With the Big Bang generation done to the point where commodities are generated at both the planetary (production) and station (sales) level, it’s time to surface the result of this work in the marketplace.
The flow is pretty simple: A character enters a star system. The player clicks on a planet which as a station, and chooses DOCK from the display menu.
Once docked, the player has a selection of station services to choose from, including the market.
The commodity market serves only one purpose: to buy and sell commodities. I’m only displaying the goods that the station offers.
This caused some design agony. First, I wasn’t sure where I was going to put the market details. The “Details” panel is getting pretty overloaded already, and I didn’t want it to become the dumping ground for all data. The alternative, though, was a modal popup that would focus attention on the market. That seemed rather out of character, so I decided to use the “Details” panel anyway.
Second, how to deal with the back and forth of commerce? I need a way to indicate which items the station is selling and which it is buying. There’s no good way to do that entirely in the “Details” panel on account of the fact that I have to incorporate what is in the cargo hold of the ship. Mixing inventory displays is just confusing, so I opted to keep two panels. The first — the station — is what you see above, only filtered to display just the commodities the station is selling. The second — the ship cargo — is already provisioned as its own panel and will ultimately display what the player owns. The cargo panel will allow the player to sell direct to the station, with items that the station does not buy greyed out.
Before I get there, I need to work on the display of the market, as the items are too large, the list does not scroll, and I need to incorporate a footer which will show when the user clicks a commodity from the list so she can choose the quantity and make the purchase.