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 Post subject: Build Menu
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:23 am 
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Ok, with uni finished for Xmas, I'm going to crack on with some graphical bits and bobs. Firstly, the build menus. They're pretty basic ATM =/ However, we have so much more room to work with now, I thought it might be nice to make use of it. Up until now, the concept so far was this:

Image

A larger version of AW's existing menu. Sure it's quite ugly with the font etc, but it is after all a concept. However, we rarely get to see the full size sprites for units, well not at all in fact. So I wondered if the intel sprites could be incorperated into the build menu, and came up with this:

Image

Thoughts?

The infantry that's red obviously shows what's highlighted, and it would follow with the mouse as well. Ports and Airports would be similar, just they'd have their respective image in the background.

So, what do you think, should we stay as with AW's existing style, or should we make use of the space?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:24 am 
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It looks nice.

But do we need it?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:19 am 
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*Sound of entire graphics board collapsing*


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 am 
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What does that mean?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:36 am 
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Way too big...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:42 am 
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monkymeet wrote:
It looks nice.

But do we need it?
That was even worse than an Uber post

seriously

uber has said smarter things about graphics

Of course we need it MM, unless you want the finished product to look like crap, garbage and failure <_<

I recently just implemented a menu-color-by-army-color code with the help of Vimes and CT. It shouldn't be that hard to draw a frame around it resembling the menu's design and then making the interior white.

That said I'm all for choice 1, as choice 2 is...

Awesome, but also huge >_>

The only two problems with me programming it is

1) These sheets give me a hard enough time, I will be very proud if I program this frame <_<
2) I have no idea how to make the menu 2 rows like that. I'll figure it out soon hopefully. <_<

Also can you make a menu header like that, Xaif for the Main Menu and then the Options menu? :0

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:33 am 
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It looks nice, but it's huge.

Don't put the useless units around the edges, put them on the bottom row instead.

The easiest way to code this would be to have the boxes printed separately from left to right, wrapping at a fixed row size of 6. I guess it wouldn't be too hard to center justify them like that (though left justification would be easier). Then the cursor would start on slot 0 in the upper-left, which would be infantry.

Aside from hugeness, I can think of two other problems:
1. It would limit us to 18 units per deployment property tops, which isn't that huge a deal because we're unlikely to get 3 more units...but if we do, something will have to be taken out. For a smaller menu, we could just keep expanding it.
2. It looks great for the base, but it seems to me that it would look empty for the airport and port...8 units is a lot less than 16. Also, the way I suggested programming it, while easy and general, would make airports look even worse with a full top row and 2 units on the second row. It seems to me that the most sensible thing graphically would be 2 rows of 4. Do the other programmers have ideas about how to do this nicely and generally?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:45 pm 
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Programming wise I figured we'd just set the position manually rather than with an algorithm (like how I did the dossiers) because that way most of the imagery is done with a simple background image. The dynamic things like text and unit sprites are then pasted at their respective co-ordinates.

Ok, so we'll go for a smaller version with just the overworlds. I've made a neater and cleaner version of the one in the first post, with two different opacity settings for the backgrounds and stuff:

Image

Image

We can go for any type of settings, maybe not even have the background at all and just leave it white. What do you make of the overall design though? The airport and port would consist of just one column of 8/9 units.

Also: Sure Kosh, I'll get those menus for you =3

EDIT: Something this effect?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:56 pm 
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Looks really good to me. Good job.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:26 am 
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Actually, Xaif, what I meant was ingame, when you pressed A and the menu pops up with CO/Intel/Options/End, and that Options Menu with Yield/Exit Map.


That one.

...That one actually looks good though lol; however I had an idea of just centering all that text that we currently have now.

Also, being that you're playing with menus, I took that vote a few months ago and I noticed a pattern among the userbase when it came to fonts: Every user regardless of operating system has these eight fonts.

Arial
Comic Sans MS
Courier New
Georgia
Impact
Times New Roman
Trebuchet MS
Verdana

Perhaps we can use these fonts in CW?
As it stands now, CW uses the default Serif font on each OS; and I think those may be different depending on the operating system...meaning they're different sizes and styles, depending on which OS you have.

Any font we choose, we're going to have to make some adjustments to CW anyway. For example, Verdana is a rather wide font and won't fit in those CO dossiers (in the CO select screen) as-is. So we'd have to either change the font size, adjust the position of the text string, or use a different font.

hmm >_>

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:09 am 
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Oh, right rofl. I thought you meant for the options and main menu when you choose New when CW first loads up XD

Ok, I see which one you mean.

Font wise, I've been using Arial size 11 for text. It's clean, sophisticated and is very similar looking to the actual AW font. For titles I use Impact size 36, for example, CO names in the dossier.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:20 am 
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Image

Since this menu needs to be dynamic, we'll have to paste the top and bottom and fill in the inbetweens with however many rows are needed, if that's the case, all we need is:

Image

Sure the OS'll have to change, but we'll just have a seperate sheet with each army's initials on it, and leave the header blank.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:01 am 
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I was gonna post and say "Menus are one of the last things we should do, since nearly every method of implementation will be tedious and minor-error-prone to change in the future (see: current "New Game" menu)," but then I remembered we are at the end.

Anyway I'm planning on devoting some time next week to fixing up menus. I'm hoping to implement them in a much more dynamic way, like the post directly above me by Xaif, so there's less work needed to add new ones. If memory serves, Java has some pretty decent tiling effects, especially if the tiles are simple like these.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:08 am 
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Awesome, if that's the case, I'll get the spritesheets put together and also a list of measurements for word placement etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:05 am 
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Location: I'd put something clever here, but you'd expect that
It looks nice, but it's too big



just directly copy AWDS's build menu please

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:09 am 
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Which one? There's a smaller one about half way down the page =3 If that's the one you're referring to, it's of similar proportions to AWDS.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:21 am 
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Location: I'd put something clever here, but you'd expect that
them all

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:37 am 
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what happened to the menu on one side and the info/details on the other?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:49 am 
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Xaif, I have a so-so good idea. <3
For those build menus, we want to have a generic-looking one without any headings; that way they can be used universally. Likewise, if we omit text from the current one we can rely on tiling and then filling in the text with either an image or a text string. Thing is, in order to make them tile properly you'll want to split the sheet up into eight directions:

topleft
top
topright
midleft
midright
bottomleft
bottom
bottomright
For those selection fields, you might want to add a "mid" section, maybe. :0
It's easier to just draw a round rectangle with an outline though in Photoshop and then draw the image in Java; as Java has no easy way to do shape outlines.

The center field can be filled in by drawing a simple white rectangle in Java behind the menu tiles.

But yeah, the idea you had sounds good; though now that I think about it a more generic menu would probably be a smart idea (sort of like AWDS', but with a little more flavor). Personally I'd like to see a fancier topheading without text, but whatever man, it's your call <3

Another thing I'd prefer is if the innards of the menu (the inside box) was left transparent and then in Java we could draw an 85% opaque box, giving it a look similar to the first menu idea you provided in your second post. Selected options would have a solid rectangle drawn behind text to signify its selection.
However, do these menus' "selection" color change depending on army? Or is it the same pinkish color for every army?

No matter what you do though Xaif it's going to look good lol.


EDIT: Another thing I'd like to see return (which is totally unrelated to this) is the return of the "details" box in the D2D menu. If you draw a generic frame for the ingame menus, it shouldn't be too hard to draw said box and have text strings note its necessary details.
I'll program this once the new menus are implemented. <3

EDIT2: As for Halo's observation, what are we going to do about that? >_>;

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:57 pm 
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Too big you think Deoxy? In-game they look like this:

Image

Image

The menus are about the same size in proportion with the screen size as AWDS. Also, if you rotate our existing build menu by 90 degrees, the sizes of the 2 are very similar. The problem we have is we don't have 2 screens, which brings up Halo's question. I don't think it's a good idea personnally to put the intel screen on at the same time. The intel screen takes up half the page: http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/892/windowvw7.gif. And the build menu takes up more than a half width wise so it wouldn't fit in. It'd end up looking cramped if we put both on. What I suggest is that when hovering over a unit in the menu, if you right click or press "I" or something, the intel window is displayed for that unit. Pressing either one again then takes you back to the build menu.

Also Kosh, yeah that's pretty much along the lines I was thinking about making the spritesheets having 8 different sections, and using tiling to fill in the blanks. Also, I'll make the headers all blank, so you can go ahead and think up something to put on there, as it seems you have something in mind =3 They're all colour changable (using the same colours as the CO menu) and will change dependant on the army used.

Which style should we use? I'm fine whichever way we go about it, but the second version would be easier to incorperate.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:02 am 
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How about the one with less headaches.

They all look pretty. I even like the large icon one to be honest(Use that damn space! Use it and abuse it!). But whichever one gives the least headaches and still looks good, I'd use that one.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:00 am 
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Actually, I was just thinking; thinking out loud here; but (generally to Vimes) - is it possible to use parsing to determine the text generated for these menus?

Also, lol brainstorm - in your Build menu, why not keep that amount of contrast (I think that's what it is lol) the same, or even increase it; and use transparencies on it? That way the map isn't obscured. :P

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:47 pm 
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There's the sprite sheet. Coordinates for each image are:

Top left (0,0) 40x17pxls
Top right: (39,0) 40x17pxls
Bottom left: (0,16) 40x7pxls
Bottom right: (39,16) 40x7pxls

Mid left: (0,23) 40x21pxls
Mid right: (39x23) 40x21pxls

I've based it on the 'end menu' as that's the smallest menu we're ever going to need, which is 80pxls in length. The height is obviously variable, so the amount of rows (mid sections) needed to be put in are dependant on the amount of options available. For larger menus, like the build menu, I've put an extra bit on the end that can be stretched to fill in the gap of larger menus, which are:

Mid top: (79,0) 1x15pxls
Mid bottom (79,17) 1x6pxls

For the extended rows, all that's needed is a line which I'm sure that can be done with the actual code itself. The colour of the line should be #FF2929 to start with, then recoloured to whatever. Also, as for recolouring, the exact same filters can be used that're used for the CO select screen.

I've left the background blank, so for now we can just have a white background of size: 74x4+21r, where r = # of rows, and its top left corner at (3,15) in relation to the top left corner of the surround. For the highlighted box, it's just a rectangle drawn over of size 70x18 pxls, coloured #FF8484, then stretched if needs be.

The build menu is a different size, but follows a similar procedure, here're the measurements needed:

Image

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:47 am 
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For the build menu, why don't you take out the cost from there and make it as wide as the main menu screen. Now you can make two smaller screens, big enough to fill a default map size and place them adjacent to the menu like a sideways sandwich. I don't really have an idea what kind of details to put in. Maybe one side is a damage chart and the other is the usual description screen? :?

...or hold a button down or toggle to gain those windows. I dunno.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:48 am 
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You've completely lost me =/ Take out the cost? Make what as wide as the main menu screen? Two smaller screens?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:26 am 
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Ah, the dimensions will be very helpful, thanks.
But title bar might be a minor issue. How important are those little lions up on the top? Because it'd be a lot easier and more straightforward to make this if I don't need to put them there. It's certainly possible, it just seems kind of out-of-place and more trouble than it's worth.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:00 am 
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And how would be simpler?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:06 am 
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Base
  • Deploy
  • Not

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:17 am 
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Eh? And what would that be useful for?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:32 am 
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Deploying.

Or not.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:16 am 
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...just look for the boxes where they're placed. >.>

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:45 am 
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It takes up the whole map! I don't like that.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:48 am 
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I agree with Deoxy and I'm all for having 2 screens (ala DS).

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:23 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:21 pm 
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oh lord two screens


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:35 am 
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Co Sonic wrote:
And how would be simpler?

How would which one be simpler?

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