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Author Topic: OA graphical design brainstorming  (Read 79955 times)
Udi
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« on: February 07, 2010, 09:28:23 am »

In this topic you can share your ideas about the general design of OA, which then can be used for the webdesign, game UI, characters, maps etc. Note: if you want to wield a sword on the side of Q3 in a flamewar, please reply to another topic.

What we have to consider fixed: Joshua's new logo, jute's music, current models (various artists). These have pretty high quality and/or the artists have unique skills, we have more human resources to remake the other parts of the game.

The brushed metal and web2.0 like glossy buttons/bars are a dead end, they have to be replaced in the next webdesign, and also in the HUD numbers. I still like the idea of an unreachably beautiful, futuristicly perfect look, I have something in mind like the Autumn Nights and Morning Never Came defrag videos. Since the glossy look is ruled out, we could go for semi-transparent long stripes, barcode and modern font, something like the City of Light wallpaper, except much more darker and probably without the yellow. Maybe we should introduce another color next to the cold blue-white-gray-black, Linkin Park's Meteora blue/brown design was pretty cool I think (they used the two colors next to each other too, but I can't find a sample).

Next to the clean-modern look we could try something like a mix of gothic-steampunk-grungy. OA has some modern weapons like the rocket launcher, railgun, some with beautful carvings like the grenade launcher and lighning gun. We also have Sarge, S. Marine next to Gargoyle and Kyonshi, so making this mix work is important. The pure beautiy of the models or textures can be used as a counter balance of some simple grungy background, well shot close-ups can carry the design. Maybe we could brake down the symmetrical design, have one big model on the left and the other things on the right. The challenge is the other design elements, the gothic floral pattern would make it too romantic, the steampunk elements can make it unbalanced, but maybe it's not that bad.

What are your ideas about the design of OpenArena? How does your dream OA look like?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 03:28:54 pm by Udi » Logged

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Graion Dilach
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2010, 01:24:01 pm »

I have one little dream... to having my name on that changelog/credits.

Generally, Widowe and Jenna are what I miss. I love both of 'em. I think the current way of development is great and OpenArena has evolved more that that 0.8.5 patch implies.

Maybe I should have an SVN version.
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Proti
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 02:38:30 pm »

---PEACEFULLY CENSORED---
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Udi
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2010, 03:39:35 pm »

Attached a quick concept showing the blue/brown colors I mentioned in the first post. The font used in the header is from the Leage of Moveable Type, it's open source, the slogen is there just to make it prettier. Some more details will be added, but I wanted to get rid of the boxes and make it more open. Light text on dark background needs more whitespace too.

What do you think about adding brown or any other color to blue, or about making the design so clean and simple?
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2010, 05:40:40 pm »

ooh I like that one, its less clashing.
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 02:47:04 am »

ALSO THAT FONT SITE IS VERY COOL A++
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 03:38:43 am »

One of my favorite things about games are launchers. The only id software game to come with a launcher frontend is Doom's contracted Win95 port from '96. That launcher there is a bit messy and a bad example and I still wonder why id software hasn't done one again since.

The launcher wouldn't be tied and compiled into the main EXE, it'd simply feed parameters on execution. Maybe it could read the user cfg, detect and load mod directories, and shamelessly phone home for updates on the click of every button then whir your cd to validate the game with the use of a rootkit driver and get around technical issues like some 'it crashed, safe mode?' dialog or so. The windows version of the launcher should be unique and not tied to cross platform dependencies, for maximum compatibility and minimum bloat(sorry Qt nothing personal)

Here's a inspiration from the '90s, the kind of launchers I like. Playing sounds are not necessary (like Blizzard's big graphical launchers that are tied in the installers that are data files themselves did)
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Graion Dilach
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2010, 04:28:48 am »

Amazing outfit. But the current new forum theme hardly fits there... so there will be a forum reskinning again?

"Free to frag, free to create"... Beatiful and creative. Here's the slogan, people!
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GrosBedo
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2010, 08:29:33 pm »

So, logically, you dont have to make new models, cuz everybody uses Sarge/blue or /red, so who cares.. ;p

False, don't make false assumptions, your case is not general. Many players don't force models, even amongst regular players.

@ Udi : I like this new theme (but I like the current one too). I find the opening at the left side very cool, but I think the concept could be expanded, and more coloured (I know you tried to make it stylish, but greying a game is not the way to promote it).

And if, instead of only showing a character, you'd show an entire scene ? Like if the website was inside the game ? Plus it would be possible to change the scene at each page refresh !

What I mean is something like that (see the attachment below).

PS : Please add a Screenshot menu too please XD

PS 2 : Wouldn't a promo video in frontpage be the best to explain what the game is about ? Finding the promo video is no problem, many people would be interested and the community now has some nice demo makers (and iirw, fromhell made an official promo video anyway ?).
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 08:51:34 pm by GrosBedo » Logged
Udi
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2010, 12:28:17 am »

What I mean is something like that (see the attachment below).

Nice, I have to find a way how to 'end' the images, if they just stop when you scroll down that would look bad.

PS : Please add a Screenshot menu too please XD

PS 2 : Wouldn't a promo video in frontpage be the best to explain what the game is about ?

I only make the e107 and SMF theme, I don't have admin rights, Fromhell does.
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2010, 05:16:39 am »

False, don't make false assumptions, your case is not general. Many players don't force models, even amongst regular players.
A large number of good players play with Sarge/green. If you do that and force models, you have a great advantage.

Dark and grey-coloured models are much more difficult to hit. If I'm using LG on Tony in a dark corner, it's all random -- I don't see him. It doesn't help that some versions of Mesa and SDL completely break gamma, so you can't even adjust brightness.

It doesn't really matter if you're playing some pick-up games for fun, but it does get kind of annoying that you can halve somebody's accuracy by changing a model. All model should have similar visibility, this is not a class-based game. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be fair.
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GrosBedo
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2010, 05:42:41 am »

Nice, I have to find a way how to 'end' the images, if they just stop when you scroll down that would look bad.

That's the challenge XD

But, although you shall keep in mind that Im no graphist, here are some ideas to fix that :

- Just do a simple fading into the single color background.
- Tile 2 scenes and replicate them infinitely.

Take a look at the attached files to get a glance.

I only make the e107 and SMF theme, I don't have admin rights, Fromhell does.

Fromhell should then give more rights over the website. This will have the benefits to give the job to the people willing to update it, so it can be more frequently updated, and Fromhell could then discharge himself from this burden.

If this is a question of security, Fromhell can simply keep secret the webhost's control panel password, and make a backup now in case someone SWEARs up the current website, so it can easily and quickly be restored. Then, giving the admin control over smf would be no problem. Though I think that smf should be avoided to rather switch to a better and more ergonomic solution, like concrete5 (it's point-and-click, saves a lot of time, particularly for templating). Plus there is a versionning system, in case someone mess something.

To give more rights without giving away security, we could even imagine installing a webfile manager with users rights management, so there's no need to give any ftp access, and files can't be thrown away than were the users have the rights to. I can help with that, I did a similar thing for the OACL2010 project using ajaxplorer - online demo at :
http://www.ajaxplorer.info/demo/

It would be a pleasure for me to configure a more flexible system for the website, if Fromhell agrees (only the system heh, I don't like designing, Udi I leave this up to you :p).
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2010, 06:13:54 am »

Concrete5, didn't know that one but doesn't make me feel confident.
First, there are so many CMS ... second, at a first glance to their official website, I've rarely seen a so amateurish design for something which is meant to help making websites. They use taints of grey/blue/orange/green arrows (Tango ?) I'm getting sick with, their window layout is very basic still lacks polishment ... well, let's say it's just a template. And they have a slogan which doesn't talk much to me either, hmm... wouldn't motivate me to move Wink e107 has been recently adopted for oa.ws, I never used it, I guess it's not so bad, and Udi seems familiar to it, seems like good points.
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GrosBedo
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2010, 11:41:04 am »

Believe me, I work in the field of website conception (mainly webprogramming but I know how to do about anything). e107 is maybe good (I know it), but it can't equal concrete5 or another new CMS like ModX, the difference resides on a technological level.

Just test them once : you will see what the difference it makes. Not only is it easier to manage basic actions (like adding a page, editing it, moving blocks, editing design), but it's much more easier for administrators as well. For example, designing a theme is a breath :
http://www.concrete5.org/help/building_with_concrete5/developers/themes/make-a-theme/

Anyway it was just one proposition. I'm just willing to help providing a better website management.
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Udi
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2010, 02:42:16 pm »

but it can't equal concrete5 or another new CMS like ModX, the difference resides on a technological level.

It's strange that I've never heard about those two, so I tried to check them out. Concrete5 is a 8MB big download, and it takes 25 megs unzipped, and it's not even the themes or images which take the most of it. It refuses to install if you don't have GD, which is strange to me, why do you need mandatory image editing in a CMS? The revolutionary page editing seems to be some kind of WYSIWYG JavaScript magic. The MySql tables also look bloated, but it's the first glance, I may be wrong. MODx wanted me to register before giving the download link, which I refused, so I couldn't take a look at that 11MB zip, but if it's similar to Concrete5, then no thanks Smiley. I'm too oldschool for these next-gen CMS things.
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2010, 05:12:50 pm »

Fromhell should then give more rights over the website. This will have the benefits to give the job to the people willing to update it, so it can be more frequently updated, and Fromhell could then discharge himself from this burden.

Huh? 
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GrosBedo
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2010, 02:42:05 am »

It's strange that I've never heard about those two, so I tried to check them out.

Popular stuffs are often not the best.
Anyway, these 2 are not some obscure cms, and they are in the list of most significant CMS of Wikipedia :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_content_management_systems

For a more exhaustive list of all available CMS :
http://www.cmsmatrix.org/

Note : you can even compare CMS with this website, but information may be inexact as the informations provided seems not up-to-date to the latest releases.

It refuses to install if you don't have GD, which is strange to me, why do you need mandatory image editing in a CMS?
Probably for CAPTCHA and images thumbnails generation. Iirc phpbb does require that too.

The revolutionary page editing seems to be some kind of WYSIWYG JavaScript magic.
Of course, it's heavily based on AJAX technologies to enhance the user's experience.

The MySql tables also look bloated, but it's the first glance, I may be wrong.
Why do you say that ? Keep in mind that you may be used to the db of e107, so that may sounds logical for you, but remember that other softs get other logics. Concrete5 db has nothing unusual for me (and db optimization and readability is a very important factor for me) : tables and fiels names are clean and understandable, there are not too many fields for one table, and they even use interrelational tables. I can't see your point.

MODx wanted me to register before giving the download link, which I refused, so I couldn't take a look at that 11MB zip

I think you missed this big clue that can't be missed :
Quote
Before You Download, Please Register!
Already Registered? Proceed to the Download.
No need to be registered.

but if it's similar to Concrete5, then no thanks Smiley. I'm too oldschool for these next-gen CMS things.

Actually, it's completely different from Concrete5, because here the main difference doesn't reside in the user's experience (no cute AJAX editing in ModX, it's just like your standard CMS on this point), but it's so HIGHLY customizable that you can't imagine a thing you can't do with it. If you have some webprogramming skills and look for a highly customizable CMS, that's your best bet along with Typo3 (Concrete5 is extendable too, but less than these 2). The only link with Concrete5 is that they both are above the technological level of the previous generation CMS like Joomla, but in different ways.

Udi, you're making false assumptions solely based on your prejudice. Judging something because you don't know it is not being smart. It's just plain stupid.

-------------------------------

Fromhell should then give more rights over the website. This will have the benefits to give the job to the people willing to update it, so it can be more frequently updated, and Fromhell could then discharge himself from this burden.

Huh?

Opensourcing is more about work balancing over the community than just giving away the sources. Liberty and collaboration are the main ideas of this movement.

Here I don't say to opensource the access, but use the same process of workload balancing amongst several actors, and give them direct access, although with limited rights, to the functions they need to work. This will avoid yourself having to upload yourself the changes, and having to manage them, deal with the bugs and problems, etc... While still keeping the root power over everything.

---------------------------------------------
Guys, I'm ready to help and take on my time to enhance current systems, and I'm willing to talk and even make you a presentation of the concept and what it will concretely bring, but I need you to really consider my offer.

For now, all I can see are some quick and dirty replies, using irony and sarcasm as much as you can to hide your fear of change and of work. Guys, I know you have a big load of work, but don't you believe that I have too ? I take of my time to propose a solution, and I will take even more time to implement it, and I will do all that gratuitously. And if you give me the right credentials, I can do it on my own. So what's the problem guys ?

If you want more infos about the concept, I can give you. If you want more informations about me and my previous (and current) works, I can provide you. Just don't throw me away like that.

PS: Concrete5 was only one of the propositions. What's about the others ?
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Udi
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« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2010, 05:38:28 am »

As I said, I don't have any admin rights and I'm not for e107 or SMF, so my opinion only speaks for me. I would be interested in a technological comparison, but please leave out e107 or Joomla, and compare MODx to something decent like Drupal. Actually there is an article which compares the two, but I would like to hear your thoughts aswell.

And yeah, I was both blind and stupid not having noticed the proceed to the download link, and now I could test out MODx. It seems more reasonable than concrete5, unfortunately I can't test it further, since I have to backup all my data today and send my notebook to the repair shop (display replacement).
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2010, 07:14:32 am »

About the modx download link, it's ambiguous. You kinda have to lie and say "I'm already registered" to pretend being able to download.
I would have expect "to log in" when clicking "proceed to download", so I understand Udi got it wrong.
Then their donation popup opens... again, I wish they used another method.
Maybe it's coincidence, but these 2 solutions, which can be in advance technically, may not have made the best choices to be appealing to free software guys (OTOH we can always find something to criticize)
Now I see Concrete5 is MIT licensed, that's more appealing to me. (and here is what E107 uses, no troll intended).
All this doesn't tell anything about the code itself, nor does it tell about the software design, which is what interests us, so I won't judge.

Quote
Here I don't say to opensource the access, but use the same process of workload balancing amongst several actors, and give them direct access, although with limited rights, to the functions they need to work. This will avoid yourself having to upload yourself the changes, and having to manage them, deal with the bugs and problems, etc... While still keeping the root power over everything.
I kinda agree, if one sees area of improvements, reclaim the possibility to participate, the road should be very open. Still, I wish it is thought that way since the start. For instance, wikis give writing rights to everyone, so you don't even have to ask for that right. What you describe is almost basic project management (relegate rights) and I'd hope opensource ways are still ahead of these methods. And it's already the case, because if you want to hold by passwords a project and its contributors then the project will continue as it is but elsewhere. That's what's good with opensource project managers, they only have the appearance of power, in fact, the community just accepted to relegate the most boring tasks like administrating the website to him/her Cheesy So yeah I too would advise fromhell to share the burden, some other people are okay to throw out the garbage can.

About AjaXplorer, I was thinking of installing something similar on openarena.tuxfamily.org, mainly to allow people to upload maps they made, but I don't like how heavy it looks and would have prefered something more simple, maybe even without right managements. I don't know if OA.ws would need it, since most of the uploads are already meant to be tackled by the SVN, eventually by the forum attachments, or temporary personnal webspaces. (maybe it starts to make many places to look after).

Your efforts are welcome, I mainly criticize but am pleased to learn about new solutions and having additionnal informations about them Wink

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GrosBedo
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2010, 07:46:54 am »

Sorry Udi, I may sometimes sounds rude, but there's some flaw in human mind that I particularly hate, and I can then be too much radical. Sorry to have hurt your feelings.

About Drupal, I never could really get into, even if I tried to (I planned to upgrade a Joomla website for Drupal). Drupal can be considered as a ancestror of Concrete5, but at the same it has its own specificities. I like to think about Drupal as a mix between a CMS and a blog : it's a full featured CMS with the ease and simplicity of a blog.

The problem with Drupal, is that they so much tried to stay minimalist, that it works too good : if you want to do something that is outside what was planned, you will run in enormous troubles, even if it is a seemingly simple thing. You then have to code yourself your extension, and struggle with the (heavy and hermetic) Drupal codebase. For experienced Drupal webdesigners, I can understand it can be very good, and at the time it came out it was probably the best available and most promising solution. But now it became way too much hermetic and has been overtaken by concurrency.

Now, there's never perfect solutions. While Concrete5 and ModX are, amongst others, technologically superior, they have flaws, mainly due to time. First, they aren't as mature as Joomla or Drupal (to cite an example), but they should be ok (look at their history, and they're out of the beta phase since long). The other con is that they have a smallest community around and less time, so you will find less plugins (but not support, C5 is commercially supported even if you don't buy anything).

Personnally, I feel pretty confident with Concrete5 or ModX, while in reality, Ive much more experienced with Joomla and other old CMS, but I must recognize from my last work projects, that the new technologies are much more comfortable (and seems more stable). For example they have versionning built-in.

And about e107, I hope you didn't install v0.7.17 :
http://lwn.net/Articles/371110/
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« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2010, 08:28:30 am »

i'm not switching cmses dammit (especially to new obviously bloated systems you're rigorously defending here), and no... constant modifying pages on the site won't make the project magically make progress. Instead of being all "let me handle the job I can do it and make it right" why not state what information is missing?

Giving SVN access would work but i only want to do that for really trusted people. I have been burned by infractions getting past the radar enough... plus I don't have the ability to give access.

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GrosBedo
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« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2010, 08:59:09 am »

About the modx download link, it's ambiguous. You kinda have to lie and say "I'm already registered" to pretend being able to download.
I would have expect "to log in" when clicking "proceed to download", so I understand Udi got it wrong.
Then their donation popup opens... again, I wish they used another method.

Indeed, but many IT opensource projects now uses these marketing methods. But I don't think marketing is incompatible with opensource. That's what was believed for a long time, we can now see that this can be a successful business model, if you do it right.

About AjaXplorer, I was thinking of installing something similar on openarena.tuxfamily.org, mainly to allow people to upload maps they made, but I don't like how heavy it looks and would have prefered something more simple, maybe even without right managements. I don't know if OA.ws would need it, since most of the uploads are already meant to be tackled by the SVN, eventually by the forum attachments, or temporary personnal webspaces. (maybe it starts to make many places to look after).

I've coded a simple upload script based on swfUpload for OACL2010 referees to upload demos and screenshots, and file listing with fileNice. I will probably release it at the same time as the config (soon).[/quote]

i'm not switching cmses dammit (especially to new obviously bloated systems you're rigorously defending here), and no... constant modifying pages on the site won't make the project magically make progress. Instead of being all "let me handle the job I can do it and make it right" why not state what information is missing?

You missed the point : I'm not saying there's anything missing, I don't want to manage the website, and I'm not saying I will change everything alone : I propose to open the access, and securely, to make contributions easier.

And switching CMSes was only a part of my proposition, the other part is setting a web file manager.

Giving SVN access would work but i only want to do that for really trusted people. I have been burned by infractions getting past the radar enough... plus I don't have the ability to give access.

Indeed, this would have the benefits of versionning, but it would be less ergonomic. And still, you would have to update yourself the server with approved files.

Anyway, the goal is not to give access to everyone, but only to your trusted people, but with enough rights so they can be autonomous.

// EDIT :

Ok look, I will give you an explicit example on how you will be able to give different levels of power depending on the role attribution and trust.

root level : you alone. You have SSH access and host panel password + all other admin passwords (mysql, ftp, CMS, etc...). This is the god level, absolutely everything is under control. Can configure rights, users, groups and all.
|
+--co-admin level : access to a configured MYSQL manager account (which cannot overcome root level) and/or ftp access with own account and rights, but no panel nor SSH access. This is the assistant level, having enough power to set new users (particularly webdeveloppers), and rights (which cannot be equal or above him, only root can set other managers).
|
+----webdevelopper level : access to a web file manager with access to the whole website files (cms php files included) and/or a limited mysql account (only assigned to a db ?). This is the developer level, he can install new web applications, manage the existing ones and manage the database, but has no control over the system at all (he can only copy and move files and db records). He can manage to set new webmaster/designer users in his web applications.
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+-------webmaster and designer level : admin-like access to the CMS (but not root, cannot change the root account), and webfile manager only access to the normal file storage (CMS normally integrates some file upload capability so this may be unneeded, but my point is that we can configure more specific and limited storage places). This is the manager of the website, being in charge of the maintenance, who can update it with content and extensions and designs, but cannot change the system nor install new web applications : he is limited to what already exists. He can manage users accounts to create contributors.
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+---------contributor level : normal user of the CMS that just has access to editing content, so he can update articles, but cannot modify anything in the structure at all. This user will mainly be in charge of creating new innovative contents.

Final note : each users level can directly be created and managed by its parent. Of course, some levels can be overlooked, but if we push the concept that's how it would end. For now, I think that the root level + webmaster/designer + contributor would be enough.

PS : I want and require no access, you can do it yourself, I can work with you and send you all the files. I just proposed to do it myself because I hate people that request for things without being able to produce anything.
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« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2010, 09:20:02 am »

e107 has public uploading abilities, but I disabled it since I only really want to use the CMS to project news, have a poll, and list downloads (e107 to me has a very good downloads manager, one of the best i've seen in any CMS i've tried. the only annoying part is the combomenu for picking a file from the server)
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« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2010, 09:22:34 am »

(Note : I edited my previous post with an example).

e107 has public uploading abilities, but I disabled it since I only really want to use the CMS to project news, have a poll, and list downloads (e107 to me has a very good downloads manager, one of the best i've seen in any CMS i've tried)

Then that's a very good reason to keep it if you think that it fits your need. Now let's just find a way to configure it in a manner so you can securely give some more access.
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GrosBedo
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« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2010, 09:31:53 am »

Actually there is an article which compares the two, but I would like to hear your thoughts aswell.

I completely agree with this article, and with the idea of using the right tool for the right situation, being stubborn to use only one solution will make you run into the wall often.

And about the descriptions of ModX and Drupal, this is similar to what I thought. No judging, good article.
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