Here’s the latest sketch I have for the in-game screen. I took some ideas from the yet-to-be-released new MTGO client (here’s a blurry picture).
Some notes about this sketch:
- I want to leave as much space up to the table. To help with that, I will use pop-ups as much as possible. For example, mana pops up to the side of the player’s info when mana in pool). Another example is the information about the current phase, which I plan to represent using small icons at the right of the screen (only the current phase visible unless hovered on).
- I want the left region to be smaller than what is pictured. Less important zones (graveyard, library) will be represented only by a number on an icon. You can check out the graveyard content by clicking or hovering on its icon.
- Between the player info boxes will be where objects on the stack are displayed. I think that MTGO had a great idea there: when the stack becomes big, you can press a key to make it either transparent or retract while you check out what’s happening on the table.
- The chat/console box is a bit controversial for me. For some games (single-player), you probably won’t need it. Sometimes, I guess you want it to be much bigger (hence the “unpin” button to make it a separate floating window). I also thought that it could be cool to “minimize” it as a single line below the hand where you see the last thing that was said? Not sure about this one.
- There’s one thing that I didn’t picture and that’s the “modal choice” dialog, for when the user has to make some modal decision or when the game informs the player that an action is needed (mulligan? continue? declare attackers? discard X cards now). I don’t want to make another window for that and I don’t want to put it as another tab within the chatbox window because I believe you might want to continue reading while playing? So right now I’m thinking of displaying it on top of the table (when needed), maybe in the bottom right corner.
Am I missing something? Tell me what you think!