Feedback Which one looks better?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Rivo, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Ok, so I'm creating a territorial map in space e.g. http://prnt.sc/dr6sqk I decided to use a voronoi diagram to achieve this e.g. http://prnt.sc/dr6t8a

    There are two pics to show you.
    galactic test1  forums.jpg
    galactic test 2 forums.jpg

    I feel like pic1 looks a lot better whereas pic2 is easier to understand. And pic1 looks a bit like crystallization which is one of my games main features. Should I use different colours?

    The enemy and player territories are coloured and the unclaimed are gray. The little red blob would represent the players ship in the final game (bear in mind this is just one feature)



    Please tell me what you think. Show me no mercy! I will not accept crappy graphics. OR DO THEY BOTH SUCK!???

    credit for delaunay triangulation and dijkstra's algorithm goes to @Juju https://twitter.com/jujuadams

    EDIT: This is just a discussion I made to give feedback, if you'd like to give feedback on any of the pictures please feel free to do so, thank you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  2. BaBiA Game Studio

    BaBiA Game Studio Member

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    I prefer the second style. Simply because the first one looks too busy and it appears that several of the unclaimed territories overlap, and make it not look as clean or easy to understand. The second is simple, clean and easy to see the borders - at least for me anyway.
     
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  3. The Reverend

    The Reverend Member

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    Well, I don't understand the first pic, so I definately go with No 2 as well :)
     
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  4. DyingSilence

    DyingSilence Member

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    The first one is really pleasing, but you need some outlines on borders to be clear about them. Maybe let the player switching between the two?
     
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  5. HayManMarc

    HayManMarc Member

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    The second is easier to understand, but if you could manipulate the camera with the first one with 3D ability, that would make it better.
     
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  6. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Good idea.
    What would I do with the camera? Bear in mind to create this effect i'm drawing 3d cones to the screen, so i'm not sure what it'd look like from a different angle.
     
  7. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    The second (white dots) has the best contrast, having black dots on a light background on a dark background introduces breaks in the luminous gradients and basically ruins the contrast, making the map harder to read because the dots and the cones fight for attention. The white dots has them work together instead of fighting, basically.
     
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  8. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Hows this? I guess I could also zoom out and have a galaxy in the background maybe?
    galaxy test 3 forums.jpg
    galactic test 4 forums.jpg

    I think it looks a little better when its in full screen (but i can't take a pic of it in fullscreen) It looks a bit less like someone smeared Vaseline all over the screen. Here's an .exe if you care...

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5n9t1UlmUO5MkJZcEFmalAwYkU/view

    Controls:' R' to make a new map
    ESC to exit
    Left click to move ship/ left click on white dot (planet) to change colour to red
    Right click on white dot (planet) to change colour to orange
    >>>>'I' to turn off/on interpolation (off as default)<<<<
    >>>>Space to go full screen <<<<

    I would hope the player focuses more on the planets since that's what truly matters, i'd just like to look appealing. But i've looked at it so much now that i'm not even sure it's good lmao
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2017
  9. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Updated my design a bit if anyone wants to take a look. Here are some pics (Still looks a bit abstract i think)

    Added a scroll in zoom and put a glow on the planets/stars
    galactic test 6 (zooming).jpg
    This is what it'd look like if one faction took over the galaxy
    galactic test 5 (full takeover).jpg
    This is what it'd look like mid game with territories clashing
    galactic test 7 (fully coloured map).jpg

    I think there is a lot to improve on, I still need to add more stars to the background (zoomin/out function's fault)

    > I'm thinking about having an actual galaxy in the background.
    > Looking for ways to simplify these images while making it look appealing.

    If anyone would like to comment on this (good or bad) that'd be great, thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  10. sylvain_l

    sylvain_l Member

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    ^^ can't you do something more like in Endless space/and usual wargame ? (with the circle zone of influence that "repulse " those of the other empire). perhaps you don't need to have a perfect none overlaping rule; but please avoid at all cost having an enemy polygon zone overlaping a planet of an other faction... that disturbing; except of cause if that's because there IS currently a fight on the planet between the 2 factions for that planet/ or that's a system and planets are shared by the 2 factions)

    not forced using circle, but your polygons, for readability the overlaping effect should be limited to not introduce confusion.

    last image; the fact that the blue polygon (bottom right) is overlapping the star/planet of the green one is really disturbing : except if it as the meaning of a current fight for it)
     
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  11. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Oh wow I didn't even notice that. You're right it is disturbing. Tbh I was just trying to be different by using polygons to create territories and somehow make it work. What i'll probably do now is try and improve on pic 2 in the first post and if I still looks crap i'll probably use circles like in endless space/stellaris etc. Thank you! I'm not a huge player of RTS games so i don't usually look out for these things, and i'm not trying to make an RTS either, i'm just using this feature. I should probably pick up a few space RTS games myself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
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  12. sp202

    sp202 Member

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    The only issue with Pic 2 is that it's flat. If you apply a crystalline pattern to them using surfaces or texturing (since you're using 3D cones) it could look great.
     
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  13. sylvain_l

    sylvain_l Member

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    I like it <3
    it even did me rethink of how I should build the strategic map of my 4x space game. (now i'm thinking of using some derivate voronoi cell algo to some how define the polygon shape between each system- perhaps even go further... )
     
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  14. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Lol, here's what it l looked like when I put a texture on it
    galactic test 8 texture add.jpg
    Here was the texture I used (bit of difference tbh)
    crystalline texture.jpg

    Maybe there is a chance I can make it look a lot better with a certain texture
     
  15. sp202

    sp202 Member

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    I think the fact that you're using cones combined with the perspective results in a horribly distorted look. Try drawing the regions onto a surface and use the crystal texture to create a cutout in the shape of the region map. Example thread for reference (I've posted the necessary code to achieve the effect there too): https://forum.yoyogames.com/index.php?threads/avatar-frame.15819/
     
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  16. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Do you mean have two surfaces, one for the texture and one for the voronoi then blend them together?
     
  17. sp202

    sp202 Member

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    I suppose, the end result should look like the crystal texture has been cut out in the shape of the region map.
     
  18. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Just playing around with this. When I use this the voronoi disappears and I just get a bunch of circles on top each other
    crappy blend glitch.jpg

    Code:
    if !surface_exists(surface){surface_create(room_width , room_height);}
    if !surface_exists(temp_surface){surface_create(room_width , room_height);}
    
    surface_set_target(temp_surface)
    draw_clear_alpha(c_white,0);
    draw_set_blend_mode_ext(bm_one, bm_one);
    draw_sprite(sEye, image_index, mouse_x, mouse_y);
    surface_reset_target();
    draw_set_blend_mode(bm_normal);
    
    surface_set_target(surface);
    //for(xx=0; xx<w; xx++;){
     //  for(yy=0; yy<h; yy++;){
     //   draw_sprite(sBlend, image_index, (128)*xx, (128)*yy);
    //   }
    //}
    draw_clear_alpha(c_white,0); <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< this
    d3d_start();
    d3d_set_perspective(false);
    draw_set_colour(c_red);
    d3d_draw_cone(x-50,y-50,50,x+50,y+50,0,-1,1,1,false,36);
    draw_set_colour(c_white);
    d3d_end();
    draw_set_blend_mode_ext(bm_zero, bm_src_color);
    draw_surface(temp_surface,0,0);
    surface_reset_target();
    draw_set_blend_mode(bm_normal);
    
    draw_surface(surface, 0, 0);
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  19. sp202

    sp202 Member

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    Do you draw one cone per object? If so, you should draw them all to a single surface and use that surface as the cutout.
     
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  20. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Ok ^ thanks for that. I textured it properly. Tell me whatcha think!
    galactic test textured voronoi.jpg
    Looks kind weird. Maybe it needs a better texture. Does anyone know what I could do to make this any better? I think with a better background, a decent texture and some camera work, this could start to look pretty presentable.

    Oh, and what if I create a voronoi pattern, take a screenshot of it, then use that as a texture. I think voronoi's kinda look like crystals too tbh. A voronoi inside a voronoi! Might try that.

    Tried it, not sure it works tbh. Probably too confusing
    galctic test voronoi within a voronoi texture.jpg
    galaxy test textured voronoi 2.jpg
    Pic2 my fav so far
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2017
  21. Jabbers

    Jabbers Member

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    I really don't like the textures in pic 2. It looks like crumpled up wrapping paper or some kind of graphical glitch.

    Possibly a controversial opinion, but I preferred pic 1 in your original post, and I like what you did in post #8 and #10 as well. I like the use of colour to outline the areas. Although it is true that it looks more cluttered, I quite like that feeling of information overload in a space game. It creates this illusion that there is a huge complex world and a lot of density. The more simplistic the map becomes, the more aware I am of the actual limitations of the space I am in, which I feel is a mistake. Much like in sandbox games, space games need to trick the player into not seeing the four walls of their "infinite" space. That said, putting a weird texture on an already dense map is not a good look.
     
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  22. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    That's interesting, and i'm glad you said that. I was trying to make it a bit simpler since my first pic was a bit too abstract. But honestly I feel the same way about space games. I think I just need to make it nice to look at and easy to use. I'll have to search around for the best texture/background etc.

    Maybe I should aim for something more like stellaris with the textures and background. (Like a smokey effect) e.g.
    stellaris galactic map.jpg
    And try to find a way to outline territories
     
  23. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    i think this map that youposted is best
    http://prnt.sc/dr6sqk
    overthinking it and overcomplicating it will simply impair the experience. my philosophy is 'simple is best'. even if you make a great game if you cant figure it out in a glance or after a bit of experience then its wrong. were talking games afterall arent we? just keep the side things away from the conciousness of the player and let him play the game.
     
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  24. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Actually, do you like the abstract look? Or is it a bit disturbing when the territories overlap like what @sylvain_l said ?

    BTW that pic was just an example of what I'm taking inspiration from (its actually from star trek online I think haha) But I suppose If I can make the map itself look simple and easy to understand while making it look like it's on a 'galactic scale' by using a decent background I'm sure I can get something good here. I'm just experimenting for now and every post so far has been a lot of help so thanks everyone. Any more thoughts/opinions are appreciated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2017
  25. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    I like pic2 from yesterday. I don't know where Jabbers is getting crumpled paper from. Looks crystalline to me.

    I don't know why everyone is so confused by pic1 in your first post, either. Thsee maps are just for a general idea of how the war is going, right? I don't think the borders need to be perfectly clear or understandable.

    I'd go with your heart, Rivo. Nobody knows your game better than you do. I've had people tell me "Oh man, you need to change that." about things in my game so many times, because they don't see the full picture I have in my head. When I finish the feature or location, they go "oh, okay. Now it's good!"

    Listen to yourself, not us! Or listen to yourself most at least, haha.
     
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  26. Jabbers

    Jabbers Member

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    What do you mean by "simple is best" and why do you think the designs he has presented aren't simple enough? One design is more complicated relative to the other, but that doesn't make it a generally complicated design. I don't think any of his designs are going to confuse the player so much they won't be able to figure out what is going on. Presumably this is an RTS game, and having a detailed interface is important for those types of strategy experiences, so I think in this case keeping the information center of the game is totally justified, and keeping things "to the side" and "simple" (whatever simple means in this case) is not an infallible approach.

    Lol I swear I have that exact pattern on sparkly silver paper.
     
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  27. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Wish there was a superlike button lol. I just want the best here tbh. I like to hear peoples opinions, but I guess you're right with 'Nobody knows your game better than you do' Countless times I've shown people things they never understood because there was no context.

    Oh here's where I got it from if you where curious haha. http://erinptah.deviantart.com/art/Repeating-crystal-pattern-free-548790998

    Also, taking a look at steam greenlight comment sections has made me painfully aware that people are VERY honest (and sometimes cynical) about what they're looking at lol. Just preparing for that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
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  28. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    Jabbers
    i mean that things must be clear, like Pic 2 from Rivo`s first post, anymore info is just unnecesery like in the 3d example or the example with textures.
    anything that doesnt serve the purpose of the mechanic in question is either a bonus or nuisense, its a bonus when it lets you immerse yourself in the game and its a nuisense when it repulces you from the game.
    the 3d and textured examples he provided add nuisense to his maps, in the 3d becouse of the merging its may be unclear what territories you are looking at and its visually unappealing, atleast atm. basically the map engages your brain to figure out problems that are not essential to the gameplay, like where are the borders of the territory, and why is it 3d? which faction is in front or in back? etc. ofcorse you will be able to figure it out but it is in the way of you immercing yourself in the game.

    for a solution for the 3d, if it really has to be 3d id suggest to remove the teritorial shapes, add perspective and colour to the planets (representing the territory colors) and add a pop-up list on the side and select a faction and then show the teritorial shape of that faction + the territories that it collides with or is in war or somthing. also you shuld be able to circle around the map spherically, and when your mouse cursor is over a planet then also you shuld be able to see the territory shape and its neighbours. thats what my strategic mind finds useful to create a strategy and isolate the problem and the freedom to show desired info.

    the 2d map i think its very straight foreward and the image that he took like an example is a good example. your shown everything that you need and nothing is in the way nor unneceserily distracting you from your game goal.

    overall by compluicated i mean aspects of the game (mechanics) that engage you outside of the gameplay,
     
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  29. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Would anyone know how I could outline this? e.g.
    crudely outlined map.jpg
    and
    professionally outlined map.jpg
    I'd love to make an effect like this, though i'm not sure how? I've tried copying the surface then increasing its size so it's just a little bigger, creating an outline when I change around the colours. But as I assumed, it didn't work. If anyone could help with this, that would be great!

    Or do you think i'd need shaders? Because if so, i'm up for that. All as long as it looks good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  30. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Ok, it's been a while but I have a lil update on this for anyone who cares, lol

    galactic map zoom and outline.jpg
    This one is zoomed in with a green outline and some random crappy texture I think i'll change
    galactic map zoom and outline 2.jpg
    This one is zoomed out with a black outline on territories
    galactic map zoom and outline 3.jpg
    This is pic 2 but zoomed in

    I would love some feedback on these images, tell me what you guys think.

    Changes:

    Lines connecting the star system are now green and lose opacity the more you zoom out.
    New texture i'm messing around with.
    I was given a cool outlining shader by @Xor that i'm still messing around with to make it look a bit more, idk, 'Territory-like'

    Still need a better Background i think. Pic 3 my fav so far :3
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  31. renex

    renex Member

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    Is that nearest neighbor for random points? How'd you achieve that?

    Also I think it looks better when the outline is the color of the territory but brighter.
     
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  32. Tthecreator

    Tthecreator Your Creator!

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    #1 looks really cool. But you certainly don't want to create overlapping territories.
    So #2 it is, which looks clean an will end up being more easy for the user to navigate and use as map in general.
     
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  33. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Yeah, I agree with renex. Your "professionally outlined map" example is the way to go. Steal that, lol.
    Throwing a glow shader over all this might make it look cooler, too. =D
     
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  34. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    The little red ship moves to the closest point to the mouse when you left click. And the stars are connected by delaunay triangulation. All credit for that goes to @Juju https://twitter.com/jujuadams I think he used something called dijkstra's algorithm to move the ship along the triangulation to the closest random point

    Oh, and i'm not entirely sure how I would make the ouline the same colour as the territory. I'm a noob at shaders

    Yeah, I think it would look better with a glow, i'll try that as soon as I figure how... I'll get this map to look good eventually lol. No matter how long it take me D:
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
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  35. Juju

    Juju Member

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    Delaunay triangulation (which is the "geometric dual" of a Voronoi diagram). Pathfinding is Dijkstra.
     
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  36. Nocturne

    Nocturne Friendly Tyrant Forum Staff Admin

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    Easy glow effect...

    Create a surface 1/2 or a 1/4 the size of the app surface. Draw the app surface scaled down to it with interpolation ON. Now draw the 1/4 surface scaled up to the size of the app surface using an additive blend mode. Instant "bloom" glow effect and no need for shaders. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  37. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    I'll give it a go!

    Also, i found a shader online
    galactic map crappy bloom effect.jpg
    Probably not the best tbh, but i like how it creates a lil outline the same colour as the territory
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  38. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Ok, it's been a while. I was working on a different part of my game for the week since it was getting boring.

    But I managed to get a decent glow effect on it. I think so anyway... (Oh, and the glow gets dim the more you zoom in)
    post this on the forums.jpg

    Oh an here are some pics of me messing around with the glow (maybe you'll prefer some of them, who knows.)

    galactic map bloom and texture and glow idea 2.jpg
    medium glow.jpg
    galactic map bloom and texture and glow idea .jpg
    glow overkill.jpg
    All feedback is appreciated. How do you think this compares to my first posts?
     
  39. Bingdom

    Bingdom Googledom

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    I think unused pic2 is best because the bloom seems to define the territories better than the others, despite the fact that some points have the wrong colours(which I believe you are trying to make up for it in the others). I think the points are already distinguishable enough.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
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  40. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    It's actually very subtle, you'll probably only notice it when you zoom in at fullscreen(in game). But on pic 2 and the 'map / w glow' the glow is the same colour as the territory, and not the points. Also, I am torn about pic2 and the one i'm using since I thought pic 2 might have been too much.
     
  41. Laurent57

    Laurent57 Member

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    Hi! For me, the galaxies of the first image of Jan 5, 2017 was not so bad!
    The overlay gives a 3D impression without overloading the image. And I understand enough.

    Keeping the luminous effect of the stars of course.
     
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  42. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Yeah I like that effect too. I'm thinking i'll just let people switch between the two. People have different preferences here, and to be frank i like both styles now. So i'm good letting people set their preferences.
     
  43. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Quick Update: Colours are more prominent in the glow. And the luminous glow flickers, now.
    Textures on the polygons aren't too great since they don't repeat themselves very well. Any ideas on textures to use?
    forum post.jpg
    (Crap I forgot to put this in the post above :/ )

    Added GUI Layer to see what it'd look like to simulate it being on a screen. Could work depending on what I use. (The image is a bit poorly cropped btw)
    GUI Layer added.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  44. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Added a crt shader I found on the marketplace to make it look like a computer on a spaceship.
    Galactic map CTR overlay.jpg
    Galactic map CTR overlay 2.jpg
    Which one ya thinks better? All maps in the final game will be fully customizable

    edit: New slightly more subtle effect:
    Galactic map subtle effect.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  45. sp202

    sp202 Member

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    On that first one, the scanlines look far too distorted around the middle, they should only roughly fit the curvature of the "monitor".
     
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  46. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Yeah I had a play around with it and i'm pretty sure its just part of the screen distortion effect. Could be wrong idk. You see it less when there's a lot of bright colour on the screen
     
  47. RizbIT

    RizbIT Member

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    the first one looks more 3d, the second is more concise and clear

    so id say use the second sone.
     
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