U/I suggestions for editor

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U/I suggestions for editor

Postby Carrington » Thu Mar 04, 2004 2:55 am

robjess wrote:
Carrington wrote:One of the still intriguing changes is the editor, which is supposed to be a good deal more user-friendly. I can think of a number of improvements, but I'll be very interested to see which of these improvements will actually be implemented.


Ermm isnt it better to make your suggested improvements public - or atleast email be privately - rather then crossing your fingers and hoping that they will be implemented.

Whilst no one can gaurantee that any suggestions are adopted - there is a greater chance if SSG know about them..


Ok, I'll make a first pass now, these are things that would be really helpful to people getting into the editor:

In general the editor takes a while to become intuitive -- it hasn't for me yet, though I'm coming to appreciate some of the features that make it a bit gnarly -- vis the .xcr files and the multi-layer mapping. So I have to think a little bit past the point of RTFM (things I would like to do, and would realize it could do if I burrowed deeply enough into the manual) to get to constructive suggestions.

And, BTW, let me say that I'm very excited about the editor -- it's a great potential and somewhat realized asset to the game system. I'm really impressed with what Rob Gjessing and others have done with it, and I'm very much interested in seeing what I can do with it myself.

So, in that spirit ... The first hurdle is that it is an unfamiliar, somewhat "retro" working environment, so I'll fire off the first set of suggestions there.

Adopt Windows/(Mac) Standards:

Context Sensitive Help

First, some RTFM stuff that should be dealt with regardless (context sensitive help, or some other onscreen narrative would be nice). Ideally, one could bring up a dialog box by right clicking (or mousing over, or whatever) every command e.g:

Dump Map to Disk: "Saves a .BMP (bitmap) of the map as currently displayed on screen";

Define Map Size: "Defines the Length (E-W) and Width (N-S) in hexes of a new Map. The Maximums are... (can I wish for 125x140)


Error messages: ("You must define a map size between 5x7 and 90x70")

"Whatsit doing? Messages: ("Processing", extracting file, compiling..... hourglass/ "please wait"

Menu arrangement:
After this, big initial issue is the arrangement of the menus. Aside from being a little cryptic (RTFM, admittedly), it take memorization and or a lot of familiarity to figure out how menus and submenus follow from each other. Here, ideally, the editor would move to the Windows (and Macintosh) standard of drop-down menus, arrows denoting further drop down menus, etc. The current system of clicking on a particular command and bouncing to a new screen is clunky.


More later....
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Postby Brubaker » Thu Mar 04, 2004 6:35 am

Hi Carrington

All suggestions are I am sure welcome, so please keep em coming.

I agree with all you have written above. In fact many of things are now coded in. The new editor conforms much more closely to the 'windows' standard and is therefore much more intuitive. The right click context help similar to the game is there also.
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Postby Carrington » Thu Mar 04, 2004 6:58 am

Brubaker wrote:Hi Carrington

All suggestions are I am sure welcome, so please keep em coming.

I agree with all you have written above. In fact many of things are now coded in. The new editor conforms much more closely to the 'windows' standard and is therefore much more intuitive. The right click context help similar to the game is there also.


Makes me happy -- I'm very much looking forward to BiN and further iterations. I'll continue when I get a moment to think about more substantive issues.
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Postby Joe » Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:50 am

If the editor is as good as the one in the old RUN 5 series I will be ecstatic
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Postby Carrington » Mon Mar 22, 2004 4:46 am

Brubaker wrote:Hi Carrington

All suggestions are I am sure welcome, so please keep em coming.

I agree with all you have written above. In fact many of things are now coded in. The new editor conforms much more closely to the 'windows' standard and is therefore much more intuitive. The right click context help similar to the game is there also.


Ok, a "sugquestion:" say one decided that all Russian infantry in ATD (or in a custom scenario) should be given three bullets, not one; how would one go about making the change? I think, for the editor as it currently stands, it would be an issue of changing each Russian unit. This is clearly not ideal, particularly if one sees such global changes as part of a scenario design process.

So, would it be possible to expose more of the OB database to scenario designers, and particularly to allow for the definition of classes and subclasses of units within an OB? Or would this run counter to the engine's architecture?

For what it's worth, this is a question that arises from my March 22 post in http://www.robjess.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=487.
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Postby Brubaker » Mon Mar 22, 2004 7:43 pm

Right now each unit has to be changed individually as in the old editor. I think Roger is looking at a mthod of global change.
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