AuthorTopic: Fantasy Miniatures  (Read 5895 times)

Offline Zizka

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Fantasy Miniatures

on: March 02, 2017, 02:49:00 pm
Hello guys!

I'm working on a side project mostly for fun at the moment.

Basically I'm trying to convey the idea of a miniature, sort of like you'd see in games like "Hero Quest" or "Dungeons & Dragons".

I've tried 8 different versions but I'm not happy with it:



I'd like feedback on what would look best. Perhaps different parts from different versions? Edits?

Thanks!

Offline AppleGirl

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 04:01:18 pm
I think my favorite ones you have are 7 and 8. I liked the shading on them, but the neck on 7 might be a little long. Maybe shorten by one pixel? I think you could add a little bit of brightness on the chest plate like how you have it on the helmet. Otherwise, I think it looks great! Good job!

Offline dpixel

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 05:53:24 pm
Based upon the bases they're standing on, you wouldn't even see a neck.  Sort of a semi top-down view.  These are very cute though.   :)

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 10:32:02 pm
I don't like 'em at the moment but I'll rework them until I do. Thanks for the messages though, I do appreciate it.



Offline AppleGirl

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 11:01:25 pm
12 is especially good  :y:

Offline dpixel

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #5 on: March 03, 2017, 02:17:13 am
I agree with AppleGirl.  12 is best.  Much more dynamic pose. You could take it even further.

Edit:

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #6 on: March 03, 2017, 01:15:44 pm
Thanks!

I've made a few adjustments based on the edit and started on the wizard:



Could you tell me how to improve on the wizard please?

« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 02:02:32 pm by Zizka »

Offline eishiya

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #7 on: March 03, 2017, 02:18:50 pm
With small sprites, you should exaggerate the important features. Give the wizard a bigger hat, make the brim much wider. It's okay if it obscures the face more, since there's not much to see there anyway. The purple rim on the robe looks like a shadow that doesn't belong. Perhaps use a lighter rather than darker pattern? You could also add visual interest by giving it a shape other than [rectangular strip]. You could make it wavy or triangular, or you could put a pattern within the strip.
You could give the wizard a belt with trinkets and potions hanging off it, so that he's not just a purple blob. It would be difficult to have all that detail at this size, but just suggesting some colours there and breaking up the purple should work well enough.

The knight has no hip protection. He'd go down with one hit! Hip protection is important because the hips are an easy target, since they're large and don't move around very much. I think hip plates or a metal tunic would be a good addition. Plus, that's something people are used to seeing in knight armour, so it should help the knight read as a knight better.

The knight's chest plate also bugs me a bit. He's got boob plate! Though there definitely was armour that had outlines of the muscles, it was decorative, not meant for situations where the wearer expects to fight. It wasn't armour you'd take to a dungeon. Armour for combat had no nooks on the chest, nothing to catch and direct blows towards the wearer, the shape was designed to deflect blows. European example, Japanese example.

The floor tiles are in a different perspective from everything else. See how your die's top face isn't a square, but a rectangle? The floor tiles should have the same proportions, since they're also horizontal squares in the same perspective.

Offline Cherno

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #8 on: March 03, 2017, 05:16:44 pm
My ideas:

I think round, thin based look better :)
The warrior is holding his small shield very high up
The wizard could use a wider hat as suggested above, and the contrast between the robe and the pattern on it could be increased; Maybe make it much brighter, or even a yellowish hue (wizards seem to like a star motif on their robes ;) )

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #9 on: March 03, 2017, 06:21:39 pm
Thanks for the comments, I'll take it in stride.

@えいしや:Could you do an edit of the floor tile? I don't understand.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #10 on: March 03, 2017, 07:32:56 pm


Alright so I changed the bases as was mentioned, reworked the wizard and gave the dwarf a first pass. I find there are readability issues but I'm not sure as to how to fix them so here they are.

Offline Cherno

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #11 on: March 03, 2017, 08:05:17 pm
The hat looks much better now!  :y:

Maybe make the shadow under the fighter's helmet rim a bit darker. He could also wear calf boots instead of leather shoes. You could experiment with putting a small spike or peak onto the helmet, too.

The wizard's robe might be too busy now with two different designs in varying size. I'd test it with only one or the other, both could look good I think (alternate "skin" choice for the character sprite :) )

The upper (or rather, far awar) portion of the bases has a strange curve, especially then looking at the one the dwarf is standing on. Three pixels diagonal, then three horizontal... hm. On the whole, I like them as far as diameter and thickness is concerned. Maybe they could be slightly wider still, to accomodate future characters that have more acrobatic poses ;)

The fighter's sword has this single offset right at the middle, at this pixel scale it looks strange, I think a 2:1 (two up, one right) would be better and still have a different angle than the dwarf's axe.

All in all, these already look great, especialkly the colors and lighting. These beg for some basic animations, just two or three frames for some elements like the wizard's flame spell, the fighter's sword and shield, and the dwarf's axe and right arm (and/or head).

Offline eishiya

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #12 on: March 03, 2017, 09:25:40 pm
Here's the edit of the tiles you asked for:

You don't have to make them exactly this size (you should make them whatever size tiles better while still looking roughly like this), but you get the idea.

Also, an edit with some suggestions for the knight, and a possible fix for the wizard's robe being too busy:

On the knight, I made the shield rounder (a flat shield doesn't deflect blows well), and I used highlighting to make the middle of the cuirass pop out rather than look like a groove (using a dark outline tends to do just that). I also made the boots metal, they looked barefoot before. I also added some hip armour, which I mentioned in my earlier post. There are many ways to do it, this is just some very simple cartoony armour.
On the wizard, I just made the yellow parts single-coloured and made the colour duller.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #13 on: March 04, 2017, 01:20:35 am
I'm not too keen on metal boots but:
-I changed the breast plate based on the edit.
-Made boots instead of shoes
-Removed the moon pattern
-added the hip thing
-Redid the bases some
-made the soldier taller and other tweaks here and there
-redid the sword

Quote
All in all, these already look great, especialkly the colors and lighting. These beg for some basic animations, just two or three frames for some elements like the wizard's flame spell, the fighter's sword and shield, and the dwarf's axe and right arm (and/or head).

The reason why I'm doing those is to have a good reason not to animate them  :D. I have my game on steam for which I'm doing tons of animations so I'm doing this for fun :). Then again, actually animating the miniature would give an interesting approach/style. I want to finish the four main characters first though.

No comment on the dwarf but I reworked it too. The new axe might be overkill though, dunno.



At the moment I find the dwarf pose more dynamic/less awkward than the other ones.

I'd like to work on a female rogue next.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #14 on: March 05, 2017, 04:29:52 pm
I guess the previous versions are fine then.

First draft of the rogue:


Comments?

Offline Petrichor

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #15 on: March 07, 2017, 06:50:33 pm
In terms of pose, the dwarf and rogue are a step in the right direction.  With static characters you have the advantage of using very dynamic, actiony poses.  If you look at real life fantasy miniatures you'll see that not many have a "boring" pose - as in hands at the side, standing straight up, ect.  Final Fantasy games are a good example as well.  Most enemies have a lot of "action" in their pose.  A wolf may be ready to pounce, a warrior may be ready to strike with their weapon, a person with a shield may look like they are actively defending (as in they are bracing against an attack which is not seen since they are representing a single entity).

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #16 on: March 07, 2017, 10:43:51 pm
Ok. I redid the pose of the wizard, it was the miniature I liked the least:



Offline secretcat

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #17 on: March 07, 2017, 11:10:12 pm
I think this is a much more interesting pose! Nice :)

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #18 on: March 08, 2017, 01:01:26 am
Cheers.

New soldier:

Offline Kairos

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #19 on: March 08, 2017, 01:05:08 am
I really think the bakground could use some more contrast, some darker tones.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #20 on: March 08, 2017, 01:26:41 am
Edit?

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #21 on: March 08, 2017, 12:01:17 pm
Goblin:

Offline MysteryMeat

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #22 on: March 08, 2017, 11:09:53 pm
Doesn't really read goblin to me, try a bit more skin showing or perhaps some ganglier limbs?
They also tend to have big noses and ears, which might help
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
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Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #23 on: March 09, 2017, 09:37:17 pm
I was using this as a reference:


It looks ok to me.

What doesn't look ok is the orc:


I don't like pretty much anything about it.

Offline MysteryMeat

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #24 on: March 09, 2017, 09:50:30 pm
I'd say definitely redraw the orc, the pose is way too unbalanced.

Back on the goblin though, my problem is it comes off as more of a knight thanks to the head bit looking like one of those visored helmets more than a goblin face. On top of that, it took me until just now to even recognize they weren't wearing armor! I think maybe saturating the green some more and reducing how shiny those pectorals are might help to abate that!
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
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Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #25 on: March 09, 2017, 11:56:51 pm
Second take on the orc, not quite there yet but I think it's better:

Offline MysteryMeat

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #26 on: March 10, 2017, 12:38:30 am
Looking much better, yeah! Center of balance still looks off though, maybe extend that back-leg out some instead of bending it like he's doing a side lunge?
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
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Offline Sersch

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #27 on: March 10, 2017, 08:57:58 am
like those miniatures you made, they look great!

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #28 on: March 10, 2017, 12:14:47 pm
Thanks Sersch,

I did another take on the orc. I'd say I'm pretty happy with it now.


The only thing I'd say I don't like much is the torso on the right side (his left side) next to the abs. I'm not too sure what I'm supposed to "put" there.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #29 on: March 11, 2017, 12:44:31 pm
Any comments on the character sheet design? Readability?

Offline eishiya

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #30 on: March 11, 2017, 01:20:43 pm
I think the equipment text and icons should be a little bit darker, the contrast is a little low. It's readable, but not pleasant to read.
The sprite seems uncomfortably close to the red border, having more space there should help. For sprites of this size, I'd aim for at least 4-5 pixels of margin.


As for the orc: I think the side of his torso should probably have more shadow. There doesn't seem to be any reason for it to receive so much light.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #31 on: March 12, 2017, 04:45:04 pm
Thanks, I've fixed it based on your comments and tweaked the orc's side. I'm playing with the general setup. Map on the bottom right, inventory on the left. General text in the middle. Character selection animation as well as movement destination. Not sure about that arrow just yet.



Comments, suggestions, ideas? Don't hold back.

Offline MysteryMeat

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #32 on: March 12, 2017, 04:46:49 pm
The parchment could do with more texture, IMO. Dark patches and grain scattered about to diminish the empty spaces without necessarily diluting the readability of the interface.
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
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Offline Cherno

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #33 on: March 12, 2017, 04:54:14 pm
The character highlight blinking is too strong and/or fast for my tastes. About 5 times slower would be easier on the eyes ;)
Since seeing the first screenshot I noticed that it's hard to discern the grid pattern on the floor since each tile graphic is also made up of foor stone tiles. Maybe add the option to overlay a colored grid or similar to help calcluate distances.

Offline surt

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #34 on: March 12, 2017, 07:14:23 pm
The colours of the miniatures are washed out making them look luminous.
Their lack of contrast doesn't help them stand out from the board.
Look up some pictures of actual painted minitures, they have quite strong contrast with deeply shadowed crevices.

Minor background elements have the strongest contrast on the board.
Only thing aproaching black is the outline of the bars.
Outline of the fire is next darkest, which makes no sense.

The floating orb above the wizard's hand doesn't sell the idea of a miniature. Everything needs to be firmly connected.

If you are using tile-based movement the tile grid needs to be more evident.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 07:17:32 pm by surt »

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #35 on: March 12, 2017, 07:23:22 pm
Thanks guys!

Quote
Minor background elements have the strongest contrast on the board.

Meaning minor background elements should have less contrast?

Quote
Only thing aproaching black is the outline of the bars.

And...? Could you explain this one (or someone else)?

Quote
Outline of the fire is next darkest, which makes no sense.

I don't understand this one either.

Offline surt

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #36 on: March 12, 2017, 07:33:28 pm
Generally, the less important a feature the less you want it to stand out.

If you are going to use high contrast in the background be consistent about it. You've got much darker outline on the bars' silhouette, but barely darker outlines on the wall's silhouette.

However you mean to represent the fire (image painted onto wall, painted miniature, LED-illuminated translucent plastic) it doesn't make sense for it to be near the darkest feature in the image.

Another thing (and pet peeve of mine), the dark outline at the bottom of the miniature bases suggests a shadow-gap which makes them appear that they aren't sitting flush with the board.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 07:37:05 pm by surt »

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #37 on: March 12, 2017, 09:22:18 pm
Ah ok, makes sense, thanks.

Ok so:
-Changed the floor to make the tiles more obvious.
-Changed the torches
-Changed the outline to the bars so that things made more sense.
-I tried to make the mage's fire look attached but it ultimately ended up looking worse. If people have an edit to help to guide me here.
-I've tried removing the dark outline under the miniature and it ultimately ended up looking worse as well so I might not be making this right as well.
-I got rid of the arrow, felt it was too much, tried with some footsteps instead.
-Slowed down the character selection
-dramatically toned down the character selection animation
-I added the turn order in the window. It's still empty but I'm still sorting it out. We'll see.

Regarding this:
Quote
Look up some pictures of actual painted minitures, they have quite strong contrast with deeply shadowed crevices.
Nothing convincing yet. I'll keep trying.



Offline MysteryMeat

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #38 on: March 12, 2017, 10:36:47 pm
That new step interface looks way more swanky than the last one. contrasts well with the tiled flooring!
PSA: use imgur
http://pixelation.org/index.php?topic=19838.0 also go suggest on my quest, cmon
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Offline Cherno

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #39 on: March 13, 2017, 12:30:29 am
The torches are significantly more saturared than the walls, which is to be expected, but maybe you could experiment with adding a light falloff effect around the flame of the torch so the stark contrast is smoothed a bit.

The warrior is the only one with a thin base.

The footstep indicator might make more sense if it didn't overlap tile borders, but rather have one step (or rather, two feet) per tile.

Personally, I'd prefer the selection effect to be linear instead of quickly fading in and out the dark blue color in a pulsing fashion.

Just nitpicking here but I think you did great work so far and I'm interested to see where you will go with it. Also keep in mind that you should only consider all comments and suggestions, not feel pressured to change anything without consideration.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #40 on: March 13, 2017, 11:17:49 am
Don't worry about giving feedback. That's the reason why I put it here. I'm not looking for praises, I just want to get better, that's all that matter.

I'll try it again!

Offline vicente_fleitas

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #41 on: March 13, 2017, 12:48:11 pm
8 is really cool!
I am currently working on a project "GoldenBits" platform to make video games pixel 8x8

Offline Cherno

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #42 on: March 13, 2017, 05:57:27 pm
You probably thought about this as well, what can be done about the abbreviated item names on the character sheets? As it looks there's not much space for rearranging but "Bd Sword"... Broad Sword I guess? ;) One idea just came to my mind that might work:
Remove the item names altogether, and only show them as tooltips if neccessary. Instead, remove the generic item type icons and replace them with unique icons for each item. The freed space from removing the names would also allow for bigger icons if neccessary.

Offline eishiya

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #43 on: March 13, 2017, 11:20:53 pm
To add to Cherno's feedback about the HUD:
The "Life", "Energy", and "Attack" labels are redundant since those things have unique icons. You could save a lot of space by removing them. Perhaps then you can move the character sprites up to be next to those icons, leaving more space for equipment titles.
The empty(?) energy bars are hard to distinguish from the filled ones, I'd make them paler.

I feel that overall the UI takes up too much space. Even in tactics games where the data is usually more important than the visuals, the combat field usually takes up significantly more of the screen than that. I think it's okay not to have 100% of the information on screen at the same time, as long as it's easy and quick to access. Even if you want all of this info on the screen, you could present it in a much more compact manner.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #44 on: March 14, 2017, 08:43:38 am
Just quickly, I like this but the backgrounds are too distracting.
I think the floor tiles are too small (detail) and repeated, and still have too much contrast.
The grid effect is not only overkill but it also confuses the actual gameplay grid.

Be aware of the general rule that the more detailed, contrasting and saturated something is, the more it attracts the eye.
Generally you would want characters and items to really stand out.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #45 on: March 14, 2017, 11:20:42 am
Quote
Remove the item names altogether, and only show them as tooltips if neccessary. Instead, remove the generic item type icons and replace them with unique icons for each item. The freed space from removing the names would also allow for bigger icons if neccessary.

I had thought about that. The thing is that it will then quadruple the amount of icons I have to do. I want to make this game a real thing so I need to keep myself in check with features and not end up getting swamped with icons and extra things to do. I'll give it a shot though.

Quote
The "Life", "Energy", and "Attack" labels are redundant since those things have unique icons. You could save a lot of space by removing them. Perhaps then you can move the character sprites up to be next to those icons, leaving more space for equipment titles.

That's a good idea.

Quote
The empty(?) energy bars are hard to distinguish from the filled ones, I'd make them paler.

I agree.

Quote
I feel that overall the UI takes up too much space. Even in tactics games where the data is usually more important than the visuals, the combat field usually takes up significantly more of the screen than that. I think it's okay not to have 100% of the information on screen at the same time, as long as it's easy and quick to access. Even if you want all of this info on the screen, you could present it in a much more compact manner.

Ok but how?

Quote
Just quickly, I like this but the backgrounds are too distracting.
I think the floor tiles are too small (detail) and repeated, and still have too much contrast.
The grid effect is not only overkill but it also confuses the actual gameplay grid.

Yeah, you have a point. I'm actually using the pattern from Hero Quest:


Quote
Be aware of the general rule that the more detailed, contrasting and saturated something is, the more it attracts the eye.
Generally you would want characters and items to really stand out.

Yes, I didn't realize that before.


Offline eishiya

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #46 on: March 14, 2017, 02:42:18 pm
I just noticed there's an empty heart too. I think that also needs to be lighter.

"How" is the hard part and that's why you're the artist, not me xP
Tips to clean up an overgrown HUD:
  • Eliminate redundancy:
    • You don't need both the class name and the character art, because both communicate the same information.
    • You don't need the entire character sprite in the character info box because it's already present in the combat area. You need just enough of it for the player to clearly connect the two. In other words, use portraits or class icons instead of the full sprite.
    • You don't need labels for things that are already distinct. You don't need class labels ("Rogue", "Warrior", etc), and you don't need labels for health/energy/attack. Labels are for disambiguation. Clarification (explaining what each thing is) should not be needed, but if it is needed, it belongs in tutorials or tooltips, it should not be an ever-visible HUD element.
  • Show only the information the player needs right now:
    • Confirmation dialogue should be a pop-up, not an ever-present element. Eliminate confirmation boxes whenever possible. Most of the time, players will just be annoyed by them. For those rare few times when a player is actually not sure about their decision, give them an Undo instead. In Disgaea, for example, you move as soon as you select a tile to move to. If you're not happy with where you are, you can press B to return to your previous position, as long as you haven't done anything else after moving. It's intuitive and doesn't waste the player's time.
    • Only show the stats for the currently selected character, as chances are they're the only one the player cares about right now. The stats can show up in a dedicated part of the screen. Since it's just one character at a time, you can show more stats without taking up a lot of room. This will also allow you to have stats for any number of characters on the screen, not just the four you have room for currently! This means players could view (limited) enemy stats and such too, and could play with more than four units. If they have fewer than 4 units, it also means there's no space being wasted on the screen for empty character boxes.
    • Unless the character can switch gear on the fly during battle, don't show the current gear on the battle screen. Show only the parts that matter - current attack and defense, and perhaps icons for effects added by gear.
  • Condense information that's always visible:
    • Put life indicators on the combat map sprites, so that they're visible even when the character isn't selected. For example, maybe their bases can have tiny hearts etched on them that change colour.
    • Use bars instead of icons for health and energy. Since the numbers in this game are low, bars should probably be made of equally sized segments instead of being percentage bars.
    • Use digits to represent values that don't change throughout battle, like the attack power.

Lastly, it's okay if your HUD floats on top of the action and overlaps some of it. You don't need a frame of stuff, especially if you don't even have enough information to fill that frame (so much dead space around the inventory, map, and turn order!).

Here are some of these suggestions in action:

All that darkened area is now available for showing more of the combat field, allowing the player to see much more of their surroundings at once. Plus, I think it just looks nice, since the combat area tiles are probably going to be prettier and more interesting than the HUD.
I made the inventory slots a little larger to fill the space at the bottom, which created space to put even more information (hotkeys). The turn order would probably look better similarly expanded, but I got lazy.
The confirmation dialogue could be centered in the dark area rather than on the screen, depending on how you organize the rest of the UI.
If you want more negative space in the character info boxes, you could expand them vertically a little so that they reach the bottom of the screen and move the inventory over to the right (the larger version won't fit, but the original smaller one will). You could also have the turn order or the inventory run along the side or top if you want.

To reiterate, this is still subpar because the character information doesn't need to be on the screen at all times. With a single, more detailed character info window, this HUD could be rearranged to more compact and tidier than the somewhat messy layout I have here, and it could be made more symmetrical.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 02:54:36 pm by eishiya »

Offline Curly

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #47 on: March 14, 2017, 03:04:19 pm
I don't know if someone has already said this but I don't remember reading it.
The walls and floor look too clean. That kind of place is usually in ruins, but even if it's not an old building it looks like orcs and goblins imprison humans there. I wouldn't expect a place like that to be nice and clean :P

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #48 on: March 14, 2017, 03:35:14 pm
@Curly: Yeah, they're clean freaks goblins... Nah, I could definitely dirty those up.

Quote
I feel that overall the UI takes up too much space. Even in tactics games where the data is usually more important than the visuals, the combat field usually takes up significantly more of the screen than that. I think it's okay not to have 100% of the information on screen at the same time, as long as it's easy and quick to access. Even if you want all of this info on the screen, you could present it in a much more compact manner.

About this, I was going for something similar to Wizardry:


You'll notice the setup is similar as both HUDS take quite a bit of space.

Quote
You don't need the entire character sprite in the character info box because it's already present in the combat area. You need just enough of it for the player to clearly connect the two. In other words, use portraits or class icons instead of the full sprite.

I like the idea of a class icon.

Quote
You don't need labels for things that are already distinct. You don't need class labels ("Rogue", "Warrior", etc), and you don't need labels for health/energy/attack. Labels are for disambiguation. Clarification (explaining what each thing is) should not be needed, but if it is needed, it belongs in tutorials or tooltips, it should not be an ever-visible HUD element.

Ok right, I'll give it a shot.

Quote
Confirmation dialogue should be a pop-up, not an ever-present element. Eliminate confirmation boxes whenever possible. Most of the time, players will just be annoyed by them. For those rare few times when a player is actually not sure about their decision, give them an Undo instead. In Disgaea, for example, you move as soon as you select a tile to move to. If you're not happy with where you are, you can press B to return to your previous position, as long as you haven't done anything else after moving. It's intuitive and doesn't waste the player's time.

What I had in mind was movement with the stick/d pad and then ''A'' to execute. ''B'' would be to actually cancel the route selected with the movement stick.

Quote
Only show the stats for the currently selected character, as chances are they're the only one the player cares about right now. The stats can show up in a dedicated part of the screen. Since it's just one character at a time, you can show more stats without taking up a lot of room. This will also allow you to have stats for any number of characters on the screen, not just the four you have room for currently! This means players could view (limited) enemy stats and such too, and could play with more than four units. If they have fewer than 4 units, it also means there's no space being wasted on the screen for empty character boxes.
Unless the character can switch gear on the fly during battle, don't show the current gear on the battle screen. Show only the parts that matter - current attack and defense, and perhaps icons for effects added by gear.

Your design doesn't represent this however (the screenshot you posted) as the four characters are present. But I see how that's not really relevant information to display.

Quote
Use bars instead of icons for health and energy. Since the numbers in this game are low, bars should probably be made of equally sized segments instead of being percentage bars.

Hmm... I like my icons but the segmented bar is appealing as well! Decisions, decisions!

Quote
Put life indicators on the combat map sprites, so that they're visible even when the character isn't selected. For example, maybe their bases can have tiny hearts etched on them that change colour.

I tried that but I felt that having this information on the screen might end up hiding other miniatures or background detail.

This being said, I have a lot of things I want to change with my current setup.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #49 on: March 14, 2017, 06:11:46 pm
Wizardry 8 had the sides collapsible to just the combat-relevant information. The bottom has a much higher density of information and tools than your mock-up, and is designed primarily delivering large amounts of text, which is probably why it looks the way it does.
The earlier Wizardry games had much more of a fixed frame thing going on, but well... they did away with that for a reason xP

I think if you start by ranking in writing all the important things players will need to see at key parts of the game (combat, navigation, etc), you should have an easier time organizing those things visually and avoiding redundancies.

Also, regarding undoing movement: It's B to cancel the route prior to confirming, A to confirm, like you said. But then, after confirming, if you select the character and press B without going into any combat menus, that should undo the move if possible. NIS (Disgaea, Phantom Brave, etc) and some other games do it this way; while other tactics games I've seen don't let you take back movement at all, but most of those also don't bother with a confirmation box either - if you press A, that's it. I think the NIS way is very convenient for players, since it lets the player preview the character's attack range in context, which alleviates the need to count tiles on the screen, which in turn alleviates the frustration of having to do so, and allows you to make battle maps that can erase the grid more and look nicer.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 07:20:39 pm by eishiya »

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #50 on: March 14, 2017, 10:31:51 pm
Ok, so I did an icon to represent the rogue, dwarf:


I also replaced the generic icons with the actual equipment.

And toyed around some mockups.



I removed the names for inventory objects and the miniature inside the character sheet.

Nothing is hitting me as being right just now. :mean: I'll keep experimenting. Maybe I'll have no choice but to use a portrait.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 11:56:00 pm by Zizka »

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #51 on: March 14, 2017, 11:53:30 pm
That icon's larger than just having the character portrait would be xP
A similar issue is that your bars aren't really saving space because the labels for them (the heart and lightning icons) require so much padding that the bars end up very widely spaced. Since the colours are distinct, you could just use the colours. You could also make smaller icons in addition to using the colours.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #52 on: March 15, 2017, 12:45:22 am
Yeah I'll stick to portraits I think. Keep it simple.

I think I'll go with this:


(with the portrait in the box).

Offline Cherno

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #53 on: March 15, 2017, 07:41:13 am
I like it :)

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #54 on: March 15, 2017, 12:14:56 pm
Thanks!



You'll notice the generic weapon/armor icons have been replaced with unique gear icons for each character which looks better in my opinion.

That'd be about the final version. The only thing still bothering me is the portrait thing but I think I'll wing it like this. Using icons in the boxes to represent the heroes feels counter-intuitive to me. One thing I could do is remove the box altogether and just have the character there without the figurine base.

EDIT: I'm thinking like this for the final version, which IMHO looks right (compare left to right):


For the character card, I'm using some design ideas from Hero Quest. Granted, it was a board game so some concepts do not translate as well into a game, namely the amount of information on the card (which I've left out).



EDIT2: Regarding the tiles, I've experimented a few things based on the comments I got, what do you think?

« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 01:02:45 pm by Zizka »

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #55 on: March 15, 2017, 01:24:17 pm
Personally, I like the full portrait border :)

About the tiles:
1, 2 and 2 all look ok.
I see a problem with 5 in that there is a reflection in the corner that hints at a polished surface, but then there's these pretty random cracks that would suggest a dilapitated environment. I say "random cracks" because they also appear in place that are uncommon for a tile to break at. Usually, it would break at the corner, or if the force was applied to the interior, then there'd be more than one crack going through; at least a "Y"-pattern would form.

I have drawn some suggestions for 5

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #56 on: March 15, 2017, 02:20:12 pm
Quote
Personally, I like the full portrait border
Really, you don't mind the border cutting off the character? That's what I don't like about it.

Regarding the tiles, I used this reference:

Offline eishiya

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #57 on: March 15, 2017, 02:53:37 pm
I feel the way you cut the characters off is awkward, but it could be done better, and would feel more unified than the full, open-bordered portraits that are all different sizes.

When looking for ref, look for real stuff. Artists get things wrong all the time xP

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #58 on: March 15, 2017, 03:13:12 pm
Ah ok, that might be part of it. The thing is that the character have different heights (which I wanted) but that causes problem when the picture frames are all of the different size.


I'm also experimenting with movement concepts. Comments?


« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 03:16:49 pm by Zizka »

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #59 on: March 15, 2017, 10:59:37 pm
I think a combination of the last two would be best. The footsteps don't really read well to me.
Showing the overall movement range is important, and the dotted line is the clearest about where the character will walk.

If the exact path a character takes isn't important, then I think you shouldn't show it, just show the overall movement range, and the currently selected target tile. If you highlight the path, it makes it look like it patters, and players will expect to be able to control the exact path.
I'd also think about what other contexts might involve selecting a tile. Attacking, perhaps? It'll probably make for the most intuitive UI if the targeting cursors for selecting tiles are similar in all contexts, changing colour or perhaps changing some icon, but shaped and controlled the same way.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #60 on: March 15, 2017, 11:45:20 pm
Quote
If the exact path a character takes isn't important, then I think you shouldn't show it, just show the overall movement range, and the currently selected target tile. If you highlight the path, it makes it look like it patters, and players will expect to be able to control the exact path.

That's true. I could just identify the "limit" where the player can move and then leave it to that.



This is a new mockup with more changes in it. I'm getting closer, I find. Part of the map is still missing on the right, you'll notice. There's also a move icon to indicate where to move to. I put three to identify the path taken but I'll likely just stick to a single icon to indicate where to move. The icon would snap in the middle of each tile as the player presses the d-pad to select his destination and then press to "A" to confirm.

I already have the other icons to indicate various actions:


You'll notice I changed the color (and the shape, slightly) of the movement icon in the mockup. I could stick to the colors in the icon set though.

Things I still want to do on this:
*Dirty the wall, tiles
*Vary the cracks some more
*fix the inventory
*probably revamp the turn order a bit to make it more appealing

Gameplaywise I need to decide:
*set turn order or player decides who moves and when
*how much damage can player/foes take each turn
*save limits (I want to make sure every save counts sort like in Resident Evil with the save ribbons). Not save scumming.
*how to use limited resources in a way which is challenging, not frustrating.
*and lots, lots more.

Offline Cherno

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #61 on: March 16, 2017, 12:11:31 am
The turn order thing is seldom seen these days, the last game I remember playing that had this feature was Might & Magic III :D

A few years ago I read a development update for Shadowrun Returns and the developer mentioned how they experimented with implementing the tabletop rules 1:1 to the videogame, so the combatants would all roll for initiative each round and hence the turn order would be fixed. In the end, they decided to just use a "I go - You go" system like most games have, where the player can freely select and move all his characters in any order, and then it's the AI's turn. It makes it easier to understand and follow for the player.

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #62 on: March 16, 2017, 12:13:59 am
Yeah, good point, I'll go with that.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #63 on: March 16, 2017, 11:43:16 pm
New version:
-Removed the turn order.
-Finished the rest of the map
-Added a few decorative elements
-Dirtied up the tiles (yes, reflection is still there until I figure out what to replace it with).
-Randomized cracks more so no repetitive pattern can be noticed (or less noticed at least).
-Added arrows to indicate exit
-moved map around
-Started making the walls messier (look at the upper right).

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #64 on: March 17, 2017, 02:53:21 am
I think the arrows would look better if they were in the same perspective as the rest of the scene (and animated).

You keep using unusual aspect ratios. Perhaps it might help to pick a common aspect ratio and design the UI around that. Limitations breed creativity and all that.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #65 on: March 18, 2017, 06:17:52 pm
Will do.

Just drew the six faces of the die (from one, the skull, to six, the star):


Not sure if the star fits in though, maybe too kiddie compared to the other faces.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #66 on: March 18, 2017, 06:37:17 pm
The different sides don't read as belonging to the same die to me. Pick a single aesthetic and stick to it. You could vary them between rolls for different things though!

The star face, despite having six stars on it, reads as "one" to me since one star is dominant. The little ones feel like decoration rather than content.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #67 on: March 19, 2017, 12:56:40 pm
Quote
You could vary them between rolls for different things though!

Yes, I'm considering using different set of dice but I need to keep myself in check in order to keep things simple.

I've redone the die entirely:


The hesitation I'm facing is using numbered die or "special" die. The advantage of numbered die is that they're more versatile. The disadvantage is that they're less special and won't stand out as much.

I'm designing combat at the moment. I like the approach they have in Warhammer:


Basically, the more skilled in battle a character is, the easier it is for them to wound opponents. The downfall of this is that people might want to rely on range too much to avoid skilled warriors in hand-to-hand combat. Could be strategy though.

I'm thinking of going that way but I feel like it'd be a bit of a letdown since it'd just copy Warhammer's concept. Strategic battle will be one major element of the game so I'd like to do something which:

A. Simple
B. Fun
C. Involves strategy

One thing I'm attracted to is mutual wounding. I explain:

Instead of having: hit or miss (binary), I'd go for something more nuanced. I want to avoid combat taking too long as people keep missing, that's no fun. Each attack should count. I'm thinking like in a real fight, both sides often get wounded at the same time to different degrees. The problem with that is that players would constantly need to heal themselves...

So you see, it's not an easy decision. How to take a fresh approach to rpg combat without taking too many risks and ending up with something which doesn't work.

I know I'll let the player decide on the turn order.

Energy (the lightning bolts) is to be a major part as well. Management of energy in battle will be vital, I know I want that too.

Energy is to be used for special skills (and spells). I also want to add energy in battle.

See, in Warhammer, you attack (roll), then you have defense who roll. In D&D you just attack and then roll for damage. So you have more rolling sequences in Warhammer than you do in D&D and something like Shadowrun is out of the question (way too complicated). There's also the idea of being able to aim at

So anyways, there's a lot more than meets the eye here.

If you guys would like to brainstorm, you're more than welcome.

P.S.: and a new goblin too:


« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 01:31:08 pm by Zizka »

Offline eishiya

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #68 on: March 19, 2017, 02:02:20 pm
I think you should move the small skulls away from the edge a bit where possible, they're uncomfortably close to it. The distance between the skulls and edges is also inconsistent, it's 2 in some places, 3 in others. Make it 3 everywhere. In general, you want there to be more space between the pips and the edge than there is between the pips on the 6 face.
The skull-edge distance is more obvious than the skull-skull distances because there's more contrast, so I'd sacrifice consistency in the latter for the sake of the former. You could keep the distances between the bottom-most skulls and the edge 2 so that the 6 face looks good and the rest stay consistent with that. Since the teeth aren't solid red, it still looks alright.

Here's an edit with the spacing I suggested:

I also edited the skulls on the 3-6 faces to be more consistent and tweaked the eyes. The 6 face has some alternate eye ideas for you. In all cases the eyes are a pixel higher, because I think that reads as more skull-like than having the eyes almost in line with the nose-hole.

For what it's worth, most tabletop gaming dice have digits rather than arrangements of pips, since players often need to match them up to damage tables and perform math on them. For that, digits take out the extra conversion step. Pips are appropriate for games with less post-roll math, such as games where you're just looking at the total number of pips on 1-2 dice or looking for matches, which are easier to spot with arrangements of pips than with digits.
That doesn't necessarily mean you should change to digits, just that you should think about what purpose the dice serve. Since the computer does all the lookups and math for the player, the on-screen dice are probably purely decorative, in which case go for what looks better - which is probably your skull-pips.


Gameplay feedback, feel free to disregard as I am not a Warhammer player:
I like the idea of mutual damage and of grazing damage, but I feel like that would work better with higher health amounts. When even your "tanky" characters have only 5 health (that's as much as your UI will fit!), it does mean constant healing, and it means that any attack that does more than 2 damage (i.e. a not-grazing attack) is very powerful. Plus, it means there's not a lot of difference between your tanks and non-tanks, health-wise. If health can go higher, then damage amounts can be more nuanced and varied. If you do damage in half-hearts, you can fit 10 health points in the same space, and therefore have more variety in health between classes. If you do segmented bars, you can have even more.
If each point of health is less critical, then players can risk taking a bit more damage to focus on dealing damage, instead of having half their party be healers. You don't want too much health though - every point should matter! I think 1~10 is a good amount (5 hearts with half-heart as the minimum damage). The base damage for attacks could be in terms of full hearts, possibly reduced to some number of half-hearts by defensive gear and spells.

For energy management being important, card games like Magic and Hearthstone are a good reference. In those, you don't get all your energy to start with, it builds up, and you can choose whether to spend it on one big boom or several smaller things. If your game only allows one combat action per turn, you can still get this sort of management by having energy carry over between turns and regenerate slowly (e.g. one bolt or one half-bolt per turn). Having (slow) energy regeneration turns time into a resource that players can manage, and it means that if you have energy-replenishing items, they can be very rare and valuable, useful only for emergencies.
As with health, I think energy would be more fun if it can have a little more variance than just 1-5.

Edit: Consider attacks, including ranged ones, with knockback. If movement ranges are small and positioning matters, forcing a change in position can be very useful.
Also, facing direction should probably matter. Gear should add different protection from different directions. For example, shields would probably offer no protection from the back or the sides while having good front protection and a chance to completely block an attack, while armour would offer some from all directions, but with no block chance.
I feel that many games with facing mechanics don't take them far enough - there is usually very little opportunity to end up facing away from an enemy, since your party and the enemy party usually start in different locations. Consider passive and active abilities that work with "suboptimal" facing - for example, an ability that grants a once-per-battle defence bonus against backstabbing, or a magic ability that does more damage to enemies the caster is facing away from.
Another way to get around facing being a bit useless is to make it harder to change direction. FFT let you set your facing at the end of each character's turn, no matter what you did during the turn, so of course you'd always face the enemy, and that step was tedious. But what if you were stuck facing whatever direction you turned to face while performing an attack or ability? Suddenly, healing and melee AoE spinning attacks turn risky!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 02:24:52 pm by eishiya »

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #69 on: March 19, 2017, 02:49:51 pm
The edit looks good, thanks.

I'm going for half-units, yes. I want to keep all the units small to make things less of a headache and more practical, sort of like in Super Mario RPG. XP going from 1 to 10 etc... I'd like to keep everything under 10 or 20 at the very most. Which is why I'm using D6 instead of D20 or D100. I want to weave creatively around that premise.

I kind of like the idea of facing directions but don't think it fits really well with the current miniature-style I'm going for. I could use an arrow to indicate which way the miniature is facing but considering how important it is, I feel like it could be easily missed. I mean, it's a pretty important mechanic but would seem trivial design wise.

There's also the issue of having facing directions when it's "up" so to speak as the arrow would technically appear behind the miniature. Here's an example where I put all 3 arrows:



I do think that having strategy battle without direction is a bit of a letdown since it's something I also appreciated say, in FF Tactics. If I were to have this in I would need to have a graphical way to implement it in a omnipresent way without having to redraw each miniature facing four different directions which would increase production too much. I think I can get away with the way the miniature look right now is the gameplay is good enough.

I'm also more or less set on the movement I'm going to go for. It's cleaner the way it is right now and I feel it's more pleasant to look at than previous versions:


(I added a green semi-transparent layer in photoshop to the walkable tiles). The boot is the destination.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #70 on: March 19, 2017, 05:47:02 pm
IRL miniatures can be turned to face many ways. You have a grid-based combat system, so you could do what most tactics games do and have sprites for each direction.
If you really want to have just one sprite, then don't do facing at all. Even games that use additional indicators for facing direction have separate sprites, because anything else looks lazy.

I like the green overlay for movement, but not the green boot (reads like a green heart) for the selected tile It's hard to see and it doesn't feel like a tile selection to me. Why not stick with the classics, and have a highlight around that tile's edges or corners instead?
Also, it looks like the mockup has some wonkiness with the overlay, some tiles are half-selected.

What are the green things near the exit?

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #71 on: March 20, 2017, 11:03:10 pm
Quote
Also, it looks like the mockup has some wonkiness with the overlay, some tiles are half-selected.

I know, this was just to show the programmer what I wanted. In-game all the tiles will be properly covered.

I've settled for a "ghost" token to determine the movement location (semi-transparency):


Animation of goblin being hit:


New Orc:


Dialogue system (when PC say stuff):


Introduction read by a voice actor and written by me:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqgwKtKe7XU&feature=youtu.be

Actual text being read:
-The 100 Masks-
Up high in RavenTree lived the Count Dragomir, future heir of the surrounding county. From a young age, he wasn’t renowned for his skills at hunting or his prowess at war; it was his fairness which made him the talk of the town. Men quietly envied him while women whispered his name with fancy.
Inexperienced with the very nature of failure, he grew up slightly arrogant if not entirely brash and became ever blinder to his own shortcomings. No women could resist him and no men ever dared surpass him in anything, humility being a safer bet.
Until the last day of autumn of his 35th birthday. He felt restless and he craved the furtive glances women used to give him on the streets which were fewer and fewer as the years went by. On that day, he approached the blacksmith’s daughter with all the wit and charm he could muster. She gave him a polite if awkward smile and looking away, whispered her heart belonged to another.
Wounded pride is known to turn man vicious, and Dragomir was quick to give in to his darker side. A duel with the lover was set the very same day. The blacksmith’s daughter’s champion, a veteran of the Witches Wars, wielded the blade like no other and tried his best to merely disarm the enraged ruler. Alas, accidents happen and in the fury of battle the count was cut deeply down the brow all the way to the chin.
It wasn’t the pain Dragomir cared for although he was in agony, it was his precious features he worried about, peering through the blood at his own reflection in a river, hopeful the pain would subside and his face would remain flawless as it used to be.
Daily praises painfully turned to feeble reassurances as days went by and his disfigurement became obvious to all and eventually even to him. Envious stares turned to glances of barely concealed disgust pushed Dragomir to eventually retire to his mansion, alone with the sole company of his own shadow and rapidly fading happier memories.

Two years after the incident, the very day of the blackmisth’s daughter wedding with her champion, the groom was nowhere to be found. Searches, however thorough, turned up to be futile and were short lived as more disappearances started to plague the RavenTree. The Count’s men did little to investigate as the fairest of the village, both men and women, seemed to disappear overnight.
RavenTree has since become ghostly as those who haven’t fled remain hidden behind locked doors and barely notice as four adventurers arrive in the town determined to solve the mysterious disappearances. 

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #72 on: March 20, 2017, 11:50:18 pm
The dialogue text is hard to read. You have a gigantic text box with text that the player isn't likely to want to read more than once, why not reuse that for your combat+dialogue log? Have the map intro text be a part of that log, and let players scroll through it.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #73 on: March 21, 2017, 10:03:30 pm
Having the text appear above the tokens makes it easier to understand who is saying what, especially for secondary comments. I think I’ll make the text in the descriptions bigger however.

So I’ve been thinking about the combat system some more.

I want to have a system which is simple but not to the point where there’s no strategy involved. I want to keep the numbers low as well without keeping the players in a situation where they’re constantly on the verge of death. And yet, I want tension to be there in battle and each wound to matter as opposed to certain injuries being insignificant like certain rpgs.

Since I’m using D6 I need to make sure to make the most out of it. One way to do this, is add more die in play. I don’t want this to get out of hand like in Shadowrun however.

Every die roll should count and lead to as few “empty” results as possible.
I also want battle sequences to be limited. An example of battle sequences:
1. Roll to hit
2. roll for defense
3. roll for damage
This is what I want to keep as limited as possible.

Another question which comes to mind is: how does equipment come into play? How does it affect battle?

Regarding Equipment:
I want restrict certain equipment to certain classes. For example, certain weapons will only be accessible to certain characters.

This being said, how do you make equipment matter than just for damage? If the only difference between a dagger and a sword is damage, equipment becomes secondary to the point where it could almost be removed entirely. I find that having every weapon have its own unique characteristics would make equipment management a lot more interesting.

The next question is: should I have a martial skill for each character which is influenced by the equipment they are using or simply limit the equipment to each character with predetermined characteristics?

Using only equipment simplifies and streamlines the game, which I like. It makes gaining a level less interesting however as the game would then be equipment focused as opposed to being focused on character.

So how do you make sure both are character and equipment are important? Limiting gear to certain classes does help to further focus on characters.

Stats:
So I already have health and energy as stats. I want to keep stats to a bare minimum. The more stats you have, the more stats need to come into play. Adding each attribute needs to be thoroughly considered. Only what is essential needs to be added into the game.

Here’s what I’m aiming for at the moment:

A skill which represents each character’s prowess in close combat. This would determine how likely they are going to hit and damage opponents. I’m thinking I’d stick to “combat” for this skill or change the nomenclature if you guys can think of something else.

Each combat represents a die being rolled in battle. This would mean the soldier would roll 3 die, the dwarf and the rogue 2 and the wizard 1. If I could, I’d have the dwarf better in combat than the rogue but he already has the highest health so I don’t want him to be overpowered.

Now the next question is: do I need a ranged attribute? I don’t picture every character being able to use ranged attacks. Should I have the wizard use the range attribute when trying to hit from long distance spells or should I have a single stat for magic which manages everything related to spells?

I think a ranger attribute could be interesting. The dwarf could use gunpowder firearms which the rogue would specialize in ranger weaponry like bows and crossbows. Perhaps the soldier could have access to a little bit of both (firearms and bows) without having access to the best of each category.

But then comes the wizard. It’d need to matter for the wizard to have a range attribute so perhaps certain spells could rely on that range attribute.

I think one last stat could be something which encompasses everything “mental”: willpower, intelligence, wit, wisdom, etc… That one stat you use when resisting spells and the like. I’m thinking of a light bulb but might be too close to the bolt used for energy.

So 5 attributes in total: health, energy, combat, ranged, psyche.

Combat:
I’m thinking of the following for combat in order to keep the number of sequences low and things simple.
1. Close combat requires both characters involved to roll their combat stats.
Ex: The soldier (3) attacks a goblin (2). Soldier rolls:
4,3,5 while the goblin rolls 2,3. They keep the highest score in their rolls: 5 for the soldier and 3 for the goblin.
2. We determine the difference between the loser/winner score: 5-3=2.
3. That score determines the amount of damage based on the weapon being used which has a damage stat.

Say the soldier has a broad sword with a Damage of 1 and the goblin has a dagger with a Damage of ˝. In this case, the soldier would cause 2 damage because he overpowered the goblin by two. If the goblin had overpowered the soldier by 2, 1 damage would have been caused.

This doesn’t factor in armor yet.

I don’t like the idea of armor being everlasting. I think it should reduce damage as opposed to negate it entirely.

Let’s say the soldier has a breastplate with a defense of 3. I’m thinking the first time the soldier is wounded, the damage is reduced by 3 but its defense goes to down to 2.5. The time after, it would be 2, 1.5 etc… until the breastplate is completely ruined.

I know this is more about art but I like to post my thoughts here so I can hear about game design as well.

Thank you for reading!

EDIT: And a new take on the character sheet:


EDIT2: Rogue portrait:


Wizard (having a harder time with this one):


Second version:


Soldier:








« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 03:44:04 pm by Zizka »

Offline Zizka

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #74 on: March 24, 2017, 11:27:52 am
First draft for ability card:


Top row: classes allowed to use ability (Dwarf, Rogue, Soldier, Mage)
Hourglass: charging time (how many rounds to activate)
Bolt: Energy cost
Icon in the middle, icon representing the skill (single sword).
Bottom: card description

Comments please.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #75 on: March 24, 2017, 12:32:13 pm
Are there really only going to be four classes? One of the fun things about games like Warhammer and FFT is the variety of units they have, and the synergy between those units. I can't speak for anyone else, but I wouldn't play a game like this if I knew it had only four classes.
Although, if you're not going to have a lot of classes, you can probably distinguish between them using smaller icons than you currently have, since the icons have fewer other icons to be distinguished from. Your current icons seem unnecessarily large. Also, the classes seem to be "Smith, Orc, Warrior/Swordsman, ??? (Mystic? Cultist?)", only the Warrior clearly corresponds to the existing classes.


I'd put more space between the class icons and the costs (charging time and energy cost), currently they read as a single set of icons rather than as separate information. Maybe even put them on the bottom, below the description, then you could make the art bigger and less boring. If you're going to do "cards", then commit to the card aesthetic - those things usually have pretty big art, and the icons aren't all clustered together.
Also, if you're representing energy with a set of icons, then I recommend using sets of icons on the cards too, rather than digits, for consistency. If you were doing digits or bars, then digits would be appropriate.

Will the player have a hand of cards to look through? In that case, you may want to consider how you'll present information when all the cards are smooshed together and aren't visible in full. For that, the title and costs at the top might be best, and the classes can be at the bottom or side.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #76 on: March 24, 2017, 12:41:52 pm
Classes will branch out as they earn levels. In other words, rogue will have the choice of going towards ranger/asassin (with their own builds and strenghts/weaknesses), soldier towards samurai/gladiator, Wizard towards necromancer/elementalist and dwarf towards artificer/rune master. So the basic classes will then provide more opportunities.

Read and acknowledged about the rest.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #77 on: March 24, 2017, 09:26:37 pm
Here's another take. I think the icons are pretty readable. A warhammer for the dwarf, thief mask for thief, sword for soldier and staff for wizard.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #78 on: March 25, 2017, 01:13:32 am
The hammer doesn't read to me because the dwarf has a battleaxe in the sprite rather than a hammer.
The thief mask might read better without the band on the sides. They look too much like elf/orc ears, at least to me.
The new wizard icon is pretty effective! I'd consider making the staff lighter/thicker and the magic around it darker, so that it's even clearer. Currently, the magic is as solid-looking as the staff, so at first glance it can read like a drawn bow.

The new skill art's more interesting, but is there a reason for all the empty space around it?

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #79 on: March 25, 2017, 11:58:00 am
I haven't read the entire post, so apologies in advance.
Any reason for using such washed out values? If I were you, I'd look into darkening the darks more.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #80 on: March 25, 2017, 01:33:34 pm
Sorry Jun, I just saw your comment, I didn't receive a notification about it so I haven't made the values darker yet. I was just dropping by to show the update.

I've decided to ditch the card system entirely. Too cumbersome and time consuming not to mention unnecessary. I've learned a lot from Super Toaster X in production so I don't end up overwhelmed with things to do. Keeping it simple is the motto here.

Using a book instead:


I modified the icons, except for the dwarf one which I like. The quill is used for selection. The icons on the left are the skill icons appearing in game. The page on the right displays the skill description.

Basically, which can use/can't use icons do you prefer? Circle? Cross? I put a few samples there.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #81 on: March 25, 2017, 03:32:36 pm
I prefer the empty/filled circles, they read most immediately. The empty circle and checked circle also work. Some of the others are prettier, but don't read as well at a glance.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #82 on: March 25, 2017, 07:11:58 pm
Alright.

So the concept I'm going for is to assign one type of action (attack, spell, defense) to each one of the controller button in the skill menu, sort of like this:



Pressing any button in battle will bring up the cross with the skills the players have selected. They can then select the skill they want by pressing the associated button.

The challenge I have is to have that cross appear without concealing what's happening in the game. In order to do that, I figured the only solution is to have it show up outside the window itself otherwise concealing information is unavoidable.



I'd rather have the icons show up on the screen but then part of the background would end up being concealed or tokens and that's be irritating.

The problem I have here is that I don't have the energy cost appear next to each skill off-menu and it's essential to have it. So that's where I'm at now, finding how to cram that information in.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #83 on: March 25, 2017, 08:29:23 pm
If all of the characters have the same attack types and have to select the skills from a menu afterwards anyway, why even display it? For that matter, if there's still a menu to go through, why even waste four buttons on four menus anyway? If you have no better use for them, why not have three of them act as hotkeys that the player can assign, and one button (A) could open the full menu of all skills, which could have the skills sorted by type?

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #84 on: March 26, 2017, 12:31:47 pm
Quote
If all of the characters have the same attack types

Well, they don't. That's why I use the skill page which identifies who can and can't use certain skills.

Quote
If you have no better use for them, why not have three of them act as hotkeys that the player can assign, and one button (A) could open the full menu of all skills, which could have the skills sorted by type?

I want skill selection to be part of the challenge. In other words, I'm thinking the skills for each player to four.

Alright so I redid the floor and the walls which were bothering everyone for a while.

Here's a first mockup of how I'd like battle to look. It's still very bare bones at the moment but you get the idea. It's wrong though, I mean, the concept isn't to my liking yet. Not sure if the die cut it if presented that way:



And more experimentation with the inventory system:


And Chaos Warrior:




« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 03:02:22 pm by Zizka »

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #85 on: March 26, 2017, 10:33:29 pm
The Chaos Warrior is heavily armored, so add at least one pixel thickness to arms and legs :)

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #86 on: March 27, 2017, 10:59:38 am


I redid the legs, sword and fist.


« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 12:08:07 pm by Zizka »

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #87 on: March 27, 2017, 12:11:50 pm
For the battle system, I'll need to make some changes. Having hearts on the side just isn't going to cut it. Tokens need to have important information right next to them so the player doesn't have to glance on the side of the screen. Also the four screens there on the side take a lot of room.

The problem is that I don't have a lot of room on-screen. My only option would probably be a segmented bar under the actual token:



I like the idea of having a bar which is the same length for everyone but separated in more increments depending on the health of the token.

I did 12 different versions. The red bar would represent health while the blue one energy. I find using vertical bars makes more sense as I have room on both sides of the tokens with very limited space under them.



I like the "L" shaped bars but it doesn't look quite right at the moment. If I can manage that I can get rid of the menus on the side and keep the whole thing cleaner.

Let me know what you think, your input is important!


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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #88 on: March 27, 2017, 01:12:42 pm
Almost all of bars are hard to read, they're either rather busy or all blend together and don't give good info. I find myself counting those tiny highlights to count them because that's the only thing I can see distinctly, but it's unpleasant.
I mentioned bars with variable-length segments before as something I dislike because I find it hurts the player's ability to read the health at a glance. That's fine in a game where a single HP isn't like to mean life and death, but in a game like this, I find it important to be able to tell how much HP exactly a character has without counting the bars, and that's a lot easier if each HP is represented by identical, same-sized visuals across all characters.

I don't like the L-bars, since they require too much eye movement to read. Since you only have two bars, I think it'd be fine if they're both beneath the characters.

How will these health bars interact with units in front of them? I thought you mentioned that as a reason not to have health displayed under/over the units before.
I think as long as the characters' information is displayed in the same spot and not all over the screen (or all over one side of the screen), the glancing won't be an issue. Humans are fast at glancing, it's scanning that's slow.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #89 on: March 28, 2017, 11:09:07 am
Quote
Almost all of bars are hard to read, they're either rather busy or all blend together and don't give good info. I find myself counting those tiny highlights to count them because that's the only thing I can see distinctly, but it's unpleasant.
I mentioned bars with variable-length segments before as something I dislike because I find it hurts the player's ability to read the health at a glance. That's fine in a game where a single HP isn't like to mean life and death, but in a game like this, I find it important to be able to tell how much HP exactly a character has without counting the bars, and that's a lot easier if each HP is represented by identical, same-sized visuals across all characters.

That's true. Segmented bars probably wouldn't work here.

Quote
How will these health bars interact with units in front of them? I thought you mentioned that as a reason not to have health displayed under/over the units before.

That's before I realized... I need to display the health of enemies as well. I can display the information for players on the left side, sure, but what about the enemies? I don't want the players to have to select each enemy to find out how much health he has. That'd be stupid.

So I did some research and as it turns out, most games don't display the characters info on the action screen!:

Battle Ogre:


Final Fantasy Tactics:


Suikoden Tactics:


Disgaea is different as it displays the health as a bar, nothing precise.


I find Disgaea is superior in that aspect since you don't have to select a character to know its health.

So how about this:

The token gradually gets filled up with semi-transparent red as they're wounded. It wouldn't be super precise *but* it would give an idea to the player who could then go and check the precise health of the token he's interested into for gameplay reasons.

Something like this:
(uninjured)
(injured)

I feel like that'd be a good compromise. Moving the cursor to a selected token would then display the full information in the text area at the bottom for the player to see. Another solution would be to press a button for the health of everyone be displayed as numbers on top of the tokens as long as that button is pressed for quick info.

Regarding character sheet, I'm coming to terms that I'll need to use numbers for reasons both practical and aesthetic.

Aesthetic: wasted space. I end up with a lot of empty space because I need room in case the player improves his stats.


Pragmatic:
*There's also the point that was mentioned that certain stats can't go higher because there's no room on the sheet, like for the dwarf's health.

*There's also the problem of counting units which, like eishiya said, ends up being problematic. That can work for certain games but for something like tactical battle, it would become a chore to count little icons.

*Dealing with half units is bothersome. The wizard having only 2 health would cause trouble with grazing. If the smallest unit is half a heart, it still wouldn't take much for him to die. Low health also means instant kill which players likely won't enjoy.

I could of course use mechanics where damage taken is minimal but then it becomes a headache to factor in equipment see I have little to no room for stat variety.

So I'll have to switch to numbers. This will allow me to use my space more effectively, have player know instantly the info they're looking for and more freedom with combat design. I will want to keep numbers low however, there's a charm to it. I feel that using numbers breaks immersion more than icons for some reason as you go from graphical representation to numerical but that's unavoidable at that point.

Using bars for health would be overkill in that case though I find:


I think I'll just stick to numbers.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #90 on: March 28, 2017, 01:00:06 pm
I'm glad that your research has corroborated my earlier suggestions. You may want to give my UI suggestions wall of text a skim again, as I did a bit of analysis on how to deal with not displaying all the stats at once. The character stat window draft you're making now doesn't seem like it's made for a static-ish window. I recommend working within your full mockup instead of making it separately.

The games that don't have health displays on the battle screen show a different sprite when the character is below a certain amount of health, so they do have an indication of characters that are near death.
Keep in mind that Disgaea has health going into the millions and damage is randomized. There is no precision with numbers in that game. It's also 3D so you can rotate the screen to see parts of the HP bar that are blocked by other characters.

I think having the character fill up with red would be pretty good if changing the sprite isn't an option. However, I'd much rather see a more "themed" approach to showing battle damage on each character. Since they're miniatures, you wouldn't have them change pose, but could instead have things like paint peeling and gashes in the plastic. It's more work, but it's the sort of thing that makes a game feel like the creator loved it and so should the player. This could even be done procedurally, without having to pixel individual damaged sprites for each class, you could define spots on the character sprites for damage sprites to appear (or, if you can find the common shared silhouette between all your classes, you can just spawn damage sprites within that and not have to worry about defining damage points individually for each class).

I'm going to withhold my feedback on numbers for now because I feel that you need to work on the character stat window in context, and may thus find a different arrangement of stats more effective.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #91 on: March 29, 2017, 11:16:39 am
I think I'll just go for something like this:


Problem solved. I also much prefer without the persistent menus on the left.

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #92 on: March 31, 2017, 11:07:28 am
I think I've found my life bar system:

(nevermind the lightning bolt there).

The game will be run in 200% which further helps with readability. I might tweak it a bit further but I think it looks good. Left for health, right for energy.

Comments?

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Re: Fantasy Miniatures

Reply #93 on: April 08, 2017, 08:13:08 pm
New room and first draft of exploration mechanics: