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RE: saddened by poor interface

 
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RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 8:34:31 PM   
Chaplain

 

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Hey ZOOMIE, give us a game that you developed. We're waiting.

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 91
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 8:36:11 PM   
Arnir


Posts: 482
Joined: 10/12/2002
From: Alberta. In Texas.
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I was going to try to get the two week vacation, but something in the back of my mind said that it wasn't an all-expense paid 2 week vacation. That dampened it for me.

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Post #: 92
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 8:37:45 PM   
Marc von Martial


Posts: 10865
Joined: 1/4/2001
From: Bonn, Germany
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quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

No, like most everyone else here, I have a life outside of WitP, that prevents me committing 200+ pages of a game manual to memory. I imagine, a month into this game, what I don't know VASTLY outweighs what I do know about this game. And I expect that may be the case for long time to come, as well. I appreciate now knowing how to filter my map display, but regardless, take your smartassed RTFM comments and stick them in a warm dark place....


Can you please explain me how an actuall answer to a question by you that obviously also answers it can be "smartassed" ?

_____________________________

Marc von Martial

(in reply to ZOOMIE1980)
Post #: 93
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 8:38:55 PM   
pad152

 

Posts: 2829
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One way to simplify the interface is to remove half the features and stop adding new ones.

One thing to remember is about half of the features have been added after the inital design, and the interface is likly to funkier as more and more features are added, but you'll get use to it after the first 300 or 400 turns!

(in reply to carnifex)
Post #: 94
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 8:40:00 PM   
52nd Lowland


Posts: 244
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It is easy to sit and bemoan the interface or OOB/map things etc but we can only speculate at the length of time and man hours that has been put into WitP.Is the game perfect ? No of course not but IMHO is the best by far to cover the Pacific theatre .
Can improvements be made ? Of course.This is the only game i have seen where us users have participated so much in terms of information (ie OOB etc) and im sure the Matrix guys will take on as much as possible.

< Message edited by 52nd Lowland -- 7/26/2004 7:16:43 PM >

(in reply to Chaplain)
Post #: 95
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 8:44:36 PM   
ZOOMIE1980

 

Posts: 1284
Joined: 4/9/2004
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980
Get life, Fraggo, you desparately NEED one.


you are welcome to discuss What you think can be improved or what you think that sucks. But you´r not welcome to insult people here.

Consider this an official warning. More insults and you´ll find yourself on a 2 week vacation.


Explain where I'm insulting anything or anyone? Letting you and your fellow Matrix staffers know that some of us think some of the development techniques you guys seem to use are appear to be less than optimum in this day and age should not be construed as insulting. If it is, well, then that's a problem in and of itself.

If, for instance you take these as insults:

1) Failure to incorprate modern object-orient design and data management techniques is a problem

2) Failure to use tried and true third-party toolkits is short-sighted

3) Continuing to allow obsolete development techiniques to be used because certain key personnel have failed to stay current is a problem

4) Reluctance to try new, modern paradigms in game design is self-defeating...


If comments like those are "insulting", well then you have bigger internal problems at Matrix than I realized.


I realize that WitP is not going fundementally change at all. Not the way the AI does things, not the basic way it handles its data, not its basic UI. Posters here critical of these things are simply offering comments that developers and their task-masters, might think about before the next big effort launches.

And as for my response to Frag, lets just say a smart-assed RTFM comment WILL be responded to IN KIND, every time. If you and your staff feel insulted by game criticisms then your staff or major support folks like him, need to be reminded that game players are equally insulted by their their condensending attitudes in response to those criticisms. Most of you guys are highly professional and face criticsm very well, but guys like the Frag character, are by nature, insulting in the way they respond to people. And it brings out the worst in some....unfortunately, like me.

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 96
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 8:51:35 PM   
ZOOMIE1980

 

Posts: 1284
Joined: 4/9/2004
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

No, like most everyone else here, I have a life outside of WitP, that prevents me committing 200+ pages of a game manual to memory. I imagine, a month into this game, what I don't know VASTLY outweighs what I do know about this game. And I expect that may be the case for long time to come, as well. I appreciate now knowing how to filter my map display, but regardless, take your smartassed RTFM comments and stick them in a warm dark place....


Can you please explain me how an actuall answer to a question by you that obviously also answers it can be "smartassed" ?



Easy. I don't expect to EVER be told, directly, by support staff, to RTFM. I would FIRE any of my support technicians here if I EVER got even a remote INKLING they were talking to a customer like that. There is a way you inform poeple about where in the manual a certain item is without slapping them in the face with a ignorant RTFM comment. It's not appreciated and I, for one, will not tolerate being talked to like the four year child.

I find it hard to believe you cannot tell that that is poor customer service and where someone can be highly offended by RTFM like comments. I KNOW how stupid I am concerning this game, I don't need thin-skinned beta-tester to slap me in the face with it.

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 97
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 8:51:53 PM   
Mogami


Posts: 12609
Joined: 8/23/2000
From: You can't get here from there
Status: offline
Hi. I'm not good at Windows I admit it. I don't know any of those "hot key" short cuts. The games I liked were always DOS based so I did not even install windows on my computers before the game designers started making me use it. (I think I changed for Civ I but I always still played the DOS games.) As Windows "improved" I disliked it more and more. I use Win 98 because I can run my DOS programs.

War gamers grow used to certain systems. SPI produced series of board games based on a system. Other systems were developed by other designers but I did not like them because they confused me. GG games have always been easy to play out of the box if you had played one before.

Now I am not saying progress is bad and we should be reluctant or afraid to learn new things but if I buy something because I liked the previous work and I find something totally new I might be upset as well. I don't go to hear Van Claiburne and then get upset because he is still playing Tchaikovsky.


I hated the Panzer General series but I can't/won't say it was because of the interface but then I didn't think of it at the time so prehaps that was part of it. (I didn't know the tricks) But I think it was because I didn't like the system over all. (I thought it was rather hokey with eye candy replacing combat systems (or everything I was used to already from 30 years of wargaming) It still holds the record for shortest time on my hard drive (except for High Heat baseball that I could never get to run)


What I am saying is to part of the crowd WITP interface is perfectly natural and undrstood. Some of us expected it. Other systems are possible and no one can say any particular method cannot be improved or one more efficent found. However there is no system that is as widely accepted and known among the long time wargamer. The game was designed by long time wargamers. The question is really then "Who should have to adapt?" Some portion of the buyers are going to have to change and accept any system.
The designer is well known. I'd expect a new designer to use newer systems. But I recall both Schlitz and Coca Cola updating their products. One recovered by going back to the old method. The other went from number 1 in the world to out of bussiness. The customer is always correct but what customer does a producer listen to?

If you know why Grognards are called Grognards then from a designers point of view the answer is easy.

(On my box it says "Level of complexity: Grognard")

WITP was not a pig in the poke. Everyone knew for 2 years it was a game being designed by Grognards for grognards to be sad that the end product is exactly what it claims to be is some what baffling.

< Message edited by Mogami -- 7/26/2004 1:59:08 PM >


_____________________________






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Post #: 98
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 8:54:42 PM   
Marc von Martial


Posts: 10865
Joined: 1/4/2001
From: Bonn, Germany
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980
Get life, Fraggo, you desparately NEED one.


you are welcome to discuss What you think can be improved or what you think that sucks. But you´r not welcome to insult people here.

Consider this an official warning. More insults and you´ll find yourself on a 2 week vacation.


Explain where I'm insulting anything or anyone? Letting you and your fellow Matrix staffers know that some of us think some of the development techniques you guys seem to use are appear to be less than optimum in this day and age should not be construed as insulting. If it is, well, then that's a problem in and of itself.

If, for instance you take these as insults:

1) Failure to incorprate modern object-orient design and data management techniques is a problem

2) Failure to use tried and true third-party toolkits is short-sighted

3) Continuing to allow obsolete development techiniques to be used because certain key personnel have failed to stay current is a problem

4) Reluctance to try new, modern paradigms in game design is self-defeating...


If comments like those are "insulting", well then you have bigger internal problems at Matrix than I realized.


I realize that WitP is not going fundementally change at all. Not the way the AI does things, not the basic way it handles its data, not its basic UI. Posters here critical of these things are simply offering comments that developers and their task-masters, might think about before the next big effort launches.

And as for my response to Frag, lets just say a smart-assed RTFM comment WILL be responded to IN KIND, every time. If you and your staff feel insulted by game criticisms then your staff or major support folks like him, need to be reminded that game players are equally insulted by their their condensending attitudes in response to those criticisms. Most of you guys are highly professional and face criticsm very well, but guys like the Frag character, are by nature, insulting in the way they respond to people. And it brings out the worst in some....unfortunately, like me.


Are you able to comprehend my post? I sayed you´re welcome to discuss what you think can be made better. I sayed you´re not welcome to insult people. Telling somebody to "get a life" is an insult IMHO. Therefore points 1 through 4 are pointless.

We allways have and will appreciate comments and discussions and we often, in fact very often have listened to our fans and customers and incoporated suggestions they made.

quote:


And as for my response to Frag, lets just say a smart-assed RTFM comment WILL be responded to IN KIND, every time. If you and your staff feel insulted by game criticisms then your staff or major support folks like him, need to be reminded that game players are equally insulted by their their condensending attitudes in response to those criticisms. Most of you guys are highly professional and face criticsm very well, but guys like the Frag character, are by nature, insulting in the way they respond to people. And it brings out the worst in some....unfortunately, like me.


Well I guess you have a "personal" problem then with Frag. Frag is and allways has been one of the most helpfull people on this board. He´s not "staff", he´s a volunteer betatester that commited more then he needed to this game and even more for jumping in here and doing community support. If it would be possible then I would suggest him for the CMOH.

"RTFM". If he simply would have sayed "RTFM" then yes, I would say you´re right. But he did not.

< Message edited by Marc Schwanebeck -- 7/27/2004 1:58:09 AM >


_____________________________

Marc von Martial

(in reply to ZOOMIE1980)
Post #: 99
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:01:10 PM   
Marc von Martial


Posts: 10865
Joined: 1/4/2001
From: Bonn, Germany
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

No, like most everyone else here, I have a life outside of WitP, that prevents me committing 200+ pages of a game manual to memory. I imagine, a month into this game, what I don't know VASTLY outweighs what I do know about this game. And I expect that may be the case for long time to come, as well. I appreciate now knowing how to filter my map display, but regardless, take your smartassed RTFM comments and stick them in a warm dark place....


Can you please explain me how an actuall answer to a question by you that obviously also answers it can be "smartassed" ?



Easy. I don't expect to EVER be told, directly, by support staff, to RTFM. I would FIRE any of my support technicians here if I EVER got even a remote INKLING they were talking to a customer like that. There is a way you inform poeple about where in the manual a certain item is without slapping them in the face with a ignorant RTFM comment. It's not appreciated and I, for one, will not tolerate being talked to like the four year child.

I find it hard to believe you cannot tell that that is poor customer service and where someone can be highly offended by RTFM like comments. I KNOW how stupid I am concerning this game, I don't need thin-skinned beta-tester to slap me in the face with it.


He didn´t directly and only sayed RTFM. He even gave you an answer to your "complaint".

Frag is not customer service, he´s a member of thuis community, helping and answering peoples questions beyond duty. For years!

< Message edited by Marc Schwanebeck -- 7/27/2004 2:02:44 AM >


_____________________________

Marc von Martial

(in reply to ZOOMIE1980)
Post #: 100
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:01:12 PM   
barbarrossa


Posts: 359
Joined: 3/25/2004
From: Shangri-La
Status: offline
I'll add a second to what Mark said about Frag. The guy's an invaluble help.

_____________________________

"It take a brave soldier to be a coward in the Red Army" -- Uncle Joe

"Is it you or I that commands 9th Army, My Fuhrer?" -- Model

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 101
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:01:18 PM   
ZOOMIE1980

 

Posts: 1284
Joined: 4/9/2004
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980


Did Eastern Front look like Windows?

Have any of you guys ever developed something other than a game???? Seems like you guys need an infusion of ideas from outside your collective "box".


Yes and it turned me off, believe it or not. Not to mention the nice changes your normal Windows GUI suffered from CTDs of this applications.

No I never "developed" something else then a game, actually I only develop graphics for them. But I also not tell my software application developing coder buddies how much cooler there business applications could look like. Because I never developed one of that.

But to make you happy, we currently have two projects that are based on the Windows GUI. For both of them it´s very boring to develop interface graphics for ........


Well, there's that paradigm thing again. I use some very intensly graphical applications that are all Windows UI's underneath. You wouldn't even know it if you didn't know they dumped the MFC runtimes in your System32 directory. They look more like a game than a CAD/CAM tool. The beauty of using standard WIN32 dialogs for standard tasks is re-usability. All you do is provide different cover graphics for the widgets and you have what looks like a brand new interface. But the man-hours should be spent on the game engine and AI elements, not re-inventing the UI wheel for every title. It's why most RTS and FPS game developers now settle on common third party, 3D engines, instead of rolling their own all the time (and yes, most now use standard WIN32 GUI widgets for getting common user input). We've all invented far too many wheels in our time....

< Message edited by ZOOMIE1980 -- 7/26/2004 7:02:11 PM >

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 102
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:04:48 PM   
Tige

 

Posts: 7
Joined: 7/26/2004
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mogami
(I think the staffs involved in the actual war would have been delighted to find they could run ther entire war operations with so few clicks and in so little time.


Actually WitP could get a couple of pointers from those staffs. WitP has all the information necessary, and then some. It is the context in which the information is presented which makes it a bit unwieldy.

WitP would bury a staff in paperwork. Stack upon stack of Sightings, Intel, Combat Reports along with Supply/Fuel Requests and Personal Requirements. Until it is put into context by plotting all this information and seperating the types of information can one make sense of it.

When planning a sub patrol the Commander of the sub fleet looked at recent information recieved by all the intelligence gathering services and this information was placed on a chart to get a picture of the the enemies activities. An enemy that did not adhere to the same geographical command sectors as their adversary. The sub was then ordered to the location to best do it's job on the information availible.

Not to sound snide, there is a reason why all war rooms are centered around a map or chart, not lists and stacks of paperwork. WitP needs maps and charts that players can put information on to make sense of the reams of paperwork :). Whether it be a combat mission or supply mission.

-Tige

(in reply to Mogami)
Post #: 103
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:05:17 PM   
ZOOMIE1980

 

Posts: 1284
Joined: 4/9/2004
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

No, like most everyone else here, I have a life outside of WitP, that prevents me committing 200+ pages of a game manual to memory. I imagine, a month into this game, what I don't know VASTLY outweighs what I do know about this game. And I expect that may be the case for long time to come, as well. I appreciate now knowing how to filter my map display, but regardless, take your smartassed RTFM comments and stick them in a warm dark place....


Can you please explain me how an actuall answer to a question by you that obviously also answers it can be "smartassed" ?



Easy. I don't expect to EVER be told, directly, by support staff, to RTFM. I would FIRE any of my support technicians here if I EVER got even a remote INKLING they were talking to a customer like that. There is a way you inform poeple about where in the manual a certain item is without slapping them in the face with a ignorant RTFM comment. It's not appreciated and I, for one, will not tolerate being talked to like the four year child.

I find it hard to believe you cannot tell that that is poor customer service and where someone can be highly offended by RTFM like comments. I KNOW how stupid I am concerning this game, I don't need thin-skinned beta-tester to slap me in the face with it.


He didn´t directly and only sayed RTFM. He even gave you an answer to your "complaint".

Frag is not customer service, he´s a member of thuis community, helping and answering peoples questions beyond duty. For years!



Well, if you can't see the general tone of most his comments I have nothing more to say on the issue to you. He may be the single most condescending poster on this forum (save me, maybe). He's a wealth of knowledge, but he needs to realize none of us have or ever will have the 1000's of hours of play time to draw on, and we are all "stupid". We don't need to be reminded.

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 104
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:07:47 PM   
Mogami


Posts: 12609
Joined: 8/23/2000
From: You can't get here from there
Status: offline
Hi to post some thing as a bug or omission that is covered in the manual and then being told to RTFM is one way of saying please don't clutter up the forum with bug reports that are not bugs. The forum is more then willing to help. If you say "I can't do this and I think I should be able to" Someone will tell you how and where you could have found it your self in the manual. We understand people play the game without reading the manual. However we don't understand when the problem is projected back onto the designers when in fact there is no problem except ignorance in how to do the desired thing.

(I've never read the manual)

You may or not be aware of past forum posters who have attacked the designers/testors over problems that only occured because the poster did not know how to operate the game. In every case it had been covered in the manual (refering to UV here I have not caught up with the WITP posts of the past month)

I think Frag is thin skinned but only when dealing with people who project their problems back onto the design/test team before checking to see if there is n actual problem. No one seems to assume operator error. It's awlays the games fault. I actually think there are a slew of hotkey commands in both UV/WITP. I never use them so I don't know what they are.

_____________________________






I'm not retreating, I'm attacking in a different direction!

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 105
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:08:02 PM   
Marc von Martial


Posts: 10865
Joined: 1/4/2001
From: Bonn, Germany
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

No, like most everyone else here, I have a life outside of WitP, that prevents me committing 200+ pages of a game manual to memory. I imagine, a month into this game, what I don't know VASTLY outweighs what I do know about this game. And I expect that may be the case for long time to come, as well. I appreciate now knowing how to filter my map display, but regardless, take your smartassed RTFM comments and stick them in a warm dark place....


Can you please explain me how an actuall answer to a question by you that obviously also answers it can be "smartassed" ?



Easy. I don't expect to EVER be told, directly, by support staff, to RTFM. I would FIRE any of my support technicians here if I EVER got even a remote INKLING they were talking to a customer like that. There is a way you inform poeple about where in the manual a certain item is without slapping them in the face with a ignorant RTFM comment. It's not appreciated and I, for one, will not tolerate being talked to like the four year child.

I find it hard to believe you cannot tell that that is poor customer service and where someone can be highly offended by RTFM like comments. I KNOW how stupid I am concerning this game, I don't need thin-skinned beta-tester to slap me in the face with it.


He didn´t directly and only sayed RTFM. He even gave you an answer to your "complaint".

Frag is not customer service, he´s a member of thuis community, helping and answering peoples questions beyond duty. For years!



Well, if you can't see the general tone of most his comments I have nothing more to say on the issue to you. He may be the single most condescending poster on this forum (save me, maybe). He's a wealth of knowledge, but he needs to realize none of us have or ever will have the 1000's of hours of play time to draw on, and we are all "stupid". We don't need to be reminded.


I´ll ask him to put some cute daisys in his signature .

< Message edited by Marc Schwanebeck -- 7/27/2004 2:15:32 AM >


_____________________________

Marc von Martial

(in reply to ZOOMIE1980)
Post #: 106
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:08:10 PM   
donkuchi


Posts: 1049
Joined: 3/14/2004
From: Cleveland, Ohio
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980

quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: ZOOMIE1980


Did Eastern Front look like Windows?

Have any of you guys ever developed something other than a game???? Seems like you guys need an infusion of ideas from outside your collective "box".


Yes and it turned me off, believe it or not. Not to mention the nice changes your normal Windows GUI suffered from CTDs of this applications.

No I never "developed" something else then a game, actually I only develop graphics for them. But I also not tell my software application developing coder buddies how much cooler there business applications could look like. Because I never developed one of that.

But to make you happy, we currently have two projects that are based on the Windows GUI. For both of them it´s very boring to develop interface graphics for ........


Well, there's that paradigm thing again. I use some very intensly graphical applications that are all Windows UI's underneath. You wouldn't even know it if you didn't know they dumped the MFC runtimes in your System32 directory. They look more like a game than a CAD/CAM tool. The beauty of using standard WIN32 dialogs for standard tasks is re-usability. All you do is provide different cover graphics for the widgets and you have what looks like a brand new interface. But the man-hours should be spent on the game engine and AI elements, not re-inventing the UI wheel for every title. It's why most RTS and FPS game developers now settle on common third party, 3D engines, instead of rolling their own all the time (and yes, most now use standard WIN32 GUI widgets for getting common user input). We've all invented far too many wheels in our time....



It is also why every new mainstream wargame out there looks exactly the same. There are no fresh ideas. Every game is build a base, build troops, conquer. Just the graphics and the time period are different. I for one, enjoy the difference that games like WITP bring to the computer.

In regards to frag, any question that I have had, he has answered quickly and professionally. I often look for his posts because they answer my questions without me having to type them in the first place.

< Message edited by donkuchi -- 7/26/2004 2:10:50 PM >

(in reply to ZOOMIE1980)
Post #: 107
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:13:16 PM   
ZOOMIE1980

 

Posts: 1284
Joined: 4/9/2004
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Tige

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mogami
(I think the staffs involved in the actual war would have been delighted to find they could run ther entire war operations with so few clicks and in so little time.


Actually WitP could get a couple of pointers from those staffs. WitP has all the information necessary, and then some. It is the context in which the information is presented which makes it a bit unwieldy.

WitP would bury a staff in paperwork. Stack upon stack of Sightings, Intel, Combat Reports along with Supply/Fuel Requests and Personal Requirements. Until it is put into context by plotting all this information and seperating the types of information can one make sense of it.

When planning a sub patrol the Commander of the sub fleet looked at recent information recieved by all the intelligence gathering services and this information was placed on a chart to get a picture of the the enemies activities. An enemy that did not adhere to the same geographical command sectors as their adversary. The sub was then ordered to the location to best do it's job on the information availible.

Not to sound snide, there is a reason why all war rooms are centered around a map or chart, not lists and stacks of paperwork. WitP needs maps and charts that players can put information on to make sense of the reams of paperwork :). Whether it be a combat mission or supply mission.

-Tige


Well, the generals and admirals all had staffs to handle these details and boil everything down to basic recommendations. I love the game, but my overall impression is "crushing". It may be that the UV interface simply doesn't scale well enough for a game of this magnitude. I have yet to make my mind up on that. And that begs the question, if the UV style interface doesn't scale well, what type of interface would? I think the Mediterranean game idea may be the perfect scale for the UV-interface, but a new War In Russia or European theater thing might best try something completely different. Same depth, but something different. What? I have no idea, but not this, I don't think....

(in reply to Tige)
Post #: 108
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:22:57 PM   
Mogami


Posts: 12609
Joined: 8/23/2000
From: You can't get here from there
Status: offline
quote:

Not to sound snide, there is a reason why all war rooms are centered around a map or chart, not lists and stacks of paperwork. WitP needs maps and charts that players can put information on to make sense of the reams of paperwork :). Whether it be a combat mission or supply mission.


Hi, I don't think your comments are snide at all. I understand. You may find it hard to believe but it is something I never thought of. I guess when I helped make the map. OOB, and looked at the map for 2 years it never occured to me that other players would not instantly understand the weres and whats as they watch a turn resolve. By habit I check every unit that egages in combat and can tell what effect the previous turn had. I know where Coast Watchers are located and when the turn is running I know what they are seeing. (As the sighting occurs I decide what my reaction during my orders phase will be)

It is difficult to find a way to convince you that some day all these added features would be more clutter then use. WITP is not a casual game. There is a vast amount of input for players to absorb and utilize. However for players watching a turn resolve who are watching "Their Plan" evolve much is understood automaticlly. When one of my TF is sighted 20 hexes from nearest land by an enemy carrier type aircraft I do not need a giant red x placed on the map so I can remember it. If I first take the time to study the situation I understand where certain enemy forces are going to or coming from when I sight them. This is not an attempt to justify the ommision of your desired player aids. Only my explanation for why I never brought them up in testing. They never occured to me.

_____________________________






I'm not retreating, I'm attacking in a different direction!

(in reply to Mogami)
Post #: 109
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:28:52 PM   
ZOOMIE1980

 

Posts: 1284
Joined: 4/9/2004
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quote:


It is also why every new mainstream wargame out there looks exactly the same. There are no fresh ideas. Every game is build a base, build troops, conquer. Just the graphics and the time period are different. I for one, enjoy the difference that games like WITP bring to the computer.


See, I take just the opposite tact. To me, it is concentration on interfaces, man-hours that could be better put in to use developing the engine or the oft neglected AI, that lead to one game pretty much being like the next one. What makes a game attractive is NOT eye-candy but it's game play and for the solitaire player, the AI. We see this bemoaned in the mainstream game media as well. All game developers seem to do any more is play one-up on one another with their graphics and interface, but underneath, they all do the same basic thing.

I would MUCH prefer that all games, at least all games from a particular vendor, look very much similar from UI perspective. That basically means I don't have to spend hours and hours figuring out the basic UI and can instead concentrate on the game mechanics. And for the developer, they no longer have to spend wasted manhours creating new interfaces for every title and can instead, invest the man-hours in game design and advancing the art of the AI. Same thing even goes for a lot of the underlying game engines, themselves. That's where object oriented design comes into play. After a while, you have a large library of re-usabale, low-level, game objects, both from a UI perspective and an engine perspective. You just apply a new coat of paint (graphics and sound) and you spend your time (aka money) on the stuff that REALLY matters, the design, the play, and the AI.

Ask yourself why has Microsoft not only dominated the OS market but also the office productivity market? Why did MS Office come to dominate the world? Why has almost all successful Windows software become successful? Common, familiar, interface. We all EXPECT the File menu to look like the File menu. The Edit, View, etc... to be where it ALWAYS is. If you ever want to see a future failed Windows mainstream business app fail, watch one that alters the basic Windows UI standard.

Same with games. I would love to be able to forget about having to learn the UI. The UI should be pretty much the same as it was in the last game from the same company.

(in reply to donkuchi)
Post #: 110
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:29:59 PM   
Spooky


Posts: 816
Joined: 4/1/2002
From: Froggy Land
Status: offline
OK - To sum up, the WITP GUI is probably not the best in the world ... but is efficient enough for playing WITP.

As far as I am concerned, in an ideal world, the GUI should be streamlined and Matrix/2by3 should hire 2 or 3 GUI designers... but it would imply that tens of thousand WITP units are sold so I am afraid it is a dream

However, what I would really like is :
- a big change in the plane upgrade system - the WITP hard-coded upgrade system is too rigid while the BTR system was so good ... and it was at least 6 years ago - I really do not understand why a Japanese commander could change the production of all the factories ... and not decide with which new aiplane a squadron is going to be upgraded !
- An improved production GUI ... like the one in BTR (again) - with a clickable production screen !

< Message edited by Spooky -- 7/26/2004 8:31:49 PM >


_____________________________

Visit Spooky's UV & WITP Fansite !

(in reply to donkuchi)
Post #: 111
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:40:07 PM   
ZOOMIE1980

 

Posts: 1284
Joined: 4/9/2004
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mogami

quote:

Not to sound snide, there is a reason why all war rooms are centered around a map or chart, not lists and stacks of paperwork. WitP needs maps and charts that players can put information on to make sense of the reams of paperwork :). Whether it be a combat mission or supply mission.


Hi, I don't think your comments are snide at all. I understand. You may find it hard to believe but it is something I never thought of. I guess when I helped make the map. OOB, and looked at the map for 2 years it never occured to me that other players would not instantly understand the weres and whats as they watch a turn resolve. By habit I check every unit that egages in combat and can tell what effect the previous turn had. I know where Coast Watchers are located and when the turn is running I know what they are seeing. (As the sighting occurs I decide what my reaction during my orders phase will be)

It is difficult to find a way to convince you that some day all these added features would be more clutter then use. WITP is not a casual game. There is a vast amount of input for players to absorb and utilize. However for players watching a turn resolve who are watching "Their Plan" evolve much is understood automaticlly. When one of my TF is sighted 20 hexes from nearest land by an enemy carrier type aircraft I do not need a giant red x placed on the map so I can remember it. If I first take the time to study the situation I understand where certain enemy forces are going to or coming from when I sight them. This is not an attempt to justify the ommision of your desired player aids. Only my explanation for why I never brought them up in testing. They never occured to me.


Great point! Couldn't have said it better if I tried for months. I see it around my own shop, myself and I see this very thing in the Matrix staff, in general. You get so used to doing something a certain way and so used to looking at the same thing for so long, you can't really see or even comprehend anything else! It gets so bad, at times, that your old-heads get highly insulted and down right indignant if you mention you'd like to make even small changes! We try and get around some of that by trying to hire a new design engineer or project manager from "outside the inner circle" every other year or so. You get fresh blood and then strive to really listen and incorporate some of the new stuff.

Three years ago we were CONVINCED that you simply could not develop high performance, server side, enterprise level transaction processing systems using Java. We hired some very experienced Java types and were quickly proven DEAD WRONG. Now we do as much as 25% of our systems in pure Java. Same thing with nonStop-Tandem-Himalaya. We used to be absolutely convinced that if you wanted extremely high perfomance, scalable, 24x7 systems 10 years ago, Tandem was it, period. No if's ands or but's about it. Problem was, 10 years ago, we had only Tandem people on staff. We hired a load of Unix and Windows and Oracle and DB2, etc. .. types and were once again, proven DEAD WRONG!

Matrix, PLEASE, don't get hide-bound. It will be the death of our genre....

(in reply to Mogami)
Post #: 112
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:40:40 PM   
Captain Cruft


Posts: 3652
Joined: 3/17/2004
From: England
Status: offline
It's me that went on about hot keys, not ZOOMIE ...

I actually rather like the non-standard look and feel (and I love the map). Coming from a UNIX background I have an innate aversion to standardised user interfaces WitP has its own style which feels very appropriate for the subject matter

My point about keyboard control is not whinging though. This program is basically a database editor + a combat resolution engine. The orders phase consists of the editing of units in the player's view of the database (editing of units = using the Base screen, the Taskforce screen, the Airgroup screen & the LCU screen). You have a vast number of these units and, in the Grand Campaign, you will potentially be editing each of them more than 1,000 times. It just seems to me that this process should be made as efficient as possible ...

(in reply to ZOOMIE1980)
Post #: 113
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:41:35 PM   
Marc von Martial


Posts: 10865
Joined: 1/4/2001
From: Bonn, Germany
Status: offline
quote:

You just apply a new coat of paint (graphics and sound) and you spend your time (aka money) on the stuff that REALLY matters, the design, the play, and the AI.


The manpower and time does not interfere here. And if you think that the graphic department staff does not REALLY matter in game design, then you obviously underestimate the potential graphics have on sales and on luring new blood into the market. Especially in wargaming.

If you do 3D shooter you MUST have killer graphics to keep the company alive and able to develop a new title. When you do wargames you add spicer graphics to get people from other genres attracted and interested.


But honestly, I´m very tired of this "graphics take away from gameplay development" discussions, since nobody ever acknowleges that these two departments simply don´t interfere ....

< Message edited by Marc Schwanebeck -- 7/27/2004 2:50:04 AM >


_____________________________

Marc von Martial

(in reply to Spooky)
Post #: 114
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:45:52 PM   
Marc von Martial


Posts: 10865
Joined: 1/4/2001
From: Bonn, Germany
Status: offline
quote:

Great point! Couldn't have said it better if I tried for months. I see it around my own shop, myself and I see this very thing in the Matrix staff, in general. You get so used to doing something a certain way and so used to looking at the same thing for so long, you can't really see or even comprehend anything else! .... Matrix, PLEASE, don't get hide-bound. It will be the death of our genre....


You miss the point that non of our products are the same. WITP and UV share a base engine, true. But other projects have their own new and intuitive engines. We have a lot of different approches. We´re definelty NOT hide-bound.

< Message edited by Marc Schwanebeck -- 7/27/2004 2:54:17 AM >


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Marc von Martial

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 115
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:46:49 PM   
ZOOMIE1980

 

Posts: 1284
Joined: 4/9/2004
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Spooky

OK - To sum up, the WITP GUI is probably not the best in the world ... but is efficient enough for playing WITP.

As far as I am concerned, in an ideal world, the GUI should be streamlined and Matrix/2by3 should hire 2 or 3 GUI designers... but it would imply that tens of thousand WITP units are sold so I am afraid it is a dream

However, what I would really like is :
- a big change in the plane upgrade system - the WITP hard-coded upgrade system is too rigid while the BTR system was so good ... and it was at least 6 years ago - I really do not understand why a Japanese commander could change the production of all the factories ... and not decide with which new aiplane a squadron is going to be upgraded !
- An improved production GUI ... like the one in BTR (again) - with a clickable production screen !



I think they could use some in-program production chart pop-ups to help us make some sense of the production and upgrade paths. A lot more charts and graphs without having to shell out to a manual. Something right out of an Excel generated chart based on a spreadsheet or something. I mean, I can't remember what a Ki-51 or Ki-48 upgrades to all. Hell, I can't even remember which Ki is a level bomber, a fighter, or a recon plane, much less what it upgrades to!!! And forget about me ever just "knowing" what engine they all use!!

Why again did Yamamoto even care???

(in reply to Spooky)
Post #: 116
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:51:48 PM   
Marc von Martial


Posts: 10865
Joined: 1/4/2001
From: Bonn, Germany
Status: offline
quote:

Why again did Yamamoto even care???


This game is intended for people that want to play Yamamoto and care

_____________________________

Marc von Martial

(in reply to ZOOMIE1980)
Post #: 117
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:52:09 PM   
ZOOMIE1980

 

Posts: 1284
Joined: 4/9/2004
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chaplain

Hey ZOOMIE, give us a game that you developed. We're waiting.


I've actually written several. Unfortunately most are DOD property, written while assisting in development of war game sims for the War College. One I did write back in 1987 was title Pacific '88 for the Apple II and Amiga. A takeoff of GG's North Atlantic '86. I had some serious financial difficulties back then after leaving the Air Force in 1986, so I never could afford the expense of geting it published. Time and life and children have largely prevented me from making any real efforts since those days. That, and one man cannot ever hope to write a modern game, even a simple one, by themselves anymore. Just not possible.

(in reply to Chaplain)
Post #: 118
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:53:34 PM   
Marc von Martial


Posts: 10865
Joined: 1/4/2001
From: Bonn, Germany
Status: offline
quote:

That, and one man cannot ever hope to write a modern game, even a simple one, by themselves anymore. Just not possible.


See, and we managed it with 3 people developing and coding. Other companies have 30.

< Message edited by Marc Schwanebeck -- 7/27/2004 2:54:40 AM >


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Marc von Martial

(in reply to ZOOMIE1980)
Post #: 119
RE: saddened by poor interface - 7/26/2004 9:57:42 PM   
nihilimus

 

Posts: 13
Joined: 4/15/2004
Status: offline
Actually, I think the defensive nature of Matrix staffers is where the point is lost. It does not serve your company well to act so defensively when a portion of your audience offers suggestions.

While I agree great graphics are critical to pulling in an audience, so is usuability and much of what is being said here crashes the core of this very complex game's workflow.

Points made about easy access to maps, addition quick keys, modular windows available to the user to popup, drop, hide while seeking the data for important decisions. All of this is to streamline workflow.

Yes... Some of our less visually-oriented friends don't need that and may be happy with either writing details on a pad or trying to remember across the vast expanses of the Pacific. I -- like military leaders past -- prefer a visual representation backed by quick access to data.

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 120
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