08:35

Currently we have icon for the following unit classes:
Building
Factory
Tracked
Bot
Surface vessel
Underwater vessel
High-altitude Air
Dedicated bombers
Low-altitude Air
Experimental
Command

What I want to see added are icons for unfinished buildings and amphibious units. This would help recognition.


A half-dome/half-diamond would work nicely for amphibious units and could even have the dome representing if it's an underwater or overwater capable unit.
Something like this:
Image


For the unfinished buildings/experimentals these were what I came up with. I think the experimental one works really nicely, it's clear and visible on both dark and light backgrounds. For the unfinished buildings I first tried out the blacked out corners and while that works perfectly well on light background it's quite unclear on dark backgrounds. I then made lines cutting the corners and because it leaves army colour visible in the corners it's still recognisable even on darker backgrounds.
Image

Biass noted they had tried something similar somewhere:
Either way, the idea was proved to not be so good, what might look good on paper expanded to 200% would only be needed in the niche scenario where amphibtanks/tanks were mixed together on land, because of course regular tanks cannot go onto the water, and a faction is not seraphim, and then the apm and constant camera movement will make what is reality is just a few pixels moved over a lil too hard to distinguish. Not only that, but it would garble up very amphib factions such as aeon t1 and cause a lot of extra effort to identify units if the icon change is even noticeable at all.

If you had to change something, make it not the currently very well made set of four shapes (buildings, land, air, sea) and something like the element actually inside the shape, that is made for more advanced identification already. adding a small wave or another simple lineart would work far better without reworking what was already a really well made part of supcom's ui design, you can still easily see that a land unit is a land unit, and then if you needed to see what was a floaty boi for whatever reason you could check the inside, it's been proven to work for arty, aa, etc and should work here if it's well made.
I made some concepts and sadly there isn't space for the wave symbol in the unit icon. The two symbols would have to become so small making sense of which unit is direct fire, anti-air, shield or artillery becomes nigh impossible.
Last edited by JoonasTo on 07 Feb 2018, 12:47, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Postby speed2 » 05 Feb 2018, 11:42

You cant have an icon for unfinished things and/or one unit can't have 2 icons and change it on the fly. Engine limitation.
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Re: Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Postby JoonasTo » 05 Feb 2018, 11:49

You mean a building in progress can not have an icon at all?
Or that it must have the same icon as it does when finished?

If the latter, I'd prefer unfinished buildings to have the same icon instead of no icon at all.
For the first the solution would have to be UI side then? We know mods can do this kind of switcheroo(ecomod, idle engineers, etc.)
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Re: Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Postby speed2 » 05 Feb 2018, 11:55

Both, icon assigment happens in the engine, it takes the value from the unit's blueprint.

Maybe some hackerino to place some textures over it would be possible.
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Re: Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Postby Anihilnine » 07 Feb 2018, 11:47

Also need icons for different experimental.
E.g. soul ripper could have gunship symbol inside it.

You could take it another step and have a unique one per experi... ie monkey and gc have different ones.
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Re: Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Postby JoonasTo » 07 Feb 2018, 12:09

Yeah that's a good idea.
Personally I don't find those very important anymore as I've gotten used to faction experimentals by now but definitely for new players especially this would be great. No reason why Mavor can't have artillery icon, or GC direct fire icon for example.

I am not sold on the unique icons though. Not quite sure if that would be beneficial to fast recognition. The whole icon system does rely on recognizing unit types fast and if they are the only unit in their category does that work? This would have to be tested in game. If the learning is fast enough and we have enough clear, different symbols left I don't see why not.
Perhaps letters could work, like C for Czar, T for Tempest, G for GC, etc.
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Re: Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Postby Anihilnine » 07 Feb 2018, 12:15

Yes letters would work. There is a big difference between a monkey and a crab. On a big game where there are 10 experi's that would be nice to have icons for.
I guess you could have ranged (fatboy,crab) and direct (monkey,gc,yotha)
Artillery should have building-experimental-arty icon which is a huge square (like the huge circle). Except scathis which would get mobile-exp-arty icon.

there are 50 ways to do this. I would start with
1. land hover units get new icon
2. experimentals get land/sea/air symbol

it could be a mod for experimentation then submitted as pull request to faf
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Re: Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Postby biass » 07 Feb 2018, 12:21

JoonasTo wrote:I am not sold on the unique icons though. Not quite sure if that would be beneficial to fast recognition. The whole icon system does rely on recognizing unit types fast and if they are the only unit in their category does that work? This would have to be tested in game. If the learning is fast enough and we have enough clear, different symbols left I don't see why not.
Perhaps letters could work, like C for Czar, T for Tempest, G for GC, etc.


Isn't this literally the defence against the amphib icon?
Letters don't work, especially if you don't speak English, or when a monkey and a mega is both M, and when a Soul Ripper is S when people only ever hear it as bug, etc

- i just saw ani's post, and sure, they 're different in 10km when you can see them, but are they different in 80km? any "solution" should work in every case, i don't want to hear "noone plays 80km" because then 80km will just be complained about later

Also joonas, you missed out a lot of different unit types or flat out ignored variation on the four simple shapes rationale i offered, like fighters, bombers, etc
I didn't respond to it in the other thread because the defence looked very rushed and not thought out, sorry about that
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Re: Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Postby Anihilnine » 07 Feb 2018, 12:30

hey biass, its a bit hard to do everything at once but if you want to perfect the world go for it :)
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Re: Add unfinished buildings and amphibious unit icons

Postby JoonasTo » 07 Feb 2018, 12:44

We could make flying experimentals a star, keep water round, make land hexagonal. That'd fit pretty well with their respective normal shapes.



biass wrote:
JoonasTo wrote:I am not sold on the unique icons though. Not quite sure if that would be beneficial to fast recognition. The whole icon system does rely on recognizing unit types fast and if they are the only unit in their category does that work? This would have to be tested in game. If the learning is fast enough and we have enough clear, different symbols left I don't see why not.
Perhaps letters could work, like C for Czar, T for Tempest, G for GC, etc.


Isn't this literally the defence against the amphib icon?
Letters don't work, especially if you don't speak English, or when a monkey and a mega is both M, and when a Soul Ripper is S when people only ever hear it as bug, etc

- i just saw ani's post, and sure, they 're different in 10km when you can see them, but are they different in 80km? any "solution" should work in every case, i don't want to hear "noone plays 80km" because then 80km will just be complained about later

Also joonas, you missed out a lot of different unit types or flat out ignored variation on the four simple shapes rationale i offered, like fighters, bombers, etc
I didn't respond to it in the other thread because the defence looked very rushed and not thought out, sorry about that
Yes and no. The shape of a unit icon tells us of it's capabilities of movement, immobile, air, water, land. Thus having the outline reflect the capability to move on water and land makes a lot of sense.
The symbol inside the shape tells us of it's role, direct-fire, AA, etc. This is what I am more afraid of clustering with unique symbols for all experimentals. When you see a GC marked with C what's your first impression? When you see a GC marked with a direct-fire icon what's your first impression?

Language is irrelevant, what matters is that letters are clearly recognisable symbols. It doesn't matter if it's C for colossus, mega or chicken, what matters is that C is a symbol different enough from the rest we use. Can use a star for Czar just as well.

The icons are the same size regardless of map size so we don't have to worry about the map size being an issue.

Oh you are right, didn't even realise there's a different icon for bomber from other high-altitude air units. That's a good example of why the difference in shape needs to be big enough to make a difference. Bomber shape is clearly not recognisable enough since I haven't caught onto that in two thousand games. We need to avoid a similar problem with amphibious icon.
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