Windows, custom GUI, and noobs

One criticism that I often hear about OCTGN, is its quirky user interface. It looks like no other application, and this makes it harder for new users. Sometimes it’s so hard that those users just decide that OCTGN is crap, and they go use another software.

Once I even read on a forum a sad story about a guy who just launched OCTGN for the first time. As you may know, OCTGN starts full-screen by default, and displays no usual menu (they are disguised as buttons), no close button, and hides the system tray. The poor guy wrote that he didn’t find how to close the application, and had to use Ctrl-Alt-Delete to kill it.

While I think it’s an extreme example (he could have tried the usual Alt-F4, which works, or searched a little while for the “Quit” command, which I don’t think is that much hidden), I also think that it shows how the GUI is having a negative effect on the popular success of OCTGN.

For this very reason, I’ve decided that 2.0 would be a lot more user-friendly (especially for noobs). The starting screens will be very descriptive of how to do common tasks (like manage your cards, start or join a game, etc.). And the main window itself is going to be very conventionnal, with a definitive “Windows” look, the traditionnal menu, etc. You will still be able to switch it fullscreen and hide the menu and title bar (to maximize the usable screen surface), but it will not start in this mode by default.

So that you get a vague idea of it, here’s one screenshot:

Screenshot for GUI
Now, you’ll have to find another excuse, not to play with OCTGN!


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3 Comments on “Windows, custom GUI, and noobs”

  1. Fork Says:

    That’s a good point you make about octgn1’s default full screen mode and glad to hear that you have taken it into account when designing the .Net build. Let’s see if that gets changed in the version .530, whenever that is out.

    Great idea this development blog and if you need any help with it, you know where to get it 😉

  2. roblethal Says:

    that looks great. I’m assuming that the small window on the bottom right is the hand/library/grave. I think it will be nice to see all the cards in hand, but will there be an option to turn that off for clean-freaks who are minimalists? Also, I’m glad to see that you kept the card aspect ratio for Blue Moon, this confirms my thoughts that will support variable size objects.

  3. jods Says:

    I can see that you are looking carefully and guessing a lot, Rob.

    As you’ve already noticed, I can confirm that OCTGN 2.0 supports different card sizes better than 1.x.

    For all your other questions, I’m going to blog about them and post more pictures, so wait and see! 😉

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