Author Topic: Notification Icons  (Read 2624 times)

Offline havkyp

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Notification Icons
« on: August 14, 2017, 04:57:30 PM »
Thanks leeor_net, glad the mockups have been useful so far.

Since I had a brief moment, I quickly made this suggested addition to the main view:

You can see some circular indicators on the right side. The green circles indicate the number of facilities that need the player's attention. For example, there's one satellite and two factories that need intervention. The reasons might be they are idle, need repair, or inactive because of missing resources.

The red circle indicates a critical issue, in this case a shortage of a life support resource (the water drop icon is a placeholder). These critical issues would be ones that risk the destruction of the colony, so might be a lack of life support resources, disaster, too-low-morale, something causing mass death, etc.

I was inspired by 4X games in the Endless series which have these notification circles. Once you click on a circle, a small dialogue box appears with a list of the facilities/issues in question and lets you click on the items that take you directly to the relevant UI to resolve them. The circles can be set to not disappear until the player explicitly close them.

I've found this feature to greatly improve quality of life for me in games so I'm suggesting them for OutpostHD!!

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Notification Icons
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 09:25:02 PM »
This suggestion ties in really well to the task about providing alerts to the user. I wasn't sure how to handle it and I'm not sure why this never occurred to me. It's a very effective  way to get the users attention without annoying them with popups and warning boxes, etc. I only did the one as I was kind of rushed at the time but I want to think about all of the other notifications that the user will need to get and also how to handle getting many of them... if, for instance, all resources are critical, the population is defecting, morale is terrible, the people hate you commander, 14 structures are disabled, power levels are critical, food storage is diminishing, incoming meteor detected and so on... There would only be room for so many notifications... I guess they would just stack up and as you read individual notifications they would clear but that's something we have to think about.

Also, when the user does click on a notification, how would it be presented?

I always enjoyed the idea of an AI voice letting you know about things that needed immediate attention. Outpost 2 did a nice job of that... "Morale is terrible". "Warning! Food shortage!". "Power levels optimal." and so on. Between the antagnostic attitude of the OP1 AI and the helpfulness of the OP2 Savant computers, I wanted to have a sort of mix in there. I'm thinking for super critical notifications that an AI voice alert will let the player know about them for immediate actions to be taken. The question becomes should the voice notification be something like "Critical alert" or should it be specific?

Lots to think about.  :-\
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 11:14:26 PM by leeor_net »

Offline lhark

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Re: Notification Icons
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 10:43:33 PM »
Another simple and maybe less intrusive solution could be using color coding on the different resource meters. Maybe throw in a bit of blinking when things really get critical.
That is obviously assuming that we keep the resource bar at the top.

AI voice notification would be nice too, but seeing as OP1 is a turn based game, they would tend to get stacked up at the beginning of a turn.

Maybe for map based alerts, a marker could be added to the map, something that draws your attention to it, like this for example :

Offline Hooman

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Re: Notification Icons
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2017, 12:02:24 AM »
It's a very effective  way to get the users attention without annoying them with popups and warning boxes, etc.

If icons get stacked, or hidden under a sub-menu, the top icon could have a count overlay displaying the number of alerts.