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Menu Interactions

The current menu system feels clunky and confusing. I'm going to go into why and what I would suggest changing. Nothing I say is necessarily right, so feel free to tell me why I'm dumb.

First we have to ask if we're sticking to a PSO style live menu system. Presumably the menu does not pause the game, in which case we need to be able to move our character while we are in the menu. This means the menu system should utilize a different control scheme from live movement (d-pad vs stick) like PSO does. This is probably much more complicated though so let's leave that whole topic where it is as food for thought, possibly for later implementation.

Next we get into the menu itself. This is a multi-layered menu, with an initial listing that branches out into sub menus, which then provide their own menus or lists. Let's stop there for a moment. When I consider this menu as a user, I expect the menu to behave as an in-out process. I start out with a list of equipped items, all items, my mag (rad?), etc. If I select the equipped items option from the menu, I expect to see a new menu/screen that is independent of the last menu. That means moving up/down/left/right in this new menu/screen is completely separate from the old one. PSO did this really pretty well IMO, and I feel that it has aged extremely nicely. When there are so many menus and depth, that in/out clarity is nice to have.

Of course, to facilitate in/out, there needs to be a back option. On controller, this should function by simply pressing "B". If you want mouse/keyboard support, then a button on the side (for quick access) or bottom that exits the current menu level would also suffice (and hitting "B" on a controller would move your selection to that button and select it by default).


All of this to say, the current menu system is failing these aspects. Currently if you select a menu option it opens that in the main screen area, but you can still cursor your way back and forth between the left side list and the right side main area (usually - sometimes the cursor just disappears). There is no quick and easy back option for controllers, and I'm not even sure when I need to go back and when I should just press left to go back to the list.

From you comments I think you're pretty early in the current UI so I hope this doesn't sound too critical.

The last thing I might note here is the customization section for modifying your ABXY attacks is really strange. It scrolls through giant images? I'd honestly rather see a vertical text list with the corresponding images next to it. Either way, I would say focus on the in/out active/inactive menu controls first.

Yep, believe me i know the UI needs major love, i just finished switching UI systems. what you see is the remnants of the old UI look and feel. I actually do want to stick to the PSO format. I even want to shrink the view area to the top right of the screen when you enter the menu so you can still move your character around.

But it was already a big jump switching from Unity UI to NGUI.. major differences. took me a good week or so just to make it baseline usable. Hopefully i can get all this cleaned up soon.

 

Thanks for the feedback though.