An early development screenshot

Here’s what the GUI looks like right now:


I’m trying to stick fairly close to the old layout. I’ve moved a few things around, and I’m thinking of doing something a bit different with those upper buttons (probably involving a toolbar) because there are better ways to do it now, but mostly, it’s going to look like the TableMaster you remember.

Well, the TableMaster for Windows. Sadly, TM/DOS is no more, not least because real DOS is no more. Personally, I always preferred that; I did my table development with that interface.

A story from the old days: back when I first sold TableMaster, at the very first convention I had it at* I had built this pretty graphicsoid-text UI for it. I don’t even have a screenshot of it anymore, but I remember that it was quite pretty. And, well, kind of annoying to use, but pretty. That wasn’t what I used for myself, though; I had a really ugly one, just a screen full of table names and a few options, that worked well for me. So there I am, and I’m working on some table during a slow time, and a user asks me “how come you’re selling the crappy UI and keeping the good one?” I learned something back then: pretty looks good for the reviewers, but functional looks best to the users. And that’s who it’s all for, after all. So that “ugly” UI was the front end for TM/DOS, and every user interface I’ve built since then is designed to be functional before pretty. It’s all about using it, not admiring it.

But I still like the old TM/DOS interface better.


*I signed up so late for that convention, the dealers’ room was full and they put my table out in the hall next to a LARP group that had a 30-second video on endless loop; to this day I hate the background music from it.