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Monday, June 25, 2001
MOO3 Dev Diary on UI
9:33 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new development diary for Master of Orion 3 has been posted by GameSpy, dissecting the complex design process for the User Interface (UI) in a game such as this where the player must manage large amounts of detailed information. Since many strategy titles are intimidating to new users because of bad UI design, QuickSilver has spent the past two years defining and refining what they believe is a good interface for MOO3. The diary provides an interesting look at how you go about managing such an extensive amount of information without getting buried. Here's an excerpt with info on a WWW-like interface in the game:

Create natural hyperlink shortcuts from the current screen to every possible relevant screen. So, aside from standard interface buttons, many items in MOO3 are tagged as hyperlinks that immediately take the player to their associated screen.

So if, for example, you read your Situation Report and want to go to a specific planet where that revolt is occurring, you have some options. You may back out of the SitRep screen, navigate through the galaxy, selecting the appropriate solar system and then the planet in revolt. Alternately, you could click on the hyperlink-looking name of the planet on the Situation Report (it looks like a hyperlink because it is one). Another way would be to go to press the Planet Button in the Button Window and click on that planet there.

Throughout MOO3 there are multiple ways to access the same screen. Links will be provided wherever another screen is relevant to the current screen. Which way players take to get from here to there is entirely up to them.

The rest of the diary is just as interesting, so be sure to give it a look if you want more info on this strategy title. MOO3 is currently set to be released for Mac and PC early next year.

Master of Orion 3 Development Diary
Official Master of Orion 3 Web Site
Quicksilver Software
Master of Orion III
Buy Master of Orion III

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