Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Gratuitous Deployment Interface

I’ve just made a change to the games deployment-screen UI, so I thought I might as well share it’s current look: (click to enlarge)

I used to have an icon ‘picker’ on the right hand side when you loaded an un-deployed fleet, and you had to drag and drop the ships into position on the left hand side. This was a bodge and tedious with huge fleets and big monitors.

Now the game will auto-deploy the fleet as you load it, and then you can slide them around and fine tune it. This is the same sort of system used by the Total War games, and I think it works much better. I’ve spent a few days working on some heavy duty re-organising of code for it to render faster, and things are much much more efficient now. Even with bazillions fo ships and things going zap everywhere, it seems to run pretty well. My next big challenge is getting it to run on my laptop…

Any thoughts on the design?

6 thoughts on Gratuitous Deployment Interface

  1. Fighters in a square formation seems so wrong…

    Otherwise, quite simple.

    though, what’s with the line linking between frigates.

    I can hypothesize fighters linked to carriers but….frigates?

  2. Are those sliders under ‘conflict’ for _target priority?_

    Did you make the AI in this game utterly awesome _and_ custom-tuneable?

    Totally sweet!

    I don’t suppose the AI’s going to be moddable with scripting or anything?

  3. Oh and the design looks okay, but clearly we’ll want to zoom in on particular areas of our fleet while fine-tuning the deployment. It’s also not immediately apparent what the ‘link’ lines might be – features of gameplay that are ‘hidden’ from the GUI like that bug me a little, personally – even if it is easier to right-click-then-left-click-another-ship or something, if there isn’t some indicator that this can be done in the interface somewhere I’m unlikely to pick it up merely by playing the game, without touching a manual. I know, I know, I’m lazy. XD

  4. No capital ships? That is somewhat depressing. Captial ships provide a great focus for battles (with so many units, where do we zoom to?) and they have a great “Plucky young squad with everything to prove vs. the Death Star/Borg Cube” kind of thing.

  5. Well there is three classes of ship, the cruisers, the frigates and the fighters. I don’t actually have any battleships, but they would be hilariously big in comparison. Actually, maybe ‘gratuitously’ big.

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