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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design

 
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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 3/7/2011 11:07:31 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Skanvak


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

I added some more feedback to the player when he is making naval moves. If a player clicks on a sea area to which the units-in-hand can move, then the program assumes that he wants to take the shortest route that avoids being intercepted by enemy units. My addition is to inform that player when there is a shorter route if he goes through sea areas where he can be intercetped.

In the screenshot below, the naval unit started in Liverpool and can either go through the Bay of Biscay, risking being intercepted, or take the Faeroes Gap - Northern Atlantic route to Cape St. Vincent. The latter avoids enemy interception but leaves the unit with only 1 remaining movement point, so it can only go into the 1 section box.



That is quite nice, but I feel that I will not see it in the the very small white font in the green stuff line that I will never look at. Couldn't it be a floating text neat the counter (not on the counter) and in a bigger font?

I fear to have difficulty reading all the small information in the top bar.

If you look at the cursor in that screen shot (post #2038), you'll see "1 E" indicating that the unit has 1 movement point remaining when it reaches Cape St. Vincent (also that enemy units are present). If you change the zoom level to maximum (8), that information will be quite large and easy to read.

As for the all the information in the Main form (e.g., the general text message at the bottom), I am very tight for space. I would like to make all the fonts larger (which I did for virtually all the forms), but I do not want the ~omnipresent forms (e.g., the Main form, the Setup tray, the Units-in-Hex form, and the Flyouts) to take up any more room than absolutely possible. Otherwise the amount of the detailed map that is obscured is very annoying. Trade-offs, trade-offs.

As for having prompt text in a larger font near the cursor, there is already a lot of processing going on behind the scenes as the cursor moves over the map. Adding another 'form', even if it is just a simple text message, would be a pain. I would have to work out how it interacts with all the other things that are going on.

I think in the long run having a second version of the Main form available, where it takes up more room and therefore can use larger fonts would be the way to go. That way if you have a large monitor (or multiple) you could use the bigger version of the Main form.

But I don't have time to implement that player interface choice at the present. Maybe as a revision after the game finally gets released.

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Post #: 2041
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/5/2011 8:19:33 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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I needed to update the Status Indicators so they show when a unit is flying a night mission, flying at extended range, and flying at sea - but not engaged in combat. Here is the revised Help page. [Now I just need to change the code.]




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< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 6/5/2011 8:20:37 PM >


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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/5/2011 9:17:00 PM   
Centuur


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I've take the liberty to show this form (an earlier one in this thread) to my brother, since he is 100% colorblind (I personally have also some problems with it, but he is the type who has an only black and white monitor without any colourpixels in it, specially made for totally colourblind men). He suggested that only the colours should be used, which were in an earlier post here (the colourblind proof colours). Of course this means that a color is used more often, but the alternative for the colourblind is that he has to have another easy accessible tool to pop up (and that takes a lot of time...). This is important, because of the small size of these indicators on the map. Together with full black and full white it should do. He also wondered if it would be possible to make the backgroundcolor always white (an option for colourblind players) in stead of the individual backgroundcolours of the Major Powers. That should make things for the colorblind a lot easier to read.
For colourblind people, the use of many colours in a sheet, makes it very busy. His reaction on some screenshots he saw in here was: I never buy this game. My eyes are hurting...


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Post #: 2043
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/5/2011 9:44:27 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur

I've take the liberty to show this form (an earlier one in this thread) to my brother, since he is 100% colorblind (I personally have also some problems with it, but he is the type who has an only black and white monitor without any colourpixels in it, specially made for totally colourblind men). He suggested that only the colours should be used, which were in an earlier post here (the colourblind proof colours). Of course this means that a color is used more often, but the alternative for the colourblind is that he has to have another easy accessible tool to pop up (and that takes a lot of time...). This is important, because of the small size of these indicators on the map. Together with full black and full white it should do. He also wondered if it would be possible to make the backgroundcolor always white (an option for colourblind players) in stead of the individual backgroundcolours of the Major Powers. That should make things for the colorblind a lot easier to read.
For colourblind people, the use of many colours in a sheet, makes it very busy. His reaction on some screenshots he saw in here was: I never buy this game. My eyes are hurting...



The colors used in most places in MWIF are according to a color chart where the colors are specifically chosen so they can be readily differentiated by people who have trouble with colors: red-green and other combinations.

There is redundancy for everything - colors are never the sole means of communication. The status indicators are redundant with the UnitData panel, which appears in the main form and is updated whenever the cursor passes over a unit on the map. Most forms that show units also have a UnitData panel for the same purpose.

Flags for the Major Powers are displayed to intentionally be redunudant with the background colors that indicate which major power is making decisions.

Actually, the reason I made the above changes was because I first noticed that the UnitData panel wasn't indicating when a unit was flying using extended range. Then I checked the status indicators and saw the information was missing there as well.

Realistically, I can't do much about minimizing the use of color. The game has so much going on that to not use color would be a real disservice to the majority for which color is helpful. Making two versions - one with color and one without - isn't feasilbe at this time either.

I have consciously choosen muted terrain colors so the more vibrant units colors stand out. But that is probably not all that helpful for your brother.

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Post #: 2044
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/6/2011 9:25:52 PM   
Centuur


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You can't do anything about the really colorblind people, however it might be possible for a MWIF 2. The former version of WiF had a very nice map for the colorblind (the blue-gray one). It isn't the counters that are the problem, it is the combination of the map and the counters that makes things for my brother very difficult. I used to play WiF with him using the old map and the new countersheets. Don't worry however, there aren't that much people around in the world who have to buy a specialised monitor to counter this problem...

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Post #: 2045
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/7/2011 6:59:09 PM   
Norden


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Would it be possible to have 2 or 3 colorshemes of varying colors and able to switch between them?



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Post #: 2046
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/7/2011 8:20:26 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Norden

Would it be possible to have 2 or 3 colorshemes of varying colors and able to switch between them?



This falls into the category of: it would be nice if ....

The main problem is with the units. A couple thousand of them use bitmapped graphics, which are antialiased against their country's color. Antialiasing is essential to make the fonts crisp and legible, especially the smaller fonts. If you change the country color for any units (you can do that by editing the data files using NotePad or the like), well, then the bitmapped graphics won't match. And changing several thousand bitmaps would be a real pain for anyone who would tackle the task.

You also have to take into consideration that all the colors have been carefully selected and create a mosaic as the game is played. If you chose a different color for, say, a terrain type, then any of the units with a similar color might 'disappear' when they are placed on that terrain type.

The program also worries about font colors against the background color. This comes up for the SS units which use a red (instead of the normal black) font for non-elite units and a white font for elite units. For countries with a white background color (e.g. Yugoslavia and Denmark), eliete units still use a white font, but a black outline if added to the font so it can be read. A similar problem arises for Japanese tank busters which have red on red.

I could go on for another 20 paragraphs about the use of colors in MWIF, but I think the above gives you a feel for the complexity of the issues involved.

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Post #: 2047
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/13/2011 11:10:29 PM   
Centuur


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

By removing the tutorials and restoring game choices from the old start screen, I have been able to have the new Start of Game form concentrate exclusively on starting a new game. This let me place the sequence for starting a new game in the upper left corner. As the player completes each step, those items will change color to show they have been completed.

I had to trim the previous screen shot, and this one too, because of the limit of 200K imposed on file uploads. Only a small portion of the bottom was cut off.




After reading everything again, because I wasn't happy about something, but I couldn't get it straight at that point. I have a question about the Start of Game form.
Maybe I'm overlooking something here, maybe not.
Looking at the scenario description of Barbarossa, I can't see the goal of the game. Now, as a player I would like to see the victory conditions put here somewhere. Where are they?

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Post #: 2048
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/14/2011 1:31:14 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur


quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

By removing the tutorials and restoring game choices from the old start screen, I have been able to have the new Start of Game form concentrate exclusively on starting a new game. This let me place the sequence for starting a new game in the upper left corner. As the player completes each step, those items will change color to show they have been completed.

I had to trim the previous screen shot, and this one too, because of the limit of 200K imposed on file uploads. Only a small portion of the bottom was cut off.




After reading everything again, because I wasn't happy about something, but I couldn't get it straight at that point. I have a question about the Start of Game form.
Maybe I'm overlooking something here, maybe not.
Looking at the scenario description of Barbarossa, I can't see the goal of the game. Now, as a player I would like to see the victory conditions put here somewhere. Where are they?

That screen shot was one of my very first attempts at the Start New Game form. It has evolved a lot since then. In particular, only one section appears at a time. As you decide on each section (e.g., Mode of Play) the next section appears. That makes it easir for a new player to fiure out what to do. When the entire screen is filled all 5 sections, it can be somewhat overwhelming if you haven't seen each section added individually.

In the example below, the section about choosing which side to play doesn't appear. That's because the mode of play os solitaire.

Victory conditions are pretty much the same in every scenario (Guadalcanal is slightly different since it also counts the number of enemy carriers that are destroyed). The objective hexes do not change and can be viewed using the Victory form (Ctrl-V). IN Barbarossa some objective cities count double, as indicated by the X 2.




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 2049
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/14/2011 11:48:33 AM   
Centuur


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That looks better, however: what do I have to do as the German player to win? Is it enough to have 5 victory points or do I have to get the 20 which are in the scenario booklet of ADG or do I have to get them all?
My point is, that both screenviews doesn't give the player any information when he has won. The second one only says: "the USSR is currently leading"? Why is he leading, when doesn't he lead any more?
Of course, as a player of WiF I know what to do. A new player wouldn't know what to do.
Why not simply say somewhere in the first screen: The objective of the German player is to conquer more than 20 victory points by the end of the game? It makes things clear for players with no experience with Wif.
In the second screen you could add a column stated the minimum requirements to win at the end of the game after the count of the victory points.
Personally, I hate having to sort out for a new PC game what my objectives are. Those should be clear from the start. How to get to win, that is a complete different story of course (I can't wait to shoot you're AI to shreds... )


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Post #: 2050
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/14/2011 7:30:35 PM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur

That looks better, however: what do I have to do as the German player to win? Is it enough to have 5 victory points or do I have to get the 20 which are in the scenario booklet of ADG or do I have to get them all?
My point is, that both screenviews doesn't give the player any information when he has won. The second one only says: "the USSR is currently leading"? Why is he leading, when doesn't he lead any more?
Of course, as a player of WiF I know what to do. A new player wouldn't know what to do.
Why not simply say somewhere in the first screen: The objective of the German player is to conquer more than 20 victory points by the end of the game? It makes things clear for players with no experience with Wif.
In the second screen you could add a column stated the minimum requirements to win at the end of the game after the count of the victory points.
Personally, I hate having to sort out for a new PC game what my objectives are. Those should be clear from the start. How to get to win, that is a complete different story of course (I can't wait to shoot you're AI to shreds... )



Clicking on the Victory form's Help button brings up the following:




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 6/14/2011 7:32:38 PM >


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Post #: 2051
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 6/14/2011 10:02:31 PM   
Centuur


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Thanks. Things are clear now.

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/22/2011 4:49:31 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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This afternoon I got the Search and Seizure form displaying information correctly. There is only one entry (sea area) that is enough for testing its basic functionality.

I still have to write code that actually executes the effects of search and seizure when that button is clicked on.

I included the Sequence of Play form in this screenshot since it shows the full set of End of Turn phases, which are often confusing when playing.




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 2053
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/22/2011 6:48:01 PM   
brian brian

 

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One of the more difficult things about Search & Seizure is remembering that you can even do it....

Lots of odd situations about it in the FAQs, iirc. Best of luck Steve!

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Post #: 2054
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/22/2011 7:04:59 PM   
bo

 

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I am sure this has been covered before, will the game show losses on both sides, naval, air, ground forces, and if so is there a chart available to show us what that might look like?

Bo

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Post #: 2055
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/23/2011 11:43:30 PM   
Red Prince


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bo

I am sure this has been covered before, will the game show losses on both sides, naval, air, ground forces, and if so is there a chart available to show us what that might look like?

Bo

Bo,

I came looking for this thinking I knew what to show, but after reading the question again I'm not so certain. I'm not sure if you mean after each battle, at the end of each turn, or non-stop throughout the game. There are different forms which serve each of these functions, one way or another. What I originally thought to post is the picture below. On the left is the Unit Review form, which shows units, their locations, and some information about them. The list on the left side is scrollable. The right-hand image is the form used to filter what is displayed in the Unit Review (and some other forms). As you can see, there are a large number of different ways to filter units. (Note: the items selected on the Filter image aren't related to what is shown on the Unit Review image; the screenshots come from different points in the game)

You can choose to look at all scrapped units, but there isn't really a way just to show those units 'destroyed' this turn. Between turns, you can choose to scrap any units that were destroyed in the turn. Then they could be seen using the Scrapped filter, but the rest get returned to the Force Pools.

If I misunderstood the question, I'll try again with something else.




Attachment (1)

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/23/2011 11:58:13 PM   
lomyrin


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The pools have submenus that show production arrival turns, repair pool and construction pool contents, reserve pool units and pilots, a breakdown pool showing which units have been broken down and a scrapped units pool and a destroyed units pool for the present turn. Also the force pools for all countries can be examined.

Lars

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Post #: 2057
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/24/2011 12:10:37 AM   
bo

 

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I probably did not phrase the question properly Will the game have a program in it that will show me the ships that have been sunk the air units that have lost and the ground unit that have been destroyed any time during the game that I could check on for what purpose I don't know just like the idea. Or, big or, does every destroyed unit go back into the force pool therefore no need for a destroyed count? Would still like a destroyed report.

Bo

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Post #: 2058
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/24/2011 12:18:38 AM   
Red Prince


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quote:

ORIGINAL: lomyrin

The pools have submenus that show production arrival turns, repair pool and construction pool contents, reserve pool units and pilots, a breakdown pool showing which units have been broken down and a scrapped units pool and a destroyed units pool for the present turn. Also the force pools for all countries can be examined.

Lars

I forgot about the Destroyed Pool. This shot is from a Barbarossa game I've been running.




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 2059
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/24/2011 12:43:20 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Prince


quote:

ORIGINAL: lomyrin

The pools have submenus that show production arrival turns, repair pool and construction pool contents, reserve pool units and pilots, a breakdown pool showing which units have been broken down and a scrapped units pool and a destroyed units pool for the present turn. Also the force pools for all countries can be examined.

Lars

I forgot about the Destroyed Pool. This shot is from a Barbarossa game I've been running.




The Destroyed Pool is only for the current turn. As part of the end-of-turn processing the players have the opportunity to scrap their destroyed units (most of them) or return them to the Force Pool. At the start of each turn the Destroyed Pool is empty.

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/24/2011 4:23:25 PM   
macgregor


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This to me is the money thread. I'm sorry I took so long to find it. So much detail. As one who has played the board game I can surmise what all the screens are for. WiF was no doubt a first-class boardgame, and now it looks like Steve is serving it up in 5-star restaurant. I can only describe this interface as, luxurious. The way all this information is displayed, I actually feel like a general or head of state.I can see myself enjoying this game immensely. I only get nervous when I don't hear anything from the developer, which then causes an overall lack of interest in the forum. That's not happening here as Steve took that option off the table and reports every month. So I know stuff is getting done. Nobody knows how much work this thing will eventually take to finish, but work is constantly being done, and that's the main thing.

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/24/2011 4:55:04 PM   
Centuur


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Prince


quote:

ORIGINAL: lomyrin

The pools have submenus that show production arrival turns, repair pool and construction pool contents, reserve pool units and pilots, a breakdown pool showing which units have been broken down and a scrapped units pool and a destroyed units pool for the present turn. Also the force pools for all countries can be examined.

Lars

I forgot about the Destroyed Pool. This shot is from a Barbarossa game I've been running.




I like the result of this screen, if I'm Germany. Especially if it isn't the first turn result. Timoshenko gone and some nice guns and armor too... Antonescu gone is a small setback, but should be rebuild soon, I gather.

Nice, very nice these type of screens. It looks very, very good...

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/24/2011 6:05:19 PM   
Red Prince


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quote:

I like the result of this screen, if I'm Germany. Especially if it isn't the first turn result. Timoshenko gone and some nice guns and armor too... Antonescu gone is a small setback, but should be rebuild soon, I gather.

Yeah, it was turn #2, and I goofed as Germany in leaving Antonescu dangling in the wind. So, as the USSR I had to take advantage of that error. An unforgiving opponent. Bah!

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Post #: 2063
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/24/2011 6:12:35 PM   
Centuur


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Prince

quote:

I like the result of this screen, if I'm Germany. Especially if it isn't the first turn result. Timoshenko gone and some nice guns and armor too... Antonescu gone is a small setback, but should be rebuild soon, I gather.

Yeah, it was turn #2, and I goofed as Germany in leaving Antonescu dangling in the wind. So, as the USSR I had to take advantage of that error. An unforgiving opponent. Bah!

I see. Good German play to sacrifice Antonescu in exchange for you're armour...

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/24/2011 6:23:56 PM   
gridley

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: macgregor

This to me is the money thread.


Yes, it is. One of the few giant threads I have read start to finish.


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Post #: 2065
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/25/2011 6:33:18 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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I created a new form today - for US Entry Actions. Originally I intended this to include a column for whether the action had occurred or not. But that would be a ton of work and rather impractical given the number of minor countries that the Axis declares war on.

So this is merely informative. It is a companion form to the US Entry Options and US Entry Pools forms. I consider this much easier to read than the version in the WIF FE charts and tables - and that is important for newcomers to WIF.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 7/25/2011 6:34:59 AM >


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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/25/2011 6:50:06 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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Here are the two companion forms. Since Germany is the decision maker (grey background) they are not seeing the values of the US chits.




Attachment (1)

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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/25/2011 8:47:01 AM   
Red Prince


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Just to be clear, the US Entry Options form Steve posted is from a Solitaire game, so the pool values are shown on the right. This is how it looks (minus the new Entry Actions button) in Hot-Seat mode:




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RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/25/2011 3:29:45 PM   
Joseignacio


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bo

I probably did not phrase the question properly Will the game have a program in it that will show me the ships that have been sunk the air units that have lost and the ground unit that have been destroyed any time during the game that I could check on for what purpose I don't know just like the idea. Or, big or, does every destroyed unit go back into the force pool therefore no need for a destroyed count? Would still like a destroyed report.

Bo


No, you can always build units that have been destroyed. Unless you scrap them; you can scrap them in the interphase, when they are old enough, or (inmediately? at turtn's end?) after being destroyed in battle no matter age.

(in reply to bo)
Post #: 2069
RE: MWIF Game Interface Design - 7/25/2011 3:41:03 PM   
Froonp


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

ORIGINAL: bo

I probably did not phrase the question properly Will the game have a program in it that will show me the ships that have been sunk the air units that have lost and the ground unit that have been destroyed any time during the game that I could check on for what purpose I don't know just like the idea. Or, big or, does every destroyed unit go back into the force pool therefore no need for a destroyed count? Would still like a destroyed report.

Bo

I too would like a global losses report.
How many INF, ARM, FTR2, LND3, BB, CL, etc, etc... destroyed turn per turn per major power and globaly.

(in reply to bo)
Post #: 2070
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