A quick look on the interface (pre-demo)

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kess
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A quick look on the interface (pre-demo)

Postby kess » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:18 am

First, good work on the game since I last tried it! :D It looks somewhat more polished now. While I haven’t tried playing the game I took a quick look on the main menu interfaces, and here are a couple of the things which I noticed. I’ll try to keep the points succinct and matter-of-fact since this is before the internal release and any RFC.

As compiled from SVN revision 1675.

Functionality
  • No widescreen support
  • Non-intuitive default key settings (with a keyboard)—many tend not to read the manual before trying a game and making 〈Return〉 work as well 〈F〉, at least in the menu mode, might help to alleviate this
  • Pausing the scrolling of the credits screen—now this would be low priority, but I still wished for it
  • Scrolling of items in the shop mode—when the last item has been reached it jumps to the first, while this is an okay behaviour it is not what I expect; it feels too ‘abrupt’, possibly because I have no idea when I have reached the end of the list as, for instance, the yellow arrows are still there when the end is reached (one possibility may be to gray out the arrows)

Options interface
  • The menu items listing might look more pleasing to the eye if the the top and especially the bottom paddings were somewhat larger

Credits interface
  • Use em dashes (—) instead of ordinary dashes (-); this holds for all parts of the game, not just the credits screen
  • Gracefully display too wide lines of text (cf. see the second post in the Additional Programming section)
  • Credits given only as nicknames would look better without being set inside parentheses, I believe (cf. the Extra Thanks section)

Battle interface
  • Abbrevations such as XP, HP and EVD would look much better set in small capitals; this also holds for all parts of the game
  • Refraining from capitalising grammatical words such as ‘to’ and ‘and’ would give them less conceptual weight to the casual reader (for instance “XP To Next” which might look better as “XP to Next”, incidentally I’d suggest to make the meaning more clear by rephrasing this line into something like “XP to Level” or “XP Needed”, but it might be my non-native grasp of English which plays in here); again for all parts of the game

Shop interface
  • The minus sign might look more pleasing and distinct if it had similar appearance to the plus sign, so I’d suggest using a real minus (−) instead of the ordinary dash (-)
  • Using real quotation marks (“…”) instead of the simplified ones ("…")
  • The title “Shop Name” is set slightly larger than the rest of the text (such as “Items” and “Buy prices”), I personally think it would look more pleasing if they were the same (optical) size, the shop interface might be using just one or two too many different font sizes or it is just my eyes that are easily lost
  • I have no idea about this one, but it could be worth a try to see how “×2” etc. looks like instead of “x2”; another possibility is to add a narrower space between the x and the numeral (such as “x 2” or “x 2”, or even possibly “x 2”)
  • Grouping of numbers, low priority if anyone else than me notices things like this, such as “1,900” instead of “1900” in English (this makes it look more like an amount than a year for instance); if implemented it would need to be flexible for different localisations or this feature is better of as non-existing (as variations such as “11,11,111” and “1.111.111” may be used)
  • The ‘applies’ mark looks somewhat out of context in the interface, possibly because it is so flat

Main menu
  • Personally I’d set the line “Copyright (R) 2004 - 2010 The Allacrost Project” as “Copyright © 2004–2010 The Allacrost Project” (copyright symbol, en dash and added whitespace (in this example an en space) before the name of the copyright holder)

Well, most of things are just mere typographical details which I myself believe would add to the beauty of the game. I beg pardon for any misunderstandings my English gives you. ;)
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Roots
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Re: A quick look on the interface (pre-demo)

Postby Roots » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:17 am

Thanks for the feedback, we appreciate it. :) I have to say you kind of caught us with our pants down by looking at this revision because we're in the middle of updating all the interfaces to use the appropriate fonts and text styles we've decided on. So a lot of the things you mentioend here are things that we are acutely aware of and plan to do near precisely what you suggest in the next few weeks. I'll address some of your points.

  • No widescreen support ::: not a high priority for us right now I'm afraid. It will happen eventually, but I can't say when. Of course if a contributor wants to come along and add this support, we won't stop them. :angel:
  • Non-intuitive default key settings ::: you don't even want to go here. Trust me, we've debated the issue to hell and back. No one agrees on what controls are intuitive anyway. We have a screen for first-time users that presents them with the default controls, which they can change if they so desire.
  • Scrolling of items in the shop mode ::: we know its ugly. We have someone fixing that very issue right now
  • BootMode options ::: yes I know the interface is messy. It's being cleaned up.
  • Use em dashes (—) instead of ordinary dashes (-) ::: I agree, they look much nicer. I don't know how to type them other than look them up in a keymap app though :|
  • BattleMode text interface ::: all the text is in the process of being changed tonight in fact
  • “×2” versus “x2” ::: also worth a try as I do think the x we have now is a bit too large. Again though that small x is not in a standard keyboard layout. I'm concerned if all of our fonts will have support for that glyph (we'll be using asian fonts in the future)
  • Grouping of numbers ::: I think it would look better, but again this is another low priority issue and is a little bit complex due to different countries having their own numbering schemata
  • The ‘applies’ mark looks somewhat out of context in the interface ::: its placeholder art.We have no artists right now so I whipped something up.


In general I agree with everything you said and suggested with few exceptions. A lot of these things won't be touched for a long time though because as I said, a lot of it is very low priority stuff. But I kind of like leaving the polish off for the time being because it can always be added later when there's not a bunch of really important work to do in the code and we can see a visual evolution of the game.
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gorzuate
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Re: A quick look on the interface (pre-demo)

Postby gorzuate » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:10 am

Roots wrote:[*]Grouping of numbers ::: I think it would look better, but again this is another low priority issue and is a little bit complex due to different countries having their own numbering schemata


I do believe this is something gettext can handle, let me look into it.
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gorzuate
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Re: A quick look on the interface (pre-demo)

Postby gorzuate » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:25 am

kess wrote:[*]Using real quotation marks (“…”) instead of the simplified ones ("…")


This is now implemented in the latest revision :)
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