faking multiple windows with cool backgrounds

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

One thing I never liked about traditional RL interfaces was the weak
seperation between the different screen areas. I mean "message box", "status
box", "map box". In plain ASCII you can only use empty space or characters
like '+' and '|' which don't make nice seperators IMO. Actually using
multiple OS GUI windows is even uglier because that makes the game look like
some kind of office app.

Now that've switched to using a GFX backend I've come up with a new way to
handle proper area seperation. I just fill the empty area between the
"windows" with a bitmap. I think this combination of ASCII and bitmap can
look real nice.

Here's a Work-In-Progress screenshot of TOD's new engine that shows what I
mean:

http://todoom.sourceforge.net/wip1.png

I think that little tiled bitmap in the back greatly increases the W40K/SF
feel.
Yeah, I just love it and needed to bark about it ;-)


copx
17 answers Last reply
More about faking multiple windows cool backgrounds
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    copx wrote:

    <snip>

    Very nice looking. I'm really digging that stylish blend between
    graphics and ASCII. The color scheme is fantastic, too.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    copx wrote:
    > One thing I never liked about traditional RL interfaces was the weak
    > seperation between the different screen areas. I mean "message box", "status
    > box", "map box". In plain ASCII you can only use empty space or characters
    > like '+' and '|' which don't make nice seperators IMO. Actually using
    > multiple OS GUI windows is even uglier because that makes the game look like
    > some kind of office app.

    Agreed. I never liked this in the Windows version of Angband. Cluttering
    the screen is a Bad Thing(tm) in roguelikes -- we need nice simple
    interfaces. :)

    > Now that've switched to using a GFX backend I've come up with a new way to
    > handle proper area seperation. I just fill the empty area between the
    > "windows" with a bitmap. I think this combination of ASCII and bitmap can
    > look real nice.
    > [snip screenie]

    The look is nice, and still allows you to use that precious blank space
    as a seperator between 'windows'. However, I think a nicer transition
    would add a lot to it, even if it's just a pixel or two-wide border that
    blends the background into the black foreground colour.

    > Yeah, I just love it and needed to bark about it ;-)

    Fair enough. I certainly have no problem handing out praise for it
    looking nifty. :)

    --
    HopeDagger
    Kainwall DevBlog: http://kainwall.blogspot.com
    Kainwall Website: [In progress]
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    In article <dgm6vk$di7$02$1@news.t-online.com>,
    copx <invalid@invalid.com> wrote:
    >One thing I never liked about traditional RL interfaces was the weak
    >seperation between the different screen areas. I mean "message box", "status
    >box", "map box". In plain ASCII you can only use empty space or characters
    >like '+' and '|' which don't make nice seperators IMO. Actually using
    >multiple OS GUI windows is even uglier because that makes the game look like
    >some kind of office app.

    What's wrong with that? Office applications generally allow for fairly
    sophisticated interactions, throwing that away seems like it should be
    something of a last resort.

    Just the two cents of an interested onlooker.

    -Mike
    --
    http://www.mschaef.com
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    MSCHAEF.COM wrote:
    > What's wrong with that? Office applications generally allow for fairly
    > sophisticated interactions, throwing that away seems like it should be
    > something of a last resort.

    I think copx was hinting at how roguelikes traditionally have rather
    simple interfaces that (usually) consist of one screen. Throwing around
    windows everywhere can get both unwieldy and confusing.

    The frusteration of such *in addition* to that annoying Blood Demon
    tearing up your last character could have catalysmic results. ;)


    --
    HopeDagger
    Kainwall DevBlog: http://kainwall.blogspot.com
    Kainwall Website: [In progress]
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    copx wrote:
    > Here's a Work-In-Progress screenshot of TOD's new engine that shows what I
    > mean:
    >
    > http://todoom.sourceforge.net/wip1.png
    >
    > I think that little tiled bitmap in the back greatly increases the W40K/SF
    > feel.
    > Yeah, I just love it and needed to bark about it ;-)

    It does indeed look spiffy! Now, ideally, this window would be
    dynamically resizable, scaling font and background image with it. It's
    so small on my screen! :P
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    At Mon, 19 Sep 2005 12:55:32 -0400,
    HopeDagger wrote:

    > MSCHAEF.COM wrote:
    >> What's wrong with that? Office applications generally allow for fairly
    >> sophisticated interactions, throwing that away seems like it should be
    >> something of a last resort.
    >
    > I think copx was hinting at how roguelikes traditionally have rather
    > simple interfaces that (usually) consist of one screen. Throwing around
    > windows everywhere can get both unwieldy and confusing.
    >
    > The frusteration of such *in addition* to that annoying Blood Demon
    > tearing up your last character could have catalysmic results. ;)

    On the other hand, something like frames or rules could be handy...
    Aspecially the ones you can drag around and they snap to the edges of the
    window.

    If you need some sophisticated controls, it's always good to consider
    the OS's built-in widgets, simply because they get the OS's support and
    will work for free with all sorts of additional OS mechanisms.
    You know, like scrolling the menus with the mouse wheel, text
    autocompletion, maybe even spellchecking, maybe voice synthetisers,
    all sort of accessibility software, etc. -- you don't know what kind
    of extensions and enchancements there will be 3 years from now, but
    chances are that if you use your standard OS's widgets and libs, they
    will be supported.

    And the "ugliness" of the widgets depends strongly on which libs you use
    and what theme the user has chosen. I'm not sure whether you can override
    the user-selected theme with your own for a single app, but it would solve
    many problems...
    (I would still leave an option for using the user's theme, though).

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

    I like this idea a lot. Chazm will look similar except that there will
    be window looking borders instead of the bitmap. I like the bitmap for
    your game but i dont know if it would work for all...

    Good Luck with your gui!

    -Thomas
    RL: CHAZM
  8. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    HopeDagger wrote:
    [...]
    > The look is nice, and still allows you to use that precious blank space
    > as a seperator between 'windows'. However, I think a nicer transition
    > would add a lot to it, even if it's just a pixel or two-wide border that
    > blends the background into the black foreground colour.

    I strongly agree about adding a border. The texture in the screenshot
    is very good and the layout is tasteful and well executed, but without
    borders it looks like a piece of gift wrap paper with cut out holes
    glued over a character terminal.
    More subtly, the confusion and lack of containment between the
    characters of adjacent interface elements is pushed to the pixel level,
    between character regions and textured decorative regions.

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

    copx wrote:
    > One thing I never liked about traditional RL interfaces was the weak
    > seperation between the different screen areas. I mean "message box", "status
    > box", "map box". In plain ASCII you can only use empty space or characters
    > like '+' and '|' which don't make nice seperators IMO. Actually using
    > multiple OS GUI windows is even uglier because that makes the game look like
    > some kind of office app.

    I agree with you on that point. For You Only Live Once, I used
    empty-space characters to get a border around the different message
    boxes for that very reason.

    > Now that've switched to using a GFX backend I've come up with a new way to
    > handle proper area seperation. I just fill the empty area between the
    > "windows" with a bitmap. I think this combination of ASCII and bitmap can
    > look real nice.

    It looks beautiful. The bitmap doesn't intrude too much onto the
    screen. I reiterate the point made by others: you need a 1 or 2 pixel
    border outlining the text window areas. You may consider rounding the
    conrners of the text boxes, or maybe aligning the kerning a bit
    differently. The text seems to start too close to the left hand side
    of the windows, and not be centered vertically.
    --
    Jeff Lait
    (POWDER: http://www.zincland.com/powder)
  10. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    "MSCHAEF.COM" <mschaef@fnord.io.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:5padnX2xa9TxdLPeRVn-1g@io.com...
    > In article <dgm6vk$di7$02$1@news.t-online.com>,
    > copx <invalid@invalid.com> wrote:
    >>One thing I never liked about traditional RL interfaces was the weak
    >>seperation between the different screen areas. I mean "message box",
    >>"status
    >>box", "map box". In plain ASCII you can only use empty space or characters
    >>like '+' and '|' which don't make nice seperators IMO. Actually using
    >>multiple OS GUI windows is even uglier because that makes the game look
    >>like
    >>some kind of office app.
    >
    > What's wrong with that? Office applications generally allow for fairly
    > sophisticated interactions, throwing that away seems like it should be
    > something of a last resort.

    It totally destorys the immersion that's what's wrong with it - at least for
    me. The interface of a game has to fit the theme of the game. See Fallout
    for an excellent example and SLASH'EM for a real bad one (I mean that ugly
    GTK frontend).

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

    In article <dgonnl$r89$05$1@news.t-online.com>,
    copx <invalid@invalid.com> wrote:
    ...
    >It totally destorys the immersion that's what's wrong with it - at least for
    >me.

    Heh... maybe I'm just warped a little too much by 'Stars!', if you
    remember that. It was a space exploration game that felt a lot like an
    ordinary windows app.

    >The interface of a game has to fit the theme of the game.

    Yeah, I see what you mean. I suppose there's a distinct tradeoff involved
    between fitting the theme of the game and reusing existing interface
    ideas.

    -Mike
    --
    http://www.mschaef.com
  12. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    "copx" <invalid@invalid.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:dgm6vk$di7$02$1@news.t-online.com...
    [snip]

    Glad, that I'm not the only one who likes it! :)
  13. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    MSCHAEF.COM wrote:
    > In article <dgonnl$r89$05$1@news.t-online.com>,
    > copx <invalid@invalid.com> wrote:
    > ...
    >
    >>It totally destorys the immersion that's what's wrong with it - at least for
    >>me.
    >
    >
    > Heh... maybe I'm just warped a little too much by 'Stars!', if you
    > remember that. It was a space exploration game that felt a lot like an
    > ordinary windows app.

    Oh lord! That was a good game! I completely forgot about it... a quick
    google didn't come up with any links. Do you know where I can get my
    hands on it?

    >
    >>The interface of a game has to fit the theme of the game.
    >
    >
    > Yeah, I see what you mean. I suppose there's a distinct tradeoff involved
    > between fitting the theme of the game and reusing existing interface
    > ideas.
    >
    > -Mike

    BR,
    Björn
  14. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    In article <433021ef$0$251$14726298@news.sunsite.dk>,
    Björn Bergström <bjorn.bergstrom@roguelikedevelopment.org> wrote:
    ...
    >Oh lord! That was a good game! I completely forgot about it... a quick
    >google didn't come up with any links. Do you know where I can get my
    >hands on it?

    Maybe... there's a residual newsgroup dedicated to the game.

    rec.games.computer.stars

    This thread has information on purchasing copies.

    http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.computer.stars/browse_thread/thread/0e4685b8e0a7ecf7/310e26deec86a2c3#310e26deec86a2c3

    This next thread has information on the fate of Stars Supernova, as well
    as 'Stars 3', which is an independant derivative of the commercial
    codebase developed by one of the guys involved in Supernova. (He's
    actually one of the posters in the thread)

    http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.computer.stars/browse_thread/thread/21bdd60ed8706438/08b6c0e6e71f2c93#08b6c0e6e71f2c93

    From what I can tell, there are enough legal and personal encumberances on
    the code, that Stars! will die as a closed source, fee for license game.
    Unless, that is, somebody else reimplements it from scratch. There are a
    few projects on sourceforge that aim at that.

    It may be hersay on this group (I like overhead RPG's too), but if I ever
    came up with a few thousand spare hours to work on a game, I think it'd be
    more along the lines of a Stars-like than a Rogue-like. (Easier graphics
    are a big part of the reason why. :-)

    -Mike
    --
    http://www.mschaef.com
  15. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    Yeah. I would definitly agree with the two pixel border idea along the
    edges to clearly separate the bitmap from the stats and map.

    -Thomas
    RL: CHAZM
  16. Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

    > Here's a Work-In-Progress screenshot of TOD's new engine that shows what I
    > mean:
    >
    > http://todoom.sourceforge.net/wip1.png
    >
    > I think that little tiled bitmap in the back greatly increases the W40K/SF
    > feel.
    > Yeah, I just love it and needed to bark about it ;-)

    Just want to join the crowd and say 'that's really cool'

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

    I concur! Definitely a cool looking idea. I'm implementing my game
    using a .ttf font in a win32 interface, so something like this is
    certainly feasible, and could help add a bit of 'flavor' to the game.
    Sweet!
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