Staredit Network > Forums > SC1 UMS Theory and Ideas > Topic: Text-based Menu Systems
Text-based Menu Systems
Dec 10 2012, 6:09 am
By: MetalGear
Pages: 1 2 3 >
 

Dec 10 2012, 6:09 am MetalGear Post #1



Lately I've been reviewing text-based menu systems. I was rather impressed by The Architect by Oh_Man who has posted a video showing a complex dropship menu system which can be used for all kinds of cool gameplay dynamics.

Whilst in theory it sounds awesome, I'm wondering of the actual practibility of such a system, considering:
1. A large part of the game will be spent in the menu system, and players won't be able to talk to each other. Could be annoying.
2. This system may be too complex, confusing, or even intolerable for the average player.

BENEFITS
  • Gameplay interactivity all under one system
  • Allows for limitless items without using units
  • Lots of information can be stored
  • Can perform complex commands

DRAWBACKS
  • Players can't talk during menu operation
  • Can be confusing
  • Chews up gameplay time
  • Trigger heavy

So the question is, will it work? Will players like such a system or is the system too complex and too annoying?



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Dec 10 2012, 6:59 am staxx Post #2



I havent played his map, but i would assume there is an exit menu feature as well as a way to pull the menu back up.



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Dec 10 2012, 7:40 am CecilSunkure Post #3



Yeah it works. You can use binary countoffs to transfer counts from one DC to another which are triggered by actions in the menu. You can detect what "button" a player presses by various types of held items by workers. They way I set it up is I made four probes and four drones hold four different types of things. Then, I can detect each one uniquely when they exit the dropship.

So the trick for triggering it really is just to get familiar with binary countoffs to perform count transfers, multiplication and division.



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Dec 10 2012, 7:45 am Azrael Post #4



I played his map, it worked really well. I didn't have trouble talking since it only refreshes the menu text when it disappears.




Dec 10 2012, 8:05 am MetalGear Post #5



Quote from CecilSunkure
Yeah it works. You can use binary countoffs to transfer counts from one DC to another which are triggered by actions in the menu. You can detect what "button" a player presses by various types of held items by workers. They way I set it up is I made four probes and four drones hold four different types of things. Then, I can detect each one uniquely when they exit the dropship.

So the trick for triggering it really is just to get familiar with binary countoffs to perform count transfers, multiplication and division.

I'm not asking for trigger advice. I'm asking whether or not this system will simply be 'liked' from a gameplay perspective by the average player. If you refer to my two numbered points in my original post, you can see the dilemma.

Quote from Azrael
I played his map, it worked really well. I didn't have trouble talking since it only refreshes the menu text when it disappears.

This is potentially problematic for two reasons. 1. If the text isn't refreshed and the player is still using the menu, this will be confusing. 2. If a player is trying to read the menu and other players are typing, it will delete the top lines of the text message (assuming it's reached the full 11 lines).

...By the way, how did you guys find the spell system The Architect? Not too confusing?




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Dec 10 2012, 8:15 am CecilSunkure Post #6



Quote from MetalGear
I'm not asking for trigger advice. I'm asking whether or not this system will simply be 'liked' from a gameplay perspective by the average player. If you refer to my two numbered points in my original post, you can see the dilemma.
Er, I tried to say "of course it works" as in you can play a game with it. I've played multiple maps. So then the rest of my post is explaining that given that the system works from a gameplay perspective it becomes merely a matter of implementation. And since you listed "trigger heavy" as a drawback, I talked about that. No need to be so defensive.



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Dec 10 2012, 8:23 am MetalGear Post #7



Nah dude I'm not being defensive, just objective. I appreciate your input, but I need help in reference to my previous points.



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Dec 10 2012, 8:37 am CecilSunkure Post #8



Quote from MetalGear
Nah dude I'm not being defensive, just objective. I appreciate your input, but I need help in reference to my previous points.
Quote from MetalGear
Whilst in theory it sounds awesome, I'm wondering of the actual practibility of such a system, considering:
1. A large part of the game will be spent in the menu system, and players won't be able to talk to each other. Could be annoying.
2. This system may be too complex, confusing, or even intolerable for the average player.
1. Definitely a system for a single player game. The best compromise I've seen is to display the text in intervals of time to allow players to message each other. This however is pretty tedious and not a perfect solution.
2. It can be very simple if presented in a simple fashion. You have to design the use of the carrier in a way that makes sense for gameplay. For example, having each button in the carrier correspond to a specific spell won't make much sense if you use two types of workers, as memorizing what slot does what can be difficult. If you however attempt to make it clear what button does what (perhaps like Fwop_'s) by laying out the button locations next to iconic units.



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Dec 10 2012, 9:24 am Azrael Post #9



Quote from MetalGear
1. If the text isn't refreshed and the player is still using the menu, this will be confusing.

Why wouldn't the text be refreshed? It fades out after however many seconds. That's when it refreshes.

Quote from MetalGear
2. If a player is trying to read the menu and other players are typing, it will delete the top lines of the text message (assuming it's reached the full 11 lines).

Oh well. It'll refresh in a few seconds. It's not a big deal unless someone's purposely spamming, in which case you can squelch them.

When I used this system in his map, I found that it worked exceptionally well from a player's perspective. It's intuitive, functional, and stylish. I spent considerable time sitting in town browsing the menus, and it was really implemented well. I carried on a conversation with him at the same time without any problems.

The only real potential issues I see are those that affect the mapmaker (string limits, for example). Otherwise, from just the perspective of a player, it's a very effective system.




Dec 10 2012, 11:21 am MetalGear Post #10



Hmm... don't suppose anyone could send me the demo for The Architect?



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Dec 10 2012, 3:07 pm Oh_Man Post #11

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

I will be releasing the Act 1 demo this month - stay tuned.

I also recommend:
Cataclysm, by Fwop
Lost Souls, by Cecil

Both use the shuttle menu system. I can't seem to find Lost Souls anywhere on SEN DLDB. Maybe Cecil should put it up? (Damn you Cecil for not finishing that map!)

HOW SPELLS WORK

First you unlock the spell by levelling up:


Then you view the spellbook in the Journal:


Then you assign the spell to the hotkey of your choice:


Then you cast the spell using the hotkey you chose:


Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Dec 10 2012, 6:15 pm by Oh_Man.




Dec 10 2012, 6:36 pm CecilSunkure Post #12



Thank you for finding the cataclysm map. I searched for a while last night and even broke SEN in doing so :wtfage:



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Dec 10 2012, 8:33 pm MetalGear Post #13



By the way, I'm wondering how in Cataclysm the dropship menu system works? Somehow it is able to distinguish between the same unit type (as in 4 Probes and 4 SCVs). In other words, how do you determine which Probe is being dropped? Below is a screenshot of what I'm referring to...





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Dec 10 2012, 9:29 pm CecilSunkure Post #14



Quote from MetalGear
By the way, I'm wondering how in Cataclysm the dropship menu system works? Somehow it is able to distinguish between the same unit type (as in 4 Probes and 4 SCVs). In other words, how do you determine which Probe is being dropped? Below is a screenshot of what I'm referring to...


http://www.staredit.net/342563/

I tried explaining it here. If you look at the corner of the Cataclysm map you can see the workers next to things to hold. You can see clearly in my Lost Souls RPG map how it works.



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Dec 10 2012, 9:34 pm Azrael Post #15



In other words, make each worker hold something different. Detect the thing they are holding, not the worker itself.




Dec 10 2012, 10:36 pm Oh_Man Post #16

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

You detect the probe and scv AND the powerups.
1. Probe Mineral Chunk 1
2. Probe Mineral Chunk 2
3. Probe Vespene Gas 1
4. Probe Vespene Gas 2
5. SCV Mineral Chunk 1
6. SCV Mineral Chunk 2
7. SCV Vespene Gas 1
8. SCV Vespene Gas 2




Dec 10 2012, 11:04 pm Azrael Post #17



Quote from Oh_Man
You detect the probe and scv AND the powerups.

Well no, he asked how they did it in Cataclysm, and that's not how they did it.

It uses 8 unique resources, and never detects the actual worker.

In fact, if you search the text triggers for Cataclysm, there's not a single instance of "Terran SCV" used anywhere.




Dec 10 2012, 11:36 pm CecilSunkure Post #18



Quote from Azrael
Quote from Oh_Man
You detect the probe and scv AND the powerups.

Well no, he asked how they did it in Cataclysm, and that's not how they did it.

It uses 8 unique resources, and never detects the actual worker.

In fact, if you search the text triggers for Cataclysm, there's not a single instance of "Terran SCV" used anywhere.
Really..? What are the 8 resource types? I thought there was only 4. Or did you mean including other holdables that aren't resources?



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Dec 10 2012, 11:40 pm Oh_Man Post #19

Find Me On Discord (Brood War UMS Community & Staredit Network)

Yer Cataclysm did use 8 unique resources.
Mineral Chunk 1 + 2
Terran Vespene 1 + 2
Zerg Vespene 1 + 2
Protoss Vespene 1 + 2




Dec 11 2012, 7:34 am Kaias Post #20



For complex systems, text based menus are a very viable option. In multiplayer maps you can use the leaderboard (if it's free) to show whether a player is in menu or not. That or some other method should help alleviate the communication problems.

Lethal and I used an extensive text-based system in Nightfall a few years ago. I've uploaded a video of it (and a little extra):
The items were represented by units but interacted with textually. When the Menu is brought up, the items are removed so that they don't cause any interference with the clicking. The menu was not at all complete (e.g. database was functional but empty). For the record, Nightfall didn't use EUDs in any way.



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[09:37 pm]
GGmano -- maybe its not about the size i guess since its now above 6000 and was saved
[09:05 pm]
GGmano -- just seems like 6000kb is an obstacle not sure
[09:05 pm]
GGmano -- idk it could also be about the map size its like above 6k kb map wont be saved,, 6000kb of triggers no sounds im aware sounds can go beyond that size
[08:51 pm]
GGmano -- heres link for the new release http://www.staredit.net/topic/18475/#1
[08:51 pm]
GGmano -- i now released it after deleting triggers 3 times sadly
[08:50 pm]
GGmano -- 100k i think
[03:39 pm]
Oh_Man -- how many trigs u got?
[09:34 am]
GGmano -- there must be a limit for one player on triggers but also a max trigger in total i think
[09:33 am]
GGmano -- after deleting alot og triggers i now have to reduce it even more
[09:33 am]
GGmano -- damn my file still too big but it doesnt crash only gives message that it cant save to disk,, freaking sad that i wanted to do more stuff but im limited here
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