Modern Interface

Show off your mod creations or just a work in progress.
Dimillian
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:51 pm

Modern Interface

Postby Dimillian » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:00 pm

I didn't saw any topics on that specifically, maybe one about the HUD, but that's it.

I want to sketch and work on some modern version of the Daggerfall interface. Something as classic as Daggerfall but also as functional as Morrowind. (Please forget about the console UI of Oblivion and Skyrim). I think Morrowind interface/inventory is one of the best RPG UI ever made. It's fast, responsible, customisable and provide all the info you need on a mouse hover.

I've already began on the mouseover tooltips enhancements, it's very small for now, but I want to add more options.
Instead of selecting your action then clicking an item, I'll switch it to clicking an item and then choose what you want to do with it. With a select menu of some sort. Like "Equip, into, drop" etc... I'll also reduce the size of them, so we can display more of them without scrolling. In a grid a la Morrowind.

dagg2.png
dagg2.png (322.13 KiB) Viewed 576 times

dagg1.png
dagg1.png (320.43 KiB) Viewed 576 times


Now about the scope of Daggerfall Unity, I want to understand where the UI is standing. I know that the goal is to re implement the full classic experience, but what do you think about a custom interface. Should it be built separately, and provide an option to toggle the classic/modern interface?

I saw the work on the save/load windows, I like how it modernise the functionalities while keeping a classic look. Is this something we want by default for the inventory? I'll try to keep the same style.

My goal is to first implement all the functionality of the current UI into a new one, then add QoL features.
User avatar
NikitaTheTanner
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:57 pm

Re: Modern Interface

Postby NikitaTheTanner » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:57 pm

Welcome to the forums! :D
Great idea to improve the menu, it's really needed, though I wouldn't rely solely on Morrowind for Inspiration. I agree that it's one of the best menus in any RPG, though I don't think it benefitted too much from clamping together Stats, Inventory, Magic and Map on one screen. As for Inventory menu, it lacked more item categories, had clunky hot key system, plus wasn't always informative enough, though the last one probably has more to do with the same icons for different items like potions and scrolls, but small icon size didn't benefit either.

Oblivion menu actually wasn't half bad, but it suffered from the fact that everything was too big. Still, with mods like Darnified UI it was pretty good. Skyrim menu was an atrocity though. SkyUI managed to bring it to more than decent condition I think and it worked rather well with the ability to filter inventory menu and to sort items by variety of categories, including price/weight ratio.

Enough about later games :) I also want to share some of my ideas for potential Daggerfall menu. Of course, it should be made to work with modern PCs, including wide screen monitors. I think we should try to keep the dark stony style, but the shape can be changed to something more useful/intuitive. But we should definitely keep the character doll with the background, it's just so iconic.

Additional features like filtering and sorting would also benefit inventory/magic book a lot. I also think that manually choosing mode should definitely stay a thing of the past, and instead we can rely on drag-n-drop more.

Item info should be available on mouseover. I am also thinking about adding unique descriptions to every item in the game, to tie them better to TES lore and provide some gameplay tips, in a Souls fashion. That has nothing to do with menu mod, though, but something to keep in mind, that info for items might be increased in the future.

To equip items, you just drop them on your character in Morrowind's fashion. To remove an item, simply drop it outside or in a "trash bin" of sorts. Using items like potions/books can be done by clicking, so you wouldn't need to carry them onto your character each time.

Last, but not least, I would definitely not mind more categories or perhaps subcategories. It really depends on layout. In general, I would go for something like this:
Image

Finally, the system should preferably be as modular and customizable as possible, so people could easily adjust it to their liking. Plus, it would need to adapt as the new mods release.

For example, if we add crafting one day, it would be a good idea to have separate categories for crafting items/recipees/schemes, etc. Maybe they wouldn't even go to the inventory, but instead will have a separate menu. And there are already potion recipees in the game, so we'll need to think about what to do with them soon.
Dimillian
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:51 pm

Re: Modern Interface

Postby Dimillian » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:09 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome and the detailed answer.

Yeah, I was mostly talking about about a modless TES UI. Morrowind captured what is a functional UI for managing a ton of items.
And see, that well known Oblivion mod is actually emulating the Morrowind awesome grid view :D
But I might agree that a list is with item icon + name is actually more usable. Maybe we can provide both options, with a toggle on top to twitch between the two.
Filtering is ok in default Daggerfall, the 4 items only per page is what make it clunky.

Yes I agree, it is absolutely necessary to keep the doll as it is. The new inventory UI must be built around it.
User avatar
NikitaTheTanner
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:57 pm

Re: Modern Interface

Postby NikitaTheTanner » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:16 pm

Grid/List could be options, I personally like both almost equally, but that way people will have a choice. Plus, some sort of hybrid might be possible, with named grid just like you proposed.

About the doll, we should also think of a possiblity of 3D characters at some point. This might be quite far away from us, but we should be able to at least consider this possibility in the design of the system. Morrowind doll works very well actually.

And about sorting and filtering, think of any modern websites with lists. This functionality is so common, but for some reason rarely implemented in video games. It would be great if the menu had a search bar, so you could easily find that one potion by its name without looking through all of them.

And filtering is often needed as well - maybe you want to filter weapons by their damage? Or their weight? Or price/weight ratio, so you know what to drop first. These can be very handy one day.
User avatar
Hazelnut
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:46 pm

Re: Modern Interface

Postby Hazelnut » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:20 pm

I'm currently working quite heavily on the inventory window, and it will be a little while yet before my changes make their way onto the master branch.

The first thing is to complete all the vanilla functionality that uses the inventory. Think of the number of contexts the inventory UI is used in DF... inventory, selling, buying, identifying, repairing etc. Until then I think any mods may be trying to modify a moving target. No idea how the mod integration works yet, so maybe it's not a problem - probably worth seeing what the Mod chaps think. And if you're changing to something more morrowind like I suppose you would be replacing the window classes in their entirety anyway.

I have been mulling over a couple of QoL improvements for the vanilla inv interface, but there's so much to do before getting to them. I will consider any that are discussed.

Extending the existing functionality to enable selling is what I've been working on the last couple of days.

EDIT: Oh, and welcome to the forums! :-)
Dimillian
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:51 pm

Re: Modern Interface

Postby Dimillian » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:24 pm

Hazelnut wrote:I'm currently working quite heavily on the inventory window, and it will be a little while yet before my changes make their way onto the master branch.

The first thing is to complete all the vanilla functionality that uses the inventory. Think of the number of contexts the inventory UI is used in DF... inventory, selling, buying, identifying, repairing etc. Until then I think any mods may be trying to modify a moving target. No idea how the mod integration works yet, so maybe it's not a problem - probably worth seeing what the Mod chaps think. And if you're changing to something more morrowind like I suppose you would be replacing the window classes in their entirety anyway.

I have been mulling over a couple of QoL improvements for the vanilla inv interface, but there's so much to do before getting to them. I will consider any that are discussed.

Extending the existing functionality to enable selling is what I've been working on the last couple of days.


Okay awesome.

So what I'm doing now, is that I've started my own DaggerfallUnityInventoryWindow, so I can start to play with my own inventory system without touching moving things in the standard one.
I'll keep it on a branch or only for me at the moment and keep it updated with added functionalities in the default one. And maybe later, if one day it's ready, it could be provided as a launcher option (like legacy UI/Modern UI), or as a mod.
User avatar
Nystul
Posts: 863
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:31 am

Re: Modern Interface

Postby Nystul » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:39 pm

I fear that modding the GUI might be one of the most sophisticated topics. There is not much that can be modded right now as far as I understand. But someone might enlight me.

For the gui windows I am working on (Interior and Exterior Automap, Talk Window) - What Hazelnut said about "trying to modify a moving target" is true - it is not a good idea right now. So for now don't waste your time ;)
User avatar
Jay_H
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:54 am

Re: Modern Interface

Postby Jay_H » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:05 pm

Welcome to the forums! :) I love the idea and the functionality of it. Whether it happens now or later, I'm certain this'll be a great addition to the mod list.
Come give your feedback on the ideas in my general thread, and share your DFU characters in the character thread.
Quest-writing tutorial here. Guide for new Daggerfall players here. Daggerfall Mechanics thread here.
Dimillian
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:51 pm

Re: Modern Interface

Postby Dimillian » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:14 pm

I'm not wasting my time, I'm having fun. Anyway, I want to learn both unity and enhance Daggerfall, so it works for me. Hell if it broke 1337 times until the 1.0 release, I don't care.

My standalone window is now displaying player items as a native list :D
User avatar
Interkarma
Posts: 1942
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:51 am

Re: Modern Interface

Postby Interkarma » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:27 pm

G'day Dimillian welcome to the forums. :)

Here's a high-level overview of how I see the UI in Daggerfall Unity.

In the base game, I want to emulate the original classic UI. This is augmented with what I call "light-touch" quality of life features. These are changes like scrollbars, mousewheel, and small tooltips - stuff which just adds more sideways value without changing anything vertical. It can be tricky to nail this, and I don't always get it right. I've had to pull back my ideas on a few occasions. Where there's any general dispute, classic behaviour is the tiebreaker.

For changes that remix the workflow or appearance of UIs, I'd consider this to be in the mod camp. Something that could be adding substantial vertical improvement or changes the behaviours in a large enough way the user needs to learn a different flow from that they're familiar to from classic. Some of the things you mention would fall into mod territory. But others (like the more detailed tooltips) would be nice as an option in the core.

What's needed long-term is a way for creators to add new UI windows and workflows that override the classic defaults, and for these new UIs to be redistributable as standalone mods rather than all bundled into the core. Uncanny_Valley made a start on this a while back, but it's a huge task to take on. Hopefully we'll see more progress down this line in future.

At this time, I'd accept a PR for the enhanced tooltips (should default to current setup with detailed tooltips being an INI option). But I'd be hesitant to merge any single large-scale UI upgrades into the core, as others might have their own idea of what a modern UI should look like. This is why it's important for UI to be a moddable feature with classic UI at the core. Users can choose which UI project they prefer.

I'm happy you're having fun with it all, and building up a mental map of the systems. I hope you keep showing off your work, and I look forward to seeing what you do. :)

Return to “Creator's Corner”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: epicurius7 and 3 guests