I Made A Dungeon!

by Hedgemistress
Rogue-like action! Child-like graphics!
I was out of town for much of the last week, which interrupted my work on the new interface. The three pane system I discussed in the last post ultimately proved to be too cumbersome and confusing, since it meant the function of number keys depended on which of three visible panes was active/highlighted.

Because of that and some of the undesirable idiosyncracies of grids compared to map objects, I have replaced the inventory and spell list with visual grids, seen here:

The bottom panel is called "Knowledge" because it's a combination of magic and active class skills (of which there are none so far), though I think I'm going to split them up.

In keeping with the idea that you should be able to play this game without a mouse, you can cycle through your items by pressing plus or minus. The same will be true of spells, with tab flipping between them.

The blank space above inventory is still the action panel, which as previously described gives some info on the object/character/whatever that is currently selected, and then lists the available actions (if any) along with a number that can be used to activate it with a single keypress. Once I add room descriptions and generic actions to the game, it will never be blank as it appears here.

There are still some other odd missing pieces of the interface that make it cumbersome to actually play at the moment, but I expect to start hosting the game again within the next few days.
i think it would make more sense for pressing tab to move your character's controls into an LTTP-style grid menu where you can move a cursor around the grid and select items that way. the plus/minus thing sounds really cumbersome and is very far from standard among games(probably due to how clunky that sounds)
Well, that's an interesting idea, but I can't see how freezing characters in place every time the player needs to select an item isn't way more clunky than a system that lets you fluidly access your items even while maneuvering around enemies and obstacles. If you're in a situation where you could safely deal with intrusive menus, you could take your hand off the keyboard and just use the mouse anyway.

If cycling through the items sounds clunky to you, I think it's because it's an unfamiliar concept, but how long does it honestly take to master a new control scheme? I'd rather present a solution that makes sense for the game I'm making than pick a "standard" solution and then fit the game to that.
IMO if you have to scroll through the inventory while in combat, there's something wrong with your game design
In my opinion, you're being hamstrung by a narrow vision of what a game is supposed to be like. You've got one notion of how items should exist and what their function should be, which is intimately tied up into your assumptions about what the inventory interface should be like.

You don't have to cycle through your inventory in combat; you're able to, if you want to enable deeper tactics to take advantage of the variety of items available in a classic rogue-like compared to something like a Zelda game. Outside of combat, you can use a mouse interface, but since inside combat your right hand is right there on the arrow keys to direct attacks, you have the ability to cycle through your items in order to pull out a weapon that you don't normally use but which has an advantage in this situation, cast a spell that's too unpredictable to be used in all but the most desperate situations, or drink a potion that's too rare and powerful to risk using with a hotkey.

You don't have to do any of these things. You simply have the ability to do so.
In response to Hedgemistress
I like the idea of being able to play this without a mouse. Also I think I'm really starting to get sick of statements like this:

IMO if you have to scroll through the inventory while in combat, there's something wrong with your game design

Which are being proliferated on BYOND. Completely unevidenced and biased, blanket statements about design that are completely meaningless and often horribly incorrect.

The only point of Nix's I agree with is that +/- is a bit clunky. The reason for that is I have my right hand on the arrow keys and have to move my left hand a long way to reach out and try to find the +/- buttons.

What I would prefer is a smaller inventory and some letter keys to press to scroll between items such as z/x and maybe to scroll vertically c/v.

It would be oldschool but sometimes oldschool is fun.