Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #32: Interface Versatility

Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #32: Interface Versatility

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LennartGS

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Hi there, welcome to this development diary about the versatility of Age of Wonders: Planetfall’s interface.

Displays and platforms are more diverse then ever, so we had to add various systems and settings in order to make the game look best in all situations and make it future-proof. Making a UI for a deep strategy game like this, with its many hundreds of interface components is a mammoth task. But making it work on a variety of platforms and displays even more so.

The Interface Scale settings allows the user to set the relative size of the interface on screen. If you are sitting close by a large screen you might want to set it to “smallest”. This way fonts are smaller, list boxes contain more items and more of the map is shown.

Interface_Settings.jpg

The Main Video Options (PC)

When playing on a small laptop screen, or on smaller TV using controller, you’ll want to up the screen interface scale, so text and icons are easier to read.
Interface_LargeScale.jpg

Large Interface Scale

Interface_SmallestScale.jpg

Small Interface Scale. Note the large number of list box entries available.
You might have notice we hide event texts as default now as it could be overwhelming.

The aspect ratio is also flexible. Like you can stretch the display horizontally for Ultra-Wide Monitors.
Interface_Wide.jpg

Wide Screen Display

Render Scale is a separate control. Some systems have displays with high resolution but not the GPU to push all those pixels at acceptable framerate. By reducing the 3D Render Scale of the game world, the game will run faster on a high-res display and you still have the benefit of the higher DPI on the interface.

Another part of the Interface's versatility is next level of hyperlinking. UI design is all about providing the right amount of relevant information at the right moment: not to much, not to little. So layering info with links and tooltips is key. There are many links to the Imperial Archives that itself also generates handy lists. Like seeing which units a particular mod can be used on.

Interface_Archives2.jpg

The Imperial Archives

I’m lucky enough to have a large 4K TV at home and oh my, Planetfall looks fantastic on that thing. I might have to reevaluate my gaming habits as it also plays great using controller the couch, (note PC has controller support too) but the controller interface and the console versions are something for a future dev journal.

How will you be playing Planetfall? Any platforms you’d like to see the game on?
 

Latieon

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The UI-scaling looks good, but i don't need it much, but good for console players. The "Book of Wonders" in AoW:3 was amazing, nice that you make it even better !
What i like about the Dev-Journals is that you show often more than only the topic. This journal isn't different, i found some new stuff. :)
The new Vanguard Trooper icon look better than before, because how he hold his gun now.
Another interesting thing is how a T2 units with 3 mods cost more crystal than a T-4 unit !

Syndicate.png

I bet this is a Syndicate unit with Psi-Fists. Looks very similar to the XCOM:2 Templar class:
Templar.png

Dune.png

Dune anyone ?

Amazon T4.png

Seems Amazon get a mount for their Void Tech unit.

I will play Planetfall on PC, preordered the premium-edition on steam already. Port the game to the Nintendo Switch please. The game could maybe fit well to the new google streaming-platform "Stadia", a little input-lag wouldn't be a problem for a turn based strategy game.;)
 
Last edited:

mr_stibbons

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View attachment 464398
I think it's the Amazon T4 unit, i always though that a big quadruped dinosaur would be a good T-4 unit for the Amazon.

I will play Planetfall on PC, preordered the deluxe edition on steam already. Port the game to the Nintendo Switch.
The amazon T4 unit is the arborian queen, which you can see at the top of the list. Echo walkers are a voidtech unit, that is normally melee infantry, but apparently the amazon version gets a raptor mount.
 

xlnt

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put a LOVE button on the forums - i can't express my feelings with agree and helpful :D <3
 

Quark02

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I'm actually curious as to how good it is to play with a controller, especially with that impressive amount of unit production choices.
 

HTG2931

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As a guy who steam-links his turn based games into the bedroom TV, this a great news! Battletech, for example, is impossible to play due to the UI being to small for me to read.
 

Maegnaug

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How will you be playing Planetfall? Any platforms you’d like to see the game on?
Very much looking forward to this. Since I'm using a MacBook, I'm looking forward to seeing it on Mac as well. If I remember correctly it has been said it will eventually also be available for Mac, but do we have any hints yet how long it may take?
 

Latieon

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The amazon T4 unit is the arborian queen, which you can see at the top of the list. Echo walkers are a voidtech unit, that is normally melee infantry, but apparently the amazon version gets a raptor mount.
You are right about the Echo Walker unit, i think i read the name in a tech-tree before. But if you are correct about the Aborian Queen as T4 unit, than the Amazon would have 1 less unit than the other 3 known faction. Vanguard, Kirk'ko and Dvar have three T3 units and one T4 unit. Amazon would have only two T3 units and also one less in total. Why ?
I saw the amazon-stream where the Queen was the last researchable unit, but she wasn't on the 10th research rank unlike the Dvar T4 unit. So i though the developers didn't put an Amazon T4 unit into the game, because it isn't finished yet and the Arborian Queen is a high-end T3 unit.
 

Alfray Stryke

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I’m lucky enough to have a large 4K TV at home and oh my, Planetfall looks fantastic on that thing. I might have to reevaluate my gaming habits as it also plays great using controller the couch, (note PC has controller support too) but the controller interface and the console versions are something for a future dev journal.
Have you considered including full Steam Controller API support for those of us with Steam Controllers?
 

Pyoro

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I'm always a bit surprised that even in modern games developers are so into fixed (if scalable) UIs. The only ones who are kinda "you know what? Let the player decide how they like it best..." are somehow MMO devs. And racing sim devs, I guess. Probably some others. But you almost never see it in your random, "typical" game. And I don't really get it, especially with games like this, where you interact with the UI all the time.

Like the "links" though.
 

Ridixo

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I have no strong opinion one way or the other :)
 

prof_doom

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I'd still rather have seen another faction today, but it's nice to know they've put thought and effort into this.
A lot of strategy games become unreadable at high resolutions, and unplayable at low resolutions, because the actual playable screen is the size of a postage stamp.
 

Revan Katarn

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How will you be playing Planetfall? Any platforms you’d like to see the game on?
How? Buying a new PC first... my old laptop gets quite hot with AoW3 :confused:
 

Damkac

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It's great I will be allowed to customize the interface to my old monitor. Also good decision to hide event texts, it is irritating when it takes half of the screen in AoW3.
That mounted Amazon Echo Walker suggests that secret tech units of various factions differ much and that's also great.
 

Gyor

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It's great I will be allowed to customize the interface to my old monitor. Also good decision to hide event texts, it is irritating when it takes half of the screen in AoW3.
That mounted Amazon Echo Walker suggests that secret tech units of various factions differ much and that's also great.
I had assumed it would be like AOW III where class units would be functionally the same no matter what race, except for having the universal traits of the race, like forest walking for elves, or Frost resistance and fire vulneriblity for frostling, or be completely seperate from race like Shrine of Smiting, Juggernaught, Horned God, ect...

While do know there are none race based secret tech units, the race based ones appear to be far more unique, such as Dinoriding Amazon Echowalkers. Maybe Vanguard Echowalkers get grenades and Syndicate Echowalkers get the Hover Throne hypothetically.
 

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Since a few months now I have a 4k TV to accompany my pc. So I'm very much looking forward to playing the game in 4k. Great to see the option to scale the interface like that. I'm pretty close to the screen so the small interface looks big enough for me and it's nice that it extends the unit list panel automatically.
 

LordTheRon

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I'd still rather have seen another faction today, but it's nice to know they've put thought and effort into this.
We have two factions left to be revealed. With the releasedate being the 6th of August I suspect the next race reveal will be around April and the final one in June.