Ideas for a UI facelift

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West
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Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by West » March 23rd, 2009, 1:16 pm

For some time I've been thinking that the Wesnoth UI skin could really use a facelift. I learned that mordante is working on a rebuild of the interface, so I offered to design a new skin.

So far I'm just brainstorming; the attached mockup is just an assortment of different ideas and should not be taken as a literal representation of what the UI should look like. I thought that would be obvious but as several people have commented on the size of that button, I might as well point it out :)

Thoughts, anyone?
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ui-mockup2.png

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Girgistian
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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by Girgistian » March 23rd, 2009, 1:44 pm

Oo, I really like the wooden touch, adds a lot to the medievality of the game. The texture could stand to be 'smaller', and possibly slightly more vivid concerning the colour (though I'm not sure), but overall this looks a lot cosier and more pleasant than the current one.
I'm guessing we can't/won't have faction based UIs in the future, i.e warcraft or warhammer?
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West
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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by West » March 23rd, 2009, 2:07 pm

Girgistian wrote:Oo, I really like the wooden touch, adds a lot to the medievality of the game. The texture could stand to be 'smaller', and possibly slightly more vivid concerning the colour (though I'm not sure), but overall this looks a lot cosier and more pleasant than the current one.
I'm guessing we can't/won't have faction based UIs in the future, i.e warcraft or warhammer?
Glad you like it! The wood texture is just the ol' smeared noise trick and it would have to be reworked, but I also think wood might fit in.

Not sure what you mean by a smaller texture though... smaller as in having a finer grain? I'm not sure making it physically smaller would be a great idea is it will lead to patterning when tiled over larger areas.

As for faction beased UI's, I don't know. Might be possible but at this stage I don't know a lot about the new features.

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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by JAP » March 23rd, 2009, 3:17 pm

That Greece pattern looks nice!
If you want some more patterns that works with pixels i have tree here.
The two first ones are from the sicán culture and the third are Mesopotamian.
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West
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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by West » March 23rd, 2009, 3:25 pm

Thanks JAP!

I should add that the skin doesn't have to look anything like above. I was aiming for something that is fairly similar to the current look but if we want, we can have something like this

Image

or... well, something entirely else. Anything is possible, really. At this point I'm just looking for a direction to head in.

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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by Girgistian » March 23rd, 2009, 3:37 pm

West wrote:Not sure what you mean by a smaller texture though... smaller as in having a finer grain? I'm not sure making it physically smaller would be a great idea is it will lead to patterning when tiled over larger areas.
Finer grain is what I meant, yes, I just couldn't find the words. I'm guessing Jetryl's the one to have the last word on the faction-based UIs, I just brought it up in case there's been some discussing about it that I wasn't aware of.

As for the stone-theme, personally I think the previous one is better, since the stone-texture's been used in a wide variety of games already (and it would have to be very well made if it was to stand out or look exceptionally good, i.e finely grained and with a really strong 3D look). I'm guessing stone textures like these (like all of them together, to get some colour changes) could fit the wesnoth feel a bit better than completely gray rock, if you want to continue with the raw-material line like with the wood.
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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by West » March 23rd, 2009, 4:09 pm

Girgistian wrote:As for the stone-theme, personally I think the previous one is better, since the stone-texture's been used in a wide variety of games already (and it would have to be very well made if it was to stand out or look exceptionally good, i.e finely grained and with a really strong 3D look). I'm guessing stone textures like these (like all of them together, to get some colour changes) could fit the wesnoth feel a bit better than completely gray rock, if you want to continue with the raw-material line like with the wood.
Oh, I like the other look better as well, the stone thing was just an example. As you say, it's done to death and personally I much prefer sleeker and more tasteful skins.

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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by musketaquid » March 23rd, 2009, 6:45 pm

Ornamented borders is what the current theme lacks. So all borders you've done, are better then the current simple ones. :)
I like those, which garnish the two upper boxes of the sidebar.
For the buttons, slightly rounded corners look much better to me than plain squares.

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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by Redeth » March 23rd, 2009, 10:08 pm

I like this. :)
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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by Jetrel » March 23rd, 2009, 10:15 pm

:D West - I'll give you near-carte-blanche, here. I like the current theme, a lot, and I don't see anything "wrong" with it that needs to be fixed. However, you could easily take us "to the next level". It could be a huge area for improvement, but almost no one has dared to try.

Good luck - I look forward to seeing more finished attempts.

I'll definitely say that there's an interest in having faction-specific UIs. However, we're also going to want at least one "generic" UI that can be applied to any faction imaginable (e.g. like the current UI works with everything).
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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by Blueblaze » March 24th, 2009, 3:37 am

Jetryl wrote:However, we're also going to want at least one "generic" UI that can be applied to any faction imaginable (e.g. like the current UI works with everything).
Exactly, this is very important when playing campaigns where there is no clear single faction and custom scenarios. Some user made scenarios have absolutely no preference to a specific faction thus having a generic UI would be useful quite in those situations too. Also, as far as I know with the limitations of our themes, scenarios can only have 1 theme for everyone at a time. Of course with the advancement in art will probably come an advancement in code, but for now everyone has to use the same UI which needs to be generic. Another point in regard to the current limitation of the code (which is another thing that could/probably will change with a push in art, but I think this one is a lot more difficult than the previously mentioned one) is that the UI cannot be changed midgame, therefore scenarios that have some type of faction change mid way need to use a generic UI.

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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by West » March 24th, 2009, 7:49 am

musketaquid wrote:For the buttons, slightly rounded corners look much better to me than plain squares.
Yep, I agree. I'm just roughing things out with the pencil tool so far, hence the boxiness.
Redeth wrote:I like this. :)
Thanks!
Jetryl wrote::D West - I'll give you near-carte-blanche, here. I like the current theme, a lot, and I don't see anything "wrong" with it that needs to be fixed. However, you could easily take us "to the next level". It could be a huge area for improvement, but almost no one has dared to try.

Good luck - I look forward to seeing more finished attempts.
Thanks Jetryl. I'll make sure to keep posting updates here.
Blueblaze wrote:Exactly, this is very important when playing campaigns where there is no clear single faction and custom scenarios. Some user made scenarios have absolutely no preference to a specific faction thus having a generic UI would be useful quite in those situations too. Also, as far as I know with the limitations of our themes, scenarios can only have 1 theme for everyone at a time. Of course with the advancement in art will probably come an advancement in code, but for now everyone has to use the same UI which needs to be generic. Another point in regard to the current limitation of the code (which is another thing that could/probably will change with a push in art, but I think this one is a lot more difficult than the previously mentioned one) is that the UI cannot be changed midgame, therefore scenarios that have some type of faction change mid way need to use a generic UI.
Well like I said, the interface is being rebuilt so AFAIK these limitations that you mention might not be an issue in the future. But yes, we will definitely need a generic UI. That's what I will be focusing on.

Finally, if anyone wants to lend a hand with this I could really use some textures to work with, mainly wood but anything goes really. The more I have to choose from the better.

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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by West » March 24th, 2009, 3:54 pm

More experimentation. Tried a few different color schemes but personally I still think the original dark/gold style looks best.
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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by Wintermute » March 24th, 2009, 4:11 pm

I like what I see, and I like where this is going. :)
Jetryl wrote:I like the current theme
I agree, and I think part of what I like about it is not so much any particular color or texture, but a kind of muted 'rustic' feel to it (this is what I like, personally). I think that with the old map and 'old' fantasy setting it really fits together nicely - especially in certain places in campaigns. I think it would be unfortunate to lose that feel in some places with a new 'shiny' look. That said, I that places like the combat dialogue (with all those nice statistics) could do with a cleaner, nicer look.

I'm not sure if what I'm saying makes sense, but I just wanted to chime in. :)
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Re: Ideas for a UI facelift

Post by West » March 24th, 2009, 4:48 pm

Wintermute wrote:I agree, and I think part of what I like about it is not so much any particular color or texture, but a kind of muted 'rustic' feel to it (this is what I like, personally). I think that with the old map and 'old' fantasy setting it really fits together nicely - especially in certain places in campaigns. I think it would be unfortunate to lose that feel in some places with a new 'shiny' look. That said, I that places like the combat dialogue (with all those nice statistics) could do with a cleaner, nicer look.
I also like the general feel of the current skin, and I intend to do something fairly similar. After all, people are used to it and I realize that it may not be wise to annoy a lot of players with purely cosmetic changes.

Still, I can't help but feel that the interface is really the least professional-looking part of the game, especially considering that units, portraits and terrains are of awesome quality nowadays. The current skin has blurry textures, indistinct outlines and doesn't seem to fit together properly in places (for example if you look at the corner graphics on the transparent frames, e.g. the main menu). It simply looks dated. Whether I can make something 'better' remains to be seen of course, but I'm going to do my best.

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