New thrust, speed, rotation, vector & intercept indicators

Thinking about improving the Artwork in Vega Strike, or making your own Mod? Submit your question and ideas in this forum.

Moderator: pyramid

New thrust, speed, rotation, vector & intercept indicators

Postby IansterGuy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:22 am

I have read some previous posts on changes to the HUD and the consensus seemed to be that to avoid hiding the most important information, excess information should not be shown. As always I tried to think about not just other ways to do things to solve problems, but rather what the core problems where by thinking what makes the problems work less than the solutions. I figured there where many issues but some examples are volume, attention, readability, usefulness, style and current implementation. I made this example to show some proposed additions to the interface with particular attention given to making it easier to intercept a target without passing them, and improving compatibility with gravity by showing the ships thruster usage.
HUD proposal.jpg


I will describe the basics first, the numerical speed indicators are similar to the current system but on the centre left the display text adds the local space relative speed and multiplies the SPEC multiplier of a new dilation drive to equal the total relative local real space speed. Alcubierre warp speed in c for speed of light is displayed and added, then what is equals is displayed as the final relative speed forward or for whatever directional key is pressed. For more information about why I changed the way this works look at "Proposal to change the way SPEC drive works for orbit sync".

On the right the text is the same but represents desired speed in the pressed direction. The final desired speed is a range or probable speeds that maybe achieved on route to the target. A low minimum proable speed indicates that something may block your SPEC drive on the current course. The maximum speed is the fastest speed an ideal course to the target according to the autopilot.

In the middle between the text is are the thrust indicators green is vertical, red is horizontal, dark blue is heading, yellow is roll, cyan is pitch, and magenta is yaw. Most of the time thrust will be at maximum unless using a joystick mouse or if the buttons are recently pressed or released. The centre solid purple bar indication is the ideal intercept thrust. The dotted centre of each bar is the maximum thrust and vertical and horizontal may be made in proportion to each other. As mentioned to the left or top of every dotted line is the thrust indicator, but to the right or down of every doted line is the SPEC dilation field strength indication The higher the strength to maximum the closer to maximum is the SPEC dilation multiplier for that direction. The ship needs to be thrusting in the dilation directions for them to work their best and would do so automatically.

On the left is the graphical speed indicator for the ship. Though it may be confusing initially once they indicators start moving it should be very easy to follow. All of the indicators would use a logarithmic equation to make a scale from zero to infinity so that both very small and very large numbers can be indicated. The colours correspond to the thruster colours. Green vertical, red horizontal, blue heading, yellow roll, cyan pitch, magenta yaw. The graphical layout is similar to the thruster but the left and bottom bars wrap around to the top right of the VDU, and the pitch and yaw are in the corners which all indicate speed relative to their maximum. This maximum is infinity for liner speed and the governed maximum the crew can withstand for turning.

On the right in the Target VDU is the target speed indicators. These indicators are the same as the left indicators except that they show the targets speed relative to the players ship. The purple dotted indicators would show weather the ship is on a intercept path or an avoidance path.

Since there has been talk of slowing down ships to a realistic speed I figured the pilot could use some way to quickly intercept opponents while avoiding unnecessary thrusting. Though not shown, in the thruster indicators there can be purple doted line between the dots of doted lines of maximum thrust and in between the dots on maximum speed. This purple tinge would indicate the intended speed or the required thrust to intercept the current target.

On the HUD attached to the target on screen or off screen are intersept indicators. The white “X'” is the weapons estimated point for interception, and there may be more than one for each activated weapon. Weapon lock is the same but rocket paths may be estimated and shown in white when locked on target.

The purple "X" is off screen in this example but half its marker is shown to indicate its location off screen. It indicates the path the ship would need to take at current thrust to intercept the target. If close enough a trail would appear behind the ship that looks like a navy blue smear of the ship which disappears after a certain combination of visible length and time.

These blue lines would be the similar to the motion indicators such as the blue vector lines which are always relative to the set point of reference. These vector indicating lines would stretch logarithmicly the same as the speed indicators to some point out of sight so that if using space dilation speed multiplier there would almost never be a point where the HUD vector indicators are maximum length. For SPEC alcubierre warp additional lines would appear. In this example since the ship is moving forward slightly in SPEC, distant white lines would appear to slowly pass the ship as it moves forward in the SPEC Alcubierre bubble. This way the ship can move in one direction in warp space and another direction in real space.

This is where the idea and the picture is not quite finished yet. I would like to put some curved transparent bars in purple on the screen to show some information that would make the intercept path indicator more useful. I think that showing slip relative to the intercept path would allow the pilot to not need to look at or interpret any of the other indicators. The indicators would encourage the pilot to thrust to compensate for the relative slip whenever the ship is not pointed and moving toward the intercept point.

Okey so that was a large amount of information but hopefully it does not look like that much information when on screen and it simply gets used effortlessly. Does anyone else think this would be functional? I would like to ignore how difficult this would be to implement and focus first on what people think of it. Weather it would work, if it needs adjustments, if it's ugly, unnecessary, or fundamentally flawed. If you like one bit but hate the other please be specific.
If you were interested I would have told you, but if I told you, you would not be interested. I can tell you are not interested because you don't already know and even if you did, it would be pointless to tell you again. Therefore in no situation will I ever tell you anything.
User avatar
IansterGuy
Bounty Hunter
Bounty Hunter
 
Posts: 174
Topics: 10
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:49 am
Location: Milky Way, Orion arm, Earth, Canada Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Share On:

Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Digg Digg

Re: New thrust, speed, rotation, vector & intercept indicato

Postby klauss » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:53 am

I don't really like all the thrust bars stuff... it's confusing.

IansterGuy wrote:On the HUD attached to the target on screen or off screen are intersept indicators. The white “X'” is the weapons estimated point for interception, and there may be more than one for each activated weapon. Weapon lock is the same but rocket paths may be estimated and shown in white when locked on target.

The purple "X" is off screen in this example but half its marker is shown to indicate its location off screen. It indicates the path the ship would need to take at current thrust to intercept the target. If close enough a trail would appear behind the ship that looks like a navy blue smear of the ship which disappears after a certain combination of visible length and time.


This is the part I like. Trajectory predictors and intercept/avoidance estimates would be useful, present only in navigation mode.
Oíd mortales, el grito sagrado...
Call me "Menes, lord of Cats"
Wing Commander Universe
User avatar
klauss
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 7243
Topics: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:40 am
Location: LS87, Buenos Aires, República Argentina

Re: New thrust, speed, rotation, vector & intercept indicato

Postby IansterGuy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:44 pm

klauss wrote:I don't really like all the thrust bars stuff... it's confusing.
I think thruster indicators would be intuitive once the player sees them moving. The speed indicators in the side VDU's would then be similar enough to the thruster indicators to serve as a icon orientation and change reference, and as a constantly interactive colour code reference. Do you dislike just the thrust indicators in the middle or do you dislike the speed indicators in the side VDUs too? The thruster indicators are the least useful but I added them to show that every bit of movement information could be presented on screen unobtrusively. The thruster indicators would be the most work too because the bars movements would suggest that there is either some way to finely control lateral thrust levels, or thrust levels increase gradually though quickly.

klauss wrote:This is the part I like. Trajectory predictors and intercept/avoidance estimates would be useful, present only in navigation mode.
Yup I was thinking that one could initialize and cycle the instrument information to make things like the intercept indicator visible or invisible individually. I was thinking of avoiding too many things called modes. Manoeuvre mode would be renamed to a governor function called "Undesired lateral movement abate". Navigation mode would just be some keys activated to edit paths in a VDU or editing window. Any visible navigation assistance would be part of The "Instrument approach system" and it's visible functions would be cycled by pressing [I] as in "eye" (I really hate this default letter font with 'I' and 'l' looking the same, because neither should look like a 'one', tis in my name so I prefer 'Liberation Serif' font or similar)

There is still a bit of details to figure out and communicate still. For example how would work that slip relative to target indicator logo suggested on the "Directional thrusters" forum? Would that be only visible when target locked? Could there be other types of useful transparent HUD slip indicators?
If you were interested I would have told you, but if I told you, you would not be interested. I can tell you are not interested because you don't already know and even if you did, it would be pointless to tell you again. Therefore in no situation will I ever tell you anything.
User avatar
IansterGuy
Bounty Hunter
Bounty Hunter
 
Posts: 174
Topics: 10
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:49 am
Location: Milky Way, Orion arm, Earth, Canada Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Re: New thrust, speed, rotation, vector & intercept indicato

Postby klauss » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:56 pm

IansterGuy wrote:
klauss wrote:I don't really like all the thrust bars stuff... it's confusing.
I think thruster indicators would be intuitive once the player sees them moving. The speed indicators in the side VDU's would then be similar enough to the thruster indicators to serve as a icon orientation and change reference, and as a constantly interactive colour code reference. Do you dislike just the thrust indicators in the middle or do you dislike the speed indicators in the side VDUs too?


First, I'm pretty much against the idea of thruster indicators, because I think the average user won't understand them, and all users would be more concerned with their effect, rather than their means. That is, the thrusters' effect is the increase of speed and the change of trajectory. That's what interests pilots, rather than how much force is being applied. To that end, path predictors are a much better tool.

Second, I think bars as symbology are just plain wrong. They're unintuitive, they clutter, and when you put lots of bars together they get confused with one another. Color codes for important things are simply wrong too, because, one, peripheral vision is poor at recognizing color differences, and two, color blind people won't even see them.

It's just bad design. If we were going for thruster indications (which I'm not convinced are even worth the effort), some form of arrow system would be much better. Intuitive, clear, concise.

IansterGuy wrote:Manoeuvre mode would be renamed to a governor function called "Undesired lateral movement abate".


Nope. Imagine telling users "You have to set undesirable lateral movement abate mode". Nope.
Oíd mortales, el grito sagrado...
Call me "Menes, lord of Cats"
Wing Commander Universe
User avatar
klauss
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 7243
Topics: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:40 am
Location: LS87, Buenos Aires, República Argentina

Re: New thrust, speed, rotation, vector & intercept indicato

Postby pheonixstorm » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:03 pm

Above all the biggest clutter is having 4-5 VDUs on screen at once. I like both ideas, with or w/o thrust indicators.

The real design tosser is that whatever is decided on needs to be able to fit into a COCKPIT. So consideration must be made that we WILL at some point have 3d cockpit, or at least 2d renders borrowed from the best WC stuff at least in a test branch. Besides the econ it is one of my biggest dislikes about X3: Terran Conflict. How can you produce a commercial flight sim with no cockpits??? Anyway.. I'm out before I strayed any farther off topic
Because of YOU Arbiter, MY kids? can't get enough gas. OR NIPPLE! How does that mkae you feeeel? ~ Halo
User avatar
pheonixstorm
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 1567
Topics: 113
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:03 pm

Re: New thrust, speed, rotation, vector & intercept indicato

Postby IansterGuy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:17 pm

Ha ha now your talking.
klauss wrote:First, I'm pretty much against the idea of thruster indicators, because I think the average user won't understand them, and all users would be more concerned with their effect, rather than their means. That is, the thrusters' effect is the increase of speed and the change of trajectory. That's what interests pilots, rather than how much force is being applied. To that end, path predictors are a much better tool.
Hey that is a good name for them, predictors would indeed do much more for the game than thrust or speed indicators. I personally would go without movement indicators before I would go without movement predictors too. I'm trying to propose designs that can be side by side without one disrupting the other.

klauss wrote:Second, I think bars as symbology are just plain wrong. They're unintuitive, they clutter, and when you put lots of bars together they get confused with one another. Color codes for important things are simply wrong too, because, one, peripheral vision is poor at recognizing color differences, and two, color blind people won't even see them.
It was a bit too much to call them intuitive, but this is the most unobtrusive way I could think of showing almost every bit raw information with as little space as possible, if they where shown at all.

klauss wrote:It's just bad design. If we were going for thruster indications (which I'm not convinced are even worth the effort), some form of arrow system would be much better. Intuitive, clear, concise.
Bad design, yea I can't argue they are almost as simple as they get if it was not for the doted centres and separate left and right bars for normal and SPEC respectively. The aim though was to have them as small and as out of the way as possibly readable. I had another hair brained idea to put just as much information in and around the targeting reticule. I started to draw a sketch but I figured that anything on the HUD should be high priority information like those predictors, and if any more was shown it should be somewhere not distracting. I didn't use arrows because they would take up much more space, but I did think that coloured ticks that followed every bar could be good to make the levels much more visible, despite the size of the actual bar.

klauss wrote:
IansterGuy wrote:Manoeuvre mode would be renamed to a governor function called "Undesired lateral movement abate".
Nope. Imagine telling users "You have to set undesirable lateral movement abate mode". Nope.
LOL I was saying no more calling it a mode at all, it would just be called changing a governor function. I'm still working on the name but maybe the full name would be rather "Undesired lateral movement counteraction" and for short just call it enabling "Lateral counteraction". Your right that that last name I gave was terrible. What I'm trying to do is make it easy to remember since I was thinking the [U] Key would activate what is now called manoeuvre mode. The old name is fairly descriptive, but "Lateral counteraction" might be more descriptive and or would better match some of the other governor functions I was thinking of. These others are "Gravity counteraction", or other functions that people may want to add to a governor later. Governor functions would all use by default, thrusters only, unless more forms of propulsion SPEC where manually activated. Any of those crazy alternative propulsion methods I have previously proposed like 'Dilation drive' 'Rails' or 'Monopole lifts' and their sub functions, would be completely separate and instead treated as independently activateable ship functions under the [Alt] key.

pheonixstorm wrote:Above all the biggest clutter is having 4-5 VDUs on screen at once. I like both ideas, with or w/o thrust indicators.
The amount of VDU's now is good, but maybe give the top right message window more significant communications functions like showing current wing men orders and their status some how.

pheonixstorm wrote:The real design tosser is that whatever is decided on needs to be able to fit into a COCKPIT. So consideration must be made that we WILL at some point have 3d cockpit, or at least 2d renders...
I like your thinking. I think that is part of the reason that I wanted to sneak the information into the VDU's, if the VDU's where simply ported to the cockpit as I'm sure would happen at first the speed indicators could go with the targeted object for free. If the information was desired and if there was a better way, it could be moved. Though HUD indicators could be the same actually, for example there still needs to be a targeting reticle and those on screen predictors mentioned.
If you were interested I would have told you, but if I told you, you would not be interested. I can tell you are not interested because you don't already know and even if you did, it would be pointless to tell you again. Therefore in no situation will I ever tell you anything.
User avatar
IansterGuy
Bounty Hunter
Bounty Hunter
 
Posts: 174
Topics: 10
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:49 am
Location: Milky Way, Orion arm, Earth, Canada Saskatchewan, Saskatoon



Return to Content Vetting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron