Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

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Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby wildweasel » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:55 pm

This isn't in Feature Suggestions yet because it needs to be workshopped a bit with regular users first...but there's quite a lot of discussion lately in regards to presets and option menus, especially for key bindings and visuals, and it's come to light that maybe regular players find the menus a little...confusing. Too deep, maybe logically miscategorized, a lot of functions that don't have especially obvious effects. So let's see about brainstorming a cleaner, friendlier menu.



There's a lot of stuff to filter through just in this top menu, and I'd argue a lot of it has names that'll confuse the hell out of folks. So I vote that this be bunched up into larger individual menus with multiple subsections - a bit like, say, a Quake 3-era game's settings menu:



Perhaps not in exact arrangement, but in spirit: there are only 5 "main" option menus (4 if you don't count the "defaults" button, which could be where we find all those nice preset options that were being discussed elsewhere), and each has a number of sub-options. Under Game Options, there's Performance and View - maybe I wouldn't do it quite like this (Performance settings need to go alongside video options, honestly).

But beyond this tabs-and-subtabs thing, let's get some solid ideas out:

  • I'd move Player Setup, Gameplay Options, and Compatibility Options into a GAMEPLAY sub-menu, since many of these directly affect game behavior.
  • Put Customize Controls, Mouse Options, and Joystick Options into a CONTROLS sub-menu. I'd probably rename Joystick Options to something a bit more inclusive, like Controller Options. Some options from Miscellaneous should go in here too, like the setting that dictates whether left/right ctrl/alt/shift keys are recognized separately or as the same key.
  • Display Options is going to go both ways, I think; pull in the HUD and Automap Options in there, but move all the stuff that ISN'T personal-preference and has an effect on performance/video card behavior into a new Video Options menu, along with Set Video Mode and Change Rendering Output. Actually, I think Set Video Mode could use a major overhaul anyway since it's gotten a lot more confusing and overstuffed since the addition of the aspect ratio settings. tl;dr - actual renderer settings like texture filtering, dynamic lights, and screen resolution should go in Video; personal-preference stuff like HUD, crosshair, and view bobbing should go in Display.
  • I sort of wonder if Network and Sound Options should go alongside the renderer/resolution settings into a System Options menu. Calling it something like "System" better informs the average user that they're tweaking settings under the hood.
  • "Reset to Defaults"/"Last Saved" should be a submenu - this should account for where to place all those presets, in particular an option to save your settings to a new preset.

Please feel free to discuss what could be done to make the menus friendlier and better-organized. Once there's a clear plan of action, then presumably it could be proposed as a Feature Suggestion.
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby Patcheresu » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:17 pm

I kinda like some of your suggestions. Something that tripped me up for a while was Set Video Mode, as I had never heard screen resolutions referred to like that before.
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby Nevander » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:59 pm

I think the menus are fine as they stand. Changing them now would only confuse me to a point of having to relocate everything again.
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby Rachael » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:48 pm

This is one of the chief complaints about GZDoom and people aren't discussing it. I guess it goes to show you people like to whine about things louder than they like to do anything about it - meaning their whining means absolutely dick in the end. The issue is more important than the solution because without the issue they would not have a purpose in life.

Feel free to prove me wrong here though - this is one thing we DESPERATELY need feedback on - so if you have something to say about it, this is your chance to chime in.

Personally, I rather like what wildweasel laid out here. If anyone has any other proposals, let's hear it.
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby wildweasel » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:28 pm



Here's a visual-aid for what I'm proposing. The main "Options" menu would get condensed from the huge line of options into five sub-categories.

I'd be interested in knowing, on a related note, if anybody actually uses the "Go To Console" option, or if it'd be worth removing that and instead having a "console" binding available in the control bindings.
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby Xaser » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:54 pm

The thread hasn't even been up for a day, and this is complex -- it's not an easy thing to comment on without spending a lot of time on it.

[Speaking of time: we're extremely close to a Square E2 release, and I'd love to just show what we did to the menus there once it's up... buuuut that's got to wait a short bit. Welp.]

Now, having said that, Weasel's got a good starting point, but the "System" menu is a random smorgasbord that ought to be broken up. My thoughts on this:
  • Screen Resolution, Renderer, Dynlights, and Texture Filters/etc. are all to do with visuals; they should go under Display.
  • Make Sound/Music a top level menu and name it "Audio".
  • Make a "Multiplayer" top-level menu; move Player Setup and Networking there.
  • Move Autoaim, Weapon Switch on Pickup, and Always Run out of the Player Setup menu into the root "Gameplay" menu. Everything else in Player Setup has to do with customizing the player's appearance; these 3 options are really oddly placed.

The 4th bullet point touches a bit on issue #2: A lot of related options are scattered across different submenus, so just rearranging the existing menu buckets is only part of the process. Still, having a few top-level containers will go a long way, I think. We can start there and iterate.
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby phantombeta » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:07 am

I tried making a better options menu, somewhat based on what was said here. Probably bad, but hey, at least I tried.

Spoiler:
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:37 am

Nevander wrote:I think the menus are fine as they stand. Changing them now would only confuse me to a point of having to relocate everything again.



They are fine for me, too, overall, but the majority opinion is clear: They are too confusing, so I agree that something needs to be done.
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby drfrag » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:43 am

The current system is not that bad but i don't think it's fine. That said +1 to Xaser's proposal.
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby Zenon » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:22 am

Rachael wrote:I guess it goes to show you people like to whine about things louder than they like to do anything about it - meaning their whining means absolutely dick in the end. The issue is more important than the solution because without the issue they would not have a purpose in life.


I'm sure a lot of us would love to do something about it, only problem is we aren't GZDoom developers.
With all due respect, you're telling a squeaky tire to oil itself, and, since it can't, you're telling it that squeaking is it's only purpose.
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby Rachael » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:27 am

You have a lot more rights and ability than you give yourself credit for.

If you think you can do better, then by all means - GZDoom is available to fork, and you can distribute your fork on this very forum. The only legal requirement is you keep the source open (and follow the other GPLv3 rules).
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby HexenMapper » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:31 am

Could a lot of the advanced options be contained in an "advanced options" heading?
Gameplay, Compatibility, Automap, HUD, Network and Misc. could all be put into an "advanced options" heading. It would clean a lot of the options menu up.

Likewise a lot of the Display settings could be put under an "advanced display" sub heading.

So Display settings:

*Screen Size - []
*Gamma - []
*Screen wipe - []
(usual other basic settings)
*Advanced Options (~80% of the display settings in here)
*OpenGL Settings

The OpenGL settings could be condensed into one list of settings. Not sure why textures and preferences are separate, you should be able to disable sprite smoothing and texture filtering in the same menu area.

If I new how to work MENUDEF (assuming that's what I need to know?) I would have a go at trying to condense things and arrange them logically.

Aside from setting up GZdoom to start with (screen size to full, cursor to simple arrow, sprite smoothing to off, texture filtering to off, modern bindings), the only thing I regularly change is the sound / music volume, and even then its not that common.

Rachael wrote:This is one of the chief complaints about GZDoom and people aren't discussing it. I guess it goes to show you people like to whine about things louder than they like to do anything about it - meaning their whining means absolutely dick in the end.

Bringing up an issue is usually pretty helpful for a developer. A good developer will carefully listen to feedback and attempt to make changes based on the feedback. Most of us don't know how to code GZDoom, so we may not have all that many suggestions, but we do know when something is not ergonomic or feels wrong. Its the devs job to take that feedback on board and come up with elegant solutions.

Rachael wrote:Feel free to prove me wrong here though

er, are we actually allowed to do that? I seem to remember getting warned and threatened with a global ban for doing that.
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby Rachael » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:39 am

HexenMapper wrote:Bringing up an issue is usually pretty helpful for a developer. A good developer will carefully listen to feedback and attempt to make changes based on the feedback. Most of us don't know how to code GZDoom, so we may not have all that many suggestions, but we do know when something is not ergonomic or feels wrong. Its the devs job to take that feedback on board and come up with elegant solutions.

A good developer also understands that not all feedback is "good" feedback, nor are they required to automatically agree with all feedback on the basis of being a developer. In fact, a "bad" developer is a developer who tries to take a cacophony of ideas into one mish-mash product that barely even works - the thing you forget about the human race is we're all different and all come from different walks of life - of COURSE we're going to have different ideas, of COURSE we're going to disagree, and that is NOT a bad thing! We're not good or bad on the sheer basis of whether we agree with YOU. If you don't agree with us, then our product simply isn't tailored to you - end of story. And there's nothing wrong with that. Think about it - FreeBSD is a very solid operating system, yet nearly no one uses it. It's not because it's bad - it's because it is tailored to a very certain type of person. GZDoom is tailored to a much wider audience, but at the same time it's not automatically pointing to every Minecraft user in existence either - it has a whole history and a userbase that spans much longer than Minecraft has ever been in existence.

This is another piece of the puzzle that you are consistently missing - GZDoom is not tailored for "new" users. But you can do that, yourself, if you really want to and it's really important to you. Simply name your config file from "gzdoom-yourname.ini" to "gzdoom.ini" - remove all your personally identifying strings from it - and voila! You can give that away to users and it will automatically become the "default" whenever a user runs that config file on their machine.

HexenMapper wrote:
Rachael wrote:Feel free to prove me wrong here though

er, are we actually allowed to do that? I seem to remember getting warned and threatened with a global ban for doing that.

The threat for ban was about you trying to argue with me - that is something that will not be tolerated.

However, outside of that, you are allowed to have your say. You are getting shit way twisted up and not really understanding the reason for the warning. As I plainly stated in the very thread you were warned about - no one is interested in watching a point get repeated 500 times by both sides when neither side will budge. The sooner you understand that, the sooner you will understand what you got warned for. There's a point where an argument will go nowhere no matter how long it goes on for, and I was cutting it off before it even had an opportunity to get that repetitive and boring (and honestly, unnecessary).
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby Zenon » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:04 am

Zenon and a lot of others wrote:It's not ideal to most of us to have texture filtering turned on by default, can it be turned off by default?

Rachael essentially wrote:If you want it so badly, make a GZDoom fork that does it


:|
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Re: Brainstorming a GZDoom menu revamp

Postby Rachael » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:07 am

Zenon wrote:
Zenon and a lot of others wrote:It's not ideal to most of us to have texture filtering turned on by default, can it be turned off by default?

Rachael essentially wrote:If you want it so badly, make a GZDoom fork that does it


:|

Look, I know you are upset, and this is not my decision. But it is also not my port, so I cannot call the shots here, and to be honest I really shouldn't - either. I have a fork of my own and I can do it there if I wanted to. (If I really cared enough about that issue, that is)

But that's the beauty of GPL - you can change the software to work ANY WAY YOU WANT. That is the FREEDOM that it gives you. You have that freedom. You have that capability. I encourage you to use it - and I know it seems scary, but it's not that hard to get into it. Hell, you can even ask about it here, if you need help with it.

You notice how even though I disagree with Graf, I put a stop to people violating the rules to try to convince him to change his mind? It's not because I am defending or standing up for Graf at all. It's because if you want something changed, raising hell was the wrong way to do it, and ultimately does more to harm your cause than to help it. There are alternatives to that - and they actually WORK, and they're a hell of a lot more effective than trying to convince Graf of anything. And the best part is - both parties are happy - Graf gets his way, you get your's.
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