I write this thread to bring attention to the required changes for the spectator UI. Can I start by saying that what we have currently got in-game is sufficient to be able to achieve most of what needs to be achieved, but there are significant improvements that, IMO, must be made to enable a truly AAA spectator experience.
Part 1: Top left and Top Right UI elements
I’ll show you some mock-ups that I’ve worked on. The first thing is getting rid of dead space on the UI.
I’ve mocked up a change that I would like to see for the top right hand corner, in addition to adding a button to hide the game length timer, it changes the “free camera” into an icon, as well as puts “Cinematic mode” into an Icon. These would have hover over text similar to any other aspect of the UI so that people opening the spectator mode would know what they are clicking when they hover their mouse over it.
The footprint of this change is significantly smaller, meaning more space on screen to see the action (and subsequently higher levels of immersion).
The second change focuses on the top left piece of UI, and looks again, to remove deadspace by bringing the “minimise” button underneath, and the “current resource” drop down along with it. It also shortens the player name bar depending on the length of the longest name in the game.
Again, the footprint here is significantly smaller
Part 2: An independent observer
Currently, there is no way to have an independent observer, meaning observation must be from one of two player perspectives. This is undesirable for a number of reasons, but primarily due to sound and UI triggers. For example, the scouts calling in the early game is triggered once every 10 seconds when they have line of sight of an enemy, and this interrupts the caster significantly if the caster is attempting to speak. UI triggers also include population capacity warnings, attack warnings, and many other pieces of information that aren’t particularly useful above the mini-map.
In addition to this, it also provides information in the bottom left hand corner (resources, villagers) that for all intents and purposes, can be much better placed and formatted, and ties into the first point of removing elements on the UI that do not need to be there.
Part 3: Top Left UI element overhaul
A lot of the drop down options are… to be quite honest, not at all useful. One that would be very useful would be the following:
Team → Player → Age → Villager Population → Military Population → Buildings constructing → Technology researching → Units training
The builings/tech/units can also be combined into a color coded single stream that is sorted by time remaining :
Together, these changes would look like this:
Once again, I write this thread hoping to bring attention to this issue, and look forward to an official response from the development team that this is on their radar. I appreciate that this may take time to implement, and don’t expect to see these changes upon release, but to at least know that the team has it on the radar would be wonderful, because these changes would be very beneficial to the community.