Feature Request: The next best thing to coding...

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:21 am

Yuotta wrote:@Animmaniac could you add in the parameters column (before you enter the condition) a place to show the expression so it's right there before you use it?
I'm not sure I understand your suggestion. Could you clarify it a bit more?

Ashley wrote:@Animmaniac - ah, that makes a lot more sense now (with the typing in suggestion). I do quite like the idea. Editing parameters in-place could come first, and then typing in a new condition/action is an extension of that.
Yeah, the presence of editable fields are kind of mandatory for it to work. It makes sense to develop them first.

Ashley wrote:The three-pane dialog does have some nice features, but I think there's still some issues around how to usefully show expressions without confusing anyone. Also if we had it as a kind of "advanced edit" dialog in addition to the current multi-step system (which would be preserved for beginners), as well as the typing feature, then that's a lot of different ways to add and edit events.
I did some more refinements and was able to simplify the three-panel dialog even further. By doing some rearranging most of the visual complexity is gone and should be very easy to grasp:

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With the section's titles on top and the buttons on bottom the structure becomes a lot clearer. The default display mode for each panel is a single list (similar to what we use now), so there's only one pick per column. That eliminates any confusion the filter lists may add. Also by displaying the events' description as a tooltip the visual complexity is reduced even further.

For picking expressions I used the same idea of the change of state, but modified it slightly to appear as an overlay window. This makes things even clearer and should help to eliminate any doubts of what's going on. So the expression panel would still pops up every time an editbox is in focus, occupying the space of the two first panels, but as an overlay:

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It's not uncommon to hear reports of some users that do not acknowledge the existence of the floating expression panel. This could probably help mitigate that since the expression panel is always at hand when you need it: just click an editbox and it appears over the event dialog, click anywhere else and it disappears. There's no way to hide it behind other windows or out of screen.

Of course the filter lists and the folder structure would still remain as display options for the panels, to fulfill different necessities or user preferences, but the single list could be the default for beginners.

So in my opinion, even more with these refinements, I believe the three-panel dialog could totally replace the step wizard with no major problems and even some improvements. There's no need to keep two different mouse input methods. Mouse and keyboard are complementary, but having a third advanced mouse mode would probably be confusing. Unless we can turn them into some logic variations of the same mouse input method.
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Post » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:33 pm

It's an improvement, but I still think it's an awful lot for one dialog to do. What if it took a compromise: have the "object" and "condition" panels in the first dialog, and then the parameters and expressions in the second step? In other words, like taking the current three-step approach and merging the first two steps?
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:08 am

You can already make events using mainly typing. Pressing "E" makes an event, typing part of the object name until the window selects the object you want and pressing "enter" shows expressions for the object. "C" to add conditions, "A" to add actions, etc. It's not perfect, but it can be helpful.
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:17 am

i'd say we need more exposition @Ashley - we need to see what c2 can do. like a cheat sheet. shortcuts tutorial when you first run c2, and such.. would greatly improve workflow. i currently don't know any shortcuts (it's not a bother, but if i knew and it would increase my develop time, i'd love to be aquainted with them in c2, not by searching lots of manuals)
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:04 pm

The keyboard shortcuts section in the manual is pretty comprehensive.
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Post » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:31 pm

i know it is, but noone is probably going to memorize all that. so some baloon tips or such could appear in editor from time to time, ofc. with ability to disable them once you learn the stuff
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Post » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:35 pm

Ashley wrote:What if it took a compromise: have the "object" and "condition" panels in the first dialog, and then the parameters and expressions in the second step? In other words, like taking the current three-step approach and merging the first two steps?

I have thought about that. Would already be an improvement. Maybe as a unified dialog could have more advantages, but as a two step process is definitely better than three.

At this point probably the best thing to do would be creating some semi functional mockups and testing with some users to collect their feedback. It's hard to know for sure what would work or not without falling into personal opinion or assumptions. This is the standard practice for interface design.
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Post » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:30 am

@Animmaniac count me in for testing!
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Post » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:31 am

i think generally a nice textbox above each column would be nice to filter out all the data.
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Post » Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:48 pm

saiyadjin wrote:i know it is, but noone is probably going to memorize all that. so some baloon tips or such could appear in editor from time to time, ofc. with ability to disable them once you learn the stuff


A nice tip that I've used and seen my workflow speed increase dramatically is I always develop with the shortcut key list that Ashley linked to open on a separate window and I try to mainly use shortcuts when I do things. So if something comes up that my brain doesn't automatically know the shortcut to, I peak at the list and use the appropriate keys. Of course everyone is going to start off using only a few shortcuts but when an effort is made to memorize and use the shortcuts as often as possible, your repertoire increases, the amount of peaks at the list decreases, and over time you will be impressed with how fast you knock out events. Enjoy and Good luck!
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