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faking multiple windows with cool backgrounds

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Anonymous
September 19, 2005 5:21:36 PM

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
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 5:21:37 PM

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.
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 5:21:37 PM

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]
Related resources
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 5:21:37 PM

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
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 5:21:38 PM

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]
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 7:10:48 PM

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 
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 9:47:02 PM

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.. .
September 19, 2005 9:50:21 PM

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
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 4:32:21 AM

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
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 10:38:33 AM

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)
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 4:19:43 PM

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
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 4:19:44 PM

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
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 4:20:50 PM

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

"copx" <invalid@invalid.com> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:D gm6vk$di7$02$1@news.t-online.com...
[snip]

Glad, that I'm not the only one who likes it! :) 
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 8:49:57 PM

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
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 8:49:58 PM

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...

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...

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
September 20, 2005 9:36:42 PM

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
September 20, 2005 11:20:16 PM

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.
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 1:43:38 AM

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!
!