CorsixTH Forums

Community => Research Department => Graphics => Topic started by: Joe.w on June 22, 2013, 03:43:58 PM

Title: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Joe.w on June 22, 2013, 03:43:58 PM
It's been mentioned before, the fax screen needs a 21st century update!
So this threads will be to discuss new ideas for this image, and how it will display messages in the game.

Here are some things to think about:

   In TH, the fax machine was used to enter cheats, so perhaps the computers keyboard could be used to enter cheats in CorsixTH, clicking on a sequence of letters on the keyboard to activate the cheats?

   This new screen can be rendered in higher resolutions than 640x480, so will we still show screens windowed when the game is running at resolutions higher than 640x480, or will we now go back to fullscreen? I'll could render at 4K if the game will be played at resolutions this high in the future. (http://code.google.com/p/corsix-th/issues/detail?id=1648&sort=-id)

   Assuming the image is shown full screen, could tabs be used in the notification screen to switch between other messages? Sort-of like a tabbed internet browser. So if multiple items need attending to, the user can access them all without leaving the screen.

Here a mockup of my idea. Any changes/improvements/suggestions welcome!
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ozsf8j064bwgg15/Mockup.png (https://www.dropbox.com/s/ozsf8j064bwgg15/Mockup.png)
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: MarkL on June 22, 2013, 06:41:47 PM
With regard to entering numbers for the cheats.  The numbers related to letters on the fax machine keys, so the code translated into a word, I can't remember what word is, but it is mentioned in the forum somewhere.
We could keep to the same sort of idea by not having a computer screen but using a modern phone at the side (one of these that are all screen, not techy when it comes to these things).  In one view you can go through your messages and in another view you see a keyboard (like when you text) as this is the same as what the fax would do i.e. number 2 is a, b or c.
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Joe.w on June 30, 2013, 02:21:04 PM
This thread? http://forums.corsixth.com/index.php/topic,2572.html (http://forums.corsixth.com/index.php/topic,2572.html)

If number input is the current method of cheating, It'd be best to stick to it. So new players to CTH can enter the classic cheats they remember from TH.

I've included a phone as mentioned so we can use that for cheating. As for a messages view, this idea sounds great although it may not be technically possible. Have to ask a developer.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ffo3qugzfb080p2/Mockup2.png (https://www.dropbox.com/s/ffo3qugzfb080p2/Mockup2.png)
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: mirek2 on June 30, 2013, 02:32:28 PM
Maybe the phone could be docked, so that the phone would stand straight and the numbers would be easier to target.
(Think of the people who play on a tablet.)
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Joe.w on July 02, 2013, 12:08:03 PM
Nice idea, the phone is now sat in a dock. Might be easier for people with smaller screens now. I didn't want to make it much bigger, as it's still got to be a fairly hidden feature.
I'll also create another image where the keys are pressed, so it shows red text instead of white when selected for each key.


https://dl.dropbox.com/s/0sa5ytbwlgvmt3f/Mockup3.png
Also, could the max upload limit be slightly increased? say, from 1mb to 5mb. I'd be able to attach images without using external links.
Thanks,
Joe.
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Serial Colour on July 08, 2013, 12:14:56 AM
To be honest, I think it would be fine to keep the fax machine (although make it a newer model). Faxes are still widely used, and staying true to the original would be nice.

You can include a visual joke by having a sign in the background encouraging staff to have a paper-free workplace (the joke being that the fax machine is used for everything and generates paper (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DontExplainTheJoke)).

You can also keep the number-pad without trying to force it in (i.e. the smart-phone in the above screenshots, which stands out even if you didn't know about the cheats).

Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Joe.w on July 12, 2013, 06:37:27 PM
Serial Colour,

I agree that Faxes are still used in the world, but however when comparing them to the use of computers/email, I'd imagine it's almost non-existant.
If you'd like to keep the fax machine in the game as homage to the original, that's a fair point. I'll create a poll to see how many others would like to keep it the same.

[the smart-phone] stands out even if you didn't know about the cheats
any thoughts about making it less obvious?
I was thinking about hiding it a little more, but when you click it (or tap it) it shows a closeup view of just the phone so you can enter the cheats there.
Joe.
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Serial Colour on July 27, 2013, 01:38:23 PM
Given that the point of the screen is the message on the monitor, it should be in the centre of the screen rather than (slightly) off to the side. It being off-centre is noticeable, and draws attention to the possibility of there being something interesting on the other (left) side.

It also doesn't help that there's not much clutter. Anything there is stands out by virtue of the background being so dull. More decoration and desk objects (Post-It notes are a good one, as is a coffee mug with optional stains on the table, a stress toy and a newspaper) would help to hide the fact that one of those objects actually has a purpose.

On a related note, might it be possible and/or desirable to have variations of the screen? For example, every five times you open the screen the plant wilts a little, or the positions of objects randomly move around a little. I imagine it would just require drawing pictures of the objects over the main background, and it shouldn't be too difficult to decide which pictures to show where and when.

You could even make cheat-entering a two stage process, such as needing to click the blue Lua circle on the book first before being able to enter a code. Even if you knew what the number pad was for (and who doesn't?), you'd still need to know how to unlock it.
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Joe.w on July 30, 2013, 01:12:03 PM
Given that the point of the screen is the message on the monitor, it should be in the centre of the screen rather than (slightly) off to the side.
Yes, and I've re-centerd the monitor. The phone hasn't changed in this revision though, as I'm still thinking of how it will function.
 
On a related note, might it be possible and/or desirable to have variations of the screen?
I've had this idea myself actually! Although I was thinking of animating the objects like in the research screen (with the rat running around on the wheel).
So the idea is to have the base image with the default items, and then a random chance of another item showing, so that the screen doesn't get old too quickly. These items could be the Newtons cradle and Conical flask (as below), or changes to other items, such as the plant, or anything really. For some of the items the chances could be a lot higher, such as a 1 in 100 chance of getting something really rare.

I'll also work on adding some more default items to the screen, maybe a photo on the wall or some of these ideas:
Post-It notes are a good one, as is a coffee mug with optional stains on the table, a stress toy and a newspaper
Joe

Conical Flask (7MB) https://dl.dropbox.com/s/w9e29n821ecmubf/Conical%20Flask.mp4
Newton's Cradle (3.9MB)  https://dl.dropbox.com/s/4uok2l7g4h0dwlu/Newton%27s%20Cradle.mp4
(sounds from freesound.org)
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: MarkL on July 30, 2013, 03:38:21 PM
I like the idea of the little animation, like research and bank screen

Perhaps have one for each type of fax, which are:
new disease discovered
emergency
emergency feedback
VIP visit request
VIP feedback
Contagion found
Contagion feedback/fine/compensation
Perhaps all the feedbacks could have the same animation, I think that is all the types of fax we get....
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Joe.w on July 30, 2013, 06:13:59 PM
@MarkL

I like this idea!
I think you've listed all of the Fax types. All of the ones I can think of anyway.

I'm thinking of a few different animations for them, maybe a Remote control helicopter flying around the room for an emergency fax, or a top hat for the VIP request.

Anymore ideas Mark?
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: MarkL on July 31, 2013, 01:55:46 PM
Let's see
new disease discovered - the flask could work well with this
emergency - like the helicopter idea, links in with the movie for level changes
emergency feedback
VIP visit request  hat could work, I like the newtons cradle too, but perhaps we could use that for the feedbacks along with being able to see your feet on the desk taking it easy.
VIP feedback
Contagion found - perhaps have a rat on the desk, it escaped from the wheel in research screen maybe
Contagion feedback/fine/compensation
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Serial Colour on August 02, 2013, 08:42:25 PM
All good ideas. Nice videos of the cradle and flask.

The "contagion found" screen should have a surgical mask in there somewhere. It's not an animated feature, but it fits.

Perhaps the "VIP visit request" screen should have the stress toy, in the shape of the old doctor from the original main menu, animating being squeezed (eyes/tongue popping out when squeezed). I think it'd be all right if it did this by itself, and not showing the player's hand gripping it.
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Slornie on August 04, 2013, 04:17:41 PM
I'm coming to this thread quite late in the day, so apologies if any of this has been suggested/rejected already.

As Serial Colour also suggested, my first instinct was to stay with something more similar to the original fax screen - only changing it to a modern printer/copier with a similar animation to the level end screen (i.e. paper copy of an email comes out of the printer which then contains the information; and the cheats are entered onto the printer's control panel).

Bearing in mind that Joe.w has already progressed so far with the computer/email version I wouldn't want his work to go to waste, so here are my thoughts on how I would like to see it improved:

Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Joe.w on August 10, 2013, 08:09:38 PM
No posts in 6 days?!?! Makes me want to post about my cat.
I'm coming to this thread quite late in the day, so apologies if any of this has been suggested/rejected already.
It's not to late! The only things that have been decided on are:

All the different kinds of messages
I like the idea of having them mouse activated, It's something to explore for new players, yet advanced players don't have to see it if they don't want to.

More items have been added: Keys, Cork board, Newspaper. Also new is a post-it note stuck to the monitor. (If you have any other humorous suggestions to be written on it, post below)

Still to do:
- Assigning animations or items to the remaining messages. (lots of good ideas above)
- Cheats: I've place the phone back on the table, but unsure of how this can work. (ideas?) It must be hidden, yet visible, yet not obvious, yet easy to touch.
- Monitor: Hospital budget placed behind active message, not sure how this looks. (The writing will be done by the game)

Attached: The updated scene shown with the Stethoscope.
Title: Re: Notification screen - aka "the fax"
Post by: Blacksky on October 15, 2013, 07:42:24 PM
To be honest, I really like the idea of making the game look 'retro future'. Which means fax machines and big clunky computers. I would be more interested in making a joke of the fax machine than updating it to email.