0.4 Cockpit Discussion

What do you want to see in Armagetron soon? Any new feature ideas? Let's ponder these ground breaking ideas...

What are the most valuable cockpit elements (besides rubber)?

ping
11
12%
speed
12
13%
brakes
21
23%
friends/enemies
12
13%
framerate
9
10%
score
9
10%
clock
5
5%
fastest
2
2%
MINI MAP
11
12%
 
Total votes: 92

User avatar
Lucifer
Project Developer & Local Moonshiner
Posts: 8610
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:32 pm
Location: Republic of Texas
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Lucifer »

Double post, yay! Actually, I finally looked more seriously at sinewav's sketch and wanted to talk about it.

I prefer the map to be centered on the screen, and I think that's the easiest way to use it, since you simply glance down and see it. Never liked it off to the side like it was originally.

That said, how to line up other gauges around it sort of becomes obvious, and I like the horizontal gauges you're putting in there. I'd like to request the default cockpit not have a rubber gauge, or have it off by default and has to be turned on for use. We also need to consider having config items that set the player's preference for the states of the keys.

The stuff in the upper right corner, I'm not so sure about how much you want. I'd go with just time and framerate, or do time in the upper right and framerate in the upper left. Other extra information that you might want there should be toggled off by default (and obviously say something if that feature isn't in the cockpit code right now, because it should be).

There should be a chat widget in there somewhere. Did you find one when reading through the docs? That was supposed to be added at some point (and I seem to recall being told it was) and is the way to deal with different gauges covering chat, or chat making it hard to use gauges at certain points.

Another request. :) In the in-cam cockpit (which I'm going to steal and add to my cockpit when you've got it finished), can you make the clock like a digital clock in a car dashboard? ;) Also, check how the incam cockpit works when glancing. The idea was originally to make it possible to see the other sides of the cycle by using a 2d image laid on there. I think wrtlprnft went with a cylinder model, but I don't remember if that went past the discussion stages.
Image

Be the devil's own, Lucifer's my name.
- Iron Maiden

User avatar
Magi
Match Winner
Posts: 633
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:35 pm

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Magi »

Lucifer wrote:
I prefer the map to be centered on the screen, and I think that's the easiest way to use it, since you simply glance down and see it. Never liked it off to the side like it was originally.
Not to say that your opinion is wrong, but I really dislike the idea of minimap in the center, I rather focus on myself and my surroundings before looking at a small map. Glancing is almost always the better option when trying to find your enemies because looking away from your bike even for a second can mean death. The only time I find the minimap relevant or useful is when I'm in a non-pressured situation and don't have to give all my focus to where I am, ie: the split in fortress as a sweeper, using the minimap to watch for center attacks.
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image

bye

User avatar
sinewav
Graphic Artist
Posts: 6334
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:37 am
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by sinewav »

Lucifer wrote:Also, check how the incam cockpit works when glancing. The idea was originally to make it possible to see the other sides of the cycle by using a 2d image laid on there. I think wrtlprnft went with a cylinder model, but I don't remember if that went past the discussion stages.
This is actually the one thing that sucks about my full incam design. It feels f'in great, trust me. It feels like the cycle has depth and weight. But then you glance... and the illusion breaks comically. :|

I'll consider your other suggestions. You know, it might not be too difficult to design a basic cockipt builder. Some kind of webpage with several widget designs and generic layouts based around Anchor points for people to copy-paste into their own file. I would even be up for working on that, but I need to know more about the cockpit-branch.

User avatar
Lucifer
Project Developer & Local Moonshiner
Posts: 8610
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:32 pm
Location: Republic of Texas
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Lucifer »

sinewav wrote:
Lucifer wrote:Also, check how the incam cockpit works when glancing. The idea was originally to make it possible to see the other sides of the cycle by using a 2d image laid on there. I think wrtlprnft went with a cylinder model, but I don't remember if that went past the discussion stages.
This is actually the one thing that sucks about my full incam design. It feels f'in great, trust me. It feels like the cycle has depth and weight. But then you glance... and the illusion breaks comically. :|
Um, let's try to make it so the illusion doesn't break so much? :)

The idea was to have the basic textures remain where they're at and for glancing to allow, well, actual glancing. If we can't do that, then YOU need to design the incam cockpit to not be so funny when you glance, and make it make sense.

Two sides, same coin. Blah.
I'll consider your other suggestions. You know, it might not be too difficult to design a basic cockipt builder. Some kind of webpage with several widget designs and generic layouts based around Anchor points for people to copy-paste into their own file. I would even be up for working on that, but I need to know more about the cockpit-branch.
Actually, building a desktop cockpit builder app is surprisingly simple. I can do it in python (because I can solve the world's problems without even trying--in python). It's still a matter of time. Blahblah, wevehadthisconversationbefore. The bigger problem is actually the UI. The data file format is well defined and easy to write/parse. It's translating what people make into that format that is the biggest problem. What makes it worse is also the cockpit's ultimate strength: it's flexibility. You can write the same widget that works for rubber, also works for speed, framerate, total time spent playing the game, etc. How do you make an editor for that?

Honestly, I'd rather people figure out the xml and write real cockpits. No point and click tool, none of that. I realize that means a lot of people have good ideas that never get realized, and I'm ok with that because HOW THE **** do I write a cockpit editor that supports the full flexibility of the cockpit?

I don't know. Do you? Does anybody?
Image

Be the devil's own, Lucifer's my name.
- Iron Maiden

User avatar
Ratchet
Match Winner
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:55 am
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Ratchet »

Lucifer wrote:I prefer the map to be centered on the screen, and I think that's the easiest way to use it, since you simply glance down and see it. Never liked it off to the side like it was originally.

That said, how to line up other gauges around it sort of becomes obvious, and I like the horizontal gauges you're putting in there. I'd like to request the default cockpit not have a rubber gauge, or have it off by default and has to be turned on for use. We also need to consider having config items that set the player's preference for the states of the keys.
Two reasons I'm thankful Sinewav is doing cockpit work instead of you.

Magi pretty much nailed it -- the minimap is a weak necessity, especially compared to rubber. It's a leisure, something to look at only if you have the time to. Rubber, not so much.

How the hell do you propose explaining to new players why they die faster in some servers over others? They have a hard enough time as-is, much less taking away the indicator that can be mentioned when explaining the concept to them. "You see that thingy that says rubber? That's your life bar!" is much better than trying to explain to them how to go into a menu and put something there that should have been there from the start.
Image
"Dream as if you'll live forever,
Live as if you'll die today." -James Dean

User avatar
Lucifer
Project Developer & Local Moonshiner
Posts: 8610
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:32 pm
Location: Republic of Texas
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Lucifer »

Ratchet wrote:
Lucifer wrote:I prefer the map to be centered on the screen, and I think that's the easiest way to use it, since you simply glance down and see it. Never liked it off to the side like it was originally.

That said, how to line up other gauges around it sort of becomes obvious, and I like the horizontal gauges you're putting in there. I'd like to request the default cockpit not have a rubber gauge, or have it off by default and has to be turned on for use. We also need to consider having config items that set the player's preference for the states of the keys.
Two reasons I'm thankful Sinewav is doing cockpit work instead of you.

Magi pretty much nailed it -- the minimap is a weak necessity, especially compared to rubber. It's a leisure, something to look at only if you have the time to. Rubber, not so much.

How the hell do you propose explaining to new players why they die faster in some servers over others? They have a hard enough time as-is, much less taking away the indicator that can be mentioned when explaining the concept to them. "You see that thingy that says rubber? That's your life bar!" is much better than trying to explain to them how to go into a menu and put something there that should have been there from the start.
Two reasons experience trumps knowledge:

First, the minimap was so important, it was the first feature added after the fork. I and quite a few other players (particularly in team play, not necessarily fortress) find the minimap essential. It helps that, at least in my cockpit, it's located in a place where it's easy to find.

Second, rubber has been there for far longer than a gauge for it has existed. We played just fine without a gauge before. But getting new players off the rubber addiction would be a Good Thing. Hence the request (and it's a request, not a specification, I'm absolutely certain we'll take sinewav's cockpit with a rubber gauge on it).

Third (because I meant three), the minimap isn't very big, and the area at the bottom of the screen doesn't get nearly as much eye traffic as the rest, so it's not going to hide crucial information when it's in an area you were already ignoring.

Try it. Put the minimap in the middle on the bottom of the screen and see how it works for you.
Image

Be the devil's own, Lucifer's my name.
- Iron Maiden

User avatar
sinewav
Graphic Artist
Posts: 6334
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:37 am
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by sinewav »

Lucifer wrote:Um, let's try to make it so the illusion doesn't break so much? :)
Easy! Make it so the incam cockpit turns off/hides when glancing.

User avatar
Lucifer
Project Developer & Local Moonshiner
Posts: 8610
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:32 pm
Location: Republic of Texas
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Lucifer »

sinewav wrote:
Lucifer wrote:Um, let's try to make it so the illusion doesn't break so much? :)
Easy! Make it so the incam cockpit turns off/hides when glancing.
That would probably be easier than implementing the full version of the incam cockpit that makes it look like you're actually inside the light cycle. Of course, your incam cockpit would stay believable if we just turn off the cockpit while glancing because it has the feel of riding a motorcycle, enough so that you wouldn't be weirded out when the glass disappears. ;)
Image

Be the devil's own, Lucifer's my name.
- Iron Maiden

User avatar
Ratchet
Match Winner
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:55 am
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Ratchet »

Lucifer wrote:Two reasons experience trumps knowledge:

First, the minimap was so important, it was the first feature added after the fork. I and quite a few other players (particularly in team play, not necessarily fortress) find the minimap essential. It helps that, at least in my cockpit, it's located in a place where it's easy to find.

Second, rubber has been there for far longer than a gauge for it has existed. We played just fine without a gauge before. But getting new players off the rubber addiction would be a Good Thing. Hence the request (and it's a request, not a specification, I'm absolutely certain we'll take sinewav's cockpit with a rubber gauge on it).

Third (because I meant three), the minimap isn't very big, and the area at the bottom of the screen doesn't get nearly as much eye traffic as the rest, so it's not going to hide crucial information when it's in an area you were already ignoring.

Try it. Put the minimap in the middle on the bottom of the screen and see how it works for you.
"The minimap was so important" is a personal opinion that you hold and are trying to assert to the general population. Personally, I don't give a shit about the minimap.

"rubber has been there for far longer than a gauge for it has existed"

Guess what, asshole? I've played tron for far longer than a minimap has existed. I did just fine without it, and I still do. I don't want your cluttery shit in my way. My lightcycle just so happens to be in the bottom center of my screen, believe it or not.

And, last but not least, get your head out of your ass. There's a reason the other million games with minimaps have them tucked away in the corner of the screen and generally pretty small. It's there for reference, but certainly not the most important element of the HUD.
Image
"Dream as if you'll live forever,
Live as if you'll die today." -James Dean

User avatar
Lucifer
Project Developer & Local Moonshiner
Posts: 8610
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:32 pm
Location: Republic of Texas
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Lucifer »

Ratchet wrote: Guess what, asshole? I've played tron for far longer than a minimap has existed. I did just fine without it, and I still do. I don't want your cluttery shit in my way. My lightcycle just so happens to be in the bottom center of my screen, believe it or not.

And, last but not least, get your head out of your ass. There's a reason the other million games with minimaps have them tucked away in the corner of the screen and generally pretty small. It's there for reference, but certainly not the most important element of the HUD.
Guess what, asshole? Sinewav asked for feedback, I gave it. We're also not working on Ratchet's Special Cockpit and declaring it the default. Whatever sinewav makes, I'll keep using my own, just like you should do with yours.

Discussion between Ratchet and Lucifer: over.

Edit: Heh, I dug up the thread where the minimap appeared first.

http://forums3.armagetronad.net/viewtop ... it=minimap

I'd forgotten it wasn't included in 0.2.8 at all, and after that thread, wrtlprnft showed up with bar gauges and ended up letting me con him into writing the cockpit as we know it now, so the minimap changed enough that it wasn't easy/safe to backport it. So maybe there are people who have been playing for years without it, but I've been playing with it since the end of that thread. ;)
Image

Be the devil's own, Lucifer's my name.
- Iron Maiden

User avatar
sinewav
Graphic Artist
Posts: 6334
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:37 am
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by sinewav »

Ratchet wrote:"The minimap was so important" is a personal opinion that you hold and are trying to assert to the general population. Personally, I don't give a shit about the minimap.
Ratchet, please relax! :)

While I was never personally a fan of the mini-map, I've grown to see it as useful in some instances. One important thing to consider is the fact that nearly every lightcycle game made in the last 15 years includes a mini-map. Does this mean Armagetron has to have one? In a sense, yes it does. The mini-map is has become, like it or not, part of the expected user experience in the "snake-like" genre. Sometimes the map and score are the only things a lightcycle game gives you. Arma's map is toggleable and I predict one of in-game tutorials will show players how to turn it on/off.

Ratchet, I really do appreciate you posting feedback. I would like it even more if you could sketch out your "perfect cockpit" and post it here and/or post images of cokpits/HUDs from games you like. I would really like to see a more robust conversation that not only talks about what, why, and where to include certain elements, but a conversation that also talks about art and aesthetics.

User avatar
Lucifer
Project Developer & Local Moonshiner
Posts: 8610
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:32 pm
Location: Republic of Texas
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Lucifer »

Also, the minimap is quite flexible on its own. You can see the whole grid, or just the area immediately around you (the keyboard toggles were created to allow toggling the minimap specifically, they just happen to also be generally useful for other things). You can also make it transparent so that it doesn't obscure much wherever it sits.

Sinewav: My perfect view of a cockpit is the one I made, which I believe you've seen. Probably the easiest way to get a feel for the minimap being centered rather than pushed off to the right is just to play with my cockpit. I took the HUD concept seriously, though, and put gauges where most people would hate them.
Image

Be the devil's own, Lucifer's my name.
- Iron Maiden

User avatar
Ratchet
Match Winner
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:55 am
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Ratchet »

sinewav wrote:Ratchet, please relax! :)

While I was never personally a fan of the mini-map, I've grown to see it as useful in some instances. One important thing to consider is the fact that nearly every lightcycle game made in the last 15 years includes a mini-map. Does this mean Armagetron has to have one? In a sense, yes it does. The mini-map is has become, like it or not, part of the expected user experience in the "snake-like" genre. Sometimes the map and score are the only things a lightcycle game gives you. Arma's map is toggleable and I predict one of in-game tutorials will show players how to turn it on/off.

Ratchet, I really do appreciate you posting feedback. I would like it even more if you could sketch out your "perfect cockpit" and post it here and/or post images of cokpits/HUDs from games you like. I would really like to see a more robust conversation that not only talks about what, why, and where to include certain elements, but a conversation that also talks about art and aesthetics.
I don't think I ever criticized your creations and, if I did, I apologize. I actually think your draft is beautiful and I'd love to have it. I'll be the first to admit that I don't have the time to come up with anything better than you have. Hell, even if I did have the time, it probably wouldn't be better than your propositions.

I understand the current HUD is not "sexy," but I don't have a problem with it per se. I still use, 0.2.8 btw. I don't have a minimap, can't stand it.

I do agree with what you've said regarding the minimap becoming the norm. However, I've never fiddled with cockpits much and the default 0.4 "feel" is just horrendous. And, I'm sure enough people have complained about the damn clock. It's just ugly.

My only real contribution to this thread: my perfect HUD includes the minimap being out of the way and/or, as you put it, toggle-able.
Image
"Dream as if you'll live forever,
Live as if you'll die today." -James Dean

User avatar
Lucifer
Project Developer & Local Moonshiner
Posts: 8610
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:32 pm
Location: Republic of Texas
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Lucifer »

Actually, Ratchet, your feelings about the minimap make you an ideal tester for the cockpits that sinewav is working on. Mostly because, as far as I know (and I haven't been on the grid recently), the minimap is popular amongst people who use any version that supports it.

Let me say a few words about the current default cockpit in 0.4: It sucks, and that's somewhat intentional. It's a test cockpit, it was never intended to be used. Wrtlprnft created it simply to test features. That atrocious clock? All it does is demonstrate the fact that widgets can be made to work like an analog clock. In the xml, if I recall correctly, the clock "face" is a background, and the widget itself is a needle widget that happens to go 360 degrees. That's the only reason that clock exists, to show that widgets like that are possible, and more importantly, to test the code that made it possible. It's the first thing wrtlprnft found when he went googling for a clock face. It happens to have had a license on it that allowed us to just nab it and use it.

In short: The current default cockpit was never intended nor proposed to BE the default cockpit.

Several times I considered making mine the default cockpit, to be honest, because it is better. But I also know that some of my gauge placements would be controversial, and maybe my cockpit isn't so good if you use a custom cam, and I figured it was easier to just keep hating on the test cockpit that we've been stuck with. I'm quite happy that sinewav has stepped up to develop a cockpit, and I intend to follow this work closely and make sure when we're approaching meeting the specs, the shit gets committed quickly. Also, I'm intending to offer coding support during this effort, balancing that between finding a job, fixing my car, and taking care of my special needs kid, of course. But for all intents and purposes, for the foreseeable future, I'm back.
Image

Be the devil's own, Lucifer's my name.
- Iron Maiden

User avatar
Phytotron
Formerly Oscilloscope
Posts: 5041
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:06 pm
Location: A site or situation, especially considered in regard to its surroundings.
Contact:

Re: 0.4 Cockpit Discussion

Post by Phytotron »

ping — Yes.
speed — Unnecessary. Speed is relative, a number doesn't mean anything.
brakes — Shouldn't be in the game!
friends/enemies — I've never figured out the point of this.
framerate — Yes.
score — I can press TAB. Don't need more screen clutter.
clock — Yes.
fastest — Absolutely useless.
MINI MAP — Shouldn't be in the game!


* I neglected to vote for clock. Add one to the total.

Post Reply