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Topic: Getting rid of the green balls in the immovable bobs menu tabs

Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2011-04-29, 18:37

Can anyone tell me what needs to be done to have meaningful icons there
instead of the green balls?
Anything I could do?


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
Posts: 1439
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2011-04-29, 21:02

A start would be to categorize the immovables. Currently they are only listed in the order they are loaded from the disk and then choped into a small number into each tabs so that the window is not getting to wide. A categorization would be nice to order them properly.


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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2011-05-09, 10:24

I have been looking into this and doing so, two ideas emerged.
Just "first thoughts" so far, but since SirVer seems to be already at revamping the editor,
I should bring them up now.

1) Many of the immovable and critters - even trees- are really linked logically to the terrain type.
You would want to place a cactus in a desert, but not a fern.
Skeletons and dead trees look more appropriate in swamps and deserts, than on green pasture.
A chamois is an animal for mountain terrain, but not for swamps.
You can only place tracks on a soft surface (snow, sand),
and so on....

2) We should go for quite a few more items in the editor; many things are missing, that would be nice to have.
By doing so, it becomes ever more important to sort the items according to how frequently you will need them, and
a simple display to show what is available may not be helpful.

So, I am wondering, whether it may not be a good idea to have a dynamic sorting of all bobs, rather than a static one,
and so have some intelligence built into the editor.
I don't want to prevent anyone from placing a reindeer in a desert, but I'd offer camels, snakes and scorpions first on the list of "placeable items".
And maybe we could give up the distinction between movable and immovable for the editor UI.

Sorted list could be created for each terrain type, and displayed depending on:

  • the terrain under the mouse cursor (nice!)
  • the predominant terrain on screen currently
  • or user chosen from a list of terrains. (not so helpful)

As always, I cannot judge about the feasability or effort and whether it's worth the benefit.
Others can face-smile.png


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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Nasenbaer
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Joined: 2009-02-21, 18:17
Posts: 829
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Location: Germany
Posted at: 2011-05-09, 17:22

I understand your point, but have a different view there - if the list is sorted dynamically (and thus would reorder itself for every other terrain chosen) I would never find what I am looking for, as the list does not stay the same way. As it is now, I know where the trees are, so I click the tab and directly got them - with dynamic order, I would not find them.

So my idea would be:

Generally order in categories (it somehow is already that way for trees and stones, as the list is alphabetically listed - howecver one could definitely improve it):

  • Dead items (skeletons, dead trees)
  • Small stones (not harvestable)
  • Standing stones (obeliscs)
  • Green stuff (not harvestable like grass, bushs)
  • trees
  • stones (harvestable)
  • cactus
  • mushrooms
  • ruins

And than

A) first show a window with a representing icon for each category - clicking it will open a new window with a list of items of that category

-> negative point: you can only select items of the same type at once for random placement (and yes I often place random trees, stones, gras, bushs, mushrooms, small stones and so on - make a map look more natural)

face-cool.png Leave the list as it is (just reordered after the categories above) and instead of the green dots, show the first item of that page as icon for the tab.

-> negative point: the list will still be long and become even longer, once new items are introduced.

However personally I prefare B face-smile.png

Cheers

Nasenbaer


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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2011-05-09, 19:59

Hehe, I can give that right back, Nasenbaer: I understand your point! face-smile.png
It is the view of someone who has done much work inside the editor, and has well learned to use it, as it is.
So, "no change" probably guarantees the fastest workflow for you.

One of the things, that I had in mind with the dynamical lists, was to attract newcomers a bit more to that task,
as it is something that can be done without programming skills (leaving LUA out of the picture for the moment).
Another side-effect was to endorse a meanigful choice.
The negative part is clearly to force a re-learning onto experienced users like yourself --
but that can't be helped, unless the Editor is left unchanged.
Your opinion surely counts a lot here for all the map-making experience that you have.
But who knows, even experienced users might find a new sorting helpful, if it is done in a logical way,
and though the order changes from terrain to terrain, at some point, everybody will find his way there too.

Yes, we will need some submenus as the items get more, but must be careful not to introduce more of them than is necessary.
A good balance of visible map area vs. more clicks for the choice must be found.

Independant from that, I think the trees take too much visible space in the picklist.
I would rather see them in a tree submenu - but the option to create you own custom tree paintbrush of all species and sizes
must be kept; I think it is superb feature.

The same is true for the different sizes of harvestable stones, and might be adressed in a similar way.
And of course different pictures are better than just green dots.
Whether a new, more generic picture, or, as you suggest, just the first one of the group would be better,
will depend on the content of the group in question.


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
Posts: 1439
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One Elder of Players
Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2011-05-11, 08:19

I follow this discussion and so far no clear idea emerged for me on the right way to do things. I agree with Nasenbaer that a dynamically reordering menu will not be beneficial. I see the argument that this will propose more likely items to newcomers but to the price that you do not have to learn one ordering, but very many. Also there is a gold rule of UI design that says that you should keep stuff in place - microsoft was scolded for their feature to hide menu items that are rarely used on experience.


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ixprefect
Joined: 2009-02-27, 14:28
Posts: 367
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Tribe Member
Posted at: 2011-05-12, 14:42

I personally like Nasenbaer's options A and B about equally. There is a parallel to how wares and workers were put into meaningful groups manually, and doing the same type of thing for the immovables in the editor seems like a good idea.

A lot of the "secondary" immovables such as the small trees could be moved into some "additional items" category, making it easier to select the "primary" immovables that you want (tree types).


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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
Posts: 733
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Location: Frankfurt / Germany
Posted at: 2011-05-15, 19:07

I honestly think that we will all run into problems in future times, if we do not find logical criteria for a hierarchy of placeable items.
Failure to find a scalable system now, will only lead to a larger number of mapmakers going through a steeper adaption curve at some later time.
There are a lot of items missing, that would be nice to have and each new progress brings about new demands - like seafaring and whales, albatrosses and ...
They must be sorted in some way, and the coequal display of everything will not do in the end.
Rather than subbornly repeating my point. I will try to demonstrate such a scalable system if I can manage, and hope to convince some. But it is a lot of work and will still take some time.
It currently has the top levels:

  • Design inland
  • Design mountains
  • Design shoreline
  • Design ocean

This is only how I work on maps after the initial phase. I am still trying to find a good system, but I get so flooded with ideas of possible new items that come to my mind, that I am not making too much progress. face-smile.png
A "good system" in that sense is of course one, that supports the mapmaker in his workflow.
It would help, if especially those with much experience, could outline in a few words how their workflow really is.


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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