OC is a game of data. A whole lot of data. And it isn’t always practical to display the data to users via graphics. This post covers one of the most important ways to view that detailed data and gain insight into a world, the tile inspection tool.
This post should give some context to many of the screenshots and videos available on this website and help new users understand how to navigate OC.
- Much of the detailed data of OC can’t be rendered via sprites (or any practical kind of game graphics).
- The inspection tool is a primary mechanism for gaining access to detailed data.
- A wide variety of dialogs are used to present all sorts of different kinds of information within the game. Most have both graphical and text components. They’re all designed to present information in a fun and effective way, and to help players imagine the worlds of OC.
- OC can be a complicated game, but usability is a high development priority. It’s my hope that navigating and exploring all the detail of a OC world is smooth and intuitive.
The Inspection Tool
Any entity or world space in OC can be examined by clicking on it with the tile inspection tool selected. When the tool is used, an interface pops up providing all sorts of detailed information about the location that was selected. The location’s biome, current temperature, wind rating, elevation, region details, ground covering, microfauna life densities, and more context-specific information is provided in the dialog. For example, when a human is clicked, all sorts of information about that human is presented in a way specific to that sort of entity.
In the screenshot above, a wind power station has been clicked with the inspection tool. The interface on the left of the screenshot is the inspection dialog itself, showing information about the location that was selected. Near the bottom of this dialog, a pair of context specific buttons are visible, one for viewing details about the item (this will show things like the material composition of the power station and its subcomponents) and the other showing information about the functionality of the resource generator.
In this example, the “View Generator Info” button was clicked, and information related specifically to wind power generation is displayed, such as the current wind velocity, availability of wind at this particular station, and the station’s current energy reserves.
This is just one example of viewing detailed data in OC. While the entities and specific sorts of information vary greatly, the general principles for accessing the data remain constant. As you browse the website and see screenshots and videos of the game, hopefully this post will have given some context to the variety of informational dialogs and interfaces that you’ll be seeing.