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Thread: System map overhaul needed

  1. #76
    Originally Posted by Ian Phillips View Post (Source)
    Thats what a map is :facepalm:

    Scale isn't actually needed on a map.
    The current system map isn't a map, it's a summary, a listing of all stellar bodies at a glance. Elite II had this as well, but it also had the orrery map alongside it which was the main actual map used in the game. This is because it was so much more useful than the system summary, the flat map.

    Elite Dangerous has the summary but is missing the useful map, unfortunately.

  2. #77
    So... The thread has developed from "I don't like the old map" to "We don't have a map"
    I wonder when we reach "Frontier don't know what they're doing" phase

  3. #78
    Originally Posted by Mengy View Post (Source)
    The current system map isn't a map, it's a summary, a listing of all stellar bodies at a glance. Elite II had this as well, but it also had the orrery map alongside it which was the main actual map used in the game. This is because it was so much more useful than the system summary, the flat map.

    Elite Dangerous has the summary but is missing the useful map, unfortunately.
    You're gonna be really upset when you find out about the London Underground 'map'

  4. #79
    It appears the only answer to this is for someone to develop an external Orrery model/tool outside the game. If we can demonstrate that it is possible and most of all *useful* then perhaps Frontier will include the concept in the game. I believe this is the only way to make this a possibility.

    We need to demonstrate to Frontier that these ideas are not just requests from a handful of people but are instead desired by a large part of the player base. It's time to organise and back ourselves!

  5. #80
    Originally Posted by Straker View Post (Source)
    It appears the only answer to this is for someone to develop an external Orrery model/tool outside the game. If we can demonstrate that it is possible and most of all *useful* then perhaps Frontier will include the concept in the game. I believe this is the only way to make this a possibility.

    We need to demonstrate to Frontier that these ideas are not just requests from a handful of people but are instead desired by a large part of the player base. It's time to organise and back ourselves!
    There already is one:

    http://www.elitegalaxyonline.com/available-orreries/

  6. #81
    Originally Posted by Riverside View Post (Source)
    And you have it already, just turn orbital lines on.
    orbital lines only show for a body when looking at it, and even that is a bit whacky. that's not an orrery

    i know you're joking around but you make a valid point. an orrery accomodating such large and small distances is indeed a challenging design.

    yet considerably improving the usability of the system map isn't. it's nice looking (sort of), but the current layout scatters systems horizontally, forcing the user to navigate long distances to select far away items. this layout es even expanded by showing proportional sizes of bodies, and is aggravated by how slow and cumbersome cursor displacement is with controllers or hotas. and this anything but accessible 'planetscape' doesn't even convey any information at all about the topography, it just represents orbit hierarchy. it sacrifices usability for aesthetics (ymmv), ergo a student book example of bad user interface design.

    the natural way (for left to right reading humans) to represent and navigate hierarchies is, as used everywhere else for this type of information, a vertical 'tree'. bodies could be represented with small thumbnails, optionally showing the full image of the selected body, along with information. a no brainer. it would be a breeze to navigate with current controls even for the most complex system ever discovered. heck, such a layout would even fit perfectly in the navigation panel where it is already partially done (pbbbrrrrrrlease! ) with schematic icons (or even without them).

  7. #82
    Originally Posted by Riverside View Post (Source)
    yep, that's a good example of how hard it is to get orreries right

  8. #83
    Originally Posted by Riverside View Post (Source)
    Awesome thanks! I should have known this would be the case considering all the tools that are currently available.

    This is really good. Why can't something like this be implemented in game?!?1? It gives you a great feel for how the system is laid out. A lot more intuitive...scratch that...it's incredibly more intuitive.

    We need to continue to keep this idea alive and in-focus.

  9. #84
    Originally Posted by zn˘rt View Post (Source)
    orbital lines only show for a body when looking at it, and even that is a bit whacky. that's not an orrery

    i know you're joking around but you make a valid point. an orrery accomodating such large and small distances is indeed a challenging design.

    yet considerably improving the usability of the system map isn't. it's nice looking (sort of), but the current layout scatters systems horizontally, forcing the user to navigate long distances to select far away items. this layout es even expanded by showing proportional sizes of bodies, and is aggravated by how slow and cumbersome cursor displacement is with controllers or hotas. and this anything but accessible 'planetscape' doesn't even convey any information at all about the topography, it just represents orbit hierarchy. it sacrifices usability for aesthetics (ymmv), ergo a student book example of bad user interface design.

    the natural way (for left to right reading humans) to represent and navigate hierarchies is, as used everywhere else for this type of information, a vertical 'tree'. bodies could be represented with small thumbnails, optionally showing the full image of the selected body, along with information. a no brainer. it would be a breeze to navigate with current controls even for the most complex system ever discovered. heck, such a layout would even fit perfectly in the navigation panel (pbbbrrrrrrlease! ) with schematic icons (or even without them).
    There are lots of ways a map can be represented, they all offer advantages & disadvantages depending on what you want to be able to do with them. Consider a map of the Earth's surface, which as we can all appreciate is only ideally represented on the 3d surface of a globe, but in order to get sufficient detail to make it practical to use in every-day life the globe would be far too big to be practical, so instead for centuries we carried paper maps which distort the landscape in some way.

    The ED system view needs to be able to represent any of billions of variations, including systems like Alpha Centauri where the true scale cannot practically be represented, so distance scales must be compressed. There is no useful purpose in viewing Hutton Orbital and Alpha Centauri A/B on a single orrery view, they are effectively two separate systems from a gameplay perspective. That they are gravitationally bound and considered a single system is just an inconvenience or feature depending on the players perspective.

    But an orrery view would have to be able to represent it as a single system, just as the current sysmap does (easily).

    DrewCarnegie compares it well to the London Underground map - it's a really clever solution to a problem that should not be underestimated.

    With any map there will always be some compromise of scale or distortion of distance. Someone faced that dilemma at FDev and came up with the (imo) brilliant map we have instead of an orrery view or any number of other choices. The design language of that absolutely does not need to be updated or changed simply because we have had it for a while now & players want to see something different.

  10. #85
    Originally Posted by zn˘rt View Post (Source)
    yep, that's a good example of how hard it is to get orreries right
    Nah, just imagine that web map with the Frontier polish like the in game galaxy map has. I have full confidence that the devs could make an awesome orrery map if they chose to. It would be an excellent tool for the majority of the players.

  11. #86
    Originally Posted by Riverside View Post (Source)
    With any map there will always be some compromise of scale or distortion of distance. Someone faced that dilemma at FDev and came up with the (imo) brilliant map we have instead of an orrery view or any number of other choices. The design language of that absolutely does not need to be updated or changed simply because we have had it for a while now & players want to see something different.
    except it is interactive, meant to be used. this is user interface, not infographics top priority is easy and fast access to any element. from that perspective it is just a failure.

  12. #87
    Originally Posted by zn˘rt View Post (Source)
    except it is interactive, meant to be used. this is user interface, not infographics top priority is easy and fast access to any element. from that perspective it is just a failure.
    I think that's a matter of opinion. From a usability perspective I'd rather click on a bunch of planets in a line than try to select them from their locations on their orbit lines. Right now I can quickly look at (a real world example for me) the size of the closest landable moon to each of several gas giants in a system. An orrery view would be terrible for that.

    As I said earlier in the thread
    Originally Posted by Riverside View Post (Source)
    in 4,000hrs of play I've never thought to myself 'An orrery map would help here'.

  13. #88
    Originally Posted by Riverside View Post (Source)
    I think that's a matter of opinion. From a usability perspective I'd rather click on a bunch of planets in a line than try to select them from their locations on their orbit lines.
    doesn't work in vr, and isn't suitable for hotas and controller. that's not a matter of opinion, but usability across all platforms and devices: user interface basics.

    Originally Posted by Riverside View Post (Source)
    Right now I can quickly look at (a real world example for me) the size of the closest landable moon to each of several gas giants in a system. An orrery view would be terrible for that.
    again, i wasn't proposing an orrery but a hierarchical list (e.g. the navigation panel).

  14. #89
    I just wish the current map didnt take so dang long to pan through in VR. Why can't I look at a place and hit a to select. Instead I gotta zooooom all the way out. Scrooooooll right and occasionally down and hope to god it doesnt glitch out and actually lets me interact with the object I highlighted. Since the last major update more often than not its greyed out and stays that way until i leave the system map and go back in... and zoom and pan some more.

  15. #90
    Originally Posted by zn˘rt View Post (Source)
    doesn't work in vr, and isn't suitable for hotas and controller. that's not a matter of opinion, but usability across all platforms and devices: user interface basics.



    again, i wasn't proposing an orrery but a hierarchical list (e.g. the navigation panel).
    I imagine with VR having the game go to a separate flat page would be jarring, but I don't see how that would be different with an orrery. The issue there is with the user interface, not the design language of the map. If the sysmap were presented as a panel (like the left & right panels, or the docking menu) it would help. I don't think VR is a factor for the map itself, only the way it is presented to the player.

    If you want to put the current sysmap in the nav panel I wouldn't have a problem with that. This thread is about adding an orrery view in addition to our current map. My basic argument is that it would require an enormous amount of work. Nothing you say changes that.

    btw I use a hotas, it doesn't present a problem for me at all (just scroll around, zoom in & out etc). The galmap is more difficult to use because you effectively 'fly' around in it. I can imagine an orrery would have more in common with the galmap user interface. Both just depend on your controller setup, again I don't think it helps the discussion either way.

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