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Tom's Space Trader


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Posted (edited)

So Tom showed us his "wireframe" menu for his Space Trader game.  If you didn't see it, it uses the new 80 x 30 display mode reminiscent of the C128 -- and it looks clean and classy.

But I wanted to comment on his menu system.  If you just look at it, you know exactly how to work it -- it's the classic "one key, one option" thing.  Thus every visible menu option is one keystroke away.  The color scheme is pleasing as well, but not a show-stopper if you're colorblind.

I think that's an optimal, usable way to do menus on the X16.

tom-space-trader.thumb.png.dcbdbaca9a2c9a36d68a99b39291712d.png

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On the other end is my Traveller Trader game.  I opted to go with a scrolling-menu system.  This means the user has to "cursor" to the desired option.  It's not as usable.  It's helpful for when there are many options, and I only use one function to render and manage all menus -- that's how I argued the decision to myself.

But... there probably ought not be dozens of options in any given menu.  And scrolling is not a fantastic experience.

So, +1 for the one-key-menu.

traveller-space-trader.png.659bd1412ea7eae38ee2e64ad0bc4e44.png

 

Edited by rje
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Thanks for that. 

I'm a big believer in letting users do things with the fewest keystrokes, so I'll be using a combination of single-screen and cascading menus where possible. The colors actually come from my BBS days. I ran a WWIV BBS, and those were the colors I eventually settled on for the menu system. 

 

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On 5/18/2022 at 6:47 PM, Scott Robison said:

I'm sorry. 😄

I liked it better than the other BBS software. I chose it specifically because it was written in QB and moddable. I built a threading mod for the forums that worked very well, if I do say so myself. 😉

 

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On 5/18/2022 at 10:38 PM, TomXP411 said:

I liked it better than the other BBS software. I chose it specifically because it was written in QB and moddable. I built a threading mod for the forums that worked very well, if I do say so myself. 😉

 

I'm just funnin' ya! PCBoard was very extensible and customizable, but didn't generally come with source code for that level of mods. Though my scripting language (PCBoard Programming Language) came pretty close, but I'm biased.

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When I try to mock up my Traveller Trader, I get a little bogged with the vast number of choices.

Which makes me realize I need to pare it back -- that there's a lot here that's not important.

Also, in some cases, I just need to manage the data better.

 

413568088_ScreenShot2022-05-20at3_06_09PM.png.4779e188d6f9cade40764550e19f9011.png

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On 5/20/2022 at 1:08 PM, rje said:

When I try to mock up my Traveller Trader, I get a little bogged with the vast number of choices.

Which makes me realize I need to pare it back -- that there's a lot here that's not important.

Also, in some cases, I just need to manage the data better.

 

413568088_ScreenShot2022-05-20at3_06_09PM.png.4779e188d6f9cade40764550e19f9011.png

I like the layout... maybe you just need to reduce the number of "nearby" systems?  

One way you could present is as the "closest 5" and then a button that expands the list and lets you view all of the systems, sorted by distance (with systems that are unreachable with your current drive technology marked in red or something).

If you provide a map along with the game, the user could then use the map to plot a route using just the systems close enough to travel to with one jump. (Basically the way you do it in Elite:Dangerous, but obviously with a simpler interface.)

One cool feature might be a "route editor" that lets you plot a route, then the entries on the screen could be sorted according to how close to your route they are. This is the way you'd expect to see waypoints listed in an airplane's FMS, for example.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2022 at 3:35 PM, TomXP411 said:

If you provide a map along with the game, the user could then use the map to plot a route using just the systems close enough to travel to with one jump. (Basically the way you do it in Elite:Dangerous, but obviously with a simpler interface.)

I'll take this to the Traveller Trader WIP thread.

 

 

Edited by rje
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