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Beaker 0 and 1 difference hard to see

 
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Bytecodes
IBOLHead


Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:19 pm    Post subject: Beaker 0 and 1 difference hard to see Reply with quote

Build .986
Mac OS 10.5.1 (Leopard)

Consider tweeking the beaker drawings for the numbers 1 and 2 by putting their fill levels slightly higher.

As it is now 1 is barely distinguishable from 0. Add another pixel height to the blue to make it more obvious. Then add another pixel height to the brown 2 beaker so it is noticeably higher than 1 and consistent to where the color in beakers 4 and 6 reach the measurement marks.
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dougsharp
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Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 193

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to get rid of the beakers and use numbers. Beakers were fun when we were graphic-UI-happy on the Mac's launch, but I don't think they add value to the game. Plus they don't show fractional values - and both damage and fuel are fractional values behind the integer beakers.

What do you think about that idea?
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Bytecodes
IBOLHead


Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like graphic displays since they give general status with just a quick glance. Consider the following changes which not only solve the imprecision problem with beakers but save window display space too:

Eliminate the energy level beaker and nudge the fuel gage up and under it display the energy percentage as DDD%. You could move the fuel needle from right to left as fuel depletes. An alternative to the fuel gage is to use the common battery graphic cell phones use to show battery charge level. The percentage display eliminates the imprecision problem assuming all energy changes are at least 1% (probably the case.) And use of percentages might familiarize the youngest ChipWit programmers to the concept of percentages.

Alter the keyboard button display by drawing the entered letter inside the key graphic instead of below it. A more appropriate visual and takes only half the space.

Eliminate the beaker from the damage display. Add a percentage value underneath the graphic and blink or flash the lightening bolt when energy gets low. Takes half the current space.

The RANGEFINDER and radar motif is quite meaningful to us old folks but I have to wonder if it makes sense to young ChipWits programmers. Even though I prefer it myself, for them I'd consider moving to a foot ruler graphic, something they would obviously identify with. Whatever motif you use, I'd keep using the beaker to show the distance measured.

THE BEAKER FREED FROM ITS CHAINS

I like the beakers and to those not old enough to know about chemistry class, the beaker looks just like a kitchen measuring cup and is just as appropriate.

If you eliminate the beaker from the fuel and damage displays then you isolate its use to just the values 0 to 7. This is very nice because now you can show the beaker's number by having this single digit rather large and inside the beaker on top the current graphics. The ambiguity problem is solved and the digit hopefully big enough to read even on chips showing up in the programming mode panel display. (I'd also make the tiny adjustments to the 1 and 2 colors mentioned in the original post.) Another advantage to this is you remove the need to hover the mouse over beakers to see what their values are. I'd strip the code that does that out as it would be no longer needed and the less information "flashing" needed the better.
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dougsharp
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Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 193

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am harvesting your bug reports today and have added this to my notes. I will discuss it with Mike and get back to you. Your approach my be the best compromise between raw numbers and beakers.
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