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Byrgius

Improved mission menu

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I was thinking, since the mission list is growing in TDM that the download mission screen needs a bit of work. Filters for sorting out missions would be such a great feature like mission release date, name, rating (perhaps?), package size, etc.

 

If this was discussed before, I apologise, but I'd really like to see this in TDM one day.

 

Cheers!


tzl1l.png

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Definitely something we'd like to do, but our manpower is pretty limited, so we have to pick and choose from our massive wish list.

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We had once the discussion with mission ratings which resulted that this would not be an easy goal. But for things like sorting by name / date or even a mission tags filter would be possible for someone who'd like to dig into the GUI code of TDM. :)


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Maybe this a small contained project one could tackle? Are there any specifications on what should be changed and how? Or is it more or less still at the "hm, it should be better" stage?


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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I don't know what is the state for this task, but wouldn't it make sense to rearrange the ingame downloader? At the moment we got half a side for the missions list and half a side for the download list (which is mostly filled with only one download anyways).

 

Would a rearrangement like the following be possible?

post-3542-0-50559900-1439916947_thumb.png


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Would it be possible to just mark the "selected for download" missions with a * or ✓? Then we wouldn't need two lists.


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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That would be less convenient in some cases, e.g. if you change your mind and want to deselect one of the missions, which you now have to find again. If you're trying to do something like download the complete Thomas Porter series together, it's probably more convenient to have the selection list available at a glance.


Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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I think it would both be sufficient but it should be decided on the amount of work which has to be done to achieve one or the other (I have no idea how GUI scripting for TDM works). So we'd see what would be easier to build: a on-click-select & deselect like Tels said, where you can de-/select downloadable maps, or if we keep the list we currently have and shrink it.

 

How the hell is this programmed anyways?


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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That would be less convenient in some cases, e.g. if you change your mind and want to deselect one of the missions, which you now have to find again. If you're trying to do something like download the complete Thomas Porter series together, it's probably more convenient to have the selection list available at a glance.

 

But if the list can be sorted by clicking the top headers, and one of them is "marked for download", then a single mouse click gives you the currently selected list. Also a "deselect all", "select all" button could help.

 

With the seperate list and only a handful entries, this list needs to be made scrollable, which is a lot more work (than not having a second list :)

 

SeriusToni:

 

The programming of the GUI needs to be done partly in the GUI files, which specify what element goes where and what happens if you mouse over it or click it. The rest has to be done in C++, which specifies what happens when you click something.

 

Having only one list is definitely easier. But programming time it costs in both cases.


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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For the layout I could TRY to get my hands on (programming the GUI positions of the elements), but for the C++ functionality I have no idea or talent to do this really :P


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Please file a bugtracker issue. If someone wants to provide a drawing of the screen layout showing desired functions, that will help. We'll get to it when we can. The more fans we attract, the more suggestions get submitted, and the backlog grows, so triage becomes increasingly important. Which means the broken stuff goes to the top of the list and the 'nice to have' stuff moves to the bottom, and is in danger of never getting done.

 

So having a filed issue is important to at least keep requests from fading away.

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Okay I'll open a bug tracker log with some variations of the screen design as pictures you can pick from or edit. But I'm away until friday, so don't wait for it until then please :)

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"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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I have a question: What is the point to download more than one mission? In my opinion, this makes the mission menu overloaded and for newbies, as I was one not long ago, potentially confusing. Here's why I think so.

 

When I go to the mission menu, I want to search for a new mission to play. Normally I don't want to download a bunch of missions for later; I want to play one of them right now - the one I'm going to download. It even happens to me sometimes that I wonder why I can't download a mission I selected - then I realize I first have to "select for download". Terribly confusing, in my opinion.

 

My suggestion and question if that might be possible: download, installation, relaunch of TDM and launching of the "new mission" menu all in one go and automatically. If we can agree that the point of downloading missions is to play the downloaded mission instantly, then this would make the most sense imo.

 

Also I'd suggest a difficulty rating of the missions rather than a general rating (might be discouraging for map makers). Of course this comes with its own problems, but when I download a mission, I want to proceed from easy to hard rather than from best to "not so good anymore".

 

@Wallace: That's what I thought also: separate the missions into single missions and campaigns. Makes chosing a mission to play easier.

 

I tried messing around with the GUI a little bit to change everything to my liking. As I have absolutely no knowledge on programming this kind of stuff, I didn't come far. That would have taken me many months (at least). But as you guys want to work on that maybe I should stop trying things out on my own anyway. When there's some raw work a newbie can do, I'm glad to help.

Edited by Nico A.

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I routinely download multiple missions at a time; it saves me return trips to the download screen. These days I typically put TDM into windowed mode so I can leave the queue downloading in the background. So one person's normal usage differs from another's.


Some things I'm repeatedly thinking about...

 

- louder scream when you're dying

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I tried messing around with the GUI a little bit to change everything to my liking. As I have absolutely no knowledge on programming this kind of stuff, I didn't come far. That would have taken me many months (at least). But as you guys want to work on that maybe I should stop trying things out on my own anyway. When there's some raw work a newbie can do, I'm glad to help.

 

Good to hear you've gained your first experiences with GUI coding. Our friend computer-fr0d did this too already (for the main menu). If it is okay for you I would recommend that we three try to update the mission downloader with combined force.

 

As soon as I finish the screen design I will post it here so we can get some opinions and discuss how it can be coded. If we completely get lost I still can open up a bug tracker in the end, but first let's try to solve this by our own, since grayman is already busy. ;)

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"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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How are the menu elements' positions calculated? Do you guys need something like X:64; Y:96; height: 320; width 320 ? From changing the screen resolution it looks like all gets just stretched from one base coordinate to fit and realign the desired resolution. Please tell me how you want the coordinates for the on screen elements so that they will appear ingame in the same way as in the picture :)


"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Ah okay, so this is why the background textures look that much blurry on higher resolutions. I guess it isn't possible to use the top > down method (design for HD screen and scale down the resolution if the user has only 640x480 screen size) instead of down > top (scaling up and thus blur) the screen elements, is it?

 

Besides that question, my concern above was more about how the elements are positioned on the screen via code. Meaning what does the coder person need to position the element the same way as in the design concept (does the coder need coordinates like x,y,height & width or x1,x2,y1 & y2)?

 

EDIT:

On the screens you can see the difference of the visual quality already, if we were able to design the screen in HD resolutions like 1920x1200 (in which the new design is being created). As comparison you see the original design how it looks on my screen (upscaled to 1920x1200 from 640x480).

 

Original menu

http://i3.minus.com/iubLosjE7IhgR.jpg

 

HD menu [in the works]

http://i2.minus.com/iMNQQuTgIbY7l.png

Edited by SeriousToni

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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Element positioning is done by defining "x y w h".

 

x = units from the left edge

y = units from the top edge

w = screen width

h = screen height

 

I'm not sure what the impact is of changing the standard 640x480 resolution to something higher.

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I can make some filtering functions. Also I just came up with the idea to have an external mission downloader so that if you want to do stuff outside the game and you want to download in bulk you can do that.

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