You have worm, attractive colors. You can clearly say what's interactive and what's not. You have buttons that are all in the same style and they're very simple, so you instantly memorize and recognize them. Interface have decorative elements but you never mix them with active elements.
The Heroes of might and magic screen describes my feeling quite well too. However, if it's not possible to add or change it at the moment I accept that without any problems.
It is quite remarkable how quickly this thread jumped to the highest frequented topic on MM subforums as soon as this interface discussion started.
Many users have made rather bold statements regarding the general looks, structure and accessibility of the interface.
Some even went that far to state that Magna Mundi will not be a succesful game because of the looks.
I totally disagree. The majority of players I know that enjoy plaing strategy games simply doesn´t give a shit on graphics.
Why do you think people still play Warcraft 3, Starcraft and Age of Empires 2?
Because these quality games just have such an extremely good gameplay that their age doesn´t matter.
The same thing is true for EU3 (+expansions), EU2 and even games such as freeciv and the Settlers 2.
Thus far I have never heard that a strategy gamer buys his games because off nice fonts and good looking maps.
What matters to the strategy gamer is balance, complexity and in the case of single-player games AI behaviour. Everybody hates dumb AI that needs to cheat or have unfair advantages in order to be able to handle the player.
What is true is that this game fills a rather small niche. But within this niche Magna Mundi will have its impact. Trust me, grand strategy games will change because of MM!
So, lets have a look at this youtube video...
I watch it in HD and fullscreen.
What I notice is that the person capturing the video probably didn´t use the perfect equipment for doing so. The screen slightly blurs when he moves the mouse. I also doubt that this video was taken with maximum settings since anti-aliasing sometimes appears to not work properly and the gameflow is shortly interrupted at the beginning of each month which indicates that the machine MM is run on possibly is a bit too weak already.
First thing I notice is that the water is too dark (has already been stated by officials that they are aware of the problem).
Zommed out map looks ok. Borders look like borders on real maps. I like them but their colour is too similar to the colour of rivers.
Zommed in map looks much worse. Especially the cities and ports somewhat disturb me. Colors might need some adjustement too. Some of them are very bright.
-> Easy improvement possible here: Adjust colours.
Whoa, there is a LOT of information on the interface. Exactly as any grand strategy gamers wants it to be. General overview on the top. Additional ledgers can be displayed. Thats fine.
Some guys on the right, probably diplomats and spies. I hope they are important otherwise this is wasted space.
Mini-Map on the lower right is unnecessary and hopefully can be hidden. Mapmodes are important though. The icons are small but that´s good since you won´t need them permanently.
On the lower left the chat (?) is hidden. Thats ok.
On the upper left the most important policy settings can be accessed quickly and your countries flag is shown.
-> Conclusion: The interface is highly functional. Hopefully some parts of it can be hidden if it is necessary to clear it up. Especially when observing an ongoing battle almost the entire screen is covered by pop-ups and icons. That´s a little bit too much on one screen then.
My impression is that with some minor refinement the looks of MM will be good enough to be no reason for not buying this game.
Games you mentioned have perfect interface. Think about other games. There're still people who play Starcraft 1. There're ones who play Warcraft 2. Nobody plays Warcraft 1. It had similar to WC2 graphics but in it you could only select 4 characters at a time and (not sure, but I think so) you must click move and set destination instead of RMB click. That's the power of interface. SC2 has very similar to SC1 interface but modern graphics and SC1 still has great fanbase. I'm sure For the Glory is a great game, but it has pause on pause/break key and not on space and also all those mapmodes you have to change constantly to actually do something. That is a bad design requiring unnecessary actions, not oldschool graphics. When I see MMtG has Marine Trade screen element and it just shows you a picture and you only get info if you move mouse to it and wait for context help I smell bad uninformative design and become sad cause I propably couldn't enjoy gameplay because of it.
The funniest part is that you only saw a 15 minute gameplay video and did not see actual pictures about the interface, but everyone cries wolf already What you forget is that MM is developed by players. We all played grand strategy games, then worked on a mod, then started to develop our own game. We know how functional an interface has to be. Maybe you'll need a bit time to get used to the flow of information, but this acclimatization time won't be longer than with any other new game. And that's why the Manual and the Tutorial exist.
Of course there is always a possibility that our thoughts about clear and effective information acquirement differs from yours and that some of you may have some difficulties to get the necessary information at first. But we're all humans, we're different. I personally can get any information necessary very easily and quickly from the GUI, so for me it is ideal. But I repeat, it is possible that for some of you there could be better or (for them) easier solution to get what they want.
But I can assure everyone that after an acclimatization phase, everyone will be able to handle the game fast and effectively.
The vast majority of the rest feels just like weird taste-based nitpicking. How are EU3-style "heads" (subject of a fascinating gag in the "Why EU3 is the Worst Game Ever" AAR) aesthetically superior to the ones we get in MM? Not enough textures in the "empty spaces"? The windows shown from 2:40 refute the claim. The icons are mostly quite sharp. More detail on/through the political map-mode is a very nice idea, but the current political map-mode is in no way a game-breaker. And so on.
Having given the video a few more goes, the only additional stuff I could've pointed out are various buttons on the provincial map-mode - they probably don't look sharp enough. Particularly the disguised X in the upper right and build navy/fleet. And rivers/borders similarity has already been mentioned.
I can't wait for MM, been looking forward to it since it was announced and I want it to be released in the best possible state, which is why I'm offering a suggestion for a quickfix to the UI.
I think that Beans gave an excellent and practical suggestion. The UI on the right is cleaner, darker and should fit the game well.
People do not want the Faction strength and moral in color? Interesting, because when a faction's strength is in green, you can tell at a glance that is better then if it was yellow or red.
I'm still listening to both sides of this UI discussion, however it seems to me that some will not be happy unless the MM UI is a clone of Paradox's other titles. We will not do that, however, as I said we are still watching the discussion and may make some changes based on the feedback given. No promises either way.
I do like the idea of reducing the hue a bit (proposed by Bean?) - however things such as the faction strength/moral colors will need to keep their effectiveness.
Paradox titles aren't exactly things anybody should make an example to copy anyway
I only speak for myself but the UI at the moment is too colourful, and has way too much going on. The game looks fantastic, but the UI violates intergalactic law with the sheer amount of different vibrant tones. It's a simple fix though, by just lowering the saturation. But it does mean it has to be done to all the UI elements one by one, and by the same amount.
I'll second Beansontoast. UI of CK2 and Vicky 2 is sleek and elegant because it is ergonomic, not necessarily because it is well made artwork. Backgrounds contrasts with the fonts, and interface elements consists of 2 main colours (wood+old paper in Vicky, Dark Gray marble+old paper in CK2). That way eye instinctively focuses on most standing out (abd most important) elements such as icons and text, rather than distracting backgrounds. Desaturating colours, and limiting UI background elements to two main themes/colours should do wonders.
How can you guys be complaining about the UI icons so much when you haven't even used it? Any UI is confusing rubbish until you actually learn what it means.
I actually like the original look better, but it'll help a lot IMO if you give a black border or "edgeline" to the letters of the colored faction descriptions.
You must unlearn what you have learned
Why not waiting until release to try it out yourself and *then* discussing the issue? So far, I like what I see but it's not really that I care all that much. Design follows function. Better tell me about the features. Been playing strategy games since the mid 80s, so nothing can really shock me.
-Thinner borders, and make provincial ones especially subtle.
-Change the water back to the old plain EUIII style, or make the present one a lot less dark. It's super dark right now, and it just clashes it everything pretty bad.
-Make the UI less flashy and bright, don't change the icons or style at all, that's fine and obviously there is no time to do that now. Just make the colors less saturated and bright, that's all.
DO NOT CHANGE THE COLOR-CODED FACTION STRENGTH AND HAPPINESS, I don't understand why anybody would want that changed, I want to know things with a single glance and the colors help.
Last edited by Blaze86420; 24-05-2012 at 00:54.
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