I think I've said this before, but now I move the suggestion into a topic of its own: I think that in general, when adding new frames, I think there is something like a 70 % chance that the new frame is going to be very similar to the last one; same visible characters, same speaking character, same typing speed, same text colour, same background, same evidence on screen etc. But in AAO, you currently have to set all of this manually each time, and despite never having published trials myself, I imagine how much time passes trying to correct all these issues. So why not make it possible to make a new frame with the exact same settings as the last one? In other words, we need a function to duplicate existing frames. I imagine having not one, but two "new frame" buttons in the place where there is now only one. One, the largest one, should work like the current one, but the other --- I imagine it being a smaller button on the far right with a different colour --- should add a new frame which duplicates the following information from the last frame:
- Speaking character
- Typing speed and text colour
- Displayed evidence
- Characters and backgrounds. (without start-up animations though)
I know that in the current system, characters and backgrounds are still visible in the next frames unless they are manually removed, but for instance, in a court session, every time the camera switches to the judge and back again, one has to add the courtroom, defense attorney and prosecutor once again, unlike when just scrolling between them. But if this system is implemented along with the ability to move frames (which I am fairly sure is on the way
), this will all become incredibly fast and easy; all you need to do is go back to a place where the courtroom is visible, duplicate it, and then move it to the desired position. I imagine that this will reduce editing times by a very great factor.
Possibly it should copy not only the data that has been added in the last frame, but all of the background and characters that are visible, including those which have been added in former frames.
An alternative way to implement the same system could be to make "duplicate" button within the frame itself instead of two "next frame" buttons; I figure that some people would find this to be more intuitive. Personally, I like the other system better, though.
EDIT: If you do --- and I very much hope you will --- implement my suggestion, then it would be natural to also use this "duplicate" button every time you just want a new frame with the same character talking; this eliminates all the confusion with backgrounds disappearing after press conversations etc. So in that case, I think that you might as well turn "hide previously shown characters" on by default. If you ever do use the ordinary "new frame" button, it will probably be with the purpose of changing background and characters completely. And this would prevent another very common error: Characters that stay from former frames because "hide previously shown characters" was not checked. Furthermore, while editing, this makes it much easier to get an easy overview of what is currently visible on the screen without having to scroll up and find the last time when a character was added.