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Author Topic: Verbcoin Interface  (Read 2869 times)

Snarky

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #20 on: 18 Jul 2018, 13:14 »
Well, I dislike the verb coin in the first place, but yeah, I think it's particularly clunky for inventory interaction. To quote comments I made about a game that uses it:

Yup, I still hate the verb coin UI! I won't rehash all the problems I have with it, just note that I see no reason whatsoever why this game couldn't have used a two-button UI. "Look" and "Think about" don't need to be separate actions (if needed, you can just trigger one on the second/repeated clicks), and apart from that were there any things at all in the game that used more than one action? The inventory was also particularly clunky because of this: I can't tell you how many times I clicked on an item to try to combine it with something else, forgetting that I had to then choose "Use" from the verb coin. >:( >:( >:(

It must be admitted that the two-button UI doesn't really afford alternative ways of interacting with inventory items. You either click to select the inventory item for using with something, or clicking carries out some default action (which can result in a reverse puzzle), or right-click carries out some special action (usually rationalized as an examination revealing something else about the item), which is fairly non-standard... or right-click brings up a closeup view of the item, which (unless it's a book or document of some kind) is usually a dead giveaway that there's something more to this item.

If you wanted some way to chew/blow bubblegum, I can't think of a very good way to do it. (My best attempt: you have endless gum, clicking on it makes you chew it and blow a bubble, appearing both in inventory and in the real world, which pops and disappears after a few seconds.)

Danvzare

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #21 on: 18 Jul 2018, 19:35 »
or you can make the verb coin appear, and have the use command pick it up so you can use it, thus annoying the hell out of you since you always have to click twice to use an item.
But every single interaction with the verbcoin is already like this- you always have to click twice to use do anything at all. Why would it being in the inventory bother someone more?
Because you're clicking more.

Think of it like this, on the 9-verb interface, to open a door you click on open, then you click on the door. That's 2 clicks. To use a key on a door, you click on a key, then you click on a door. That's also 2 clicks. In the worst case scenario, you click on use, then you click on the key, then you click on the door. That's a maximum of 3 clicks.

Now with a verbcoin, to open a door you click on the door, then click on open. That's 2 clicks. But to use a key on a door using your interface, you have to click to open the inventory, click on the key, click on the use button, click to exit the inventory (because if the inventory automatically closed, you wouldn't be able to combine items), then finally click on the door. That's a maximum of 5 clicks. You could lower it down to 3 clicks though, by having the inventory pop-up like in a BASS interface, but would that be enough?

It seems as though your way of doing it, is probably the best way of doing it without using the right mouse button. (Because the way I suggested earlier would get rid of the look command.) The question is, is it important for us to only use the left mouse button? I think so based on the problems people have with the BASS interface. By using only the left mouse button, we're giving the verbcoin a pretty strong benefit. But I could be wrong. I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks.

ManicMatt

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #22 on: 19 Jul 2018, 07:58 »
That's weird, my verb coin interface isn't like the above comment, and I haven't messed with the default cmi interface that much.

You right click to bring up the inventory. you can bring up the verb coin to interact with or look at the inv object. if you want to use it in the world, you single click the inv object and you move the cursor outside of the inv box gui, and then the gui disappears and now you can single click on a hotspot or whatever. if you want to combine it with another inv object, its another single click when the cursor has changed to the inv object.
« Last Edit: 19 Jul 2018, 08:00 by ManicMatt »

Snarky

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #23 on: 19 Jul 2018, 08:30 »
But your verbcoin is the press-and-hold variety, right? The starting point for this thread is the assumption that that is terrible.

ManicMatt

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #24 on: 19 Jul 2018, 10:38 »
Yes, but you don't have to press and hold at all for using an inventory item on something else, just for looking, interacting etc, just like in Curse of Monkey Island. If there have been verb coin games that make you hold down the verb coin to use it with something, that seems extra clunky to me. I just wanted to point out, not all verb coin based games do this.

Snarky

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #25 on: 19 Jul 2018, 11:49 »
No, but if the verb coin appears just by clicking, as this thread assumes because many people feel that's the only way a verb-coin interface is halfway acceptable, then that doesn't work.

Babar

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #26 on: 19 Jul 2018, 12:08 »
And also, based on discussion here about touchscreen interfaces, I'm trying to avoid using right-click for anything other than convenience shortcuts for doing stuff that can already be done in some other way.
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abstauber

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #27 on: 27 Jul 2018, 22:17 »
just as a side-note - the remastered DOTT version changed the 9 verb GUI to a dynamic verbcoin and I think it's quite playable. But it still doesn't "feel" like the best adventure game UI ever - yet for a verbcoin it is alright.

Cassiebsg

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #28 on: 27 Jul 2018, 23:41 »
I don't believe there's a "best game UI ever", there are different approaches to UI, that should be chosen accordingly to what the game needs. If ones game needs to be able "see, kick or lick" then I'm sure that picking up a 1 or 2 click UI will be a bad idea. Now if the UI should be a 3 click UI, a Verbcoin (in which ever variation of perfection or imperfection), a sierra UI, a LA UI, or some other the Dev should now pic the one he thinks fits best in his game or the one likes best. Or even do extra work and let the player decide with UI to use... (roll)
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Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #29 on: 31 Jul 2018, 18:50 »
If you complete this module, could you make it compatible with the Thumbleweed module? I mean: make sure that the variables and GUI names don't conflict, and ideally make it possible to switch from one to the other easily.
 

Danvzare

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #30 on: 01 Aug 2018, 12:04 »
If you complete this module, could you make it compatible with the Thumbleweed module? I mean: make sure that the variables and GUI names don't conflict, and ideally make it possible to switch from one to the other easily.
That would certainly be an interesting concept. A game which lets you switch between 9-Verb and Verbcoin.
Simply letting people who started making their game with one interface, easily able to change to another interface, would definitely be helpful.

abstauber

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #31 on: 02 Aug 2018, 09:21 »
Don't forget that a typical 9-Verb GUI covers up to one third of your screen. So you have to take this into account when designing your backgrounds.
The DOTT remake zooms into the backgrounds, when activating the verb coin. But I'm sure that this is not feasable in AGS.

I can only think of these solutions having both type of GUIs in one game.
A) Add a blank area for the verbs and make all rooms scrolling vertically. Lock the scrolling with the verbcoin.
B) Draw two backgrounds: one with the resevered blank space for the verbs and one without. Then switch between those when changing the GUI.

Danvzare

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #32 on: 02 Aug 2018, 12:25 »
I can only think of these solutions having both type of GUIs in one game.
A) Add a blank area for the verbs and make all rooms scrolling vertically. Lock the scrolling with the verbcoin.
B) Draw two backgrounds: one with the resevered blank space for the verbs and one without. Then switch between those when changing the GUI.
I can think of a third solution.
Have the 9-Verb pop up, like the Serria interface or the inventory on a Bass interface.

I guess having the ability to swap and change between a Verbcoin and a 9-Verb interface isn't something you'd want to do ingame though. But I'm sure people would love to be able to change interfaces, when they've been working on one, and realise that they don't like the interface they chose.

Babar

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #33 on: 02 Aug 2018, 14:42 »
I don't think it makes sense to allow changes between a verbcoin and verblist, unless the game permanently (even in verbcoin mode) had a black area underneath, otherwise verbcoins would give you more stuff to see. And having the verblist not be permanently visible detracts from is effectiveness.
I've not looked at the Tumbleweed verbs module yet, I'll check it out.
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Snarky

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #34 on: 02 Aug 2018, 16:54 »
Keep in mind how Thimbleweed Park has a semi-transparent Lucas-style UI, which still lets you see (though not interact with) the whole background.

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #35 on: 03 Aug 2018, 07:47 »
Exactly. Never assume that the lower 60 pixels of your backgrounds only need to be black, or you'll come to regret it (usually when it's too late).
Usually what lazy people do (and I'm one of them) is drawing the lower part as a bunch of dimly lit foreground objects. Requires very little effort.
Like this : https://78.media.tumblr.com/c0ceece2d199a72c964d39f05f1f0ea4/tumblr_inline_ot218yxYYQ1qcsurn_500.png
Or this : https://agsezine.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/aok5.gif?w=477&zoom=2

« Last Edit: 03 Aug 2018, 07:53 by Monsieur OUXX »
 

Babar

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #36 on: 02 Sep 2018, 20:45 »
Sorry for the long gaps inbetween, real life has a habit of getting in the way.
Initially (and maybe still?) I was just planning on making an optimal verbcoin interface, and nothing extraneous, and then likewise for a verbcoin, and maybe collect some analytics. However, it seems people have the desire and expectation for me to make a template, so I'm plodding along with that now :=.

I'm still suspicious as to whether it would be possible to swap between this and something like the Tumbleweed template, but I'm keeping it in mind as I progress. I can't find any module or template for the pop-down inventory (which I'm assuming would be the one to work best with this sort of verbcoin), so I guess I'll have to be adding that soon.

I was also flipping back and forth between whether to squeeze the buttons into a tighter arc if the interactible was along the edge of the screen, but decided against that, because it could not be applied consistently- for example, if there was only 1 verb for an interactible in the upper corner, the button could show up a fixed distance from the mouse-click. But if there were 2 or more, then I'd have to shift the whole UI away from the corner, and all those different states probably don't help with consistency.

If you're feeling generous, you could also help me out with some process questions I had that felt more suited to the tech forum.
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Danvzare

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Re: Verbcoin Interface
« Reply #37 on: 05 Sep 2018, 15:22 »
I've had an idea for a verbcoin interface, that you might like to try out.
What about having the cursor appear as some sort of mini-version of the verbcoin, so when you click on something, the verbcoin appears to expand out of the cursor. It would give a sense of persistence, that would stop it appearing as though the verbcoin appeared out of nowhere. It might also be able to better show off where the buttons will be, just before you click on something in the corner.
The only problem is implementation though. And whether or not it's worth it.