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Week 35/2013: Video settings

edited 2013 Sep 11 in Developers
Last week I made a replacement for the old Control Panel Video settings page and tweaked the UI style.

The big thing for last week was creating a new Video Settings dialog for changing the display mode, window attributes, and monitor color adjustments. I managed to complete this and removed the corresponding Video page from the old Control Panel.

While working on the Video Settings dialog I encountered several issues in the UI framework that needed addressing and/or refactoring. To mention a few: popup menus now automatically make themselves scrollable if they don't fit in the view; it is possible to have multiple columns of items in a popup menu; all widgets weren't using margins properly; text drawing was made easier with the help of a high-level utility class; image layout issues in labels; and widgets weren't told the size of the view when they were added to the widget tree.

The monitor color adjustments dialog that can be opened via Video Settings needed a "slider" type of widget. Sliders are also heavily used in the old Control Panel to adjust various cvars, so I needed to implement one for the new UI framework.

color_adjust.jpg

Now that there is a larger set of widgets available, we can take steps toward a more cohesive visual UI style. I tweaked some aspects, most notably button borders and border glow. The changes are quite subtle but can be seen in the screenshot:

video_settings.jpg

The 1.12 release has been scheduled for the end of September, which means we'll be entering Candidate phase around mid-September. Until then I will be continuing work on tearing down the old Control Panel.

Comments

  • Looks cool as usual.

    However, I question the need for two panels (i.e a separate 'video settings' and 'colour adjustments'). I don’t think they individually contain enough things to make a second window nesscerry. Obviously yourself may be planning for the future though (i.e dozens more options may be added to either panel in future as Dday gains more graphical features or the number of separate pages on the old control panel are streamlined into fewer in the new UI).

    That said, I admit that if the panels where merged into one, that I’m not sure in which existing panels place it should open on the screen at. I like that the video settings panel opens right next to where the mouse cursor is and I also imagine that yourself placed the colour adjustment panel where you did because you wanted the user to be able to see clearly what effect moving each slider was having in the game world.

    Personal opinion is that the maximized option shouldn't immediately take effect if the user toggles it while in full screen; it's effect should be delayed until the user actually enters windowed mode.

    On another note, I notice that toggling Antialiasing pauses the game, I assume due to the feature requiring the rebuilding of the image and hence focus on Dday is temporarily lost?
  • Vermil wrote:
    However, I question the need for two panels (i.e a separate 'video settings' and 'colour adjustments').
    My reasoning is:
    • On average the user needs to adjust the colors less often than the other display mode settings, so keeping them separate reduces clutter.
    • As you noted, when adjusting colors it's good to allow maximum visibility of the game view.
    Personal opinion is that the maximized option shouldn't immediately take effect if the user toggles it while in full screen;
    That's a good point. I'm also thinking about having the "Mode:" only affect fullscreen mode, with the windowed mode having to be sized with the mouse as one would resize any other window.
    On another note, I notice that toggling Antialiasing pauses the game, I assume due to the feature requiring the rebuilding of the image and hence focus on Dday is temporarily lost?
    Yeah that's correct. The bug here is that window focus shouldn't be considered lost in this situation.

    EDIT: Fixed.
  • Just a quick update from me this time around.

    Last week I continued work on improving the interpretation of map hacks and specifically, implementing "missing texture" hack support. I decided to split this task in two after determining that such constructs fall into two logically distinct subgroups. Depending on the geometry of the map and the relationship between sector planes on the Z axis, Doomsday will need to handle each subgroup somewhat differently.

    The case of a map geometry where such a hack is used to visually "transfer" a physically lower sector plane to a higher one in another sector is now supported. This includes all variants of this method for "deep water", rising pits in the floor which conceal monsters, etc...

    The more difficult and opposite case of a hack which visually transfers a physically higher sector plane to a lower one in another sector is not yet supported however. This variant (which includes such constructs as "invisible walls") produces different results in vanilla depending on the position of the viewer vs that of the geometry itself. Generating different geometry in such a manner is far from ideal so instead I'm looking into a mechanism whereby both geometries are always available. Essentially this means dynamically generating additional visual planes.

    Implementing support for the simpler case revealed that it was necessary to update various old map renderer mechanisms in order to visualize these correctly. Supporting the hack in itself was relatively straight forward but updating these older systems is taking a little longer.

    My plan for next week is to continue working on map hack support.
  • edited 2013 Sep 5
    One thing I've been wondering; Now that Dday supports background downloading is there any possibility of another updater setting to automatically download an update without asking, when one is available?

    Obviously, the user will still have to confirm actual install. Or might that be considered too intrusive?

    Or some sort of flashing icon saying something like 'there is an update availible; click for more information' in the corner, rather than displaying a prompt in the middle of the screen at preset times?

    Obviously, I am aware that the current phase is updating the existing UI to the new one, rather than adding new features and I might be being presumptuous.
  • Vermil wrote:
    Now that Dday supports background downloading is there any possibility of another updater setting to automatically download an update without asking, when one is available?
    I think that if the user first needs to activate such background downloading of uploads, it would be perfectly acceptable. It isn't very difficult to do, I'll put it on my list.
  • I wish to question the use of the word 'developer' by Deng team in various options in the taskbar and also snowberry?

    I’m not sure that 'developer' is the best term to describe 'advanced options that Deng team assume won't be of interest to the common user'.

    I don't think it's 'friendly' to users, to 'assume' various options will only be of interest or understood by certain groups of people (i.e deng team, mod developers etc).

    In some cases, it obscures what the option actually is; for instance 'Developer info' on the audio menu displays the sound channel information. An option that was clearly called that on the old Control Panel; well, it was called 'show status of channels'.
  • The intent of the term "Developer" is to communicate that these things are either developer tools/utilities or provide exra information to advanced/technical users, such as mod authors. Whether "normal" users understand these is beside the point IMO, the key is that they can be ignored if one just wishes to play the game.

    We can naturally use more concise language in the settings, for instance for the sound channel info.

    I can only think of "Advanced" or "Tools" to use instead of "Developer", though... What would be your suggestion?
  • 'Advanced' sounds accurate. It is a term used in the real world to describe the skill level, such as novice, intermediate, advanced. In the launcher for the Freespace source port, there is a tab saying 'advanced settings'. And I recall hearing terms like 'advanced user'. It has been a while, but I think they might have used the term 'advanced' at college when taking computer classes or any class. I know 'end user' was a term used, but that just means a person who is sitting at a computer who is a normal user who is not currently performing as administrator or a computer tech worker, and who is on the receiving end. So all of us who are not taking on the main developer role of Doomsday, especially those of us who don't take any role and just receive, are end user in this case. But 'advanced user' sounds best.
  • Indeed 'advanced' (without 'user' on the end though) is far far better than 'developer'.

    Every game I can recall uses 'advanced', 'advanced options', 'advanced settings' etc.
  • skyjake wrote:
    I'm also thinking about having the "Mode:" only affect fullscreen mode, with the windowed mode having to be sized with the mouse as one would resize any other window.
    The new UI is super, but could you please give us an option for windowed screen modes too? As a model maker I need a 4:3 ratio window to set HUD weapons position right, but I haven't any 4:3 monitor, so the windowed mode is my only hope.
  • It is unusual to see a weekly progress report thread receive replies from others besides Dani's and Skyjake's first 2 posts, let alone one that spans 2 pages.
  • veirdo wrote:
    The new UI is super, but could you please give us an option for windowed screen modes too?
    I have now added a new popup menu for window actions, where you can set the windowed mode size:
    apply_to_window.png
    This should be what you need?
  • Yes, that's what I need, thank you! :-)
  • So we can define separate resolutions for windowed and full screen modes again?

    May I suggest changing 'fullscreen mode' to something like 'resolution'?, particularly as it's now seemingly used to set the windowed mode resolution?
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