Managing Game Elements: Revisited

Posted in EpicTable Development, Screenshots on October 17, 2009 at 2:29 am

Resource tree mockup.Last time, I showed you a mockup of a UI for managing in-game resources. Since then, I’ve been working on an implementation of that mockup, and I’d like to get your feedback on a couple screenshots.

First off, a little clarification based on questions and feedback from the mockup: This is a tree of campaign-specific resources. It’s not intended to manage a huge library of objects, but rather to give the GM a means to organize the resources—NPCs, maps, handouts, etc.—for the current campaign.

What you see here (and you may want to click on the image for the full-sized view) is a set of four cropped screenshots of the resource tree. These four show small vs. large icons for the nodes of the tree, and folders vs. themed icons (treasure chests). Allowing you to choose between small and large icons is a no-brainer. It’s easy and it already works.

I like the resource-specific icons, like the comedy/tragedy masks for characters, the notepad for notes, and so on. Less obvious to me is whether the themed folder icons—in this case, treasure chests (complete with lids that open when the node is expanded)— are cool or hokey.

Those who saw the last round of demos know that I’ve toyed around with the notion of game-specific or genre-specific themes for EpicTable, so you can imagine other things in place of treasure chests for sci-fi games or horror games.

Good old folder icons have the advantage of familiarity, and maybe professionalism. I’m weighing that against the fact that this isn’t a business app. One thing I can say is that a little of this goes a long way. I experimented with having the folder icons reflect their content, and that created an awful lot of visual noise.


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