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Thread: Development Diary #29 - 20th of May 2009

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    Studio Manager Paradox Dev Team Johan's Avatar
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    Development Diary #29 - 20th of May 2009

    Hello, and welcome to the 29th issue of the development diary. This week, I was going talk to you about the little details that make the game so much easier and fun to play.

    First of all we have the outliner. The outliner made its first appearance in EU3, and has been an invaluable tool for our games since then. It gives you quick overview of details, and also allows a quick selection mechanism. In Hearts of Iron, it lists all your land, naval and air units, as well as all current bombings and battles. The units in each theatre can be browsed like in a file explorer in windows for easy access.


    Second on our list, is the indication and details on counters where they may be heading. Small red arrows indicate attacks, while green arrows indicate normal movement.


    If you select a moving unit, you will see the movement arrows coloured depending on what type of movement it has. A normal movement is a green arrow, while a red arrow indicates an attack. A retreat is a grey arrow, while a strategic redeployment is a cyan arrow.


    Sometimes as a developer you do not see the forest for all the trees. One great suggestion by the beta tester Luka, was to show combat progress on the map, where the battles are actually fought. So I went ‘DOH’, why did not I think of that, and told podcat to code it. Here’s how it looks, with red blocks indicating where you are defending, and green blocks indicating where you are attacking. The numbers indicate your progress of either losing or winning the battle.



    One thing that has been in all our games since Victoria Revolutions, is the concept of Alerts. In HoI3 they exist as well, with some good, and some bad. Good ones are coloured green, and bad ones are coloured red. Tooltips give you the information about what they are indicating, and clicking of them takes you immediately to a relevant interface. Clicking this one in this screenshot lets you toggle through the units that have a poor supply status.


    Sometimes messages are good, sometimes messages are too much, and sometimes you only want a small hint on what happened. This is where the “Show on Map” option comes in handy, where lots of messages can be depicted as a small animated text on the map instead.


    Have you ever cursed the slider interfaces in Hearts of Iron? With the new “need” buttons you can always just click it to get the slider at the position for what is required. Of course, if you lack enough IC for all your needs, you still have to manually adapt your slider.


    Hearts of Iron 3 also lets you easily track how well a faction is doing, and who is the closest to victory. These progress bars are visible in the diplomacy screen, and lets you see how close you are to victory or defeat.


    One thing I personally really like in this game, is the details you can get from messages. Here is one example of how the messages looks when you are being attacked by hostile forces.



    There is plenty more of nice things in the interface for this game, but this is enough for today.

    Johan Andersson
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  2. #2
    Wow. What an update! I thought we might not have one this week because of E3. Thanks

    [edit]

    Oh and looks like strategic deployment is on the map now! Woo!

    I assume that means you can interdict them now with aircraft or encirclement.

  3. #3
    the game is looking amazing guys i really can't wait
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    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    This is all quite awesome.
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    I like small goodies in games like this. Paradox, you are making a good work and i forsee good reviews when this great game is released. Keep on going.

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    Too cool!!! f
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    Are the movement/attack arrows turned off in the 'battle progress' screenshot, or are they just overridden by the battle progress meters?

    The comment that the arrows are 'on counters' implies that they are a counter equivalent to the moving/firing animations of the 'sprites'. Can you still turn them on for the 'sprites'?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeadlyShoe View Post
    Are the movement/attack arrows turned off in the 'battle progress' screenshot, or are they just overridden by the battle progress meters?
    At the moment overwritten.
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    lovely!!!!!!!! thnx alot =)
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  11. #11
    Incredible... when is this going to be out exactly in the stores? And how much are we all going to be set back buying it?

    I know that those two questions will not be really answerable until nearly release time, but this looks great. Hope it plays as well as it looks. Hell, I hope it plays half as good as it looks right now. That would still make it a very great game.

  12. #12
    Terrific stuff lads, looks like it's wrapping up nicely and should be done soon. I can't honestly think what else you lot can make note of! lol
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  13. #13
    Captain Grimlin's Avatar
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    The battle progress boxes are great.
    Although I would have incorporated them into the attack / defense arrows as of mere style.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by King View Post
    At the moment overwritten.
    Ruled out my idea...

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    Major Radu's Avatar
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    Strategic redeployment no longer warping units in a parallel universe where they can't be attacked. THAT is the big news for me. It has been hinted repeatedly,but now we finally get to see it.

    P.S. : Another bit of indirect "news" is the continual silence on naval and air combat Wonder if the team saves if for E3?

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    Nice update and these all look like great additions to the interface.

  16. #16
    Big thumbs up.

    I bet filtering system for such messages is as complex as ever, but after a while everyone should be able to set his own, custom setup.

    One question though, somehow related to the messages... Are events going to be presented like in HoI2 (message window with corresponding picture, effect described in tooltip) or more alike EU3/EU:Rome (no picture, just text and effects on tooltip)?

  17. #17
    The new interface is gonna be so much better than the old one

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    Studio Manager Paradox Dev Team Johan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alojzy View Post
    Big thumbs up.

    I bet filtering system for such messages is as complex as ever, but after a while everyone should be able to set his own, custom setup.

    One question though, somehow related to the messages... Are events going to be presented like in HoI2 (message window with corresponding picture, effect described in tooltip) or more alike EU3/EU:Rome (no picture, just text and effects on tooltip)?
    hoi2

    Johan Andersson
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  19. #19
    First Lieutenant Sargnagel's Avatar

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    Very nice improvements, I especially like the progress meter on the map. Kudos to that beta tester for thinking it up and kudos to PI for listening to him.

    One thing I'd change is remove the division names from the last screenshot, that's really an information overkill that does not add anything the player needs to know. Or at least add an empty line between the division names and the line stating the total number of units attacking.
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  20. #20
    I cant wait to read these dev diaries each week, Just gets better and better.

    The slider need button is a great addition i must have wasted 10,000's of ic by being slightly over but cant be bothered to adjust it!!!

    If it is air combat how will it display the strength of the unit people or planes i.e
    50 interceptors.....

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