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Purchase terminal UI


ErroR
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Yet another point where I disagree with the game's GUI.

I know I should try playing the game before giving rant-ish feedback but I've been following this game really closely lately and from watching videos there's one thing I really dislike. I'm of course talking about the purchase terminal's ui.

Back in renegade the pt was cleverly divided for ease of use, it had all the important features at the top and sides for faster and easier access.

errur_1392160532.jpg

The free characters are at the top so it's brought to attention immediately which can be beneficial during intense situations like having to run up to a pt and change character or refill while under fire or something like a rush happened.

The refill is at the center on left as if you have the mouse on the right it's naturally easier to move to the left.

The extra characters and vehicles are in the center, grouped together, also really easy to find and reach.

The beacon didn't need to be bought quickly that often so it might as well have been an items menu or something, wouldn't matter.

The credits are in the center and have a are clearly readable big bold white font.

Either way notice how little wasted space there is on the sides of the screen (gray markers).

Moving on to the renx alpha, the design itself is kind of boring due to the bland colors but it doesn't matter, it was the alpha. Even though a big character preview was added everything was still grouped in an intuitive way, with little wasted space, with the layout similar to renegade.

errur_1392079431.jpg

In renegade x however the whole interface is a, inconsistent, counter intuitive mess

errur_1392110610.jpg

The credit display is hidden at the bottom and isn't at all obvious at first.

Not to mention that the darkness of the PT interface doesn't contrast very well with nod's red.

I think the info from inside the frames of each character or "weapon" since it isn't very obvious you're buying characters anymore, should be moved somewhere else.

Instead of always telling you what is what and cluttering the screen it should be displayed on demand.

I didn't come up with another design for the PT UI just yet but I'm thinking of what I can come up with.

Meanwhile we could get a discussion going.

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As you said, you didn't play it yet.. When you play it will get used to it.

"Getting used to" isn't a valid excuse for a poorly designed interface.

I agree, I will get used to it. In fact I usually didn't even have to use my mouse in renegade, I just used numbers.

But that doesn't really mean it has to be left counter intuitive because "it'll pass".

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It's actually organized the way it is in Renegade X.

Look at it, all the Basic Infantry are at the top with the Refill tap, other Weapons and Items are beside each other (Which you can get but still keep your character), and the Characters and Vehicles are also beside each other, personally I find the distribution to be reasonable.

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well, i have to admit i do not like the current menue too

I agree that it is to dark and that the over all design just does not look good ...

I like the ALPHA menu showed in the startingpost more ...

I also agree that "you get used to it" is a pretty poor statement BUT I think while playing I would get used to it :P

even if every time i spend more than 2 seconds in the menu i would remember the classic layout ...

I would love to see it redone, but it would not stop me from playing if not ...

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"Getting used to" isn't a valid excuse for a poorly designed interface.

Thank you. That is the right and only response. Imagine having to click three times on the login button to log in. It looks beautiful thanks to some nifty graphics (just imagine something great there). I would get used to it really quickly, but it is just a poor design. Clicking once should be enough.

Looking at the design, I think you are right. One of my greatest problem is that I cannot refill as easy, as the 6 is much harder to reach with my fingers if I try to refill really quickly. I'm afraid I'll get an engineer much more than usual when I'll play Renegade-X.

Double columns and putting the numbers left to right is counter intuitive, making it harder to know which button to press. Double columns are bad for any numbering, so don't put it up to down either!

Changes in this UI will put off the old Renegade players for some time I think. Credits should be much more central and bigger. The silenced pistol and timed are small and forgotten, giving all focus to the right side. This can be a problem if you want people to have a more diverse weapon loadout. (If I see the footage, you need to change back to your normal loadout every time. So if you prefer a sub-machine gun, you have to change the silenced pistol to a machine gun every time you die?). For the rest the only problem is that the engineer and refill are next to each other in terms of character change, but my own opinion it is correct here, as it is a quick soldier thing. My only suggestion in grouping would be to make refill the first thing you encounter, as the rest is less important to have on easy hotkeys and take more deliberation. The next most important things are buying advanced characters and units. The low end units only the engineer is really important if you have to change quickly. Airstrike is the only item that would be bought in a real rush imho. I'll give some suggestions later. Scratch that, I'll probably forget it and just leave this discussion here but whatever.

I know why it is done like this. There is a truly awesome background that is moving and showing off your weapons and stuff. In the end it is only a short background material, making the UI much more important than the background graphics (sorry guys. It's literally my job to improve these things by suggestion. It is still a lovely background, but not practical for the UI. Maybe put it in a different way?). In many ways, the old Renegade style had a much better UI. You quickly knew what you would buy due to full colour graphic appearance of weapons in the UI, which was later supported by the character visualisation that came with it. Not the shade you have going on here. A shade is good when the shade makes very distinct shapes, but I do not call out shotgun or grenadier the first time I see these shades. They are too complicated and beautiful in the real game to have shades. I would suggest filling some basic colour for recognition, but it would break with the visualisation as a whole. Its a big dilemma, but I would put UI first, graphics second. It is a quick terminal after all.

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I agree with you guys, from what I've seen in the videos the current UI doesn't look that good. I've never seen the alpha UI before but I think it is way better then the current one. (I just speak about the look, not the usability. I use the number instead of clicking)

Also I don't think that the current background where the guy standing in front of a worker who hands out the weapons is what is needed here. the player goes to a terminal and activate it, so it does make much more sense to show the player an interface which actually looks like a terminal UI. That always confuses me when watching gameplay videos.

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Also I don't think that the current background where the guy standing in front of a worker who hands out the weapons is what is needed here. the player goes to a terminal and activate it, so it does make much more sense to show the player an interface which actually looks like a terminal UI. That always confuses me when watching gameplay videos.

I agree.

I do like the vehicle purchasing bit though.

It indeed needs an overlay to make it look like it's on a screen though.

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Am I the only one around here who memorized the hotkeys and never spends more than 2 seconds at the terminal?

Keep in mind the average monitor size and resolution changed a lot from Ren to Ren X. It would look worse if the icons were large.

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I didn't know the Alpha purchase interface was actually on the right track. I do not understand the strange redesign it went through.

The darkness of the interface is very strange. Why so dark? Renegade is not a "dark game". The darkness of the interface is weird, and it somehow puts the 3D model in a bad light. Make it bright, please.

I pretty much agree with everything you said. The interface unfortunately needs an overhaul.

Am I the only one around here who memorized the hotkeys and never spends more than 2 seconds at the terminal?

If this game supports the keypad for purchase I might actually start doing that.

The thing is using the standard number keys without looking at the keyboard is one thing I was never good at, they are way too easy to mix up. Even 5 for refill is something I very carefully went for because pressing 4 and losing a 1000$ character like that is just a sad thing to have happen to you.

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As you said, you didn't play it yet.. When you play it will get used to it.

"Getting used to" isn't a valid excuse for a poorly designed interface.

I agree, I will get used to it. In fact I usually didn't even have to use my mouse in renegade, I just used numbers.

But that doesn't really mean it has to be left counter intuitive because "it'll pass".

He is right. I have been seeing it saying the same thing. "it could be better..."

Honestly, keeping mostly the same, and rearranging some things, would actually help, now that he mentions it. Maybe a hover-over for the stats since nobody will want to see them 100% of the time once they know what everything is. Expand the icons to 3 columns instead of 2, place the 5 free units at the top with a space below it seperating it from everything else. Place the items and sidearms together, and the character/vehicle catergories together.

Or, and bear with me on this one... Put the "free characters" in their own catergory top-left, the refill top-right, below that the characters and vehicles, below that the secondary weapons and the items.

Or, put all the stuff on opposite corners and center the character preview, that way each corner represents it's own stuff.

There are a lot of ways to do it. I bet trying any of them might actually turn out to shed light on a better direction.

Oh yeah, and I couldn't find it, but I remember one of the maps Ken records, he had accidentally thrown time c4 on the ground trying to switch to repair gun (which I also find "could be better", the weapon switching and such), so he goes back to the PT and I know he had to be searching for "refill" but couldn't find it for 4-6 seconds and finally settles on reselecting engineer after he was already an engineer just to get a fresh engineer. Case in point.

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Considering how close it is to release it isn't really plausible to change the entire design when the current one is functional.

The beta is close to release not the final game.

I'm sure there will be plenty of time to iron out bugs and change things after release as that's the point of betas.

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Simple solution: When you're in Purchase Terminal, pressing "R" will refill you.

Then why have a GUI for the PT? Why not have it entirely keycode? Why not have it command prompt style? Why not have no screen show up at all showing you accessed it, but it does the things when you press the corresponding key?

Because it isn't very user friendly. Ken doesn't use the keys. He searches for the refill button. I have stated I seen him fail at least once in finding it, and resort to getting a fresh version of the free unit. I think in that case, maybe color code the buttons. Team colors seem neat, but I wouldn't mind if Green were free units, Orange was refill, Blue were characters, Purple were vehicles, and pink were equipment.

However, I liked my first ideas the best.

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Key binds have already been changed to be more accessible. (R for Refill, V for Vehicles, C for Characters, 1-4 Free characters etc).

As for the GUI; It's more about having an appealing look than anything else, because anyone who is serious and wants high speed, they're going to learn the binds and never look at the PT again. So I wouldn't get too picky about it.

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They took a similar road to what Skyrim did: a large portion of the screen is taken up by the image of the item. It may trade functionality for form, but Id take it over Zork.

I agree that it is a little dark, though. We are supposed to be inside a building that, even in the future, is probably meant to be lit with waaay more florescent tube lights as are actually needed.

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Key binds have already been changed to be more accessible. (R for Refill, V for Vehicles, C for Characters, 1-4 Free characters etc).

I'd argue configurable binds would be better but, you seem to have ideal bindings already, which I'm -VERY- happy about. Good stuff.

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Now, obviously this is just a shitty mspaint drawing, but it's the layout that I want to get people's opinions on. The buttons and such could be scaled so that descriptions fit and whatnot, but the overall layout of the buttons is what I'm trying to highlight. I think it's better personally to have all 5 free infantry categorized together (I chose to do this vertically). Refill deserves to be the biggest button, since it is the most common purchase. The 4 advanced categories should be a bit larger than the free characters, to emphasize that they bring up more options and are advanced options. The vehicle queue was something suggested by me in the beta forums, and it didn't seem to get any negative responses (it's a helpful tool for the new system). Credits should be centered so that it is more clear. Exit and Purchase buttons should be separated equally on either side of the PT. The image behind the buttons could still be used in this case, since the vehicle queue will sometimes be empty, and sometimes not, and the character is already in the ideal position.

image.png

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Two things:

What about the chat interface? Sure you can use the command console, but it's kind of hard to keep track of, imo. Having it in a PT would be nice (but I guess it's not that important.)

You omitted the "Back" button. When in a submenu, there should be a "back" or "previous" button next to the "purchase" button so people can hop back to the main menu. In the current PT it's on the left, next to "Exit" and I don't like it there. It should be next to the "purchase" button for ease of reach.

Other than that though, I really like that design. Someone give this man a medal. :)

Did you purposely remove the 5 keybind to prevent former Renegaders from accidentally buying Engineer when they wanted a refill?

Yes.

Regarding the keybindings 1-4, what is marksman now?

Edited by Guest
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Having a chat interface is rather obsolete if you ask me. Like you said, the console button sort of replaces the need for this. Renegade had a chat interface because there was never a console button until a more recent version of scripts came out (just a couple years ago). I just don't think it's a real necessity.

What if the back button just replaced the Exit button in advanced terminal options? So that in order to leave the PT from these, you would have to double click backspace or the button, or simply press Esc once. I suppose some people might argue that this makes it take longer to exit the PT from an advanced PT menu, but really it shouldn't because the Back and Exit buttons are in the same place (so that double pressing the back button essentially exits the PT as well). Most people would probably use the backspace hotkey or Esc to exit the PT all together anyway, I assume.

The order I have the free infantry in (vertically) is the order that they are currently listed (including 1-5 hotkeys).

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That could work making back and exit the same button. But I also think that Esc should behave the same way. Meaning, Esc should be the "back" button in sub menus and the "exit" button in the main menu. If you want to quickly exit the PT from a sub menu, you would double tap Esc (otherwise you buy something).

It's more intuitive for me to use Esc as the "back" button since my hand is already close to it. Using backspace never made sense to me at all since I have to completely move my hand positions to get to it. By the time I move my hand and press backspace, I could have exited and re-entered the PT using Esc and E.

Regarding the 1-4 bindings that was my mistake, I didn't mean that as a question to you. I was talking to Kil who mentioned that they removed the 5 keybinding because 5 was the binding for refilling in Renegade. I forgot to put the quote in.

Did you purposely remove the 5 keybind to prevent former Renegaders from accidentally buying Engineer when they wanted a refill?

Yes.

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I'd just rather not have to double tap Esc because it would bring up the possibility of accidentally double tapping it in the home PT menu, and so bringing up the ESC menu to the game. I think backspace would work good as back, and ESC would just be an easy quick way to exit out of the PT all together, no matter what PT menu you are in. Just more convenient. I suppose that you could just give "Tab" the backspace function as well, for people like you who prefer the single hand ease of access. I just would prefer that there be a separate back and exit button availability.

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I don't have Renegade installed at the moment, but I thought Esc in the PT did what I described? I remember because there have been times were I did exactly what you just said and brought up the Esc menu because I pressed Esc too many times.

It's nothing a lockout timer can't fix. As in, after exiting a PT, you'd need to wait at least 0.5-1 second to open the Esc menu. But either way, it's not that big of a deal. I've gotten used to doing it the way I mentioned before (exiting and re-entering) despite its clumsiness.

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It did work like that in Renegade. That was the problem though, the possibility of pressing it too many times and bringing up the game Esc menu. A timer would fix it, but it isn't necessary if it is made with alternative hotkeys for each function. There was no way to immediately exit a PT from an advanced PT menu in Renegade. You could only go Back, and then Exit. I think having the option to do both via different hotkeys is far more convenient. So say you're in the advanced options and you hear an enemy start shooting at you. I'd rather just press one button and be out, rather than having to press 2 and worrying about accidentally triple tapping it and being stuck at a whole new Esc screen. Like you said, not a big deal - but it'd be nice.

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Hah, I remember that in Ren.

I would just jam the Esc key until the screen showed me what I wanted.

But there's no Esc screen in Ren X though, it's just a tiny box.

A possible solution would be to make it so pressing "R" no matter what submenu in the PT you're in will refill you and exit the PT.

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I think either R should refill and E should quit the purchase terminal no matter what menu you are in while Esc should go back if you're in a sub menu and quit if you're in the main menu.

Alternatively E should be refill and Esc back and quit.

So you'd effectively have to double tap E at a terminal to refill.

I personally like the first idea more.

... You guys realize this is just a menu also I personally find the Renegade X PT menu to be much better then renegades purchase menu so why complain?

This is far from complaining, we're giving feedback and suggestions, trying to figure out how to improve something that works but could be better.

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Well in my opinion it is complaining because this is such a trivial matter that does not effect game play at all.

Accidentally select engineer instead of refill a ramjet rifle, a 1000 credit character, and the bar has died since choosing so you can't select even if you had creds.

Then you will see it affects gameplay. I mean, it is something one could put effort unto memorizing, like learning to use Linux and command prompt, but it is not inherently simple and easy, like you wouldn't know linux terminal commands without a tedious session of learning and memorization.

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image.png

That's way too cluttered.

Here's a basic layout I've put together

errur_1392897942.png

As you might have noticed it's very similar to the alpha layout which I think was a step in the right direction.

If you like this layout I could go ahead and make a mock of the actual design in photoshop.

I actually like it, but maybe it would be better if you put the characters and vehicles beside each other on the left side, and weapons and superweapons on the right side.

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I actually like it, but maybe it would be better if you put the characters and vehicles beside each other on the left side, and weapons and superweapons on the right side.

Well, I think important menus being centered is a better option and because we have 5 icons now I put refill in the center.

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I actually like it, but maybe it would be better if you put the characters and vehicles beside each other on the left side, and weapons and superweapons on the right side.

Well, I think important menus being centered is a better option and because we have 5 icons now I put refill in the center.

Why is it a better option to have important menus in the center?

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I actually like it, but maybe it would be better if you put the characters and vehicles beside each other on the left side, and weapons and superweapons on the right side.

Well, I think important menus being centered is a better option and because we have 5 icons now I put refill in the center.

Why is it a better option to have important menus in the center?

Actually, now that I think of it grouping characters and vehicles, weapons and super weapons together would make more sense.

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No purchase, exit, or back buttons would prove to be troublesome for new people who don't know or like to use the hotkeys. There's no vehicle queue there neither.

@volcom, yes we know that "r" currently has that function. We mean that we would prefer it if that function could be used while in advanced pt menus as well (characters, items, vehicles), so as a quick and easy way to exit out of the pt from those screens.

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Well, I think important menus being centered is a better option and because we have 5 icons now I put refill in the center.

Why is it a better option to have important menus in the center?

Actually, now that I think of it grouping characters and vehicles, weapons and super weapons together would make more sense.

Disagree, the weapons and items (the category where super weapons are in) have to be in a different menu, since weapons replace the pistol slot and items have their own slot.

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Buttons aren't on my image but that doesn't mean they don't have to be there ingame, just add them at the bottom or something.

If you want a vehicle queue it could be put somewhere at the bottom as the big red weapon area could be shortened.

There is plenty of space there anyway.

Disagree, the weapons and items (the category where super weapons are in) have to be in a different menu, since weapons replace the pistol slot and items have their own slot.

I didn't mean having both of them in the same sub menu, I meant having the buttons be near one another on the main pt screen.

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Actually, now that I think of it grouping characters and vehicles, weapons and super weapons together would make more sense.

Disagree, the weapons and items (the category where super weapons are in) have to be in a different menu, since weapons replace the pistol slot and items have their own slot.

He didn't mean that they should be in one menu, he meant that it's better to put them beside each other in the PT.

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I really like Errors way.

The current design looks good and perhaps has a more practical layout than I want to admit, but it's too small. Usage of colors as suggested could help a bunch in determining what's what, as well as increasing it's size. You now have several different options for weapons on your character, from changing standard side-arm/C4 to buying extra features such as MG turrets, airstrikes or even superweapon beacons to changing your character loadout altogether. It's not instantly obvious what replaces things and what are additions to your inventory regardless of what character you are.

Get larger icons and color code them, add in the description 'Replaces X' or 'addition' or 'changes primary weapons'. Then the current look is perfect already.

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