Resolution Hurdle, and Crafting
I had to run some errands in town this morning, so the early part of the day was done in a coffee shop. I didn't want to carry a laptop around, so I decided to do some plot work in a Moleskine while I waited for the stores to open. There have been some overall plot arc issues I've been struggling with, and I found a few ideas this morning that I'd like to explore more.
Once I got back and had lunch, it was back into the resolution and layout work.
As mentioned yesterday, I wanted to try a font midway between the two font sizes I showed in the mockups. After I finished putting this mid-sized together, I tested it out in the mockup:
However, the mid-sized font (lower) actually looked worse than the bigger, thicker font (upper). I think the bigger font's thickness really improved legibility, so I'll probably stick with that one.
As I started adding code to switch resolutions, I ran into a stumbling block: Flash does not allow resolution-switching via code. The only way to set the resolution is at compile-time, which doesn't help me if I want to let the user choose from different resolutions.
I suppose this is because Flash was designed to be viewed in a browser, where the HTML tells Flash how large the plugin will be. It's possible to switch to fullscreen, and stretch/scale things to fit, but you can't change the resolution of the Flash stage.
After looking around a bit, it appears that some game devs get around this problem by making the Flash game at the largest necessary size, and then just manually reposition/scale things down as necessary. So we may still be able to do different resolutions. It just might make things more complicated behind the scenes. We'll see.
I also spent some time working on a new crafting screen mockup. I think I've managed to get things to fit, and here's what it would look like:
The idea here is that the left side of the screen shows everything the player can use as an ingredient, and they move ingredients into the top right window to combine them. Once ready, they click the "Craft" button on the right, and the results appear in the lower right window.
Basically, it works like the old crafting system, except the left side of the screen has copies of everything on the player, the ground, camp, etc. Any items used here won't de-buff the player unless it is destroyed in the crafting process, so this would hopefully fix the issue where campfires cause blindness when boiling water at night.
You'll also notice there are some tabs and buttons on the left ingredient window. I figured that it would be possible that all ingredients don't fit in one screen, so I may try to add left/right arrows to switch pages. I'm not sure how this will work (or if it will even work), but it's probably the only way to make sure nothing gets left out.
There's also a tab for "Known Recipes," and I figure this will like known recipes like the old items page did, except it'll use the arrow buttons to flip pages, rather than the scrolling buttons at the top and bottom of the old list. (The current top/bottom scrolling button UI is a usability no-no, because the user has to move the mouse across the whole list just to scroll up vs. down. Having the buttons close like this means it's faster to page forward/backward.)
So that's the idea, anyway. I still have to see if it works. I think the new layout is pretty intuitive, especially with the arrows and labels, but if you think it would be confusing or clunky, let me know.
That's it for today. I think I may start actually coding some things tomorrow, to see if any of this will work!