Editor update: New UI for blocks

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Editor update: New UI for blocks 

Message par Unas » Dim Déc 09, 2012 2:32 am

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the lack of progress and update lately, as I've been spending time on many other things than AAO for the last few months.

I've just made changes to the V6 beta editor, related to the UI for editing blocks (Cross-Examinations and Investigation Scenes), on which I'd like to get some feedback, as it addresses some complaints regarding the previous one.

Most importantly, it should fix two problems that were previously mentioned :
  • In an investigation scene, it wasn't always clear what was being displayed in the block as you browsed through the tabs. It should now be clearer, hopefully.
  • In CEs, I was told that the overview displaying all statements as frames was not practical, etc. I have now changed it to something quite similar to V5 : the CE overview lists all statements horizontally and shows only the text of the statement; the Open button opens the statement and its pressing conversation for edition.

Enjoy, and please give feedback ! :-)

By the way, in case the layout of these blocks seems messed up to you when you first try loading the editor, try clearing your browser cache and reloading the page :wink:
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Re: Editor update : new UI for blocks 

Message par Meph » Dim Déc 09, 2012 11:16 am

It actually looks very nice. :XD: And this should be much easier to use.
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Re: Editor update: New UI for blocks 

Message par GanonZD » Lun Déc 17, 2012 1:54 am

It's definitely nice to see that development has once again started. V6 is getting closer. :-)
I promised myself to give feedback to this post, but I've had to delay it until now. But now allow me to share my thoughts.

Overall

Despite some issues, this update is definitely an improvement in every way I can think of. The most important thing that this update changes is something you state yourself: It draws a clear distinction between what is a block structure and what is ordinary frames. The most notable part of ths is that everything is indented, which is an intuitive way of highlighting a certain part of the storyboard in a way similar to how it's done in programming. Moving the title and ID of the block to the far left is perfect for creating overview, yet it has far more potential than what you make use of. When first seeing the new block structure, my intuitive understanding of the purpose of the left margin was that this was to include a screenshot of the block events once I started adding them. As a matter of fact, I was surprised to find out that this was not the case. IMO this is how the left margin should work:

  • Investigation blocks: I think that once the "place to examine" has been selected, this location image should show up in the left margin below the ID and name. This makes it very clear what this block is all about examining.
  • Cross-examination blocks: The most logical way to implement something similar to the investigation block screenshot would be to make a screenshot of the first frame in the CE (without the text box, of course.)

At least that is my suggestion.

As to the "index tree" that is currently being shown in the left margin, I think this is completely unnecessary. In general, the system of having to press "open" repeatedly to navigate through what seems like a file manager feels strangely out of place. If I press the "dialogue" tab, you can be fairly sure that I intend to open this part of the block. Having to press "open" again seems strange and takes an unnecessary amount of time. Furthermore, having the short explanatory description next to the "open" buttons is nice, yet probably unnecessary in the long run, since most AA fans would know what is meant by "dialogue" and "move" regardless of whether they are familiar with AAO or not. If anything is counterintuitive about the AAO case editor, this is not it. And even if that text has to be there, it takes up far too much space.

Finally, I have some comments about the individual block structures.

Cross-examination

The new structure seems really nice and combines the best of V5 with all the improvements of V6, and the new statement system is definitely superior to the former one, since it improves the overview of the general flow of the CE and makes it easy to grasp its structure. This could, however, be improved even further by changing the general layout of the CE overview. I imagine the list of statements to look more like text boxes, showing the name of the person talking. Furthermore, once again, the "open" button seems completely unnecessary; to me, it seems enough to simply click the statement, voilà, frame opens. There are already enough buttons in AAO.

Another suggestion I've been thinking about is to add a small icon next to the statement, showing whether this particular statement has a contradiction associated with it. :objection: would probably serve as a perfect icon for this, and another option is to simply show the evidence/profile picture of what has to be presented.

On the issues list, what strikes me the most is that in the current structure, the statement tab seems to be of equal important to the "cocouncil conversation" and "failure conversation" tabs, unlike what was the case in V5. Statements are what make up a CE, while the other tabs seem a bit more like settings. A way of solving this issue would be to move the two less important tabs to the far right of the right, next to the delete button.

Secondly, the way contradictions are added could be improved a bit. This can only be done in the small, barely visible bar below the statement frame. This is an important part of the CE blocks, and it should be larger and more visible, and preferably, the profile/evidence pictures that have been selected should be visible in the block itself and in the menu where it is selected.

Investigation

Again, the new layout is a big improvement compared to the earlier beta versions. Many of the problems with the investigation blocks are actually problems related to the block structure in general, as mentioned earlier. But investigation scenes include the most serious example of unnecessary "open" buttons. Pressing "dialogue" and then "introduction conversation" will cause two "open" buttons to be visible on the screen on the same time, which looks strange.

Other problems related to the investigation block structure is that the entire interface seems slightly confusing and messed up. Why do I have to go all the way into the "location" tab in order to decide something as important as what place I am currently examining? And why do I have to go into "settings" to add a psyche-lock conversation? If the issue at hand is whether or not to show the magatama button in the menus, couldn't the editor just add or remove it automatically depending on whether or not the "psyche-lock" tab is empty?

I suggest a large reorganization of the entire investigation block structure: First of all, there should be six tabs on the far top: "introduction" (i.e. introduction conversation), "talk", "present", "examine", "move", and "psyche-locks". Considering the fact that these are the buttons that you encounter in-game, this probably reflects how most AA fans like to think of investigations and their entire organization. I can't think of any parts of the investigation which couldn't fit into these six tabs.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, I think that the examination location should be visible in the left margin -- maybe it should even be set there.

As mentioned, in general, I really like this update, and I hope my feedback is of use. :-)
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Re: Editor update: New UI for blocks 

Message par Unas » Lun Déc 17, 2012 3:06 am

Thanks for the great feedback, Ganon ;-)

GanonZD a écrit :Moving the title and ID of the block to the far left is perfect for creating overview, yet it has far more potential than what you make use of. When first seeing the new block structure, my intuitive understanding of the purpose of the left margin was that this was to include a screenshot of the block events once I started adding them.

I actually like that idea a lot, it'd be a great way of making use of this space below the title. I'll think about it :-)

GanonZD a écrit :to me, it seems enough to simply click the statement, voilà, frame opens.

Kroki suggested that as well, I guess it'd work.
The thing I'm worried about is deleting : since the delete button will be inside the statement box, if you click anywhere inside the box wanting to open it but accidentally hit the delete button, it won't be very good either.

GanonZD a écrit :Another suggestion I've been thinking about is to add a small icon next to the statement, showing whether this particular statement has a contradiction associated with it. :objection: would probably serve as a perfect icon for this, and another option is to simply show the evidence/profile picture of what has to be presented.

Good idea as well, a preview of the contradictory evidence would be useful. :D

GanonZD a écrit :Why do I have to go all the way into the "location" tab in order to decide something as important as what place I am currently examining?

The separation of investigation elements between "Location" (interactions with the environment) and "Dialogue" (interactions with the character) serves a purpose that should become clear in V6.1, though it may seem a little artificial now. The same goes for the Dialogue and Location tabs - the description they contain is mostly a placeholder, V6.1 should make much better use of that space. :wink:

GanonZD a écrit :And why do I have to go into "settings" to add a psyche-lock conversation? If the issue at hand is whether or not to show the magatama button in the menus, couldn't the editor just add or remove it automatically depending on whether or not the "psyche-lock" tab is empty?

Yeah, I agree having the "add psyche locks" button in the settings tab is not ideal - I just chose the simplest solution to implement here.
Doing it automatically as you suggest requires running the process for deleting or adding conversation data as necessary each time a frame is added or deleted in that panel, which I was too lazy to do :-P
I'll change that if I feel less lazy.
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Re: Editor update: New UI for blocks 

Message par Meph » Lun Déc 17, 2012 3:13 am

Actually, I think the index tree is a clever idea. It's worth keeping as it makes the UI more intuitive. :)

I think the list of statements in the cross-examination block could have a greater height. At the moment, it's quite squashed, and there's plenty of room below it.

Also, there's a bug. I can't create any frames in the examine tab for "examine something else".
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Re: Editor update: New UI for blocks 

Message par GanonZD » Ven Jan 04, 2013 10:48 pm

Glad you can use my feedback. :-)

Unas a écrit :Yeah, I agree having the "add psyche locks" button in the settings tab is not ideal - I just chose the simplest solution to implement here.
Doing it automatically as you suggest requires running the process for deleting or adding conversation data as necessary each time a frame is added or deleted in that panel, which I was too lazy to do :-P
I'll change that if I feel less lazy.


Forgive me for not knowing exactly how V6 works, but to me that sounds more like a job for the trial player. If it finds that a psyche-lock conversation exists, it shows the magatama; else it does not. Who needs unnecessary processes for adding/removing data stating something that the player can easily figure out by itself? ;-)
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Re: Editor update: New UI for blocks 

Message par Meph » Sam Jan 05, 2013 12:29 am

So you're saying that -- in the editor -- we should should show the Psyche-Locks tab all the time and detect if it's empty or not? Is that possible, Unas?
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Re: Editor update: New UI for blocks 

Message par GanonZD » Sam Jan 05, 2013 12:53 am

Not quite; I'm saying that the editor should only show the psyche-lock button if it detects that there even is a psyche-lock conversation. That should not be technically difficult. ;-)
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Re: Editor update: New UI for blocks 

Message par Meph » Sam Jan 05, 2013 1:14 am

But where would you put the conversation if not in the Psyche-Lock tab? :)

Or are you talking about the action that reveals the button in the player?
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Re: Editor update: New UI for blocks 

Message par GanonZD » Sam Jan 05, 2013 1:37 pm

You got me there. ;-)

Never mind what I suggested. ;-)
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Re: Editor update: New UI for blocks 

Message par eighthbit » Sam Jan 05, 2013 1:39 pm

Well, Wright was a vote behind...
Then he got like four votes, so you have a three point advantage.
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