Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> John Tiller's Campaign Series >> Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 7/28/2013 8:07:41 PM   
berto


Posts: 15879
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors


A while back, one player posted:

quote:

Please let us change the "highlight" colors because I have severe red-green color blindness and cannot easily see the change in colors when you highlight organization or any other display. I can see it while looking directly at it, but cannot zoom out and see the differences, especially in 2D.

It's no small thing. It is estimated that up to 8% of the general male population may suffer from red-green color blindness. From Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness:

quote:

Color blindness affects a large number of individuals, with protanopia and deuteranopia being the most common types.[6] In individuals with Northern European ancestry, as many as 8 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women experience the common form of red-green color blindness.

8% of our player base -- that's not insignificant.

To see what color-blind players are up against, consider this screenshot from Vietnam War, with all HQs highlighted in red:



Red-green color-blind players might effectively see this:



See the problem? (Or not? )

Beyond the color blindness problem, some normal sighted players (me!) just hate the default magenta highlight color, as we see here (in a screenshot from West Front):



What we want is to give the players the option to select their own highlight colors, by way of the Options menu. That way they can deselect colors they may be color blind to, or for aesthetic reasons just dislike. Players can also select a highlight color that works best with the current scenario's nations (with their distinctive colors) and terrain (tropics, desert, snow, etc.).

Here you go (screenshot from Middle East):




To my eyes, those yellow unit highlights are much more appealing than the traditional magenta. You don't think so? You have 15 different alternative colors to choose from, including that old standby, magenta.

(BTW, if you're wondering about the color selection: Those colors are the colors in the standard Colors.bmp file, in the order they are displayed in that file. Rather rich in the purples, but that's the way JT designed it.)

Here's an especially appealing color (light blue) for the Vietnam War highlights:




What about that red hot spot color? If you're red-green color blind, might not that present problems too?

The preceding screenshot was taken several days ago. Since then, I have implemented variable hot spot outlines, as in: whatever color you select to highlight units, that color becomes the hot spot hex outline color also (screenshot taken from the game West Front):




What about 2D? Take a look at this screenshot from Vietnam War:




The 2D maps are so "busy", and the hexes and units so small, that it's still not quite easy to pick out the highlighted units, even with 16 different highlight colors available. But it's still much better than being stuck with the traditional lone highlight color, magenta. Experiment with different colors until you find one that suits you best.

(As with the 3D hot spot hex outline, the 2D blinking hot spot is no longer a forced red, rather, whatever highlight color you select in the Options>Highlight Colors menu.)

Variable highlight colors fix a serious ergonomics issue for color-blind players, and enhance playability and aesthetics for all players, I hope you agree.

Until the next time ...

< Message edited by berto -- 7/28/2013 8:19:04 PM >


_____________________________

Post #: 1
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 7/28/2013 10:09:52 PM   
junk2drive


Posts: 12907
Joined: 6/27/2002
From: Arizona West Coast
Status: offline
I'm not color blind but the magenta wasn't always easy to see on some terrain.

Have you tried this new feature in Linux? It's been a while since I ran Ubuntu with Wine. When I did, the outlines were translucent squares of the color rather than outlines. I suspected that was caused by the 8 bit nature of the game. There is a new release of Wine, 1.6 that is supposed to have a lot of fixes.

(in reply to berto)
Post #: 2
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 7/28/2013 10:30:30 PM   
berto


Posts: 15879
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: junk2drive

Have you tried this new feature in Linux?

So many things to do, so little time to do them.

_____________________________


(in reply to junk2drive)
Post #: 3
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 7/30/2013 8:59:27 AM   
PKH

 

Posts: 242
Joined: 11/17/2011
Status: offline
If you could do selectable coloring for the hq of the current unit, and for units 1 step below the current that would be good. If the HQ is not present on the map yet, highlighting it's entry hex would be helpful.

I also suggest some kind of coloring of the 2d markers based on unit organizations (like in WITE f.ex), so f.ex. each unit in the same battalion get's the same color marking. This should be selectable during play, so one could choose which organizational level the coloring should be applied at. (i.e. at battalion level, brigade level etc.)

While I'm at it, are you planning to do something about the nightmare which is the unit deployment phase ? I'd like an option to have the units automatically placed in an organized fashion across the map so units are placed with their organizational units. Secondly a group select (by draggable rectangle) and group placement. I'd also like to be able to save the game in the placement phase, and re-enter it when loading. Lastly, an option to have reinforcements always arrive in their vehicles would be helpful.


(in reply to berto)
Post #: 4
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 7/30/2013 10:45:36 AM   
berto


Posts: 15879
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: PKH

If you could do selectable coloring for the hq of the current unit, and for units 1 step below the current that would be good. If the HQ is not present on the map yet, highlighting it's entry hex would be helpful.

I also suggest some kind of coloring of the 2d markers based on unit organizations (like in WITE f.ex), so f.ex. each unit in the same battalion get's the same color marking. This should be selectable during play, so one could choose which organizational level the coloring should be applied at. (i.e. at battalion level, brigade level etc.)

In the near term, we are pretty much stuck with the game's traditional user interface, with some refinements and filling out. Fancier UI extensions and graphics displays will have to wait.

_____________________________


(in reply to PKH)
Post #: 5
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 7/30/2013 7:57:02 PM   
wings7


Posts: 4608
Joined: 8/11/2003
From: Phoenix, Arizona
Status: offline
Good option berto!

(in reply to berto)
Post #: 6
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 10/31/2013 4:31:55 PM   
Arkady


Posts: 1257
Joined: 5/31/2002
From: 27th Penal Battalion
Status: offline
whats about highlight color defined in external settings file for easy user modification ?

my idea
default/original things within game exe and lirary files
mod folder to host user modifications
if there is correspondig modification file found, game engine use this, if not or if the mod file is not parsed properly, default values or setting is used ?

_____________________________


(in reply to wings7)
Post #: 7
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 11/1/2013 7:19:15 AM   
berto


Posts: 15879
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Arkady

whats about highlight color defined in external settings file for easy user modification ?

my idea
default/original things within game exe and lirary files
mod folder to host user modifications
if there is correspondig modification file found, game engine use this, if not or if the mod file is not parsed properly, default values or setting is used ?

Yes, we might do all of those things eventually.

So much work to do...

_____________________________


(in reply to Arkady)
Post #: 8
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 11/3/2013 12:18:09 AM   
junk2drive


Posts: 12907
Joined: 6/27/2002
From: Arizona West Coast
Status: offline
bump 8

(in reply to berto)
Post #: 9
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 12/8/2013 9:00:39 PM   
USS Wyoming

 

Posts: 24
Joined: 12/22/2010
Status: offline
Wow, Been awhile since I returned to the forums and here is my Achilles heel with CS being addressed. it was awhile back I posted about changing highlight colors and I never imagined it might be changed. I only have one other wish and that is for an additional zoom/magnification factor when in 2D overhead view.

(in reply to junk2drive)
Post #: 10
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 12/8/2013 9:31:46 PM   
Warhorse


Posts: 5422
Joined: 5/12/2000
From: Birdsboro, PA, USA
Status: offline
If you are used to playing in 2D, just you wait to see what is coming up!!

_____________________________

Mike Amos

Meine Ehre heißt Treue
www.cslegion.com

(in reply to USS Wyoming)
Post #: 11
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 12/9/2013 8:50:40 PM   
berto


Posts: 15879
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: USS Wyoming

Wow, Been awhile since I returned to the forums and here is my Achilles heel with CS being addressed. it was awhile back I posted about changing highlight colors and I never imagined it might be changed. I only have one other wish and that is for an additional zoom/magnification factor when in 2D overhead view.

We plan to do that, but not for the immediate next update. Later in 2014, in subsequent updates, most likely.

< Message edited by berto -- 12/9/2013 10:27:53 PM >


_____________________________


(in reply to USS Wyoming)
Post #: 12
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 12/11/2013 7:30:38 PM   
berto


Posts: 15879
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

For my Windows 8.1 test system, a 6-1/2 year old Dell Dimension E521, there are no Windows 8 compatible graphics card drivers.

When I boot that system up into Windows 8.1 (it also dual boots into Windows 7, where there are no problems), I am stuck with 1280x1024 maximum screen resolution.

But in (4-key) 2D mode, hexes and units are just the right size, and the display is gorgeous!

Not the best long-term solution. The ultimate goal is to support a new native, larger, zoomed-in 2D mode. But in the near term, ratcheting your screen resolution down to 1280x1024 is not a bad kludge. Especially if you have dual monitors (as I do*), and you retain max resolution in your other non-game display.

(*Except that the Windows 8.1 drivers don't recognize the second monitor on this system! )

_____________________________


(in reply to berto)
Post #: 13
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 12/16/2013 2:42:35 PM   
jeffk3510


Posts: 4084
Joined: 12/3/2007
From: Kansas
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: berto


Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors


A while back, one player posted:

quote:

Please let us change the "highlight" colors because I have severe red-green color blindness and cannot easily see the change in colors when you highlight organization or any other display. I can see it while looking directly at it, but cannot zoom out and see the differences, especially in 2D.

It's no small thing. It is estimated that up to 8% of the general male population may suffer from red-green color blindness. From Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness:

quote:

Color blindness affects a large number of individuals, with protanopia and deuteranopia being the most common types.[6] In individuals with Northern European ancestry, as many as 8 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women experience the common form of red-green color blindness.

8% of our player base -- that's not insignificant.

To see what color-blind players are up against, consider this screenshot from Vietnam War, with all HQs highlighted in red:



Red-green color-blind players might effectively see this:



See the problem? (Or not? )

Beyond the color blindness problem, some normal sighted players (me!) just hate the default magenta highlight color, as we see here (in a screenshot from West Front):



What we want is to give the players the option to select their own highlight colors, by way of the Options menu. That way they can deselect colors they may be color blind to, or for aesthetic reasons just dislike. Players can also select a highlight color that works best with the current scenario's nations (with their distinctive colors) and terrain (tropics, desert, snow, etc.).

Here you go (screenshot from Middle East):




To my eyes, those yellow unit highlights are much more appealing than the traditional magenta. You don't think so? You have 15 different alternative colors to choose from, including that old standby, magenta.

(BTW, if you're wondering about the color selection: Those colors are the colors in the standard Colors.bmp file, in the order they are displayed in that file. Rather rich in the purples, but that's the way JT designed it.)

Here's an especially appealing color (light blue) for the Vietnam War highlights:




What about that red hot spot color? If you're red-green color blind, might not that present problems too?

The preceding screenshot was taken several days ago. Since then, I have implemented variable hot spot outlines, as in: whatever color you select to highlight units, that color becomes the hot spot hex outline color also (screenshot taken from the game West Front):




What about 2D? Take a look at this screenshot from Vietnam War:




The 2D maps are so "busy", and the hexes and units so small, that it's still not quite easy to pick out the highlighted units, even with 16 different highlight colors available. But it's still much better than being stuck with the traditional lone highlight color, magenta. Experiment with different colors until you find one that suits you best.

(As with the 3D hot spot hex outline, the 2D blinking hot spot is no longer a forced red, rather, whatever highlight color you select in the Options>Highlight Colors menu.)

Variable highlight colors fix a serious ergonomics issue for color-blind players, and enhance playability and aesthetics for all players, I hope you agree.

Until the next time ...


Off topic, but where do I get the Middle East scenarios and other scenarios to add to my JTCS game?

thanks.

_____________________________


(in reply to berto)
Post #: 14
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 12/17/2013 11:39:42 AM   
berto


Posts: 15879
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: jeffk3510

Off topic, but where do I get the Middle East scenarios and other scenarios to add to my JTCS game?

Middle East is an entirely new, standalone game in the series, due out later in 2014. It will not be a freebie update patch to the current Campaign Series.

_____________________________


(in reply to jeffk3510)
Post #: 15
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 12/17/2013 8:42:59 PM   
jeffk3510


Posts: 4084
Joined: 12/3/2007
From: Kansas
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: berto


quote:

ORIGINAL: jeffk3510

Off topic, but where do I get the Middle East scenarios and other scenarios to add to my JTCS game?

Middle East is an entirely new, standalone game in the series, due out later in 2014. It will not be a freebie update patch to the current Campaign Series.


Looking forward to it.

3rd/4th qtr...any idea?

_____________________________


(in reply to berto)
Post #: 16
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 12/17/2013 9:01:55 PM   
berto


Posts: 15879
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

We're aiming for 2nd/3rd quarter.

_____________________________


(in reply to jeffk3510)
Post #: 17
RE: Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors - 12/18/2013 8:19:45 PM   
jeffk3510


Posts: 4084
Joined: 12/3/2007
From: Kansas
Status: offline
Count me in.

_____________________________


(in reply to berto)
Post #: 18
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> John Tiller's Campaign Series >> Coder Diary #8 -- Variable Unit Highlight Colors Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.125