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hogscraper

Proposed UI change

30 posts in this topic

Hello everyone, I wanted to put this out there and see what you guys think. I was reading on Github where vbawol said he removed the eye and ear from the UI altogether because he didn't like the new Dayz versions and that he wanted a more simple interface. I also have a few friends that are color blind and have always disliked having to deal with the changes from red to green. The changing icons never really helped them as intended as the icons change color from gray to gray and the icons actually become less obtrusive the more important it is for them to notice them,(where the picture fades to nothing). 

 

I wanted to set out with all of this information and create something that was unobtrusive when it was not needed, and only becomes more prominent as the player needs to pay attention to it. With that in mind, I decided to go back to the old eye/ear icons to have them make more sense to new players but I removed the bars. I also wanted to make everything the same color since all green icons with one glaring red one for temp always kind of irked me. I also can't even count how many times I've been laying down some metal floors or cinder walls and didn't notice my character was starving to death until it clicked in my head that the color was almost entirely gone from the screen. 

 

These ideas all took form in the video below. I decided to make them a dark charcoal color that changes to white as the item becomes something the player needs to deal with. The end result was something that even surprised me as I first loaded the below video and didn't even notice the icons at first. I know this is a radical departure from what we've gotten used to since Dayz first came out but I think it could really help with immersion and overall satisfaction with the game UI. The differences at night in the video were even more immersive when everything is fine and you're trying to be stealthy. 

 

Also, since only one of my friends with color blindness was available to test this out,(he's completely color blind), I was hoping that if anyone here suffers from CB to please take the time to review the video and see what you think. My friend said it really helped him to notice when things were going wrong but he is a friend and only one person so I wanted more feedback on this.

Let me know what you think. Would this help you or do you think the UI is fine the way it is?

 

 

Edited with new video to show old style/proposed style comparison. Also updated code to gradually shift combat icon from white to black as combat timer runs down.

 

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I still have some testing to do in order to make sure all possible variable values are covered but I also want to implement a countdown timer for combat so that it goes from white to charcoal over time as the combat timer goes down. Also going to write a new line for variables.sqf so that this option can be toggled on/off server side. I get that a lot of people don't like change or love the green and red. This effort was primarily to help a couple people I know who are color blind who stopped playing the game altogether because of the icon colors. It wasn't until I ran it live that I realized that with everything dark in the ui it helps immersion quite a bit for the people who helped me test it.

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I like the idea and although I like the red and green, many a time I have totally missed the warnings on low food and drink, usually when building.  This should help a lot.

 

Another option may be to graduate the grey going to white and back again which would better show the % between good and bad.  The grey icon gradually fills up to white like the DayZ temp gauge goes from red to blue and back.  Would have thought it should be fairly easy as it could use the same method with grey and white as DayZ does with red and blue (or transparent).

 

Nice job either way :) .

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I like the idea and although I like the red and green, many a time I have totally missed the warnings on low food and drink, usually when building.  This should help a lot.

 

Another option may be to graduate the grey going to white and back again which would better show the % between good and bad.  The grey icon gradually fills up to white like the DayZ temp gauge goes from red to blue and back.  Would have thought it should be fairly easy as it could use the same method with grey and white as DayZ does with red and blue (or transparent).

 

Nice job either way :) .

All of them gradually change through the various grays from black to white. The amount of time it would take to show the whole spectrum would likely make for a boring video so I just showed bits and pieces at various stages. And as they get closer to white they start flashing to make them stand out even more. Each one, (food, drink, blood and temp), will start to flash at 20% of their optimal values. The eye and ear are much less gradual as I kept the levels the same so they go through 3-4 levels of gray between white and black. The combat icon wasn't implemented in the first video but in the second one, the change from white to black shows a nice gradual change.

Cen, I really like the arrangement you have. I never did care for those pencil drawing icons, though. The hand, skull and group of zombies were really cool but the other six just seemed like they went backwards instead of forward when they redid them. 

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Except for the blood, humanity and restart, I like Cen's. I don't know why we need to see how well a zed can see or hear us.

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If this is going to be the default UI in the next update, I want to offer a few suggestions and personal opinions:

 

Visibility and Noise - I believe these are better suited for developer debugging purposes than anything else, most games have visibility and noise while not displaying this to players (although I can understand they are more needed in DayZ because of the terrible zombie AI).  While having them removed entirely would be my personal preference, having them not visible just while there is no character visibility/noise would still improve the UI and would make them stand out even more when the character is visible or making noise.

 

Food, Drink, Blood, Temperature - I feel that they still need to empty out as well so that people have a better idea of how hungry/thirsty/injured/cold their character is, I know a lot of people I play with will fill up their icons if they are below 40% rather than waiting till they get any lower; the icon's outline colour will still allow them to stand out, even when emptied.  The flashing needs to be done at the same time intervals as the separate flashing times are unpleasant and too distracting if you are trying to do something and have no way to replenish them straight away.

 

I think it would be best if you gave an option to choose/set UI colour to grey or colour; some people that aren't colour-blind may find it makes the screen-space the UI occupies feel more dull.  In saying that, the colour UI should still have the whitening effect as an outline so that the icons stand out more when they get low.

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If this is going to be the default UI in the next update, I want to offer a few suggestions and personal opinions:

 

Visibility and Noise - I believe these are better suited for developer debugging purposes than anything else, most games have visibility and noise while not displaying this to players (although I can understand they are more needed in DayZ because of the terrible zombie AI).  While having them removed entirely would be my personal preference, having them not visible just while there is no character visibility/noise would still improve the UI and would make them stand out even more when the character is visible or making noise.

 

Food, Drink, Blood, Temperature - I feel that they still need to empty out as well so that people have a better idea of how hungry/thirsty/injured/cold their character is, I know a lot of people I play with will fill up their icons if they are below 40% rather than waiting till they get any lower; the icon's outline colour will still allow them to stand out, even when emptied.  The flashing needs to be done at the same time intervals as the separate flashing times are unpleasant and too distracting if you are trying to do something and have no way to replenish them straight away.

 

I think it would be best if you gave an option to choose/set UI colour to grey or colour; some people that aren't colour-blind may find it makes the screen-space the UI occupies feel more dull.  In saying that, the colour UI should still have the whitening effect as an outline so that the icons stand out more when they get low.

As of now, it is optional. You just need to add

Dayz_Dark_UI=false;

to a your custom variables.sqf to have your server use the current icons. If vbawol wants, it can be set to false as default. The reason for not having them empty altogether is that changing color while emptying out is counter-productive to what the icons are supposed to do and what my changes are trying to accomplish. Currently, if you are busy crafting or focused on combat or anything else, you have likely already blocked out the icons from your thoughts. Fading them to a less obvious form just makes it so you less likely to notice them at all until they start flashing. Or at least that has been the feedback from people on my test server. The white outlined ones aren't currently being used in epoch, though, those are the ones they are using in Dayz. In the end, anything added to the mod needs to be helpful for more people than not or its pointless. If more people than not feel that the faded icons are more obvious than the solid ones it can easily be changed. As Cen's post shows, custom ui's are fairly easy to implement and can be completely new icons for your server if you wanted.

The one thing I wish I could do is change the flashing so that it is all at the same time, but not sure if that's possible without impacting performance as it runs that code every frame I believe. Even in default epoch with red/green they begin flashing whenever you hit less than 20% of an optimal value for whatever that icon represents. I will look into making longer sections of code that check those four main items and see if I can't start them all at the same time, or maybe restart one if another starts flashing. Might be too many conditionals happening in a short span which could impact performance but I will test it out tonight.

blackwiddow likes this

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As of now, it is optional. You just need to add

Dayz_Dark_UI=false;

to a your custom variables.sqf to have your server use the current icons. If vbawol wants, it can be set to false as default. The reason for not having them empty altogether is that changing color while emptying out is counter-productive to what the icons are supposed to do and what my changes are trying to accomplish. Currently, if you are busy crafting or focused on combat or anything else, you have likely already blocked out the icons from your thoughts. Fading them to a less obvious form just makes it so you less likely to notice them at all until they start flashing. Or at least that has been the feedback from people on my test server. The white outlined ones aren't currently being used in epoch, though, those are the ones they are using in Dayz. In the end, anything added to the mod needs to be helpful for more people than not or its pointless. If more people than not feel that the faded icons are more obvious than the solid ones it can easily be changed. As Cen's post shows, custom ui's are fairly easy to implement and can be completely new icons for your server if you wanted.

The one thing I wish I could do is change the flashing so that it is all at the same time, but not sure if that's possible without impacting performance as it runs that code every frame I believe. Even in default epoch with red/green they begin flashing whenever you hit less than 20% of an optimal value for whatever that icon represents. I will look into making longer sections of code that check those four main items and see if I can't start them all at the same time, or maybe restart one if another starts flashing. Might be too many conditionals happening in a short span which could impact performance but I will test it out tonight.

That's good to know, thanks.

I wasn't implying to fade them to a less obvious form, I was meaning to empty them out while making them more white (less faded) as they became emptier - especially the outline.  Going from near-invisible to an obvious white is going to stand out whether the inside is emptying or not (unless you are saying doing this is what you tested).

I might take a look and see what is done to see if there is a nice way to get it flashing at the same time, I'm sure there would be a nice way to do it without affecting performance.

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cen id love to pm you concerning your gui but your inbox is full for days ^^

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That's good to know, thanks.

I wasn't implying to fade them to a less obvious form, I was meaning to empty them out while making them more white (less faded) as they became emptier - especially the outline.  Going from near-invisible to an obvious white is going to stand out whether the inside is emptying or not (unless you are saying doing this is what you tested).

I might take a look and see what is done to see if there is a nice way to get it flashing at the same time, I'm sure there would be a nice way to do it without affecting performance.

The Epoch team has specifically stayed with the old icons instead of the newer ones that look like crayon drawings and those new ones are the ones that have an outline. Personally I really don't like the new ones but those are the ones that would have to be adopted in order to have an outline. Either that or new icons with an outline would have to be created out of the old icons. I actually tried to go through and do just that but my tex2view seems to not want to export the paa's into something that photoshop can use. If anyone has tga versions I could work something up if that's what the community at large prefers.

 

At any rate, I was able to write some code that fixed the flashing so that everything flashes at the same time. Because I used an array and one call instead of multiple individual calls to the updater I think it might even take less processing power than the current setup. Quick proof of concept video below using the current icons. If this is something vbawol approves of I will sync this with my github fork and make a pull request. 

 

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agreed, I like those too.... Big thanks to cen (y) (y) bro you are legendary! Who needs a debug when the UI does it for you ;-)

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