The new, improved Fleets UI

Remember that horrible Fleet listing in MOO1… the one that was good for only hitting ‘Exit’ when you accidentally clicked on it? Well, the Remnants graphic designer (Kaitlin Lindsay) has come up with a wonderful version of this screen that will provide very useful fleet management tools for large maps. As we all know, this is something that is sorely lacking in every space 4X game.

Because this is a new kind of UI, I didn’t get a mock up as opposed to iterating back and forth until a good look was found. The closest analogue Kaitlin found was a query-like interface in Gal Civ 3. We took some ideas from that for additional functionality, but it had to be redesigned so that it would be much easier and more intuitive to use.  Here is what we came up with:

earlyfleetui_2

Basically, this screen will allow  you to mass-select systems or fleets to perform many actions at once. For example, you can perform these actions:

  • Change the ship construction for multiple systems to a new ship design
  • Change the rally points for multiple systems simultaneously
  • Launch transports from multiple systems to a destination
  • Deploy multiple fleets simultaneously to a target, splitting off just particular types of ships if you choose

Selecting the systems or fleets can be done using the filters on the right, or simply clicking and range-selecting on the map. Or you can use a combination of features.

The point is that this kind of interface is absolutely necessary to play a 4X game on gigantic maps without bogging down in micromanagement. Remnants will support galaxies up to 10,000 stars for all you insane 4X masochists!

The screen is still in work, but should be fully functional when the next developer build is made available (after the GNN artwork is completed).

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9 thoughts on “The new, improved Fleets UI”

  1. This looks interesting.
    Is there is any chance that we get our hands on some builds soon(TM)?
    Anyway what is a philosophy at GNN rework?
    I was thinking that original one from MoO was specifically made from robots because it was not specific empire news network but pan galactic one. SO they have access to all different information sources and can share it even if empires have no diplomatic connections.
    But here I see that you make them specific empire one. Or its a local outlets of GNN?

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    1. The original MOO did not present GNN as some intergalactic network outside of the various empires. They were just an obvious CNN parody used to give the player information about random events.

      Since I am making a MOO1 clone, that is the path I am sticking with. However, it doesn’t make sense for each race to create humanoid robots, so I am creating race-specific GNN.

      It’s completely unnecessary from a game mechanic point of view, but it’s more sensible and immersive.

      The whole idea about GNN being some external galactic network came about from people trying to explain why GNN would tell you things you wouldn’t know yet rather than simply acknowledging that it was an oversight by the programmers.

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  2. I like the look of the new fleet UI! I find your hyperbole in denigrating original MoO mystifying though. I use MoO’s fleet screen all the time, not only for scrapping and the Specs subscreen (which is quite useful as a one-screen overview of my entire fleet, though I have no doubt at all that your UI expert could improve on it!) but to keep track of my fleets: A task for which it could certainly use improvement, especially for larger galaxies, but absolutely does its job within the limits of a normal MoO game.

    Two things it does (very imperfectly but) well enough to get the job done that I’d like to see in the Remnants UI:

    1) A quick way to distinguish fleets that I just sent this turn (and therefore whose orders I can still change) from those already en route. (In original MoO these are always the ones at the bottom of the list.)

    2) A way to see at a glance the destinations to which various fleets are heading. MoO’s, though present, is of course really cumbersome for larger galaxies with lots of fleets; an option to select fleets by destination instead of just by current location (the latter being useful in many situations as well of course) and/or to see a list of fleet destinations would be amazing. (If those destinations could be limited further, e.g. to “fleets en route to rival colonies” or “…to unexplored stars” that would be especially helpful!)

    Also: When you win a game of original MoO by extermination (as opposed to diplomacy) the last word is given to the news droid: “Oh well, another millenium serving under a ruthless tyrant…” This is not GNN’s first rodeo; it’s been around a lot longer than the player’s race, and though original MoO doesn’t impose much in the way of explicit narrative on the game, it’s easy to infer that GNN, like the Guardian, is one of the remnants of the Ancients’ technology, completely independent of the various races. It’s certainly not just “an oversight by the programmers.”

    Which doesn’t change the fact that your race-specific GNN droids are really, really cool! As your racial back-stories demonstrate, there’s no reason Remnants has to (or even should) make the same choices about flavor as did original MoO.

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    1. Ref, I am impressed that someone found use for the MOO1 fleets screen! I never did 😛

      That’s a good point about the ending GNN comment, but I still wonder how much of that is just comedic flavor since there’s really no backstories in the game for anything except a tiny shred about the Orions.

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