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In which the main menu is tweaked; and menus start to be operable without a mouse.

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Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows work towards being able to operate the menus of A Door to the Mists without a mouse:

User Posted Image

The week just past was, for the most part, a menu-focussed week:

Perhaps the first salient change of the week just past was an adjustment to the main menu, with thanks to critique given via Twitter.

Specifically, it was pointed out to me that as I had it, the title, menu-buttons, and backdrop created a sort of visual loop, and that this might be a little disorienting for some players. One suggestion for dealing with this was to move the title to a position above the menu-buttons--which is what I did.

And concomitantly, I adjusted the mist behind the title (and the buttons, while I was at it) to now flow from left to right, which I feel better fits this layout.

These changes are somewhat visible in the gif above, but as that animation quickly goes to other menus, let me post a gif showing just the main menu:

User Posted Image

With that done, as well as a variety of smaller changes that don't seem worth detailing here, I moved on to another major task, one that I've had in mind for some time now:

Controlling the game's menus without mouse-input.

As you may recall, A Door to the Mists now supports input methods other than keyboard-and-mouse. But when using such a method, it might be inconvenient (or even infeasible) to switch over to a mouse in order to control the game's various menus and minigames.

Hence this task: implementing support for control of the various menu-elements via inputs other than the mouse.

It's a task that I'll confess had somewhat intimidated me. And yet, while there have been and remain some challenges in implementing it, the process has actually gone fairly smoothly thus far, thankfully! ^_^

(And my thanks to rdb of the Panda3D forum (who is one of the developers of the engine) for aid in figuring out a tricky problem regarding the operation of popup-menu buttons! ^_^)

That said, this feature is still very much a work-in-progress--there's much yet to be done, I think.

And that then is all for this week--stay well, and thank you for reading! ^_^

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