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Reign Of Blood UI Tweaks DiscussionPosted on 16-Aug-2020
To be blunt, we're running out of room. Things are getting a bit too bloated for my liking. I want to create a new and improved layout for Reign Of Blood, along with a few structure changes here and there. I want to create a more vertical and compact design which allows for the constant adding of new content. There are things that I want to add that need a prominent placement but it's just getting too much. If you look at your "home" page, it's quite a huge chunk of information, but it's tough to add things in a proper way without off-shoot links here and there which aren't properly organised. I'd like to replace some text elements with visual icons to save some room, along with a host of other UI improvements and modernisations. This is of course a side effect of having a game with 14+ years of development behind it, but right now it feels I'm at a point where I'm just tacking things on the edges rather than integrating it coherently.
I know many people may gasp at the idea of this. But, I've said multiple times before that I don't enjoy messing with your muscle memory, so overall where things are currently won't change all that much. Believe me. I don't go out of my way to cause any unnecessary pain. Sometimes there has to be some necessary pain, but I don't enjoy it. If I want to cause pain that I do enjoy, I'll add another Metal Man quest with reduced odds, or I'll do some dodgy back-handed deal and supply the humans at Spring Valley some extra Plasma Launchers.
Reign Of Blood was first built in 2006, and the web has moved on a lot since then. Our last layout change was 2015, and the web has moved on quite a bit since then, too. Especially in regards to mobile. People forget the game was designed before browser extensions, opening links behind tabs etc. And the mobile side of things needs continued work as well, as more and more people play from their phones. That does not mean I intend to cripple or change things because of phones. Not at all. Mobile phones are just what computers used to be back when Reign Of Blood first launched.
The game's font size, back in the day, was set when 800x600 resolution was normal, but as screens get higher resolution and the text can (most of the time) get smaller and smaller on the screen, and while there are workarounds like browser zoom, it's much better natively readable. It cannot be case of just making the font size bigger because it would break many pages as it's designed for the current font size. I have decided on a new font, SFPRO, for ultimate readability and smoothness.
I have worked on some designs for the in-game UI tweaks, as you can see below in the Throwing Store. As you can see, there isn't anything glaringly different (because the design changes were designed to not look that different at a glance). It's small and subtle changes to improve the look, feel, structure, and gives more emphasis on the clicky things.
As for the new layout in general, it's very early stage. I'll get artists both in-game and off-game to contribute, so keep an eye out for that if you're interested. And of course they'll be a lite version. Don't worry, I'm not going to be giving the majority of my time to this. It's something I'll hack away at behind the scenes(ish). This will be a relatively open development, and I'll be getting feedback along the way. The tweaks I make will be an improvement the majority of the time, but for the times it's not, I will work with all feedback to get it as perfect as possible.
In other news, the August Calendar is going full steam ahead. I'm looking forward to the event at the end of the month.