King of this little castle
February 05, 2014 11:32
Yesterday I was working on the main menu system. Looking at the original QBasic version of The ARC Legacy basically gives me all the guidance I need in how NOT to build a proper interface. I guess I was just focusing on the game content and putting as little effort as possible into the interface. I don't recall exactly what I was thinking way back in 1999.
So here's a list of a bunch of the UI stuff I got wrong with the original game, to use as a kind of reverse checklist:
- When using healing items and spells, you can't see HP of the character you're using it on, and it doesn't even show the result afterwards
- To view any character stats, including basic HP and MP information, you have to look at the characters all separately, and the delay in loading character portraits is quite annoying
- There is no way to re-arrange the items in your inventory. Especially annoying late in the game because the top of your inventory will consist mostly of undroppable key items
- Items of the same type don't stack, they just become extra items, so you'll likely have to scroll past a ton of health potions
- Equipping weapons and armor and learning magic spells is done by using the item, which is okay, but there should have also been equip/unequip options from the character pages
- When purchasing items, if you don't have enough gold, the game gives no indication that you didn't buy it.
- No way to compare stats of items before purchase, and in the case of weapons there isn't even any way to compare stats at all (other than trying them out on enemies)
- Arbitrary switching between arrow keys and number keys (this happens in battle as well)
- No confirmation if you accidentally choose to drop an item
- Loading a game requires quitting and restarting
- Saving a game requires typing a valid DOS file name, with unpredictable results if one were to type something invalid
Ah, the nostalgic memories of the old QBasic programming scene. I'd like to think that I've learned a lot about proper programming practice and interface design since then. But we'll see.
Insert witty phrase here.