Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

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Eagle_11
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Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by Eagle_11 » December 12th, 2017, 12:41 pm

There would be an grid at the side where currently traits are. In this grid there would be small icons for each of the traits and abilities the unit has. Those icons, when hovered over would display their description.

As i havent modified the UI before thought might as well bring up the idea first.

Id like to build an system where an unit gets to choose between 3 options at levelup, similar to how the system functions in the game 'Fantasy Wars'. For this will need both an UI modification of the sidebar for this grid and an method for presenting and applying the 3 choices per unit.
As we have branching level-ups the player would choose the usual which unit type is leveling into first then get the 3 options displayed to pick from, defined for that unit.
This is not relevant actually, i wanted to inquire about the perils of modifying the UI here.

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SFault
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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by SFault » December 15th, 2017, 10:22 am

I do like this idea. Symbols are faster to recognize than text so this would actually increase usability. I do see minor challenges but nothing critical.
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Lordlewis
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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by Lordlewis » December 15th, 2017, 9:59 pm

This sounds like a good idea, what I see out of it is kind of like the poison and slowness icons. I don't think it'll work for every add-on would it? But then it could go either way, I think it's a good idea.
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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by beetlenaut » December 16th, 2017, 7:23 am

LordBob (I think) was actually working on this at one point, but he had a baby Bob, so he hasn't been around much lately. There is a large set of tiles on the forum somewhere though.
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Kwandulin
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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by Kwandulin » December 16th, 2017, 7:29 am

The files can be found in Wesnoth/images/icons/icons-abilities.png and Wesnoth/images/icons/icons-resistances.png.

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zookeeper
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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by zookeeper » December 17th, 2017, 1:42 pm

SFault wrote:Symbols are faster to recognize than text so this would actually increase usability.
It's an easy thing to say and makes superficial sense, but no, I don't think that's actually true. Written words are visual symbols too, and you don't have to actually read them letter-by-letter to instantly recognize them. Sure, images might be faster to recognize with peripheral vision if the images are very dissimilar with each other, but for example the current icon sets Kwandulin mentioned don't fit that bill at all (they're small, there's a lot of them with somewhat similar shapes, no colors).

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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by SFault » December 17th, 2017, 2:34 pm

zookeeper wrote:It's an easy thing to say and makes superficial sense, but no, I don't think that's actually true.
Sure, bad symbols are not good. But if the symbol is intuitive and the context is familiar, then the symbol will be faster to understand than text. Of course there are limitations. Like, very similar things are easier to distinct with minor differences in text rather than with minor differences in images, some things are just too hard to turn into images, and remembering the rarely used symbols from set of 1000 is a strain.

Nevertheless, in mainline there are not so many traits and abilities. Especially the traits could be turned into icons. And not all info needs to be included into the icon. For example, I think it's enough to have one leadership symbol and player can then hover on it to see the level of it. If the current symbols would be colored and some of them redesigned I would believe they would do the job.
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Lordlewis
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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by Lordlewis » December 17th, 2017, 10:34 pm

If abilities/traits do become icons how are the new people to this game going to know what they mean? Something I'll recommend is that if the cursor is on the icon it shows what it is and what it does like it already does with the words. Probably the best thing about the icons though be the space saving from it, with some units that have tons of abilities (such as the mage of light) can show all of there symbols to highlight it. Yet it probably going to get hard to get used to it.
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revolting_peasant
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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by revolting_peasant » December 22nd, 2017, 11:47 pm

I'm against. I already get confused by icons in the Wesnoth-Pedia indicating things. I don't feel like remembering more icons - especially when different units have different sets of possible traits, and the total number of traits is pretty high.

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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » January 14th, 2018, 4:15 pm

There are also some icons relevant to this discussion at Wesnoth/images/icons/profiles, by the way. It doesn't contain images for the traits, though. Even the abilities icons are incomplete. It does contain some things that LordBob's set does not, however.

Obviously, if icons were added, you'd still be able to mouse over the icon to get a tooltip fully explaining the meaning, just like now.

There aren't very many core traits, so it might not be a bad idea to use icons for them.
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revolting_peasant
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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by revolting_peasant » January 14th, 2018, 9:52 pm

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Obviously, if icons were added, you'd still be able to mouse over the icon to get a tooltip fully explaining the meaning, just like now.
Mitigating a usability decrease is not an argument in its favor... but I'll make you a counter-offer: Put the icon in a tooltip :-)

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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » January 14th, 2018, 11:10 pm

That defeats the entire point of using icons in the first place.
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Eagle_11
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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by Eagle_11 » January 15th, 2018, 11:12 am

The reason ive suggest this is because the list gets cutoff with '...' at the interface when using multiple ability/traits, prompting to hover the mouse over the '...' to see the rest. Instead of that '...' there will be an grid with one icon in it for each ability and trait the unit has.
This grid is 4 width x 3 height, 12 tiles visible at a time, its maximum capacity is unlimited, it can be scrolled up-down to see the next row. You would define an icon .png to be used for the [trait] or [ability] in its tag via an new key. The system is supposed to be modular that way, not a static. By default the grid displays first any traits the unit has then its abilities, sorted by alphabetical order within for each.
In a RPG-like setting where the player is controlling one unit that gets built via obtaining abilities this would be a most needed UI improvement, whilst in regular MP it probably wouldnt be as needed, seeing there are only so few tiles to display in.

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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by beetlenaut » January 15th, 2018, 8:27 pm

Eagle_11 wrote:the list gets cutoff with '...' at the interface when using multiple ability/traits
This can be an issue sometimes. Instead of using icons, which cause other issues, why can't we just wrap the list of traits onto a second or third line? It should be easier to code, and less controversial too.
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Re: Displaying traits and abilities as tiles instead text

Post by Lordlewis » January 15th, 2018, 10:17 pm

I think that these are all good ideas. I think there should be an option in the preferences menu, the default being no icons. This does seem like something that may need a pole, also who get's to make the decisions?
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