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Decius

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@htimsnivek @Lord Lambert some people just hate pie i guess.


As someone OK with pies, I think the golden border is a neat idea, with teh caviat that a yellow or gold border may not be sufficiently distinguishible form the background white marble texture.
View attachment 638748
Agree. Imo the golden border is a pretty good solution. Sure, numbers are clearer to see, but by the given space, I think this solution is good. The only thing I'm missing is the total population number without hovering over the pie. So besides my suggestions I posted on page 3 in this thread (which are quite a lot), I would like to see the golden border (maybe a better color) solution from @htimsnivek and somewhere the total number of pops in the province.
 
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Marcus Pica

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I think the important buttons in the current UI were clear enough, they stood out in relief from the background. Perhaps they should be a ligter or darker shade of the beige marble background, but thats it.

Interestingly, I was fanboying all the way with every update, now I must say I am a bit unhappy with the presented UI change (appart from the addition of more art, character background etc., i like that)

I will still play the game to death and buy the DLC so dont wory, just wanted to state my feelings :)

PS: Please leave the pie charts alone! :p (and the top navigation art buttons)
 
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oIMADMANIo

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I think the important buttons in the current UI were clear enough, they stood out in relief from the background. Perhaps they should be a ligter or darker shade of the beige marble background, but thats it.

Interestingly, I was fanboying all the way with every update, now I must say I am a bit unhappy with the presented UI change (appart from the addition of more art, character background etc., i like that)

I will still play the game to death and buy the DLC so dont wory, just wanted to state my feelings :)

PS: Please leave the pie charts alone! :p (and the top navigation art buttons)
Glad to hear I am not the only one who feels it that way ;D
I already thought ... maybe ... I am mad xD


greetings
 
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htimsnivek

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Honestly.. terrible. Pie charts are just not a good way of representing accurate information. They'd decent for an overview... but when I look at these charts what I want to know is the % of people who I need to forcefully recognise the superiority of my culture and a pie just ain't up to scratch on that one.
The province summary above the settlement display needs to be a summary. The pie charts are good enough for such a small space. The trade goods import window needs to become a detailed province window that has room to show all the pops, happiness, culture, trade routes etc. The settlement window needs to have the local religion and culture info on the pop display tab like @Todie suggested here:

I think the golden border is a neat idea, with [the] caviat that a yellow or gold border may not be sufficiently [distinguishable] form the background white marble texture.
I would like to see the golden border (maybe a better color) solution
I would puke if PDX used my random yellow color. It needs to be a shiny metallic gold similar to the coloring of the golden sun religion icon. I'm not a graphic designer!

As for the teal buttons I think it just doesn't fit the color palette with the rest of the game. I think you could get similar results making the entire UI flat and only using 3D shading or stylistic borders around interact-able button elements. Maybe they already tried this and people still didn't notice. I didn't know about the province improvement buttons until I read a comment on the forums and was totally confused what they were talking about.

I'm also not a big fan of the "torn" look of the fabric alert banners or the settlement/city graphic over the terrain background. The torn look makes me feel like my empire is too poor for nice banners. It isn't immersive and you could easily create a city graphic that blended with the terrain behind it. Just a view from a city center with the desert/mountain/hills behind it. Hopefully they are just work in progress graphics and they will replace them with culture specific settlement/city/metro graphics!
 

Ian Trudel

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I prefer the dim look and feel from the current UI, where marbles and drapes make us feel the era and the city of Rome. The new UI is way too colourful to carry the same feelings. Kudos for the UX improvements though!
 
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Decius

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I prefer the dim look and feel from the current UI, where marbles and drapes make us feel the era and the city of Rome. The new UI is way too colourful to carry the same feelings. Kudos for the UX improvements though!
Search in google "colored ancient". The ancient world was more colorful than we think. The white marble is more a cliche, because the colors of archaeological finds were mostly weathered, but paint residues were many times found and so we are able to recreate the original looks.
 
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imperial.

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I would say the UX plus UI efficiency and effectiveness is most definitely an element Paradox games could benefit from the most. EA sports games as well as Creative Assembly do it really well and that's why they're able to compete with an element of great freshness upon what is otherwise a stale throat wrenching game to swallow.

I find Paradox games has that depth and quality that doesnt insult it's customers intelligence and coupling that with a seamless user experience will do a 'Welt der Wunder'.
 
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Marcus Pica

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Search in google "colored ancient". The ancient world was more colorful than we think. The white marble is more a cliche, because the colors of archaeological finds were mostly weathered, but paint residues were many times found and so we are able to recreate the original looks.
All human period are colorfull and as I said above, not all surface of marble, limestone, lime facades were colored in antiquity. Besides even the new UI doesnt feel immersive in terms of ancient colors. It looks more like a colored spreadsheet with addition of some meander paterns.

People repeat your statement all the time, its not news, not since decades ago. Yes ofcourse, most status were colored vividly. And most statues were from wood. We are not from the Victorian era, we know the statues were colored already.
 
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Decius

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All human period are colorfull and as I said above, not all surface of marble, limestone, lime facades were colored in antiquity. Besides even the new UI doesnt feel immersive in terms of ancient colors. It looks more like a colored spreadsheet with addition of some meander paterns.

People repeat your statement all the time, its not news, not since decades ago. Yes ofcourse, most status were colored vividly. And most statues were from wood. We are not from the Victorian era, we know the statues were colored already.
But obviously the user I quoted wasn't aware of this. Or otherwise he wouldn't stated that white marble is typical for this era. If someone says, I don't like the new colors (even without any reason - or just because of personal taste or someone says white marble is the thing most of us associate the ancient) it makes more sense than the argument white marble is typical for the era. So if people stop mentioning this, I guess other people stop telling the ancient was colorful.
 
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Prometheus_1

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Can you do something with the colors? The Marble thing is nice and in theme but its totally COLD and doesn't gives feel of Immersion , at least to me.
 
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Biegeltoren

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I just wanna say that I really like the teal for the buttons, please don't change it!
 
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JohnnyRico

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Since you're adding the buttons to the left of the screen... does this mean you'll be adding a "screen lock" option in the menu for people that dont want to keep accidentally scrolling to the left?
 
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Jamey

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I really don’t know what to say other than that this UI Rework looks like it will be a huge step forward for the game. :)
 
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Good day!

I’m Jiroro, the UX designer on Imperator: Rome. I’ve been on the Stockholm team since November 2019. Nice to finally meet you officially!

View attachment 637453

So… what is UX?

View attachment 637454


Sometimes UX and UI get mixed up. The UX - User experience - designers at Paradox are focused on grouping and presenting information, taking the players’ perspective into account. We want to make approachable games, design experiences with a flow that feels intuitive and natural (and sometimes we get it wrong, lol, so thank you always for your feedback). Are concepts introduced properly? Is information achievable? What is the players’ expectation in this system, this game? Are colors, icons or words used in a consistent way throughout all corners of the game? We analyze, then put things into their designated place in the UI, using the gorgeous bits and pieces that our UI artists created. So sure, I do UI. However, I don’t create the color schemes, ornaments or textures of our UI. I design the experience the player will have in the UI.

UI Rework
It’s finally happening, people! The UI rework has been my main focus since I started working on Imperator. Me and my little Stockholm based strike team have been working away from the shadows for a while now. We wanted to take our time to truly figure out our new direction and identify some pain points that needed attention.

To summarize, my UX mission is: Declutter and reorganize the UI for the whole game, without reducing the amount of information you can access. If we removed parts of the core game, it wouldn’t be Imperator: Rome anymore. Sounds like a fun challenge, huh?

Some high priority points for me:
  • More art! Let art take up more space to enhance the feeling of immersion. Without letting gameplay or functionality suffer.
  • Visual consistency. Introduce a visual language that makes a distinction between what’s clickable and what’s not, for example.
  • Tabs and headers to group information.

And now that 2.0 is announced, I can finally get into some details with you all!
Small disclaimer is of course that this is under development as we speak, and the final result may look slightly different from the screenshots.
Let’s start with… probably the busiest window of the game: Province & Territory UI.

View attachment 637455

You know this view.
What I did first was to analyze what we have here. What does everything mean, what belongs to what? I usually create flat uncolored vector icons - low fidelity - to avoid getting distracted by styling at this stage.
After identifying some problems that I want to solve, it’s drag and drop time. Grouping the pieces to add some structure! I ended up with a wireframe like this:

View attachment 637433

And through some sort of dark, mysterious magic it turns into this latest version, implemented (usually by Arheo or myself) in game:

View attachment 637456

Tadaa! We decided to have a designated color for buttons in the UI rework. Everything clickable is now teal colored in some way, with the exception of flags. In headers, buttons are white since it blends in better than teal.
In Province & Territory UI, we still have Province on top, Territory on bottom. The two sections get a clearer separation now with our bold headers.
Various things have been cleaned up and aligned, like the progress bars, Province income is now combined into one value (you can still find commerce and tax income separately in the tooltip). Trade goods get more space than before, too.
The terrain image is used in a bigger format to bring more focus to that. On the right side we have new illustrations to show the territory status (this one’s the settlement image).
And, of course, the tabs. Pops, Buildings, Tactical.

Moving on to the top bar navigation. We scrapped that and moved the buttons to the side:

View attachment 637457
View attachment 637458

The gods in the old buttons are extremely beautiful, but it was often hard to remember which god represented which UI. We went for a flat icon approach instead. I want players to quickly recognize icons for the UI they want to open. I also changed the order slightly, it makes sense like this I think. The opened UI’s icon will highlight to tell you where you are.

Another UI that got a makeover is Nation Overview:

View attachment 637459

For 1.5 I decided to move Decisions into the Nation Overview. Here it is in the new UI for 2.0. Now, you select a decision to read more about and enact it with a separate button.
And oh, you will be able to access Nation Overview by clicking the big Nation flag in the corner. So many of us try to do this all the time (yes, we tracked it in usability tests, and I’ve seen your comments about it). So I added that for the UI rework.

We also gave the Outliner some love:

View attachment 637460

The Outliner has gotten a more compact look. It’s slimmer, information is tightly packed within it to avoid too much scrolling, some added consistency for the button hiding or showing the Outliner and Queued Events.

Next up is Character UI:

View attachment 637461
View attachment 637462

This view has gotten some of that art boost I mentioned as one of my goals for the rework. I felt that characters should have more of a personal touch to them. In fact, we have added a series of backgrounds for character portraits for this update, and in the detailed Character UI - as well as in the Nested Tooltip card - you see the full width version of that image. The backgrounds provide flavor and contextual information. Apart from terrain images based on the character’s location and government related backgrounds, we also have specific images behind characters who are dead or imprisoned.

That’s all from me for this week. I appreciate all your feedback on last week’s UI rework reveal. Not to mention improvement suggestions here and on other platforms before that. Your comments and suggestions influence my work and that’s a really cool position for me to be in. With UX design, I truly believe there needs to be a back-and-forth. Thank you.

/Jiroro

...... But wait!
Before we wrap up completely, Arheo has something to share:

Hi all! In usual fashion, we can't leave a dev diary without a small teaser of something new... without telling you what it is, naturally. Thus, with no further comment, I'll leave this (WIP) window here:

View attachment 637450
Please, is it possible that Your image be added into the game so players could build a temple in Your name and worship You?
 
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Now this! This is just beautiful.

I'm a sucker for good UI and it saddens me to see how many games fail to make a good UI that is both visual pleasing and presents all the information you need at the click of a button on places that make sense. Too many games have gone either on the direction of minimalist and translucent UIs or big cluttered UIs (like PDX).

It is always a pleasant surprise to see a UI that really gets it how to make a great UI!
 
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Now this! This is just beautiful.

I'm a sucker for good UI and it saddens me to see how many games fail to make a good UI that is both visual pleasing and presents all the information you need at the click of a button on places that make sense. Too many games have gone either on the direction of minimalist and translucent UIs or big cluttered UIs (like PDX).

It is always a pleasant surprise to see a UI that really gets it how to make a great UI!
Agreed, except that teal xD


greetings
 

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he wouldn't stated that white marble is typical for this era.
He didn't. He said it made us feel the era, and I agree with him. I know full well that statues in this era were not plain marble... but show me a painted statue and a plain marble statue and ask me which one feels more Roman, and I will choose the plain marble every single time.

Since you're adding the buttons to the left of the screen... does this mean you'll be adding a "screen lock" option in the menu for people that dont want to keep accidentally scrolling to the left?
This is already a thing.
 
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He didn't. He said it made us feel the era, and I agree with him. I know full well that statues in this era were not plain marble... but show me a painted statue and a plain marble statue and ask me which one feels more Roman, and I will choose the plain marble every single time.
I mean this is most usually very subjective, because the current colorful UI from Jiroro also provide the ambience of the ancient era, at least in my opinion. I also agree that white marble let you feel the era, but imo if it's done in a good way, both colorings are good, even if you know the white marble better from movies and fotos. As long as a coloring isn't done inappropriate, I wouldn't automatically say white marble is always the better way to go for a game like this.

Edit: Just looked at the screenshots of this dev diary again. Even with the new UX improvements but in the old style, imo the new colorful style for the province/territory tab looks better. You still have white as main background, it's just a bit brighter and without this subtile marble pattern. And the crested, red and black borders for the headlines are better than the simple ones we have currently.
 
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