This is what the new GUI will have, as mentioned by Team Cyclops themselves more than a year ago. This should be considered to be mostly accurate.
Note - Scroll down further to see a more recent post regarding the CycloDS GUI Overhaul!
4 July 2008
Its about time we got directly involved in this discussion :) Yes, we are planning a complete GUI overhaul in the near future (after the in-game text reader is complete) and we want to take input from you, our customers, in order to ensure that we can deliver an excellent GUI. The most important thing for us is that when the new GUI is complete, it must be fully compatible with all the current skins that have been created - there is such a vast library of truly great skins now that doing anything to make them incompatible would be a huge mistake.
So what we propose is a flexible GUI system which can take any current skin and apply that to the new GUI engine. In cases where any of the "old style" skins are used the appearance would be similar to what we have currently, with a few subtle changes such as the look of dialog boxes and various GUI widgets such as buttons, check boxes etc. GUI widgets will be skinnable, but in cases where they are not provided by the skin we can simply use the built-in widget bitmaps and apply the skin colours to them.
When creating a skin for the new GUI system, you will have a lot more power at your fingertips - almost everything will be configurable. When a certain option/setting is omitted from the skin XML file, the default for that option will be used. For example, you will be able to specify if you want the firmware version information to be displayed and if so, the co-ordinates for it to be placed. If this information is left out of the skin XML file, the default configuration will be used - the version be displayed at the bottom left of the screen. This means that you can make your skins as complicated or as simple as you want, and should suit both the amateur skin creator as well as the power user.
One thing we still haven't decided on is how to handle per-game settings, file operations etc. What we need is a way for you to select a file and then be able to perform file operations on it as well as bringing up a per-game settings dialog box where you can manage cheat codes, RTS files, .sav files etc. There are several possibilities - context menus, a "start menu", tabs, sliding with the stylus (iPhone style) etc. We've got bars at both the top and bottom of the bottom LCD which might as well be put to good use - we could possibly have some buttons or tabs there. We would really appreciate your feedback regarding this so we can make a decision and then proceed.
Something else we've also considered is a system where you can specify favourites. This is a bit tricky because it needs to be somewhat separated from the skinning system. The user must be able to choose the favourites and then they will be stored in a separate configuration file, but the skin is what will need to specify how the favourites are displayed. We would also appreciate feedback regarding how this could work.
There are various enhancements/additions which we will definitely be adding, including:
- Fully configurable main screen - can specify which buttons to add, where they will be placed and what each button will do
- File operations (delete, copy, move, hide, unhide etc)
- Per game settings screen for configuring cheat codes, RTS files, .sav files etc
- Properly working, draggable scroll bar
- Option of using the top screen for something useful such as displaying ROM information, a calendar etc
- Different backgrounds for the main screen and the file list
We've seen a lot of requests for animated GIF support, and we are considering this but can't promise anything right now. We need to look deeper into the file specifications before we can comment further because supporting these files could possibly cause some issues.
Well - there you have it, TeamCyclops' official standing on the subject of the GUI re-design. Let us know what you think!
23 March 2010
On 23 March 2010, Team Cyclops posted an update on this topic, indicating that a GUI update will be released for beta testing within the next few weeks:
Some time ago we made a post regarding an overhaul to the CycloDS GUI. We realise this was a rather long time ago, and we apologise for the lack of progress in this area. We've had our resources rather stretched, devoted to other areas of development - however, recently we have finally found time to pick up where we left off and are happy to announce that work on the updated GUI is well underway and we plan to release a build for alpha testing within the next few weeks. Following is a summary of what's done so far:
- Updates to the skinning system. This is still very much a WIP and will likely change depending on feedback we receive from our users, however so far we have made it possible to assign a different bitmap to the bottom screen for the main menu, game list, cheat list etc as well as adding the ability to assign custom icons for items which were previously fixed such as the folder icon, GBA icon etc. We're considering several other changes regarding skinning, please see below for further details
- There is now a pop-up menu which can be brought up in the game list screen, for performing various operations on the currently selected item such as managing SAV files, managing RTS files, managing cheats and basic file operations
- Cheat codes can now be managed using the pop-up menu, removing that annoying "Do you wish to enable cheats" prompt before running games
- A bookmark system has been added. Any ROM (game/homebrew) or folder can be bookmarked. We are still trying to decide on the best way to implement this and feedback regarding this would be much appreciated - please see below
- Basic file operations (copy/move/delete) have been added and are accessed through the game list pop-up menu
- The scrollbar now works correctly, and the overall touch control has been improved
We urgently need feedback regarding the best way to implement bookmarks. Currently, our plan is to have two bookmark display modes. The first mode would display each bookmark as a square icon (the same icon used in the game list display) placed above and below the 3 main buttons on the main screen. This has been requested by several people and works quite well, but is certainly not suitable for some skins. The second mode would modify the moonshell icon on the main screen so when selected, it would bring you to the bookmark screen. Here your bookmarks would be displayed, along with moonshell, in the same manner as the normal game list. The bookmark display mode could be toggled via the settings menu.
Regarding skinning, we've already made it possible to specify a different bottom bitmap for each screen and we've made it possible to use completely custom icons. A few more things we're considering is making it possible to move the buttons on the main menu around and making it possible to disable or change certain GUI elements such as the text on the top/bottom bars which would be more suitable for some skins. Also now that its possible to have a separate image for the game list, it may make sense to have an option in the skin to force the icon size to either large or small, as some skins may be designed to work exclusively with one icon size. We're open to suggestions with skinning, but please keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to retain compatibility with the vast library of existing skins so we're not willing to make any changes which would render any existing skins incompatible. Rather, we're trying to add functionality while allowing all existing skins to work and adding optional features which new v2 skins will be able to utilise.
Well, that's the status of the GUI overhaul so far. Please let us know what you think, especially considering the bookmark implementation!
16 April 2010
Team Cyclops has released the first beta firmware for GUI testing purposes. You can download it here: Firmware vB.0 (GUI BETA).
Replies to New CycloDS GUI
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