Author Topic: STICKY: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests  (Read 10392 times)

Offline Nol Drek

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STICKY: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« on: November 02, 2012, 09:12:47 PM »
This is a thread for feature requests for the Dungeon Craft Editor.

It is understood that the development team decides what is a priority.

In FRUA, you have Drop-Down Menus (ComboBoxes) of options called "File", "Map", and "Utilities". (see pic below)

In Dungeon Craft, you have mutually exclusive Radio Buttons. (see pic below)

I wish that there was a Drop-Down Menu (ComboBox) in Dungeon Craft called "Map" that had all the options that you can get in Dungeon Craft.

On the positive feedback side, I like that DC has the "Place Entry Point" and "Starting Point" options available outside the Utilities menu.

My Request Is:
1) Provide a ComboBox in place of the Radio Buttons in the GUI for the DC Editor.
2) Provide said ComboBox with all the options available in FRUA + DC combined.

/* The advantage is:
* It is easier to figure out what a menu option of "WALL PLACEMENT"
* means then to decode a tiny Radio Button with a "W" on it.
*/

Do you know what "W", "B", "E", "Z", "P", and "S" stand for?

I am specifically requesting a Drop-Down Menu (ComboBox) named "Map" with default text of "Map" and the following options available:

[Map:]
3-D View
Area View
--------------------
Wall Placement
Backdrop Placement
Event Placement
Zone Placement
Entry Points
Starting Location
--------------------
Move Through Walls
--------------------
Test Module
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 02:39:28 PM by manikus »
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Offline Paul R. Stevens

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 09:41:08 PM »
Quote

I am rather deeply involved in the spell
and item cross-reference business.......

But most anybody could provide this
feature with minimal knowledge of the
tools we use.  I think that if we do it, we
should retain the buttons as a shortcut
and somehow reference their use in the'
drop-down menu.  I like the buttons and
anyone who uses the editor for more than
a few minutes will prefer the buttons.
But having the menu in addition to the
'Tools Buttons' is pretty standard.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 02:40:12 PM by manikus »

Offline Jaesun

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2012, 10:19:45 AM »
Yeah I like the buttons too. But having both would be good.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2012, 10:28:02 AM »
Let me start off by saying that the suggestions that Nol made are pretty much right on the money.  Anyone new to the toolset is going to be confused about what the various letters mean, and being as there is so much screen real-estate being wasted at the top of the screen on most modern monitors, there's really no reason why they couldn't at least be expanded to full words versus just a single letter ("Walls" instead of "W", "Events" instead of "E", etc).  Even that alone would probably help some folks.

Another case I made previously is that there are no hotkey shortcuts for things like there are in FRUA.  If I'm building my map using the 3D mode to get an idea for how it looks and feels, I will frequently use the "P" key to place walls in the current square where I'm facing.  In DC, I have to continually click the Place Wall button.  You may think that's not a big deal, but you would be surprised how fast you can build that way versus how slow it is to continually use the on-screen button.  And this goes for more than just walls, as even events and backdrops can be made quicker using this (and it's sometimes more accurate than placement on the area map, especially when dealing with one-sided walls).

I mentioned a WYSIWYG type editor for textboxes.  I've been given a lot of technical reasons why it can't be done, but as someone who does a lot of programming, I fail to see why the program can't look to see what the current font is that's going to be used by the engine and replicate it in a textfield that takes up roughly the same amount of space as the one used in the game, as it is a fixed size anyway.  Or take the route of RPG Maker, where you can "Preview" your text boxes so you can get an idea of how it will look in game.  I'm fairly certain some kind of compromise could be found that would save designers a lot of trouble and time.

There are a lot of little other things too. 

Entry points.  In order to use them, I have to know where I want to put them.  That's fine.  But in UA, if I'm standing where I want the Entry Point to be and facing the direction I want it to be, I can just place an entry point there with a single button click.  (Actually, I just realized while writing the rest of this that there *is* a way to do it.  But I only just found it after all this time because I had no idea the "P" key was for Entry Points.  I'm sure I looked at it at one time and then promptly forgot, which is why if the button was labeled "Entry Points," I might have known that).

Walls.  Why do we have to try to squint to see what they look like in those little boxes sometimes?  And who thought that putting tabs across the top was a good idea (especially since they tend to move around on you when you change pages)?  Why not a scroll bar allowing me to access them all at once on the same page? 

Backdrops.  It's hideous sometimes how the color scheme works in the area mode compared to UA.  Sometimes, the colors make it impossible to see where the walls are, which makes it hard to know exactly where to drop the backdrops in the first place.  In UA, backdrops are solid colors and you can easily see the wall placement around them (most of the time...I won't say that it's something UA got exactly right either, but the implementation is worlds better).

Tooltips.  This is something UA doesn't have but DC could easily do. In a Windows environment, setting some tooltips when you hover over a control would be really helpful.  I mean what the hell is "Auto Darken Viewport" anyway?  I'm sure you'll tell me, but I don't have a clue and the program certainly doesn't give me any kind of inkling.  I don't always have time to dig through documentation to figure these things out.

I'm also of the opinion that the 3D window could be made larger.  Compared to how it looks in the game, it's hard to see.

There are a ton of other little things as well.  I can't remember them all.  But, it should be mentioned that I'm not trying to call DC a piece of garbage or anything.  The work there is quite impressive.  I want it to succeed.  I *want* it to be a viable replacement for UA, but it's just not there yet, and a lot of it is in the designing interface.  While the engine is important (no one is disputing that), you cannot overlook the importance of user access to the toolset.

There's another conversation going on elsewhere in these forums about the Bard's Tale Construction Set versus Unlimited Adventures.  The Bard's Tale series were popular games, and the toolset had some benefits over UA (the ability to create spells, items, etc).  You would have thought that it would have been a huge success, but it wasn't.  In the twenty years since its release, I have seen *one* completed design for it. 

Why is that?  I would say a lot of it had to do with how clunky its interface was when it came to designing games for it.  That's not all of it, but it's part of the reason why the thing was mostly ignored, I think.  I don't want to see the same fate befall DC.






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Offline nologgie

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 03:15:41 PM »
Some good points.

I found and attached the old UAF help file.  It is somewhat outdated, but much of the info is still valid.  Extract UAF_Help.rar into your EditorResources folder and you can call it up with the 'Help' button.  Vista and later don't support .hlp format, but you can dowload the reader at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917607.  The Keyboard Shortcuts don't all work exactly as described, but most do, and some work better.  It has some other useful info as well.

  The "W", "B", "E", "Z", "P", and "S" buttons have 'hover' text that appears when you hold the cursor over them, which is how I first discovered their functions.  Using words rather than letters might be helpful, or perhaps just change "Mode" to "Map" and use it's drop-down menu. 

  The Mode menu is:
Place Walls
Place Events
Place Global Starting Location
Place Backdrop
Place Zones
---------------
View as Area Map Ctrl+V  (affects view in 3D window)
Topmost Window             (always on top)

Configure Game Screen Res
---------------
Editor Options  Ctrl+O


  The Editor Options left side menu is:
Pass Through Walls
Place wall on both sides of map cell boundary
Place backdrop on all four sides of map cell
Enable Kwik Klik mode
Enable dynamic map cell information
Enable tiling of map data

  The right side menu sets the editor resolution.

Aside from a few additions and Pass Through Walls being in the Editor Options submenu with some other useful things, it's pretty much identical to what Nol Drek asked for.

The "P" key doesn't set walls, but the "F" - front, "L" - left, and "R" - right keys do.  And they can be used to set walls while using any view (event, zone, etc.).  Alt+B toggles between single and double sided walls.  In Wall view, pressing "H" or "V" while drawing with the mouse will restrict the walls drawn to horizontal or vertical.

Ctrl+E will set an event at the arrow location regardless of the view you're currently using.

The size and placement of the text field is set in config.txt.  The size is variable, and the text field may be placed anywhere on the screen.  If you or anyone else will build a WYSIWYG text editor, I'm all for it.

The backdrop symbology is different because DC can use 4 different backdrops per cell, as opposed to 1 in UA.  The view can get ugly.  Can you think of a better way to do it?

I'm not going to tell you what "Auto Darken Viewport" is.  I don't know, and it doesn't sound like something I'd be inclined to use.  Maybe Eric will tell us what it is, and whether or not it works. ;)
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Offline SilentThief

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 04:06:29 PM »
I found and attached the old UAF help file.  It is somewhat outdated, but much of the info is still valid.

Is there info in this that should be added to the "help needed" from this post: http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1758.0 ?

As you noted, some is outdated (especially scripts/ASLs)

ST

Offline Paul R. Stevens

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 04:16:29 PM »
--->nologgie

Thanks so very much for making all this
information available.  I was responsible
for some of what you describe but I don't
remember any of it.

Offline nologgie

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 04:25:41 PM »
You're quite welcome.

- ST
I hunted it down, but I haven't read the whole thing yet.  It's in a very old format, so we'll probably need to change it over to something newer.  Some of what I've seen should be rewritten so readers don't have to dig as far for the info.  None of the new stuff is in here, but it covers many of the older functions that aren't in the new help files yet.
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Offline SilentThief

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2012, 04:48:16 PM »
I remember the old help file pretty well, actually. I tried to get *ALL* the possible functions found in the help file and attempt to work something script-wise with them back in 0.914. This was what led to my attempt at making a guide to scripting back then. There are (or were) some script examples that you could only find in the help. Stuff like $SAY, $CURR_CHANGE_BY_VAL, $VAR, and others. But its been since 914 that I've done any real messing around with scripts at all.

ST

Offline nologgie

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2012, 05:21:12 PM »
The shortcut keys are a huge help.  I knew about some of them from posts here and at IronWorks, but only a few.  Us newbies who really started after .914 haven't had much access to this info.
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Offline manikus

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2012, 05:58:08 PM »
Wow. :) Thanks for the interesting points everyone.

It seems I can do a couple of things, like post the links for the current Help docs in this thread (I'll have a pdf version up at the start of next week)
Paul's site:
http://www.dianneandpaul.net/UAF/Help/DesignIndex.html
my site:
http://manikus.reonis.com/Help/DungeonCraftHelp.html

These are both listed in sticky's in the testing forum in case you need to find the  links again.

Auto Viewport Darken: This feature uses Alpha blending to dark the whole viewport by an amount set by the designer during the time for 'darkness' set by the designer. And yes, it does work, at least the last time I tried it which was a couple of months ago. :D

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2012, 07:55:34 PM »
The "W", "B", "E", "Z", "P", and "S" buttons have 'hover' text that appears when you hold the cursor over them, which is how I first discovered their functions.  Using words rather than letters might be helpful, or perhaps just change "Mode" to "Map" and use it's drop-down menu. 

I definitely think they should have the words in the boxes versus just a letter.  There's plenty of space up there.

Quote
The "P" key doesn't set walls, but the "F" - front, "L" - left, and "R" - right keys do.  And they can be used to set walls while using any view (event, zone, etc.).  Alt+B toggles between single and double sided walls.  In Wall view, pressing "H" or "V" while drawing with the mouse will restrict the walls drawn to horizontal or vertical.

Perhaps there should be help-text that appears based on the mode you're in that shows you what the keys are.  Or, you know, like modern UIs, the hotkey could be underlined.


Quote
The size and placement of the text field is set in config.txt.  The size is variable, and the text field may be placed anywhere on the screen.  If you or anyone else will build a WYSIWYG text editor, I'm all for it.

I'm not saying there can be a catch-all WYSIWYG editor for every situation, but there should be one for at least the default layout. 

The text field has a default size, and I'm sure a lot of designers wouldn't change it.  but, even if they did, couldn't the one in the editor also change dynamically based upon the information stored in the config.txt?  I can do things like that in most languages I program in (JAVA, Visual Basic, C++, C#, etc). 

Quote
The backdrop symbology is different because DC can use 4 different backdrops per cell, as opposed to 1 in UA.  The view can get ugly.  Can you think of a better way to do it?

Off hand I can't think of a better way to do it.  But, I do know that it is hard to use sometimes.  I am just pointing out something that can be improved.
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Offline nologgie

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2012, 01:57:13 AM »
I'm not saying there can be a catch-all WYSIWYG editor for every situation, but there should be one for at least the default layout.

The text field has a default size, and I'm sure a lot of designers wouldn't change it.  but, even if they did, couldn't the one in the editor also change dynamically based upon the information stored in the config.txt?  I can do things like that in most languages I program in (JAVA, Visual Basic, C++, C#, etc).

Cool!  I'm not a programmer, so I've never used any of those languages.  I believe DC uses C++ with MFC graphics.  It appears to me that the editor only uses one font, and the engine only uses one font.  I have no idea what is needed to add another font or multiple fonts.  If we could swing it, I'd really like to have an editor that read the config file and adjusted to match it.

Quote
Quote
The backdrop symbology is different because DC can use 4 different backdrops per cell, as opposed to 1 in UA.  The view can get ugly.  Can you think of a better way to do it?

Off hand I can't think of a better way to do it.  But, I do know that it is hard to use sometimes.  I am just pointing out something that can be improved.

Okay.  I was just hoping you had a really spiffy idea, because I'm drawing a blank.
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Offline steve_mcdee

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2012, 05:39:20 AM »
This thread seems very constructive...

In the screen resolution I use (on a wide-screen laptop), there is a large blank area on the right hand side of the screen. That would, I think, be a good place to display mode-specific help text.

I have fiddled around with viewport auto darken quite a bit and it works pretty well for darkening walls at night. Only problem is that it darkens the whole backdrop as well -- including (in my case) the moon. If it were limited to darkening the wall images that would be more helpful, I think, since there is already the option to choose different nighttime backdrops.

As for the backdrop display, perhaps four triangles in each square (with the hypotenuses forming the outside of the square, meeting in a point in the middle)? Then at least if the four backdrops are the same you will have the appearance of a solid square of colour. Personally, I am used to DC now and have no trouble with the way backdrops are displayed. The feature of being able to pick a different backdrop for each direction outweighs any downside. Still, if the display can be improved, let's do it.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 05:50:09 AM by steve_mcdee »

Offline steve_mcdee

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Re: Dungeon Craft Editor Feature Requests
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2012, 05:46:16 AM »
On the idea of a WYSIWYG text editor, perhaps it would be easier -- I'm thinking it might actually be much easier -- to provide a 'preview event' button that would launch the editor and run the single event currently being edited, kind of like an ultra-limited test mode. Or do you need to be able to edit while actually seeing how it displays?
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 05:50:47 AM by steve_mcdee »