Microbe GUI

I’m not 100% sure i know what the CPA system is, from what I’ve gathered it controls the world around your species and this is the first time I’ve heard of any UI getting made for it, i feel this is something we should worry about when we are talking about the editor UI though, but we can and probability should put this somewhere in the pause menu for when people want to look at it.
besides the UI for such a thing sounds like a pain to make because it’s going to always be changing throughout the game and making it in a way that’s not too complex is going to be tough, so for the moment we worry about what we are focusing on and for the moment that’s the main game UI.

Great question! there are a few things we can do:

  1. Just have the user choose what they want to see- problem with this is a large learning curve
  2. Just show what is relevant to the organism
  3. A mixture of the two, just show what is relevant to the organism but still let the user choose what they want to see.
    thing is we want to decide things like should we show waste products that the cell does not use?
    thinking about it that kind of things probably should not be discussed here as they are more related to gameplay then GUI…

@meandmy10, think of the CPA system as the statistics (who your prey is, who eats you, what your death rate it), but you’re right. Thr player probably only need to see it in the editor when he is thinking about what mutations to make.

As for deciding which compounds to show I think #3 is the most flexible choice. We can order the compounds based on their priority to the cell (we already have a number for this) and display the top 4 most important compounds the cell uses. Then, when the player presses the plus icon, we give him the option to drag and drop additionaly compounds to the bottom of the UI. I see two ways how we could do this:

  1. When the player drops a compound from the + menu, the compound that is to the very right (glucose in your image), gets put into the + menu, making sure that we always have eactly 4 compounds showing
  2. When the player drops a compound, he now has 5 compounds, with the fifth one showing up on the bottom of the UI. He can then choose one of the 5 and drag it over to the + menu, or leave it like that if he prefers to view 4 compounds at the same time.

Another idea that I just came up with: Instead of having the + button open up the small menu thing, we could have it “extend” the row of compounds and make multiple rows showing all of the available compounds (for those hard-core players that want to see everything). The plus button then becomes a minus button, and when you press it you once again see only the top 4 compounds. Just like in the previous versions, you can rearange compounds by clicking and dragging them where you want to place them.

Anyway, I’m starting to really like this UI. Cannot wait to see how it turns out!

I’ll just pop in to back @meandmy10 up: forget about CPA, focus on discussing the parts of the UI that actually matter right now, please.

@meandmy10 Anymore progress to report on this? It’s not critical but it’d be great to see some updates.

Yeah sorry i know its been a while and i have been meaning to do an update but I’ve been really busy with school stuff because schools starting soon and I’ve got a lot of stuff to organise, between procrastinating and getting other things put on my table that i need to finish I’m running out of time to finish it so i can’t really work on this at the moment.
anyway give me one, two weeks and i should have some time by then. also next thing I’m working on is the options menu so anything that’s not on a normal options menu that needs to be included just post it here and i’ll get back to it. thanks

@meandmy10 Ok here’s a little more on what I was thinking.

Here’s a picture. Basically the amount of compounds is displayed by a bar that can fill and empty inside the box. It goes green if it’s in the right range, amber if it’s outside this and red if it touches the ends (it could even go deeper amber as it gets towards the edge). The number of organelles that can do the process is the number of lines in the arrow. So there are 3 that can turn glucose into pyruvate (so 3 cytoplasm) and 1 that makes Fatty Acid. You can control the process by clicking on the link. You can see the process to make fatty acid is off but the process to use it is on. This is a good idea because the level is high.

Anyway the CPA system will handle all this automatically (turning processes on and off when compounds are needed / abundant) but this would let the player have control too. It would also make it easy to see which compounds are low. Any compound box that is clicked on gets added to the quick menu which is always visible at the bottom of the screen.

It’s just an idea. Take it or leave it I really don’t mind.

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I think that could work very well. Instead of turning on and off organelles as was planned originally, controlling the actual processes is more intuitive. Instead of being part of the pause/escape menu, this could open up when you click on the row of compounds at the bottom of the screen (according to the new GUI concept). Furthermore, I feel like this diagram could greatly benefit from actually having the input compounds (ammonia, glucose, etc) be controlled. So you could stop your cell from absorbing ammonia if you want and you could click and drag the low high and vent thresholds. You could also have the outputs, such as flagella/movement that you could turn off (so deciding what process uses up the compounds).

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Yeah that all sounds cool.

I love this idea, how to make it work for every cell is the next question but if we would get this to work it would be great as its a good way to show the player how everything is working, though i do fear this is something that nobody will know about or would be a little too complex, anyway i’ll think about that when I’m doing the designs in by the looks of it a few days from now if all goes well. I’ve also got to mull over some of the details for a while too… there is so many ways of doing this I’ve just got to work out the best way… anyway i’ll keep you posted.

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I think a good way of making it work for all cells would be to have all the boxes always present but just have some with no lines. Like if you can’t make glucose then there is no arrow into the glucose box etc. The top of the chart will always be there (like making protein and DNA) because every cell has to do that to reproduce.

so I’ve FINALLY made some progress, I’ve designed the basic layout oh the options menu and as this is a incomplete game more stuff will be added but you get the idea.

I’d just like to remind you that colours and designs are not final and all I’m really showing here is the layout.


This is perfect in my opinion. It would be amazing if we could just get this in game. I honestly don’t see what you could do better.

I agree - it covers everything it needs to logically and concisely. I’m not taken by the shape though - I think we should probably step away from the completely organic look of the current GUI, seeing as that isn’t working.


I think it’s a bit too late to forgo shards, plus it looks really nice.

Well nothings really officially iconic yet. The first stage is still in heavy development and subject to radical visual changes. The shard idea has been around since before the game actually got into heavy development, but I feel like it’s being held onto for mostly nonstalgic reasons and maybe as a way to keep ~scio in the project despite his absence (he did come up with the shards no?) Correct me if I’m wrong

Don’t get me wrong I love the shard idea too, but as Oliver said, it seems difficult to make it work properly. We keep trying to make these uniform buttons that look the same (main menu buttons, option menu concept, parts of the gui), but the shards are supposed to be organic no? Doesn’t that call for a bit of chaos and variation? If we can’t do that I say we try something new. There’s still plenty of time to find something that works well.

In fact the consensus was (with ~scio’s vote as well), to forego the shard theme in favour of minimalism, which has always been the primary goal of the UI, but was kind of put to the side for the period that people were on board with the shard theme idea.

It’s up to meandmy what he wants to produce. I would suggest that we stick to minimalism for the future, but I think what he made looks very good and if he wants to use the shard theme by all means go ahead. The ultimate goal is, however, a sleek and minimalistic design.

i’d like to point out that i’m making these for the basic layout, not the designs, i’ll make up some different shapes and ideas i come out with later for you guys to look at later, but for the time being I’m using the shard design to do the layout because its easy to make in illustrator.
also i had a glance at some of the other discussions and do we need to change the hp bar and merge it to the reproduction so then it would start ~half way and as the cell gets hurt it will go down and as it ‘grows’ it will go up?

I personally like the shard design, but so far I love all of your concepts, so I trust that you’ll end with something great.

I am against merging the HP bar with the reproduction bar. They show very different things and it will be very unintuitive to the player. Plus, health and reproduction, albeit related, are still very different things, so we definitely do not need to merge the two.

Final point, it might make sense to separate out the ATP compound from the bottom of the screen with glucose, oxygen, etc. and put it below the health bar. With the new compound system, the level of ATP should stay relatively constant as long as the cell is getting all the necessary nutrients. Separating it out will, first of all, draw attention to it (and ATP is fairly important to be noticeably different from all the other compounds) and will also show the player why he cannot move/health is going down/proteins aren’t being synthesized.

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Since I’ve got some free time coming up and need to find something useful to work on for Thrive, would you mind if I helped with the GUI designs? If possible I’ll try to rebuild the new GUI from the ground up using your concepts and implement it into the game. Hopefully I’ll do a better job of it than before. If you’d rather stay in charge of it, fair enough.

Is there anything pressing people want changed about the GUI? Aesthetic, layout, icons, etc. Don’t be afraid to be brutally honest, since I’ve abandoned all attachment to the clunky current version.

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Go for it, all of those designs i made was for layout so use them as a template (but by all means if you think there is a better solution show us), it would be nice to see them in action and after that we can just swap out the textures whenever we want later if we change the design.
We want to work on layout first as the design and look of the game will change throughout development so there is no point worrying about fine details, although that said the overall look of the game (for the cell stage anyway) is not going to change much from what it is now is it?
Note: so apparently i wrote this ages ago and never sent it…

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