Latest Posts

Topic: Just in case... alternative Soldiers' skill icons for true inter-tribe comparison.

Astuur
Avatar
Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2011-10-30, 13:51

I don't think that a solution for addressing soldiers by skill will be focussing
in the individual soldier (like it now is inside military buidings), but
I wondered if a solution could be found to graphically display a soldier's skills
in a way that would show his properties with their true strength and ready to be
compared with soldiers of other tribes.

After much testing for visibility and recognizability I may have found a way.

I have redesigned the four quadrants (Attack, Defense, Evade & Healthpoints)
in the way of a 4-axes Kiviat-diagramm (not showing the axes themselves),
but I had to abandon the strictness many times
for a better discernability.

I have set the percentage for the highest value achievable in the game to be 100%.
It's 51 for attack (Barbarians), 22 for Defense (Atlanteans), 64 for Evade (Atlanteans)
and 214 for Heathpoints (Barbarian and Empire).
All other values derive from that.
The individual healthpoints vary from soldier to soldier as there is obviously some randomness in their creation.
(see here ) I have used the average for the display.

Since our little icons are 10 by 10 pixels, I have one pixel for each percent.
So the sum of all white (or green) plus all red pixels, equals the percentage of the optimum.


Combined together in the game they look like this:

I am not very fond of the solution I found.
Yellow, instead of the green, gave better contrast to the red, but was hard to tell apart from the white.
There may be some room for improvement with the colors.
The simple logic (larger red area is more powerful) and green means "best possible" has some benefit, but all in all I think they still are too hard to grasp at a glance.
I'd gladly try something else, if anyone has a good idea, but if not, I'd keep the stuff in case it is wanted at some time.

Edited: 2011-10-30, 13:54

Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

Top Quote
pyaehtetaung
Joined: 2011-10-25, 18:20
Posts: 22
Ranking
Pry about Widelands
Location: Yangon,Myanmar
Posted at: 2011-10-30, 18:16

not best!. But good looking. no problem for playing.

Edited: 2011-11-01, 06:42
Top Quote
hjd
Joined: 2011-06-12, 20:24
Posts: 164
Ranking
At home in WL-forums
Location: bugs.launchpad.net/widelands
Posted at: 2011-10-30, 19:00

I didn't know they were called Kiviat diagrams, but I think using it is a good idea. With the current colors though, it doesn't work.

Though I do disagree with how you have calculated 100% / full image. I think it would make more sense that max trained for the tribe in question would give a fully colored skill, rather than only partially filled since some other tribe has a larger maximum. While I can understand why you chose to do it this way, it is both confusing ("why isn't it full? Is there any way to train my soldiers more?") and also it is how trained the soldier is based on the current tribe that matters, not other tribes I am currently not playing. IMO, an Empire soldier with attack 4 and a barbarian one with attack 5 should both be considered 100% trained and fully colored, as neither will be able to improve their attack skill anymore.

Also, next time please calm down on the picture size.


Ships!

Top Quote
samithdisal
Avatar
Joined: 2010-03-08, 15:46
Posts: 66
Ranking
Likes to be here
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted at: 2011-10-30, 20:23

hmmmm I see bit hard to look. Maybe we can highlight the current way of showing the status a lil more. Maybe like putting colours to the percentage. For an example 0-25 black 25-50 green 50-75 blue 75-99 red 100 while/gold


NoOb KiWwaTa NoOb Ma NeWeI

Top Quote
Astuur
Avatar
Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2011-10-31, 08:48

@hjd:
What you are proposing is a completely different approach, HJD - and is in fact not far away from what we have now inside the game.
The whole point of this attempt was to be able to see how my soldier compares to an enemy soldier (who may well be of a different tribe) in a duel,
and how his skills influence the outcome of the 1 on 1 fight.
So, no, your suggestion goes into a different direction!
Like I have tried to explain, the maximized training level is shown by the color change to green, not the red area.
Admittedly you would have to get used to the new look, but players that get irritated by the fact that a maxxed out
soldier is not a fully red square, should try to read the explanation and understand the concept.

As for th picture size, yes, the font is too big, but I wanted to show each pixel clearly in this case.
But hey - it's my webspace, I am wasting - not wideland's - right? face-smile.png


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

Top Quote
Astuur
Avatar
Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2011-10-31, 08:55

@ samithdisal
It may be worth a try - but I fear I will run into the well known problem that many colors give too little
cocntrast against each other at this small size.
I had experimented with a color based system initially when I created the icon that we now have,
but it was generally agreed that it was harder to communicate and difficult to recognize.


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

Top Quote
Personal_Joke
Joined: 2011-08-10, 14:39
Posts: 29
Ranking
Pry about Widelands
Location: New Zealand
Posted at: 2011-11-01, 01:17

If you could alter the colours used to make it easier to "read" I personally think it's a good idea and could be implemented. Maybe you could add an option ingame to choose between the original soldier upgrade images and Astuur's version?


Top Quote
Astuur
Avatar
Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2011-11-26, 19:02

After many more attempts I've come to the conclusion that simplest might be best, after all.

This is my current favourite, tested in game. Like all others, it's a bit hard to see at screen resolution like 1900x1200 on 24", but not bad at up to 1200 or so.
I guess that can't be helped.

Explanation:

  • When a certain skill is not present in a soldier, it is displayed as a white symbol on a black background.
  • As the soldiers gain skills from training, the field is filled from the bottom to the top with red, showing the symbol in green.
  • What is shown, is the percentage of the soldier's skill compared to the best skill available in all tribes, so that an inter-tribe comparison can be made.
    The outer border of the 2x2 square is reserved and does not count as display area. So I have abandoned the 1 pixel = 1% rule.
  • When a soldier is trained up tp the limits of his tribe in a certain skill, the outer border of that skill changes from black to green.

This is currently the end of this attempt, as I feel it doesn't get much better than that. This doesn't mean that better solution may not be found be someone else, of course.

Chuck, please make up you mind whether you want to store this in some repository for a possible further use, if ever the "levels" are abondoned and inter tribe comparison is wanted.

The files are here

If anyone wants to try them out in his installation, you can download the rar archive and unpack it in /Widelands. It should overwrite the old files.


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

Top Quote
ixprefect
Joined: 2009-02-27, 14:28
Posts: 367
Ranking
Tribe Member
Posted at: 2011-11-29, 11:23

Please don't do red on green, that's hell for colorblind people (and I personally find it visually jarring).


Top Quote
Astuur
Avatar
Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
Ranking
One Elder of Players
Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2011-11-29, 13:22

For most people it should be very well visible with complementary colours and for the colourblind there is a different grey value and it should not be bad either.
But I'm willing to learn and improve that, if some colourblind person can evaluate the samples.
OTOH, to circumvent your personal dislike, I could just as well ressort to blue and yellow.
Will do soon.... face-smile.png


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

Top Quote