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I need feedback on my interface design


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#1 Medi0gre   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 06:45 PM

I need feedback on the following for a college course.

 

I am currently working some kinks out of an interface for my first indie game and would like some input. The game will be a bridge building simulator. These are a few concepts that I have for the interface:

 

First I want to add a toolbar to the game. This toolbar will allow the player to choose between three separate tools to aid in building a bridge. The first tool is the Build tool. This will open a new menu with selectable items such as wood, steel, road, and rivets. The second tool is the demolition tool. This tool will allow the player to remove any placed items in the game. The final tool is the inspect tool. This tool will allow a player to test the strength of the bridge before allowing a truck driver to risk his life.

 

Next I want to add a speed selection bar to the interface. Not only will this portion of the interface allow the user to speed up or slow down the truck driver, but it will be where the truck driver is called in and removed from the game window. A few buttons I will be adding to this portion of the interface will be play, pause, speed up, slow down, and stop.

 

Finally, I want to add a setting section to the interface. This section will contain an option to reset the build, go to the main menu, and select options for the game. I feel like this is the area that I need the most insight because I don’t wish for this game to be too generic. While I do believe each of these options are necessary I was wondering what I could add to spice the game up a bit.

Any insight into these three areas of my interface design would be great. Thanks in advance.

 



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#2 Buckeye   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6407

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:04 PM


The game will be a bridge building simulator.

Is it a game or a simulator? That is, is it intended to challenge the user to achieve a goal, or is it to be a serious simulation of the process for building a bridge?

 

The interface may vary greatly, depending on the intent.

 

For the more serious side, I would suggest that displayed options, e.g., for materials or tools, provide mouse-over tips (hints, descriptions - those nice boxes that pop up to tell you what the button will do or select), and that keyboard shortcuts be provided for most if not all of the options. The toolbar should be floating and dockable, with well-chosen icons for the buttons if they are to be image buttons rather than text buttons.


Edited by Buckeye, 15 May 2014 - 09:06 PM.

Please don't PM me with questions. Post them in the forums for everyone's benefit, and I can embarrass myself publicly.


#3 yellowsputnik   Members   -  Reputation: 743

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 09:15 AM

I would make the toolbar and the speed bar fixed, probably to the left of the screen (give the fact that most people have wide screens). It depends a bit on how many tools there will be, but you could further divide it into categories to avoid having to scroll too much.

 

Keyboard shortcuts, as suggested by Buckeye, are definitely good. Mouse-over hints are great to have as well, except I wouldn't make them popup hints but rather would provide a fixed hint bar somewhere on the screen. It will limit you to a maximum size for hints, but there could be a button or link to show more help for the user.

 

Image buttons on the toolbars are good, but a small caption text won't hurt. This could be achieved with a hint too, of course.

 

The setting interface also depends a lot on what settings you'll need. If there are just a few settings, you could add them to the toolbar. If there are a lot or you need controls that take up a lot of space, allow settings to take up the entire screen or maybe put them in a sort of pop-up dialog.



#4 Norman Barrows   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2402

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 11:56 AM

>> I would make the toolbar and the speed bar fixed, probably to the left of the screen (give the fact that most people have wide screens).

 

 

believe it or not, almost all UI design research indicates that the menu bar should be on the right, not left. AUTOCAD is a famous example of this.

 

 


Norm Barrows

Rockland Software Productions

"Building PC games since 1989"

rocklandsoftware.net

 

PLAY CAVEMAN NOW!

http://rocklandsoftware.net/beta.php

 

 


#5 Buckeye   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6407

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 10:46 AM


believe it or not, almost all UI design research indicates that the menu bar should be on the right, not left. AUTOCAD is a famous example of this.

 

Did that research include convenience for left-handers? I would recommend an implementing principle of "the menu bar should be wherever the user wants it to be." Being able to locate/dock floating toolbars - Photoshop is a famous example of that.


Please don't PM me with questions. Post them in the forums for everyone's benefit, and I can embarrass myself publicly.


#6 Medi0gre   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 05:03 AM

Thank you guys for all of your insight. It is an honor to be a part of this community with great ideas and helpful people.


Edited by Medi0gre, 21 May 2014 - 05:04 AM.





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