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Lets talk about Graphical User Interface!
10 replies to this topic - Started By Rayvolution, Jul 11 2018 12:28 AM

#1 Rayvolution

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:28 AM

Greetings fellow deities,

I've decided to do some GUI overhauls after InDev 31 Stable has been released, and I'd love to get some feedback from you on what you would improve!

Rise to Ruins has a ton of mechanics. It's somewhat the bane of this genre's existence that we all seem to have cluttered and over complicated GUIs, but I've always strived to make it as streamlined as possible, and I think it's about due for some improvements.

Here are some tentative plans coming down the pipeline after InDev 31 is released;
  • The resources bar on the top of the GUI will be compressed down to only one row, and only display harvestable and low level refined materials by default. (Wood, rock, crystal, boards, stone and crylithium), but will have a "Customize" button that can be clicked to add/remove any resource you want.
  • New, larger, tooltips will be added all over the GUI, allowing you to highlight over some of the more confusing areas and get a description of what the GUI is trying to explain to you. For example, if you moved your mouse over the "Maintain" text in the production panel, it will say something like "This is the total amount of resources you want to always keep on hand in the village, keep in mind this also counts resources that are currently equipped by your workers."
  • The harvesting button on the bottom left will be compressed down into a single button you can click on, opening a context menu to select specific resource types, but will remember the last selection so you can single click to reselect a previous selection.
  • The "Harvest Food" and "Harvest Water" will be broken up into two buttons.
  • a "Harvest All" button will be added.
  • The entire road system's GUI will be rewritten. More on that later! :)
GUI work is complicated from a development standpoint, and it is excessively difficult for someone used to using said GUI all day everyday (aka: me!) to see the less obvious flaws and nitpicks. As such, I'd love to hear your gripes and solutions to those said gripes. If it's something I can reasonably manage, I'll move it into the UI patches. :)

So, give me that feedback!
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#2 themegalich

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 03:23 PM

when can we rotate buildings? 

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#3 Levi Kornelsen

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 11:47 PM

For my money, I'd rather have more and smaller buttons than more menu nesting in the game overall, so I get twitchy about the harvest button that switches.  Will probably be an improvement, but still...  twitchy.


That said, customizable display on resources:  Yaaasss.   Bigger tooltips with clear explanations: Yasss.


when and if the buildings are finalized, looking for an organization that doesn't involve opening a submenu and then scrolling it would be my personal top improvement.


(I don't give the slightest damn about rotating buildings.)

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#4 Nakattack

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 01:45 AM

Picked up your game a couple days ago and it's really doing a great job of filling the hole that Towns left. I'm running on a 35 inch ultrawide and the GUI when full screen or windowed and maximized really dominates the screen and limits my ability to zoom out. 


When running the game in a smaller window: 

  1. I can zoom out farther
  2. The menus themselves are smaller in comparison to the rest of the screen. 

So I guess if I can run the game at 3440 and it would behave like it does on a more standard resolution I would be happy. 


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#5 Bolgfred

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:18 AM

As for the harvest all + split of food and water I can truely agree. Nice one.


For Putting them all into on buton I don't think that makes much sense, as they are on the lower left of the screen where nothing else is. no need to make it more compact.


My personal point of problem is much more the ressource screen. Rather than the information That I have 45 wooden swords I need to know how much of them lie on the floor, are stored in storages are worn by villagers and how much villagers don't wear one. If this could be named in one number (maybe colored red or green if number matches the villagers) and give more detailed information if I hover it, that would be great.

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#6 Cellfire

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 10:34 PM

I just started playing a few days ago. so many I do not know how the controls work.


The building menu on right is hard to find things in

Scrolling through it is hard, going back out of it takes time as i must click the arrow buttons.

Towers/defences have a few folders for me to go down into as example.

I must scroll down to see all the major groups... Why do the icon have to be so big. Could they be similar to the icons for menu buttons at top.


A simple window that open with icons/names of all building or each major group would be easier. 

Something like your spell selection menu would be nice.



No overview of all villages stats/equipment from what i can see/find.


No way to see unused weapons or tools. Overview at top just tells me the total.


Limiting production is not clear. If limiting dirty water to 10 then it also counts the 10 that are in the farm. It is unclear that the limit is 10 total or 10 free.


Right clicking to limit production gives +10 while shift click does 500. Could Ctrl+click add maybe + 50. Even better let me type a number here instead of use a button. This was I can say please keep 137 very quickly without a heap of button clicks using both right and left clicks.

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#7 Fugue

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 08:49 PM

New player here - loving the game! Happy to throw in some GUI redesign suggestions. 



Redesign of Building Menu


The current method of categorisation is a little inconsistent and can be confusing. A few items stand out in particular, and I've attempted to describe my rationalte behind each one: 


Remove Aid Category


The Aid category contains 2 buildings - the clinic and the ancillary. The two buildings also have different, and unrelated  purposes.The category title relies upon two distinct interpretations of the word "Aid" to make sense of why each building belongs to it.  I would propose removing this category, and shifting the buildings to different categories. 


New Category - Infrastructure



  • Camp (when able to be built)
  • Ancillary (Organisers being the core labour force of your village infrastructure)
  • Waymaker (Roads are infrastructure)
  • Maintenance building (Repairs are also infrastructure)
  • Small Fire (Debatable, but considering fires are currently used to expand territory, it seems reasonable)
  • Large Fire (Debatable, but considering fires are currently used to expand territory, it seems reasonable)

The Ancillary moves to this new category, which is focused on expansion and efficient running of the village.

The waymaker is in an odd position in manufacturing. Unlike most buildings in that category, they do not produce finished goods. Their contribution to efficient running of the village becomes much clearer when placed alongside other infrastructure buildings. Maintenance/Repairs are similarly in an odd spot, and shift over.  


Lighting is okay in its own category, but could be folded into infrastructure as well. I don't really consider it infrastructure in a traditional sense. however the main purpose of fires appears to be increasing territory/range, and I think having just 2 options under a menu should be avoided where possible. 


Remove and restructure buildings within the Defense Category


New Category: Army

  • Barracks
  • Clinic
  • Golem Buildings
  • Golem Recombobulator

Renamed Category: Fortifications

  • Wood Wall (you could retain the wall category if desired)
  • Wood Gate (you could retain the wall category if desired)
  • Stone Wall (you could retain the wall category if desired)
  • Stone Gate (you could retain the wall category if desired)
  • Curtain Wall (you could retain the wall category if desired)

New Category: Towers

  • Bow Tower
  • Ballista
  • Bullet Tower
  • Sling Tower
  • Spray Tower
  • Elemental Bolt Tower
  • Shock Tower

I'm not sure if I've missed any options under here as there are a lot. From memory, Defence is the only one that has another level of sub-categories under it. It doesn't include walls though, which are a vital part of the player's defensive strategy. I've opted to move everything down to top level groups that focus on the game's core defensive options: static defence (Towers), fortifications (Walls and Gates), and a standing army (villagers or golems). The army category contains the clinic and recombobulator, to associate it with the healing of soldiers. Arguably the clinic is a medical facility for villagers, but bandages and medkits seem most useful when villagers get in fights. 


This leaves only Housing with 2 buildings under a single menu, and makes Harvest/Refine/Manufacture predominately focused on the primary resources in the game.

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#8 owen

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 04:07 AM

1.  I REALLY would like the ability to reassign mouse buttons.  In particular, I would like to swap buttons 2 and 3 because I am used to pressing down the mouse-wheel button to scroll around, but I think that reassigning any logical button to any physical mouse button should be allowed.


2.  I have a gaming mouse, so I'd also like to be able to set mouse buttons 4 and 5 to do something (I think grab for button 4, and escape for button 5).


3. The new spells panel is neat but clunky to use, especially if you just want to use a spell that you don't normally use.  I think it would be more streamlined if there were a string of hierarchical keystrokes for each spell.  For example, pressing 1-1 would be meteor shower, 1-2 would be earthquake, 1-3 would be storm, and so on.  If you wanted to save meteor shower (or whatever spell you are ready to cast) in your swatch at position 3, you could press "1-1" (to select meteor shower) and then "shift+3" (to save it to swatch 3).  After meteor shower is saved to swatch 3, you can just press 3 to cast it (instead of 1-1).  


4. The same hierarchical control scheme could be replicated for everything in the game. Like buildings. Press Q to select buildings, W, to select walls, and then S for stone wall.  As much as possible, I'd like to keep my hand on the left side of the keyboard.


5. Values like production or courier quotas should be incrementible by 10 or 100 by holding down the ctrl, shift, or ctrl+shift keys while clicking the button. (A hierarchical keyboard shortcut might be handy here too).  

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#9 caudheur

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 05:00 PM



Thanks for this awesome game! As far as I'm concerned, I feel like the building GUI on the right hand side can be hard to use for a beginner.

What could make it easier would be to see the resource icon that the building produces and/or needs, because as such the pictures don't help if you're a beginner.

For example, the stone cutter could have the wood icon with an arrow and the plank icon with an arrow in the other direction, so that you can spot in a glimpse.


On an unrelated note, I was wondering if you're planning on expanding the whole "village builder" aspect. Do you plan on adding buildings like church, taverns, and gameplay mechanics like leisure, beautifications (let us plant flowers and trees :)), need for proximity of certain buildings and houses having needs (a la Sierra games maybe?)


Last unrelated note (sorry for the long post), I always found the way food works unintuitive. Like there are already carrots in the wild, but for some reasons you have to "replant" them in a farm. Seems kind of contradictory, to have both wild carrots and farmed one (if there are wild carrots why not rely on them, and if you can farm carrots, why have wild ones at all ?). Maybe something like a seeds system, where you find seeds in the wild and can plant them in farms.


Those are just my two cents, I'm am very admiring of both your work and the overall design choices.

Thanks in advance, I wish you the best

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#10 Count_Joshoo

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 02:57 PM

Hi, sorry if I'm late to the party and thank you for the awesome game! We've chatted on steam before and you where very responsive so again thank you. The one thing I wanted to add, if nobody else has, is the ability to move the mini map around. There is a great spot on the lower left where it would fit perfectly and would not take up the past of the screen where the action so often is.
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#11 yobbo

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 08:40 AM

These have been mentioned already, but two things in particular are confusing to me with the UI:

  1. The number of items which you have and choose to be created can only be total, not surplus. This makes it difficult to understand and manage various things such as whether i have enough swords for my guards, or bolts for my towers.
  2. The categories in the construction menu are a bit weird. I usually want to find all the buildings dealing with "wood" in one place for example, in stead of going into "harvest", "refining" and "manufacture" to find the relevant buildings. In addition i often have to switch between "walls" and "lighting" when constructing walls because i need fires to reach where i want the wall to be.

For number 2 i don't really have any good suggestion, just the feedback that i found the categorization quite confusing, and navigation of the categories and pages a little difficult.


One small thing that would help is simply allowing the building menu on the right and the resource / workers menu on the left to increase the number of entries they display vertically, when the screen has enough space. It would be nice if i didn't have to page so much when searching for things.


There are a few more small things i'm not sure are related to the UI, but might have a solution there:

  • I'm never quite sure how much food i need, how much food my farms are producing, and how many farmers will actually be useful to work them. I don't even know where to begin to determine this information.
  • Somewhat relatedly it would be good to have some measure of how "occupied" workers were so i could see if i needed more. Like what percentage of time were my carpenters idle? If it's 0% i might need more, if it's 70% i probably don't need as many as i have.
  • I sometimes have a hard time finding what a certain worker is doing when i want them to be doing something important. I've tried clicking on the portaits and the names of workers in the building dialog, but haven't found any way of selecting a specific worker, given the relevant building. This is mostly important because i don't yet understand the priorities of workers. Being able to click them from the building info display and see what they are doing would help a lot with learning this.
  • It took me a long time (and half of my base getting destroyed) to figure out who should be filling my essence collectors with crystals. It would be good if there were some indication of who can do a job on a building (such as refill the crystals). Perhaps this is simply information that can go in a hover-over tooltip on the resource in the building info display.

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