Author Topic: [FEAT] Improvements to Skill Panel  (Read 6090 times)

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Offline WillLem

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[FEAT] Improvements to Skill Panel
« on: February 06, 2023, 05:55:56 PM »
It's just occurred to me that doubling the panel up vertically might not be so terrible, allowing all 21 skills to be displayed in full glory with full-sized numbers, and allowing more features to be implemented as panel buttons. Here's a mockup:



Note that the purpose of this mockup is, at this point, to preserve the current NeoLemmix layout whilst adding in all skills. It's very likely that the above layout would be revised and perfected. More buttons could be added, bringing the total of buttons as high as 38 (equal to the current width of the NeoLemmix panel) or 40 (increasing the current width by a single button).

Furthermore, if the ability was added for players to fully customise their panel buttons, they could decide for themselves whether they want to make use of all (30/38/40) buttons, or condense down to (15/19/20) for a single-line layout. In fairness though, there probably wouldn't be much point in doing this, since the minimap is already the height of 2 buttons (in the above mockup, that is).



Since Stoners rarely get much love, here's a simple level demonstrating a scenario which would only be possible if they were kept in the game!
« Last Edit: April 21, 2023, 12:52:45 PM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2023, 08:15:15 PM »
A quick mockup of how the panel could look with different coloured buttons for RR, Skills and Utilities (Note also the different coloured numbers for RR, to further distinguish it from the skill numbers).

I've also added in a button for the Grenader skill, since if SuperLemmix ever exists, it will be with this added back in. This brings the total number of skills to 22, meaning an even number of buttons for the 'skills' part of the panel. There is also now a button for CPM/Toggle Skill Shadows and another for Load/Save Replay.

It's not perfect, but it seems to be a step in the right direction:

« Last Edit: February 26, 2023, 05:06:17 PM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2023, 01:53:25 AM »
Another new panel mockup.

This extends the number of skills displayed to 16 whilst removing the restart button, which is arguably unnecessary due to hotkeys. Meanwhile, the CPM / skill shadows / load & save replay buttons have been made into smaller circular buttons in the top left of the panel. The text has been condensed slightly, and I've use a smaller version of the font from SuperLemmini.

Much happier with this panel tbh, I think it looks way better than stacking the buttons. 16 seems a better number of skills to allow per level as well; allowing all 22 could potentially cause some horrendously messy levels!

This seems to be the way forward, I'll concentrate on making this one:



As for customisation, I think the above panel is simple enough that a compact version won't be necessary. The small circular buttons would be made optional, and would not be displayed when in Classic Mode.



Where I'm up to with this:

:tal-gold: I've added the extra skill buttons, bringing the total displayed up to 16. Ran a test level and all 16 skills are indeed usable! I've had to resize the minimap somewhat to fit the extra buttons on.

:tal-gold: The Level Select screen can now also display 16 skills. SuperLemmix is now fully test-ready for 16-skill levels!

:tal-silver: Put the new panel graphics in, including the squiggle! The font still needs further tweaks. Not bothered about having different coloured buttons tbh, the panel is looking good enough the way it is.

:tal-gold: I've successfully removed all code for the compact skill panel.

:tal-gold: Panel text is now in the correct position to allow for the small circular buttons. EDIT: I've since decided against doing the small buttons, I like the way the panel looks without them. I could either move the panel text back where it was or leave it as-is.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2023, 11:26:19 PM by Will »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2023, 06:52:39 AM »


Here's how the panel is looking now. Shrunk the minimap a touch to get the FF button back on. The purple squiggle does nothing at the moment, but I can make it be a CPM on/off button. Thoughts?

Offline Proxima

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2023, 06:54:29 AM »
How come nuke and fast-forward are switched?

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2023, 03:49:19 PM »
How come nuke and fast-forward are switched?

Because Pause and FF are both game-speeds, whereas Nuke and Restart are game-finishers (in that a player tends to reach for these when they want to either finish the level or try again form the start). It just made sense for them to be grouped this way.

I suppose Restart and Nuke could be swapped, actually, since Restart is more like an "instant-backwards" than an actual game finisher. That might make the most sense. It would also keep the buttons with the green symbols together, as well.

EDIT: I've now done this, it looks better. Also, the Squiggle is now a CPM button :lemcat:



Also, at the moment, Nuke and Restart aren't "selected" in the same way that the other buttons are, but I would like to look at making this happen at some point.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2023, 04:19:08 PM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2023, 11:05:13 PM »
Added a poll.

Online Simon

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2023, 01:43:29 AM »
It might be worthwhile to ask about specific minimap use.

I never look at the minimap, and I never click on it. But I also complain about NL's failure to preserve mouse-on-map while zooming, and nobody else seems to zoom that much to be bothered by NL's failure to preserve mouse-on-map.

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Offline jkapp76

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2023, 01:57:34 AM »
Here's a few icons that I enhanced for NL. The + and - and pause I took from Lemmings 95 and recolored.

I have a LOT more of these, but I think these represent the best standard style. I use a different crosshairs cursor and so on...

The NUKE is clearly improved.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 02:14:12 AM by jkapp76 »
...Jeremy Kapp

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2023, 02:13:21 AM »
mouse-on-map

Hmm, what's this? Is namida already looking into it for NL?

Here's a few icons that I enhanced for NL

Thanks for these, Jeremy. The CPM/Load Replay button you have is actually based on the one I created ;P Meanwhile, I'll be happy to get that Nuke button in if it isn't different to the one I have already (looks like it might be the same...?) and I'll take a look at the others as well. I prefer my black and white Paws button though, that's one's staying as it is!



OK, the poll votes seem to be spread fairly evenly between wanting more skills, better minimap functionality and more function buttons. The best balance seems to be to reduce the skills to 14, keep all 4 buttons (and the squiggle!), and stretch the minimap back to a reasonable size. Here's the result:



Much more in love with this tbh, I think this hits the sweet spot. In reality, 16 skills per level is a lot to keep track of, especially on a horizontally-oriented panel. 14 is still a lot, as I'm sure Lix players already know!

I could still change my mind on this one, but I think the initial release will feature this version. If enough people want to see 16 skills, I'd be happy to re-implement it at the cost of minimap space and 1 button (maybe the squiggle, which is currently a CPM toggle!).

Offline jkapp76

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2023, 02:31:28 AM »
Yes, my nuke is improved over that standard one.

I like my green pause because it stands out, uses the same green shades, and comes from lemm95.

I use the theme below. I prefer this purple, but I made the same theme in a few colors. Only other thing is the crosshair selector and also those big red arrows, I made them less round and more like they're pointing.

Use whatever you want and leave out the rest.
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Online Simon

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2023, 04:06:05 AM »
mouse-on-map

Hmm, what's this? Is namida already looking into it for NL?

NL bug: Zooming into the map should preserve mouse-on-land.

namida hasn't replied to that.

The point is that nobody else is complaining about this, even though it absolutely breaks my habits until I ragequit. Thus, I assume people have other habits (regarding zooming and scrolling) than I have. Since the minimap allows you to scroll the main map, you might be interested in how people get around the map before you keep/ditch minimap.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 04:15:28 AM by Simon »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2023, 01:40:49 PM »
Replied to the zoom bug in-topic. I'm happy to help look at it, for sure, but might struggle if I'm tackling it on my own at this stage.

Meanwhile, yes, good point: anyone want to give some input as to how they use the minimap?

I tend to use it to "jump" from one place to another (so, bigger is better really); the edge scrolling is more than adequate for moving around a level in a smooth motion, so I very rarely use the minimap this way.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2023, 05:23:19 AM »
From a discussion on Discord:

It's been mentioned that 16:9 is something of a standard for Desktop apps, since most screens are in that ratio. It works great for NeoLemmix/SuperLemmix when in FullScreen mode, but Windowed mode currently leaves something to be desired.

I would strongly recommend a 1780 x 900 window size. This fits the panel at 2x zoom and levels at 2x zoom, with an increased amount of width for the wider levels. It may not be ideal for recording or streaming, but you can always "Widescreen" out the top and bottom of the screen with black borders if needs be (it's what I've always tended to do when recording a NeoLemmix LP); most desktop recording apps make it relatively easy to do this.

In the meantime, I'll look at ways to reduce the panel size a bit; even getting it down to 1700 * 900 might be something of an improvement for those who prefer less width in Windowed mode. I don't really want to lose more skills (if anything, I'm still considering bringing skills back up to 16!), but I might have to forego the squiggle or nerf the minimap.

I'd like a bit more feedback on this before making any decisions though. In particular:

What zoom settings do you normally use for NeoLemmix?

Do you have your display full screen or windowed, and if windowed, exactly what size do you prefer? (you can find this out by looking in the NeoLemmix/settings/settings.ini file, look for WindowWidth= / WindowHeight= )

What do you think of the new wider panel in SuperLemmix? Too big? Just right? Or is there room to add even more, in your opinion?

Have you tried the recommended Width & Height settings? (i.e. 1780 x 900) What are your thoughts on this?

If you want to remove all wasted vertical space, you could even try 1780 x 860 and 2x zoom for level and panel. This nerfs the menu screens, but is great whilst in-game ;P
« Last Edit: March 06, 2023, 01:54:39 AM by WillLem »

Offline Proxima

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Re: [SUG] Improvements to Skill Panel
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2023, 06:14:59 AM »
Went over this in discord, but in case it helps to have everyone's responses in the same place:

* 2x game and 2x panel (with hi-res)
* Windowed, 1600 x 900
* Too wide
* The problem with 1780 x 900 is that it's even wider than 16:9, so for video recording / streaming, you get empty space above and below, and you have to shrink the Lemmings window further (leading to more empty space) if you want to add facecam, livesplit or anything like that.