User Interface Design
- From: "zircher" <tzircher@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 17 Mar 2006 07:31:44 -0800
BTW, this was off-topic in the comp.games.development.design newsgroup
(where nobody ever actually posts DESIGN topics - they only post
PROGRAMMING topics... [end rant]).
That got me laughing so hard that I had to post a big design
I'm currently building a chat program that allows the players to create
a 3D chat room where they can display models, move them around the
board, roll shared dice, etc. It's rules/genre agnostic and is
intended to help RPG, war game, and board game players connect.
The work-in-progress page is at http://www.virmin.com/virmin.htm
Any way, the design problem/question is that the user interface has
kind of evolved as a mish-mash of keyboard short cuts and mouse
movements. I'm tempted to scrap it and start over. It's funny since I
tend to like predominately mouse controlled games and I ended up
writing the kind of user interface that I hate.
So, I'm fishing for suggestions on how to revamp it.
The current user interface supports these actions: Open/close main menu
(new, open, save, connect, configure options, about VirMin), dice menu,
chat box, model statistics box, a 'character sheet'. The ability to
toggle between 3rd person, 1st person, and overhead view points. The
ability to zoom in and out, and rotate the camera around a specific
model. The ability to click and 'set focus' to a model. Use arrow
keys to move forward/backwards or turn a model. (The game script has
the ability to set free form or 'snap to grid/hexes' mode.) When a
data card (character sheet) is displayed, that user has a pencil that
they can write or erase with. Inside the chat box, the user can also
enter dice macros or roll on tables that are pre-defined in the game
save file. Not implemented, but something that I need to also ponder
is interactive editting of a session so that users can build a setting
without writing a VM script or can add/subtract units for a current
session (say a dungeon crawl where the bugbear only shows up when the
hero enters the room.) That would involve adding, deleting, loading,
cloning, scaling, positioning, rotation, etc. of models. (The program
also allows for the building of composite models that have a
master/slave relationship where the slave models move with the master
model. Slaves can also be set to auto rotation for effects like
planets, radar booms, propellors, etc.) Particle generators are on the
to-do list as well for torches and weather.
So, I'd like to hear what you all think I should do to make this as
intuitive for the players as possible given that it needs to be a level
designer, player, editor, viewer, chat program. :-P
The program is written in Dark Basic Pro which is pretty much a RAD
environment for game development. So, I can try several options
without breaking the camel's back.
It anyone's really keen on the whole work-in-progress UI, I can post
every single menu, key mapping, and context sensitive tidbit as well as
a quick intro to VM script tonight. BTW, the menus and dialog boxes
are all loaded up via the config file so its a snap to change them out
or create a different style/layout.
As always, any feedback (positive or negative) is welcome.
(Pardon any typos, I have a hit and run relationship with the English
- Prev by Date: Re: Large Public University Looking to provide engineers/computer science majors interest in japanese video game industry a course in Japanese: need ideas
- Next by Date: Need NY Metro Area Game Developers
- Previous by thread: Large Public University Looking to provide engineers/computer science majors interest in japanese video game industry a course in Japanese: need ideas
- Next by thread: Re: User Interface Design