Object Management

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Object Management

Post by lgromanowski » 17 Aug 2011, 19:36

Greendogo wrote: I think we can all agree that by level 10 Morrowind's Inventory Screen can be a bit unwieldy, so I think a revamp is in order.

There are two new systems of organization that I think would be helpful: Customizable Inventory Tabs and Portable Containers such as backpacks and sacks.

===Customizable Inventory Tabs===
First, the Customizable Inventory Tabs would expand on the system already in place. First, we should always have had a ingredient tab, by itself. On top of this, I believe we should be able to create lists of things that we want to see together in custom tabs.

Say you want to create a tab that you will only see things that have to do with a certain quest that has a large number of items associated with it. You click on a button in the inventory menu that says "Create Tab" and you type in the name. Then, you fill that new group with stuff you want in it by clicking on an object and dragging its icon to the tab up above. In addition, you should be able to put one item in multiple lists.

Also, there should be a default "Favorites" tab that you can put your most used and abused and dearly beloved trinkets into.

This is my biggest idea for item management and it would go a long way to straightening out your inventory in the late game.

Here's an illustration of what I mean by "Tabs" and where the custom ones would go:

===Portable Containers===
Second, I think we should invent a new item type called Portable Containers that would be nameable. Each container would hold a certain weight of item, like a poor quality backpack being able to contain up to 20 units of weight worth of crap. In addition, we could make containers even more useful by allowing them to subtract a certain percentage of weight from their contents' load. This would simulate how organizing bunch of stuff into bags makes it easier to carry them. For example you have a poor quality backpack that can hold 20 units of weight and it subtracts 15% of its contents' weight. So you could hold 20 units of weight worth of stuff in the backpack, but only be encumbered 17 units worth. Say the backpack itself only weighs something like 2 units and you've saved 1 unit worth of space for something else.

The quality and character of the container could determine its weight, its maximum capacity and its percentage of weight reduction. Lastly the container's weight would equal its own weight plus the weight of its contents, this way you couldn't put a bunch of uber-bags in a chain and create an endless encumbrance allotment.

Changing the weight of the container based on its contents would also allow you to put a bunch of crap into a burlap sack and stick it somewhere in your environment to get later if you weigh yourself down too much and you don't want to stand in a dungeon clicking at the ground like an idiot when you return to get your loot.

Containers could have several different varieties from sacks to backpacks. They could be made out of tons of different materials such as nix-leather or guar-leather, to magical materials such as daedra-hides and mithril. The higher the quality, the better the container. There shouldn't be any containers that break the game though, so no non-unique containers that weigh 1 unit and can contain 1000 that have a weight-reduction rate of 100%.

There's a general mathematical equation you can work out to see if a non-unique container allows for an infinite stack of multi-level containers. In general, you should at most have 3 levels of containers and even then, 100 units of weight worth of encumbrance in the end should result at most from something like 120 units of weight using all non-unique bags. We can't have people running around with 5000 encumbrance worth of stuff all balled up in containers.

The two systems would work together of course. The contents of the bags, and the bags themselves would show up under the appropriate tabs like weapons or miscellaneous. The items in the bags that you assigned to a custom tab would also show up there, no different than without the containers. But if you double clicked on a container anywhere, a separate inventory box would pop up showing its contents.

You could have more than one container window open at a time so it would be easy to manage items between them. In addition, the tabs would of course show up in the container screen.

To show/hide items that are in containers there could be a button that toggles on and off that does just that. That way, you would only see items in your backpack when you opened your backpack, or you could see the whole strew of weapons wherever they are with one click of a button.

-The inclusion of these two systems would be a breath of fresh air for the inventory screen.
-The tab system would be good to go right from the start. You just have to type in the name of a tab and assign items to it.
-The portable container system would be a little trickier since there is really only one bag mesh in the vanilla game that I can think of. No backpacks or smaller fist-sized bags. The system's infrastructure could be programmed in pretty easily, but the meshes and icon graphics would have to be put in if anyone ever wanted to make a mod to cover it. I'm sure someone would want to eventually, but I doubt anyone would do it for a year or two. The mod community over at the official forums would probably jump on it if OpenMW becomes wildly popular though. I imagine someone could eventually even create a character mesh for a backpack that would show up in-game, but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
delta17 wrote: Heh, just adding my 2 cents:

Now that we're using C to code OpenMW, how easy would it be to implement a item-keyword search function built into the inventory window as well?

It's one of the fast ways of checking your inventory for the existence of a certain item, no?

Make the search function work in container windows as well? Save myself time from flipping through the wardrobe in my player's house by simply typing "expensive" in the search field to list those flashy clothing items I've (*cough* stripped off dead nobles *cough*) collected throughout my journey?
EmbraceUnity wrote: We definitely need to add these ideas to the wishlist page on the wiki! Including delta's search idea. Seems straightforward enough.

Unfortunately, wiki modifications are now restricted... or I would add them myself.

Though it looks like the custom buttons idea is already in there.

http://openmw.org/wiki/index.php?title= ... _interface

I hadn't thought about it before though, so thanks for increasing my enthusiasm!
nicolay wrote:
EmbraceUnity wrote:Unfortunately, wiki modifications are now restricted... or I would add them myself.
To modify the Wiki, just add yourself to the "Wiki" group here on the forums, and then log in with the same username/password on the Wiki. To save you the trouble I've added you to the group now :)
EmbraceUnity wrote: Excellent!
Greendogo wrote: Yes, I came up with the custom buttons idea a long time ago on the Mailing List. Somebody (or maybe I) added it to the Wiki.
sir_herrbatka wrote: But now we also have this sweet mockup ;)
nicolay wrote: I'd love to have a "sell" pile / tab, for all the crud you pick up along the way that will only ever be used for getting quick cash at the next merchant pit stop. Actually I get this problem in a lot of rpg-ish games, maybe it's my kleptomaniac nature.

Also I don't want my weapon cycling to go through those weapons. Actually we should be able to control exactly which weapon/spells/whatever are cycled through with hotkeys, but that's another matter.
sir_herrbatka wrote:
Actually I get this problem in a lot of rpg-ish games, maybe it's my kleptomaniac nature.
yup. In MW there is no really point to gather things worthy less than 1k gold (unless they are light, like diamonds). I have other problem: I frequently sell things that i want to keep (collecting books), but it's another story.

But creating custom tabs would be very handy, shift and left mouse button on item than click on a newly created tab and voila!
Greendogo wrote:
sir_herrbatka wrote:But creating custom tabs would be very handy, shift and left mouse button on item than click on a newly created tab and voila!
The icon dragging behavior will hopefully be implemented for the inventory, so we could use the dragging behavior with the custom tabs.
silentthief wrote: How about a defined tab for weapons that you use, and then you cycle only thru them?

Also, regarding the portable containers would there have to be some kind of penalty for them? Not a stat penalty, but more specifically lets say you wanna get a potion of healing from your bag, I think if you are in combat you should have to get into that bag and dig out the item to put into your inventory (all the while getting whacked at by an enemy)

I think you could script portable containers without too much trouble, tho.

Greendogo wrote: I don't know, it would make me less attracted to it. :roll:
frost wrote: I have a lot of ideas concerning inventory management.
Some of them come from roguelike games like ADOM which fitted very convinient inventories in 25-line screen with only keyboard to control. But even more ideas can be drawn from double-panel file managers. Actually all of the mentioned suggestions seem to have analogues coming from such software. They have multiple windows, tabs and directories, archieve managing functionality is similar to weght reducing containers and substring search is one of my favourite functions. The list can go on.
The custom tab idea seems to be very helpful.
Probably multiple selection should be implemented at some point and all the item actions (drop, sell, repair, eat etc.) should support it. Imagine having 'items for sell' tab, pressing 'sellect all' then 'sell'.
And what I find really useful and not bulky is 'new item manager'. Here's how I understand it:
- all new items collected by player are linked in the list1
- a button is added to the inventory which opens a new window or tab that presents items from the list1
- player selects items using multiple selection and calls menu from which he chooses a tab into which to move selected items; those items are deleted from list1 and are not shown further
- there is a button in that window that clears list1
This can be very helpful to forget about object management while clearing dungeons just to quickly sort out your items in the end.
One more idea: container window also has multiple tabs, player selects some bodies/containers standing in the same place and when he opens container window it shows all that containers in individual tabs (currently selected one may be highlighted).
Greendogo wrote: I really like your idea of "new item management". The way I imagine it, it could be really helpful, allowing you to quickly see what new loot you've acquired.

I can think of some additions to the "new item management system:
1. Color coding "New Items" by turning their name text Green or Blue
2. Having a customizable timer for new items to be classified as "New Items", whether that be by actual time in our world or by the game world time, I don't know which would be better.
best regards,


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