Oct. 10th, 2010

One thing I definitely am not is a graphic designer. I've known (dated, even) graphic designers and people who do graphic design as a hobby. While I've learned a trick or two from them, that is about the extent of it. Tricks don't produce good design. My college art classes were a disaster, mind you.

So, here's the conundrum: I have a UI that I have to design with a somewhat limiting medium (ASCII). While some would say, "Dude, use something else, for chrissakes!!", I say, "Dude, development is a exercise in minding the quicksand". Said differently, I only have so much time I want to devote to certain aspects of design and implementation and I know that I CAN devote my time to learn curses. That's relatively simple for me to do. Also, non-ASCII graphics are a turn-off for some roguelike players. So, nyah!

Given this design decision, I've been reading some articles on roguelike UI's, coupled with my own experience of having to deal with user interfaces and those tricks I learned (yay, tricks!).

One article was rather interesting. Although, the article is somewhat crude, the ideas presented are worthwhile. Essentially, the article dovetails with many of my own thoughts on roguelike UI, regarding the steep learning curve. Many roguelikes have massive amounts of commands to memorize and it is rather frustration having to look at the manual every 5 seconds. I've never been good at memorization by rote, so having to memorize a billion key-bindings is no good for me. It makes me feel for the newbies.

Solutions )

So, any other interesting ideas/approaches to ASCII-based user interfaces?

May 2012

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