Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

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Jetrel
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

Post by Jetrel » May 9th, 2010, 3:08 am

Eleazar wrote:After watching the logo and the loading progress bar for a few seconds, the main screen appears, and the Wesnoth logo is revealed again fading in from left to right. While that logo is being revealed, the you can't do anything. I know it doesn't take very long, but it's annoying, to keep waiting on that flourish when you are testing and must continually restart the game.

Dramatically it doesn't make any sense anyway since that logo was just on the screen moments before.

Solutions:

1) make it so any click aborts the gradual revelation of the wesnoth logo. IIRC this is what used to happen.

2) Get rid of this effect entirely. Plop the logo on the screen and be done with it.

3) Gradually reveal the logo as before, but don't wait for it. Put the rest of the interface up there as soon as possible, and make it work.
I vote we get rid of this effect entirely. With a title-screen in place, this is bogus to have.

Options are bad, just get rid of it entirely.
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

Post by Eleazar » May 9th, 2010, 10:37 pm

A brief qualification to my complaint about #3 the terrain readout.
I think it may make sense to have the verbose description of terrains in the editor. I.E. mapmakers may find it useful to mouseover and see that a hex is "deciduous winter forest"
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

Post by Eleazar » July 1st, 2010, 4:59 pm

It's nice to see that there's some work trying to enhance the navigation of the sequences between scenarios.

However what we currently have in trunk is overly complicated with some buttons of dubious usefulness, and isn't optimized for normal usage. It is possible to streamline this thing without loosing any important functionality.

Problems:
  • * It takes at least 2 clicks to actually get to the scenario: click "last" and it becomes "play", click play and the game starts.
    * Buttons disappear strangely instead of being ghosted
    * Escape no longer starts the scenario

Proposal:
* Get rid of "First" and "Last". They are of little use, and clutter up the interface.
* The bottom button weather it's labeled "Play", "Skip All", or "Fight!", should always be there, and skip everything going directly to the scenario.
* I don't think the "Next", "Back" buttons need text labels, arrows are simpler and just as clear.
* When forward or backward movement is not possible, the button should be grayed out, instead of disappearing.

* Clicking anywhere that's not a button should work just like hitting the "Next" button.
* In the middle of an animation, such as movement dots being added, clicking anywhere, or hitting next should skip to the end of the animation.
* Hitting Escape should again skip everything and being the scenario.

If any new graphics need to be provided, i can quickly do that-- i don't remember if our buttons can be greyed out.

Feature Request
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

Post by Boucman » July 1st, 2010, 9:34 pm

this was done by icelus as part of https://gna.org/patch/?1587

unfortunately we didn't manage to turn him into a full-time dev, so nobody really touch that code ATM

I did an EasyCoding task out of it...
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

Post by shadowm » July 2nd, 2010, 4:27 am

Eleazar wrote:If any new graphics need to be provided, i can quickly do that-- i don't remember if our buttons can be greyed out.
They can ­— both the GUI1 and GUI2 button widgets support being “disabled” (grayed out).

I also agree that the storyscreens' have become too complicated in trunk for the average user — including me, actually. I wish I had been more active at the time these patches were proposed and applied.

(This part is highly subjective.) I'm not sure about naming the final command “Fight!”, however. It sounds more like a fighting game action than a TBS action to me. I'd rather have “Play” or something like that. I'm not very keen on having words or sentences followed by exclamation marks in user interface elements in any application, either.
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

Post by Blarumyrran » July 2nd, 2010, 5:27 am

Two big and awesome and semi-forgotten projects that could use some love,

Big GUI graphics revamp attempt
Image

By West, graphics half-done.

* * *

Icons to define a unit's traits and resistances in the right panel
Image

By Melon, graphics done.

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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

Post by Eleazar » July 3rd, 2010, 12:17 am

shadowmaster wrote:(This part is highly subjective.) I'm not sure about naming the final command “Fight!”, however. It sounds more like a fighting game action than a TBS action to me. I'd rather have “Play” or something like that. I'm not very keen on having words or sentences followed by exclamation marks in user interface elements in any application, either.
The use of "Fight!" was somewhat whimsical. I'm not entirely happy with, "Play" but the label on the button isn't the main point of the proposal.

Perhaps we can nullify your objections, if we make it, "Kill, Kill, KILL!1!!11!!!1111" instead.

Blarumyrran wrote:Two big and awesome and semi-forgotten projects that could use some love.
Hmm, i wasn't aware of those.
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

Post by Sangel » July 6th, 2010, 3:31 am

Eleazar wrote:Perhaps we can nullify your objections, if we make it, "Kill, Kill, KILL!1!!11!!!1111" instead.
Much as I'm in favour of a "Kill, Kill, KILL!1!!11!!!1111" button, under the circumstances I think that a simple "Begin" would suffice. :D
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

Post by Eleazar » July 8th, 2010, 11:54 pm

Here's one that should also improve performance if implemented.

Currently any hex the mouse is over gets highlighted-- it's replaced by a color-shifted lighter version of the hex. Most of the time it works well, but there are a few problems.

* This requires the snow to be grey-ish (currently 5% off from white) so the highlighting can be lighter than snow.
* It tends to burn out lighter terrains into detail-less white
* The highlighting is not always visible under very large units, or against busy backgrounds, especially the can't-go-here bars.
* As i understand it, it requires a cached, color-shifted version of the entire map (or something like that), and a new one must be created when ToD changes, or the map changes.


I've created an alternative highlighter: images/misc/hover-hex.png, which avoids the listed problems.

EDIT: I'm not sure if the file location matters, but this is something that should be theme-able.

EDIT 2:
I neglected to mention that the selected unit also gets hex highlighting. This is in addition to highlighting the unit itself and using a thicker ellipses (if ellipses are turned on).

It's redundant to highlight both the hex under the unit and the unit. I don't see a need to highlight the hex underneath the selected unit. And rather than just rely on the unit highlighting, when ellipses are off, i recommend using an ellipse for the selected unit -- weather or not ellipses are off. This would be visually easier to grasp than the current system.
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hover-hex.jpg
Can you tell which hex is highlighted in the top image?
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appearance

Post by Boucman » July 9th, 2010, 4:32 pm

Ok, I have the code ready, but you image isn't 72x72 and it's important in that case to have it fit into hex since we want to avoid having to redraw all neighbours...

I'll commit the code as is so you can test, but there are big redraw problems due to that...
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appeara

Post by Eleazar » July 10th, 2010, 12:23 am

I added a couple alternate images for use when hovering over enemies and over your controllable units.

* A couple people have noted that this chops off the heads of tall units in keeps. This is true, but i don't think it is real problem. Once the player uses the hex for a while, i think he will see "through" it, just as players know where the mouse pointer is, but doesn't notice tangents of the mouse pointer and units (like the mouse pointer poking a unit in the eye). Let's leave it for a while, and see how it feels after a few games.

* I originally said this should go over everything, but with some use, i think it would be better if the movement-orb/HP/XP bar complex was layered above it.

* We still need a better way to deal with a multi-hex sized brush in the editor. I can make little pieces to build a multi-hex hover-hex out of, or a single large image, whichever is easier.

* There are times when the player can't interact with the map, i.e. anytime there's the hourglass icon, also when dialogue, fake moves, or AI moves are happening. To simplify things and differentiate when the player can do stuff from when he can't the hover-hex should be omitted. Durning these times can't-go-here lines should also be omitted.

EDIT:
There's another use of the old hex-highlighting we hadn't thought of. To show which unit is speaking. As i recall it was often not very obvious.

Currently the hover-hex-box replaces it, but i don't think it works well in this instance. Instead i would use the selected ellipse (again, weather or not ellipses are turned on), and possibly the unit brightening.
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appeara

Post by beetlenaut » July 10th, 2010, 9:00 am

Eleazar wrote:As i recall it was often not very obvious.
Yeah, we should definitely mark the unit who is speaking more clearly. If ellipses are already on, brightening the ellipse wouldn't really be enough. Speech balloon maybe?
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appeara

Post by Blarumyrran » July 10th, 2010, 9:36 am

A simple talking animation for each unit with giant bright letters corresponding to the alphabet of his race coming out (making alphabets for races was all the rage some time ago, they could be used)?

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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appeara

Post by Eleazar » July 10th, 2010, 1:39 pm

beetlenaut wrote:
Eleazar wrote:As i recall it was often not very obvious.
Yeah, we should definitely mark the unit who is speaking more clearly. If ellipses are already on, brightening the ellipse wouldn't really be enough. Speech balloon maybe?
I didn't say anything about brightening the ellipse. I said the selection ellipse should be used. See attached.

I'm not against some additional indication of which unit is talking. Though word balloons are kinda tricky with the highly variable position of the units heads.

There's also the possibility of using a different, more obvious style ellipse. There's a star-pointed ellipse still in trunk that i designed for leaders-- i don't know if it's actually used anywhere. Something like that could provide sufficient added emphasis.
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Re: Some Suggestions for Improving the GUI & General Appeara

Post by beetlenaut » July 10th, 2010, 5:28 pm

Eleazar wrote:I didn't say anything about brightening the ellipse.
I should have said "enhancing". I don't see why it would be much easier to find the unit than it is now--even with the star ellipse. (Which I use in TFoB though it's not currently used in mainline.) I'm not sure that balloons are the best solution either, but it could be done. The position wouldn't have to be that accurate; pointing generally at the unit would be good enough.
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