Author Topic: Unit Actions replay needs some rethinking/improvements (fun vs usability)  (Read 1872 times)

Offline SRombauts

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Okay, this bogged me for a long time, so here I am with a kind of "in depth" analysis of the few troubles around the "Unit Actions Player".
All this is under Mantis http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=11374 but here I hope to start a discussion with other player, in a constructive manner :)

First of all, I fell in love with how everything is so well crafted and polished in this game, nearly perfect :)
You really did a good job, my first impressions were all good, from the main menu (and the lyrics) to the ingame graphics, tooltips and menu.
Whoa!

But then, this "Unit Actions" felt soooo UN-FUN to me that after a while I even left the game! This was, as far as I'm concerned, a "show stopper". Too sad!
Then, I did look at how Civilization handle this phase, then get back to Skyward Collapse with clearer ideas, and here I am!

Analysis: I think there is too much click required to get the expected result, like pausing and unclicking auto-follow (or space bar) to see effects of Unit Actions.

Many people did not enjoy the default settings of this phase, see the list bellow:
0011370: [UI] Unit Actions needs a short pause when something interesting happens (to read the popup text)
0011372: [UI] Unit Actions "Auto Start Replay" option
0011216: [Alpha-Suggestions]Make unit movements clearer
0011324: Slower speeds (for newer players)
0011107: Highlight active unit during turn playback in some way?
0011197: Battle Report/Overview
0011334: Replay enhancements, and turn summary
0011103: Suggestions for the Replay sequence at the start of turn
0011337: Turn replay: Not interested in Chapmen
0011235: Can't scroll map in playback mode
0011373: [UI] Unit Actions: enable scrolling during pause while "Auto Follow"
0011187: Unselecting "Skip Civilian" doesn't work for the current turn
0011325: Unit action replay suggestion - go back and view again
0011243: "Animation" Suggestions

Ideas of Solutions:
1) 0011370: add a pause at the end of a Unit Action, if anything interesting happens (like damage dealt/taken, and 0011211: Healthbars on units)
2) 0011324: add a slower 0.5x speed multiplier (or a slower base speed) for newbies
3) 0011372: add a "Auto start replay" option, the default when "Play All" selectted
4) 0011373: [UI] Unit Actions: enable scrolling during pause while "Auto Follow"
5) rethink the UI, no need for a full Pay/Pause double button (one is enough)
6) rethink the default settings for newbies (and perhaps reduce the number of options when this settle)

Hopefully, this will help improve this game to the point it will be fun for anybody :)

Cheers, and keep on the good job!

Offline Mick

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I commented on your ticket in more detail, and I like the suggestions, but I think the #1 thing I want is to simply have the screen NOT jump to the next unit immediately after the unit has moved, but only jump right when I hit the play button.

Then I can set the speed faster when I have more units to go through, but I can have total control over the "linger" time between each units action.

Offline SRombauts

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I commented on your ticket in more detail, and I like the suggestions, but I think the #1 thing I want is to simply have the screen NOT jump to the next unit immediately after the unit has moved, but only jump right when I hit the play button.
Yes, I fully support this, so this way:
- when you select "Play All", you will get a small timed paused at the *end* of the last action, (not before the next one.
- when you do not select "Play All", you will get a real pause (and with http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=11373: enable scrolling during pause while "Auto Follow" you will be able to look around freely).

Offline Pepisolo

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Nice post. I especially like the way you've organized everything, with related Mantis reports etc. Good job.

Offline SRombauts

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Nice post. I especially like the way you've organized everything, with related Mantis reports etc. Good job.
Thanks, this took me more than an hour!

Offline SRombauts

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Now x4000 is asking for "Thoughts of others?" on one of those issues:
http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=11372: [UI] Unit Actions "Auto Start Replay" option

Offline Mick

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Hmm, I'm a bit ambivalent about that particular feature. I might use it if it's available, but I wouldn't really miss it if it wasn't.

I think if it is implemented, it should be a toggle under the settings and NOT something that appears under the play buttons. I think there are too many toggles there already.

Offline SRombauts

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I think there are too many toggles there already.
Yes, exactly!
That is why I propose that this new feature"could be bind to the "Play All" "option", thus activated when it is selected.

I think it should be a toggle under the settings and NOT something that appears under the play buttons.
That is the more classic way of handling this kind of issue, but it certainly can become a default (not to mention Civ5 for instance;)

Offline Pepisolo

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Quote
I think if it is implemented, it should be a toggle under the settings and NOT something that appears under the play buttons. I think there are too many toggles there already.

Personally, I think it is an important enough feature to warrant space on the main playback menu. I would have this switched on for 90% of the time, but then I'd still like to break out of it occasionally to tweak my settings, possibly by hitting space bar during a movement phase. If the option was relegated to the main settings it wouldn't be as easy to break out of and then switch back on again. I would be very disappointed if this feature wasn't implemented, in at least some form, though.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 11:05:40 AM by Pepisolo »