Battletech Live

Online, Turn-Based Battletech – Development Logs

Instant Messenger shaping up.

I’ve been working on the Instant Messaging system over the last couple days, when I’ve had time and it’s starting to come along.  I wanted to put the member avatar on the dataGrid lines but the space it takes up is a little too impractical.  At the same time, I don’t want to have a lot of information displayed on any given lines or to clutter it up with a bunch of buttons.  I then thought of toolTips and was soon amazed at how difficult it is to find free information on how to build custom toolTips or to embed images within them.  When it finally came down to it, I decided to cheat.  I created a small panel to contact the information I want and set it up to activate with the mouse rolling over a given line. The dataGrid is set in such a way that it automatically grows by 18 pixes with each new member.  When the list finally fills the panel, a scrollbar is automatically added to the right-hand side and the dataGrid narrows by 15 pixels to accomodate the scrollbar.  Hovering over the left-most column, brings up text to indicate what the rank is, rolling over the name shows something similar to the image below, listing the username, real name and join date.  The plus symbol is to add the member as a friend and the color indicator states whether the member is online, away, busy offline, etc.  Three more icons will be added to the left of the plus symbol, one to initiate a standard chat session, one to invite to a group chat and one to send email.  Even though these buttons will be present, not all of them will be active at all times.  For instance, if a member is offline, you can’t invite them to a chat session, but you can send them email.

Moving over to the online tab, anyone who is offline will be excluded from the list, the friends tab will show only those who have accepted a friend invitation and the plus symbol will be replaced with a minus in the event you want to kick one out.  The Merc Unit tab will list only those players with whom you share an affiliation.

UPDATE:  I have a new example posted.  The rough-looking plus symbol is gone.  I example below should give some indication as to what is possible on a per-user basis.  I’m the only one logged in at the moment so there is no one available to chat with, although I can send offline mail and I can send friend requests.  However, those two options are disabled on my line because I can’t send myself email or make myself a friend. That would just be strange.

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February 5, 2009 - Posted by | Project Development

1 Comment »

  1. The buttons, from left to right, Send Mail, One-on-One Chat, Invite to Group Chat and Add to Friends List. So far, the lights to the right will be green if the user is online, last contact was less than 5 minutes ago and yellow for idle if greater than 5 but less than 10, else red for offline. Others will be manual settings of orange for away, blue for busy and white for private. Others may be integrated if necessary. I’ll likely add one more column to indicate what the user is doing at the moment, whether it’s watching videos, working on characters, performing upkeep or participating in a battle.

    Comment by Charles Shoults | February 5, 2009


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