Sorry, I said the bar at the bottom was wasted space, but that was from faulty memory; it contains the health and experience bars, I just noticed from a screenshot in another topic.
So let me fix what I was saying:
Ehm.. why don't you guys enable the code tags in phpbb?
I could draw some nice ascii art with monospaced.
Combat mode screen suggested:
All stuff pertaining to the monster
((monster action narrative))
View of the action
((player action narrative))
Move | Weapon | Item | Strike | Turn
After combat, the 5 buttons scroll out and the normal (present) display layout returns.
The top and bottom lines represent the edges of the screen.
Right against these edges I'd have the health bars, probably 2-pixels thick.
Below the monster health bar, picture and name.
Below that, single line monster action text.
From bottom, above health bar, the (5) action buttons.
Above them, single line player action text.
What about the experience bar? Not needed in combat.
What about the AP bar? Gone. Replaced by a continuously changed lighting color applied to the 5 buttons. What I'm thinking is, I'll model the buttons as 3D slabs with recessed icons, and render them in high quality using a morning clear sky illumination and a dark and cloudy sunset illumination. The code can then lerp between these two renders by AP/APmax.
In addition we'd have 5 tiles, one for each button, in which the recessed icon is bright red, and the rest is transparent. When AP's are sufficient for the action of a button, this bright red icon overlay is displayed, making the ibon appear to glow inside the button.
This lets you know the button is active (available).
As AP's fall below a button's requirement, the bright red overlay is turned off.
While it's the monster's turn, all 5 buttons are off.
1) removes a lot of screen clutter, specially anything not pertaining to combat, like stats, quests, skills, experience, maps and rats' tails; the Item button only lists items that can be used in combat; and so on
2) makes a clear distinction between combat and non-combat modes
3) makes a clear distintion between controls and info pertaining to monster or self (top and bottom of screen; no mixing)
4) makes health bars more subtle, less intrusive, yet more accurate (longer)
5) removes the EXACT representation of AP's, replacing it with a button shading hint, which is a GOOD THING, as having exact representation removes the challenge of intuitive tracking of player "tiredness"
6) makes it clear what actions are available or not
7) makes it clear when strike is no longer available but something else still is
The non-combat, "normal" screen could use a re-think, too.
1) Having a 2-pixel thick health bar at the bottom edge of the screen would harmonize it with the combat screen and save space, as weĺl as detract less from the medieval look and feel.
2) AP and Exp bars are not needed. Experince can be displayed in a separate screen for stats, as long as we have a tiny icon that lights up when a level-up is possible.
3) Coincidentally, it could use a row of buttons at the bottom, of the screen too...
Stats | Quests | Skiĺls | Items | Map | Save | Etc
This is merely an aesthetic suggestion.
Esch button leads to a different screen with a unique decorative bacground, as opposed to a plain background screen with tabs looking like a business app.
4) These 7 buttons I could similarly model in Blendrr and render them into a single texture. Perhaps I could also make two renders with outdoors and indoors lighting, and switch between them as appropriate.
Last edited by Dan_W_58
on Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.