StarCraft® II

[Discussion] Useability improvements 2.0.1

Posts: 165
Hi,

with the recent beta patch alot of awesome useability improvements have been made to the editor. Since nothing about that can be found within the patch notes I wanted to share my first discoveries with you guys here. Also I want to thank Blizzard for this amazing Patch - For me personally this was the best patch for the editor yet. However, it wouldnt be me if I wouldnt have another complain at the end of this post! Whatever, lets start:

New features/Bug fixes with 2.0.1:

  • There are now buttons to jump forward/backwards within the trigger window. This is extremely useful when for example using the "jump to" functionality to jump to a function and see what it does. Instead of having to manually get back to the previous trigger you can now simply use the back button to jump back instantly. Big useability plus here!
  • The .galaxy debug output has been improved again. For example it now shows the line number of "array index out of bounds" messages. Very very useful!
  • "Streaming Data" is now just done once when the map gets started the first time. When testing the map via "test document" streaming data is now skipped if at least one test has been made. VERY important update, since this speeds up testing ALOT!
  • A number of lag issues within the trigger editor have been fixed, like inserting new lines into functions that get referenced multiple times in code. Most important change for me personally, since the editor can now finally be used productively again.
  • Either the .galaxy script performance has improved or issues with the trigger debug window have been resolved. The execution times of a number of triggers seem to be alot lower since 2.0.1 for me. Could be a bug fix of the debug window though (It had problems with threads in the past, adding the children time to the main thread time). Either way its a very good change since it makes it easier to find performance problems.


Even though some people wont get whats so amazing about this "details" changes, for big projects like mine its by far the most important patch of sc2 to date. All this little improvements really add up for me and honestly make the editor about 500% more useable as before.

However, there is still one last issue id like to point out right here that really hinders the productivity of the editor - The overview manager.

The overview manager is a very useful tool when trying to find bugs in code thats already a couple of months old since it makes it very easy to track down the use of functions etc. However, in large projects with alot of code the overview manager gets nearly unuseable, because it takes a HUGE amount of time to load trigger data. At the moment I just dont even think about using it because i know that it will take 5 minutes+ to open, what pretty much defeats the purpose of it in assisting me to work faster. :(
Im almost certain that this can be optimized alot, just like you guys did it with trigger validation or the lag fixes with 2.0.1.

If the overview manager gets fixed the editor will finally allow a superior workflow, even for large projects. Its pretty much the last thing thats annoying me while working right now.

Overall, thanks again for this amazing patch Blizzard. I cant wait until it goes live!

PS: Feel free to add your discoveries with 2.0.1 here!
Edited by Mille on 11/1/2012 6:32 AM PDT
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Developer
Posts: 99
Make sure that you try the Data Navigator! In the data editor, with something selected, simply click the catalog type menu (for instance, if you're in the Units catalog, it's the unit menu) and choose "View in Data Navigator". Please keep in mind that we hope to get future fixes in for the next version of this tool, however it's a great way to help visualize how data is put together!
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Posts: 598
This tool is very useful

Just wondering how do you drag the canvas in this tool(still you can db-click a entry in left frame to center it).

And I see that tons of Data Editor fields now have detailed tooltips., that would be very hellpful for the Data Editor users.

I am trying to compile a full list of new features in 2.0.1

Edit: Ok, found the way: you can drag the canvas by hold down the middle mouse button.
Edited by Renee on 11/1/2012 9:37 AM PDT
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Developer
Posts: 45
The Data Navigator is one of the new additions in today's beta patch. The main goal is to help you visualize how all objects are linked to each other. You can take any object in the Data Module and select View in Data Navigator from the object type menu.

This will load a window that draws all objects linked together. The objects listed here are the same objects you'd see in the Object Explorer, but laid out graphically.

There's still a lot of work to fully polish this window up, but we wanted to provide you with an early preview in this patch. Here are some quick instructions on how to use it:

  • Use Middle-Mouse Drag to pan the canvas around.
  • Use Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out.
  • Click a model or sound node to see a preview of it.
  • Double-click any node or field to expand/collapse.
  • Double-click any entry in the tree to find the node.
  • You can view multiple objects at once by selecting them all in the Data Editor prior to loading the Data Navigator.

I also wanted to let you know about what's slated for a future patch:

  • A search field above the tree to help you find/filter objects.
  • Left-click drag to pan the canvas.
  • Options to filter out specific object types.
  • Additional previews (button images, textures, upgrades, etc.)
  • Easier access to launch the Data Navigator (it will be Ctrl-Space)
  • A way to jump back to the Data Module and find the currently selected node (again, Ctrl-Space)
  • An option to toggle between "Object Type Colors" and "Data Source Colors".
  • Several crash fixes. Warning: don't delete any objects currently displayed in the Data Navigator.

We'd love to hear your feedback on how this affects your workflow. We hope it'll help you understand how objects are built and help you identify bugs.
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Posts: 598
I think its a great improvement compared to the Object Explorer.

The layout of old Object Explorer actually lead many novice users to misunstand the relationship between the objects.

Most novice users in CN map maker community would think actors and models are just properties of a unit (rather than standalone data entries) when they see the Object Explorer first time(The layouts are really misleading).

So I think its a good idea to hide the Object Explorer frame by default (just as patch 2.0.1 did).
Edited by Renee on 11/1/2012 10:37 AM PDT
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