Two small UX ideas

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Cheschire
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Two small UX ideas

Postby Cheschire » Tue May 07, 2013 6:42 pm

I play a decent amount of dungeon sim type games, and one of the first things I wanted to do was right-click-drag to scroll around the screen.

Another thing that would be really helpful is if place-able objects were centered on the cursor, instead of starting from one side, and then allowing a drag function to rotate the item. For example, with the large jail doors, it would be nice if the door was centered on the cursor, and you click to drop, and drag to rotate. Letting go would finish the placement.
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Postby Aryajmarya » Tue May 07, 2013 6:46 pm

If you click and hold the middle mouse, you are able to drag-scroll. I found that by mistake :)

Honestly, I like the way you can place objects, and if it was centered on the cursor, the grid placement would not make sense. Just takes awhile to get used to, but once you do, it's a great system. Pressing down on the middle mouse is also an alternative for pressing R to rotate objects.
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Postby Great Magical Hat » Tue May 07, 2013 6:52 pm

Onbe more thing: you have to do your turning before placement instead of after it. While doing it afterwards makes more sense if you can turn things any rotation (because the analog input of your mouse is very well suited for this), it doesn't so much make sense when you can turn things in only 4 directions like her (because mouse input isn't too well suited for this).
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Postby Cheschire » Tue May 07, 2013 6:56 pm

Ah yes, very helpful, thanks!

Though the middle click is really the most useless button on the mouse. I'm not sure what function the right click provides that it needs to be free all the time. I think a more contextually smart right click would be much more intuitive than having to use the wheel buttons.

The placement issue is probably just preference, though dragging to rotate would be nice. It would probably need a dead zone though to make sure players didn't accidentally rotate.
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Postby Great Magical Hat » Tue May 07, 2013 7:01 pm

Cheschire wrote:dragging to rotate would be nice.


I think it would actually be rather unintuitive, as it would be doing nothing a very large part of the time, and then suddenly turn 90 degrees when you pass the threshold. You could use graphical indications that show you're rotating the object, but I think you'll be fighting an uphill battle, since you both have to make clear that you are dragging the object and that it will have no effect (until you rotate more).

Do you know of any game that has an interface where you drag to rotate an object, yet the object can only be in four different orientations?
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Postby Cheschire » Tue May 07, 2013 8:12 pm

None come to mind immediately, but I know I've seen it before.

It just requires a different kind of interface for objects. The object on the cursor is different than the placement location. Games that allow you to do what I'm saying show 360 degree movement of the object, but the allowed placement location (like a shadow) doesn't rotate until you cross the threshold. This gives you the immediate feedback, like what you're referring to, while also showing that you're restricted to certain locations.
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Postby Great Magical Hat » Tue May 07, 2013 8:34 pm

When I said it was an uphill battle, I was referring to the fact that your solution gets complicated quite a bit by the fact that what you have when you place the object is actually "a shadow" already. You could have the real thing be fully there while rotating and become a shadow afterwards, but this gets messy and unclear real fast. You could different alpha values for5 the different shadows, but it'll be quite messy as well.
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Postby Cheschire » Tue May 07, 2013 9:59 pm

Yep. Short of me generating a proof of concept, I doubt I'll be able to convey the idea properly. Better to just ignore that one.

And even though I don't like the middle click to drag, it does meet the minimum requirement I asked for, so you can probably just say both issues are closed.
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Postby TheXWolf » Wed May 08, 2013 6:55 pm

Are you happy now? lol
http://goo.gl/uRm3d

Ya you can move around with the mouse, I personally like the simple press to rotate.
(Though I wish an arrow or something would show the direction, sometimes I can't see which way is which too well.)
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Postby Cheschire » Fri May 10, 2013 4:54 pm

lol yeah I guess. I don't like the way the hold-drag works on the map to move around as much as maybe the way SimCity does a drag-to-move. But I'll easily get over it.

And your point about the arrow is a good one. I struggled with some of the kitchen stuff to know which direction was front, and which was back. I had some safety warnings that I think were related to me putting hte stove backwards against a wall.
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Postby Great Magical Hat » Fri May 10, 2013 7:03 pm

Cheschire wrote:the way SimCity does a drag-to-move.


And what way is that? I haven't played any remotely recent version of SimCity...
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Postby Cheschire » Sat May 11, 2013 7:14 am

okay describing the mechanics is hard, but doable.

When you right click AND HOLD, it marks the position on the screen as the origin point. Then as you move the mouse away from the origin point, it scrolls in the direction you've moved your mouse. The further you move, the faster it scrolls.
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Postby paktsardines » Sat May 11, 2013 7:20 am

I haven't gotten that far in Simcity yet. Still trying to connect.
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Postby Cheschire » Sat May 11, 2013 7:32 am

oh hey it's a connectivity joke!
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Postby Great Magical Hat » Sat May 11, 2013 3:12 pm

Cheschire wrote:When you right click AND HOLD, it marks the position on the screen as the origin point. Then as you move the mouse away from the origin point, it scrolls in the direction you've moved your mouse. The further you move, the faster it scrolls.


Ah yes, just like the way you use the middle mouse button on windows browsers (and lots of other programs).

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