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RE: Interface feedback - 12/22/2007 12:39:48 AM   
Thresh

 

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From: KCMO
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Zaquex,

I am not sure if your comment was directed at me, but I'll respond anyways.

I have not said the interface is perfect, IMO it does need some improvements.  That said, I found the issue Carnifex seems to be having the most trouble with to be triavial at best, and a nuisance at worst.  Thats just my opinion, and to be frank, my overall enjoyment of the game does not depend on those two screens being similar.

This game was designed, IMO, to appeal to the majority of people out there who might be interested in playing it.  Is it going to appeal to everybody?  No.  Would I like some things to be different?  Sure.  Do I hope those things get changed?  Yes.  Am I going to stop playing if they aren't addressed?  Seriosuly, I have better things to worry about in a game if a certain table is in descending as opposed to ascending order of information, and the fact of the matter is, it takes less time to read those screens and decide what to do as opposed to typing up the complaint about them.
I submit that if spending three seconds on what the screen says before clicking the button you want to click is a game killer for you, then it's not the games problem.  Besides, if you make a mistake, its just as easy to load the last phase autosave and rectify it.

Todd





(in reply to zaquex)
Post #: 31
RE: Interface feedback - 12/22/2007 12:57:42 AM   
MartNick


Posts: 270
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From: Napier, NZ
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A couple of points maybe to take into consideration.

This game is a computer adaptation of a 'boardgame', which dictates how the game works and not necessarily how we would like it to work. And that is what people who have played the boardgame for decades will expect to see.

The length of time the current version of the game has been in development. Some people have been on these boards for years waiting for the game to be released.

Most if not all the programming has been done by one man. And what a great job he has done so far, bearing in mind that the nature of the game (EiA) relies on human input and not necessarily AI.

Yes there are lots of things that can be made better, but if we keep the criticism constructive, then surely EiA will become the game everybody wants. But it fundamentaly still has to be EiA, and not just another strategic Napoleonic computer game that falls by the wayside.

I for one am looking forward to playing this game for a few years yet and will be patient enough to see how it develops, and throw in a few (hopefully) helpful contributions now and then.


(in reply to Grapeshot Bob)
Post #: 32
RE: Interface feedback - 12/22/2007 1:35:00 AM   
zaquex


Posts: 368
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From: Vastervik, Sweden
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Thresh

Zaquex,

I am not sure if your comment was directed at me, but I'll respond anyways.

I have not said the interface is perfect, IMO it does need some improvements.  That said, I found the issue Carnifex seems to be having the most trouble with to be triavial at best, and a nuisance at worst.  Thats just my opinion, and to be frank, my overall enjoyment of the game does not depend on those two screens being similar.

This game was designed, IMO, to appeal to the majority of people out there who might be interested in playing it.  Is it going to appeal to everybody?  No.  Would I like some things to be different?  Sure.  Do I hope those things get changed?  Yes.  Am I going to stop playing if they aren't addressed?  Seriosuly, I have better things to worry about in a game if a certain table is in descending as opposed to ascending order of information, and the fact of the matter is, it takes less time to read those screens and decide what to do as opposed to typing up the complaint about them.
I submit that if spending three seconds on what the screen says before clicking the button you want to click is a game killer for you, then it's not the games problem.  Besides, if you make a mistake, its just as easy to load the last phase autosave and rectify it.

Todd



It was actually not adressed to you, and its not game breaking for me how the buttons are labeled and I have all respect for Marshall and his team for getting this project this far.

I do however want to see this game be a success and be continually developed and supported and to this the game interface is crucial.

GSB says it pretty well in his post, and hacking on people who wants to take there time to help is counterproductive.


(in reply to Thresh)
Post #: 33
RE: Interface feedback - 12/22/2007 2:03:43 AM   
Oleg Mastruko


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Murat, in my humble opinion you're - in your zeal - doing this game a disservice, and not only in this thread. You seem to refute pretty simple and obvious comments/suggestions because you think game should be "hard" (which, for you, means also counter-intuitive, having the bad UI by design and many other things).

IMO carnifex is 100% right - UI boxes should be designed and worded so that Yes always means "advance, proceed" and No means "cancel and go back". Bombarding the user with sequantial boxes where Yes means "forward" then "back" then "forward" again is very bad game design.

And I also agree with whoever said that bad UI **IS** the killer issue with wargames like this. Fixed, and low resolution is also a killer issue I might add (and I expect you to ridicule me for not realising how "hard" this game is meant to be).

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Post #: 34
RE: Interface feedback - 12/22/2007 2:11:05 AM   
zaquex


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Thank you Oleg i completly endorse your post

(in reply to Oleg Mastruko)
Post #: 35
RE: Interface feedback - 12/22/2007 6:38:28 AM   
Monadman


Posts: 2085
Joined: 12/6/2005
From: New Hampshire
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Grapeshot Bob

Believe me, if people volunteer that there is something confusing about a game interface there will be at least 10 others who will say nothing. The guys who say nothing will likely remember that Matrix games are hard to understand. If they do, they might just look someplace else for their next purchase.



And some place else will not likely be much different (eyes of the beholder). Every game has an interface learning curve, mostly because we are dealing with independent programmers in a non-standard industry (read: hobby) and that will never change. The argument seems to be with the tolerance level that some players have over others. Veterans of EiA have more tolerance because they believe that the end result (flawed or not) is to follow the rules as written. Those that are new to the game want conformity to logic, not so much to the rules as a priority, while learning the game.

For the record (and the only reason I have responded), the first priority was to satisfying the needs of those EiA veterans that have waited too long for this system to be ported and unfortunately, with all the change ups that this project endured, there were some “in your face” items (read: interface) that were deemed low priority and thus neglected before release.

Apologies to none, best to all . . . enjoy!

Richard


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Post #: 36
RE: Interface feedback - 12/22/2007 8:49:54 AM   
Mynok


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As a former boardgamer, I've found nothing egregiously problematic in the interface. I just wish I could play two nations against the AI at the same time without running into non-existent password errors. Frustrating.

(in reply to Monadman)
Post #: 37
RE: Interface feedback - 12/22/2007 2:28:31 PM   
Monadman


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From: New Hampshire
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok


As a former boardgamer, I've found nothing egregiously problematic in the interface. I just wish I could play two nations against the AI at the same time without running into non-existent password errors. Frustrating.



Mynok,

Disable password protection in the options menu. If that does not solve the problem in your current game, it will for any new games you start.

Richard


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Post #: 38
RE: Interface feedback - 12/22/2007 3:37:48 PM   
pzgndr

 

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Is the area south of Vienna supposed to be called Gratz, rather than Graz?  Maybe it's a Napoleonic spelling.

For the Victory Points chart, maybe these percentage bars could be color-coded for each major power?  Green for being ahead, yellow be being on track, and red for being behind.  Just showing "17%" doesn't help much without calculating where in the game you are, which the computer already knows.  So if I'm at 17% victory at the 16% mark then that could be green, but if I'm at 17% at the 18% mark then that could be red. 

(in reply to Monadman)
Post #: 39
RE: Interface feedback - 12/22/2007 9:51:58 PM   
Soapy Frog

 

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I absolutely love EiA, and I intend to play the heck out of the PC version... and I think the interface is a disaster.

Feedback is very poor. Methods of control are highly inconsistent. Dialog boxes are inconsistent as previously mentioned. The fonts are miserable and again inconsistent. The map is hard to "read" (e.g. you cannot see garrison strengths at a glance, garrison, corp, and depot counters are not differentiated by size as they were, VERY WISELY, in the board game, and so on). Almost no useful right click functionality. No drag and drop. No resizable windows. No standard dialog box/window controls. And so on and so on and so on...

I ave 7 experienced EiA players tackling a PBEM agme and we are all banging our heads hard against the interface. Help us play your game that we have officially invested in!!

Edit: Regarding the victory points screen and the polictiual status display: horrible. Just use numbers, seriously. The diplomacy and surrender screens? Extremely painful to use... Ok I won't start again I will never stop.

< Message edited by Soapy Frog -- 12/22/2007 9:53:49 PM >

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 40
RE: Interface feedback - 12/23/2007 6:37:33 AM   
yammahoper@yahoo.com

 

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After a few games, and having learned the interface, it is not as bad as I first thought.

But it could be improved.  The Land Battles phase could start with a window listing the battles to be fought, click on the one you wish to fight first, and then the screen appearing when the battle ends.  The death of a general is announced, well why not the end of wars and the conditions they ended under?  Or a place were that info can be examined (beyond info about my own nation)?  Likewise, I should be able to see how much $ a nation has left, and what his buys were.  I nice botton labeled "Major Power National sheets" listing all corps and fleets, with pertinent data I should be able to know, like fleets, their strength and location, etc.

Right now if I click on a nation I get a box with some info that is useful, but the display could be better even if the resolution stays the same.  That's pretty much my point; improve the asthetics and effiency of data presentation.  Now, everything I NEED to play is there, but there is a real learning curve and i think better data presentation would be a big boost.

Some good news; thanks for not over doing the music.  I like a quiet game.

yamma

_____________________________

...nothing is more chaotic than a battle won...

(in reply to Soapy Frog)
Post #: 41
RE: Interface feedback - 12/23/2007 3:02:32 PM   
BoerWar


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From: Arlington, VA
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I just want to throw out my thoughts for a couple of possible future interface mods. Certainly not required for the first patch (which is all I want for Christmas), but I’ll toss them out while their on my mind.

1. Sequence of play display: It would be nice if there was an easy way to see who is coming up in the sequence of upcoming phases without having to constantly go the manual. In addition, the manual won’t show where France (land) and Britain (naval) have selected to take their turn. Either a button you could select to show this data or if it were displayed when you scroll over the turn display would be beneficial in my opinion.
2. VP Status page: The display shows a percentage of VPs gained but not the actual totals. I’m aware it is available by selecting each country individually, but if I’m going to take the time to go to this screen it would be nice if I could get the actual total number of points possessed by each country displayed in one spot. A scroll over pop-up or a button that allowed the user to toggle between percentage and total might be nice.

(in reply to Thresh)
Post #: 42
RE: Interface feedback - 12/23/2007 7:15:15 PM   
Grapeshot Bob


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Some things I'd really like to see:

1. When you click on a minor ally a popup screen tells you a summary of that country. It tells you what reinforcements are coming and some information about thier political and diplomatic situation. In order to see the same type of information for the country I'm playing I have to click on a relatively tiny icon in the upper left corner. Could we make the system work the same for both cases? A click on the map is much quicker and easier.

2. About the combat chits. I'm not exactly clear how these work. The provided chart seems like encrypted top secret code. It is a list of numbers with no key that I know of. Could someone either post (or revise the manual) to show the relative advantages and disadvantages of each choice? Which attacks are best for each defence and visa versa? Which tactics work best in different types of terrain? Which tactics work best with infantry, cavalry, militia or in cities? Do some leaders use some tactics better than others? Are some countries better at some tactics than others? I'm not asking to see the enemy choice before I pick mine. I just want a rough idea how the system works.

3. When I want to build an artillery corps I have a few problems. I always make artillery factors in my economic phase but I always forget to place the artillery corps because I keep forgetting what reinforcements are coming up. Then I lose them. I know this is my fault and I should be more careful but I assume that in a face to face game this information would be more apparent. Could the game advise me of my upcoming reinforcements a turn ahead?

4. I'd really like a splash screen at the start of my diplomatic phase that tells me about who has changed or accepted alliances with me. I would think this would be a major thing in a face to face game and it would be immediately apparent to a player (maybe all players?) when an alliance is accepted, offered or broken.

5. There are times when the game tells me that I need to place depots or forage to keep units in supply or that supply costs may be excessive. A unit will get a yellow box, which makes it easy to forage. The case of "supply costs may be excessive" is confusing to me. It likely has something to do with my economy and the money in my treasury but in some turns I have $50 or more, yet the game still gives me this warning. Is $50 in the treasury not typically enough? Are there some special circumstances or rules that would make this more clear? When I get this warning I click on every corps and they are all "normal supply" or "foraging".

6. In some combats I get a system error that the game can't access certain files or tables (I'll forward the exact errors if needed by the dev group). When I clear the error messages, the combat resolves. I assume it resolves normally. Is this the case? I'm using the Vista version of the game by the way.

7. When I click on some countries and try to influence them the information window in the bottom left shows a bunch of random figures. I assume someone is working on this?

8. What disadvantages do corps without assigned leaders have?

9. What do I need to do to get reinforcements during a battle? This button always seems to tell me no reinforcements are availavle.,


Sorry for being so dense but I'd really appreciate some posted help on topics 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9.

Thanks in advance,


GSB

< Message edited by Grapeshot Bob -- 12/23/2007 7:28:13 PM >

(in reply to BoerWar)
Post #: 43
RE: Interface feedback - 12/24/2007 12:29:43 AM   
yammahoper@yahoo.com

 

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2)  The attack chart is simple.  The numbers mean Casualty and Moral levels on the attack table.  So a 4-1 attack is resolved by cross indexing the 4th casualty colum (at the top of the table) with the 1st moral column (on the left side of the table).  The chits are cross indexed in the same manner, assualt against defender, providing the  three sets of numbers that are applied to the attack table to resolve a combat.  With this information you can easily determine which attacks and defenses are best against what, though national mods do apply to some attacks and dense, in addition to swamps, forest, mountains, etc.

Page 70 in the rule book provides al this info under "Combat Tables". 

3)  The Current Nation Statistics box is what you want.  It shows all reinforcements that are due and soon to arrive (you can click through the upcoming months to see what is coming, while it shows you what is due this month and nezt by default).  I keep that box open for most of the game.

4) I SO agree.

5) this warning proves to be relative the cash you have versus how much you intend to spend.  In the board game, going bankrupt cost pp, but apparently not in the computer version.  As Turkey, I recieved this warning all the time, as GB, never.

8) Corps without leader use their defaul Strategic/Tactical ratings.  For Fr and GB, this is 2-2 (better than some generals, lol).  For all other nations, it 1-1.  See page 105 of the manuel for how ratings are reduced for leaders and corps and the table that shows how they effect combat (in short, strategic ratings are compared providing malus for both sides).

9) You need to have adjacent corps that will not be involved in another battle that turn.  A roll is made against the strategic rating of the corp/commander and if successful, they arrive after the first round and help out, or after the second.  Page 76 of the manuel.

Can't help ya on six.  It happens to me too.

yamma

_____________________________

...nothing is more chaotic than a battle won...

(in reply to Grapeshot Bob)
Post #: 44
RE: Interface feedback - 12/24/2007 2:51:28 AM   
Soapy Frog

 

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I must say its very annoying that I cannot see a summary screen of how much I am spending in supply for the turn and how much each corp is paying. The warning that its going to be expensive is nice, but HOW expensive?

Either it exists and I am too stupid to find it or there is no way to tell. I'd prefer if it was the first becuase I can barely conceive of a designer who left out this important piece of information.

(in reply to yammahoper@yahoo.com)
Post #: 45
RE: Interface feedback - 12/24/2007 4:41:55 AM   
Thresh

 

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From: KCMO
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Its part of the information found on the bar at the lower left of the screen. Highlighting a corps will tell you how much it;s paying for supply and where it's coming from.

The warning screen always comes up when you're spending a decent amount on supply, no matter how much you've had in the bank. I've had it come up when I spend $28 and I have $60 in the bank, and when I am spending $5 and have $8 in the bank.

Todd

(in reply to Soapy Frog)
Post #: 46
RE: Interface feedback - 12/24/2007 11:18:15 AM   
Naomi

 

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From: Osaka
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Ah, you guys are still talking under this thread. Heh.

By the way, my main concern is more about when the patch will come out (or is it already there that I don't know?) to fix the diplomacy thinking freeze. I have a couple of games right in this type of stalemate.

Merry X'mas

(in reply to Thresh)
Post #: 47
RE: Interface feedback - 12/24/2007 2:09:13 PM   
DodgyDave

 

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the problem with this game is, they removed the nice boardgame turn sheets and status card and i must say, i am not impressed with the way you need to find info now, as it is now, its way to messy and you quickly loss overview. i have my fingers crossed to get these items into the game :)

< Message edited by DodgyDave -- 12/24/2007 2:10:16 PM >

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Post #: 48
RE: Interface feedback - 12/24/2007 6:05:45 PM   
Soapy Frog

 

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Yeah one would think the logical way to do it would be to have literal representations of the board game charts, openable in windows. Such a thing would have been childishly easy.

And as for corp supply, I know you can look at an individual corp and see how much it is paying. But you cannot have an overview of all your corps and supply costs, so that when that message pops up (that your supply may be very expensive) you actually have some idea of what it all means.

(in reply to DodgyDave)
Post #: 49
RE: Interface feedback - 12/24/2007 6:32:28 PM   
yammahoper@yahoo.com

 

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The interface is learnable, but it could be improved. I am an experienced EiA player and have made several accidental clicks, particularly as the night wears on.

Very fun game. Improved interface can only help.

yamma

_____________________________

...nothing is more chaotic than a battle won...

(in reply to Grapeshot Bob)
Post #: 50
RE: Interface feedback - 12/24/2007 7:26:55 PM   
Thresh

 

Posts: 393
Joined: 12/25/2006
From: KCMO
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quote:

And as for corp supply, I know you can look at an individual corp and see how much it is paying. But you cannot have an overview of all your corps and supply costs, so that when that message pops up (that your supply may be very expensive) you actually have some idea of what it all means.


If you right click anywhere in your home nation during the land phase it tells you your current supply cost...the unit report overview will also tell you which corps are out of supply, and those units that are out of supply should be highlighted, but the highlight can be hard to make out in some areas....

Todd

< Message edited by Thresh -- 12/24/2007 7:34:50 PM >

(in reply to Soapy Frog)
Post #: 51
RE: Interface feedback - 12/24/2007 7:31:18 PM   
Romulus68

 

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From: West Virginia, USA
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Can we make the bottom part of the interface like Windows-Hide.   When you put the cursur down low it pops up and when you move the cursur off it disappears.  That is my biggest hic-up......hard to get a good strategic view of whats happening and i end up getting Tunnel vision and miss stuff around me.

(in reply to Thresh)
Post #: 52
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