Thursday 5 February 2009

Up the TreeView

Some of the feedback I've had from the latest Alpha has been excellent - very thorough and thoughtful. It's much appreciated.

I didn't actually mean to lie when I said I'd be focusing on new functionality - instead I've completely redesigned the XAGETOOL user interface:
  • I've replaced the numerous listboxes with a single treeview (think Windows Explorer) - this makes everything look much less cluttered and more intuitive to use, as the user can visually see how all the game content fits together, room by room. It also makes it easier to add new functionality via context-sensitive menus (e.g. I've added an 'insert new ...' option for items in which the order is important, such as script actions or animation frames). It also means that the UI is now completely resizable.
  • The popup dialogs have now been replaced with a panel embedded into the front page. Now you can traverse the tree whilst editing items, and it also removes the size limitations of the popups.
  • The load/save buttons are gone and in there place is a proper menu strip. This gives it a much more familiar look and feel, and consequently it all seems a bit less amatuerish.
  • There's now a nice green, shiny 'Play' button which starts your current XAGE project game. XAGETOOL now also contains all the required files, so essentially you can create an XAGE project completely from scratch without having to cannibalise the example game as in previous versions.


All in all, I'm pretty pleased with how it is turning out. I have a vague design for my dialogue system, so it's about time I implemented that. There's also now a roadmap on the project status panel on this blog, so you can get an idea of where XAGE currently is and where it needs to be for v1.0.

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