Hope you’re all having a good weekend!
User Experience has always been a challenging area and it’s no different for Galactic Dominion.
There are so many things a player can do in the game we were afraid that it would be too overwhelming when it came to controls. Furthermore, the design goal is to make sure that players experienced a quick-paced action strategy so we wanted to try to keep the player in as few screens as possible.
With that said, a lot of information that had to be cramped into the game scene so we divided it into essentially 2 sections. We will go over them at a high level and revisit them in details in future entries.
1. Galaxy Map
- a. Overlays
- b. ToolTips
- c. Empire Control
- d. Star Control
- e. Fleet Control
2. Pause Menu
- a. Research Menu
- b. Stars Menu
- c. Fleets Menu
- d. Statistics Menu
On the Galaxy Map, the player can zoom close into the each individual Star systems or far to see most, if not all, of the current galaxy.
Information can generally be found in Overlays or Tooltips.
Overlays can clutter the game quickly so we provided players an option to toggle the verbosity. It is part of the Scanner system – Think of it as the part of the hyperspace detection system available to the Empires.
Tooltips on the other hand contain a lot of information without cluttering up the scene as they are only shown when you hover over an element.
There are Tooltips everywhere and contains useful information such as amounts, progress, penalties, bonuses, etc.
Here are a few examples:
Command ToolTip shown when hovering over the Empire’s Command resource:
FoodToolTip shown when hovering over a Star’s Food resource:
The Empire Control allows you to monitor and manage:
– Doomsday Meter
– Total War
– Empire AI Assistance
This Control is always available and can be shown or hidden by clicking the Empire button on the side of the Galaxy Map.
The Star Control allows you to monitor and manage individual Star systems:
– Star Info Panel
– Workers Panel
– Industry Queue Panel
– Drydock Queue Panel
– Governor Panel
This Control is available when you click on a Star system you own. If you click on an enemy Star system, you will not be able to control it obviously, but if you have the proper Scanner capabilities (from Research) then you will be able to see information about their Star system.
The Fleet Control allows you to monitor and manage individual Fleets:
– Fleet Info
– Ship Staging Panel
– Command Panel
– Tactics Panel
– Commander Panel
This Control is available when you click on a Fleet you own. Like the Star Control, if you click on an enemy Fleet you will not be able to see details until you have the proper Scanner technologies.
All the Controls have in-depth Tooltips so if you hover over an element there will be additional information.
There are a couple more minor Controls (Star Fortress Control and the Multi-Selection Control) we will not cover today as they are quite small in comparison.
The Pause Menu contains a number of sub-menus but we will focus on the 4 that may be used to manage your Empire.
Because of their important they can also be accessed immediately from the bottom HUD on the Galaxy Map:
The Research Menu allows you to select the topics to research. You may research up to 4 topics simultaneously, one for each Field.
You will find the Research Tree here and clicking on them will show you the costs and description of the topic. (You can also hover over them for a Tooltip description)
The Stars Menu lists all the Star systems that you have discovered so far. From here you can manage all of your systems, giving you all the same access as the Star Control.
Furthermore, you can run filters and sorts to organize the list and then zoom to the Star with the Focus button.
Likewise, the Fleets Menu lists all the Fleets that you own and you can track and manage them directly from this menu.
The Statistics Menu contains a trove of information regarding the progression of your empire.
Once you unlock the appropriate Scanner technology you will also be able to see the statistics of your enemies.
We also wanted to announce that after some preliminary playtests we thought that it was important to include a user manual as a well as a Tutorial section for our players.
We’re happy to present to you here the Tutorials Menu we put together this weekend along with our user manual and short video clips on how to perform specific actions in game.
For those curious about the user manual. It will be available in PDF format and shipped with the game but you can also access it on our website here:
Galactic Dominion Manual
That’s it for now. It was a high level overview of the User Interface and Controls but we’ll go over them in more details in the future.
Next time we’ll go over Research in more details and get ready for the launch of the game!