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Thread: A more inviting guide-window

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  1. #1

    Default A more inviting guide-window

    Hello Dugi,

    First of all, I just want to say that your guides are great and you continue to amaze us with new guides and updates all the time. The service provided couldn't be better.

    However! I would like to see the DugiGuide (the main window) become more inviting. I know that lots of people want it to be as small as possible but I'm one of those people who actually wants it bigger and more.. well inviting to use. Right now you can see through the window and there are barely no frames to speak of. I'd rather see the background of the window become a parchment and the frames become the regular "WoW" -theme frames. Perhaps a setting could allow the user to change the opacity of the window but let it be a setting.

    I'm sure that it would be possible to have a setting to either run this "advanced" version or the current "lite" version.

    That's about all as far as graphics goes. Now onto the structure of the window. Currently you have every guide as tabs. This works.. fairly well right now but what if you add another guide? The tabs will get smaller and smaller. I'm sure you've already had to redo the tabs in order to make room for everything. I propose a sort of "splash"-screen which would work like an index-page. From there you can perhaps have a drop-down in a corner to be able to fast-navigate to a certain guide(e.g. Dailies & Events). The index could also have an alternate way of navigating by having large buttons that represents each guide. So clicking the Dailies & Events button would take you to the same page as the drop-down would.

    The index page could serve other purposes also, greet you the player, have a list of currently active guides, etc. You could even place a "Search" field where people can search for a guide and instantly be able to go to it and "activate" it.

    Each guide-page(e.g. Dailies & Events) could also be more aesthetically pleasing with a better structure and layout(instead of just "-------Durotar (level XX)-----" -styled categories) so we can easier find the correct guide and get a better overview of what's available - not that it's not easy currently but you get my drift.

    With these changes the guidebutton(when the mainwindow is closed) would have to be slightly changed aswell. Having 2 buttons would be enough. Button 1 would simply "expand" a little guide-window which could be a "lite"-styled window where it would say the current guide and the current step and what to do in that step. This expanded window would get an additional 2 buttons, in form of arrows next to the text where it says the current guide. This would allow you to quickly switch between activated guides without having to go to the main window. Button 2 would take you to the main window but instead of loading the index-page it would load the current guide's page - assuming a guide is loaded, otherwise it goes to the index-page.

    Of course on each "page" in the window you should have a "Go back" buttons, the usual do-da's.

    Anyways, something I thought about. I don't know if my idea of how it should look is possible or would be appreciated but nontheless I think the current guide-window needs a major overhaul!! Both design/graphics -wise aswell as layout/structure -wise.

    Hope you found it at least a bit useful
    Last edited by tanax; 01-12-2011 at 11:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Calliann
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    Where have you been all my life? :P

  3. #3

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    Haha I'm not sure what you mean by that or how to interpret it xD!

  4. #4
    Calliann
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    it's something I was thinking the guide was lacking, the cosmetics.. dont' get me wrong, I love the guide the way it is now, but what you described made me daydream.

  5. #5

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    Oh, haha now if only I could have that influence on girls...
    Jokes aside, you're a staff member so make it happen! I'm glad you liked the idea anyhow.

    I thought I read somewhere that introducing more graphics would make the guide even more heavy in terms of loading it. I know a way around that.

    First of all I have to say that I have absolutely NO idea whatsoever about how WoW actually loads its addons, if it loads the addon entirely from the beginning or if it loads just a single file and then it's up to the author to make that file load the rest of the addon. If it's the latter then I propose you use "registry-files" to load the guides.

    Have the guide-window not load a single guide at first. That will keep the guide very load-resource light. When players click to open the guide-window, the addon will load a registry-file you have in the addon-directory that has a list of what guides the player have available. When you then output the guide-buttons on the index-page in the guide-window you output every guide available from your side but grey out(or something) the guides that are not in the registry-file on the player's end.

    Clicking on a guide-button that leads to a guide that the player yet haven't bought could either be disabled(since the sub-folder containing that guide wouldn't be in the player's addon-directory) and just show a tooltip with a little bit of info about the guide OR it could lead to an "about-page" about that guide, explaining in more detail what that guide would give the player. It would be a great way to do some advertising in-game to the player but still not be the annoying type of advertisement.

    Okay, getting carried away here - back to the registry-files.

    Clicking on a guide-button that leads to a guide that is available to the player it would then load another registry-file that contains the different guides contained within that guide. Think of the registry-files as.. menu-files that simply lists the available items so the addon knows what guides are available and what not. For instance, the registry-file for the leveling guide could simply be a list with the texts:
    Code:
    ~Durotar=LXX\
    ~Dun Morogh=LXX\
    Where ~ indicates a new item, = indicates the name of the item is over, L indicates "Level" directly followed by the level for that area and \ indicates the item ends here. I'm sure you'll be able to come up with a better markup than that, just an example.

    Then when clicking to view a guide for an area, THEN it loads that part of the guide but only temporary, if the player don't activate it and simply go back to another guide it will just de-load that part of the guide. However if the player activates it, it will load that part of the guide into some "memory" or something.

    This way it will only load the guides that the player is using and keeping the rest simply not loaded. Again, if this is possible I have no idea about so this entire post could be complete rubbish.

    I also have some ideas for the installer which also looks.. not so good. The structure/layout is actually fairly good(apart from the section where it lists the available guides to the player and the guides that the player yet haven't bought - that part is very confusing and weird markup aswell). For the most part it's just that the design isn't very good. The text on the play button is not even centered . I realize though that the installer is a new addition and that it's a great advantage you have over the other guides out there. I just think that the lack in design could potentially scare people away(remember that the installer is available to the demo-users aswell = potential customers). But like I said, it's a new thing you only just released not too long ago so hopefully you have bigger plans for it. I'm just suggesting it needs an overhaul aswell!

    Again, I hope you find my suggestions welcomming and I sincerely hope you realize that it's a sign that I'm not only a very happy customer but also very interested in the success of the guide and hope more people will realize its value as I have done.

    All the best, cheers!
    Tanax

  6. #6
    Administrator Undead Male Monk
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    thank you for the suggestions, keeping it themed to the original wow UI is definitely our preferred choice.

    We will get to that one day, we are always developing the addon to improve things further just so you know, there is always something more important to implement first and we can only do so much at a time, still have alot on the 'to do' list.

    As for the installer, we are working on it, the programmer that created the installer for us seem to have dissapeared from the face of the earth. So we need to find another talent first.

    I though the software itself looks pretty good especially in windows 7 (see screenshot attached), The text in the buttons are centered, can you show me a screenshot.
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  7. #7
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    Also advertising about other guides inside the addon is a touchy subject... as with Blizzard policy they don't really like any form of advertising with addons, it is probably ok by providing explainations about the guides in each tab and how to get it etc but we would rather not go there.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dugi View Post
    thank you for the suggestions, keeping it themed to the original wow UI is definitely our preferred choice.

    We will get to that one day, we are always developing the addon to improve things further just so you know, there is always something more important to implement first and we can only do so much at a time, still have alot on the 'to do' list.

    As for the installer, we are working on it, the programmer that created the installer for us seem to have dissapeared from the face of the earth. So we need to find another talent first.

    I though the software itself looks pretty good especially in windows 7 (see screenshot attached), The text in the buttons are centered, can you show me a screenshot.
    Thank you for reading my suggestion!
    I'm happy that it is something you strive to do. I understand that you got tons of stuff you want to finish before polishing up. Content > Appearence. However, there comes a time when content will become suffering due to the appearence. Be it a bad structure so that it becomes cluttery(is that a word? XD) or just the fact that the content is such a high quality that appearence puts it down, it doesn't really matter but what I'm trying to say is that eventhough content is generally more important there comes a time when appearence becomes more important.

    Perhaps you should hire someone to do the designing and structuring of the addon while you can continue working on the content of the guide

    As for the installer, I am sorry to hear that. I am currently studying a program at the university called "Computer Game Development" and with the path "Construction" so I am learning a lot about programming, algorithms and such. Unfortunately I have no idea how to create an application like the installer yet but I would be happy to try and see if I can - if of course you need any help. Perhaps by the time I know how to do the installer you will already have found someone but it doesn't hurt to put in a word now already, hehe. Is it done in Java or C++? Or any other perhaps?

    It is weird that you get everything centered, I did not when I tried this on the PC(Windows 7 aswell). Unfortunately I'm on the Mac now so I can't check it but hopefully it was just my eyes that decieved me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dugi View Post
    Also advertising about other guides inside the addon is a touchy subject... as with Blizzard policy they don't really like any form of advertising with addons, it is probably ok by providing explainations about the guides in each tab and how to get it etc but we would rather not go there.
    I see. Understandable. But I don't really see how some basic information and explainations could be harmful but of course it's your call. I just thought it'd be a good idea to inform players who bought the guide or are using the free version about what they are missing out on.

  9. #9

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    Any updates on this?

  10. #10
    Administrator Undead Male Monk
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanax View Post
    Any updates on this?
    Not able to give you any eta yet, but we are working on it.

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