Beta testers needed: Updated conversation editor

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oskarwiksten
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Beta testers needed: Updated conversation editor

Post by oskarwiksten » Tue May 03, 2011 10:31 pm

Hi,

As you know, a major stepping stone for the next release is the new editor. Discussed more in Issue 154 and Here. Improving the old editors into a combined editor will enable us to be even quicker and expressive in creating new content in the future, thus improving gameplay for you players.

The part about the editor that has been the most complicated is by far the conversation editor, due to the way conversations can loop around to previous phrases and the amount of tweking you can do with advancing quests by conversations.

Tonight I finished a version of the conversation editor that could be usable by a lot more people than the previous conversation editor. In this shape, I think the conversation editor is ready for beta testing. For those of you that are interested, please follow the link below to view the new editor. Please comment with your thoughts on it.
http://andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/ ... ditor.html
(You can find the conversation editor under the "Dialogue" heading)

Please consider things such as usability and flexibility in it. Is it intuitive and understandable to work with? Is there some function, object or field in the UI that should be explained in more detail?

Also, does it work in your browser? I have only developed/tested in on Firefox in Linux.

Thanks you in advance! Hopefully we will be able to create really interesting content for you players with this new editor!
/Oskar
/Oskar

Kim
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:36 pm

Re: Beta testers needed: Updated conversation editor

Post by Kim » Fri May 06, 2011 4:41 pm

I tried the dialogue editor directly on code.google.com with Chrome 11 (latest stable) on WinXP SP3.
Aside from a load of wrong MIME types upon opening and varies console information entries, have I these comments.
  • Editor looks good and easy to navigate, but I think the fade-in effect is too slow. It should be almost instant
  • "Add" button should be at the top, not the bottom
  • I assume the existing game data is not loaded to minimize footprint and because I opened from code.google.com, but if not then I would expect to it - in the various groupings
  • The "Dialogue" group shows 3 entries, but they are shown as 1 conservation when selecting "mikhail_default"
  • Selecting "mikhail_andor1" or "mikhail_tasks" only show the reply and not the question you ask. Seems confusing, as a conservation requires 2 parties.
  • The conservation flow tree is a good idea, but it took me a while to understand it (it wasnt until I had written a bullet point after this one, which I deleted :))
  • The text in the conservation flow tree should be truncated and the node intention could be smaller
  • There is a large gab between the tree and the "Replies" box, when visible
  • Could the tree be moved to the right side, so the focus would be on the phrase box ?
  • "Next phrase ID" should default to current prefix, eg. "mikhail_"
  • How do you add mutliple replies? Like to say "Thank you" followed by "Can you do X for me?" in two bubbles and then have a player reply
  • The green arrow (player reply) needs a tooltip
  • Good to see auto-complete for fields that require an item or a task to be fulfilled, but as a player I dont know what "dmg_ring1" is. Any way to prevent me from going into "Items" and opening the item ?
As you can see, most of my comments are minor things, so well done.

On a side note, this forum need another tag - striking. Usable to show a delete without actually deleting it.
Last edited by Kim on Sat May 07, 2011 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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oskarwiksten
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Re: Beta testers needed: Updated conversation editor

Post by oskarwiksten » Sat May 07, 2011 7:52 am

Thank you Kim for beta testing! Good points. Some of the UI might feel intuitive to me, so it's very valuable to get your opinion on what is intuitive or not.

I have updated the mimetypes on the editorfiles to the correct mimetypes. Please let me know if you get any additional errors on some files, and what files the errors occur in.

I will update the other things you point out, to make the conversation editor even easier to use.

Thanks for the excellent comments!

Oh, I also added a strike tag to our bbcode.
/Oskar

Kim
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:36 pm

Re: Beta testers needed: Updated conversation editor

Post by Kim » Sat May 07, 2011 10:06 am

I made a small edit to bullet point #6 in my earlier post. It was not possible to enter an edit reason.

MIME warnings.
Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrailEdit/Editor_Item.js:-1

Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrailEdit/Editor_ActorCondition.js:-1

Resource interpreted as Image but transferred with MIME type application/octet-stream.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrail/res/drawable/monsters_man1.png:-1

Resource interpreted as Image but transferred with MIME type application/octet-stream.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrail/res/drawable/monsters_rats.png:-1

Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrailEdit/inc/jquery.dynatree.min.js:-1

Resource interpreted as Image but transferred with MIME type application/octet-stream.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrail/res/drawable/monsters_insects.png:-1

Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrailEdit/EditorFunctions.js:-1

Resource interpreted as Image but transferred with MIME type application/octet-stream.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrail/res/drawable/monsters_rogue1.png:-1

Resource interpreted as Image but transferred with MIME type application/octet-stream.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrail/res/drawable/monsters_men.png:-1

Resource interpreted as Image but transferred with MIME type application/octet-stream.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrail/res/drawable/monsters_warrior1.png:-1

Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrailEdit/ImportExport.js:-1

Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrailEdit/Editor_Monster.js:-1

Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrailEdit/inc/jquery.shorten.min.js:-1

Resource interpreted as Image but transferred with MIME type application/octet-stream.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrail/res/drawable/monsters_mage2.png:-1

Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrailEdit/Editor_Quest.js:-1

Resource interpreted as Image but transferred with MIME type application/octet-stream.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrail/res/drawable/items_tiles.png:-1

Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrailEdit/Editor_Conversation.js:-1

Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
andors-trail.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/AndorsTrailEdit/Editor_Droplist.js:-1
Missing monster pictures.
New comments:
  • When I edit a row in a droplist then when I press "Close" or "X" then the cells become offset.
    This happens in fact on all tables, whether its a new row or editing one
  • Could the item picture be shown on the droplist, either a smaller icon so row height doesnt grow OR in the "Droplist item" box (right side) ?
  • "Add" to droplist should also be at the top instead of bottom, maybe move it further up above the table next to the droplist ID but with a distance so not to confuse with the "Add new droplist" ADD button.
    Maybe this is a bad idea since there are many tables to supply such lists and I guess most of them will be short so scrolling down for those might be acceptable. I say this because I noticed some of the other tables dont have an easy way of moving the "Add" button
  • When looking/editing an item the base gold cost is listed. Again this is a player thing, I know only the "buy" and/or "sell" cost, so could those values be automatically be calculated and shown next to base cost as non-editable labels ?
  • On "Actor conditions", the optional boxes "Every round" and "Every full round" are so small they should be placed in the same column, instead of in each theirs
  • What is the difference between "Every round" and "Every full round" ? A help text before the settings in the boxes should be helpful (haha :D)
  • The window size of Export/Import could be smaller. I have a large white area on the right side
  • Export/Import. This one is for us lazy ones. A select-all link/button for each textarea box
    I didnt say "copy" because I know that is difficult due to various browser security measures
  • Import. How about limiting the size of each "import" button to the length of the textarea ?
  • When I selected a monster and then checked "Has combat traits" then the new box values were all empty
  • What happens if I make a new monster with the 2x2 demon picture, but forgot to edit the size setting from "1x1" ?
  • Since there is properly going to be a limited amount of character/npc/monster sizes, would it not be better use something different than a text input field ? Could be a ratio group, or button group (active one is "pressed down")
    I know this limits sizes, like custom 4x3 ones, but seeing this is a phone app screen size is limited anyway. I think less fields an editor has to "enter/edit" will provide user friendliness and speed
  • Will there be keyboard shortcuts ?
    Not including the "Tab" key for jumping between editable elements ;)
On a side note, if you have a link directly inside the quote box, then its not automatically converted into a clickable link.

Code: Select all

[quote]http://www.myLink.com
http://www.myClickableLink.com[/quote]
But if you break the line after "quote" then both links becomes clickable.

Code: Select all

[quote]
http://www.myLink.com/nowClickable
http://www.myClickableLink.com[/quote]
This may be a phpBB thing, but I wanted to point it out anyway.
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oskarwiksten
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Posts: 368
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Re: Beta testers needed: Updated conversation editor

Post by oskarwiksten » Sat May 07, 2011 4:59 pm

Thank you for the excellent comments Kim, I really appreciate it.

I've updated some of these things today, which you are welcome to re-test if you want.

Now, let's see, which are they? Let me quote your bullet points in order:
Kim wrote:[*]The "Dialogue" group shows 3 entries, but they are shown as 1 conservation when selecting "mikhail_default"
[*]Selecting "mikhail_andor1" or "mikhail_tasks" only show the reply and not the question you ask. Seems confusing, as a conservation requires 2 parties.
The reason for this is that the data structure for storing dialogue is a single list of objects called "phrases". Each phrase contains the text that the NPC says and the possible replies the player can choose from. Each reply can lead to a different phrase, and the phrases have no other connection to each other apart from the reply connections. When you select a phrase from the leftmost accordion navigation, the editor finds all phrases that are connected to it through replies and builds a tree from that.
Anyway, I would argue that this is a feature and not a bug :) This way, you can view part of a conversation in the tree without having to deal with the whole conversation tree.
Kim wrote:[*]The text in the conservation flow tree should be truncated and the node intention could be smaller
Good point. Changed from 16px to 8px.
Kim wrote:[*]"Next phrase ID" should default to current prefix, eg. "mikhail_"
It actually already does. If you leave the field empty, the editor will generate an id for you using the same prefix. I now added a short text about this in the tooltip for the button.
Kim wrote:[*]How do you add mutliple replies? Like to say "Thank you" followed by "Can you do X for me?" in two bubbles and then have a player reply
If you mean double replies as in something the player says, without the NPC saying anything in between - this is not something the game supports (yet). I haven't seen any need for that yet, since we could just instead add a NPC phrase in between saying something along the lines of "Please continue" or "I see", thus allowing the player to continue with the next reply.
But if you mean multiple statements that the NPC can say, then this is most definietly something that is supported right now. In v0.6.8 this was modified so that the player just gets a "Next" button without having to select a reply. These kind of NPC statements are done by selecting the checkbox "Phrase leads directly to another phrase without replies", thus making one phrase (by the NPC) being followed by another phrase (by the NPC) without a reply (by the player) in between. Maybe we need some more explanation for this in the editor, or make it more intuitive?
Kim wrote:[*]The green arrow (player reply) needs a tooltip
Yes, you are right ofcourse. This is now added.
Kim wrote:[*]Good to see auto-complete for fields that require an item or a task to be fulfilled, but as a player I dont know what "dmg_ring1" is. Any way to prevent me from going into "Items" and opening the item ?
I now modified all autocompletes to use the format "name (id)", so you can see the actual displayname for each thing that you select instead of just the id.
Kim wrote:Resource interpreted as Script but transferred with MIME type text/plain.
Hopefully these should be fixed now.
Kim wrote:Missing monster pictures.
These are now added. I also added some other monster and NPC pictures that I have planned for v0.6.9.
Kim wrote:[*]When I edit a row in a droplist then when I press "Close" or "X" then the cells become offset.
This was a bug in the editor code that should be fixed now. Thank you for finding it!
Kim wrote:[*]"Add" to droplist should also be at the top instead of bottom, maybe move it further up above the table next to the droplist ID but with a distance so not to confuse with the "Add new droplist" ADD button.
It's a minor thing, and it could be even less intuitive if the "Add" button is above the tables. Let's keep it this way for now.
Kim wrote:[*]When looking/editing an item the base gold cost is listed. Again this is a player thing, I know only the "buy" and/or "sell" cost, so could those values be automatically be calculated and shown next to base cost as non-editable labels ?
Good point. This is now added. I also added an automatic calculation of experience for monsters.
Kim wrote:[*]On "Actor conditions", the optional boxes "Every round" and "Every full round" are so small they should be placed in the same column, instead of in each theirs
Do you mean the checkboxes or the larger region of input boxes? The larger larger regions of input boxes actually rearrange themselves according to your screen size. If you have a wider screen, they will be on the same vertical position.
Kim wrote:[*]What is the difference between "Every round" and "Every full round" ? A help text before the settings in the boxes should be helpful (haha :D)
Good point. Explanation is now added.
Kim wrote:[*]What happens if I make a new monster with the 2x2 demon picture, but forgot to edit the size setting from "1x1" ?
[*]Since there is properly going to be a limited amount of character/npc/monster sizes, would it not be better use something different than a text input field ? Could be a ratio group, or button group (active one is "pressed down")
Yes, we should really determine the monster tilesize from the image that is used. This could even be determined when the resources are loaded in-game, which would be even better. I haven't gotten around to it yet though. For a future version.
Kim wrote:[*]When I selected a monster and then checked "Has combat traits" then the new box values were all empty
Yes, you are free to enter values in them :) Or did you mean that specific fields should be pre-filled?


The things that I haven't addressed yet, but still think are really good ideas are:
Kim wrote: [*]Editor looks good and easy to navigate, but I think the fade-in effect is too slow. It should be almost instant
[*]"Add" button should be at the top, not the bottom
[*]I assume the existing game data is not loaded to minimize footprint and because I opened from code.google.com, but if not then I would expect to it - in the various groupings
[*]There is a large gap between the tree and the "Replies" box, when visible
[*]Could the tree be moved to the right side, so the focus would be on the phrase box ?
[*]Could the item picture be shown on the droplist, either a smaller icon so row height doesnt grow OR in the "Droplist item" box (right side) ?
[*]The window size of Export/Import could be smaller. I have a large white area on the right side
[*]Export/Import. This one is for us lazy ones. A select-all link/button for each textarea box
[*]Import. How about limiting the size of each "import" button to the length of the textarea ?
[*]Will there be keyboard shortcuts ?
Thank you again Kim for the extensive beta testing! This will really help future content makers be more productive at creating great content for you players!
/Oskar

Kim
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:36 pm

Re: Beta testers needed: Updated conversation editor

Post by Kim » Sun May 08, 2011 12:31 am

oskarwiksten wrote:
Kim wrote:[*]The "Dialogue" group shows 3 entries, but they are shown as 1 conservation when selecting "mikhail_default"
[*]Selecting "mikhail_andor1" or "mikhail_tasks" only show the reply and not the question you ask. Seems confusing, as a conservation requires 2 parties.
The reason for this is that the data structure for storing dialogue is a single list of objects called "phrases". Each phrase contains the text that the NPC says and the possible replies the player can choose from. Each reply can lead to a different phrase, and the phrases have no other connection to each other apart from the reply connections. When you select a phrase from the leftmost accordion navigation, the editor finds all phrases that are connected to it through replies and builds a tree from that.
Anyway, I would argue that this is a feature and not a bug :) This way, you can view part of a conversation in the tree without having to deal with the whole conversation tree.
Its fine to be able to only view a small part, but could the sub-conservations be marked in some way inside the menu (on the left) ?
When the tree is selected, then tab and arrow keys work.
oskarwiksten wrote:
Kim wrote:[*]"Next phrase ID" should default to current prefix, eg. "mikhail_"
It actually already does. If you leave the field empty, the editor will generate an id for you using the same prefix. I now added a short text about this in the tooltip for the button.
Then its wrong. It uses the whole phrase id and suffixes it with "_1" for the first one. If you leave the field empty and rename the new phrase id later then you have both the auto-generated and your manually entered one, but only yours is part of the conversation thus leaving an un-deletable reply.
Now what I originally meant was for the phrase ID field to be pre-filled with "mikhail_". Of course an entire new conversation can not be pre-filled.
:oops: I just noticed I misspelled conversation as conservation earlier, but I aint going to edit it. :oops:
This also brings forth a new comment: How do you delete an unwanted entry, like a row or new thing ?
oskarwiksten wrote:
Kim wrote:[*]How do you add mutliple replies? Like to say "Thank you" followed by "Can you do X for me?" in two bubbles and then have a player reply
If you mean double replies as in something the player says, without the NPC saying anything in between - this is not something the game supports (yet). I haven't seen any need for that yet, since we could just instead add a NPC phrase in between saying something along the lines of "Please continue" or "I see", thus allowing the player to continue with the next reply.
But if you mean multiple statements that the NPC can say, then this is most definietly something that is supported right now. In v0.6.8 this was modified so that the player just gets a "Next" button without having to select a reply. These kind of NPC statements are done by selecting the checkbox "Phrase leads directly to another phrase without replies", thus making one phrase (by the NPC) being followed by another phrase (by the NPC) without a reply (by the player) in between. Maybe we need some more explanation for this in the editor, or make it more intuitive?
I meant the later one. Shouldnt the player be able to it too since NPC can ?
My concern was about long texts for the screen size. I just used short examples.
oskarwiksten wrote:
Kim wrote:[*]When looking/editing an item the base gold cost is listed. Again this is a player thing, I know only the "buy" and/or "sell" cost, so could those values be automatically be calculated and shown next to base cost as non-editable labels ?
Good point. This is now added. I also added an automatic calculation of experience for monsters.
I see you choose readonly text fields instead of labels or another non-editable element like spans, which only come as readonly. Their element size is also smaller than an input field which allows both "buy" and "sell" values to be on the same line as "base" cost.
An input field, those white fields, can make you think "why cant I edit these ones, but all others?" and that is the reason why I suggested labels. But if you consider adding additional functionality as automatic calculation of base, buy and sell values whenever you edit a single value. Like "okay this item should sell for 92 gold", so you input "92" in the sell field and the other two values are calculated.
However this adds more work and little effect since the game only stores the base value, so rounding might be an issue - hence I didnt suggest it at first, but as you can see, I thought about it :)
oskarwiksten wrote:
Kim wrote:[*]On "Actor conditions", the optional boxes "Every round" and "Every full round" are so small they should be placed in the same column, instead of in each theirs
Do you mean the checkboxes or the larger region of input boxes? The larger larger regions of input boxes actually rearrange themselves according to your screen size. If you have a wider screen, they will be on the same vertical position.
Neither, I meant the whole box. The "general" box has 4 checkboxes, 3 of which trigger a new box and 2 of those boxes are the ones I mentioned. For my computer screen, I get 4 columns, one for each box.
The text for the 3rd checkbox has a typo.
oskarwiksten wrote:
Kim wrote:[*]What is the difference between "Every round" and "Every full round" ? A help text before the settings in the boxes should be helpful (haha :D)
Good point. Explanation is now added.
So "full round" is not after, "you strike, I strike" ?
But rather a time duration, and is this shown in-game somehow ?
oskarwiksten wrote:
Kim wrote:[*]When I selected a monster and then checked "Has combat traits" then the new box values were all empty
Yes, you are free to enter values in them :) Or did you mean that specific fields should be pre-filled?
I expected existing monsters to have pre-filled fields. And shouldnt "Has combat traits" be defaulted ?
New comment: Is there any check for required fields ?
New comment: If a field is left empty, then is a default value entered upon exporting ?
oskarwiksten wrote:Thank you again Kim for the extensive beta testing! This will really help future content makers be more productive at creating great content for you players!
No problem. Nobody else did it, and it is a key feature and I would like to continue my level 14 character :)
I finish all new things in a version and then pause. A lesser, or greater, ring of the shadow will only find its way to me by pure luck - its more thrilling that way ;)

It would be better if more users gave their comments too. Two views might not be enough to make it friendly and intuitive.
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Kim
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:36 pm

Re: Beta testers needed: Updated conversation editor

Post by Kim » Sat May 14, 2011 12:01 am

I tested import by importing all items and it worked fine. And the items box was removed upon it - I think it was nice, less need to think about what parts you have imported.
While is could be consider lazy, I think it will make it easier to use. Would it be possible to have links to the .xml files or even a button to auto-import with a click, of course limited by each section, ?

Next I navigated to the items group. Two issues:
1) Items are not sort by alphabetic, but rather by line as they appear in the xml file. This makes locating an item harder than it could be. Maybe a filter input field (after the upcoming "Add" button at the top) is a good idea.
"<tab group name>
<group add new button>
<group filter field>
<group items>"

2) Since there are so many items, and more in the future, the item name text size inside the navigation seems too big. Smaller size will also mean long item names are less likely to span multiple lines/rows.

All groups have a large whitespace/padding on both sides for elements inside - reduction this will aid #2 above.

Btw, if it hasnt been clear, then am I only testing the editor directly from the project page at google code. Is there any other way ?
I havent explored all optional boxes and Export, so there may be more testing to do but I think I addresses the most important ones.
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