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Ingame tooltips feedback


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5 hours ago, stgatilov said:

New dev build is available: dev16215-9215

I just took a quick look and would suggest to improve the line about restarting for video changes to the one below, because the current one doesn't fit on the parchment:

"#str_02298"    "Screen size, aspect ratio or fullscreen changes require a restart"

And again I would like you to consider adding some more details to the Frob and the Use Inv. keys like listed below. We just recently had the extinguishing-candles thread:

"#str_02405"    "Frob/Interact/Take/Drop"

"#str_02190"    "Use Inv. Item/Use Held Item"

I also think shortening the explosive mine name isn't needed anymore for the HUD and should be changed so it consistenly has the same name anywhere inside the game:

"#str_02202"    "Explosive Mine"

Also while I like the new approach to the main menu itself, the strings below might be clearer to new players as the mission is already "selected" in the list when you click it:

"#str_02960"    "Install this Mission"

"#str_02961"    "Uninstall Mission"

The latter gets a little bit cropped at the end. Is there a character limit for strings on the main menu? The same is valid for the "Restart Mission" string and should be fixed.

 

 

 

Edited by wesp5
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@wesp5 Not using install/uninstall mission anymore was a conscious decision for the purpose to not confuse anymore. If the mission got downloaded the player assumes them as installed and uninstalling something normally means to delete it, which is not the case here.

I am not saying the current labeling is optimal, but imho it's better then the old one.

In regards to the frob/use dilemma: The possibility for tooltips was added. So this is another way to make it more clear. Besides that it might be worthwhile to revisit the respective part in the training mission, to ensure it gets explained properly. I am not sure on how much more clear things will become just by adding more verbs. I mean "use held item" is not what I would call it if I pick a dragged body up on my shoulder.

Quote

Oh, this terrible thief. First he blackjacked me and then he USED me.

:D

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Obsttorte said:

@wesp5 Not using install/uninstall mission anymore was a conscious decision for the purpose to not confuse anymore. If the mission got downloaded the player assumes them as installed and uninstalling something normally means to delete it, which is not the case here.

Okay, but then we need to change some other strings too, because installing/uninstalling is still used elsewhere. As for the other issues maybe we should add a tool tip what "frob" is actually supposed to mean? Then we could get rid of additional explanations there, but I think while the joke about the bodies was great :), a question like about the candles could indeed be solved by the "use held item" line. People might remember and just try out what happens! At least the video line and the mine line should be fixed as they are only about fitting info better on screen...

Edited by wesp5
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Well, I guess it is worthwhile considering some sort of ingame tooltips either. We already have the trainer message system that is mainly used in the training mission. Utilizing that to show context-sensitive tips might be worth a try. Maybe I'll find the time either this weekend or later on (I have two weeks off starting next week).

It might also be worthwhile replacing the frob/use stuff alltogether. It is hard to tell what the difference between those wordings is, especially if you are either not familiar with the thief games (I don't recall any other game using the term "frob") or if you are no native english speaker. Basically frob means interact with something in the world, whereas use means interact with the item currently held or selected from inventory. MAybe it is possible to find a wording that communicates this sufficiently.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Obsttorte said:

It might also be worthwhile replacing the frob/use stuff alltogether. It is hard to tell what the difference between those wordings is, especially if you are either not familiar with the thief games (I don't recall any other game using the term "frob") or if you are no native english speaker. Basically frob means interact with something in the world, whereas use means interact with the item currently held or selected from inventory.

I don't think this is the main problem. Yes, in other games most often "frob" is called "use", but then e. g. in Bloodlines you have an additional key to "use discipline" and in e. g. Cyberpunk you have additional keys to "use" gadgets or consumables and no player ever had problems with that! I think the options are what is overlooked and it can't really hurt to mention them in the control definions: frob = Frob/Interact/Take/Drop, use = Use Inv. Item/Use Held Item

Edited by wesp5
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On 3/19/2021 at 4:45 AM, Obsttorte said:

Well, I guess it is worthwhile considering some sort of ingame tooltips either. We already have the trainer message system that is mainly used in the training mission. Utilizing that to show context-sensitive tips might be worth a try. Maybe I'll find the time either this weekend or later on (I have two weeks off starting next week).

I'm not sure this is a good idea. It would turn TDM into something like in the "What if Quake was done today" video.

I think it is OK only for educational/training FMs. We only have New Job and Training Mission yet, but it would be great to have a few more small ones...

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That's not what I was thinking of. I thought more of a small text somewhere on the screen that gives feedback on how to interact with the currently held item, similar to the text used for pickup messages for instance. Not a full screen image. Also, the trainer text is toggleable. So once players knows the ins and outs the can turn it off. Whether it is something that does work or not can only be found out when trying it out. Linking a satirical video however does not really proof your point. ;) Maybe you try arguments the next time.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Obsttorte said:

I thought more of a small text somewhere on the screen that gives feedback on how to interact with the currently held item, similar to the text used for pickup messages for instance.

I agree with stgatilov that this should not be a feature for every mission, but as far as I remember "A new job" already has some tutorial like popup windows. We could expand on them or add the necessary lines quite easily. On the other hand we could also add the text to the control options like I suggested. What again was the argument against it? That players have to read some more or could interpret it in a satirical sense ;)? Or is translating new additions the problem? Because while checking the strings file I noticed that two control keys I restored have my comment still attached (added by wesp) and appear in English in several other language versions. The same is true for a lot of new GUI additions!

Edited by wesp5
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We are not talking of anything mission depending, as trainer messages aren't used that widely anyways (except for the training mission of course). It's more like you pick up a candle and a subtle text at the bottom of the screen states "press [use] to extinguish", which then fades away after a few seconds, like the pick up message does (it could look exactly the same). The same when frobbing a body: "press [use] to shoulder body". If this is bound to the trainer messages it can be turned off, and even if the player has it turned on it will be as subtle as the messages you receive when picking up loot or weapons/tools. Their are there but don't distrect from the gameplay.

I don't really see the issue here. And the fact that there are continuosly people coming up asking how such elementary things work as well as others admitting that they only recognized such things after playing TDM for months (!!!) - and I am on of the latter - shows pretty clearly that there is a significant issue of communicating such basics to the player. I suggested a simple way that might fix it, not a change to the core mechanics.

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Obsttorte said:

We are not talking of anything mission depending, as trainer messages aren't used that widely anyways (except for the training mission of course). It's more like you pick up a candle and a subtle text at the bottom of the screen states "press [use] to extinguish", which then fades away after a few seconds, like the pick up message does (it could look exactly the same). The same when frobbing a body: "press [use] to shoulder body".

Ah, then I misunderstood your suggestion because I was thinking about popup windows. Yes, this would be a perfect solution in my opinion! As your title is "scripting guru", can you pull this off just with scripts ;)? At the moment I think we need it for: 1) candles (use to extinguish), 2) bodies (use to shoulder) and 3) food (use to consume). There might be other stuff I forgot and I still think we should also add the info to the controls just to keep the setup consistent as we need to take a look at the all.lang translations anyway!

Edited by wesp5
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2 hours ago, Obsttorte said:

We are not talking of anything mission depending, as trainer messages aren't used that widely anyways (except for the training mission of course). It's more like you pick up a candle and a subtle text at the bottom of the screen states "press [use] to extinguish", which then fades away after a few seconds, like the pick up message does (it could look exactly the same). The same when frobbing a body: "press [use] to shoulder body". If this is bound to the trainer messages it can be turned off, and even if the player has it turned on it will be as subtle as the messages you receive when picking up loot or weapons/tools. Their are there but don't distrect from the gameplay.

 

 

If something like that could be done on a mod-wide basis, with an option to turn it off, I think it would be a good idea.   Other places it might be appropriate (if feasible):

1.  When first equipping an arrow type ("Rope arrows will deploy a rope if they hit a wood surface")

2.  During mouse-over of inventory grid ("Hold Use to throw flashbomb further")

3.  When picking up movable object ("Hold Use to rotate object")

4.  Large crates ("Dropping these on AI can knock them out")

5.  When opening a chest ("Lean forward to reach objects easier")

If I was inventing the system without any technical considerations, I'd probably have 3 settings in the menu:  Beginner (shows all messages), Intermediate (shows only most commonly forgotten tips) and Off.

That way, any mission can become a training mission of sorts.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, wesp5 said:

[...] can you pull this off just with scripts ;)? At the moment I think we need it for: 1) candles (use to extinguish), 2) bodies (use to shoulder) and 3) food (use to consume). There might be other stuff I forgot and I still think we should also add the info to the controls just to keep the setup consistent as we need to take a look at the all.lang translations anyway!

Candles that can be extinguished via the use key should use the tdm_light_holder scriptobject. And bodies either use a scriptobject either or on could be added. The same counts for food and basically anything else. So yeah, it is scriptable. In regards to @Springheel 's suggestions I would have to take a look on whether an per class based system or an overall system makes more sense, but doing it on a general base should not be a big deal.

5 hours ago, Springheel said:

If I was inventing the system without any technical considerations, I'd probably have 3 settings in the menu:  Beginner (shows all messages), Intermediate (shows only most commonly forgotten tips) and Off.

Trainer messages are currently binary afaik, so they are either on or off. However, it is basically just a cvar value changed. Extenting it to allow three values isn't a big deal and depending on its current implementation might not even require a code change.

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Would you mind if this discussion about tooltips/hints is transplanted into a separate thread?

I see it goes long way and has nothing to do with dev builds.

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We could continue the discussion in the candles thread. As a last posting here though, I didn't even know that there was a training variable and I think binary should be enough. You can turn it off again once you remember things :)!

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On 3/20/2021 at 5:01 AM, stgatilov said:

I'm not sure this is a good idea. It would turn TDM into something like in the "What if Quake was done today" video.

They used to do this in the past. Look at System Shock 1 tooltips for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LDiTZ89j-Q&t=33m23s ("Doubleclick to open door")

 

Anyway, my points:

  • Use inv. item should not be in that category and not named that way, it is used in other ways as well. It's also called the USE key everywhere else.
  • The gameplay guide could be added to the menu, but maybe with (more) pictures or even gif animations (don't know if that works) added as examples.
  • The gameplay guide could be added as a permanent book in your inventory for all missions.

The tutorial mission is nice, but not something you would revert to inside a mission, because then you have to first quit the mission, load the tutorial mission, look for the thing you forgot, quit the training mission and then load the mission you were playing again. You can also look for info in the wiki, but then you also have to quit the game first. So it should be something in-game.

I was also thinking that it would maybe make more sense if the USE and FROB keys do separative things and sometimes only activate when you point at it. What I actually mean is that if you point at a candle and pressing the USE key you should logically put it out, instead of first having to pick it up. If you would not point at the candle the USE key would activate the selected inventory item. The same for bodies.  Picking up is then still done with the FROB key. Or the other way around. What is also a bit illogical I think is that you can take out oil-lamps with the FROB key, but candles you do that with the USE key. I can totally see there is a technological reason for this and is difficult to change.

 

 

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I dig the idea of "mod-wide" tool tip pop ups in game. We don't want to do it with everything, as its fun when player's discover some things on their own, but we should cover the basics and a couple lesser-known useful hints ex: "Learn forward..." . The distinction there is a little muddy so we'll have to test the system out and get feedback. Visually, we should try to make these as elegant and unobtrusive as possible and the beginner/ intermediate/ off is a great idea. (dig that SS solution, totally forgot about that!)

My suggestion would be to try this out in the tutorial mission and take it from there. If dynamic tooltips work well enough, we might not necessarily need message pop ups in the tutorial. We'll just have to see.

33 minutes ago, datiswous said:

I was also thinking that it would maybe make more sense if the USE and FROB keys do separative things and sometimes only activate when you point at it. 

We need to be very careful about changing conventions as they can have downstream effects, but we can take a look at this stuff on per case basis.

@Obsttorte Springheel and I discussed the idea of actually showing the key bound to that specific impulse in the tutorial pop ups. For example: " Press RMB to frob" Is there a way to grab the current bound key and display it? 
 

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41 minutes ago, kingsal said:

Springheel and I discussed the idea of actually showing the key bound to that specific impulse in the tutorial pop ups. For example: " Press RMB to frob" Is there a way to grab the current bound key and display it? 

I think there isn't, but I am not a houndret percent sure. It should be possible to implement it than, though. I'll have to investigate this. It is on my schedule for next week.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, datiswous said:

What is also a bit illogical I think is that you can take out oil-lamps with the FROB key, but candles you do that with the USE key.

Besides that putting out oil lamps is only a feature of my Unofficial Patch as far as I know, I also made a change there so that you can put out a candle directly when you FROB the candle itself, while you will pick it up when you FROB the base. You will still pick it up too, but at least you extinguish it first and I would like to change that to not picking it up (Obsttorte, any tip?). I believe that removing the taking option would not be good, as there might be missions without a lantern where you need to get a candle as light source...

Edited by wesp5
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9 hours ago, wesp5 said:

You will still pick it up too, but at least you extinguish it first and I would like to change that to not picking it up (Obsttorte, any tip?).

The frob of one entity is communicated to the other entity, so both are hilighted at the same time (at least that is the default behaviour). You have to remove this so both entities are handled as seperate. As candles normally use the tdm_light_holder scriptobject you will most likely have to adjust it.

I agree though that beeing able to pick light sources up should stay an option. Besides them serving as a mobile light if the player has no lantern, they are a cheap alternative to noisemakers.

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13 hours ago, wesp5 said:

Besides that putting out oil lamps is only a feature of my Unofficial Patch as far as I know

You can do this for example in mission Down by the Riverside (without your patch) . I haven't played that many missions, or at least not recently, so it could be something specifically in this or only a view missions.

Edited by datiswous
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, datiswous said:

You can do this for example in mission Down by the Riverside (without your patch).

I think Dragofer made this possible specifically for this mission. It might have given me the idea to add it to my patch in the first place :)! Like also his Numbers Scrolls...

Edited by wesp5
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The glass-encased oil lamps I made for my missions, and which are now also core assets, are all frobable because they're assumed to have switches for toggling the fuel supply. I left the old exposed oil lamps as they are in order to not break established conventions.

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