UI: Suggestions for a visual logic (SP-MP) + Picturing the political map

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Sergeant Knight
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Over the years of development, Bannerlord has undergone (or benefited from) at least four user interface changes. It is obvious how "recycling" of different textures and old graphic elements interfere with the latest designs. Simultaneously, these elements sometimes present a noticeable difference between them; from different size to different color saturation.

On the other hand, there are also positioning oversights in the layout and a disjointed disposition. With this thread as a sketch I want to suggest some small adjustments (move + resize + add) that in my opinion would homogenize the interface. I am not saying that "this must be done so"; it is just constructive and honest feedback.

For this, I dispose of is a master grid. The first thing we find when we launch the game, is the start menu. Based on this menu, I've arranged the space markers. As a sample, I have prepared different interface screens where the game shows its information. Due to their similarity, the ones that have been left out would stick to the same space logic as the exhibited ones.

With this layout and some slight changes of position of certain elements, it is achieved (in my opinion) a visual decongestion; the one that in the original so present remains (or so it seems to me).

Finally, as certain arrangements are suggested in the interface field, I would like to propose, as a sketch, that which refers to the overview map or political map. Thanks to @Vesper_ for his incredible work with the map of Calradia, it has been very helpful to me in this publication.

If I close my eyes, I can imagine it in the following scenario. The beautiful campaign map that we currently have has a "top" height which is reached by spinning the mouse wheel. The moment we are in bird's-eye view, we would spin that wheel one more time and a panel similar to the one in the display would be activated, showing detailed information of what can be qualified as important in a political map.

Now I proceed to comparing, original left; propositions and suggestions right:
*Defined in a standard 1080p for an optimal eventual scaling


Edit: After several attempts, I don't know if it's because of some error in the system of tables offered by the forum; I can't sort them correctly. The images are aligned and resized at will. Props to @Orion for fixing those damn tables.

 
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darksoulshin

Sergeant at Arms
WBNWVC
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Premise:
-I agree with the provisions that do not separate the confirmation and back buttons from the selection screen. Adding the reset one without detaching them from the screen in my opinion would be more optimal.
-I agree with the image number 8. I would use the same system for commerce in the city, it is annoying to transport objects for the whole screen (sometimes it is necessary not to use the option to sell everything at once and not even to sell them individually, therefore you have to transport the group of items from our inventory to that of the merchant)
-the last image is beautiful.

Question and suggestion at same time:
Is it possible in the inventory and trade screen to have the horse NOT BEHIND THE CHARACTER?
Sometimes I want to see the harnesses completely, but with the current arrangement of the 2 models (horse and character) in the inventory and trade screens, the harness of the horse on the back cannot be seen because the model of our character covers the visual.
Maybe having the model of the horse next to that of the character or maybe having a button on the screen, clickable, to switch between the two models
 

The Bowman

Count
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
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I would like to think that there is more to the future of the UI. To put it bluntly, I don't like it neither aesthetically, nor its user friendliness.
To name a few issues:
- Many UI elements are very big and fill a lot of screen space for no reason. Let's take the top bar in settlement and battle screens, which is reserved for NPC avatars:
They should take a more subtle approach. The UI elements should only appear and expand when they are needed. No need to have fillers for no reason.
- The quest, kingdom, clan, settlement management and party windows are absolutely gigantic. The information presented in them doesn't justify their size.
Except for the trade screen, there is no reason any other menus should take the whole screen. All this information has to be compressed and presented in a more logical way.
Let's take the Total War: Attila quest windows as an example. I'm not suggesting to copy the same exact layout, but my point is to show that the same thing can be achieved beautifully in small windows too:

I suppose TaleWorlds in not going all out on redisigning the UI right now, because not all the features are implemented yet. They will most likely adjust the UI only when they'll fill the product with its designed content. Nevertheless, I'd be disappointed if they kept the current style.
 

Lady_Aliena!

Knight at Arms
WB
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Until now, I can only hope that they will take advantage of free time and visually improve everything only for accessibility / openness of functions.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Sergeant Knight
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I totally agree, however the suggestion I made is 100% for the current UI and its elements. With which the current game has, there is certainly a rather heterogeneous arrangement of elements, that is obvious. In some thread that has been commented about the UI I have commented it, more than a total war-ish style interface (that is also good) for my taste I would approach more to the style of anno (the one of the 1800 is very pleasant one and user friendly in my eyes).


On the other hand, I have to say that I like more the actual multiplayer UI, which could be an interesting mix if it resembles the Empire of Sin UI.


Of course, developing a good UI is a laborious work; unfortunately the game doesn't offer that possibility nowadays...And a total redesign, I see as more than unlikely.
 

Piconi

Fashionista
Count
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
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Once again nicely presented and usefull UI thread Terco!
I agree with the comments from others as well.

I guess we could try to summon the mighty @emrozdemir 💪 and see if he would converse what he thinks about the general ideas here, if/once he finds the time.
 

Terco_Viejo

Spanish Gifquisition
Sergeant Knight
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For this new edition, I have "simulated" an approach to design currently present in the multiplayer user interface. It uses simple lines in contrast to the "stone baroquism" of Sp. In Sp we can find those little references if we pay attention to the persuasion system ui or the battle or tournament score. Also in the mp line, transparencies, blurred backgrounds and image bands are used.

With this in mind, I have taken again a master grid; this time a little more complex looking for that hybridization with the Anno UI style I told you about previously.



The master grid follows the user menu layout​


An information bar is fixed at the top as a header. In it, markers concerning the player (money, health influence, etc.) are always visible next to the time panel. Two drop-down buttons (toggle on/off) : 1. Player's avatar (if clicked it displays icons for inventory, skills, missions, etc). Army button (if clicked it displays the members of the army and additional information).​


As soon as you visit a settlement, you will see information markers in the header (right) and an action box at the bottom right. This panel also shows the garrison and the notables. panel, which is shown and hidden when its corresponding button is displayed by adding rows underneath. Without any garrison or notable buttons being clicked, the settlement action panel would remain at the level of the lower grid.
In the section on the right-hand side of the grid, the event notifiers would be displayed.​


The same settlement board system but this time leaving the lower part covering the bottom of the grid to show the parties involved in a battle, siege or raid.​


Slideshow effect navigation for the different skills that are activated with glowing hovers. The buttons have been simplified to symbols in the upper right corner.​


Simple dividing lines without so much stone baroquism. The item panels are consecutive allowing on the left side a good sector to display a much wider model exhibition. The outfit (war-civil) buttons have been simplified and a new tab has been added as loadout #2​


Slideshow navigation​
 
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The Bowman

Count
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
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That's much better. I'd dare say it's a quite Rome 2-esque, but it's not a bad thing. I hope we'll hear from the devs.

Edit: The settlement menu could also be placed horizontally at the bottom of the screen, with bigger icons and less text. This would allow for more visible NPC avatars.
I imagine it like this:
1. Town description;
2. Town menus listed from left to right;
3. Avatars.
2 and 3 can easily be interchangeable though.
 

emrozdemir

Developer
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These are great suggestions @Terco_Viejo and it shows that you've put some real effort into these. Good work.

@The Bowman is right, not all the features are implemented and finalized so, we need to make sure that we won't have to undo our changes in the future.

In terms of 3d-esk vs flat-minimalist UI, we had our internal discussions about it and decided that the current visual design would suit M&B SP better. But hey, your designs are also great. When we release the modding tools, I hope you bring these designs in game and we can try 'em out.
 

mike56

Master Knight
WBNWWF&SM&BVC
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@The Bowman is right, not all the features are implemented and finalized so, we need to make sure that we won't have to undo our changes in the future.
I hope this means that you still have in your list of to-do things to make some redisigns and fixings in the UI and hopefully following the nice advices of my fellow Terco, which are great and I suscribe 100%