Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Status update

I've started adding some new spells to Dweller to make the wizard more interesting to play. I've had to do a bit of ground work on the whole spell/effect code and add some handling of new areas of effect. So far spells have only affected a single target, except for Book of Flames which had a "chaining" behavior where the spell jumped from target to target. I have prepared for other kinds of areas of effect, but not really implemented them, and now that I need some new areas of effect I've had to spend some time coding them.

I've added a new AoE which affects targets adjacent to the caster, up to a certain radius, and added a cyclone spell that knocks back and damages monsters adjacent to the player. Useful if you get swarmed. I've also added a "fire sweep" spell that does fire damage to adjacent targets. Next up will probably be some kind of mass sleep spell that affects monsters in a small area of the casters choice. A "cone of cold" or "dragons breath" spell with a cone shaped area of effect would also be nice, but I haven't written the code to handle that kind of AoE yet.

What I've also worked with since the last release is to make the quick slots more useful. In previous versions they've been to cumbersome to use since you had to long-press the quick slot button to get access to other quick slots than the most recently used. I want the quick slots to be immediately available and usable with a single click. The main problem here is one of screen real estate. There's so much info and interactive elements  that I need to make available to the user at any given time, and it all needs to play nicely on a touch screen.

This is the current state of the UI. This is a work in progress!

Some comments:
  • Character. I'm not sure yet how I want this box to look. It should provide a link to the character screen, but besides that I'm not really sure. Should it show HP and XP as it does in the versions available for download now? Could I get rid of both? I've moved XP down into it's own bar and HP could be put in a small bar above the player character. The problem with HP only as a bar and not a numeric value is that it's pretty important to know if you have 3 or 6 HP left as it will affect your decision making (eg. drink a potion now or finish the fight?) I'd also like to have somewhere to put buffs/debuffs such as Poisoned, Slowed, Flying, but maybe those should be shown as small icons elsewhere?
  • XP Bar. I moved this away from the Character box and down into it's own bar. I'm not sure if I need to show a numeric number here as well. Probably not.
  • Quickslots. A horizontal bar with 10 slots. The bar is scrollable left/right if all slots don't fit on screen.
  • Menu, inventory and targeting mode. I'd like to get rid of as much as possible here. I could possibly also ditch the Menu button and only make that accessible via the phones Menu soft/hardkey or key binding, but I think that might be annoying for the player. Inventory and Targeting/Look is a must and I don't think I can leave these out.

And the same in landscape mode (note that the quickslots share the same horizontal space as the rest of the buttons):

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