Unit Scroller Issues & RFC on Changes


  • Admin

    Problems

    1. Space bar to skip turns out to have been a bad move. Space bar will take priority on any highlight button. So if you press ">" to go to the next unit, the 'next unit button' becomes highlighted. Pressing space bar again will activate the button again instead of skipping! Similar if you sleep a unit, then press space bar to skip the next unit, the sleep button is highlighted and space bar will then sleep the next unit.

    2. Keyboard listeners look to continue to be a mess as a client to bot games and keyboard focus is constantly loss. This is just seemingly a problem and often the map has to be clicked to get focus back so that the hotkeys work. It's a bit unclear why a hotkey like 'F' tends to work most of the time but not the unit scroller keys.

    3. Going to a next unit and skipping tends to really be the same thing often in practice.

    4. Client games to bots have a bad ordering and clicking next and then previous does not always seem to line up and actually go back and forth between units.

    Proposed Changes

    • Remove the skip button
    • Next button will proceed to the next unit & skip (skipped units are subtracted from the active unit count)
    • Remove the previous button. If the next button skips units, then previous would skip over the skipped units and one would go to the back of the queue of units, which would seemingly be just as random as going to a next unit. For example, let's say we have unit ordering: A, B, C, D. If you are on A, and you go to next, then A is removed and we have B, C, D. Clicking previous would go to unit 'D' instead of 'A'! Since the user is none the wiser that 'C' was supposed to be next vs 'D', previous is not super meaningful.

    TL;DR

    • merging the skip button into the 'next' unit button
    • removing the previous unit button

  • Admin

    This PR is staged to make a number of these changes:
    https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/pull/8278

    Screenshot from 2020-11-25 20-11-12



  • Looks good to me.


  • Admin

    (I posted on the Github page concerning this, as I did not see this page on the forum. My concerns remain kind of the the same)

    Just tried out a newer pre-release https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/releases/tag/2.6.22447 (With the NEXT and PREVIOUS buttons removed) … and I am disturbed to say the least, even though the changes made to the Unit Scroller seem intentional, I see them as a step backwards in regards to developing the UI. So I pray for these changes to be reconsidered / modified.

    A
    With no “Next” and “Previous” in the scroller, it is not possible for players to scroll forward through the list of territories that are to be managed, past units, to later scroll backwards to revisit these same units. It makes it impossible to use the scroller to scroll through units / territories, only moving some units while scrolling through others, with the intention of later returning to scrolled-through/unmoved units.
    I don’t know how “most players” use the scroller, but this is how I use it. I would really miss being able to scroll through units to get an overview before actual moving them.
    I would actually say that the Next/Previous features of the scroller was the whole idea behind the scroller and the basic mechanic, with sleep and alert just being extra advanced features.

    Personally I actually wouldn’t mind a simplified Unit Scroller, but I would configure it like this:

    PREVIOUS (Press “,” or click for Previous territory with unmoved units)
    ALERT (Press “A” or click to Alert all unmoved units in all sleeping territories)
    SLEEP (Press “S” or click to Sleep all unmoved units in this territory)
    NEXT (Press “.” or click for Next territory with unmoved units)

    But I must say, that even though I don’t use Skip/Checkmark feature, I imagine that some players have already gotten used to it and actually would miss not being able to just skip specific units in the combat move round only.

    Other issues that has followed with the update:

    B
    Also, for some reason, the scroller's collapsible bar now cuts unit pictures. Before, it was actually able to show unit pictures of different sizes, with no cutting. I think it is because the Scroller now wants to show non-movable units like factories and other infrastructure, even though they have no movement. So the height is maybe not different, but still messes up unit pictures.

    New.png
    Old.png

    C
    There is also an issue with the unit pictures becoming invisible if/when the player manually resizes the TripleA game window.

    Error2.png

    https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/issues/8367


  • Admin

    (C) we can discuss in the issue as that is maybe a defect.

    The removal of skip was discussed in the OP. Perhaps not mentioned is that we need to spend more time working on multiplayer games, particularly with respect to hot keys. In MP games it looks like the chat text area grabs the keyboard focus (or somewhere), hence half the time it looks like any hotkeys are broken and it's not obvious (nor should it be necessary) that you need to click the map first. Beyond that, the focus remains on the last unit-scroller button as well, which is also why 'space-bar' is a bad 'skip' button. Last, the unit ordering did not seem to always be stable in multi-player games. The updates have to some extent reduced us to lowest common denominator of functionality.



  • I also notice in the two images that
    Old has menu tabs as;
    Resources, Notes, Territory
    Actions, Players

    New has menu tabs as;
    Resources, Notes, Territory, Actions, Players

    This should have freed up more vertical space?

    As a side note, the Notes tab is it needed? As it can be accessed from Help> Game Notes.

    If its removed, on some maps it can make the main map screen bigger, by showing more of the map.


  • Admin

    @TheDog 1 or 2 rows of tabs are just determined by the player manually adjusting the width of the right UI bar. Do this by left clicking the border between map and right bar.

    The rigth bar has the minimum width of the minimap jpeg or png. Even if there was only one 1 tab, the right bar wouldn't change size.



  • Oh yeah, thanks.

    Frostion just noticed your an Admin, well volunteered!


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