Inventory System: Grid, List, or Table?

This is where we will post our polls and surveys to get your thoughts and feedback on certain features, ideas and concepts that will be done in the game.

What inventory system should we use?

Grid ("Tetris" style. examples: Diablo, Deus Ex)
1
13%
List (examples: Dragon Age 2, Skyrim, Tactics Ogre)
1
13%
Table
6
75%
 
Total votes : 8

Inventory System: Grid, List, or Table?

PostPosted by AnomalousUnderdog » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:01 pm

DISCLAIMER: The poll results won't be the ultimate deciding factor in our decisions, but we'll definitely consider them in our discussions.

We need to decide what inventory system to use. Here are the variations we are thinking about for what the inventory system would be:

Grid System

Image
(Diablo's inventory system)

Players will have to work out how to fit items in the grid, which, arguably can be a little more fun. (Take note that, on top of this, we will still implement a weight limit. Actually, we're open to get rid of the weight limit if we'll go with the grid system.)

On the other hand, this is technically more complex to implement, and therefore will take longer to create, compared to the other inventory system types.


List Display

Image
(Dragon Age 2's inventory system)

Items are displayed in a list. Since the space for each item entry is rather small, usually, only an icon of the weapon/item type is shown. It's usual in these types of inventory systems to be able to filter the list by item type (weapon, armor, accessory, consumable) using tabs.

The only limit is the total weight you are carrying.

Honestly, we don't like this for two reasons: 1) it's a chore to scroll through the list once you have lots of items. 2) you don't get to see what the item looks like.


Tabular Display

Image
(I did a quick mockup here. This won't be exactly how it will look like. The key point illustrated here is how the items are laid out.)

Here, each item is still displayed in a grid, but they all take up the exact same space, in a sort of table.

If you get more items, the table just adds more "rows" so to speak. The only limit is the total weight you are carrying.

Hovering the mouse over an item will display the usual tooltip that gives info about that item.

Since we knew implementing a grid system is more work, we were looking at viable alternatives. We didn't like the list style, but we still wanted to be able to show the items as images, so we thought of this table system.

The reason why this is less work than the grid system is because there's no need for drag-and-drop of items, and no need for implementing that tetris-style feature of fitting in the items in the grid.


But to be honest, that tetris-style inventory system is kinda fun too, but it is more work to implement. Which is why we thought of asking you guys what you think.
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Re: Inventory System: Grid, List, or Table?

PostPosted by theMarg0r » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:14 pm

Grid? Nah, too much of a hassle. While I certainly appreciate some of the games that have it, such as good old Diablo, I don't think it really works in a game that ALSO has weight/encumbrance limitations. Having to manage both item size and position on a grid and item weight would just be too complicated to be fun. My vote goes to the table.
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Re: Inventory System: Grid, List, or Table?

PostPosted by AnomalousUnderdog » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:30 pm

theMarg0r wrote:Grid? Nah, too much of a hassle. While I certainly appreciate some of the games that have it, such as good old Diablo, I don't think it really works in a game that ALSO has weight/encumbrance limitations. Having to manage both item size and position on a grid and item weight would just be too complicated to be fun. My vote goes to the table.


Actually, if it's a hassle to manage both grid space and weight limit, we could propose to get rid of the weight limit altogether, if we'll use the that Diablo style inventory.

The reason we have that weight limit in the first place is because that's how the tabletop RPG system for Graywalkers will work (it's not at all feasible to have players worry about managing grid space in a tabletop gaming session). And the videogame's system closely follows the tabletop system. However, we're open to diverging things in the name of fun.

But in the end, we just want to hear what you guys prefer.
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Re: Inventory System: Grid, List, or Table?

PostPosted by proteandev » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:59 pm

In the name of simplicity ( and fun ) I'd suggest to use a List, with absolute numbers ( slots ) as weight limit.
meaning; all you carry is limited to that number. 1 item takes up 1 slot.

Pros:
    Simple to use.
    Can easily be organize with search filters.

Cons:
    It will need you to comply strictly to the number of items/slots you can carry.
    It doesn't really give a sh*t about Realistic item weight.
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Re: Inventory System: Grid, List, or Table?

PostPosted by theMarg0r » Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:49 pm

AnomalousUnderdog wrote:Actually, if it's a hassle to manage both grid space and weight limit, we could propose to get rid of the weight limit altogether, if we'll use the that Diablo style inventory.

The reason we have that weight limit in the first place is because that's how the tabletop RPG system for Graywalkers will work (it's not at all feasible to have players worry about managing grid space in a tabletop gaming session). And the videogame's system closely follows the tabletop system. However, we're open to diverging things in the name of fun.

Yeah, yeah that's a good point. Things don't necessarily need to work the same way in the tabletop game as they do in the computer game, that's true. I'd be fine with the grid system if you dropped the weight limit, but I'll stick with my vote for the table inventory for now.
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Re: Inventory System: Grid, List, or Table?

PostPosted by Gendasi » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:13 pm

While I've always been a fan of Diablo's grid (and am glad you ruled-out the idea of weight limits there), something like the table does give a feel of what you're looking at (aesthetically and clutter-wise, if you have many items) and still gives you the ability to filter, should you implement such a feature.

I run tabletop games and one of the ways we keep up with player inventory is to have items marked on index cards with their size and weight, so that we can look at a person's "gear" and ask questions like "Are you going to be able to carry all that" or "will how much junk are you actually carrying" or "isn't that heavy" instead of referring to lists all the time. Spreading the cards out on the table allows everyone a quick way to sort and distribute items (like medicine, quest items, currency, and ammo) without pouring over a list of item names and traits. The result often looks like the table example you've given, as we tend to doodle a simple example of what the item looks like for quick reference ("hey, that sword has elements of demonic design and writing!") instead of having a page of notes attached.

Tooltips would obviously be better than scribbles in ballpoint and the designs and icons you make would obviously be better than the crude interpretation of a machete that would be drawn on one of the index cards at my games, but I imagine the table system would provide all the quick and easy reference one needs while still allowing the details like weight limitations and inventory space to be accounted for.

I may like Diablo-style grids but I once had an entire backpack filled with tiny, one-slot items because they don't stack in piles and I wanted to take them back to town for sale. I had to drop a bunch of them to make room for a new weapon when one finally dropped and picking the things up again was annoying.

Dragon Age and Mass Effect had so many lists that you just scrolled through them with a blank stare and eventually decided on just using the same piece of equipment instead of comparing stats this way. I remember just selling off everything until my characters simply couldn't handle simple situations anymore, then I bought new gear at inflated prices just to avoid the lists.

The table, in my opinion, allows the most depth and detail while maximizing playability.
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Re: Inventory System: Grid, List, or Table?

PostPosted by AnomalousUnderdog » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:27 am

Thanks everyone, we'll include your answers in our design meetings.
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Re: Inventory System: Grid, List, or Table?

PostPosted by Fission » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:13 pm

I find it encouraging that the inventory system is one of the first things you asked about. It something everyone if going to have to spend time interacting with and will influence how people experience and remember the game, even if they don't remember the inventory system.
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