Redalert Colour picker design

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
dzine
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Redalert Colour picker design

Post by dzine »

Great Designers 1:07 interesting vid 10 Heuristics ( Teslacoils included )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdH8Kuku9tA


Microsoft paint has a simple grid box. Something like that would work well.

Q How to design ?

Imagine it was your day job to pick colours hour after hour, pretty tedious right! So you would want a simple and fast tool for the job. Imagine a click race. How many colours could you pick in a minute ?

The computer mouse is a little crude as a pointing device, square targets smaller than 2 inches are difficult to hit at speed with 100% accuracy using a single motion. As we need approx 40 distinctive colours a 6x6 grid would give us 36 (close enuf) That would give a total box size of about 12 inches x 12 inches...a little in your face but it would be very fast.

From this we understand that a bigger target is better, for 16 colours ( 4x4inch box would be near perfect but we need double that. Thus an individual mouse target 2cm x 2cm rather than 2 inches by 2 inches would be better and not so in your face UI wise (user interface)

6 boxes wide , 6 boxes tall, each box being 2cm x 2cm (including border)

Total colour picker box size 12cm x 12 cm ( +/- 2cm ) This would be in the 'right ball' park for fast & accurate selection of 36 distinctive colours



End user

1 click to open colour selector
1 click to select colour ( this closes the colour selector box)

Cost to execute, 2 clicks and 2 seconds, mouse movements 2 to 4


By comparison the curent colour picker requires half a dozen or more mouse clicks and/or mouse slides to get to your 'colour destination' , even then a significant fraction of colour choices are invalidated by the computer code 'too close to the terrain etc' ...this means it can take up to 10 seconds or more to get a colour you are happy with....basically its crap! (and buggy)...its not the fastest method, its not the best method, its not best practice for games....hence the call to change the current system into something which is silky smooth, fast and satisfying for the end user.


Every day 100s of games are played...and every day 100s of people have to go through the unnessarily tedious chore of selecting player colours from a clunky colour selection system that is barely fit for purpose...aka a RTS computer game


Colour is to similiar to terrain and has been adjusted
This message has been read a million times allready!...and thats a million times too many!
Last edited by dzine on Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:32 am, edited 3 times in total.

Ripsn
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Post by Ripsn »

i heard someone mentions paint

WooHoo.go mspaint

dzine
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Post by dzine »

Don Norman: The three ways that good design makes you happy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlQEoJaLQRA

The current colour picker scrapes a pass but much better designs allready exist.



The best colour pickers for RTS games are designed with speed , clarity & simplicity in mind.

The current colour picker might be fine for photo shop but its a 'poor fit' for an RTS game




One click is often one click too many

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JOo
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Post by JOo »

mspaint

is

really

good

Ripley

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Graion Dilach
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Re: Redalert Colour picker design

Post by Graion Dilach »

dzine wrote: That would give a total box size of about 12 inches x 12 inches...a little in your face but it would be very fast.
I stopped reading beyond this point.

Listen, you fucking idiot with a mind thick as kevlar and intelligent as a stick on a rock. When you design a single game, you can plan out your overall colors and palettes wiith a color picker and then avoid colors which would easily overlap with supposed-to-be player colors - but this ain't. a. single. fucking. game. You can't create such a palette when you have 3 (soon-to-be-4) games, where only two shares the overall palette (D2k is sand afterall, TS is more washed out, TD/RA is pretty much sharing overall colors).

If your issue is the autoadjuster then I'd say get a global remap feature in - Warcraft 3 had an option where all your units got blue, your allies green and all enemy red, regardless of actual player's color, both in radar screen and ingame - with some customization options to prevent confusing colorblind people and then the checks can be loosened up atleast. Fix a problem, not try to sweep it under a rug.

Right now you can't have per-mod settings even, to save colors and whatnot. A color selection box would only be suitable with the above prerequisite, since each mod would require their own set of colors and these boxes would contain different colors for each mod.

Another problem is the limiting of this colorbox. The engine technically does not have a player limitation within a single game - there is a practical limit for, but the point is still valid.

So, unless you somehow come up with a color box design which is possible to have 100+ options - inb4 Sole Survivor comes in and becomes a success - you're yet again just creating more problems instead of fixing the one you're lobbying for.

But hey, you have no frickin idea what you're even talking about, you don't even think about it, and you're so much of a badass that you must know everything better than say, people who actually follow the development, run their own mod, and assist X others.

Just shut up already.

Oh and footnote: centimeters or inches make no sense when one talk about screen content. These are all in pixels and pixels can have various sizes. Retard.

TLDR: Instead of going with a pointless box, the health bars/radar colors override should be expanded with a full local remap override to loosen up the color range check. And dzine is still an idiot.
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Sleipnir
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Post by Sleipnir »

I look forward to considering your mockups and test implementation of how this would look and act inside OpenRA.

pulse
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Post by pulse »

Obvious solution

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 »

dzine still trolling guys. Just leave him to his little box and move along. *Waves people on* Nothing to see here.

Mo
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Post by Mo »

AoAGeneral1 wrote: dzine still trolling guys. Just leave him to his little box and move along. *Waves people on* Nothing to see here.
Why do you say this?

I've seen a number of his posts and I'd rather not marginalise his opinions, which perhaps may be construed in a better way, however he does make a number of valid potential ideas moving forward, with the potential of his contribution as well.

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Sleipnir
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Re: Redalert Colour picker design

Post by Sleipnir »

dzine wrote: even then a significant fraction of colour choices are invalidated by the computer code 'too close to the terrain etc'
This is a bug, which we are tracking at #10217.

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 »

Mo wrote:
AoAGeneral1 wrote: dzine still trolling guys. Just leave him to his little box and move along. *Waves people on* Nothing to see here.
Why do you say this?

I've seen a number of his posts and I'd rather not marginalise his opinions, which perhaps may be construed in a better way, however he does make a number of valid potential ideas moving forward, with the potential of his contribution as well.
Because #1 in his post it says Red Alert color picker designer and not ORA.

#2 He did ]games in the lobby which mine popped up several times as AoA. Asked if anyone would like to play him, I spoke yes. Said I need to host. Which I said I am. And said "Ok I am joining you." 30 min going by and no join.

#3 he copy pastes the chat in the lobby and doesnt respond to anyone else until his long pasting is done. The communication then is round about and answered only indirectly to match what he is saying.

He is trolling.

Murto the Ray
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Post by Murto the Ray »

AoAGeneral1 wrote: *Snip*
I don't know if it could be called trolling. He has a strong, radical opinion that he isn't willing to change and tries to force-feed people through his spammy posts. It's likely he doesn't think he is trolling but to the community it appears so. In any case his posts and arguments aren't worth replying to.

ShadowAssassin
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Post by ShadowAssassin »

AoAGeneral1 wrote: #2
#3
I just think someone else was copy-pasting dzine's messages, not dzine himself. Very easy to take anyone's name, with current lobby system :)


No need for flame wars guys ^_^ just ignore what you don't like. Anyone has right to express his ideas.
And if it gets spammy / repetitive, just remove the duplicate posts :)


Peace and love to y'all

dzine
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Post by dzine »

Good design = good design

Thats all im passionate about



ref I look forward to considering your mockups and test implementation of how this would look and act inside OpenRA.

Have some codework done allready, ill post some screen shots when i have time (and i have something thats a 'keeper' design wise)




Current COLOUR PICKER thoughts include

A One click solution, that will prolly be used by players 90% of the time.
NOTE Right click is currently unused in this capacity and its a 1 click solution.

"right click on 'drop down colour selector box' to instantly select 'my favourite colour.

(as in first available favourite colour or random if none available, futher right clicks fetch next favourite, game tracks & sorts your player colour by frequency of usage)
(90% of the time u will find a solution with 0 clicks, once the current naff colours are filtered out & reduced from 100s of mostly iffy ones to approx 48 well balanced ones)
(99% of the time with just 2 right clicks...hard to think of a real situation when you dont want your 1of your 3 favourite colours)
(having 8 auto favourites would do it...even if 5 were taken by other players then u have 3 left before rnd (48 ) kicks in )



The other 1% of the time will be solved by left click, fixed colour grid box opening 1or 2 right clicks is fine, 48 blind right clicks is a no no

Plus a 6 x 8 grid thats opened with left click, colours listed in an ini file so tweaking available players colours is a 10 second code job down the road
The colours selected by a single left click with the 'mcv example' automaticaly changing colours via mouse over only.

Need more than 48 well balanced colours ? 8x8 grid gives 64 and right click on a box = 128...no RTS game that im aware of needs 128 player colours. Most RTS game do just fine with 16 or 20 different colours

6 reds in a line, that kind of thing maybe your in a blood red mood or colour taster mode
6 oranges
6 yellows
6 greens
6 blues
6 pinks, purples

gold, silver, neon black whatever...i bet there are a couple of cool colours rarely used that we could discover and put to good use




The deployed MCV 'colour example' in the curent colour picker solution is fine as is, it could perhaps be traded in for a vehicle or smaller building if space were needed. I doubt that would be a problem. A tiny buff would be to include background terrain, snow grass, desert as some colours are a bit yukky dependant on map terrain.

Note: A smart favourites colour picker would also be map specific terrain aware ...unlike the colour picker in this forum
unlike forums, which are slow paced affairs, ingame lobbys and large multiplayer TEAM GAMES realy benefit from slick UI buffs, even small ones !!!






Ill do some speed tests to find out what size grid squares are needed to terms of
player accuracy, comfort etc, and specifically in the context of the openRA UI in question

Ingame lobby hassles are numerous, player afk, host afk, wrong team wrong spot, wrong colour, colours clashing or too similiar or just yukky

final note, have the colour ini file reader be capable of handling 100 colours, so we avoid EOF errors while testing, been there done that,lol...if theres a 'favourites overflow possible etc etc ' an end user will find it !




The art of writing is re writing

Q will openRA end up with the best RTS colour picker in the history of the world....wouldnt that be nice !...id settle for one thats highly fit for purpose

Necessity is the mother of invention

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 »

Neon black is impossible due to terrain colours being to samiliar. Silver the samething with neutral colors as referenced on github.

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