Poll: Multiple Monitors

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Does anyone here besides me play their RLs on two or more monitors at once
(not sure it's possible in many besides Angband)?

If so, what kind of UI concept would you prefer:

1. Multiple windows that you can "stick" together like in winamp.

2. Main window plus toolbar-like information windows (like PaintShop).

3. MDI (like Word) application wherein all windows live inside a parent
window and there are buttons to tile or cascade them. This is problematic
for multimon since the parent window has to wrap across all monitors.

4. Something else.

I'm looking at ways to allow the user to customize their game views as much
as possible and to allow people with beautiful 21" widescreen LCDs (I hate
you guys) to really take advantage of all that screen real estate, while
also allowing the game to be playable at low resolutions.

--
Blog:
Shedletsky's Bits: A Random Walk Through Manifold Space
http://www.stanford.edu/~jjshed/blog
7 answers Last reply
More about poll multiple monitors
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    At Fri, 1 Jul 2005 13:12:16 -0400,
    Shedletsky wrote:

    > Does anyone here besides me play their RLs on two or more monitors at once
    > (not sure it's possible in many besides Angband)?
    >
    > If so, what kind of UI concept would you prefer:

    I think the windows are just a way to artifically and needlessly reduce
    your working screen size.

    There are several benefits that windows are supposed to give you, but with
    the most popular implementations out there it doesn't work:

    * You can work in several applications/views at the time. This is much
    better achieved by switching desktops. I've got always all of my
    windows maximised on their own screens, and switch between them. It's
    much more convenient than a bunch of overlapping windows, starting in
    different places, so I have to scan the screen to find needed controls,
    and stealing focus from each other, so I have to be extra careful not
    to press 'ctrl+a space' when the editor window just came active instead
    of my terminal emulator.

    * You can view the information in some windows when working in others.
    Maybe that could be true if you had all of your windows the size of
    a poststamp, or if a good tiling manager was designed and used. Right
    now I can see at most some parts of the needed information, and with
    modal windows you can't even move other windows out of your way.

    * You can have some indicators/icons/anything in a window floating
    somewhere for easy access. Of course, it would need to be 'always on
    top', and personally I prefer thingies like the panels ing Gnome.
    I know, they are also a kind of window, but they are treated specially,
    which makes them useful.

    Of course it's all just my own preferences. But if I were to design an
    interface, I'd make it several screens, switched easily with some key
    kombinations/mouse (both cycling and switching to particular screen), all
    arranged in sor of frames, like those used in html -- so that they can
    contain the info you sometimes need (and you don't have to switch the
    screens all the time), and it's there all the time -- no overlapping.

    The messages should be handled separately, either having a reserved
    'frame' on all the screens, or maybe using some of the techniques popular
    in instant messanging.

    Well, that's the interface of my dreams. Feel free to laugh at it, it
    might not be as convenient as it seem to me.

    --
    Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
    (TT) 3 Waaah!
    . . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    Interesting. I'll admit that's not an option I had considered. I guess I
    assumed that most people would want the main map window maximized; and would
    only invoke other windows when they needed to deal with character stats,
    inventory, ect... The way I'm structuring my UI, every part of the interface
    (map, inventory, stats, ect) is a separate user control. They know how to
    resize themselves to any size and are possible to display full screen or
    layed out entirely on a single form (so it's easy to accomodate a number of
    different UI concepts).

    Now that I think about it, you're right. It makes sense for whichever
    interface you are dealing with to take up the full screen. But what about
    things that you don't need to constantly refer to or directly interact with
    but occasionally provide interesting info (like the monster memory in
    Angband)? These little tooltip-ish type features seem to beg to be run in
    little windows on a second monitor. Or maybe they should be actual tooltip
    windows you get by right clicking on map tiles.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    Shedletsky wrote:
    > Does anyone here besides me play their RLs on two or more monitors at once
    > (not sure it's possible in many besides Angband)?
    >
    > If so, what kind of UI concept would you prefer:
    >
    > 1. Multiple windows that you can "stick" together like in winamp.
    >
    > 2. Main window plus toolbar-like information windows (like PaintShop).
    >
    > 3. MDI (like Word) application wherein all windows live inside a parent
    > window and there are buttons to tile or cascade them. This is problematic
    > for multimon since the parent window has to wrap across all monitors.
    >
    > 4. Something else.
    >
    > I'm looking at ways to allow the user to customize their game views as much
    > as possible and to allow people with beautiful 21" widescreen LCDs (I hate
    > you guys) to really take advantage of all that screen real estate, while
    > also allowing the game to be playable at low resolutions.
    >

    Well, I have two monitors (19"@1600x1200, 17"LCD@1024x768). I run
    Windows at the moment as my primary OS, and when I play roguelikes there
    are several things that irritate me:

    The first one is that either the text in the roguelike window is too
    small to read, or I have to choose "Lucida console" as my font, and I
    don't like Lucida console for roguelikes. The

    The second thing is that if I do go full-screen, the second monitor
    turns off. As default, I have my newsreader/e-mail program (thunderbird)
    running at all times on my second screen, maximized, as well as my IM
    client and all my IM windows in the background of the second screen. I
    like having access to these things while playing games, watching movies
    (for boring sequences), and so on. So, when I go full-screen in my
    text-mode roguelike and a friend IMs me, I can't see it.

    The third thing is that most roguelikes (except Angband) can never use
    that second screen for anything.

    So, my ideal roguelike interface:
    A single main window with a good "roguelike compatible" resizable font,
    with one extra window. Focus changing between these windows should be
    easily accessible through the keyboard (different from Windows' built-in
    alt-tab). The second window should be able to show different information
    such as inventory, skill values, special abilities and keys to activate
    these, resistance summaries, preferrably with some sort of automatic
    arrangement system so that you could have as many of these visible at
    once as possible, screen size allowing. Slightly less preferrable for
    this second window would be a "tabbed" view, where you could choose
    which one of the summaries you wanted to see. I would run both windows
    maximised on their own monitors, but if I had only one monitor I could
    switch focus between both maximised windows as it suited me.

    This interface could also be available on the Linux console version,
    just setting up on two different virtual terminals.

    Yeah, it's a pipe dream. :P
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    At Mon, 4 Jul 2005 14:19:40 +0100,
    Gerry Quinn wrote:

    > In article <q8z*ESKSq@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
    > damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk says...
    >> Quoting Shedletsky <mylastname@stanford.edu>:
    > I note that the 'multiple windows' interface seem to be commoner in
    > (though by no means confined to) free / open source software. That
    > could indicate a preference among techies, but it could also indicate
    > that this kind of interface happens when design hasn't been filtered by
    > the need to appeal to customers.

    It happends when you don't need to design and program your own window
    manager inside your application, because the window manager that the user
    uses isn't broken and is already customised for the user's needs.

    MDI gives you the advantage that you can fix the broken WM some users are
    forced to use (but, you can break a perfectly good WM other users like).

    --
    Radomir `The Sheep' Dopieralski @**@_
    (Qq) 3 Sob?
    . . . ..v.vVvVVvVvv.v.. .
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    Quoting Gerry Quinn <gerryq@DELETETHISindigo.ie>:
    >I note that the 'multiple windows' interface seem to be commoner in
    >(though by no means confined to) free / open source software. That
    >could indicate a preference among techies, but it could also indicate
    >that this kind of interface happens when design hasn't been filtered by
    >the need to appeal to customers.

    Or it could be that free OSes typically have decent (hell, a choice of)
    window managers, but that doesn't fit your faith, right?
    --
    David Damerell <damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
    Today is Second Monday, Presuary.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    In article <K-x*uBLSq@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk>,
    damerell@chiark.greenend.org.uk says...
    > Quoting Gerry Quinn <gerryq@DELETETHISindigo.ie>:

    > >I note that the 'multiple windows' interface seem to be commoner in
    > >(though by no means confined to) free / open source software. That
    > >could indicate a preference among techies, but it could also indicate
    > >that this kind of interface happens when design hasn't been filtered by
    > >the need to appeal to customers.

    > Or it could be that free OSes typically have decent (hell, a choice of)
    > window managers, but that doesn't fit your faith, right?

    It's not an issue of faith. Either your app will be coexisting with
    other apps on screen, or it won't. In the first case it exists as a
    bunch of distinct windows with other stuff on screen that it can be
    confused with. In the second place, it effectively spreads its windows
    around the full screen (or all but a task bar) anyway.

    A properly designed interface with a single main window works well in
    both cases.

    - Gerry Quinn
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    On Fri, 1 Jul 2005 17:55:46 +0000 (UTC)
    The Sheep <thesheep@ sheep.prv.pl> wrote:

    >Well, that's the interface of my dreams. Feel free to laugh at it, it
    >might not be as convenient as it seem to me.

    Sounds like fluxbox, with a panel and all the windows tabbed.
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