dag10's blog

Upcoming user interface improvements.

Hedgewars recently participated in the seven-week 2012 Google Code-In, a Google-sponsored programming competition for pre-university to contribute to open source projects and earn points.

Twenty five different students, including myself, contributed code to Hedgewars, resulting in many bug fixes and additional user interface improvements.

Let's take a closer look at user interface improvements coming to the next version of Hedgewars. Click on images to view them in their original size.

Most of the visible improvements were created by me except where stated otherwise.

Click on a category:

Network game type

The option for choosing what type of network game you want to play will be inline, appearing over the "network game" button when you click on it.

Log-in prompt

When choosing to play a network game when you're not logged in, an improved log-in prompt will show. Credit to Ondrej.

Room list

This brings us to the improved game lobby. The search box will be placed at the top and given focus as soon as you enter the lobby. As you type, you can use the arrow keys to move the room selection up and down. Pressing enter will join the selected room.

Creating a room

Clicking the create room button will display a dialog prompting you for the name of your room. To make the process faster, it will default to the last room name you chose, so you can reuse the same name with ease.

Game lobby

Some of the biggest improvements lie within the game lobby.
Let's take a closer look at what's changed:

Overall page layout

Room controls, such as the room name, will be moved to the top of the page. The settings button is moved to the bottom-left, and the start button is larger for easier clicking.
The map selection interface dynamically switches to a tabbed layout when the window is too small, allowing for chat to always be visible:

Map selection

Many people aren't noticing the variety of map types at their disposal, so fixing this is a primary focus in the new map interface: Mission maps will now have descriptions, too.
You may have noticed the new theme button. Theme selection is out of the way when you don't need it. And when you do need to select a theme, you can see full-sized icons: Additionally, a drawn map can be loaded directly from the game lobby:


Settings are broken up into more descriptive pages:

Team options

Two major changes are happening to the team options page. First, hat selection will no longer be a drop-down box. Instead, hats are selected through a large dialog page with build-in search. Like with the room search, arrow keys can be used while typing to move the hat selection, and pressing enter chooses the selected hat:

Second, the team key-binding interface is completely redone:

Master game-wide key binds

It will now possible to set game-wide key bind changes that will be the default key binds. Individual teams override the master key binds, but teams no longer have keys bound by default:

Easy feedback

You may have noticed a new "feedback" button on the main page. With it, users will be able to send suggestions or bug reports directly to Hedgewars developers from within the game: System information can (optionally) be sent too, thanks to Martin Bede:


I've covered the significant user interface changes coming to the next release of Hedgewars. Hedgewars will hopefully be faster to use, and easier to for newcomers to navigate. Buttons are also larger throughout the interface for easier clicking.

We are not yet sure when 0.9.19 will be released, but you can see these changes today by downloading and compiling the source code.
More after the break.
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