Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Glimmr UI - Progress & Problems

In this current prototype of my next interactive fiction I'm wring in Inform7, I have most of the basic elements I wanted while planning the user interface for this game. A modified version of Erik Temple's compass example sits in a graphics window to the right. In the graphics window above, a simple graphics window is displayed, and the status bars have been moved to either side of the image.

At this point I knew I still had more to add and polish, but was satisfied with the general result. However, I did worry about how the graphics would align in different interpreter windows. Gargoyle seems to be one of the more popular ones, and is what I normally use. Above is the result in Gargoyle for Windows.

Resizing is another issue. There's probably a lot of people who re-size their interpreters after they load a story, and probably almost as many restart their game to clean up any mess the re-sizing left behind. In the image below, I've resized the Gargoyle window a few times, resulting in the "simple graphics window" being duplicated. This could be due to me not adding a bit of code to prevent this, as the window containing the compass graphics does not suffer the same effect. Below is a screenshot after resizing and before restarting.

If that assumption is correct, I figured that making sure the graphics at least align correctly in Gargoyle before any resizing should be OK. Any resizing (unless they chose to make the window even smaller) and then restarting should keep everything neat. I was wrong. Here's the same file loaded in Gargoyle for Gnome:

In this version, one of my bars is completely overlapped by the simple graphics window, and the other is far out of alignment. I have to resize the window to make it larger in order for everything to display correctly. This makes me think of other platforms as well, such as how it would display on fancy hand-held devices that I can not afford. So, at this point I'm not sure what, if any, form of standardization I should be using.

Hopefully, I can get some feedback from the community on this. Also, if anyone reading this has any thoughts on my UI in general, please leave a comment.


  1. I don't know if you've seen it already, but I posted a detailed explanation of the behavior you're describing as well as the solution here. Hope it helps you move forward!

  2. Thanks! I'd seen it the day you posted.. but work and trying to figure a thing or two out has postponed me replying. I'll be replying it soon though to let you know how it worked out, and make another blog once the UI is more in order.

  3. It's looking good - very clean and sleek.