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Author Topic: Knytt Stories: Ideas for level selection layout  (Read 13489 times)
egomassive


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« on: April 21, 2011, 20:26:24 »

In Knytt Stories' level selection menu, you can filter levels based on 3 traits; category, difficulty, and size. I think it would be very helpful if you could filter by activity too. You could show only new levels, the most recently installed level, or the last level played. The problem is there's no room in the column of filters.

I have attached my best effort below which I'm not entirely pleased with it. It feels imbalanced and cluttered. I'd like suggestions for an improved layout, or even your own mock ups. Two things, the info message at the bottom can't be much shorter than it is in my image, and "Last Installed" could be dropped as a choice if it helps the layout.

P.S. Yes, the image is from my mod and it is fully functional, but let's consider that off topic.

Select01.png 
* Select01.png  
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LPChip
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2011, 20:52:47 »

Can you add scrollbars? Then you could add one on the left side to scroll down. I would reorder the filters though.

Another idea is to remove the filters altogether and add them as a menu item. That way, you have as much space as you need.
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egomassive


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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2011, 23:32:18 »

There's certainly enough room for a scroll bar. With some effort I think I could make it match Nifflas' minimalistic style. The downside is the filters chosen wont be visible at all times.

Making filtering a menu option would declutter things nicely, but the menu isn't accessible in fullscreen mode. Also, I don't think the info message can work with a real menu.

You just gave me an idea for a combination of your suggestions. I could program popup menus that act like http/java-script popup menus. Hover over a filter trait, and the options would slide out from the bottom. It would be clean and sleek, but probably poorly balanced. Hmm...

Edit: While working on the expandable menus, I had another idea. It's a little rough still, but here it is (see image.) I realized the balance issue can be solved with a panel of color in the background. Also, if I removed the "All" buttons and reduced the padding between traits, then everything could fit in one column again. Once everything is properly sized I think this is going to look great, but I'm still open to suggestions and criticisms.

Select02.png 
* Select02.png  
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 05:47:21 by egomassive » Logged
LPChip
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2011, 08:19:35 »

If you can add the word add to the [ button in a rotated text (90), I think it would add that little extra.
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2011, 11:54:47 »

searching for levels and authors could be really helpful. I have found it very bothersome going all the way to the end with 50 pages of levels. And the 3 search filters aren't so helpful all the time, some level creators don't categorize their levels and some times you don't even know what to go at.
Good luck egomassive I will download it when it's done.
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sergiocornaga
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2011, 13:07:34 »

Why not go a step further and change that [ bar to checkboxes? By default all would be checked, clicking the checkbox next to a word would turn it off. Another idea (which might fail in execution) is that clicking the word itself could serve as a shortcut to turning off all the other options in that category.
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LPChip
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2011, 13:36:06 »

I wouldn't want to have to click everything to change between all and one box.
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sergiocornaga
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2011, 15:53:05 »

I wouldn't want to have to click everything to change between all and one box.

I guess I didn't explain my second sentence very well. I was suggesting that clicking the category name (for example, 'Environmental') rather than the box beside it would behave similarly to the solo function used in many sound editing programs. That is, if clicked it would turn off all the other things in that box, and if clicked again, it would turn them all on again. Essentially the words would behave as they currently do in Knytt Stories, with the addition of the checkboxes.
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egomassive


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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2011, 21:25:44 »

@ LPChip: I considered sideways text, but it wasn't appealing in my mind. I'll see how it looks, and maybe post it for public opinion. I think the purpose of the brackets is self explanatory since they're selected by default when the selection menu starts.

@ Salmoneous: A search bar is a great idea. I envision treating all entries as if they have wildcards at both ends. Then, matching that to title, author, folder name, and description all at once. It begs the question, where can I put it. I could stick it at the top of the filter panel if I get rid of "Last Installed"*, but I'll have to reduce padding further. I could put it below the level blocks next to the page buttons. Hmm... I just don't know. I really want to add a search bar now! It would be so helpful!

*I haven't mentioned this yet, but "Last Installed" is an unimportant filter because when you install a level a link to that level appears in the installation menu (see image.)

@ SergioCornaga: Although check boxes are a viable alternative to an "all" button, I think they would be tiresome. A way to turn them all on or narrow down to a single flavor is necessary, but clicking on the words is non-intuitive.

Edit: The search box is complete. Everything works great as far as I know. Although it's looking good, I'm not satisfied. I have no idea how to improve the layout again. I've added images of the current layout and a mock up of LPChip's suggestion for the filter bar. So, please voice your opinions, suggestions, etc. for the ideal layout.

Install01.png 
* Install01.png  
Select03.png 
* Select03.png  
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 07:36:50 by egomassive » Logged
LPChip
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 08:39:01 »

I suppose that since the brackets are selected by default, you make a good point that its obvious. I don't find the All text that disturbing, but without it, it indeed looks just a tiny bit cleaner. But I suppose that is, because the bracketlines almost touch the word All. Maybe change it to " All " (adding 2 spaces).

I can't think of anything else. Looks good this way.
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 10:21:45 »

I think I like it better without the 'All'.
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Headgrinder


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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2011, 19:04:28 »

Doing a little grave digging.  :)

The all seems like it might be necessary for new users.  There is nothing worse than using a program for a few weeks, being frustrated that things don't seem to work smoothly, then realizing they do, you just didn't realize how things functioned because they where not clear.
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egomassive


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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2011, 20:16:24 »

Coming back to this article after a time has given me a fresh perspective. Looking at the images above, now I prefer the "All" version. Although I think the use of them makes it intuitive --seeing the blue highlights move-- it couldn't hurt to make their purposes even more obvious as Headgrinder and LPChip have both suggested. I think I'll alter the brackets leading into the "All" a bit as LPChip suggested.

By the way, you can now try it out for yourself. I released this as a beta available here.
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GrayFace


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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2011, 00:46:52 »

Here's what I came up with so far. The bar with numbers should have "1" to "7" in this case of Page 1/7, without any arrows.

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egomassive


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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2011, 07:14:53 »

Is ^that the future selection menu for KSEx? I was considering a similar page selecting feature for my mod --still unnamed-- but I didn't come up with an easy way to implement it. And how does the sort by date feature work? I have a "new" filter that shows only levels that have been installed/overwritten with my mod but not played. It requires writing to the World.ini on installation and when opening a level. The date sort would be far better a solution I think.

Anyhow, the layout is nice and clean, stays true to the original look. I'm not sure about the extra arrow buttons though. Would they scroll through the 7 pages to choose from or go to the next page like the arrow buttons above?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 07:22:44 by egomassive » Logged
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