Developer diary: plans and progress reports.

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Inspector Gadget’s facelift Friday 30th July 2010

In this week’s episode, the Inspector panel gets some more sweet hot lovin’. Download the new build here, and read more below.

Meet the Mouse panel

Now that Boxer stores per-user-per-gamebox settings, we can have some much-needed tweaks for mouse behaviour:

This latter setting is vital for games where moving the mouse also moves the game view: Boxer’s regular behaviour can be frustrating as hell, if the game goes spinning or scrolling off into oblivion while you reach for a menu.

I’ve been humming and hawing for some time over how to present the option. It’s clear that it’s necessary, but it may be worth going further and making it the default; or making it Boxer-wide instead of per-gamebox, like rendering settings; or making it per-gamebox instead of per-user, like CPU settings. Time will tell where it should best live.

For the moment though, I feel that Boxer’s regular mouse behaviour does a good job for most games; and I find I only want to change it for one or two that misbehave. So for me, it strikes the best balance to have it as a per-user-per-gamebox option that’s disabled by default.

Now meet the (all grown-up) Drives panel

I’ve been primping and preening it to within an inch of its life. Besides aesthetic improvements, I’ve put in buttons to add, eject and manipulate drives, making the panel’s functionality more obvious and accessible.

The biggest addition though is the ability to import drives into the gamebox straight from the Drives panel. This copies an entire volume or disc image into the gamebox, so it comes along for the ride and gets mounted whenever you play the game.

Of course, this is just like Boxer 0.8x used to do when installing games, and will be a key feature of Boxer 1.0’s upcoming game installer too. It’s not often that you’ll need to use it outside of game installation; but I want to ensure that anything you can do during installation, you can do afterwards too.

What next?

This will hopefully be the last alpha build before Boxer 1.0 goes beta. That will be a Boxer feature-complete and mere weeks away from a final release. After one-and-a-half years, the time is nigh.

There’s two core features left to (re)implement before then: game installation, and the DOS Games folder. I’ll be working furiously through August to get these ready, and I’m very excited for what we’ll have to play with at the end of it.

Design by 40watt.