User Interface

Discuss the game of Starship Kingdom

User Interface

Postby Andrew Ewanchyna » Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:44 pm

I've been hearing a lot of flack about the user interface. Here's where we can discuss it. I'm willing to put in the hours to get something we can all agree on as long as, well, we can all agree on it.

From what I've heard so far. People are not finding the gameplay to be intuative and have suggested a tutorial be included. I personally think that needing a tutorial to play this game would be a failure in design. The gameplay is too straightforward. So the key is to break things up into little bite size tasks so that new and old players alike can play the game quickly and easily.

I can accept that people may see the interface as bit clunky but that was done to make it explicitly clear on what was happening. Apparently I failed with the STUN crowd. I will NOT develop another confusing interface like STUN ever again!! Having a list of buttons at the bottom (or top) of the screen isn't going to happen. I do not want to add drag and drop to this game as too many people CAN'T HANDLE IT! Right clicks seem hard enough for most people.

I agree that some form of phase progression is needed. I can accept that small text and hyperlink text isn't best for calling up important information.

I'll post my thoughs as I get them. :) Hope you do to.
Andrew Ewanchyna
Site Admin
 
Posts: 837
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2002 4:11 pm

Postby Meatboy Dogfood » Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:19 pm

Got kernal of an idea that uses text and some buttons, but not like the stun array. I need to think on it to present it correctly. The thing I have noticed with me is once I "got the interface it ceased to be a problem, but there has to be a smoother way to go about it.
Meatboy Dogfood
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed May 30, 2001 9:16 pm

Postby Meatboy Dogfood » Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:35 pm

Ok. Think I got it. Have to go to work in a minutes so I will write it up and post it after I get home late this evening.
Meatboy Dogfood
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed May 30, 2001 9:16 pm

Postby Andrew Ewanchyna » Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:06 pm

Thanks, Meatboy. Be sure to check out the latest beta too.
Andrew Ewanchyna
Site Admin
 
Posts: 837
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2002 4:11 pm

Postby Meatboy Dogfood » Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:13 am

Ok here is a suggestion for the interface. My goals were to take the text off the bottom of the game star map and to make them more interactive with the players, plus go along with the theme of a starship kingdom. Also I wanted the players to be able to streamline the whole process once they got a handle on the game.

The bottom of the board instead of text with Hyperlinked words you would have to the left of the bottom screen a counter that would roll over to tell what each phase it was in the turn. [Think of a spinner in a slot machine.] So for phase 1 of the turn it would say. PHASE 1. To the right would be a Square button With the word “Build” Two the right of that would be two columns one would say Credits and would show your current available credits below that would be production level showing your current level of production. To the right of that would be a column telling how many of each ship type was bought. Last to the right side of the box would be a button with the words End phase on it so it would look like this



PHASE BUILD CREDITS 3 SHIPS PURCHASED END
1 SHIPS PRODUCTION LVL 1 X-X-X PHASE

Clicking on the end phase button will cause the phase spinner to roll over to the next phase of the turn allowing the player to skip any phase they choose. But more on that later.

Clicking on the build button opens the build ships screen but along with the ships you can build you get an advisor to help guide you. The advisor could have a portrait for folks to look at or just be text.

Master of factories
Rumbold Crimplebottom

“Your Eminence Your loyal citizens have built starship to lend strength to you noble ambitions. However the Exchequer has informed me that you have X number of credits available to build additional ships if it is your whim, or perhaps you wish to save them for latter tasks? Once you have made your wise choices close the box and end this phase your Eminence.

In the bottom of the advisors box is a square that can be ticked to close the advisor screen or open it up as the player wishes. Instructions with what to do with appear beside the box telling the player to open or close as they see fit. This lets the player choose the level of help or interaction with the inter face they want or need.

Once the player ticks off ships to buy the credits the credits/ ships purchased would reflect in their Proper columns in the pop up and on the button field below. Closing the ship purchase brings a pithy comment from your advisor as it closes. “It shall be as you wish sire.” Push the end phase button and onwards.

The Phase spinners roll over to PHASE 2 and bring a new set of buttons into view

PHASE DEPLOY SHIPS PURCHASED X-X-X TOTAL PLANET END
2 SHIPS SHIPS BUILT X-X-X X-X-X GORNO PHASE


Your deploy screen pops open with the click of the button and like be fore you get an advisor that you can switch off if you don’t need him.

Minister of logistics
Neville Chromnaster

“Hail my lord! Your newly constructed ships await your desires at a hidden rally point in deep space. Where will you send them to show your dominion over the stars my lord? Pleas note that you may parcel these ships out amongst as many planets as you deem wise my lord. When done with your Deployments close this box and end the phase my lord.”

Picking a planet causes it to show up in the Planet column and as you deploy ships your total number of ships and types will reduce to zero. When you close the screen the advisor says. Something like “It shall be carried out as you have willed it, my lord.”

Click end phase to roll the spinner to the next phase.


That is two phase explained hope it was clear enough to give you all an idea of what I was about. The goal is to give the player a guide till they decide they don’t need it and just use the buttons. Or to give them glitz/help/being treated like royalty.

All could be changed about to best suit the games needs. And Ill do the other Phases if you want. Go at it.
Meatboy Dogfood
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed May 30, 2001 9:16 pm

Postby Andrew Ewanchyna » Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:14 am

Thanks Meatboy, Your idea is similar to what I'm thinking about.

Round 1: Deployment Phase [End Phase]
New techs: 1 [...] Credits: 4 Buy ships [...] New ships: 1-0-2 [...]

I'd incorperate the Purchase phase into the deploy phase so there's no need to go back a phase if you decide during deployment that you should have bought more ships. Note that "New ships:" could read "Deploy ships:" too.

The [] represents buttons. [...] calls up a popup. New Techs lists any upgrades you got that turn. Buy ships popup lets you buy new starships, you can buy them at any time (even after deploying all ships) as long as you don't press the [End Phase] button.

New ships would show the # of ships left to deploy, as you buy ships, these values increase until you've deployed them all.

All that's missing is the Deploy to <starname>: [...] section that I'm still thinking about. I'll probably use the rotating arrows (like in beta 3's ai player attack phase) to let you select a star to xfer ships to. Selecting the Deploy to popup would let you choose what ships to xfer. I can also include shortcuts so you wouldn't even have to call up the popup.

The "Deployment Phase" would be hyperlinked to help text explaining that phase.
Andrew Ewanchyna
Site Admin
 
Posts: 837
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2002 4:11 pm

Postby Meatboy Dogfood » Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:28 pm

That sounds much more freindly to the player then the curret interface cant wait to see it.
Meatboy Dogfood
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed May 30, 2001 9:16 pm

Postby alltoy » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:16 pm

Here's a minor issue that really annoyed me in a large map game.

When I click and drag the system map scroll bar down, I tend to drag the mouse icon below the scroll area and into the text area. Well if you let it hover over any of the hot spots (like the continue) button, and release the mouse button, the item in the menu area is executed.

This got me when I was getting ready to purchase my ships. I scrolled down to the bottom of the map, and without realizing it, released the mouse button right over continue button. This caused me to enter the deploy phase before I got a chance to make my purchases.
alltoy
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Postby alltoy » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:18 pm

This is another minor interface issue. The colors (and sizes) of the ships on the star map and the deploy/attack/star info screens do not match the color and sizes of the models in the battle screens.
alltoy
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Postby Blackjet » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:41 am

alltoy wrote:This is another minor interface issue. The colors (and sizes) of the ships on the star map and the deploy/attack/star info screens do not match the color and sizes of the models in the battle screens.

I think he said that they don't yet, didn't he?
Blackjet
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 3:45 pm

Postby Andrew Ewanchyna » Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:20 pm

The icons don't yet match the 3d starships. I wanted feedback, mainly negative before I created the icons again. My guess is that the new look of the starships work.

I'm about to release beta 4, which, I hope you will find the new user interface to be more to your liking. I think it works better but we'll see. Until I get your approval, I won't be making mods to things like the help and icons. Why bother if things need to change more. I'll do it last. Basically, the new interface uses the star map to pick stars (with the rotating arrows) and lets you click/right-click/shift-click to transfer ships from the star map.

I'll look into the scroll bar into the continue button problem. Might be able to do something there. Note the mouse wheel also scrolls the map.
Andrew Ewanchyna
Site Admin
 
Posts: 837
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2002 4:11 pm


Return to Starship Kingdom

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron