Competitor Client (more specifically the team builder)

Discussion in 'Site Projects' started by Articuno64, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. Articuno64

    Articuno64 1 to 63 were taken
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    I finally got something that I felt comfortable showing a bit of today, so I sent my work on the client to Brain. I develop on Windows, and all Brain had to do was download the Linux version of XULRunner and the client worked perfectly for him right out of the gate. This was very exciting as portability often presents a huge problem with projects.

    Anyway, Brain started giving me some good suggestions on the team builder interface, and after awhile I thought this would be good to post here.

    [​IMG]

    <Brain> how are the team/current team/box/current box things going to work
    <Brain> do you just click on a team and it shows in current team
    <Articuno64> team and box are single-selection listboxes
    <Articuno64> yeah
    <Articuno64> the selected team displays in the current team window all the pokemon
    <Brain> does it also become your default team for battle?
    <Articuno64> and the large pane on the right is going to list all the pokemon from the generation, with the search box in the bottom right corner
    <Articuno64> yeah it does
    <Brain> maybe it'd be better to decouple the functionality
    <Brain> I don't know
    <Articuno64> yeah i hadn't thought about that
    <Articuno64> somebody could be editing another team
    <Articuno64> or just browsing
    <Brain> like, you have a "set default" box to check
    <Brain> is the box system really the best way to organize pokemon
    <Articuno64> i'm not sure
    <Brain> maybe it would work to just have one searchable list of pokemon you made
    <Articuno64> i think it's probably intuitive to pokemon players but on the other hand, it could probably do a lot more with search parameters
    <Brain> and the possibility to tag pokemon
    <Brain> tagging is a bit like having boxes, except a pokemon can be in more than one box
    <Brain> and I think that's useful
    <Articuno64> hmm
    <Brain> it could also unclutter the design a bit
    <Brain> like you only need one list, not box and current box
    <Articuno64> what do you mean by tagging
    <Brain> you assign keywords to the pokemon you create
    <Brain> like "uber", "uu", "tournament_name", "experimental"
    <Articuno64> ah right
    <Brain> and then you can just list all pokemon that are tagged experimental
    <Articuno64> i could see that being more flexible but also needing more explanation for most users
    <Brain> I know, that's what I'm thinking too
    <Brain> maybe a box system is more intuitive to pokemon players
    <Articuno64> i just realized there is no delete pokemon button
    <Brain> lol no there isn't
    <Articuno64> but all the buttons are so nicely lined up right now, another button would mess it up!
    <Brain> and no new pokemon button
    <Articuno64> there's add to team and add to box though
    <Brain> yeah but what if you're editing a pokemon, how do you start a new one
    <Articuno64> since a new pokemon action needs a species parameter
    <Articuno64> you can't change species in the pokemon editor
    <Brain> also drag and drop would be a very good ui feature
    <Articuno64> yeah XUL seems to have support for that, i really hope it works well
    <Articuno64> that was what i originally had in mind and the reason for the list of all the generation's pokemon
    <Brain> you know, as a compromise between boxes and tags, you could have "meta-boxes", like "all pokemon", "electric pokemon", "pokemon in teams", "recently made/used", etc.
    <Brain> "rental pokemon" ;)
    <Articuno64> when you mentioned decoupling the 'default team' thing from the team that is shown in that window, it made me think that maybe the challenge window should just have a listbox of your teams available with the current one selected by default, so it is more explicitly shown which team you'll use if the battle starts
    <Articuno64> hmm
    <Brain> yeah that's an idea
    <Brain> in place of the "edit pokemon", I'd put a row of buttons, "new", "edit", "delete" and "copy"
    <Brain> I can see copy being useful
    <Articuno64> yeah probably
    <Articuno64> you don't mean copy as in a virtual clipboard, just making a duplicate right then and there, right?
    <Brain> yeah
    <Brain> so you can make a variation
    <Articuno64> i think i'm going to make an inside scoop thread and paste a screenshot and our conversation
    <Brain> yeah go ahead
    <Brain> what do you think of the idea of "rental pokemon"
    <Articuno64> it's a fantastic idea especially for new players
    <Brain> they'd be pokemon with decent sets that can be added to teams right away
    <Brain> and if you want you could copy them in your box
    <Brain> and change stuff
    <Articuno64> i was planning on having the right pane full of pokemon that you can drag and drop but they were just going to be blank besides the species
    <Articuno64> but maybe it's more intuitive and helpful if they're rentals
    <Articuno64> yeah that's awesome
    <Articuno64> i'm totally doing that
    <Brain> at first I thought the right pane was the pokemon editor
    <Articuno64> ah yeah i can see how you'd think that, it would sorta cascade down in granularity from the left
    <Articuno64> teams -> pokemon list -> pokemon
    <Brain> you could have blank pokemon and each pokemon would be expanded in a bunch of rentals
    <Brain> or the rentals would be indented a bit
    <Brain> for organization, you know
    <Articuno64> is there really a need for blank pokemon if there are rentals though?
    <Brain> well, yeah, I think so
    <Articuno64> if someone didn't want to change all the fields they could also hit the new button
    <Articuno64> that you suggested
    <Brain> if you leave blank fields it can raise an error
    <Brain> okay yeah
    <Brain> be sure to allow the user to type out the pokemon instead of going through a list
    <Articuno64> yeah
    <Brain> lists are neat at first, when you become a power user they're infuriating
    <Brain> lol
    <Articuno64> totally lol


    So I'm guessing most of you aren't going to read the whole log. One thing Brain and I decided was that the large pane on the right would be great to have rental pokemon in that users could drag and drop or add to their teams with the buttons. The search box in the bottom corner also allows you to type in the pokemon names instead of searching through the list manually.

    Feedback?
  2. Sonuis

    Sonuis Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated!
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    Though rental pokémon are appealing, but does it teach players how to play in a thinking competitive environment? It'd be hard for new players to understand the concept of Baton Pass or other types of um... strategy. Plus, I think the rental pokémon kinda cancel out the website's main purpose. Having people get help via an analysis, forum, etc. Lack of new pokémon concepts too.

    I think rental pokémon would be more of a battle mode than say offering to the team builder. Myself, think a rental mode would be a fun(ny) play mode. Put it based on level balance, and allow the move sets and presets DVs/EVs, go there.

    Also, the layout on the client looks nice.
  3. makiri

    makiri My vast and supreme will shall be done!
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    To solve the problem of no delete Pokemon button you can add Right Click functionality to have options like "delete," "edit," etc. With Shift and CTRL (on PC, not sure about Mac) you can add the ability to delete a large number of Pokemon.

    Adding preloaded "rental" Pokemon and teams has plenty of pros. Tutoring is made easier for both the tutor and person being tutored. "Load team 1, that way we can check your basic skills and then we can roll from there." It really helps the people who only have teams consisting of JaskWak, Dunsparce, and others. You can get a more accurate representation of their skills and weaknesses if they load a very standard team. This is always how I have tutored and its very effective.

    Overall it looks very good and you answered most of my questions on irc so I am very satisfied with all your reasoning and ideas. Great work.
  4. chaos

    chaos
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    The GUI seems cluttered with "white windows", if you know what I mean. It is trying to do too much in one screen. I think a separation between teams, Pokemon and boxes is a good thing so you don't confuse the user with so many choices. Here is my idea for the team select window:

    [​IMG]

    Team selector interface. T is the list of Teams, P is the Preview pane, B are buttons.

    In T you show a list of every team they have ever made. When you click on a team, it pseudo-loads it and shows all of the Pokemon and your trainer name associated with it and other information in P so people can easily find what team they are looking for. In B, we have several buttons like "New Team" (which opens a new window), "Set as Current", "Edit Team" (New Window), "Delete Team", etc. T also has right click functionality.

    A) it is simple
    B) it doesn't require a lot of screen real estate
    C) all the buttons can easily be featured
    D) the preview pane is handy
    E) I really think there should be a separation between adding Pokemon to a team and actually selecting a team.

    I will post my ideas for a team editor later.
  5. Jumpman16

    Jumpman16 np: Michael Jackson - "Mon in the Mirror" (DW mix)
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    yeah i also think that the current right pane for competitor is a little big, and that there should be more of an emphasis on a model like chaos painted above.

    speaking on a much larger scale, there was actually much, much cause to reinvent the "pokemon battling simulator" wheel, since netbattle had a lot of flaws, but there were some things that worked from an aesthetics standpoint, especially when you consider the input some of you had influencing the client over the years from what 2004-2006. i was just curious to what extent you arti and chaos and misty are drawing from the aesthetics of most successful battling simulator, when you think about it, the community has ever had.
  6. Aeolus

    Aeolus Bag
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    at this point, I'd say aesthetics are of tertiary concern behind functionality and timeliness.

    That said, I have to say that I agree with Jump that if I were to say anything positive about NB it would relate to its appearance.
  7. chaos

    chaos
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    Articuno64's only job at the moment is to work on the client. The interface is a HUGE, HUGE concern.
  8. Aeolus

    Aeolus Bag
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    I wasn't suggesting that we settle for less than a stellar interface. I meant only that considerations of more substance than how pretty it is should take precedence.
  9. Articuno64

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    To be honest, the rental pokemon idea doesn't seem that good anymore compared with the alternative of just having a handful of premade standard teams for tutoring purposes and whatnot. Also a rental mode wouldn't really have been a "funny" mode, since they'd all be standard sets.


    Yeah it will have right click functionality regardless, but you don't necessarily want right click to be the only way to accomplish those tasks. I agree with the rest of the post which talks about the benefits of having preloaded teams. It doesn't really affect the layout of the team builder, but it's a good thing to bring up.


    On one hand, I see what you mean about the clutter of white windows, it was difficult for me to realize that it might be confusing because I'm so used to it. The window is trying to do a hell of a lot, but on the other hand it was kinda the intention to make the window a one-stop-shop for all your pokemon organization needs. No navigating between different windows necessary, except individual pokemon editor windows that you open. It does kinda throw a lot out at you right away, but really everything is clearly labeled and there is a sensible order to things. The problem I can see is that it probably requires reading all of the labels and thinking for a second before you really understand the layout, because of the fact that, yeah, there's like 5 panes in your face. The nice thing about having all the panes together, though, is that you can drag and drop your pokemon between teams and boxes. The large pane on the right was meant to have a list of all the generation's pokemon so you could build teams by dragging them into your current team window.

    So basically I agree that your team selector window is less confusing because it's presenting a single thing at a time, but it's hard for me to properly evaluate at this point because I need to see the rest of your idea. If you can make these improvements to the "understandability" of the interface without sacrificing too much of the current interface's ease of pokemon movement (between teams and boxes), then that'd be ideal.


    The right pane is big because it's supposed to store a lot more than the other panes. You have 6 pokemon on a team and 151+ pokemon in a generation. And you can grip and move around those splitters to resize any of the windows anyhow. But yeah, I do think I went a bit too far to try and support drag and drop, seeing as how it's probably just as easy to look for a pokemon name through a combo box, and the fastest way is typing anyway.

    Could you be a little more explicit about what is good about the netbattle aesthetics? I've pretty much used netbattle as an example of what not to do because I think it's pretty bad in most ways, but maybe I've missed something.


    Do you think it was the amount of panes that made it confusing?
  10. david stone

    david stone Fast-moving, smart, sexy and alarming.
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    The number of panes give an initial "whoa" feeling. I'm not quite certain what the difference between "Box" and "Current box" is.
  11. Nate

    Nate
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    Presumably boxes contains a list of the different boxes you can choose among (box 1, box 2, box of different starmie sets, whatever) while the current box displays the pokemon that are stored in the box selected in the box list.

    I got no whoa feeling from the layout. What I am slightly confused about, however, is the justification for the large right pane. "There's 6 pokemon to a team and 151+ to a generation."

    You're not planning on putting a little icon or whatever for every single pokemon per generation in that right pane, are you? I assumed when first viewing the screen that the right pane would contain six icons of your team, along with moves/evs/etc info, but on further reading you would have to get that information via opening a different window after selecting the pokemon you wish to edit?
  12. chaos

    chaos
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    The majority of the NetBattle user interface was actually quite beautiful... it made some slipups (like changing the top menu bar depending on what window you had selected, the damage calculator was balls ugly) but for the most part it was beautifully crafted as far as interface goes. Chalk one up to Visual Basic GUI Designer :)

    I think it's the result of trying to mesh the functionality of two windows into one. If you want the ability to take one Pokemon from a team and put it in another, make the Team Editor windows non-modal and let people open more than one team at a time. With two open, they can drag and drop Pokemon from one team to another.
  13. Articuno64

    Articuno64 1 to 63 were taken
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    I'm thinking I'll make the preview pane an HTML iframe with the user's team formatted in tables.

    [​IMG]


    Drag and drop between Team Editor windows it is. I just looked up a XUL drag and drop example and it's really simple.

    Does anyone think there is still a need for boxes? I'm kinda thinking there isn't at this point. You could always just make a team that you use as a box.

    EDIT: Just to clarify, you can theoretically fit an infinite number of pokemon in a team, which makes the need for boxes minimal IMO.
  14. Aeolus

    Aeolus Bag
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    ok, now that I understand more fully, go for it.
  15. Articuno64

    Articuno64 1 to 63 were taken
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    [​IMG]

    New Pokemon - Adds a new pokemon to the Pokemon list and opens a new Pokemon Editor window as well.

    Edit Pokemon - Opens a Pokemon Editor window for the selected pokemon.

    Copy Pokemon - Makes a clone of the selected pokemon and places it at the bottom of the list.

    Delete Pokemon - Self explanatory.

    Move Up/Down - Moves the selected pokemon up or down in the list. The top pokemon is the lead.


    You can have multiple Team Editor windows open and drag and drop pokemon between the lists. This dragging and dropping will either move the pokemon to a different team, or make a copy and move it to a different team (depending on the user's options).

    Pokemon Editor windows can be open as dialogs, or they can be on tabs next to the "Home" tab.

    Yes? No?
  16. chaos

    chaos
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    My personal preference would be for Netbattle style where the Pokemon are tabs with their details. It would make Team Building much quicker and I don't see any practical reason to separate the list of Pokemon in a team and the ability to edit them. It's also kind of weird that you can view the details of a Pokemon via the Team Selector Preview Pane but you can't in the Team Builder without opening the Pokemon first. I recommend just allowing people to reorder their Pokemon by dragging tabs (only the first 6 get included, first is lead) or drag and drop tabs to other teams.
  17. Articuno64

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    [​IMG]

    All those instances of the words "Pokemon Editor" will end up being pokemon nicknames once it's all properly functional. The pokemon shown in the tabs are the ones on your team, although the first one isn't necessarily your lead. You must right click on the tab to bring up the context menu and click "Make Lead Pokemon", as you can see, and the Lead Pokemon is shown on the Trainer page (currently hidden behind the popup). On my todo list is to make it so that if your team is empty when you add one, it automatically makes that the lead.

    Also, you can see there is the familiar team info box, similar to NetBattle. Something new is the Reserve Pokemon list, which can be used to store pokemon that you want to rotate in and out of a given team. Pokemon can be moved to the team or to the reserves via buttons and the context menu respectively.

    To add a new pokemon, click the Add Pokemon tab at the end of the tabs list. This is a dummy tab which doesn't actually reference a page.
  18. Jackal

    Jackal I'm not retarded I'm Canadian it's different
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    I havent really figured out how evs/ivs would be set with this setup but please make it like netbattles as opposed to shoddys. Those dragable bars were fantastic. Im assuming its "Edit Pokemon", any sample of what that will look like?

    The rest looks fantastic.
  19. Articuno64

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    There are no Pokemon Editor samples yet, and the first one I'll be doing is RBY, but rest assured there will be a couple ways to input EVs/IVs, and sliders will be one of them (the other is typing).

    The Pokemon Editor tabs would normally bring you to those pages, but there is nothing on those pages yet.
  20. Jackal

    Jackal I'm not retarded I'm Canadian it's different
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    sweet deal :)
  21. Articuno64

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    Meet luigi

    [​IMG]

    This is the RBY pokemon editor. Ignore the obviously dumb content in the screenshot and just focus on the layout. Any comments before I proceed?
  22. Kumar

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    that's pretty awesome.
    and ho-oh sux lugia is king
  23. husk

    husk
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    Looks pretty cool arti.

    It would be nice if the pp was maxed out usually and then the user had the option of lowering and then raising it.
  24. Jumpman16

    Jumpman16 np: Michael Jackson - "Mon in the Mirror" (DW mix)
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    that's seriously pornographic arti :cloud:

    i do wonder though about the "extra" tab...that will shrink the "Notes:" section when the pokemon has its full four moves, right? and will that be scrollable?

    and for advance/dp, will there be much squeezing in the "stats" box, considering there will be both a Special Defense IV and EV row?

    just to be sure i won't lose sleep about any of these "issues" nor am i assuming that you haven't thought of them so yeah
  25. Jackal

    Jackal I'm not retarded I'm Canadian it's different
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    looks stunning, awesome :D

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