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-   -   More about the Interface (http://forums.operationsports.com/fofc//showthread.php?t=90304)

Solecismic 05-14-2015 06:00 PM

More about the Interface
 
I'm afraid my last post was quickly buried, and I wanted to reiterate and explain the design decisions made for future products.

My operating concept for the interface redesign is expanding on Seiji's Calendar as the basis for an all-encompassing Menu Window. The smaller windows with the lists of commands would go away entirely. It's a lot cleaner. It also lends itself well to customization, if the concept appeals to people.

Everything will be divided into sub-menus, which will have at most nine commands available. Sub-menus will be activated with mouse-overs, not clicking. This will make them faster.

Commands will be activated with a single-click.

One goal I have is that any window that does not require an "answer" (meaning you're not fiddling with settings, just looking at information) will be non-modal. Non-modal means you can leave it open and return to the game.

FOF is not full-screen. I made that decision way back in 1998 and I think the reasoning is still solid today. FOF is your "workspace." You have many directions you can move toward. Opening up the interface with non-modal windows takes full advantage of that concept. There's a consistency throughout the concept that wasn't there before. If you look at the underlying code in Microsoft's support for its Foundation Classes, you'll see that there really isn't any such thing as a modal window. A modal window is simply a normal window that has been altered to take over the application entirely.

When screens were relatively tiny, that wasn't a major problem. But now that we have wider screens, bigger screens, two screens... why not use that space to have one or two information windows that are useful to the task at hand?

So the only windows that behave modally are the Simulation Window, settings windows, windows like New Game where the game needs to wait for your input. Training Camp (probably going away altogether), Base Free Agency, the Drafts, maybe a handful of others.

Today's device games are full screen. I think FOF is best in a less controlled environment. You decide what you want in your workspace and where to put it.

The Player Window is part of what of makes this a little more complex. FOF Windows are large, almost as a rule. Numbers have more meaning in context, and FOF is what it is because it presents a huge statistical universe.

The Player Window needs an area to display player statistics. Right now, that controls the size of the window. However, the idea of making the Player Window small with "pages," so you can have three or four of them up on the screen at once and compare ratings, for example, is an appealing idea.

How do you accomplish that without losing the ability to present player statistics properly, in context? Your player's identity with your franchise is that vast database of the numbers he produced for you. It's difficult to immerse yourself in that identity without that large statistics page.

This is the one sticking point in my conceptual redesign. I know the Player Window is clunky with that "page," but losing that large statistics page makes it very "un-FOF," in my opinion.

Pyser 05-14-2015 06:01 PM

this really gets hidden in developers corner.

ben/mods, you guys should cross-post this in every forum, or at least the off topic and main fof7 one...

Solecismic 05-14-2015 06:13 PM

Developers Corner was originally moderated so that every topic would stay tightly on target and the mods could focus on keeping longer posts. There was also originally an agreement with OS that they would contribute to a "round table" of sorts on each discussion. Unfortunately, that didn't continue very long, which led to calls to remove it from the forum entirely. I'd rather it not be cross-posted.

Pyser 05-14-2015 07:20 PM

shows what i know!

but i think the majority of our community misses it here, versus even the larger FOF Discussion forum.

aston217 05-15-2015 02:14 AM

(for some reason, a lot of the time new posts or even threads don't cause the forum marker to pop up as "new"...)

I have to ask -- what is Seiji's Calendar?

Ben E Lou 05-15-2015 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Solecismic (Post 3027870)
The Player Window is part of what of makes this a little more complex. FOF Windows are large, almost as a rule. Numbers have more meaning in context, and FOF is what it is because it presents a huge statistical universe.

The Player Window needs an area to display player statistics. Right now, that controls the size of the window. However, the idea of making the Player Window small with "pages," so you can have three or four of them up on the screen at once and compare ratings, for example, is an appealing idea.

How do you accomplish that without losing the ability to present player statistics properly, in context? Your player's identity with your franchise is that vast database of the numbers he produced for you. It's difficult to immerse yourself in that identity without that large statistics page.

This is the one sticking point in my conceptual redesign. I know the Player Window is clunky with that "page," but losing that large statistics page makes it very "un-FOF," in my opinion.

Yes, statistics are important, but in terms of our decision-making, they are secondary information. The presentation of things that are used more commonly in decision-making--ratings, chemistry data, injuries, contract data, etc.--should trump the presentation of statistics.

garion333 05-15-2015 10:20 AM

I have a feeling the discussion to be had here will end up more of a show than tell. You telling me sounds good, but I want to see it.

garion333 05-15-2015 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ben E Lou (Post 3027984)
Yes, statistics are important, but in terms of our decision-making, they are secondary information. The presentation of things that are used more commonly in decision-making--ratings, chemistry data, injuries, contract data, etc.--should trump the presentation of statistics.


I'd love to have all that in one place.


Ben E Lou 05-15-2015 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by garion333 (Post 3028003)
I'd love to have all that in one place.

Well sure. I'd love to have it all on one screen like the main OOTP screen, but it sounds like Jim is having some trouble with fitting it all in. I'm just saying that is he has to prioritize, most people wouldn't want to have an extra click to get to the decision-making stuff.

EDIT: He might do well to take a page from OOTP there: the main player page (shown above) has just basic/recent stats, and you go to a different page for full-blown stats.

aston217 05-15-2015 12:05 PM

That OOTP screen is very impressive. I like that the ratings bars are color-coded and grouped in areas.

I think FOF can definitely take a cue from there. There's a lot of space available on this screen and much of it can be put to better use:


  • The scrollable awards screen
  • The giant pane with the team logo (make that a small one next to the player name, where the 3D head is in the OOTP graphic)
  • The giant injury and transaction history list
  • The giant Bottom Left Third (compare to the much more compact "personal details")
  • The giant Bottom Middle Third (I feel like all the useful information in this and the previous pane can be combined into one, smaller pane)

The menu can also be improved. Let's just take out new number and new name altogether, or tuck that away somewhere. A lot of the menu options aren't even available for most players depending on the time of year. What would be nice is all the sensible stat categories. So instead of filling this menu with "Interview" and "Weights", we could have "Passing Stats", "Misc Passing Stats", "History" (for transactions/injuries), etc.

Right now the tiny menu is the Navigation Menu, and the giant menu is the Action Menu. This seems backwards.

Also key: the OOTP screen looks like you can jump to any other part of the game without having to find the "exit" button on the player card. In FOF, instead, you can go the the next or previous player, or look at franchise salaries.

corbes 05-15-2015 12:35 PM

[Off-topic, but the issue was raised, and just for clarity]

I think the ratings bars in FOF are one of the best design decisions in all of text-simming. All bars in one column, and in one color, provides the player with a deep and varied set of visual patterns to learn to recognize over time, and to recognize very quickly when flipping through players. OOTP's colors and placement looks like clutter to me.

[/off topic]


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