Social Combat Redux: Layout

Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. We had a ton of rain here, which happens less than you'd think in Seattle during the summer. And rarer still, we even got quite a light show! We miss thunderstorms.

Back at work, I mostly shirked my admin duties today to focus on dev work. And I'm happy to report that I got a lot done!

Today's screenshot shows the new Social Combat layout I'm experimenting with. It borrows some of Michael's original layout, some minor conventions from NEO Scavenger, and generally tries to tie together everything one would need to interact with another soul.

Clockwise from top right we have:

  • Target's portrait and name
  • Target's condition. This will eventually start empty, and your actions reveal it bit by bit.
  • The message log. Everything that happened to "us" in recent history, including results of the latest interactions.
  • Preview area to see roughly what will happen if we "confirm." (Comparable to the yellow text in NEO Scavenger encounters.)
  • Confirm button to confirm choice.
  • List of actions available to us right now. This roughly corresponds to NEO Scavenger's available actions grid, except you don't have to move them around to select them. They'll be toggles or radio buttons, so you just click to choose, and click something else to change your mind.
  • Our conditions. Always visible to us.
  • Our portrait and name.

I see this roughly working like NEO Scavenger combat/encounters in that you read the info in the UI and message log, look at your available actions, try a few on for size, then confirm the one you want. Then, the results are printed in the message log, and you get a set of new actions.

The difference here is that we'll likely be looking at the game world instead of an abstract combat UI or illustration. If someone blacks out as a result of an interaction, their avatar will lie down on-screen in the game view.

Also, I think we'll need to be able to pan the camera and zoom, so we can select other targets. This will require some testing and tweaking to make sure it feels right. For example, if you're flirting with Noah, and suddenly start talking to someone else, that should matter. How will that work? Dunno yet. But that'd be worth trying.

Despite what I said above, there might also be a mode for this UI that omits the target portrait, and we get the good old fashioned illustration and text blob. I can foresee situations where we're not interacting with a person, but we need the player to make some choices.

For now, though, I still have work to do to make this function. It's pretty much done displaying current info, but you can't do anything from here. That'll be next.

Tags: Ostranauts