dockscreen formatting ideas

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dockscreen formatting ideas

Post by relanat » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:55 pm

xephyr has been very clever in Renegade. In the Sanzu Embassy the screenDesc area is set to the maximum size of the text in a series of three screens (OK, its the same screen but run with this). The text in one screen fills the desc area while the other two partially fill it. This causes the action names to stay in the same place for all screens and results is a very smooth appearance to the dockscreen. But the code to do it looks hacky. A repeating series of " \n\n". Would something like scrSetDescSize be useful where you could preset the size of the desc area regardless of the amount of text it would contain?

It would make it easy to set dockscreens to a much smoother function and appearance. A byproduct would be actions that appear in the same spot in several screens; thus negating the need to chase them up and down the screen with the mouse or arrows.

Similarly placing a scrSetActionDesc onto an action makes the area covered by the action expand to the full width of the screen desc area. This once again makes the dockscreen actions jump around as you navigate through them; this time left to right instead of up and down. Would the ability to set the action area size to either desc or nonDesc, regardless of what sort of actions are there, be useful?

It's no problem ATM to navigate through dockscreens because we're used to the actions jumping about but with mouse controls now available it would be good to be able to place the mouse and click 2 or 3 times on the same spot to rapidly navigate through 2 or 3 screens.

(xephyr, is it OK to add a couple of images from the Sanzu Embassy dockscreens to make this clearer?)

EDIT: OK, here we are. First three parts of the image are Sanzu Embassy. Each of the actions is linked to a screen desc. Clicking on them changes the text but not the position of the actions or the size of the text box. I did a double-take the first time I saw it but soon - very soon - liked it. A very neat way of doing it.

Last (bottom right) part of the image is Ship's Interior in the Scorpion GodPlayership. Note the size of the area around the action texts in the Sanzu Embassy. About three quarters of the desc width. If you add a scrSetActionDesc like in the refuel action they expand to the full width of the desc area regardless of how long the text is.
final dockscreen formatting.jpg
final dockscreen formatting.jpg (181.44 KiB) Viewed 33 times
Last edited by relanat on Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: dockscreen formatting ideas

Post by Xephyr » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:12 am

Heh, you're right - it was a hackjob because I didn't want to bother with the more complex dialogue options, but I didn't think of the side effect of having the actions stay stationary.

I don't use mouse controls, so I wouldn't have noticed, but screens where the actions stay the same but you have lots of text to navigate should definitely have stationary actions. For example, the "Fun Facts" at Starton Eridani. The actions bounce up and down while you navigate them, which would definitely be annoying for mouse users.

Feel free to post images of the embassy (or anything else I've made).
Project Renegade (Beta) : "The Poor Man's Corporate Command!"
"Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. " -Julius Caesar as written by William Shakespeare, a notorious permadeath player.

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