Changing how terrain Names are displayed

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Eleazar
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Changing how terrain Names are displayed

Post by Eleazar » December 14th, 2005, 4:38 am

I think the names of the aliased terrains should be hidden from the player for 2 reasons:
1) it's unnecessary information that camoflages what the player needs to know.
2) it restricts the use certain graphics can be put to.

To explain: Instead of displaying, "Dwarven Castle (Castle)" or "Road (Grassland)" is should simply say "Castle" or "Flat" These definitions map directly to the defence/movement charts. Odd terrains like the "ford", i suppose, should be listed accord to the effect they have on the selected unit. As the number of terrain graphics multiply its all the more important to avoid confusing the users by giving things

The benefit for scenario desigers is they can use terrains according to how they look and not be limited by the lable. For instance "Savanah" could be used for dying grass instead of a different biome. The Dwarven Castle now doesn't seem so out of place if Trolls live in it.
left: current names. right: proposed names (if applicable) wrote:Deep water
Shallow water
Swamp water - - - - (swamp)
Sand
Grassland - - - - - - (flat, or flatland) -because it includes many non-grassy terrains
Tundra - - - - - - - - (frozen)
Village
Forest
Hills
Mountains
Canyon - - - - - - - (un-walkable) -includes lava. best name i can think of that says "only flying creatures can pass."
Castle - - - - - - - - -(fortification) - since it includes "encampments"
Cave
Cavewall- - - - - - - -(impassable) - would include "impassable" mountains.
Last edited by Eleazar on January 28th, 2006, 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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scott
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Post by scott » December 14th, 2005, 10:20 am

Wouldn't it be confusing if the same terrain has different properties in different campaigns?
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Re: Changing how terrain Names are displayed

Post by guest » December 14th, 2005, 11:26 am

Hello.

I am sorry, but I fail to see a problem here.

1) The information that is displayed is needed, for gameplay purposes. (An other issue is, that it more often than not doesn't fit the screen.)

2) A scenario-maker can put whatever graphics to whichever use they like, I presume. If they really want to, I suppose they can do a custom terrain (with a different name but the same art) to have the effect they want to. The alias information still needs to be shown, as always, for the player to know the units' performance there.

When the terrain system is extended beyond the 1-letter confines, using custom terrains shouldn't be a problem for anyone, I presume.
Eleazar wrote:The Dwarven Castle now doesn't seem so out of place if Trolls live in it.
They've of course conquered it from the dwarves. Or taken over some abandoned dwarf castle. Simple. :wink:

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Post by zookeeper » December 14th, 2005, 12:07 pm

I think that the fact that the game has 14 "base" terrains and that everything else has to visible be an alias of one (or several) of them is a bit confusing. However, if you play for some time, you notice that there are just 14 base terrains so you can know instantly how an odd-looking custom terrain "behaves" when you see what it is an alias of. If you could have no idea of how a custom terrain behaves (if you didn't know the alias and the terrain was named somewhat differently) and you would have to hover over it with all your units to see what kind of movement and defense they have on it, it would be annoying. This could be solved by somehow displaying the movement and defense values over every hex on the screen when a unit is selected (colours? numbers?). If seeing how good a custom terrain is for a particular unit is made easier by something like this, I'm all for this change.

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Eleazar
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Re: Changing how terrain Names are displayed

Post by Eleazar » December 14th, 2005, 2:06 pm

Scott, Guest, you are totally mistaking my proposal. I may not have been very clear.
guest wrote:1) The information that is displayed is needed, for gameplay purposes. (An other issue is, that it more often than not doesn't fit the screen.)

2) A scenario-maker can put whatever graphics to whichever use they like, I presume. If they really want to, I suppose they can do a custom terrain (with a different name but the same art) to have the effect they want to. The alias information still needs to be shown, as always, for the player to know the units' performance there.
I'm proposing that any terrain that has "hill" movement/defense should ingame be refered to simply as "Hills" NOT "snow hill," or "desert hills".

All "castle" sets would be referred to by the same name (i'm proposing "fortification") and so on. This would help confirm to the player that the currently named "encampment" has the same defensive value as the "swamp ruin."

Let's give our players some credit. Do we really need to verbally point out the difference between "snow hills" and "desert hills"? If the players aren't getting that, i think Frame and I should give up.

I'm not proposing that the same terrain graphic be given different defense/movement values. (though as Guest says a scenario maker could do that if he really wanted to). I'm saying that if the extra verbage was removed it would make more sense to user certain terrains more "creatively" I.E. what's now called the "desert hills" could better be used as sand dunes on a beach.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Post by scott » December 14th, 2005, 2:50 pm

So you want to refer to the sand dunes on the beach as hills?
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Re: Changing how terrain Names are displayed

Post by guest » December 14th, 2005, 4:22 pm

Eleazar wrote:Scott, Guest, you are totally mistaking my proposal. I may not have been very clear.

I'm proposing that any terrain that has "hill" movement/defense should ingame be refered to simply as "Hills" NOT "snow hill," or "desert hills".
Ok, this is somewhat clearer. Let graphics do its job, and only tell the player, what the hex is treated as wrt movement and combat. Suits me.

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Post by Darth Fool » December 14th, 2005, 4:44 pm

This sounds like a Good Idea TM to me.

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Post by Eleazar » December 14th, 2005, 5:13 pm

scott wrote:So you want to refer to the sand dunes on the beach as hills?
Unless there is a better general term, yes.
Because in terms of gameplay, they function identically to hills.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Post by turin » December 14th, 2005, 8:01 pm

I think Eleazar was perfectly clear, and it is a brilliant idea.

I think one issue no one here has thought of yet is that most of the time, the "terrain name + (alias)" is too long to be displayed in the given area. Since strings are just truncated, this leaves it so you just get "terrain na ...", leaving you with a good idea of what the terrain name is but NO CLUE what it is an alias of. Eleazar's change would fix this, too.
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Noyga
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Post by Noyga » December 14th, 2005, 9:19 pm

Well it could be confusing for non-english native speaker that try to complete a scenario where the objectives are : "got to the northen sand dune" for example.
I think it's better to leave the terrain name displayed.
Why not displaying : "terrain type (terrain name)" instead of "terrain name (terrain type)" ?
For truncated string, this would show the most important information first.

Also if you don't have a unit selected, how would choose the terrain type for tiles like river ford ?

Another idea would be to replace the terrain type string with an icon (then we would display 2 icons for river ford).

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Post by turin » December 14th, 2005, 9:21 pm

Noyga wrote:Well it could be confusing for non-english native speaker that try to complete a scenario where the objectives are : "got to the northen sand dune" for example.
But scenarios are usually translated...
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Eleazar
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Post by Eleazar » December 14th, 2005, 10:03 pm

New term: Let's call the fundimental terrains "terrain archetypes."
I.E. "Flat" is a terrain archetype that is represented by road and grassland, and dirt.
Noyga wrote:Well it could be confusing for non-english native speaker that try to complete a scenario where the objectives are : "got to the northen sand dune" for example.
I think it's better to leave the terrain name displayed.
Why not displaying : "terrain type (terrain name)" instead of "terrain name (terrain type)" ?
For truncated string, this would show the most important information first.

Also if you don't have a unit selected, how would choose the terrain type for tiles like river ford ?

Another idea would be to replace the terrain type string with an icon (then we would display 2 icons for river ford).
It certainly would be an improvment to switch the terrain names on the display. But I still believe displaying anything but the terrain archetype name is unnecessary, and slightly bad.

What to do with the ford is open to debate. Maybe it should just be called "Ford". I'm not even sure the dual alias thing is a good idea. (on the other hand i failed to notice that it was dual for months, so it must have been intuitive.)

It would be quite hard to make a good icons for terrain archetypes. (how do you depict a idea that encompasses canyons and lava and possibly short walls?)
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Post by Noyga » December 14th, 2005, 11:11 pm

Something like this ?
This is (very) quickly and badly drawn, but it shows the idea.

You have :
- Deep/swallow water (just put a darker blue for deep water)
- Swamp
- Sand
- Flat / Snow (just put the Flat terrain in green and the snow in white ... or draw a snowflake for snow)
- Villages
- Forests
- Hills
- Mountains
- Canyons/Lava (just draw a cliff, a canyon or a chasm..)
- Fortifications
- Cave
- Impassible terrain

If someone good at graphics can try to make icons around 20x20 pixels (or wider) we could have something great :)
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Post by turin » December 15th, 2005, 1:43 am

But canyons and lava are the same archetype, so you need one symbol to represent both of them.
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