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Topic: Toolbar redesign

GunChleoc
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Joined: 2013-10-07, 15:56
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Posted at: 2016-11-22, 14:40

I have some ideas for redesigning the in-game toolbar, so here are some rough mockups. Of course, the graphics background will need to be refined / redone for them - we will probably want something dark and a slim edge.

Related bug

Version 1: On the bottom

Version 2: On the left

Version 3: Corner toolbar with statistics for the game. In the editor, there would be tools instead.

I would also like to add census/statistics buttons and zoom +/-.


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simplypeachy
Joined: 2009-04-23, 12:42
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Posted at: 2016-11-22, 15:58

I'd never really thought of having a larger toolbar but they look nice. In #3 you could also have the current status of the game e.g. number artifacts collected, percentage of land owned, number of logs in stock, for the respective game modes. The watchwindow could perhaps be integrated, and display in the bottom-right corner when enabled.


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Tibor
Joined: 2009-03-23, 23:24
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Posted at: 2016-11-22, 17:21

Looks good, but also like a waste of space. What about auto-hide or an option to minimize?


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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2016-11-22, 18:14

What actually inspired me to do a redesign here are the gaps we now have in the toolbar between the buttons - we need something with some form of background for visual cohesion.

Autohide also sounds good, but as an option IMO. Mouse target to make it reappear could be the lower left corner of the screen.

Edited: 2016-11-22, 18:17

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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2016-11-22, 19:31

I think S2 did it really nice, by having a all encompassing graphic around the whole screen to frame the MapView: For example.

I dislike having

1) gametime: Showing the user all the time: "See, so many hours you have wasted in this game already!" is not really fun, and the information adds not much information to the game anyways. 2) Clock. I want to play a video game to get me out of my busy day-to-day. Having a clock front and center is putting stress on me. It also has nothing to do with Widelands. 3) Coordinates: they are an implementation detail and the user should not be concerned with that. If we need to point to a certain place on the map, we should have a way of permanently flagging a place. 4) auto-hide option. Please do not add more options to the game, this is not a text editor. Find something that feels natural and stick with it.

From the position, I prefer having full width at the bottom because it is symmetric (compared to the L shape) and where most strategy games add their UI. Your mockup takes a lot of space away from content.

Have you thought about the other extreme: going towards no toolbar at all, just one button that opens a menu window to all the stuff that is currently in the toolbar. I'd much prefer that, because it gives more space for the content that really matters.


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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2016-11-22, 19:46

Having just 1 button with a menu is an intriguing idea - I currently see a few problems with it though:

  • We lose the messages notifications
  • Editor undo/redo buttons will take a lot of extra mouse positioning and mouse clicks.

So, maybe just a few buttons and have them expand into dropdown menus (which will of course go up, not down)?

As to the clocks - I find the in-game timer interesting for timed win-conditions. For me, it's not "how much time have I wasted in this game already?", it's "how long do I have until the game ends?". The system clock is a personal preference of mine, it means that I don't have to leave the game in order to find out what time it is. But we can certainly leave it out, I won't shed tears over it.


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fuchur
Joined: 2009-10-07, 14:01
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Posted at: 2016-11-22, 21:41

I'm sorry but I'm not conviced that the new designs are of any advantage. The full width and full height versions (1 and 2) look ok on this 800x600 screenshot. But I guess on a 1920x1080 screen there will be a lot of empty space in the toolbar which I would prefer to show game content. If the empty space is used to show more information as simplypeachy suggests that would be ok. But how will you avoid problems with different resolutions?

The L shape (version 3) is a bit, well, it's nothing one is used to by other software. At least for me it looks a bit exotic. But it has the advantage that it reduces wasted space. For that reason I think I'd prefer it.

As for the system clock: yes, widelands tends to make one spend more time playing as one has planned face-smile.png So it would be an indicator to save and go to bed face-wink.png But I won't miss a clock.


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einstein13
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Joined: 2013-07-29, 00:01
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Posted at: 2016-11-22, 22:42

From my point of view I like a few buttons in the center bottom (current state). But if you want to improve something, I would like to add hard to implement idea: you can add an icon for most of the menus and drag & drop anywhere on the screen. Then you can customize almost anything you want. After all we can stay with one icon for main menu and leave player to customize itself needs. The hardest thing is to save the customized layout, because creating all icons at the beggining of the game is not a good idea face-wink.png


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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
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Posted at: 2016-11-22, 23:18

I don't feel any need to change the tooolbar as it is now. it is perfectly functional, having all it needs with minimal impact on space, and it is also very quick to access in case of need. really, nothing is gained by hiding a part of the screen with a wood texture.


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kaputtnik
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Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
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Posted at: 2016-11-23, 07:49

The wooden texture is just an example. A small border, nice background, is just an eye catcher and i think this would be good face-smile.png

What i find disturbing is the grouping resulting in gaps between the groups.

Reducing the amount of buttons is a good idea though. From my point of view this buttons could be moved to an extra window (or Main Menu):

  • 'Tribal encyclopedia': Information provided here is interesting only for new players. The more one is familiar with the tribes, the less Encyclopedia is needed. Should have a shortcut though.
  • 'Reset Zoom': I think most players do some zooming in and out and let the zoom to the state it fits his/here need.
  • 'Objectives': Could be moved also, if the game is not a scenario. For normal games there could be a window which pops up at game start, remembering what this Win condition asks for to win

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