[1.3.3.1] UI feedback (detailed)

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#41
Are any changes still coming in the next unstable? Is that still possible?
The likelihood of that happening increases if the devs are informed of those suggestions and objections regarding the new UI. If you want to increase the chances of the UI being fixed, I would recommend you to either send private messages to the developers or at least 3 of the active ones) on this forum, or repeatedly mention to them about this forum thread in the next livestreams, and repeat that with every stable update on the forum and every livestream, until the issues are fixed.
 
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Sharra

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#42
I do not like the ui too. Its way to massive. Big white boards all over the place, it hurts in the eye.
The new inventory is less optimal, only 2 in a row, but wayyyyyy down, while to massive overall.

And overall i have real trouble to find anything in the new order of buttons. Its just not intuitive anymore.

I appreciate the effort of making changes, but this is not a good one.
Did you guys even let someone test it outside of your team?
Id wont want to be rude in any way, but this update should be reverted soon.
I dont like it so bad, i dont want to play anymore, and thats something i wont say often.
I may not agreee with changes in games sometimes, but i normaly manage eventually. But i will not with this, i´m sorry.
 

Hlebuw3k

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#43
I like the idea of UI skins. Right now it looks like Better Future first skin, i would love to see Hawkeye first and Better Future second skins
(of cource right now the whole UI doesnt look very good, but after the posicioning and the size of the elements will be fixed, thats what i want to see next)
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#45
I'm not sure if I pointed out this exact issue above, or if @GrayZ was trying to make this point with this video tweet (it translates to "Play from below"), but the large UI elements at the bottom, along with the message pop-ups totally obscure what's going on below hovercraft, helicopter and plane techs. Pretty awkward for airborne play in general.

Cropper2019-11-19-14-01-42-1490252.jpg

The static UI elements feel to me like a price sticker left on the lenses of a new pair of eye glasses - I keep wanting to reach out and tear them off, heh.


Note: other (critical) threads on this topic stared here and here. (I'm not going to merge feedback threads, generally.)


Also, for a counterpoint, this Reddit post sings the praises of the new UI, with 60 upvotes (currently) - a pretty big response for the little sub-reddit.:) But of course, that's probably mostly from those who've not played with it yet. And in the comments there several players highlighting some of the above raised issues.:

Cropper2019-11-19-13-53-10-2765942.jpg
 

Rafs

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#46
Yesterday I was trying to show on discord an avalanche bomber tech I made (with custom floater blocks) and it was so hard to take a screenshot of it bombing the turrets below :( I could hardly see the turrets.

1574174806300.png

I stand by my main point, icons and elements are too big. We need scaling option.

UI Scaling is a basic feature, not an extra, not optional, not low priority.
 

Wassaup

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#47
I've been trying to sum up my gripes with this new aesthetic and I think I got it:
It makes the game look like a cheap mobile app.

Of course, that's purely subjective and does not address the practical problems. The basically ('cause, technically, there is some transparency) solid white elements tend to blend together. The radar is the worst offender in this regard (some indicators are almost invisible). Also, some elements are brought to the fore-front to an obnoxious degree (the speedo'), while others are barely visible (the battery and fuel level). Even the picture from the positive reddit post above showcases this: We get a huge picture of a loot crate, while you need a magnifying glass to see the assigning corporation and you need to scroll to read the description.
But the biggest problem, that I think, we can all agree on, is that the GUI blocks way too much of the playing field. Even without opening any tabs, the screen just feels cluttered. The old tabs were so low-profile, so non-intrusive that I often forgot to close the inventory. Not anymore. Even when I need to use it, my sub-conscious keeps screaming, because it's blocking the view.
The new layout of the tabs and buttons is something I can, and will, get used to (though, let's get real, it only benefits the Switch players, and nobody else), but the (practically) solid white and blue elements of the UI should be way-way-waaaaaay more transparent (like the old UI), so I can frigin' see what's happening behind it! Although, and I feel like a broken record for saying this again, but the real solution would be a fully customizable HUD. Let everyone set the size, colors, transparency and placement of the GUI elements and nobody will be mad at you, devs... Just sayin' ;)
 

Matt

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#50
Hey everyone!

You've probably noticed that we've been a bit quiet in this thread and on the topic of the new UI in general (bar a brief overview we gave on stream). Believe it or not, this was a deliberate decision and I'd like to quickly explain why. After TT_Unstable Version 1.3.3.1 was released it became quite clear quite quickly that the UI change was a very divisive topic. It was a big change! So we decided to let the dust settle somewhat before we made any knee-jerk reactions and gather as much feedback and thoughts as we could.

So let's get into it! I've compiled as much feedback as I can find and boiled it down into what I think are the major points that have been raised.

Too Bright
We're really pleased with the overall presentation of the new UI. It's clean, fresh and "on-brand". That said, we are playing around with different opacities for certain things.

Dark Mode and Corp Skins
We really like these ideas! Seriously. If we had the time and resources to put into them they would be somewhere near the top of our list of things to do. Unfortunately, this would require a lot of work, almost as much as doing a whole new UI.

Too Big
While a lot of the icons have increased in size, this is for a good reason. We wanted to replace as much text as possible with icons. It's just a quicker and easier way to communicate and if we can reduce the amount of localisation then that's a win/win.
There is another reason why the UI has bulked out a bit. Because it now scales better with different resolutions. This is important as TerraTech is now cross-platform! Don't forget that we don't just make all our decisions with PC in mind.

The Radar
We completely agree! The radar takes up too much space on the screen for it to be too opaque. Also, items were getting lost and weren't easily recognisable. We've adjusted its transparency slightly to address this. The change will be applied in the next TT_Unstbale release.

NPC Speech Boxes
Likewise, there was a lot of whitespace in the NPC speech boxes. This has also been addressed and will be fixed in the next update.

Scalable UI
One of the solutions to the Too Big issue is to have a scalable UI that you can control in Settings. Now, while this would be a great feature to have, it's just not feasible for us to achieve right now. Honestly, it's a QA nightmare! If you'd like to know more I can always get Ade to go over it in more detail. There's also the added caveat of it needing code support which we just can't spare right now.

Option to Revert to the Old UI
The future is coming whether you like it or not! But seriously, this is another QA nightmare! We've made version 1.3.3 available to download though, however, this branch won't get all the new features so you really will be stuck in the past.

Contextual UI
This was suggested by @reaperx1 (as well as others I'm sure) and is something that is really exciting for Nadim! Buuuuuut. as with other suggestions, it's just not that high on our priority list right now.

It's always worth mentioning that this is still a work-in-progress. While this first iteration has brought the biggest change, we will still adjust, update and improve the UI as we go, much as we have done with the development of TerraTech.

We will have a blog post on the whole UI design process up soon so watch this space if you'd like to know more.
 
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#51
It seems like the message is: We heard you, we might make some items more transparent, but the scale will not be changeable, so you will be stuck with the changes, unless we decide to change something. Though you might get to see icons instead of text.

My issue with this is, even if you take that into account, the UI is not progressing towards using icons instead of texts where the the most empty space consumes the screen!
 

Rafs

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#52
But fixing the UI should be top priority after you released it, you can't just jump on to the next project without finishing the one you just did and which a lot of people is disliking and saying it got done wrong.

This type of development process of jumping from one thing to another regardless of player feedback is the worst for community involvement, and creates long lasting monsters and peeves you'll guys will have to deal with. It will be demorializing logging into the twitter or forum daily to see the same negative comments, and soon everyone at Payload will be tired of player feedback. We are all humans, no one is made of steel.

That's something I would never do, I would instead show the players a change and let them give feedback, and immediately put resources to fix it so that I can show new things later and keep going, doesn't that sound more community friendly? And you'll know you did it right, as the majority of the community helped and approved it.
That's how it should be.
But as of now it's not, because suddenly things become low priority and coders are not available.

None of this is low priority, and by doing this Payload gets farther away from the community and both sides will get hurt. And the dust never settles, specially in a non-casual game such as TT.

Friendly advice, maybe it's time to change development process.
 
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#54
If the new UI isn’t the priority anymore, what is?
If I had to guess, from my experience observing the gaming scene, I would say it's probably milking the game as much as possible, before the game becomes unplayable (or, at the very least, not fun anymore). I have seen it happen time and time again, with development teams which strayed further from the community leading to the game ending up dead within a few months to a few years.

Oh, and I'm a programmer myself, so I know how to recognize some of the red flags of some development teams.
 

MrTwister

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#55
Ok so the PC basically has to suck it, because having different UI for different platforms is too expensive.

Why cant we simply have the old UI? It costs you nothing to keep.

"Fresh" doesnt work here because the new thing is not the same quality as the old one.
 

ZeroGravitas

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#56
So let's get into it!
Thanks for giving a detailed and honest reply.:)

To be extra clear: the vertical size of the new inventory, in particular, is (for me) an issue of greatly increased mouse pointer and eyeball travel distance. Not so much the horizontal view space it gobbles up. It gets surprisingly more tiring to go back and forth between corps and block categories during a creative build process.

So, I'm thinking now might be the perfect time to seriously consider making some little quality of life (QoL) additions to the basic building interface that help to mitigate this issue. So far the new UI has been purely porting the old functionality. So there's been no scope to please us existing players, as nothing new has really been added (to mitigate the discombobulation). So how about...:

[Alt]+[RMB] (while in build beam, or with inventory open) - to select from inventory the type of block you're currently pointing at. Much of the time you already have one of the type you want on a build right in front of you, so this could save a lot of screen travel time. (It could be a different shortcut key, but Alt already does related things, with deselecting the currently held block, etc.)

A recently used blocks inventory category might help with this too. (Something else that's been suggested previously.) Although, for my liking it would have to be separate and in addition to the main inventory (to the side). And I personally struggle with finding things in dynamically re-ordered lists.

Slicker block rotation controls (for bigger blocks), etc, another potential time/frustration saving adjunct.

And what's happening with the build beam overhaul? Is it still coming? (Is it about a year, now, since the suggestion mega-thread on this?)


It's clean, fresh and "on-brand".
Certainly clean and fresh. In terms of curb appeal and pure ascetics it's great (I see why many are enthusiastic about it).:) But I don't understand "on-brand"... :confused: Could you explain any more? It seems like a total re-branding and I 'm stuggling to imagine how this will tie in with the TerraTech menus (which echo the logo's light blue and softer curves). I'm still assuming those will have to be overhauled in time too...


we are playing around with different opacities for certain things.
Hmm, sounds like we have to pin our hopes on this kind of tweak to mitigate all the brightness issues then. If re-colouring is really that hard as to be a long term aspiration/never kind of deal. Eek...!


Contextual UI
This was suggested by @reaperx1
I'm not sure what this would cover...? When reaper talked about making the lower info elements (auto) collapsible, for example?
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#57
If the new UI isn’t the priority anymore, what is?
On stream, Matt was talking about onging work on bringing the Multi-player update to our neglected console bretherin and Better Future to Switch. Probably quite a lot of boring bug fixing code work, etc.

I'm kinda hoping there's ground work starting on the next corp soon, too (a year on from Better Future announcement). But that'd be hush-hush, of course...

you can't just jump on to the next project without finishing the one you just did
I'd point out that the UI work is a parrallel track with one designer/'2D artist'/UI specialist having been plugging away at all these new things in the 1.3.4 update since June (when the tech manager interface came out, and I complained about it, naturally :rolleyes:). And the implementation may have only involved one coder, over this last dev cycle. At least, I'm sure it wasn't a whole code team effort (probably too difficult to split the work, for one thing).

But yeah, of course I'm the first to be disappointed by the seemingly decreased amout of meaningful input taken from the community... I guess a bigger (growing) studio has to get results on a time-table, though. To stay afloat. An iterative design loop with a diverse community included for the ride is going to be slow and indecisive. And TerraTech's spent a lot of time with that in the past (e.g. re-revising the crafting system). But then I'd contend that exploring a lot of possibilities and refining is pretty much the only way to create something new and compelling...
 
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gMaImNeDs

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#58
Alright, time to boil down some urine to get gunpowder.

Too Bright
You're pleased with the UI? What about the people passionate about the game enough to come to your forum with constructive criticism?

"clean, fresh and 'on-brand'", There's more factions to this game than Better Future and their cliche aesthetic of "black and white colors+neon+funny shapes=high-tech" It's like I'm flying a robot from "I, Robot", a movie from fifteen years ago.

Rather than playing around with opacities, how about giving us the ability to define our own UI opacity to our liking?

Dark Mode and Corp Skins
You had the time and the resources to make a whole new UI, but yet not enough to make it something that could be adjusted for the individual user? If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

Too Big
What does icon size have to do with lingual localization? Even I could see doggoned yuan instead of BB, see it go up when I blast something, then realize "Oo, money." The icons don't have to be so large.

Scales better with different resolutions? Consumes too much of the screen when I use 1280x720, consumes too much in 1920x1080 fullscreen, and even in 640x480, it still consumes too much of what little screen there is. Who still uses 640x480 anyway?

The importance is cross-platform? Now what was all that about "Unfortunately, this would require a lot of work", "not feasible for us to achieve right now", and "needing code support which we just can't spare right now"? Seems you might be stretching and spreading too thin.

The Radar
Slightly
adjusted transparency? I say rip the whole back off it and leave the range rings/edge, then make the icons stand out no matter the environment.

NPC Speech Boxes
Only the NPC speech boxes? Could trim some off the sides of the save tech menu, and the menu where you select the different skins for a corporation has a whole lot of room for what's not even there, going all the way to the bottom of the screen when the options don't go halfway down.

Scalable UI
Why not have Ade type up something of how and why we lack scalable UI, and then post it here?

Option to Revert to the Old UI
"The future is coming whether you like it or not!" I've heard many "**** you"-esque things,... but I really shouldn't have to explain why this is horrible. I will anyway though, as that was a punch in my teeth. We shouldn't need to worry about a game doing something so dislikable as such a UI downgrade,... telling us the equivalent of "stuff it" doesn't help, no matter the wording,... and this really doesn't go any length to disprove any of the thoughts that the developers just perceive the majority of what we say as "Mad 'cause change", or "In one ear and out the other".

"update and improve the UI as we go" Some features were worse, even before 1.3.3.1, like the money, though unchanging, still showing and munching screen space, when it used to fade in time, and the radar used to not have a background, granting you better vision of more of your surroundings.

If you wanted to address us, I'm absolutely disappointed. Now to find some carbon and sulfur for this saltpeter.
 
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#59
I think this all boils down to "we are not going to change anything, but we are going to say that we care about your ideas, because telling you we do not care would lead to us losing our jobs due to damaging the same brand we are damaging by doing what the bosses tell us is going to help the company".

In other words, the game is lost to bureaucracy. I wonder if having the whole community email or phone call the CEO or some other person with a powerful position within PayLoad Studios would change anything about this. I mean, they might even be told everyone likes the changes, as far as we know.
 

Adriano

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#60
Scalable UI
Why not have Ade type up something of how and why we lack scalable UI, and then post it here?
Hi guys, since a few of the issues regarding the new UI have been framed as an problem for QA, I'd like to explain why this is the case.

The two main aspects are having the old UI as an option, and scalable UI. Obviously these would be nice things to have, but they would put a significant impact on the QA workload. TerraTech is already a beast of a game to test. There's a lot of variables with almost every aspect of it. We aim to release an update on PC every few weeks. Whilst it would be easy for us to only test new content, that's very bad practice for QA to follow. In theory we should test everything before releasing an update. But that's just not possible with the number of staff we have, and the time we get prior to release.

If we added the option to have the old UI as well as the new one, that already doubles our workload, as all menu options then need to be tested twice. If we just added scalable UI, then that increases the workload even more. Being able to move and resize the UI leads to all kinds of extra permutations. Any attempt by us to add an option to the UI means it would then have to be tested in multiple resolutions, multiple configurations, and across multiple formats.

I'm usually wary about replying to concerns players have in this manner, because the last thing I want you all to think is that QA are work shy, and I worry that it can come across that way. We have a small QA team, of only three testers (all of which are excellent at what they do), plus myself. We have to manage Steam, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch testing. For each update on those formats we need to test all game modes and specific block functionality. We have three multiplayer modes, one of which is Co-op Campaign, which is not a quick test, and neither is single player Campaign. (Also worth noting that multiplayer takes multiple testers time up, meaning there are fewer testers to test the rest of our massive game.) We have to test Steam uploads and downloads, connectivity, languages, save games, DLC, as well as the UI.

I understand the convenience of being able to resize and move the UI around. But from a QA point of view, I don't believe that adding these options and the resulting workload it adds is worth it if it holds up us adding other new content to the game, and ensuring existing content still works, because we don't have the time to be able to test it. I can see how you might think that once the change is in, that's the job done. But when making a game that has regular updates, QA's job is never quite done.