From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Coder Diary #18 -- UI Fixes & 2.01 Progress Report
JTCS 2.00 was fairly well received, but there were issues. Since 2.00's release -- and setting aside new game development for the moment (Middle East, Vietnam, ...) -- we have been working diligently on fixing some of the issues.
Perhaps the biggest issue was with the toolbar, thought by many to be "tiny". There were other objections. Meeting the objectors more than half way, in 2.01 we have implemented a range of toolbar options:
As you can see, in the upcoming 2.01 bug-fix release, there will be four optional toolbars:
None. In the screenshot above, the outer, encompassing EF game window. This is for people who are totally fine with the hotkeys (for every toolbar icon, there is a corresponding hotkey), and who want to maximize the map view.
Classic. In the screenshot, center right. This is for traditional-minded players. No changes from the traditional JTCS toolbar whatsoever. (Offered in JTCS only. Will not be offered in any future spin-off games, such as ME, VN, ...)
Standard. In the screenshot, upper left. Thought to be "tiny" by many. Others are good with it. Especially if they have a lower resolution display (whether by preference, or due to monitor limitations) and don't like toolbar auto-wrap, as you see in the screenshot.
Large. In the screenshot, lower left. The icon graphics are no larger, but the buttons are bigger. The overall effect is it's less cramped.
You will also note that several of the toolbar icons have been redone for greater contrast and clarity. No button additions or subtractions, and no resequencing either. If you are used to the new 2.00 toolbar (and hotkeys) by now, you will not have to relearn anything for 2.01. Everything is set in place, and will remain such. Only the looks will change.
Another troubling issue for some players: the game window border and background colors "bleeding" over to other non-game apps and windows. For most players, this effect only lasts for the duration of the game session. When you exit the game, the Windows system colors revert back to normal. Alas, if the game terminates abnormally -- typically due to a crash -- the only effective means to restore system colors back to normal is to reboot.
In 2.01, we have implemented yet another Option, a toggle, "System Colors":
In the screenshot, you see the game (EF) surrounded by a couple of apps that, with 2.00, would typically have their status bars, scroll bars, backgrounds, etc. "bloodied" by the game colors. As you can see, in the new 2.01 game EXEs, this is not the case.
So in 2.01, we no longer change the Windows system colors, and achieve the colored game status bar and tool bar by other means. One consequence of this, in this screenshot
you can see that the game dialogs now default to the Windows system colors.
If you have adopted some weird Windows color theme, like any of these
your game dialogs will have that look also (e.g., reverse image white text on black background).
If you don't like that effect, or in any case you prefer that the game border colors apply consistently across all game dialogs and controls, you simply uncheck the Options > System Colors, and you get 2.00's behavior:
Of course, you again have the game colors bleeding over to non-game windows. But if you're okay with that, you have the choice.
To bleed or not to bleed? That is the question.
Another UI change: In 2.01, on launch, the game window will open maximized.
In 2.00, the default was to open unmaximized. For many players, this obscured the game status bar at game window bottom. In 2.01, that should no longer be the case.
In 2.01, there are also a number of bug fixes. We will mention them in due course.
One bug fix that I will mention now: A fix for the DCG crash bug (with temporary work-around for that bug described here).
In the course of investigating and fixing that bug, a number of other DCG code & data issues were discovered. If 2.01's release is delayed, that's the reason. We are attempting to fix bugs and issues that date all the way back to the original JTCS 1.00 release. Finding and fixing the bugs takes time. Testing takes even more time. DCGs are multi-scenario, so obviously we can't find, fix & test in a couple of afternoons, or even a week. We're getting closer to 2.01's release, but more patience is required. In the meantime, we advise players to avoid DCGs and play LCGs and standalone scenarios only.
I'll have more to say about DCGs and other stuff in a future Coder Diary. This is now just to let you all know: We're working hard to give you the best product possible. Yes, we know, 2.01 can't come soon enough.
Until the next time...
< Message edited by berto -- 4/9/2014 9:46:23 AM >