Author Topic: De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons  (Read 2311 times)

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Offline Simon

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De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons
« on: April 16, 2023, 06:46:00 PM »
Split from: Replay Insert Mode for Lix (like NeoLemmix's "blue R")



Look again at this panel screenshot above, where I removed the zoom button.

I'd like to also cut:
  • the restart button (circular arrow) and
  • the savestating buttons (flag, it splits into two buttons when a savestate exists).
I'll replace these with a button that opens a menu. The menu should implicitly halt play while it's open. It can then offer:
  • restart with replay,
  • restart without replay,
  • savestate, load savestate, possibly with multiple slots,
  • quit to ... end-of-level screen? Singleplayer browser?
The hotkeys of the cut buttons (restart, savestate) should certainly function within the menu, but, in particular, should also function outside the menu, during normal gameplay.

I don't want people to hit Esc three times to quit. It's already dumb to hit Esc twice to quit to singleplayer browser. To achieve better-than-three: Quit can gets a separate hotkey from the menu-opening button -- but that breaks UI conventions elsewhere in Lix, e.g., the universal quit key which we map in user options. Can we do something else, I'll have to ponder it.

Please shred this idea to pieces!

-- Simon
« Last Edit: April 16, 2023, 09:27:31 PM by Simon »

Offline Simon

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Re: De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2023, 09:21:59 PM »
In the current 0.10.8, if you press Esc during play, you go to the end-of-level screen, not to the browser. The main reason for this is because end-of-level offers to save a replay, and that's the only way to save a non-winning attempt in 0.10.8.

I can add save-replay to the play-interrupting menu, too. This allows:

Win or nuke = go to end-of-level screen.
Esc during play = open play-interrupting menu.
Esc during end-of-level screen = singleplayer browser, as before.
Esc during play-interrupting menu = singleplayer browser (and not end-of-level screen).

Like this, you can press Esc-Esc to go to the browser, as in 0.10. And you can always save the replay, whether you abort or win or nuke.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: April 16, 2023, 09:41:56 PM by Simon »

Offline WillLem

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Re: De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2023, 07:16:19 PM »
Some great ideas here, nice to see Lix getting a refresh :thumbsup:

Offline Forestidia86

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Re: De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2023, 07:01:13 PM »
I'm actually not sure if it is a good idea to remove the savestate buttons, since these should be usuable fast.

Offline Simon

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Re: De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2023, 02:26:52 AM »
There's another argument to keep savestating always visible: The button for stateload shows you that you've savestated.

And the restart button feels like a safe haven, nice to have it around. I rarely use restart, I always rewind with the faster of the two rewind modes, but who knows what others do.

It's possible to put buttons at the right side of the screen, to put buttons in a bar at the top of the screen, ...

-- Simon

Offline Simon

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Re: De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2023, 08:46:12 PM »
After today's Lix campfire: Right, the restart button is too important and homely to cut. We (Flopsy, Kingshadow, geoo, me) estimate that new players like the restart button as a safe haven.

Thanks for convincing me to look for another way!

-- Simon

Offline Simon

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Re: De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2023, 12:37:28 AM »


I've put back all the buttons, except for the zoom button. Now, there are 5 small buttons in the top row. Savestate splits into two buttons as before.

This reduces the width of the info bar. Tooltips, if enabled, will appear directly in the level area, above the panel, in the lower-right corner of the level area.

Now we have more clutter. Isn't it nice when software sucks because users demand it to!

This is good enough for some live playtesting. I'll see when I get time to stream, then I can be my own guinea pig. Feep feep. I'll be busy for the next days, expect a stream next week. I'll announce it 0-2 days beforehand.

-- Simon

Offline Simon

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Re: De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2023, 08:22:14 AM »


The scissors button will go away again. And I won't reintroduce the zoom button either.

The restart button will become larger again (half-skill height instead of crammed in the top row) to fill half of the void. I don't know yet what to do with the second half of the void. Please play some mental tetris with the buttons!

-- Simon

Offline Simon

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Re: De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2023, 10:49:14 AM »


It's back to what we had from 0.9.x through 0.10.10, except that the zoom button is gone.

I've filled the void (from the removed zoom button) with a wider restart button. Reason: This button merely happened to be adjacent. This looks reasonable enough to ship it for a while, until I can think of something better.

-- Simon

Offline WillLem

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Re: De-Cluttering the Panel: Fewer Non-Skill Buttons
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2023, 02:21:43 AM »
Looks great! :thumbsup:

Just a thought from the most recent of these examples - there are a total of 9 extra buttons to fit into that part of the panel. Here's what I'd suggest:

Half-skill-size buttons for everything except the quick-save button (F3). Then, all 8 remaining buttons have the same real estate across 4 skill-button-widths.

This then gives 4 of the shorter button slots above these buttons that can be used for the less-reached-for controls (quick-save, save replay, load replay, and edit replay - which I believe is an upcoming feature?)