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Zahr Dalsk
18th Jun 2009, 03:52
TDS' menu was clunky and unpleasant. Many games have ok menus, but you know something? The Dark Project and The Metal Age had a perfect menu system. Let's have another one of those, eh? It was well sorted, easy to use, pretty much perfect. Only one single flaw and that was the seeming limit on savegame numbers.

(Particularly neat if the main menu has the TDP+TMA menu art in the background, like how TMA had TDP's pistons and such in the background.)

Wispmage
18th Jun 2009, 04:10
Agreed. They should keep it simple. No need for all the unnecessarily fancy graphical parts of the TDS menu. Just go with what worked, which is the extremely straightforward menus from TDP and TMA. And that's not to say the Dev's couldn't spruce up the older menu style with some nice new graphics either. Essentially, keep the layout and navigation straight forward and simple, but at the same time, make it pleasant to look at.

Inbred Pageboy
18th Jun 2009, 05:00
The menu system for DS looked like it suffered a port from console to me.

xDarknessFallsx
18th Jun 2009, 05:58
I agree. And don't put Garrett's voice so I can read and scroll through it on a menu, like they did in TDS. Keep it in the cutscenes (without captions, unless the hearing-impaired want to turn captions on). Little things like this add up to making TDS a very unpleasant experience for me. Make us feel like we're in Garrett's mind again by using T1/T2 cutscenes. My mind likes the visual and audio of T1/T2 to clue me in as to what's going on. Otherewise, with the TDS solution, I get bored and lose interest in hearing him read through his, what amount to, lines. By seeing it in paragraph form like TDS, I'm like 'hurry up and read it already' -- which is not good when you have such a great voice actor.

Herr_Garrett
18th Jun 2009, 06:30
I would rather that they return to DS's original menu concept:http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/6/16/1962051/menuconcept.jpg

I like this one.

Platinumoxicity
18th Jun 2009, 07:41
The TDS menu was changed because console players are sitting much farther from the screen and can't see the small text that was in T1 and T2 menus. In TDS they had to make the font so huge that they could only fit about 6 lines of text in a screen. That's why they made all the menu scrollable (horribly). T1 and T2 were perfect because each screen could hold exactly what it needed, and the options-screen and load-screen could have many lines of tiny text and nobody whined about it. The ruined menus in TDS are not an obvious symptom of consolitis, they're symptoms of consolAIDS.

That original TDS menu concept sucks too. Too big fonts and scrolling menus.

Hamadriyad
18th Jun 2009, 08:30
I would rather that they return to DS's original menu concept:http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/6/16/1962051/menuconcept.jpg

I like this one.

I like that. Much better than TDS menu. I was shocked when I saw the menu. What a crap. Bring back old menus please.

Shadow Blade
18th Jun 2009, 11:12
http://gamma.nic.fi/~kermaah/tempo/exp/2/tiifmenu2.jpg
I found this menu on the net.

The TDS menu was not what I expected when I first saw it I was dissapointed. The old menu's suited the game a lot better. Bring them back please

BrendaEM
18th Jun 2009, 14:04
Having liked all three Thief games, I can say that I liked the older menus better because they were gritter, and didn't have that bouncy console bling that screams, "Hey look it's a menu! Horay for menus!"

ToMegaTherion
18th Jun 2009, 14:11
Well, there are 746 more important things to think about that what the title screen looks like, but you have to say that generally a sequel ought to keep the same style as the original for a particular component, unless there's good reason to change or you're trying to change the entire style of the game.

BrendaEM
18th Jun 2009, 14:37
The console bling that creeped into the menus also went on to infect other parts of the Thief DS. I still found Thief DS enjoyable, but I play it with the "Minimal Project."

Zahr Dalsk
18th Jun 2009, 16:25
Yeah please don't consolize the menu.

I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of Thief players are PC gamers - why should our experience be ruined for one or two sales of a console version?

Zahr Dalsk
18th Jun 2009, 19:43
Well, there are 746 more important things to think about that what the title screen looks like

Actually no. I used the menu a whole lot ingame for TDP and TMA - opening map, checking objectives, saving game, etc.

13LACK13ISHOP
18th Jun 2009, 19:47
TDS' menu was clunky and unpleasant. Many games have ok menus, but you know something? The Dark Project and The Metal Age had a perfect menu system. Let's have another one of those, eh? It was well sorted, easy to use, pretty much perfect. Only one single flaw and that was the seeming limit on savegame numbers.

(Particularly neat if the main menu has the TDP+TMA menu art in the background, like how TMA had TDP's pistons and such in the background.)

Agreed.

ToMegaTherion
18th Jun 2009, 20:47
Actually no. I used the menu a whole lot ingame for TDP and TMA - opening map, checking objectives, saving game, etc.

Sorry, I meant that it's just the artistic appearance that is relatively unimportant; user-friendliness is of course quite important and Deadly Shadows didn't do it so well.

Zahr Dalsk
18th Jun 2009, 21:07
Sorry, I meant that it's just the artistic appearance that is relatively unimportant; user-friendliness is of course quite important and Deadly Shadows didn't do it so well.

Artistic design ties in to user friendliness. Notice how everything was larger and required lots of scrolling. Bad. Text doesn't need to be large, we don't need multiple lines or fancy backgrounds for saving games. A single line of size 12 text is fine.

Platinumoxicity
18th Jun 2009, 21:13
Artistic design ties in to user friendliness. Notice how everything was larger and required lots of scrolling. Bad. Text doesn't need to be large, we don't need multiple lines or fancy backgrounds for saving games. A single line of size 12 text is fine.

Or if you can't get all your options to fit one screen, make another unique screen and put the options there. Remember how each type of menu in T1 and T2 was completely separate and different. That's something you don't see often anymore in games.

CurtX
20th Jun 2009, 16:15
I would rather that they return to DS's original menu concept:http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/6/16/1962051/menuconcept.jpg

I like this one.

I don't. It looks way to gawdy. It really looks like an amateur with no talent or imagination, and does not know Thief very well, tried way too hard to make it look stylish. It does not fit the Thief realm at all. It does not resemble steam punk in the slightest.

Hamadriyad
20th Jun 2009, 16:39
Is there anyone among you who knows making a menu? I mean working one. I don't know unfortunately. But maybe we should make a contest.I don't know, just an idea. Probably you have not enough time for this.

CaptainObvious
22nd Jun 2009, 17:36
To be honest I wasn't particularly fond of the menues in either T1 and 2 and TDS. They got the job done, but felt all kind of clunky in their own ways. I'd be open for a new style. Some fully 3d menue, like in Mafia where different clickable items in a room represented different menue points would be cool.

Herr_Garrett
22nd Jun 2009, 17:47
To be honest I wasn't particularly fond of the menues in either T1 and 2 and TDS. They got the job done, but felt all kind of clunky in their own ways. I'd be open for a new style.

It's true. For instance, the key-binding sub-menu was in DP and MA was kinda hard to use, and the options menu in DS was a nightmare. I actually found out that you can scroll in the video options menu last year.



Some fully 3d menue, like in Mafia where different clickable items in a room represented different menue points would be cool.

Hard to imagine what would represent the video or the audio options menu.

CaptainObvious
22nd Jun 2009, 17:50
Hard to imagine what would represent the video or the audio options menu.

Well, there are lots of possibilities, you could have an replacement mechanical eye for Garrett and a Victrola in the room to represent video and audio options, for example.

Hamadriyad
23rd Jun 2009, 10:16
Old menus are the best. No need new stuff.

huzi73
23rd Jun 2009, 13:31
Keep it like TDP.
TMA's menu was slightly more technologically influenced, due to the actual setting of the game itself.
Thief 3's menu interface gave away exactly how much the game inspiration mechanics etc hadd changed.The menu is the first impression!!!

CaptainObvious
23rd Jun 2009, 18:52
Here's a screenshot of the menu in Mafia:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/39/79792167_f7ab066e16.jpg?v=0

It's a fully 3d room, and depending on what menue option you click the camera focussed on different parts/objects of the room(don't remember if you could click the objects themselves). For Thief you could have Garrett's room as menue background or something like that, and Thief-ish fonts for the menu options.

Most games these days have 3d interfaces one way or another, so I wouldn't hold my breath for a traditional looking interface.

Hamadriyad
25th Jun 2009, 21:14
Here's a screenshot of the menu in Mafia:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/39/79792167_f7ab066e16.jpg?v=0

It's a fully 3d room, and depending on what menue option you click the camera focussed on different parts/objects of the room(don't remember if you could click the objects themselves). For Thief you could have Garrett's room as menue background or something like that, and Thief-ish fonts for the menu options.

Most games these days have 3d interfaces one way or another, so I wouldn't hold my breath for a traditional looking interface.

This looks like T2X web site. I like it but I say no.This seems a little cliche. T1, T2 menus were original,simple and brilliant. Keep old menus.

Keeper Gurgul
25th Jun 2009, 21:34
I remember that an action-fantasy game called "Enclave" featured a very dark menu, with shifting gears, chains, various mechanisms and a sort of a techno-gothic crow-like creature. Maybe a similar approach could be taken with Thief, with some Mechanist/Hammerite steampunkish contraptions cycling through or presenting new option screens. This was done in the first two parts, but rather as static-pre rendered sections.

Zahr Dalsk
26th Jun 2009, 02:04
Thief shouldn't follow convention, but seem refreshingly unique, even when it's not. It doesn't have to look like the older menus to maintain a rogue spirit.

Thief 1 and 2 menus WOULD be refreshingly unique in this day and age of horrible next-gen games.

Belboz
26th Jun 2009, 03:16
thief 4 menu screen would look better it it was something like a notice board with adverts from hammerites and other factions, the type of notice board you would find in game, with adverts like get mctwadys cure for smelly feet, along with hammerite recruitment poster, and a notice saying the barons lost the war and we're all doomed.

Then when they do the credits at the end they could rip notices off the board, blah, blah, blah.etc et infinity.

rpceltic67
25th Sep 2009, 14:31
One of the most frustrating things that is consistent across all thief games is the in game menu. I hate having to wait and load a new screen and click through my tasks and map, it takes away from the experience of the game. It would be great if this was limited or removed completely in T4. If you need to check your map or objectives rather than loading a menu screen Garret looks down to his map, or looks down to a paper with his objectives. If there is a new objective or note Garret can write it down, or cross of objectives when they are completed.

Thoughts??

Hamadriyad
25th Sep 2009, 15:22
I think it would be nice. We don't feel like out of the game when we look the map or objectives in that way.

Secondary
25th Sep 2009, 15:49
i know what you mean, some menus can really break immersion. but i think looking down at my map and seeing "dont kill any noncombatants" or "steal atleast x amount of loot" would be a little strange, sort of like a theify shopping list:D

i really liek the idea of an in game map repcaling the menu, but only to an extent

Zahr Dalsk
25th Sep 2009, 16:34
I'd like the same menu system as The Metal Age and The Dark Project.

Psychomorph
25th Sep 2009, 21:37
The menues in Dark Project and Metal Age frustrated the hell out of me, to bright, to shiny, to loud. I just wished I could turn off the menue sound (the engines) off and remove the bright objects just leaving the black background and the typo.

Thief is a slow paced sneaky game, recreate that aspect in the menues by having a clam and mysterious sound/music and give us a rather dark layout. Just think about it, you sneak through the night (ingame) and it's silent (you only hear the ambient sound), than you activate the menue to get almost blinded by the over saturated menue screen and your ears roamed by the aggressive menue sounds, horrible and it was very frustrating in DP and TMA.

Deadly Shadows improved on that at least, just make it better.

Hamadriyad
26th Sep 2009, 09:19
TDP and TMA menus are perferctly fit in Thief universe. TDS menu was a crap. I hope EM can find a way to surprise us with a perfect menu.

Platinumoxicity
26th Sep 2009, 19:13
How about an animated menu like in TDP and TMA with little changes...

The menu is pitch black, and you can see the green menu-items written in the "Charleton"-font like it used to be, and there's a small lantern on the cursor that illuminates the area it's in. :) It would be a cool combination of the nice menus that TDP and TMA had, the menu that TDS didn't have and something new, added with T4.

Matty101
27th Sep 2009, 02:36
I'd like to see a map scroll used like a weapon would be, have an animation for pulling it out and opening it up, it would then also be subject to lighting in the area which would be cool too.

Hecateus
27th Sep 2009, 05:07
I liked the character of the original menus, TDS left much to be desired. An inventory menu similar to that of Alone in the Dark would be nice.

ZylonBane
27th Sep 2009, 13:58
I'd like to see a map scroll used like a weapon would be, have an animation for pulling it out and opening it up, it would then also be subject to lighting in the area which would be cool too.
If by "cool", you mean "horribly annoying, ill-conceived, broken, and just all-around stupid", then I wholeheartedly agree with you.

Secondary
28th Sep 2009, 00:18
If by "cool", you mean "horribly annoying, ill-conceived, broken, and just all-around stupid", then I wholeheartedly agree with you.

you dont have to respond so acidly, he proposed an idea. if you disagree with that idea propose your own to counter it. if you want to debate your in the right palce, if you want a shouting match comment on youtube videos:D

ZylonBane
28th Sep 2009, 04:36
you dont have to respond so acidly, he proposed an idea. if you disagree with that idea propose your own to counter it.
The counter to any terrible idea is the absence of that idea. Stop trying to overcomplicate things.

kabatta
28th Sep 2009, 04:43
If the map is in the inventory silly people like me will open it often by mistake.
The original menu seems ok.

windwalker
28th Sep 2009, 09:20
If by "cool", you mean "horribly annoying, ill-conceived, broken, and just all-around stupid", then I wholeheartedly agree with you.

I disagree.

One of the most atmospherical games I have played was the "Dead Space" What made it atmospherical, was that there was nothing that broke the gameplay, that brought the player to a suspended-plane where he/she can check his inventory, review video messages... There was not digital number on-screen to show health or ammo, all was in-game.

Now thief 1 and 2 did the same atmospherical environment with the shields-as-hp measure and the "stealth gem" and out-of-game menu and map usage. This was thanks to other, innovative aspects of the game.

But I wouldn't be against the in-game system. Maybe we don't see any hp level anywhere, another indicator tells us about Garret's health. Maybe he really opens the scroll and looks down to see his map. Maybe even the stealth gem is in his palm, and he looks at it every now and then. Same goes for the compass. There are two games I really used the compass, one is Silent Hunter series, the other is thief.

So +1 for in-game user interface.

bambini
28th Sep 2009, 11:37
I think that an in-game map really can work. I recently played Farcry 2, and I think it really managed this very well. The Map button (I always configure this as Tab) made your guy holster his weapon and pull out a map in his left hand and a GPS in his right. You could still move around, and he would still keep his map in hand, but it of course was very hard to read the map if sprinting, as his arms were moving.

It really did work well though. For a start, you could really get immersed in the game. It was great to have to duck into a corner to check your map, or to look across the savannah with your map out and plan your assault on an enemy camp, looking for good sniping points, etc.

In addition, there was no HUD, and the health bar only appeared when you took damage. To heal, you pressed H and you would either inject morphine or perform a quick bit of first aid in real-time. Beautiful. I think it's been mentioned before, but In Farcry 2, picking up an object involed your guy reaching out his hand and taking the item, which would look great when thieving phat lewts :) I'd be happy if Thief 4 showed some of these elements (although it's important to keep it very far away from an FPS in many other respects :)).

The only downside is that I can't really see how an in-game map of this sort could be written on, so it would not be compatible with the thread that I started myself here (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=96548) :scratch:

LightningSS
28th Sep 2009, 11:56
I think that an in-game map really can work. I recently played Farcry 2, and I think it really managed this very well. The Map button (I always configure this as Tab) made your guy holster his weapon and pull out a map in his left hand and a GPS in his right. You could still move around, and he would still keep his map in hand, but it of course was very hard to read the map if sprinting, as his arms were moving.

It really did work well though. For a start, you could really get immersed in the game. It was great to have to duck into a corner to check your map, or to look across the savannah with your map out and plan your assault on an enemy camp, looking for good sniping points, etc.

In addition, there was no HUD, and the health bar only appeared when you took damage. To heal, you pressed H and you would either inject morphine or perform a quick bit of first aid in real-time. Beautiful. I think it's been mentioned before, but In Farcry 2, picking up an object involed your guy reaching out his hand and taking the item, which would look great when thieving phat lewts :) I'd be happy if Thief 4 showed some of these elements (although it's important to keep it very far away from an FPS in many other respects :)).

The only downside is that I can't really see how an in-game map of this sort could be written on, so it would not be compatible with the thread that I started myself here (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=96548) :scratch:

Completely agree, I really enjoyed FC2 and a big reason why was because they designed it to be very immersive. I personally think all FPSers should be designed in a similar way. Everything you described about FC2 should be implemented in T4. Every time Garrett interacts with something it should show his limbs doing just that. Also pulling out the map and holding it in hand like FC2 is a great idea. I really hope they prioritize immersion, it would really benefit T4.

bambini
28th Sep 2009, 12:03
Indeed. Although I don't think Garrett should have a GPS :D Maybe a compass through.

ZylonBane
28th Sep 2009, 19:01
I disagree.
Then you missed the part where you wouldn't be able to read your map if you happened to be standing in the dark.

The UI in Dead Space is actually *worse* than games with a traditional HUD, because all they did was take the HUD and transplant it onto your character's back, which is absurdly contrived. That sort of approach isn't even an option with Thief anyway, because Thief Is A First-Person Game.

The primary function of HUDs is to convey information to the player that the player would automatically know if they were actually in the game. Thus, all attempts to obfuscate these displays into handheld gems, boob health tattoos, etc, completely and utterly miss the point. :mad2:

Hecateus
28th Sep 2009, 22:36
I'd like to see a map scroll used like a weapon would be, have an animation for pulling it out and opening it up, it would then also be subject to lighting in the area which would be cool too.

I like this, but it needs to be tested for fun.

CaptainObvious
29th Sep 2009, 14:19
Wasn't there already a thread almost exactly like that?

Well, the interfaces of T1 and 2 are a thing of the past, and the TDS interface wasn't perfect either, so I'm for a new style.

Pyronox
30th Sep 2009, 00:46
How about when you press ESC(ape,lol) the menu items appear over an animated cloud of gray-blueish smoke, and the game running in background is dimmed?

Sexay, no?

huzi73
30th Sep 2009, 10:08
How about when you press ESC(ape,lol) the menu items appear over an animated cloud of gray-blueish smoke, and the game running in background is dimmed?

Sexay, no?

Please no more blue smoke!!!

I thought TDS had more than enough!

just cant we have the standard menu/inventory system like the first two games??

This way the devs can worry about more important things like Garrett and St.Russell and rope arrows, and bigger levels with no loading zones.

Geez!

Must Thi4f try to immitate every single thing, in every single game, which any random idiot thought was good and decided to post about??:eek:

A good game is not one which tries to do many standard things.
It is one which does a select few great things.

Platinumoxicity
30th Sep 2009, 13:53
Wasn't there already a thread almost exactly like that?

Well, the interfaces of T1 and 2 are a thing of the past, and the TDS interface wasn't perfect either, so I'm for a new style.

First there was good, then there was bad, and now it's time for...

...something in between? Why not good again? ;)

ToMegaTherion
30th Sep 2009, 14:08
I much prefer thinking "I am playing a game, and must access a different screen to check my map, because that is the most efficient way to convey this information to me", rather than "I am playing a game, and have to put up with an inefficient way of checking my map because someone had a strange idea that I can be fooled into not thinking I'm playing a game by an annoying gimmick."

This goes for pretty much any interface things. Generally the interface is trying to convey information to me that I would either know already in that situation or could access efficiently in a way that is impossible to replicate properly in a video game.

The objectives idea is an even clearer example of something that should be avoided. Garrett has his objectives list in his head. If we were Garrett, we wouldn't need an objectives screen or an objectives piece of paper or whatever. But since we're not, we need an abstraction to help us. I would argue therefore that it doesn't matter what form the objectives list takes because its very existence tells you that you're playing a game. Indeed, an elaborate "immersive" system is going to actually be worse because it is screaming "you're in a game, but we're trying to make you not think this, but we are failing none the less!" That is much more intrusive than just shrugging and admitting it's a game. And chances are it's going to be inefficient too.

Pyronox
30th Sep 2009, 14:11
Please no more blue smoke!!!

I thought TDS had more than enough!

just cant we have the standard menu/inventory system like the first two games??

This way the devs can worry about more important things like Garrett and St.Russell and rope arrows, and bigger levels with no loading zones.

Geez!

Must Thi4f try to immitate every single thing, in every single game, which any random idiot thought was good and decided to post about??:eek:

A good game is not one which tries to do many standard things.
It is one which does a select few great things.

Lol, it R jokez. Dun worry.

On topic though, I do think we'd need something softer than that heavy machinery stuff. When you're in the dark sneaking and suddenly you need to pee; you then realize that one milisecond after pressing Esc. you forgot to lower the volume and then CLANGGRCLANGGR...

darkmagicasorseer
30th Sep 2009, 14:30
From what I have read through this forum, I conclude that most of you guys wants an immersive experience kind of game... with that said,

What if the game user interface, or the in game menu is Garrett's room/ house/ apartment itself? While the option to configure the graphics, controls, and etc are configured using a separate configuration launcher tool instead in-game option menu. In addition having straight flown into the game world which is Garrett's room's could improve the player (our) experience of becoming Garrett and also eliminating any transition (loading time) from conventional in game menus (the menu is Garrett's room!) to the actual mission or sandbox roaming area.

I still haven't list out what essential usage of such menu but I got this idea from the new Colin McRae Dirt 2 rally racing game whereas the game's menu is inside the virtual RV... (just google DiRT 2 guys) and you get my idea...

I think it is hard to describe any in-game menu with just words in this thread... me thinks its bes to have a rough sketch or drawings for these menus... that will help a lot in putting creative ideas for thief 4. I'm currently doing the very same thing on what I just said...

Well feel free to yell...

ZylonBane
30th Sep 2009, 16:49
What if the game user interface, or the in game menu is Garrett's room/ house/ apartment itself? While the option to configure the graphics, controls, and etc are configured using a separate configuration launcher tool instead in-game option menu
Right, because having to quit the game and launch a separate program is MUCH more immersive and user-friendly than just clicking a menu choice that's already there. Wow. Genius. I'm sold.

Hecateus
30th Sep 2009, 17:04
Hey Darkmagicasorseer,

can you find us a YouTube link?

Lady_Of_The_Vine
30th Sep 2009, 21:49
Wasn't there already a thread almost exactly like that...

Yes, it was linked to via Keeper Diary. I've merged. :)

Aceyalone7777
30th Sep 2009, 23:28
+10 windwalker! Really liked the idea of no health bar actually! Prefered of thos silly T1+2 shields and T3 Id-dn-not-know-what-on-earth-these-things-were...

CaptainObvious
1st Oct 2009, 13:03
Actually, the best and most immersive health system would be akin to Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. There's no health bar/Hud thingies at all, instead there are things like blood stains on the screen, the view loosing colour, sounds being muffled, your character moving more slowly/jerky and so on, depending on how damaged you are. It's not the most accurate, so you won't know that you are 1 HP before dying, but damn, it's the most immersive health system that I've seen so far.

This would probably also prevent players from going Rambo too much as the effects of damage are muc more impactful than "Oops lost another health shield, how unfortunate" with no other side effects.

Psychomorph
1st Oct 2009, 16:30
I cannot say I liked the TDS menue, in fact I disliked it, but I appreciated the darker look of it and the lack of the noise, all what annoyed me in the original Thief menues (oversaturated, to noisy).

My only wish is, keep it as simple and gritty as possible and especially DARK and SILENT!!!

Seriously, I played all the Thief games at night, in a dark and silent room (and will always play Thief games like this, in fact I generally prefer to play games that way) and switching to the menue (original Thief games) almost blinded me with its brightness and made me deaf by the noise (slight exeggeration). If so, gimme TDS menue all the way.


Though, personally I always loved black transparent overlays, that would also make the menue flexible, adaptive to the ingame situation (a bright location will have a brighter menue, a dark location will have it darker, like shown in the screenshots below).
Also, you would keep the situational awareness (if the game doesn't pause), or at least you'd see the last known situation and decide if it is worth saving (I mean what if a bad guy appears right at the moment you hit the ESC key, with a transparent menue you'd notice, more information = better (You know, I'm a practical guy).

http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/2797/menue1.th.jpg (http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/2797/menue1.jpg) http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/5906/menue1m.th.jpg (http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/5906/menue1m.jpg)

http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/9134/menue2.th.jpg (http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/9134/menue2.jpg) http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/595/menue2m.th.jpg (http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/595/menue2m.jpg)

Platinumoxicity
1st Oct 2009, 19:52
IMO any menu that has a screenshot of the game as it's background is pretty much a lame and lazy attempt.

Thief 1 had a steampunk machinery set as the background, with steel, rust and dials. T2 built a bronze window in front of the machinery and changed the industrial lights to victorian lights. What TDS could've done if it wouldn't have been so rushed, would've been to shut down the machinery and the lights, and make the scene flicker a bit in a lightning storm*, maybe some raindrops running down the window.

*BTW, why is there a lightning storm in the TDS menu anyway? Thunder is only present in the intro video and 1 specific room in the Overlook.

huzi73
2nd Oct 2009, 09:59
IMO any menu that has a screenshot of the game as it's background is pretty much a lame and lazy attempt.

Thief 1 had a steampunk machinery set as the background, with steel, rust and dials. T2 built a bronze window in front of the machinery and changed the industrial lights to victorian lights. What TDS could've done if it wouldn't have been so rushed, would've been to shut down the machinery and the lights, and make the scene flicker a bit in a lightning storm*, maybe some raindrops running down the window.

*BTW, why is there a lightning storm in the TDS menu anyway? Thunder is only present in the intro video and 1 specific room in the Overlook.

Amen

ToMegaTherion
2nd Oct 2009, 10:44
Actually, the best and most immersive health system would be akin to Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. There's no health bar/Hud thingies at all, instead there are things like blood stains on the screen, the view loosing colour, sounds being muffled, your character moving more slowly/jerky and so on, depending on how damaged you are. It's not the most accurate, so you won't know that you are 1 HP before dying, but damn, it's the most immersive health system that I've seen so far.

This would probably also prevent players from going Rambo too much as the effects of damage are muc more impactful than "Oops lost another health shield, how unfortunate" with no other side effects.

I don't think it's more immersive to have to deal with a system that doesn't provide you with adequate information as to the state of your character. Unless we can send many kinds of agony to the player through a mouse and keyboard (an entertaining thought, although this forum would become very dangerous), we're not going to be able to do a "realistic" means of giving the player adequate information as to the state of his character. I prefer to accept this and use an abstraction, rather than try to hide this behind an ultimately frustrating and unhelpful "immersive/realistic" system.

CaptainObvious
2nd Oct 2009, 12:49
Well, it was adequate for that game, so I don't see a reason why that shouldn't be possible for a Thief game too. Thief is not *that* special.

ZylonBane
2nd Oct 2009, 13:37
IMO any menu that has a screenshot of the game as it's background is pretty much a lame and lazy attempt.
Oh?

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/22/26686493_fa86dadfa3.jpg?v=0

Platinumoxicity
2nd Oct 2009, 14:43
Oh?

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/22/26686493_fa86dadfa3.jpg?v=0

That's not a screenshot. Every menu background view in HL2 is a scripted real-time 3d scene made specifically for the menu. Also, the HL2 menu is what you call "minimalistic". It's not trying to be anything but white text.

Psychomorph
2nd Oct 2009, 21:52
IMO any menu that has a screenshot of the game as it's background is pretty much a lame and lazy attempt.
For the case you were referring to the pictures I posted as example, I thought it was clear enough that the background image was not meant to be a screenshot, but the in-game view/content with just a black transparent overlay and the menue text. If that wasn't clear, than I hope it is now.

Reasons why it might be a good idea are:
- switching to the menue will not change the brightness level to much, if you are sneaking through the night and open the menue it remains dark, your eyes keep being adapted to the darkness, if you are in a bright location the menue will remain relatively bright due to the transparency level of the menue overlay, eyes keep being adapted again.
- using the menues you can still see the ingame situation (through the transparent menue overlay), going to the menues you wont forget where you were before, kinda helps orientation.




Darkening and quieting menus similar in theme and structure of the older titles is easy. Not to mention, the easily hackable files can fix the problem with the existing games.

Open DARK.CFG. For this example, I turned off all the menu ambients by adding the semicolons:

; metagame sounds - first cut
metasnd_game_def_tick tick1
metasnd_game_def_select select2
metasnd_game_def_ambient1 ; metalp2
metasnd_game_main_tick tick2
metasnd_game_main_select select1
metasnd_game_main_ambient1 ; metalp1
metasnd_game_saveload_tick tick1
metasnd_game_saveload_select select2
metasnd_game_saveload_ambient1 ; metalp3
metasnd_game_loadout_tick
metasnd_game_loadout_select tick2
metasnd_game_loadout_ambient1 ; metalp3
metasnd_game_game_tick tick1
metasnd_game_game_select select2
metasnd_game_game_ambient1 ; metalp3
metasnd_game_book_tick
metasnd_game_book_select pageturn
metasnd_game_book_ambient1 ; metalp4
metasnd_game_options_tick tick1
metasnd_game_options_select select2
metasnd_game_options_ambient1 ; metalp3

As for the brightness, I'm not sure what you mean.
NICE! I was asking for that kind of thing in forums, but got no help, this might help me because I plan to replay the entire Thief series again. Thanks.
Reason why I want that; the menue often had a glitch where the ambients didn't work, I noticed how much more pleasant the silence actually was compared to the engine noise ambient sound.

As for brightness, as I explained before, the menues are actually bright and sneaking through the dark, which is fun, and activating the menues in TDP and TMA was not very comfortable for the eyes, to much contrast. Thats why I am asking for a darker menue in T4.

ZylonBane
2nd Oct 2009, 22:35
That's not a screenshot. Every menu background view in HL2 is a scripted real-time 3d scene made specifically for the menu.
I wish it was a screenshot. Those damn menu scenes take almost as long to load as the levels themselvs.

Psychomorph
2nd Oct 2009, 23:32
The images that are put together to make the screens would have to be manually dimmed one at a time in an image editing program, which is perfectly doable, but tedious. If it's really that bad, it might be worth it. They are in the RES\intrface.crf, which is just a renamed zip file. Make a back up before fiddling with it, though. :)
That's kinda what I wanted, I'll look into it, thanks again.

huzi73
8th Oct 2009, 11:07
That's not a screenshot. Every menu background view in HL2 is a scripted real-time 3d scene made specifically for the menu. Also, the HL2 menu is what you call "minimalistic". It's not trying to be anything but white text.

I cant help but think that if T4 uses a similar concept, except with Hammerite/Mechanist Cathederals; Pagan Forests\camps; Keeper compounds; City streets ; Mansions ; Prisons etc, as the menu backdrop, depending on what Garretts current mission setting is. This could create a very atmospheric menu system! Just imagine it! Im no good at photoshop, else I would have done it and posted it. Imagine a TDP/TMA menu font, but instead of the borders and machinery on the sides, less border, and more proper moving background.

Imagine a view down cell block 4 in Cragscleft prison, with menu items to the side, and hearing the various moaning and crying of prisoners, as well as prayers of the Hammers.

minus0ne
8th Oct 2009, 17:12
I like that idea, but I would restrict the background scenes to streets in The City, or more specifically: rooftop views which show a different street (or several) below, bustling with activity, every time you launch the game.

Jerion
8th Oct 2009, 18:05
I don't think it's more immersive to have to deal with a system that doesn't provide you with adequate information as to the state of your character. Unless we can send many kinds of agony to the player through a mouse and keyboard (an entertaining thought, although this forum would become very dangerous), we're not going to be able to do a "realistic" means of giving the player adequate information as to the state of his character. I prefer to accept this and use an abstraction, rather than try to hide this behind an ultimately frustrating and unhelpful "immersive/realistic" system.

I actually think the Mirror's Edge system is very immersive. Start blurring & blacking out the edges of the screen, and make things lose color. It's much more immediate and worrying to the player than a simple health bar. Combined with something similar to DX1's HUD which gave you approximated info on the health of each area of the body and you have a winner.


I like that idea, but I would restrict the background scenes to streets in The City, or more specifically: rooftop views which show a different street (or several) below, bustling with activity, every time you launch the game.

I like it.

Psychomorph
8th Oct 2009, 23:58
No resources eating 3D menues please!

What about a panoramic 360° picture of Garrett's apartment as a menue background? It is like one of those Quicktime 360° photos, you can swivel the view around.

Still, personally I'd like to have just a simple and minimalistic transparent black overlay for comfort sake, to keep the in-game view, at least it would be great to have that as an option besides the classical menue.

Platinumoxicity
9th Oct 2009, 05:23
What if the devs just took the nice machine-menu of T1, redesigned it as 3d and rendered it with current-day graphics to work the same way the old one did, as an animated background texture? That would be cool, to have the same menu that T1 had, but with a facelift.

minus0ne
9th Oct 2009, 08:53
Such 3D scenes (whether it's a street scene/rooftop idea or just the T1/2 machinery idea which I also like) don't have to be resource hogs (hell they can be done with very few polygons, they could make a low-poly copy some of the real scenery of Thief 4, shouldn't take up much time). The viewpoint is pretty static, although it might sway a few degrees left and right, so framerate is hardly an issue (besides if your PC is struggling with a static 3D scene it might be a good idea to turn some of the graphics detail down a notch, which I always prefer to do before I start playing a game, not during those "precious" first moments).

It also doesn't have to mean the menu's unresponsive in any way. If anything, games of recent years had that backwards, meaning there have been games with 3D scene menu backgrounds which have been extremely responsive (I would say the menu in HL2 is the most responsive I've ever seen) and games with looping animated background menus which have been extremely sluggish (also probably because most of them were designed for consoles), so there's absolutely no guarantee either way.

Lastly, is it just me or does my GPU already spin up when entering most games' menus? Looking at some of the games I currently have installed, I think all of them already rev up before even starting a game. They probably don't use all of the processors on a GPU, but I have seriously never heard much difference between my GPU fan before (in the menu) or after I start a game, and seeing as how I've set up my graphics card's fan, that's a pretty good indicator of power consumption. I think resources are pretty irrelevant seeing as how pretty much all games handle this (including the TRU engine which T4 is probably going to use, unfortunately).

If the GPU is going to spring to life in the menus anyway, I'd rather have it process some nice thiefy City scene or machinery, than just an animated looping clip. I'm pretty sure most games' menu systems already load heaps of stuff onto the GDDR3/5 RAM on your GPU, which is a major, major consumer of energy (and hence producer of heat), so I seriously consider the resources argument irrelevant.

Yaphy
9th Oct 2009, 09:32
I would like if the menus where steampunk with gearwheels, pipes with stream and magic stuff to. So when you scroll through text, levels, options and such the text would be hooked to a gearwheel and the gearwheel would start to move. Or maybe the text could be atached to the gear so when you press up key; the the gear would spin counterclockwise and show the choosable level/option. The pipes could be decoration with stream comming out at some times. The magic could be glowing lights that shine stronger when you select something. The whole menu could be a gearwheel. so when you press "load" the whole menu would spin around and show a new menu with "slot 1" "slot 2" and so on.

minus0ne
9th Oct 2009, 09:47
Another excellent idea. Although keep in mind the gear itself would hint at a storyline involving the Mechanists ;) Even if TDP/Gold had plenty of gears in the menu, the gear became a symbol for the Mechanists with TMA.

minus0ne
9th Oct 2009, 17:15
I'm sorry but I'm having trouble understanding exactly what point you're trying to make here? Are you saying they should focus purely on gameplay and not pay any attention to the presentation? As I said they could simply use low-poly copies of existing City scenes they made for the game itself (or make a simple machinery background, which would take up the same amount of time as making a pre-rendered one).

I agree it's not a priority, but this is thread is about the menu system, last I checked. T4 is 2 years off, at least, we have zero details on the game, and we're just throwing out some ideas.

If the resource argument is irrelevant to you, it's because you don't have problems, whilst many of us do.
Problems with what? 3D menus? Again I'm not following you. Are you planning on playing Thief 4 on a system incapable of rendering 3D or something? :p

I don't know why you're talking about energy consumption, either. A processor won't crunch more numbers per second from more power alone.
I was talking about energy consumption since it's a good indicator of what the GPU is doing: if the GPU clocks up from its 2D (idle) clock-speeds to its 3D clock-speeds, the wattage goes up, which revs up the fan. Hence, I was making the point that in Thief 1, 2 & 3 the GPU was already going up to 3D clock-speeds while still in the menu system, before starting a game. Most, if not all of the games I've played handle it like this. I suspect it's because the games pre-load a lot of stuff onto the GPU's GDDR3/5 video memory (which consumes the lion's share of power).

Therefore, if the GPU is already operating at 3D clocks whilst still in the menu system - it might as well be handling a 3D scene. ;) Several games now have handled 3D background menu systems extremely well, with absolutely zero delay (even on older systems).

Again, I'll re-iterate my point that if your GPU can't handle something as simple as a static low-poly 3D background scene, you're probably not going to have much fun playing the game, since the game itself would only demand a whole lot more than the 3D menu background would.

So if it's just as responsive as a 2D menu, uses virtually the same amount of resources (and with the GPU operating at 3D clock-speeds either way), how could you say no to a great semi-rooftop view of a couple of City streets, or some nicely animated bit of 3D machinery?


Turning down detail levels doesn't do squat, either, on some systems. I see no difference in framerate from changing the settings. It's not always simple, and if it takes you ten seconds to think of it, it's been considered and tried very early on years ago.
I'll just pretend you never said that, since it makes little to no sense. :p


Also, the gear as a holy symbol is Mechanist, not gears in general. Gears are not heretical, they just need to be a piece of a greater machine that is very practical and lacks all novelty for that universe.
I just followed Yaphy's example of the entire menu being part of a giant gear and observed it would hint at a Mechanist theme, but I guess you can interpret it in many ways.

There are many fantastic possibilities and things we'd like to see, such as Yaphy's idea, but don't expect it or think it's possible for the average consumer's systems.
The "average consumer's system" (whether it's 2009 or 2011) is perfectly capable of handling a simple static scene with a little bit of animation. I honestly don't understand where you come up with these things.

I don't know why anyone would want to play T4 if their system isn't at least capable of providing playable framerates during gameplay (at whatever detail setting or resolution), let alone in a simple static 3D scene.

:scratch:

minus0ne
11th Oct 2009, 13:07
From real life! We have people come onto the forums asking for help and wondering if they are alone and they are not. You have an ideal situation for yourself. Others are not so lucky. I have to put up with it on my own system and am not surprised when concerned taffers have a legitimate gripe and are seeking a solution.
So you have troubles with Half-Life 2's 3D background menus, on a 2-3 year old system? I'd have to say that's fairly odd considering HL2 runs perfectly even on older systems (and your system is 2 years younger than HL2). Or are you still talking about TDS' menus, for some reason?

If the background is static, then it's a screenshot, is it not? A moving camera--you used the word "sway"--in a live 3D room is not static, and unless something is moving, it's absolutely unnecessary. A static screen does not need to be rendered.
By static I was referring to the point of view;

The viewpoint is pretty static, although it might sway a few degrees left and right, so framerate is hardly an issue
I meant that lower framerates are harder to notice when the viewpoint is static (or even if the 'camera' is swaying by a few degrees, as if calmly moving with the wind). I did not mean static as in just a pre-rendered picture (although that's also a thought, hand-drawn 'concept art' type backgrounds illustrating The City, in a tasteful slideshow type background).

If you don't believe me then just start up a demanding first person game, turn up all the detail so as to slow the game to a 10-20fps framerate and then compare how well it does when you're standing still versus when you're moving around frantically. I think you'll find you'll get higher framerates when you're standing still.

I'm saying function over form, and there are simple ways to make a nice presentation that isn't needing excessive and unnecessary system resources, so it looks nice and functions cleanly. It's a menu for a game, the first impression, so yeah, presentation is important--framerates should be left out of it to the fullest extent possible.
How is a menu with a 3D background any less functional than the alternative? :scratch:

HL2's menu (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32xhNsONgic) is in fact a perfect example of function over form. It's atmospheric, sure, but other than that it's the most responsive in recent years (and it doesn't lack options either). I'd even call it no-frills.

I made the point in the previous posts that games usually already start using the amount of resources they're going to use when playing the game, while you're still in the menu system (whether it's a 2D or 3D background). I made several attempts to explain this, apparently I was being obtuse.

Did you not say that turning down the details would help? Not always. Makes no sense? Sounds like a personal problem. Again, it comes up to this day as a real life issue.
So basically you now use the shoddy coding of TDS as a bar which other games cannot surpass?

It is not my problem that poor coding and/or your freakish hardware configuration leads to such abnormal behaviour. PC games don't have graphic details settings for show; in any decently coded and scalable game, less detail = better performance and vice versa.

My own system is two years younger than TDS, has higher than recommend specs, and it's sluggish as hell. Turning down details does nothing to solve the issue. It's unknown what else might be running in the background to drag it down, and the task manager only shows critical processes using up resources. A system purchased this year could have a similar problem with processes running in the background. Of all the applications on my drive, only TDS struggles. And I'm not making crap up when I say I'm not alone and people STILL gripe about issues like this with TDS. There are conversations in threads about framerate issues with old apps on new systems even today. There's no way for the average consumer to know beforehand if a game will run well or not, unless they purchase a display model that has the game installed already. Most people aren't tech-savvy you know. Like I said, system specs aren't enough. I had no idea that this one application would run so sluggishly. How could I? Care to share consumer buying tips on how to know without a test drive?
Why are we still discussing TDS? It doesn't even have a menu with a 3D background. :rolleyes: So it's a prime example of a poor engine used poorly, your point being?

How many times are you going to argue by pretending I'm reacting to nothing? Did you not say that the resources argument is irrelevant?
Yes, I did. It's irrelevant because whether or not the menu background if 3D or pre-rendered, the system will use about the same amount of resources (which is probably about 99% pre-loaded game resources not related to the menu at all).

Slow framerates are a reality to this day, even with older games. I'm not making crap up. A system can render a 3D scene, sure. Duh. Have you explained why a static screen needs to be processed and not just a screenshot of the static screen, or does "static" mean something else to you?
Again, "static" was referring to the camera/viewpoint, not the scene itself, I thought I was clear on that (both by directly stating it and using HL2 as an example).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32xhNsONgic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh_AaXWSqXk

minus0ne
12th Oct 2009, 09:34
Bending the term? Is that what you call it when one uses a word in context? :lol: Static point of view. Whatever, I'm tired getting hung up on whether or not "static viewpoint" is 'the wrong term', you had plenty of opportunities to understand my point, yet you chose not to.

If everything about TDP and TMA was as efficient as you want it to be, I'm pretty sure I would've never enjoyed them.

Psychomorph
10th Apr 2013, 20:17
I feel the Menu/UI design is a bit of a lost art these days. I love to play, say, a fantasy game and the menu background to look like carved wood with ornaments, with mystical looking fonts. Books and notes looking like paper with either hand writing or book letters. Etc.

These days, so many console games and thus console ports have this clean and boring UI design, with these clean fonts and readables and books using the same menu background, etc. Dishonored, Rage and Tomb Raider have this type of menu system and it's just a bore. It looks like graphic design for a web site of a Korean online MMORPG, or what have you.

In Thief, according to its DNA, I would like to not only immerse myself into the game, but also the menus. I would like to read books and notes on paper, with varying writing/letters. Ahh, the good times.

KalashnikovAli
10th Apr 2013, 23:56
I like that idea, but I would restrict the background scenes to streets in The City, or more specifically: rooftop views which show a different street (or several) below, bustling with activity, every time you launch the game.

This would be awesome.

I sincerely doubt they will use the same kind of menus as the first two games. We already know this game is a reboot.

Platinumoxicity
11th Apr 2013, 07:46
This would be awesome.

I sincerely doubt they will use the same kind of menus as the first two games. We already know this game is a reboot.

Which is a shame, and not just for nostalgia's sake. The menus are very much PC oriented. Small text and many small buttons, and no scrolling to deal with the problem of huge handicap-accessible fonts. There is only one screen in the entire Thief 2 that scrolls, and that is the controls customization screen.

I just bought Fallout 1 from GoG, and I'm amazed by how much more advanced the Pipboy 2000 in that game is compared to the 3000 model in Fallout 3. There is so much scrolling and big fonts, that even though they removed and merged most of the specialized skills, the list could still not fit in the screen, whereas the original required no scrolling despite the longer list.

EM better be serious about their promises of focusing on the PC version.

:-D
11th Apr 2013, 08:03
It's about time they replaced the font, as it was too medieval for steampunk, even though the lettering was supposedly archaic. Hopefully the new menu system will use the new font exclusively, and selected options will be 'stolen' and then 'replaced' with the selected screen like in the trailer. This needs to be animated in a fashion that is subtle and includes themes of light and shadow.

Platinumoxicity
11th Apr 2013, 08:14
It's about time they replaced the font, as it was too medieval for steampunk, even though the lettering was supposedly archaic. Hopefully the new menu system will use the new font exclusively, and selected options will be 'stolen' and then 'replaced' with the selected screen like in the trailer. This needs to be animated in a fashion that is subtle and includes themes of light and shadow.

The Carleton-font used in the menus of Thief 1 and 2 would still be perfectly okay for Thief 4. It doesn't resemble the crude glyphs like the original title font.

http://a1.vsoh.com/carleton.png

Putkikameli
11th Apr 2013, 08:17
I just bought Fallout 1 from GoG, and I'm amazed by how much more advanced the Pipboy 2000 in that game is compared to the 3000 model in Fallout 3. There is so much scrolling and big fonts, that even though they removed and merged most of the specialized skills, the list could still not fit in the screen, whereas the original required no scrolling despite the longer list.

Well, Bethesda's PC UI's tend to be consistently atrocious. This is of course something that I can't understand. People have been whining about it since Oblivion, but they just won't fix it. It's either incompetence or laziness.

But yeah, please EM, take some time to make PC UI good. No cat sized fonts or keyboard only navigation. While this isn't technically an UI thing, but I don't think it can't be stressed enough. NO mouse acceleration. No, god no! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

:-D
11th Apr 2013, 08:20
Yes but it's not unique though is it? It's called 'carlton', not 'thief font'. The new font is the least obtrusive part of the reboot, for me.

Platinumoxicity
11th Apr 2013, 08:37
Yes but it's not unique though is it? It's called 'carlton', not 'thief font'. The new font is the least obtrusive part of the reboot, for me.

"carleton" means "thief". :p

And the inclusion of this font would just be a connection to the rest of the series. Its absence would mean nothing. Its presence would. You can't lose with something like this.

Oh, and speaking of fonts... I hate to have to point out things that were wrong with TDS, but the "Papyrus" font that is used in that game is constantly voted among the top 10 worst fonts ever used. Very close to Comic Sans.

:-D
11th Apr 2013, 09:39
It's presence would mean they've compromised their art direction. But then I think that it's been compromised to an extent anyway, with the title and its quasi-mixed-case overshoots. If they are going to use the title font in the menu system I hope the typeface is worked out so that it reads consistently - perhaps they will use carlton for subs, but you can't render dialog properly with all-caps.