New Action Buttons

Hey Folks! Been working on the new action buttons for mobile today. Trying to find a way to make the buttons bigger for those tiny screens, in a GUI that has basically no extra space left.

The current thinking is that we'll have a slide-out tray/panel on the side of the screen that the user can open to get at all the buttons. When it's closed, only the most commonly-used buttons are there, as well as running/hiding indicators. Here's a mockup in Small UI mode:

IMAGE(http://bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2016-10-28.png)

Also acts as a pattern sequencer for live DJ sets.

So where the old, slim candy buttons were, we now have scavenge and end turn buttons, and running/hiding LED indicators. Then, if the user wants to do any of the other actions, they slide out the tray (probably via tap or touch and drag) tap the command, and close it again.

This manages to make each of the buttons easier to target with touch, without having to rearrange the whole UI. I did have to do a little tweaking to make sure it didn't obscure the cursor mode button which appears in inventory screens.

What about 4:3 UI mode? It'll be a bit different. Remember that blank UI space we had in the lower right corner?

IMAGE(http://bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2016-10-28b.png)

Unused screen real estate? Never!

Turns out, that's the perfect size for this same cluster of buttons!

Lastly, we have the Big UI to contend with. In this mode, all action and inventory buttons are down the left side of the screen, so it's pretty tight.

However, I realized I could overlap the minimap and encounter screen buttons, since they never appear at the same time. That saves me 40px. Combined with the space the action buttons already use, I can then fit this slide tray in there. It peeks out a bit into the map area and items screens, but I have just enough spare room on those to nudge things out of the way.

It'll be tight, but doable.

Also, as it turns out, Big UI mode doesn't appear on mobile. So this is sort of a moot point for now. But I wanted to make sure I at least had a solution in mind.

There still could be some gotchas out there, but I think this is a net improvement for the UI. It adds some extra work to get at less-used action buttons. But in exchange, we get easier to touch buttons, and more clear running and hiding indicators. Plus, the 4:3 mode is a huge improvement with its new ever-present buttons.

Implementation starts Monday! Have a Happy Halloween weekend, all!

Comments

Malacodor's picture
Malacodor

Would voice commands be possible?

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

will2K's picture
will2K

YOU MADE NEOSCAVENGER GREAT AGAIN totally not a political reference... but i had to say it...

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

@Malacodor, voice commands are possible, but I'd prefer not to use them. I have a special disdain for voice-controlled tech :)

@will10219, I will build a toxic swamp and make Indiana and Ohio pay for it.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games