Sunday, February 27, 2011

New OttoJotts UI Ideas

I was in the shower today getting ready to pick up Cathy from a birthday party (no, not that one - we unfortunately missed that one *headdesk*). This was not her cousin Zavi's party in Laramie but my best friend Dan's son Matthew's 6th birthday. It was at Chuck E Cheese's and now that I've wasted far too much time with off-topic over-explanation, let me get back to the point of this post - user interface ideas for OttoJotts.
So while I was in the shower I began thinking back to the days when I used to play Jotto and what usually had to suffice for Jotto sheets when we'd exhausted our supply. We opted for legal pads, a ruler, and a pen. So this made me wonder - what if I made the UI look like a legal pad (or at least just lined paper) and then had all of the buttons and letters be handwritten? I think it might be "retro", but I think retro is hip these days (it's so hard to tell sometimes). PLUS, it's something that I, with my limited graphic artist skills could likely pull off. That was a definite benefit.
I think it would be very cool to have a slick UI like, say, Words with Friends, but I'm just NOT a graphic artist. Been there, done that, got my wrist slapped. I may just need to accept my limitations on this particular point (not that I ever thought I was a graphic artist). What does this mean for Alpha 4? Absolutely nothing. I'm sure I'll find ways to try to derail myself from actually working on code and work on the cool new UI, but it needs to wait until Beta 1. The alphas are all about functionality; betas are about polish. So that's kind of the thinking for, say, April. And I've got a cool idea for the badges, but that's later as well.
I guess we'll see how well I can keep this "shiny new toy" on the back burner. I've actually managed to get most of the friend and game creation code done and in, which was surprisingly smooth. There's still a lot of hardening that needs to happen, but I think that once I get into that mode it will be straightforward to do pretty much the same thing to every file. Plus, I need to make the code a little harder to exploit, which I hope I can get done with a minimum of fuss. Let's just hope I can keep up some of the focus here to make this project FINALLY successful.