More Interface Improvements!
Work continues on fixing up the UI some more, and as part of my efforts to provide players with the most information possible on what's going on, I've made some changes to the Status menu, among other things.
One tweak that was made was to the universal status window used in a bunch of different locations (the panel that has the current character's face, name, class, HP/SP, and XP). I finally fixed a longstanding alignment issue with the HP/SP bars, added labels, and replaced the graphics for them with something closer to the bars used in other scenes. I had planned on also animating them like in battle and on the map, but the process for that has proven to be significantly more complex, so for now they're boring and unmoving. But readable, at least, and not overlapping anything else, which I suppose is also important. I took another step with this and overhauled the item usage submenu (the window that pops up to choose which member you want to use an item on), which was just all kinds of ugly and overlapping stuff.
Anyway, back in the Status menu, I took the empty space on the General page and filled it with a compact graph that basically compares each character's primary stats to everyone else's values, and gives you a general idea of how strong each character is relative to each other. For example, here's Lucy:
As you can see, she's leading the group in SPI and MDF (no surprise there), but is in last place for ATK and DEF (also probably not surprising), while her AGI and LUK are somewhat average compared to the others. Granted, this won't necessarily tell you how they'll stack up against any monsters you might fight (as that's a completely different set of variables that are perpetually in flux), but you should be able to get a sense of where everyone's at and what weak spots you might want to focus on.
I've also added a Profile screen to the status menu, that has some basic biographical information on each character. RPG Maker's default profile function only allows for two lines of text, which is hardly enough space for any meaningful information. But, after some quick modifications to the plugin that adds this screen, I've got a lot more than that! For now, each page will have a whole list of basic stats and a small paragraph of background information. Here's the page for Alex:
Finally, I did a minor data display tweak for the element and state resist values, essentially flipping them in terms of positive/negative. By default, the displayed value is the effectiveness level of that element/state on the character, so, if they somehow gain resistance to that element/state, the number goes down instead. I switched it to simply display the straight resistance value, like how it's done in most other games. Hopefully this way it's a little less confusing.
And that'll do it for this week! I should have another gameplay article ready to go in the next couple days as well. I feel like I should figure out something to go in the empty space under the XP value of the mini-status window, but I'll have to think about that.
Have a great weekend!
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