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.
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.