I know we have already discussed the whole "to many tabs thing", but what I would like to see(assuming you have not already done this) is to have the "default" set up have no specific mention of CT/IT and have the user enter all the common data. Then choose the tool specific areas to edit.
Right now you get to choose which tabs are available on an individual basis, and there are a couple of predefined sets of tabs (All, CT, IT, Files & Database). CT is the default set (Props, CT Misc, image files and form files) of tabs. Choosing the default set, or reconfiguring existing sets, adding more sets, or changing tab orders is all very easy to do. Check the view menu, tell me what you would like to see there and we'll figure it out.
One possible approach is to have a "wizard" interface:
- Open Game file(or create new)
- Tabbed interface with tabs for each "common" item(as in common to both tools)
- Click "Next"(or possibly one button at the bottom for each tool such as "Edit CT configuration" and "Edit IT configuration" as individual buttons) This would SAVE the existing changes(or prompt to save if a new game settings file)
- Now show and edit the game specific Tool's configuration tabs
Another thing that would be REALLY nice in the long run for the CT section would be something like a "workflow" editor that can to some degree abstract the creation of a CT character builder wizard. Just a quick way to set up say 5 "screens" in a wizard tied to a kind of transient value that is set to indicate it's time to move to the next "screen". A long term option might also allow for branching logic within the wizard and perhaps even multiple wizards(one wizard if you are creating a New Character vs a different if you are updating an existing Character)
Here is where I think the big advances in useability can be found. But, I don't think we can use existing tabs in the wizards. The tabs provide too many options for anybody not familiar with what's going on. They will need to be designed specifically for the wizard. Maybe start with an option screen asking what you need to do. Questions like
- Do you need the default properties? (stuff included in a base character like name, token, initiative modifier, etc)
- Do you need to roll initiative?
- Do you need to handle ties in initiative? (as a sub question)
- Do you have specific Abeille forms to use?
- Do you have images in your forms?
This isn't a complete list, but its a good place to start. Then pages associated with each question answered yes are displayed. I think this is what that second paragraph is talking about, and it is a good idea. The hard part is figuring out a good set of questions.
As we discussed previously, advanced options should be in a menu that is tool specific AND that menu item should be greyed out until you have gotten far enough into the process to make it useful. So, no need to have the Custom UI classes thing for CT available if the settings file does not have the basic CT data.
The thing is, there isn't anything technically required for CT, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to not have custom properties for it. However, nothing else is really needed as there are defaults for all of them. There are a couple more things required for IT, but not much. The ones I can remember off the top of my head are scripts for rolling the initiative and for resolving ties in initiative. But really. that's all that's required. The rest of the things on the tabs are just extra support for scripts and such.