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New look for comms

posted Jul 17, 2011 23:06:27 by ThomRobertson
It occurs to me that the Comms console is a big text waterfall, a display of text that could and should be better formatted and organized than it is.

I've looked at a few apps that also handle lots of messages, like Tweetdeck, but haven't seen anything brilliant.

So YOU can help. What apps or games have you seen, that format and organize text waterfalls in a pleasing or inspirational manner? What should I make the comms station look like?
Creator of Artemis
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38 replies
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Vorus said Jul 18, 2011 03:08:44
I would like a way to scroll through the text, and a way to filter it. For instance, if I want to just see the recent messages from allies, or hide allied messages during a battle so that I only see enemy damage, etc. I think filtering would be my first feature request.

Would there be a way to have messages from ships/stations exist in pop-ups near the location of the sender? (I don't know if that would actually be cool or even useful, but it just came to my mind. :P )

In a perfect world, I'd like to be able to click on an allied ship and give it orders that way, but that's a pretty big thing to do.

That's all I can think of at the moment.
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The unofficial Artemis Wiki, your best source for Artemis Information
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TreChipman said Jul 18, 2011 03:22:37
A thread sort might be pretty handy; default to all communications, but have an option to break it down to only messages from any single communicable object on the map-- For example, the captain might want all communications Target X, or Station Y. Or expand it to "All friendlies", "All Enemies", "All Stations", "All Ships", etc.
I'm not a mad scientist. I'm an angry one. You'd be wise to fear the latter.

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ace2020boyd said Jul 18, 2011 03:45:22
it would be nice to have some way to communicate with other bridges for Multiplayer. Also would be cool if the comms had someway to translate alien languages but for changing the look of Comms, I would say something along the lines of a MMO chat window to monitor all the chatter.
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chris.hall225 said Jul 18, 2011 06:07:34
Thom, not sure if this would help but possibly instead of comm getting mssgs on enemy ship status if science would get that info and relay it to the captain. That would loosin up com a bit and give science a more prominent role.
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ace2020boyd said Jul 18, 2011 06:19:33
What also would be cool to have comms to open a channel (watching to many star trek episodes this week) that would have a VoIP to communicate to other players if playing with multiple bridges. To make this a step further a video chat would be cool for some captains. (a feature to have later on in development)
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EricWethington said Jul 19, 2011 00:28:43
I like the fact that science should be reading enemy ship damage reports
"... ooops!"
Last words of Captain Phour Phazier Phred from Phremont
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Vorus said Jul 19, 2011 02:00:03
I don't know if it would work out well, but I just had a random thought about COMMS. Maybe they could handle reports from other "pretend" stations from inside your ship. That is, COMMS could report on the charge level of the beams. Not beam power, but how close the beam are to being able to fire again. I've always wanted a way to know how long before the beams will fire again, and COMMS could receive updates from the "Weapons Room" or some place like that.

Maybe there could be a few ship systems listed on the right side, with their current status. Like, warp and impulse could report their current speed in terms of km/s or whatever the distance measurement is in the Artemis language. And weapons could report countdown timers for beams and torps recharge/reload. If we ever got the ability to send/repel boarding parties, that could be reported on here to.

Like I said, I don't know if these are good ideas, but it's just something that I thought of.
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Khomerex nal Khesterex

The unofficial Artemis Wiki, your best source for Artemis Information
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ThomasTaylorMansfield said Jul 19, 2011 02:50:50
@Vorus That's technically an OPS station you're talking about. I think it's a cool idea for a station, and it might take some pressure off of the soon to be expanded engineering station, but I don't think it belongs in COMMS. In my limited experience, my biggest problem as captain is that I didn't have anybody watching the ships durability. We'd blow up because nobody was watching the damage we were taking. OPS could fill that role.
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LeeKeiserII said Jul 19, 2011 13:27:50
Ops... Interesting... Could also be a 1st officer type role.. Nice...
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5th_Wall_Gaming said Jul 19, 2011 16:38:58
"I didn't have anybody watching the ships durability. We'd blow up because nobody was watching the damage we were taking."

@ThomasTaylorMansfield: That's kind of the job of Engineering. :)
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EddHessen said Jul 20, 2011 14:05:34
Something relevant to this came up in a game yesterday! we thought it was a little silly that comms could listen in to what was essentially bridge chatter from enemy ships, that probably wouldn't be externally communicated. However a function we thought would be good would be a distress signal, that other enemies might respond to.

However an interesting job for comms would be to "jam" this signal. I picture the text coming up in the text waterfall as normal, but also an expanding ring that starts at the source and gets bigger and bigger, and the text doesn't appear un till the ring reaches you, and then any enemies that the "ring" or signal reaches, are essentially told to move to the position you were at at the time of transmission. However clicking on a signal in the waterfall will jam that signal and stop the ring from expanding.

This ring idea could work for all communications and the comms screen would be like a tactical view, but displaying all these expanding rings, whether they come from enemies talking to each other, friendly ships talking to each other or distress signals, whether they come from your own ship or from space stations. But although you can see that signals are being sent, these rings would die off after a couple of seconds, creating a comms range, and you would only get the text in the waterfall if the ring collided with you.

Hope this helps Thom!
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Mike_Substelny said Jul 25, 2011 19:45:02
Plus one for comms having a control to jam enemy messages. I would be satisfied with something simple:

"Jam signal" could be a comms selection just like "Surrender now."

If successful, the enemy goes into a state like called "jammed" that mission scripts can check. To wit:

<if_object_property name="Argonian Dreadnought" property="isJammed" comparator="equal" value="1">

Unlike surrender, the jammed state would eventually go away on its own.

It would be extra cool if Engineering played a role here. That is, allocate more power to the communications jammer to increase the probability of success, the duration of the jam, or both.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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Mike_Substelny said Jul 26, 2011 13:42:07
As to the "text waterfall" I think the best single improvement would be a time stamp on each message. Real NASA missions time stamp their communications based on a Mission Clock that starts the moment of liftoff and ends the moment of touchdown (or splashdown). Artemis already has a Mission Clock that tells the duration of each play session, so using it to time stamp Comms would just make the mission seem cooler.

I prefer something like an expandable web bulletin board. Right now every test message has a sender. It could be nice for Comms to be able to sort them by time stamp, sender, or thread. This would mean that every Comms message would need a Subject field, too.

The damage reports from enemies and neutrals can be overwhelming. I agree that damage to specific enemy ship systems would be better detected by Science, but if it will stay with Comms then it would be great to be able to ignore the messages until my captain asked for a report about a specific ship. Expandable messages sorted by sender/thread would achieve this.
"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton!"

(Likely actual words of Admiral David Farragut, USN, at the battle of Mobile Bay. Four bells was the signal for the engine room to make full steam ahead).
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KevinMiller said Jul 26, 2011 14:04:07
I think Mikes comments above would help, information overload is a problem, especially in large battles where more than one ship is damaged at a single time.

Would also be useful to have a seperate section covering the assistance missions that the starbases and ships offer you so those are easier to find without having to scroll back
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lordrahvin said Sep 28, 2012 07:44:19
I would like the text boxes to be in three scrollable columns: FRIENDLY, ENEMY, and MISSION. They don't have to be labelled as such, but the mission scripting should let us decide which column to send the text to.

Also, being able to color-code the boxes or specify a communications color for an object would be helpful.

For example, comms from starbases that need help might use a particular color, while orders from Space Fleet Command might be an entirely different color, and the annoying scientist on your ship asking for favors would be another color entirely.
Daredevil Cosmic Cowboys, TNS Hyperion, Weapons Officer
1st Fleet of Southern California Sector.

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