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Making the UI easier / Add-on Management

This discussion was created from comments split from: does it have to be SO OBSCURE/HArd to manage addons?.

Comments

  • 9/2 eve,

    So as am getting back to skyjake as I promised I would, as to you offering 'Also, if you have ideas about how to make UI easier I would love to hear them. As always, Doomsday remains a work in progress... '

    Mine is a pure end-user perspective

    1. Make playing Addons, and the interface you choose to obtain that functionality...a Priority
    ...just as you now ( I think you'd agree?) make visual enhancement/improvement/tweaks a priority

    this is a compliment to you by the way...you have NAILED like no one else the engine for visually enhanced Doom games. Period. There are no contenders. There hasn't been since at least Doomsday 1.8

    2. and towards that goal, here are 4 ideas

    a. Allow .zip files to be used for Add-ons; you once did; they are easier to install; they are easier to Uninstall. Also if one has multiple computers, or one uninstalls and later re-installs doomsday, its just so easy to have a file of zipped Add-ons.

    b. use a Snowberry like launcher...its just plain 100% easier for users to store Add-ons in a single folder called (get this) 'Add-ons', and then have a launcher allow the desired Add-ons to be checked when one chooses to launch any given Doomsday game...or not if they correspond to a different Doom game
    I have read thru many forum postings, and I have seen a dozen requests like mine, easy.
    We are not all imagining it...the pre-2.0 Doomsday way was better (for end-users)

    c. when you include your readmes...and I know there is so much to write about...just also include a "Readme First' short, simple,precise few sentences to play Add-ons.
    Call it 'Readme First to play Add-ons"

    Your help, and your wonderful forum fan members help, was invaluable to me.
    But my idea here will save YOU time in helping out lamebrains like myself :-)

    d. last request...not sure the Hexen engine will allow this?...saved games are not clearly labeled so that if you return the next day you can figure out where you left off?
    ...and that should be no-brainer obvious, no?
    Although I don't have it in front of me (at work in ICU now) the labeling of Hexen levels in the saved games shows you the order of different level saves WITHIN THE SAME LEVEL, but not how it corresponds when the LEVEL CHANGES
    for example. you might see Guardian of Steel..1.03 // 1.04 ///1.06
    and the Guardian of Ice 1.03 //1.04 //1.06

    ..but when you return the next day to catch-up, you are unable to tell from the save-game nomenclature, did you leave off at Guardian of steel or at Guardian of ice??

    now multiply that 3 fold with all the various levels in a Hexen hub and you'll immediately see the confusion one encounters

    ..................... ..................... .....................

    All that aside, last nite I finished the Seven Portals of Hexen (Original)
    Had not done so for at least 5 years
    Watching that ethereal Bridge form at the very end of the first Hub!
    Talk about Sense-of-Wonder!!
    there is N_O_T_H_I_N_G like palyinh Hexen with Doomsday!!!

    Thank you

    Eric Margolis,MD (ericjmz)
  • well the launcher was just for addons and a bit cumbersome but to that affect i would have a separate addons tab in the home ui it's self
  • Gordon wrote: »
    well the launcher was just for addons and a bit cumbersome but to that affect i would have a separate addons tab in the home ui it's self
    The "Packages" tab already exists for managing add-ons. I guess the question is, how could it be improved? For instance, the old launcher had category-based navigation and not just a single flat list. I suppose that would make it easier to manage your add-ons? (Assuming the categories are specified in the add-on metadata.)
    ericjmz wrote: »
    1. Make playing Addons, and the interface you choose to obtain that functionality...a Priority
    In terms of project planning, this probably means dedicating one of the 2.x releases to UI/UX improvements. That is a good idea, although it needs to be balanced with the other tasks on the roadmap to determine when to commit to such a release.
    a. Allow .zip files to be used for Add-ons; you once did; they are easier to install; they are easier to Uninstall. Also if one has multiple computers, or one uninstalls and later re-installs doomsday, its just so easy to have a file of zipped Add-ons.
    I understand your point from a user's perspective. However, from a technical perspective, this is already done: PK3 files are in reality ZIP files. In practice, it would be possible for Doomsday to do what the launcher app once did, which is to have it unzip any non-PK3 ZIP files automatically for you.
    b. use a Snowberry like launcher...its just plain 100% easier for users to store Add-ons in a single folder called (get this) 'Add-ons', and then have a launcher allow the desired Add-ons to be checked when one chooses to launch any given Doomsday game...or not if they correspond to a different Doom game
    The goal is to make Doomsday simpler to use, and I don't believe having an entirely separate launcher application contributes to that goal. This is a big part of the reason why the Snowberry launcher was removed in Doomsday 2.

    What we can do in practice is have Doomsday set up a default Add-ons folder for you (for instance somewhere in your Documents folder). That way, add-ons placed there would be automatically found without having to configure any folder locations manually.

    We can also improve the way add-ons are selected for use in games, although that requires doing some more UI designing and is therefore not a trivial thing. One option would be to somehow have the available add-on selection prominently/permanently displayed without having to press any "Package" buttons in the UI...
    c. when you include your readmes...and I know there is so much to write about...just also include a "Readme First' short, simple,precise few sentences to play Add-ons.
    Call it 'Readme First to play Add-ons"
    The Manual page for that kind of stuff is this: https://manual.dengine.net/guide

    It certainly could use some basic info about installing and using add-ons.
    d. last request...not sure the Hexen engine will allow this?...saved games are not clearly labeled so that if you return the next day you can figure out where you left off?
    I agree very much that savegame management needs improvement. It is still largely unchanged from the original games. There are many things that can be done to improve the experience, such as sorting by date/time, including a screenshot, showing the map/hub name in addition to the user's given title, etc.
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