Mockup of new menu

BZFlag related only please...please attach large images
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macsforme
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Mockup of new menu

Post by macsforme » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:31 pm

We would like to improve the visual appeal of the game. Toward that end, here is a mockup of one idea for how a new menu system could look.

4:3 ratio (how it might look on an iPad or similar device):
new menu.png
(1.4 MiB) Not downloaded yet

16:9 ratio (a widescreen computer monitor or a smartphone):
new menu (wide).png
(1.6 MiB) Not downloaded yet

A few people suggested that the borders around the menu do not improve the look of it. Here is a version without the borders (done quickly from the other version... the layout/spacing would probably need to be improved):
new menu no border.png
(1.3 MiB) Not downloaded yet

These are mockup images only... there is no functional demo yet. However, all of the effects in these images would be straightforward to implement in the actual game.

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by Zehra » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:30 am

I can imagine music within the menu along with a slow scrolling effect in the background.

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by R3laX » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:44 am

This is a great start, I'll give it a shot too. I would go with the no borders look.
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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by ahs3 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:56 am

I like no borders as well.

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by kierra » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:42 am

Same here: I like no borders as well
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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by tainn » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:23 pm

Personally, I prefer simplicity. As such no border is the first part. Then I would argue that our current menu is perhaps more soothing, at least to me... if anything, I would include the background of the menu presented in the OP and keep everything else as it is.

I would like to emphasize, however, that the mock-up in the OP is really nice; I just prefer our current one.

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by Zehra » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:28 pm

There probably would be a setting to provide a classic appearance.
Not sure if this is planned, but would be nice if we would be able to customize the menu as well.
Border free looks good and seems to keep with the classic style of BZ.

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by Ratfink » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:44 pm

Overall, I like the direction of this design. I don't have a strong opinion on the border, but if the menu would still work like the current one where it gets overlaid on the screen if you open it while playing, the border might help to distinguish between menu and game.

Minor things: I'd suggest moving the version number next to the copyright info, and removing the status and platform info. Presumably people know what OS they're running, and development versions can be labeled as such as part of the version string. Also, the word "BZFlag" is written with scaled small caps, which is a typographical pet peeve of mine (see https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... l_Caps.svg for an example, the top is what it should look like, not the bottom).

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by macsforme » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:09 am

Ratfink wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:44 pm
Also, the word "BZFlag" is written with scaled small caps, which is a typographical pet peeve of mine (see https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... l_Caps.svg for an example, the top is what it should look like, not the bottom).
You, sir, have sent me on a great journey of personal enlightenment. :D So if I understand this, the font weight/thickness should be consistent between the high and low caps, with only the height and width changing? So it seems you need a font with different weights of bold in order to do that, or else (in the mockup at least... not sure how plausible in real-time code) maybe add an additional stroke around the glyph to make it thicker, and widen the glyph advance width (spaces between glyphs) a bit. Food for thought...

Here is the font I'm using (it looks like there is only one weight of bold, unfortunately): https://www.1001fonts.com/squares-bold-font.html

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by macsforme » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:10 am

Here is an updated version with several of the suggestions taken into account, and with the menu items more closely matching what we have now. I also rendered it in a few different hues. I'm not sure what the different colors would represent, but possibilities include matching the player's current (or last) team color, or assigning a different color to each submenu or submenu level/depth.

cyan.png
(1.38 MiB) Not downloaded yet
green.png
(1.38 MiB) Not downloaded yet
magenta.png
(1.4 MiB) Not downloaded yet

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by The Noah » Wed May 01, 2019 8:49 pm

I really like it! Great work. A little bit ago I added mouse support to the menu (was a little glitchy) so when this happens I could help with that.

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by hard tank » Tue May 28, 2019 8:31 am

I like how that looks, will it be "clicky" ? As in navigating by clicking with a mouse because the current menu with arrow keys sucks for me, as my keyboard doesn't have arrow keys.

Are the labels already chosen as those? For greater simplicity you could just remove the "play" part and just have it as "Casual" and "League"

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by Zehra » Wed May 29, 2019 3:10 am

The ability to toggle the "league play", "training" and "help" selections would be useful.
This way options which are not relevant to players would not clutter up the screen.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by macsforme » Wed May 29, 2019 9:42 pm

hard tank wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 8:31 am
I like how that looks, will it be "clicky" ? As in navigating by clicking with a mouse because the current menu with arrow keys sucks for me, as my keyboard doesn't have arrow keys.
Yes, ideally the new menu system should be navigable using keyboard, mouse, gamepad/joystick, and touch input.
Zehra wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 3:10 am
The ability to toggle the "league play", "training" and "help" selections would be useful.
This way options which are not relevant to players would not clutter up the screen.
What? All of those menu items are relevant to all players. Even those who don't play competitively may be interested in watching matches, etc. Also, five or six options in the main menu is not "clutter."

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by Zehra » Thu May 30, 2019 12:45 am

macsforme wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:42 pm
Zehra wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 3:10 am
The ability to toggle the "league play", "training" and "help" selections would be useful.
This way options which are not relevant to players would not clutter up the screen.
What? All of those menu items are relevant to all players. Even those who don't play competitively may be interested in watching matches, etc. Also, five or six options in the main menu is not "clutter."
I realize my choice of words could have been better, so my bad in this part.

It is mostly based on the interest the various menu items holds to each player, so players may tailor it to their interests.
Experienced players may not be interested in "training" options, same as players who are knowledgeable on the client, may not be interested in the "help" sections, even "casual play" could be added as a toggle option for those who are not interested in public servers.
This way it an option, so players may make the decision on the subject.
This also would provide the benefit of players less likely mistakenly clicking the wrong menu item as well.
(If being able to "click" on the menu items is a future feature.)

I might be wrong in the implementation or the overall concept, but I think it is a good idea to some degree and yes, it could be improved as well.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by allejo » Thu May 30, 2019 1:28 am

Zehra wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 12:45 am
This also would provide the benefit of players less likely mistakenly clicking the wrong menu item as well.
(If being able to "click" on the menu items is a future feature.)
I can see how information getting lost in this thread is possible due to its original topic being sidetracked often. Yes, the menu would be "clickable" as macsforme mentioned in the post right before yours.

I'm against being able to hide certain menus in the game. As macsforme mentioned, there isn't an excess of options and we're looking to standardize the client and gameplay for everyone. Do you often see software that hides the "File" menu because users know Ctrl+N will create a new file or Ctrl+S for saving? Why would a game be any different?

Overall, I like the mockups :D The menu options look big enough to me, so I don't think I'll have a hard time aiming to select the correct one.
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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by kierra » Thu May 30, 2019 1:40 am

I do not find the menu options to be in excess or cluttered in the least.
The options are nicely condensed and capture most if not all possible interests. Interests in play styles change - even with seasoned players. The menu options as they stand, keep that info before the players.
I think it offers new players glimpses into the versatility of bz play style as well.
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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by tainn » Thu May 30, 2019 7:31 am

Should the new menu mock-up take place, are there any plans on allowing the 'legacy' menu to be an option under options/settings, assuming there wouldn't be any added functionality in the new menu, simply different organization with possible shortcuts?

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by Zehra » Thu May 30, 2019 3:29 pm

allejo wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 1:28 am
I'm against being able to hide certain menus in the game. As macsforme mentioned, there isn't an excess of options and we're looking to standardize the client and gameplay for everyone. Do you often see software that hides the "File" menu because users know Ctrl+N will create a new file or Ctrl+S for saving? Why would a game be any different?

Overall, I like the mockups :D The menu options look big enough to me, so I don't think I'll have a hard time aiming to select the correct one.
The analogy provided above is a bad one as it is an inaccurate comparison.
A better one would be how a user may switch a theme from light to dark or change the notification settings or being able to silence users in their IRC client or being able to filter out results on a web search engine or using an ad blocker to block out advertisements.
If something does not interest a user, why should they not have the ability to filter it out?

In terms of standardizing the game, this is a non-concern as it does not alter the game play in any form.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by QuantumFoam » Thu May 30, 2019 10:20 pm

Nicely done. Of the three color selections provided (assuming there won't be an option to configure this), I'd go with the green as a tribute to the roots of the whole thing. Any thoughts as to layer/level 2 of the menu system? e.g. will it be straight click through to a second full screen for each option? A right click option which pops up a submenu? Both?

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by QuantumFoam » Thu May 30, 2019 10:29 pm

And +1 on the "no need to suppress top level menu items"

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by macsforme » Fri May 31, 2019 4:54 am

QuantumFoam wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 10:20 pm
Nicely done. Of the three color selections provided (assuming there won't be an option to configure this), I'd go with the green as a tribute to the roots of the whole thing. Any thoughts as to layer/level 2 of the menu system? e.g. will it be straight click through to a second full screen for each option? A right click option which pops up a submenu? Both?
Most likely it would function similarly to our current menus, where you select an option and it goes straight to the next menu (maybe with some pretty animations, unlike what we have now). I don't think contextual menus/submenus would work well with all of the input methods we want to support. This would all be ironed out later, though.
Zehra wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 3:29 pm
The analogy provided above is a bad one as it is an inaccurate comparison.
We are trying to discuss the look and feel of the menu here, not the specific menu options. Your persistence in distracting from the main topic is frustrating.

allejo made a comparison between our menu system and another menu system, which is a perfectly valid comparison. Your comparisons to other unrelated things are the ones that don't make sense. This is the main menu of a game, not the favorites bar on your web browser or operating system sidebar.

But again, we're discussing the look and feel of the menu, not the specific options shown.

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by tainn » Fri May 31, 2019 7:50 am

Can we work a bit with the images provided and try different things? I'm asking because I like the direction, but I don't like the current result. How about the same mock-up without the huge icons on the side, just text?

Also since there was no reply, I hope legacy will be an option.

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by macsforme » Fri May 31, 2019 4:36 pm

tainn wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 7:50 am
Can we work a bit with the images provided and try different things? I'm asking because I like the direction, but I don't like the current result. How about the same mock-up without the huge icons on the side, just text?

Also since there was no reply, I hope legacy will be an option.
Sorry, I overlooked that post. Personally, I don't see what is so attractive or compelling about our current menu system that we would want to keep it around and maintain both systems alongside each other. The goal would be to make the new system superior in every way.

And sure, I can PM you the GIMP file if you want to mess with it.

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Re: Mockup of new menu

Post by Misadventure » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:23 pm

Hi. Just mentioning that I like the direction this seems to be taking so far on aesthetics. Overall, I don't think thare are too many options on menus and the general structuring seems OK.

If I think back to when I started, the Join Game menu was probably the most confusing. Perhaps more intuitive may be to first group together Callsign, Password, Motto, then separately below, Find Server, Server, Port, (perhaps Server Descriptive name too, if poss), Team before Connect. Start Server being here is perhaps irrelevant for most and just confusing for new players.

Main Menu - perhaps Help before Options. Save Settings for In Game/Options menu.
In Game Menu - as above, perhaps Leave Game first in place of Join
Help - a slash command reference page may be nice

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