Make Dominating 12 look and function better!
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Cireon wrote:
Last weeks or months have seen a lot of changes to Dominating 12. Almost all of them are heavily applauded by me, as they increase the functionality and flexibility of this website. These new features were however never fully planned on this website and therefore the interface was never built to host these new systems. One could argue that the new options are "hacked in".

As I said previously, I like the new changes, but to be honest, I don't like the way how they are displayed on the website. The idea of the tabs on the game screen are good, but it just doesn't fit with the rest of the site. The new options on the create new game page have been praised and yes, they are a great addition, but the page is slowly turning in a mess.

I think you/we, programmers, need to take a step back and walk through the interfaces, give them a nice touch, make them look slick again. I don't want to be able to actually see what was added later and what was there since the birth of this website.

I have a few changes prepared (in my head), but I want to be clear that in my opinion, the problem is not limited to these.

Create New Game
Currently, this page has a lot of options on it. First of all, the list of maps in my opinion is getting a bit too long. I appreciate a nice map library and this topic is not meant to discuss those, but the fact is: there are a lot of maps. I heard of the idea of a map browser. I think it would actually be good idea to add such a system. To categorize maps. Maybe be able to look for "a fictional map suitable for 5 players" or a "historic map of europe suitable for 2 players with more than 40 territories", etc.
New players should also be able to create games. The more options you present them with, the harder it gets for them to set them up. I think the create new game should become a simple interface with only the default options. Only let them choose the map, amount of players and maybe some other options. Then add an "advanced options" button that also shows the other things: password, point limits, but also the turn order (same time/sequential) and possibly options that are going to be added later (for example reinforcement phase before/after attack phase). Things like game mode and fortification mode have to be decided on whether they are "basic" or "advanced".

Game list
We are adding more and more columns to still show all the required information, but I don't think that will work much longer. The password icon is in a weird place and new options will lead to more columns. Recently, the point limit points were added for example. I would only display the most important information about games in the basic overview. Possibly start using icons instead of full text to save space. I would replace the point limit by one column that only displays an icon whether you can join the game. "Not joinable" (because of the point limit for example), "Password protected" and "Open" could be options for example, possibly extended to have some kind of factor that shows how suitable the game is for you (comparing the player skill with the skill of the already joined players).
I think the "optimal" game interface should be something that's between the current live game list and long term game list. The long term game list tries to put too much information in there in a "boring" fashion, while the live game interface looks really fancy, but maybe lacks clarity about certain options.

The tabs
I like the idea, but the execution lacks. The fonts used are very "not dominating 12" and the system feels not finished. I have talked with Matty about this before and I hope it will be adressed.


I want to be VERY clear about this: this is definitely not meant to be critical and negative about any of the new options, because the options themselves are awesome. I just hope that the need for new functionality is not reducing the amount of thinking done. Because doing everything with "hacks" now will make it harder and harder to maintain in the future. I think it would benefit the community if before a new feature is implemented, the interface is thought through and altered if necessary. I hope I can be of any help with making any alterations needed, but I think that the first step of addressing the problem was already important and I hope people recognise these problems and offer solutions for them. In this way, Dominating 12 will stay a site that is very accessible and fun to use.
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
- Speaker for the Dead, O.S. Card
Matty wrote:
I agree with the create game page - and I can easily change that if we agree what should be on it and what should be "advanced"

I also agree with the long term game (live game) information about options. And also with the need of a map browser.
The problem here is that I have no idea how to make it better, so maybe if we have a good designer, we can do something about this.

I thought I fixed most problems with the tabs (except for the round corners :P, but I want to keep those if possible).
Ill look into the font, it should be the same :/


Thanks for the post :)
"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light." ~The Lionturtle
Vexer wrote:
I'm pretty happy with the tabs.

I agree with everything else though.

Matty wrote:
*bump*

Everyone who is a bit interested in the interface of dominating 12.
Cireon's (long) post above has some good suggestions where changes are needed. If anyone of you can make a good interface for these things, I will program them on the site.
I wont do so if I don't get a good suggestion from one of you guys.
"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light." ~The Lionturtle
marcoxa wrote:
funny you say this, i thought about doing it myself before. ill send you some ideas soon.
Matty wrote:
Ok everyone, there is a beta version out for the new create a game page ( http://www.dominating12.com/?cmd=game&sec=create_beta ).
Not everything is completely ready, but if you don't do weird stuff, it should work.

Feel free to do weird stuff though, as weird as you can think of, and tell me if something goes wrong :)


If you have anything else to say about this matter, like how you absolutely hate the design, or love it, or if the map filter can be extended, or ... feel free to tell it as well :)


Credits for the design go mostly to Cireon, though all other admins (especially Vexer) have had their say in it as well.




If you are inspired to make a new design for things like the long term game page, feel free as well, because we currently don't have a good one for that yet, but it can defenitely use a lick of paint.
"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light." ~The Lionturtle
Cireon wrote:
Alright, looks cool, but there is one thing I actually had in mind with the design and I am probably gonna annoy you as this is probably a *** to implement, but hey...

Now a user is confronted again with a full create game page. I had the idea to split this up in steps. So a user can only proceed with the next step after filling in a value f0r the previous one. So everything is dimmed out (and the user can not interact with it) at the beginning, until the user seIected the latest option.

A few other minor feedback points:
- The different map sizes of course makes it hard to make the thing look nice. I would at least center the image and make the background dark, so it looks better as a whole. If I remember correctly, there was a small gray border between the image and the actual seIect.
- You can sort by map size, but still can't see the actual sizes without actually clicking on them. Consider showing some more info (possibly using icons to take up less space) or splitting the list up in categories (similar to how categories work in default html seIectboxes).
- Map authors are not working yet
- Advanced options checkbox not working yet (please make it persistent per user)
- I am still not a fan of the colour seIect. I agree with you that this is more friendly to colourblind people, but I really have to read all the colours to find the right one. I would try and find a hybrid between my idea and the current implementation.
- Especially f0r the advanced options it is still unclear that you can click to change it.
- In addition to the previous point: change the mouse cursor to a pointer f0r clickable items.
- Regarding the advanced options: f0r the Fog of War (and yes/no answers in general), I would still work with a checkbox-Iike principle (but make it look better by using an image f0r example). f0r seIects with other answers, I think it would be better to actually show a small popup with the options to choose from, instead of f0rcing the user to click through all to find out the different options. But this is probably completely personal.

In general, I love what you did so far. What handsome guy made that awesome design? The reason I chose this design was to make the user experience as fluent as possible, so don't take my feedback negative, I just want users to be able to click through this thing in mere seconds to setup a game, while also allowing new users to understand the workings of this page.
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
- Speaker for the Dead, O.S. Card
Holt wrote:
Honestly you all here at DXII have got to be the best community of members I have seen on any site on the internet. I feel privileged to be working along some of the hardest working volunteers I have ever seen. The new create game page looks amazing and I hope that is just the tip of the iceberg with things you all can accomplish with the visual aspects of the site. Good work and keep it up im loving everything you guys have done.
Matty wrote:
- Completely forgot about the author thing, but yes, I should display their names instead of id's :) (apart from that, some maps don't have the author in the database)
- I will try out the map centered on a dark background, wasnt completely happy about it either.
- Will do the mouse cursor - thanks.
- Ill play around a bit with the colour selectors.


The reason I did not go for the wizard idea (step by step) is that you can also use it as a map browser this way.
Also, alot of ppl like to choose the map first and then decide whether they want 6 or 7 players (for example).


True, currently everyone can see the advanced options, I didnt implement it because making of having to make it persistent and I wanted to get feedback now. Its on the todolist somewhere at the bottom :)


For example, the turn order is also a checkbox (just not with a yes/no, but a custom text). How would you display do that?
There is not much space for a complete list, and there are only two options...



Thanks @ Holt :)
"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light." ~The Lionturtle
Cireon wrote:
Matty - Aug 2, 02:27 PM
The reason I did not go for the wizard idea (step by step) is that you can also use it as a map browser this way.
Also, alot of ppl like to choose the map first and then decide whether they want 6 or 7 players (for example).
Hmm, I have to admit I understand that. The problem is that it is all a bit... I don't know... Nothing is selected at most things, which is weird if you think of the fact that you can still start the game. I would at least make the "start game" button disabled while not everything is filled in AND make it more visible. Make it flashing all the bright colours you know off if you have to, but please don't make it the default html button :P

Regarding using it as a map browser. I am hoping for a separate map browser at some point too. Vexer had a really nifty design for that.

Ideas for the map browser/filter:
- Maybe work with minimum and maximum sizes instead (using a slider for example), although it would make more sense to work with # of players then, which also isn't optimal.
- What about pointing out the recommended maps with the current settings. For example greying out the maps that do not fit with the current amount of players and maybe adding a checkbox that only shows recommended maps (useful for beginners, could be a part of "advanced options";).
- "Random map" option that randomly chooses a map that fits with the chosen settings :D. A choice would have to be made whether the map will be chosen at game creation or at the point all players have joined.
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
- Speaker for the Dead, O.S. Card
The_Bishop wrote:
Wow I think you are making a great improvement changing the create game interface.
I didn't read all but I see the example and it looks great.

Note - I love to see maps categorized by size and the amount of territories published.
"God doesn't play dice with the World!"
Cireon wrote:
Another node I want to make is that there is a lot of empty black/grey area next to the filters for me on my 1080p screen.
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
- Speaker for the Dead, O.S. Card
Matty wrote:
The old create a game page is still mainly used, but for the beta, use this one:
http://www.dominating12.com/?cmd=game&sec=create_beta

It is also on the long term page, but as the 4th link (in the top).
"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light." ~The Lionturtle