UI Suggestion : Contextually Aware Right Click Support

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mesh
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UI Suggestion : Contextually Aware Right Click Support

Post by mesh »

Not sure if this is the appropriate forum to post this, but I had a feature / UI suggestions.

One of the issues I have been having when getting started with Zun Tzu, is knowing how to do things, such as manipulate chits. I know there is extensive documentation, but many players just jump in, and even if they read the docs, it is difficult to remember everything.

The other issue is that some of the UI interactions require that the user use a button with a mouse wheel, making it difficult if not impossible for players to play without a mouse (such on a laptop with a track pad).

I think a simple solution for both of these issues would be to add contextually aware right click support. i.e. if you right click on a chit, you get a menu with possible options (i.e. cycle through stack, remove chit, rotate, etc...).

I think this would make the features and functionality much more discoverable, and easier for new users to get started. It would also make it easier to work with the application without a mouse.

I have not seen the source for Zun Tzu (not sure if it is posted), but I would imagine that at least some of the basic functionality would be relatively easy to impliment (just tap into the existing API calls to rotate, remove, etc...).

I have some experience with C# (not much with Silverlight), and might be willing to help out, if that is something the project leaders are interested in. Btw, I dont have much experience in Silverlight, but i have EXTENSIVE experience with Flash, and building web based applications with Flash.

mike
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Bill Barrett
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Post by Bill Barrett »

You don't need a mouse wheel to rotate counters - the arrow keys can be used instead...

Regards, Bill.
mesh
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Post by mesh »

Bill Barrett wrote:You don't need a mouse wheel to rotate counters - the arrow keys can be used instead...

Regards, Bill.
Cool, but I think that just reinforces my main point, which is about the discoverable of the UI and its functionality.

Adding right click support enhances the existing functionality (without replacing it), and makes it much easier for new users to use the application.

mike
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Jerome
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Re: UI Suggestion : Contextually Aware Right Click Support

Post by Jerome »

mesh wrote:One of the issues I have been having when getting started with Zun Tzu, is knowing how to do things, such as manipulate chits. I know there is extensive documentation, but many players just jump in, and even if they read the docs, it is difficult to remember everything.
I agree that the discoverability could be improved.
I wish ZunTzu had a nice built-in interactive tutorial. It would make things a lot easier.
mesh wrote:I think a simple solution for both of these issues would be to add contextually aware right click support. i.e. if you right click on a chit, you get a menu with possible options (i.e. cycle through stack, remove chit, rotate, etc...).

I think this would make the features and functionality much more discoverable, and easier for new users to get started. It would also make it easier to work with the application without a mouse.
I agree but... the user interface in ZunTzu is not meant to be sensible! :P

When designing ZunTzu I deliberately maintained a purist posture with regard to the User Interface. I wanted ZunTzu to feel organic and not like a desktop application. I wanted to have fun and experiment with the UI even if I was aware that some of the design choices were bold and most likely detrimental to the adoption of the software (I'm thinking of zooming through the right-hand mouse button for instance).
I suppose at that time I was tired of developing sensible UI for a living. :-)

Some of the goals of the UI were:
- to feel like a virtual game table, with emphasis on the mouse and no pop-ups or context menus.
- to look more like a video game than a desktop application.
- to optimize the screen real estate (I prefer laptops ;-) ).
- to have almost no visible UI elements or at least style-less elements that will blend easily into the art of the games.
- to have all the main features accessible through the mouse.
- to improve game awareness by animating all actions performed by the other players (our visual system is sensitive to movement).
- to be easily teachable: using the voice conferencing it is easy to train another user during a game. The controls are NOT user-configurable because it would hurt teachability (another questionable design decision).
- to have a undo/redo feature (although it is uncommon in real-time networked applications).
mesh wrote:I have some experience with C# (not much with Silverlight), and might be willing to help out, if that is something the project leaders are interested in. Btw, I dont have much experience in Silverlight, but i have EXTENSIVE experience with Flash, and building web based applications with Flash.
Thanks! I'll get in touch with you.
Jerome, ZunTzu developer.
mesh
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Re: UI Suggestion : Contextually Aware Right Click Support

Post by mesh »

Yeah, once I learned the UI, it made a lot of sense (although I still confuse zoom and move sometimes). I was lucky though, in that I had someone who spent some time specifically to teach me the UI.

I think a quick intro video showing how to use the app would be really useful. That is something I might be able to help with, although I would probably want to wait until the release of the next version (so we dont have to re-do it once it is released).

mike
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Pokke
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Re: UI Suggestion : Contextually Aware Right Click Support

Post by Pokke »

Jerome wrote:Some of the goals of the UI were:
- to feel like a virtual game table, with emphasis on the mouse and no pop-ups or context menus.
- to look more like a video game than a desktop application.
- to optimize the screen real estate (I prefer laptops ;-) ).
- to have almost no visible UI elements or at least style-less elements that will blend easily into the art of the games.
- to have all the main features accessible through the mouse.
- to improve game awareness by animating all actions performed by the other players (our visual system is sensitive to movement).
- to be easily teachable: using the voice conferencing it is easy to train another user during a game. The controls are NOT user-configurable because it would hurt teachability (another questionable design decision).
- to have a undo/redo feature (although it is uncommon in real-time networked applications).
Well, all of the above is probably why I like ZunTzu so much, compared to Vassal for instance. In the latter, it often feels as if you need to study the interface for each new game before you can get to play the game itself. Try to play Combat Commander in Vassal and you will see what I mean.

So yes please, stick to that philosopy for v2, Jerome... :)

ps Mike, somehow I got onto your website this week, can't remember how or why, but then suddenly I come here after a very long time and see all your messages. It's a small world, that internet... :)
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Bill Barrett
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Post by Bill Barrett »

So yes please, stick to that philosopy for v2, Jerome...
Ditto :D

And Jerome - I think that your User Interface is the ONLY sensible one I've encountered so far :wink:

Regards, Bill.
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Cambronne
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Re: UI Suggestion : Contextually Aware Right Click Support

Post by Cambronne »

So yes please, stick to that philosopy for v2, Jerome... :)

Fully approved
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Aldo
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Post by Aldo »

The only thing I would ask for, is multi-selection of stuff in my hand. Group selection is lacking. I would like to select 2 or more pieces/cards/whatever and flip all at the same time and/or place them on the board at the same time and/or rotate them at the same time and/or whatever at the same time.
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Jerome
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Post by Jerome »

Aldo wrote:The only thing I would ask for, is multi-selection of stuff in my hand. Group selection is lacking.
You will have all of that! :-)
Jerome, ZunTzu developer.
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donhua
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Post by donhua »

I consider that ZunTzu it is not necessary to overload and complicate. Zuntzu should remain a virtual table for games.
If to make differently. That Zuntzu will sink in the sea of game appendices.
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