As part of the run-up (and aftermath) of the coming release, I'm going to be making a series of posts detailing various game aspects, to fill everyone in on what's up with the new version of the game... I'm kicking that off today with a look at the game's interface/control set up...

The post below is pretty wordy, so there's a summarized version in the comments...

The Skin: As you can see, the game now has a very simple 4.0 skin... For now, it basically just mimics the default skin, but in a fitting color scheme and with the removal of some clutter... I tossed around the idea of really classing it up by moving all of the game's HUD functionality into skin elements, but decided against that level of effort for the time being... Perhaps in a later release...

This skin simply offers the main map area, a main text output area, an input line (which is basically for nothing but communication, as the game includes very few verbs/commands), and a button to host... Again, essentially the most important bits of what the default/classic BYOND interface offers...

The interface uses the usual arrow keys for movement (diagonals are disabled in-game), but I've also added the WASD alternate control scheme...

It has been given a few other special new macros, though, which I will relate below...

The HUD:

Longtime players of the game will immediately notice that the HUD has some very large changes to it, most notably in the Action Object controls in the bottom center...

Players who have seen the Halloween preview version linked in the news on the game's hub page have seen the precursor to this new system already... Gone is the old system of having two slots (one for a weapon, and one for a help item), in favor of having a single "Current Action" slot...

Clicking on any interactive target on the map applies the effects of your Current Action... For instance, clicking on a mob while you have a weapon set as your Current Action will cause you to make an attack on that mob (including yourself, so be careful! this is to allow players to throw off suspicion, by giving themselves wounds, as if they'd been attacked)

To handle different types of non-attack interactions, players have a list of built-in actions (that can't be dropped) to use... This includes:

1) Look/Examine (depicted by a magnifying glass) lets the player examine any target; clues, spawners, other players, etc.

2) Pick Up/Operate (depicted by a grasping/pointing hand) lets the player grab, pick up, or operate any target; get a weapon from a spawner, pick up an object from the floor, open curtains, click light switches, etc.

3) Push (depicted by an open hand) lets the player shove other mobs backwards; useful for getting non-moving players out of your way, or shoving people over railings, down stairs, or through windows

4) Run (depicted by two footprints) is a passive ability that shortens the wait time between steps whenever a player moves while it is selected (previous versions of the game do not have a step delay... this one does, and the Run ability is used to temporarily overcome it); this also allows players to purposefully crash through windows or over railings

5) Punch (depicted by a fist) is the player's own built-in weapon object... It doesn't do much damage, but it's always available, and is moderately fast... Also has a fairly high chance of knocking someone unconscious (plus, there's just something especially vicious about beating someone to death with your bare hands)

Then, as the player picks up items, those items are appended to the end of the list of available actions... In the case of help items (like food) that must be applied to the player themselves, you simply click on yourself while they're selected...

In some cases, of course, there is no effect (for instance, you can't attack furniture) and the game will say so...

The red arrow controls to the sides of the Current Action window are obviously used to cycle through the list of available actions (the double arrows on either outside end skip to the end or beginning item, respectively)

When this was unveiled in the Halloween preview edition, there were some complaints that it might not be fast enough, so now there are also some keyboard macros set up for each of the possible Current Action selection controls:

1) Delete & Page Down call the CycleLeft() and CycleRight() functions, respectively, to move the slection one slot either way... (The macro system equates Page Down to Southeast, so that works as well... I then set Northeast to call CycleLeft, just to use all of the diagonals)

2) Home & End call the CycleBegin() and CycleEnd() functions, respectively, to jump the selection to the first or last item in the list (again, these are equated to Northwest and Southwest, so those work, too)

Other HUD functions include the following:

1) Game Control (depicted by an open book at the top left) calls up a selection of the following: Check Registry (basically a "Who?" command), Boot Player, Disqualify Player, Abort Round, and Reboot Game... These commands are available to anyone... The last 4 options put those commands to a vote among the players in the game before they are carried out (this is basically to allow the game to operate without an active Host, while still allowing the players to control unruly guests, and control the game itself)

2) Round Control (depicted by a key in the top right) is used to start a new round if one isn't already (once a round has been started, it switches to an icon for the mode selected, and can be clicked to display that mode's rules) The first person to click the button on the title screen/between-round lobby to select a map gets to be the person to click this to pick the mode, and set mode options (if they're a BYOND Member) In some cases, this might cause some conflict and a potential target for grief, but I'm hoping that the more mature sets of players can use it amicably (especially allowing a BYOND Member to take control if they wish to, and said BYOND Member listens to the wishes of the crowd in selecting the next mode)

3) Help (the large game logo at the top center) calls forth a list of Help topics, which then displays text regarding the topic selected...

4) Cluebook and Pen (depecited by a notebook with "Cluebook" written on it, and a pen in the bottom left) Not much has been changed about these two items, so anyone familiar with the game should know that they're used to write observations, and read them back, along with any clues observed and automatically recorded during play... The book has been expanded to have differing functionality for other game modes, though (for instance, it displays the list of possible Rooms, Suspects, and Weapons in Clue mode, with those you've eliminated struck out)

5) Sound Toggle (depicted by a speaker in the bottom right) is used to toggle the background music and/or sound effects on and off... Turning the music On will then allow the player to select the song to play...

6) AFK button (depicted by a keyboard&mouse and the text "AFK" in the bottom right) toggles Autopilot/Away From Keyboard on and off... A player on Autopilot will be taken over by the AI system, and will act exactly as a bot... Incidentally, mobs belonging to players logging out during a round will be put on Autopilot automatically...
Disturbed Puppy wrote:

in after tl;dr.

Alright, I knew that was going to be a problem, so here's the ADHD version:

-New 4.0 skin (basically the same as default, just looks different)

-Both the arrow keys and WASD work for movement

-Gameplay interface has changed drastically from original version: no longer have Weapon and Help item slots, now replaced by Current Action slot

-Clicking on any interactive object/mob on the map will apply your Current Action's effect to it (IE clicking on a mob with a weapon selected will make an attack)

-There are controls (both on the HUD, and some macros set up) to cycle back and forth (and skip to either end) of your list of available Actions, to set which will apply to your next clicked target

-Players now have built-in Actions (Look, Pick Up/Operate, Push, Run, and Punch) in addition to any items/weapons they pick up during the game

-The other HUD buttons control other game functions, like starting rounds, writing/reading clues, turning the music on and off, turning on Autopilot/AFK mode, etc.

There, better?

I'd have started out with that sort of summary, but I like to be
Welcome brothers, I have climbed the mountain of text and shall now say...

I dig it.

...Just kidding. Sounds cool, I'll be looking to play it once it's released.
We'll All play it once its released =)
3) Push (depicted by an open hand) lets the player shove other mobs backwards; useful for getting non-moving players out of your way, or shoving people over railings, down stairs, or through windows

Heh, let the griefing begin!
Yeah, I guess it's open for abuse...

Maybe I'll just add in a probability factor so that it doesn't always actually push them backwards to cut that down a bit...

It's not really harmful unless done in certain specific locations/circumstances, and if you find yourself in one of those situations, you probably deserve what you (IE, no lounging around at the top of stairs, near windows, near railings, etc., especially if someone is coming up behind you)

I guess we'll just see what the concensus of the players is on the matter...