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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design

 
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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/6/2005 2:15:15 AM   
Greyshaft


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quote:

ORIGINAL: stretch

since there is now going to be someone dedicated to the art, do you suppose we might get flipped units to actually look flipped? The status indicators are great, but flipped vs not flipped is probably the most important one and its nice to be able to tell simply by the look of the unit. The flipped side is very simple looking compared to the active side, so one wouldn't think the graphic deisgn issue of this would be very complicated. The issue would be how to see the unflipped side on demand. The computer equivalent of picking up with tweasers, looking, and putting it back.

Invert the colors on flipped units? Maybe with a reduced intensity


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Post #: 61
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/6/2005 4:24:50 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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The jargon, which I am still learning, is to call selecting some units while ignoring (or not showing) others 'filtering'. Using that word, what you are talking about are 'filters' for what units are displayed on the screen. CWIF already has filters for use in some situations. What I intend to do is make them available in just about any situation - and specifically when viewing the detailed map.

Having some predefined filters come with the game is a very good idea. Which made me think that we should also have predefined screen views (scale and what portion of the map is visible). Both the filters and the points of view (POVs) could be displayed in the left column I talked about in an earlier post today. You click on the POV or the filter and Voila! happiness abounds. If these become too numerous to fit in the space available in the column, then they could be supplemented with drop down menus ("to see more filters...").

I am beginning to like this.
(1) The topmost bar is for the unchanging drop down menus.
(2) The second bar at the top is for the unchanging screen toggles and "End of XXX" commands (phase, subphase, whatever).
(3) The bar at the bottom of the screen provides information on game status (year, month, impulse, phase, subphase, hex number, weahter, etc.).
(4) The left column is reserved for (a) screen controls that are defined by the player and (b) units that are off the visible portion of the map.
(5) Pop up panels display all the units in a hex. These panels can be temporary or permanent and the player can place them anywhere on the screen he wants.
(6) Multiple detailed map windows can be created and sized however the player wants.
(7) The global map window can be displayed or not. It can be resized and positioned where ever the player wants.
(8) The map windows can overlap each other or not. The panels listing all the units can be toggled to always remain on top or not.

Taking this one step farther, there might be several combinations of the screens and panels that the player likes. Giving each of them a name/code would let the player change all the screens with one click of the mouse, going from a "planning convoy routes" screen layout to a "strategic bombing" screen layout to a "land war in Asia" screen layout and so on.

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Post #: 62
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/6/2005 4:30:50 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Greyshaft
quote:

ORIGINAL: stretch
since there is now going to be someone dedicated to the art, do you suppose we might get flipped units to actually look flipped? The status indicators are great, but flipped vs not flipped is probably the most important one and its nice to be able to tell simply by the look of the unit. The flipped side is very simple looking compared to the active side, so one wouldn't think the graphic deisgn issue of this would be very complicated. The issue would be how to see the unflipped side on demand. The computer equivalent of picking up with tweasers, looking, and putting it back.

Invert the colors on flipped units? Maybe with a reduced intensity


I've never liked inverted colors. They make me question whether I am still sane or not. It could also be confusing here because so many different colors are in use to represent all the different nationalites (especially when you include the minor country colors. Reversng the colors might make an Italian unit look like a Polish unit or something.

Filters could help out here. One filter could be to only display units that are disrupted. Another could be to only show units that are NOT disrupted. I still would like a little bit more pizzazz for disrupted units. Emphasis on the word 'little'.

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Post #: 63
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/6/2005 10:43:36 AM   
Froonp


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quote:

I am beginning to like this.
(1) The topmost bar is for the unchanging drop down menus.

Let's call it the Menu Bar.

quote:

(2) The second bar at the top is for the unchanging screen toggles and "End of XXX" commands (phase, subphase, whatever).

Let's call it the Main Tool Bar. This could be customizable, with the possibility to add your own buttons mapped to your own functions. Let it be movable and resizable like those of the MS products.

quote:

(3) The bar at the bottom of the screen provides information on game status (year, month, impulse, phase, subphase, hex number, weahter, etc.).

Let's call it the Status Bar.

quote:

(4) The left column is reserved for (a) screen controls that are defined by the player and (b) units that are off the visible portion of the map.

Let's call it the Cutom Tool Bar. Could be movable, resizable & editable too.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 64
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/6/2005 11:20:07 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

quote:

I am beginning to like this.
(1) The topmost bar is for the unchanging drop down menus.

Let's call it the Menu Bar.

quote:

(2) The second bar at the top is for the unchanging screen toggles and "End of XXX" commands (phase, subphase, whatever).

Let's call it the Main Tool Bar. This could be customizable, with the possibility to add your own buttons mapped to your own functions. Let it be movable and resizable like those of the MS products.

quote:

(3) The bar at the bottom of the screen provides information on game status (year, month, impulse, phase, subphase, hex number, weahter, etc.).

Let's call it the Status Bar.

quote:

(4) The left column is reserved for (a) screen controls that are defined by the player and (b) units that are off the visible portion of the map.

Let's call it the Custom Tool Bar. Could be movable, resizable & editable too.

Love the names. Thanks.

I am torn between making the Tool Bars fixed versus moveable/sizeable.

They should be pretty large since one runs across the full width of the screen and the other down the full height of the screen. At the same time they don't take up that much screen real estate. Together, this makes resizing them less of an issue. If you look at the current screen shots of CWIF, you will see that there is a lot of unused space in Menu Bar and the Main Tool Bar.

One reason I would like them to be fixed is so novice players don't get any more confused by the game.

I guess my main objection is that placing the icons/codes that the players design into a dynamically resized panel could be a problem. With a fixed size, I (the programmer) know if there is room or not and can act upon that certain knowledge. If the player can make a panel smaller or larger, then I have to program in checking whether there is room every time the panel is resized. When there isn't enough room, I would ask the player what to do about the situation. This all seems like a lot of bother for very little gain.


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Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 65
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/6/2005 12:13:42 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

Love the names. Thanks.

I am torn between making the Tool Bars fixed versus moveable/sizeable.

They must be movable & sizeable. When shortened in width, they would be like palettes.

quote:

They should be pretty large since one runs across the full width of the screen and the other down the full height of the screen. At the same time they don't take up that much screen real estate. Together, this makes resizing them less of an issue. If you look at the current screen shots of CWIF, you will see that there is a lot of unused space in Menu Bar and the Main Tool Bar.

That's why I would like them customizable. There is room for this.

quote:

One reason I would like them to be fixed is so novice players don't get any more confused by the game.

Just add a "lock toolbars" functionnality much as in Windows XP. This was a problem with Windows OS from Windows 95 to Windows 2000 with people dragging & dropping they task bar anywhere, now you can lock it so it never moves unless you unlock it.

quote:

I guess my main objection is that placing the icons/codes that the players design into a dynamically resized panel could be a problem. With a fixed size, I (the programmer) know if there is room or not and can act upon that certain knowledge. If the player can make a panel smaller or larger, then I have to program in checking whether there is room every time the panel is resized. When there isn't enough room, I would ask the player what to do about the situation.

When a toolbar is too small, there should be small "chevron-things" ( » ) that you could click to see what's missing from the too small toolbar.

quote:

This all seems like a lot of bother for very little gain.

It's called "conviviality" (user-friendliness) when it's about softwares, isn't it. I don't know if it is a lot of trouble to probram, but it is the kind of things people are used to (thanks to MS), so I think t might worth the trouble.


(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 66
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/6/2005 7:46:16 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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I am still not convinced about using resizable and dockable for the tools bars.

Delphi contains the elements necessary to create those capabilities, some of them are easy to do. Some are still difficult to make work correctly (without any bugs).

I view this as a decision about parental control. Should the interface be like a wild west town, where everyone can do whatever they want or are there somethings (a structure) that are/is imposed? The menu bar could be moved to the bottom of the screen or to the right hand side too. The sequence of the menu items (reading from left to right) could be placed under the player's control so he could reaarange them too.

The question becomes what does the dynamic reconfiguring of the screen add to the game's playablity? I don't see the resizing and positioning of the tool bars doing that much (if any thing) to make the game more playable ("user friendly" to use the catch phrase). Changing the size and position of the maps? Yes!, Filtering what units are visible on the screen? Yes! Making the tool bar smaller? I don't think so.

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Post #: 67
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/8/2005 4:44:47 AM   
nekron

 

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No resizeable toolbars - game interfaces are not work-app interfaces. Spend the time and energy on other apects, and leave the toolbars in place.

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Post #: 68
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/8/2005 9:28:30 AM   
Froonp


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quote:

The question becomes what does the dynamic reconfiguring of the screen add to the game's playablity? I don't see the resizing and positioning of the tool bars doing that much (if any thing) to make the game more playable ("user friendly" to use the catch phrase). Changing the size and position of the maps? Yes!, Filtering what units are visible on the screen? Yes! Making the tool bar smaller? I don't think so.

Yes, I think you're right.

Regards

Patrice

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 69
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/8/2005 11:46:16 PM   
Mziln


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There needs to be a way to show factories that need to be repaired (Option 30: Factory Destruction & Construction).

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Post #: 70
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 12:48:26 AM   
Greyshaft


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mziln
There needs to be a way to show factories that need to be repaired (Option 30: Factory Destruction & Construction).
Agreed. I imagine there would be a "Production Advisor" which will show you the list of destroyed factories before you spend your pennies during each production phase. While demolished factories are an unpredictable event (except in Germany in 44/45) there are other production issues which can be preplanned. It would be really neat to be able to lay out your production plans at the start of the game and then have MWiF present the appropriate step of your plan to you every production phase so you could confirm/deny/tweak the planned spending. This is especially important with US carriers when you could find yourself with three new carriers ready to sail but you forgot to order the aircraft in time ... D'oh!


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Post #: 71
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 3:58:16 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Greyshaft
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mziln
There needs to be a way to show factories that need to be repaired (Option 30: Factory Destruction & Construction).
Agreed. I imagine there would be a "Production Advisor" which will show you the list of destroyed factories before you spend your pennies during each production phase. While demolished factories are an unpredictable event (except in Germany in 44/45) there are other production issues which can be preplanned. It would be really neat to be able to lay out your production plans at the start of the game and then have MWiF present the appropriate step of your plan to you every production phase so you could confirm/deny/tweak the planned spending. This is especially important with US carriers when you could find yourself with three new carriers ready to sail but you forgot to order the aircraft in time ... D'oh!


I would like everyone's help on this aspect of the interface.

The problem is what do you need to know (have visible on the screen) when you are planning production.

It would be best if you did not limit yourself in any way in suggesting what you would like to see. First we need to list all the stuff that we would want. Later we can figure out how to display it all so it isn't a jumbled mess. What do we want to know?

TIMING
To get this started, we have Greyshaft's need to know what the arrival dates are for carriers and whether there are CVPs also arriving to go with them. I might add that pilots for the CVPs, to help get them off the deck of the carrier, might be nice too.

When planning sea borne invasions, getting the AMPHs and Marines in the production queue is important. ATRs for paradrops is another consideration. Maybe what we want is to be able to set an invasion date and then get advice from the AI Assistant as to what needs to be started when to meet that date.

There is the perennial problem of gearing up production. Germany wants to have a lot of armor and infantry to invade Russia. Russia wants a ton of infantry to stop the invasion.

OPPORTUNITIES
I place the damaged factories in this category. For a relatively little expense, we can return a factory to production. Fixing damaged naval units is another opportunity. Pilots without planes (or planes without pilots) comes up every so often during play.

OVERVIEW
To make judgments about naval versus land versus air it is nice to know how many of each type are on the board and in production for both our side and also for the enemy (the Fog of War option would make this something of a guess about the enemy's production). I like to have strength point totals for all three branches of the service and subtotals within each branch (i.e., armor/infantry, fighter/bomber, and surface/carrier). That helps me decide whether I need to add more fighters, armor, or whatever.

As Greyshaft said, being able to view what the production line looks like 2 and 3 years out is very nice. When playing over the board I worked these out on paper and revised them every turn. Something with a time line at the bottom showing months and years seems right.

CONTINGENCIES
There is always a concern that battlefield losses might be excessive and have a drastic affect on what we want to build. A simple report on what has been lost last turn, the last 2 turns, ... should serve as a reminder when things are going badly. This could be supplemented with a (player provided) expected losses per turn and a difference calculation. "We had budgeted 5 infantry losses per turn Joseph, but the generals in the front lost 15 last turn. Perhaps we should panic now?" Other changes that might affect production are the sudden arrivals of 2 and then 3 submarines built by both Germany and Italy.

So, what do you want to know to help you make production decisions?

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Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

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Post #: 72
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 4:54:59 AM   
Greyshaft


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets
I might add that pilots for the CVPs, to help get them off the deck of the carrier, might be nice too.


Pilots???

double D'oh!!!

< Message edited by Greyshaft -- 8/9/2005 4:57:57 AM >


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Post #: 73
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 8:15:00 AM   
rtamesis

 

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I prefer having moveable Tool Bars whose visibility can be toggled from a Windows dropdown menu from the Menu bar, again like what you can find in Adobe apps like Illustrator or Photoshop. That way, if the player has a lot of screen real estate, eg. Apple's 30 inch LCD monitor, then he or she can position it anywhere they find it more convenient. Just set the default position to the left for novices and give more experienced players the option to reposition it anywhere they like.

You may also want to consider the idea of being able to dock different windows and palettes into the right side of the screen to form tabs as a way of hiding them and reducing screen clutter while still making them easily available to the player.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 74
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 8:37:01 AM   
Mziln


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OPPORTUNITIES

Oil and Other resources sitting on the docks for lack of convoys. Especialy Burma and Netherland East Indies if your the Commonwealth.

What number of resources (Oil and Other) are using what ports.

< Message edited by Mziln -- 8/9/2005 8:40:15 AM >

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Post #: 75
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 11:46:10 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rtamesis
I prefer having moveable Tool Bars whose visibility can be toggled from a Windows dropdown menu from the Menu bar, again like what you can find in Adobe apps like Illustrator or Photoshop. That way, if the player has a lot of screen real estate, eg. Apple's 30 inch LCD monitor, then he or she can position it anywhere they find it more convenient. Just set the default position to the left for novices and give more experienced players the option to reposition it anywhere they like.

You may also want to consider the idea of being able to dock different windows and palettes into the right side of the screen to form tabs as a way of hiding them and reducing screen clutter while still making them easily available to the player.


Perhaps the phrase tool bar is misleading here.

I do not see it being large. Indeed, I see it as very narrow, 2 or 3 characters wide (e.g., ABC). Most vertical tool bars for word processing and graphics programs are very wide (e.g., ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST). If we did something that big for MWIF, it would take up too much of the available screen space that could be better used displaying the map.

Making the tool bar's visibility a toggle could be done easily enough. Though since I expect it to be in almost constant use by the players, I doubt that it would ever be turned off.

I'm still not convinced that moving the tool bar around on the screen gains anything. The maps are all moveable and scrollable, so if the tool bar is covering up something you want to see, you could just as easily scroll the map. Remember, I am thinking of the vertical tool bar running down the left hand side, so it would never cover up the center of a map.

Rather than compare the user interface of MWIF to a graphics program, it might be better to compare it to another war game program. In a war game the player is not building anything or arranging collections of objects or creating documents. Instead, the player is surveying the situation, usually a map, sometimes tables, and making decisions/giving orders. The choices of decisions and actions are all quite limited in scope. A quick glance at the size of the rule book demonstrates how tightly the player's choices are controlled by the program. The biggest headache in programming WIF is the sheer number of boolean constructs required to implement all the rules correctly.

There are no palettes under consideration for MWIF.

Shrinking windows to icons is a standard procedure in a windows application and I expect to include it in MWIF. The standard location for the icons is the lower left hand portion of the screen which is how it is done in CWIF. I don't know if players would use that capability very much. Developing a tabbed construct for storing them seems like a lot of work for little gain.

Erik Rutkins (of Matrix Games) offered an idea that is tangentially similar to what you suggested. Erik asked if the informational displays (e.g., tables) could be added to the tool bar for easy access. They already are in the menu system at the top of the screen but it takes time and effort to find the right drop down menu and maneuver around with the mouse to click on the display you want to see. This can be especially aggravating if you want to look at some information, do some stuff on the map and then look at the same information again. On screen icons, that could be clicked to bring up informational displays, would be more conveneint. The difference here is that I know what all the informational displays are going to be when I am designing MWIF. Not only can I place them all on a tool bar, I can also add text decriptions to display when the player moves the cursor over the icon.

_____________________________

Steve

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Post #: 76
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 11:51:18 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mziln

OPPORTUNITIES

Oil and Other resources sitting on the docks for lack of convoys. Especialy Burma and Netherland East Indies if your the Commonwealth.

What number of resources (Oil and Other) are using what ports.


Would you want to know about the convoy routing as well? Or is that unimportant during production?

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Mziln)
Post #: 77
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 1:23:03 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

Erik Rutkins (of Matrix Games) offered an idea that is tangentially similar to what you suggested. Erik asked if the informational displays (e.g., tables) could be added to the tool bar for easy access. They already are in the menu system at the top of the screen but it takes time and effort to find the right drop down menu and maneuver around with the mouse to click on the display you want to see. This can be especially aggravating if you want to look at some information, do some stuff on the map and then look at the same information again. On screen icons, that could be clicked to bring up informational displays, would be more conveneint. The difference here is that I know what all the informational displays are going to be when I am designing MWIF. Not only can I place them all on a tool bar, I can also add text decriptions to display when the player moves the cursor over the icon.

In the present CWiF, when you ask for the tables, you are sent into Adobe Acrobat to read the PDF document containing the tables. This is highly flexible in case the table change, becaus ethey can easily be changed, but it is not the most convenient because you see all the complete chart sheet, and if you're not used to it already on the paper game you're lost and you don't find your table.
Maybe it would be better if the table appeared into an in-game window. Even better, maybe this window could have some percentage of transparency (that you could change), so that you could keep it above the map, ans still consider the situation on the map.
By the way, maybe all the informational windows of MWiF could have some transparency level to be able to look at the table and at the map at the same time.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 78
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 1:26:52 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

quote:


ORIGINAL: Mziln

OPPORTUNITIES

Oil and Other resources sitting on the docks for lack of convoys. Especialy Burma and Netherland East Indies if your the Commonwealth.

What number of resources (Oil and Other) are using what ports.

Would you want to know about the convoy routing as well? Or is that unimportant during production?

The most information about convoy is the best.
For example :
I need to know what route each RP / OIL is taking.
I need to know how many CP are used to ship each resource (i.e. Australian resource need 8-9 CP to ship to England, South African ones need 4-5).
The way things are done in CWiF please me more or less. What is disappointed as pointed out someone on the forum, is that sometime it can be tidy to have an RP / OIL travel the way we want.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 79
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 1:53:48 PM   
Froonp


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quote:

So, what do you want to know to help you make production decisions?

Some things I'm doing when playing the paper WiF FE game :

Sometime, when I loose a particulary important unit (ENG, MAR, PARA, etc...), I know I want it to be (re)built in the immediately next production phase. So I immediately (at the very moment it is lost) write it down on my productin sheet (paper), so that when production comes, this unit is already written on the sheet and I can't forget to (re)built it.
The game could emulate this behavior by asking you each time a unit is destroyed if you want it rebuilt at the next production phase. The "destroyed units" dialog already provides a button to destroy the unit, or to scrap the unit, you would just have to add a new button for that.

Also, during my opponent play, I often pre-plan my own production, either because his move make me think of something I want to built, or because he is boring me. The MWiF game could provide the possibility to enter the production dialog anytime, and allow you to pre-plan it.

Also, When building ships, I usually (when playing the USA indeed) pre-plan all CV builts, nearly all the BB & CA builts, most of the AMPH & TRS builts and some of the SUB builts too right at the game start (while the others play the regular impulses, and I am forced to be passive) or simply in advance. The MWiF game could give the players the possibility not only to enter the production dialog (for the next production) in advance, but could also give the possibility to enter the production dialog of any future turn's production, to pre-plan it at their leasure.
Moreover, the player could be allowed to review any turn's production, including the past turn's production for information.
The player could be also allowed to review any other player's production too for any turn except future turns.
The player could even be allowed to pre-plan more units than his curent / forecasted BP would allow it, and the game would just tell him that he spent too much or not enough, when the correct number of BP is computed.

Moreover, when building a ship (first cycle) the MWiF game could ask the player whether he wants to pre-plan the second cycle right now. This way, the ship would be already pre-planned to make his second cycle.

Following this idea, you could also have an informational dialog who would give you your Navy planned size (number of ships of each class, i.e., CV, CVL, BB, CA, CL, TRS, AMPH, SUB) at any future time.

Moreover, when planning the build of a CV or CVL, the game could prompt you to already plan the CVP that will go onboard (normaly planned 2 turns after the 2nd cycle start if it is a normal CV, or 1 turn after the 2nd cycle start if it is an US CV, or at the same time the 2nd cycle starts if it is an US CVL).

The game could also prompt you to built a pilot for each plane (with a duration of 3 turns to built or more) you built. It could not be available for planes with a 2 turns to built because for these planes the pilot has to be planned 1 turn before.

Also, when planning the built of a PARA, the game could prompt you for the built of the corresponding ATR (and then of his pilot too).

This complete contengency system could also be replaced by "packages" you could built. for example, if you would like to pre-plan a CV (both cycles), as well as the pilot and the CVP, you could choose the "Complete CV package" to be built. You could have many packages, for example, the Complete CV, the Complete BB, the Complete CVP, the complete PARA, the complete STRAT, etc... But you would not need the Complete AMPH to also contain the INF type unit that will be used to invade from it, because virtually any INF could be uses to invade, not a single precise unit.


Well to sum it up, I'd like to be able to Pre-plan production, Review Production, and to have some forms of Contengency production possibilities.

Best Regards

Patrice


< Message edited by Froonp -- 8/9/2005 4:45:06 PM >

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 80
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 2:29:38 PM   
c92nichj


Posts: 440
Joined: 1/14/2005
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: rtamesis

I prefer having moveable Tool Bars whose visibility can be toggled from a Windows dropdown menu from the Menu bar, again like what you can find in Adobe apps like Illustrator or Photoshop. That way, if the player has a lot of screen real estate, eg. Apple's 30 inch LCD monitor, then he or she can position it anywhere they find it more convenient. Just set the default position to the left for novices and give more experienced players the option to reposition it anywhere they like.

You may also want to consider the idea of being able to dock different windows and palettes into the right side of the screen to form tabs as a way of hiding them and reducing screen clutter while still making them easily available to the player.


I wouldn't spend any uneccesary time coding toolbars, instead focusing on the gamea nad playability.

(in reply to rtamesis)
Post #: 81
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 5:20:30 PM   
Froonp


Posts: 7899
Joined: 10/21/2003
From: Marseilles, France
Status: offline
quote:

There is the perennial problem of gearing up production. Germany wants to have a lot of armor and infantry to invade Russia. Russia wants a ton of infantry to stop the invasion.

Maybe you could type inside the production sheet of a given turn the Gear up you want to reach on that turn.
That way, the program would prompt you to built units of that type during previous production phases (previous turns) if you forget to built sufficiently.
This need arises when building the US Navy for example, and you want to reach 4 or 5 for the gearing limit in ships in ND to be able to build the 5-6 CV arriving next turn.

One thing I also do while playing WiF is : "I want to built all the ARM before that date", or "I want to build as many SUBs per turn (or spend 2 BP on SUBs every turn)".

The program could be able to emulate that behavior too.

< Message edited by Froonp -- 8/9/2005 5:22:31 PM >

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 82
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/9/2005 5:32:56 PM   
Mziln


Posts: 1107
Joined: 2/9/2004
From: Tulsa Oklahoma
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mziln

OPPORTUNITIES

Oil and Other resources sitting on the docks for lack of convoys. Especialy Burma and Netherland East Indies if your the Commonwealth.

What number of resources (Oil and Other) are using what ports.


Would you want to know about the convoy routing as well? Or is that unimportant during production?


I thought about convoy routes when I made the post. This could be solved by a A/B entry ont the existing convoy route. Where A would equal avalable convoys and B loaded convoys.

This could also be done with resources at ports A would be available resources (oil and other) and B cargo being shipped.

This is just a quick and dirty idea.

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 83
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/10/2005 12:47:10 AM   
Greyshaft


Posts: 2234
Joined: 10/27/2003
From: Sydney, Australia
Status: offline
PLANNING
I would be able to save and load my Scenario Start production sequence so after I built it I could use it in other games. I could swap my “perfect” plan with other players for them to laugh and offer suggestions. I could swap out plans halfway through the game so I can switch from the “Conquer the World” plan to the “Festung Europa” build plan whenever I wanted.

I could specify that I wanted a particular force (say 2 CV, 3 SCS, 2 AMPH, 1 MAR, 1 INF + 2 dive bombers + 2 pilot available) in a defined port by turn ‘x’ and the units would be built and deployed there by that time. They would be flagged in some way so I didn’t inadvertently move the early arrivers out for some other operation – I could if I wanted to but it shouldn’t happen by accident. I could also specify the force and ask the system to tell me the earliest date it could be produced.

This kind of production could be allocated a % or fixed amount of my production. Say in the last three turns I made 14,15 & 14 PP and I figure that number won’t change much for the foreseeable future. I could allocate 10 PP to this fixed production and I would use the rest of the PP on whatever seemed good at the time.

ADVISOR
If I didn’t have a fixed plan the system would look at my available PP and offer 3-4 alternative builds (carrier heavy v. air heavy v. land heavy v. sub heavy v. whatever) and I could select one of them for this turn and tweak it as desired.

GEARING
Production should advise re: gearing limits so that if I produce 2 SUBS this turn the system would advise that I can keep that production going for ‘y’ turns. System should auto-advise if there will be a production drop up to (say) 3 turns in future eg. “if you build 4 ARM this turn, then in two turns you will waste ‘z’ PP because you will only have 1 ARM left to build and no other unit type can pick up the production slack’. This logic obviously can’t account for future battle casualties so it would be merely advisory.

ANALYSIS
Even with FOW I could analyse the enemy production. Eg. as an allied player I would auto count his units in contact with allied forces (therefore visible to me) and realise that last turn I counted 8 ARM but this turn I can only count 3… better get ready to defend against his next offensive. Or maybe as the CW I encountered 4 subs this turn and I know I’ve sunk 6 since the war begun so if I add that to the other units I have encountered then I’m still missing 12 PP from his plans. Maybe he did lay down the other battleship?

Important to be able to map all unit categories with losses against launches so at any point I can compare my current total on-map forces with my forces at start of game/ 1 month ago/3 months ago and see trends (INF up 3, SUBs up 2, FTR down 2, CV up 1)

On the note of FOW (I know you won’t like this one) how about revealing units which have been overflown by my units on any air missions “Hey… is that a Panzer down there?”

I'm not looking to get into the movable toolbar debate in a big way but if you do decide to do it then have a look at the way Lotus implemented their Properties Box. It's movable around the screen and comes in two sizes for when you still want it there but want to shrink it. The tabbed interface allows a lot of information (and action buttons) within a small space. I think its overkill for MWiF but you may as well see it before you dicard the idea.




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

/Greyshaft

(in reply to Mziln)
Post #: 84
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/10/2005 1:30:24 AM   
Froonp


Posts: 7899
Joined: 10/21/2003
From: Marseilles, France
Status: offline
quote:

If you're interested, I did make a PDF file containing most of the dialogs from Steve's post. It is here : http://perso.wanadoo.fr/froon/Transferts/CWiFDialogs.zip
Best Regards

I've updated the file with nearly all the missing dialog boxes from CWiF for your perusal in attempting to make the Game Interface better.
It is quite complete now, and I think I'll let it this way. I either not found the dialogs that are not in the file, or I've not understood what they were.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 85
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/10/2005 1:59:56 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18411
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Greyshaft

PLANNING
I would be able to save and load my Scenario Start production sequence so after I built it I could use it in other games. I could swap my “perfect” plan with other players for them to laugh and offer suggestions. I could swap out plans halfway through the game so I can switch from the “Conquer the World” plan to the “Festung Europa” build plan whenever I wanted.

I could specify that I wanted a particular force (say 2 CV, 3 SCS, 2 AMPH, 1 MAR, 1 INF + 2 dive bombers + 2 pilot available) in a defined port by turn ‘x’ and the units would be built and deployed there by that time. They would be flagged in some way so I didn’t inadvertently move the early arrivers out for some other operation – I could if I wanted to but it shouldn’t happen by accident. I could also specify the force and ask the system to tell me the earliest date it could be produced.

This kind of production could be allocated a % or fixed amount of my production. Say in the last three turns I made 14,15 & 14 PP and I figure that number won’t change much for the foreseeable future. I could allocate 10 PP to this fixed production and I would use the rest of the PP on whatever seemed good at the time.

ADVISOR
If I didn’t have a fixed plan the system would look at my available PP and offer 3-4 alternative builds (carrier heavy v. air heavy v. land heavy v. sub heavy v. whatever) and I could select one of them for this turn and tweak it as desired.

GEARING
Production should advise re: gearing limits so that if I produce 2 SUBS this turn the system would advise that I can keep that production going for ‘y’ turns. System should auto-advise if there will be a production drop up to (say) 3 turns in future eg. “if you build 4 ARM this turn, then in two turns you will waste ‘z’ PP because you will only have 1 ARM left to build and no other unit type can pick up the production slack’. This logic obviously can’t account for future battle casualties so it would be merely advisory.

ANALYSIS
Even with FOW I could analyse the enemy production. Eg. as an allied player I would auto count his units in contact with allied forces (therefore visible to me) and realise that last turn I counted 8 ARM but this turn I can only count 3… better get ready to defend against his next offensive. Or maybe as the CW I encountered 4 subs this turn and I know I’ve sunk 6 since the war begun so if I add that to the other units I have encountered then I’m still missing 12 PP from his plans. Maybe he did lay down the other battleship?

Important to be able to map all unit categories with losses against launches so at any point I can compare my current total on-map forces with my forces at start of game/ 1 month ago/3 months ago and see trends (INF up 3, SUBs up 2, FTR down 2, CV up 1)

On the note of FOW (I know you won’t like this one) how about revealing units which have been overflown by my units on any air missions “Hey… is that a Panzer down there?”


These are good ideas. It will take me some time to digest them.

I can comment that the fog of war you are envisioning is different from what I see for MWIF. This was discussed before somewhere but I can't seem to track down the discussion. As I understand it, you see fog of war as only being able to see enemy units in the front line (e.g., in a ZOC). I proposed this very early on (it was suggested to me by David Heath) and was chastised by several people who had very good reasons why it was inappropriate for WIF.

The alternative fog of war, that the forum members liked, was what Chris used in CWIF. You can see all the units on the map - their hex or sea box locations - but for enemy units you can only see their types, not their combat values. Essentially, all the numbers and names on enemy units are blank.

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Greyshaft)
Post #: 86
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/10/2005 5:22:19 AM   
doctormm


Posts: 124
Joined: 5/28/2004
Status: offline
Things that I think about when building (or would like to see in MWiF), that I haven't seen mentioned already -

Targetted gearing -
For instance, I want a gearing of 9 ships for J/F 1941. It would be nice to have something that reminds me in J/A 1940 that I need to build at least 6 ships.

ATR for PARA -
If I've got a PARA built, it would be nice to have a reminder to build an ATR.

Pilot indicator -
A count that sums the number of pilots on the pilot track and build spiral, and deducts the number of AC on the spiral (i.e., shows me how many pilots I need to build to crew the planes I've built).

Must builds -
I'd like to be able to tag units so that whenever they're in my force pools, they're highlighted for building (i.e, ENG, MAR, Essex class CVs).

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 87
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/10/2005 10:27:12 AM   
Froonp


Posts: 7899
Joined: 10/21/2003
From: Marseilles, France
Status: offline
I also would like to have an indication about the average CP units I am losing each turn, and also about how many CP I have at sea, and how many I have in ports.

Best Regards

Patrice

(in reply to doctormm)
Post #: 88
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/10/2005 11:51:22 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

Posts: 18411
Joined: 5/19/2005
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Froonp

I also would like to have an indication about the average CP units I am losing each turn, and also about how many CP I have at sea, and how many I have in ports.


Taking several posts as a group, I think I can state that we would like to know a history of our losses and current strengths for anything that we might want to build. (N'est ce pas?)

_____________________________

Steve

Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to Froonp)
Post #: 89
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 8/10/2005 12:25:42 PM   
Froonp


Posts: 7899
Joined: 10/21/2003
From: Marseilles, France
Status: offline
quote:

Taking several posts as a group, I think I can state that we would like to know a history of our losses and current strengths for anything that we might want to build. (N'est ce pas?)

Exactement !

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 90
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