JavaMEGameBuilderUsabilityReview70

Contents


Usability Review of NetBeans Java ME GameBuilder - draft

The Goal of this page is to collect existing problems and improvement ideas for NB Java ME GameBuilder.

Both - minor usability problems and complex redesign ideas with a purpose to make GameBuilder attractive feature. Or at least usable feature, if anything more will require too much efforts.

Problems and solutions

Game designer in it's current implementation fully supports MIDP 2.0 Game API. And it's main workflow presentation is clear enough.

But it has highly visible usability issues that prevents it from being useful and attractive tool.

Therefore there is no need to make significant redesign in NB7.0, but usability should be improved.

Usability improvements planned for 6.7

Issues with target milestone set to 6.7

Game Design Navigator

Scene Navigator

  • DONE: Double-click should open sprite or layer in editing mode (like "Edit..." context menu does)
  • Enter on after updated name opens modified layer in editor (if you change X or Y, Enter just finished editing mode)
  • Propagate selection from/to navigator to/from scene editor

Scene editor

Tiled Layer Editor and Navigator

  • DONE: layer auto resize locking button on toolbar
  • Common keys support in tiled layer editor. e.g. Del to erase selected tiles
  • Erase Selected Tiles doesn't work if only one tile is selected

New Tiled Layer Dialog

  • Allow to Browse to external image. Now Requires to add images to the project manually first.
  • DONE: Error message about lack of images doesn't say about supported types
  • DONE: Remove message dialog "Sample images were imported to project source root" after adding example images

Sprite Editor and Navigator

Animated Layer/Sprite editor

  • Double-click on the last right 'half-frame' area should create new frame
  • Handle shortcuts. e.g. shift+right, shift+end for frames selection...
  • Context menu for multiple selected elements (with e.g. "remove" action ). Now it requires Shift to be pressed. Otherwise selection is cleared. (may be problem is that right mouse btn switches selection, if pressed without shift).

Nice to have

Issues filed to Issuezilla

Game Design Navigator

  • Tree should be editable

Scene Navigator

  • "view" column selection is not shown
  • "lock" column selection is not shown
  • Support layer deletion

Scene editor

  • Improve adding/removing layers/sprites to scene

Tiled Layer Editor and Navigator

  • Rename tiled layer (currently renaming action is not easy-to-find)
  • Unclear behaviour after all rows and columns were deleted
  • Add ability to change layer tiles image

New Tiled Layer Dialog

Sprite Editor and Navigator

  • Rename Sprite

Animated Layer/Sprite editor

  • Frames reordering in sequence by drag-n-drop

Common notes

  • Undo/Redo (RFE)
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