Dialog overhaul

Now that setting up a train is a really lovely experience, we sat down and had a few games of multiplayer so that we could identify the next major pain point when playing Trains & Things.

Surprisingly, it boiled down to fighting with the user interface - we were always moving windows around and they would always end up in crazy positions. Especially when playing in a window and resizing the window. They would even vanish into the ether and we could not rescue them!

Our initial UI design philosophy was to have dialogs as we knew from the get go there would be a lot of information the user could dig into. We figured that allowing the user to lay this out as they liked would be great!
But here we see the ideal depart from reality. The theory is great, the practicality is vastly different.

We again talked about what different games do thing well, and why they are done well and those games that do them bad and came up with a new solution to the problem: Let the game pop panels in from the left and right of the screen and stack them next to each other.

(1) Minimises mouse movement
(2) Allows for dialogs to be of varying size
(3) Keeps dialogs up high, and to the sides leaving the centre and lower parts of the screen free which is where most gameplay/mouse interactions occur.
(4) Makes dialogs not overlap by shifting them around as required
(5) Allows the user to display what they want without having to waste energy moving stuff around

You may also notice we have slimmed down the UI chrome up the top as well!

Just a little teaser to leave you with:

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