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Praise to Vic's UI Design

 
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Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 12:46:30 AM   
eddieballgame

 

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The more I play this gem, the more I am impressed with how well the UI was/is designed.
This is one of the easiest to navigate complex 4X's I have ever played & all thanks to the UI design. imho
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RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 10:39:10 AM   
zgrssd

 

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While the basis is solid, people overall seem to disagree with that assesment for now:
https://www.vrdesigns.net/?p=2014

(in reply to eddieballgame)
Post #: 2
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 11:43:31 AM   
ZiggyMaca

 

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I think the layout is pretty good, but there are some automatic arrangement of tabs / panes while is a screen (like open the profile tab while making decisions) and some additional linking of screens (like link the construction screen in the assets - management screen)

(in reply to zgrssd)
Post #: 3
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 12:30:16 PM   
diamondspider

 

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It is good once you get used to it, but it is not easy to get used to.

(in reply to ZiggyMaca)
Post #: 4
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 2:29:14 PM   
willgamer


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Do we really need to click hundreds of times on "Roger That" during the course of a game???

_____________________________

Rex Lex or Lex Rex?

(in reply to diamondspider)
Post #: 5
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 5:28:56 PM   
eddieballgame

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

While the basis is solid, people overall seem to disagree with that assesment for now:
https://www.vrdesigns.net/?p=2014


My assessment is based on my many hours of playing...while comparing this to many past 4X games;
& I have played quite a few over the decades.

I am thinking much of the newer generation crowd needs everything on one screen or else they panic & get...confused.


(in reply to zgrssd)
Post #: 6
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 5:43:38 PM   
Pi2repsilon

 

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For a tiny studio, the UI is a decent attempt. A lot of work has gone into it.

There are lots of ways to improve it though.

There are still a number of instances of "my UI is lying to me", and that's NEVER good in a strategy game, even if it is simple things like events saying that X happens while in reality Y happens, or tooltips that are either wrong, or they are right but the rest of the UI doesn't reflect this (e.g. +10 to war tactician card doesn't actually show +10 to war, but it does show something else, so what's going on? If it DOES add 10 to war, then the war value should indicate this, e.g. 50(60); if it doesn't, the tooltip shouldn't say so), or values that aren't updated when they change, stratagems that aren't removed immediately when they are rendered invalid (e.g. crackdown on syndicate).

Then you've got the cumbersome interactions. As an example, since you schedule many important actions through your secretary, the main screen should have a link to your secretary present at all times - or at the very least when the regime foldout is shown in the bottom fourth of the screen, rather than forcing you to go through the profile view or through the management/leaders view.

Or the "you know, I like manuals as much as the next guy, but not presenting this data in-game is a crime against good UI design" issues. Take an obvious example such as model design, when choosing weapons you don't see what targets the weapon is good at (pg 325), but it would be trivial to present the data for each weapon along with its cost so the player would know it when choosing. Or when picking engine, why doesn't the interface tell you the speed mod (pg 324) given the total weight including this engine? So long as the engine is chosen last, you can tell the player exactly the consequences for speed of choosing the different engines, and this is something of extreme importance to the design. Why would you want the player to perform the engine power/total weight division and consult with a manual table to see the effects of their choice during design?

Or given that each budget priority of a council is governed by one (1) skill, why the hell does the player need to learn these by heart or keep referring to the manual to see which skills different councils use, and which of their budget priorities use which skills? Just add the skill in question to the budget line whenever it is shown, and make the tooltip for a council position list all the relevant skills.

I could go on, and if I'm sick one of these days I'll probably do a professional one-over of the interface in a suggestion post, because it is a crying shame how the UI is letting the game down; Not by being bad - it isn't bad at all - but by being unpolished and omitting many quick wins, that would make it a much more approachable game.

I've been playing wargames these past four decades, and while I appreciate much about this game I can't help fearing that the UI's lack of polishing plus the absurd turn times once the game gets going will in the long run doom it to a mediocrity it otherwise doesn't deserve.

< Message edited by Pi2repsilon -- 6/28/2020 5:51:30 PM >

(in reply to willgamer)
Post #: 7
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 5:44:05 PM   
ZiggyMaca

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: eddieballgame


quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

While the basis is solid, people overall seem to disagree with that assesment for now:
https://www.vrdesigns.net/?p=2014


My assessment is based on my many hours of playing...while comparing this to many past 4X games;
& I have played quite a few over the decades.

I am thinking much of the newer generation crowd needs everything on one screen or else they panic & get...confused.




LOL. Yeah, I've been in game dev since the early nineties, I'm an old fart. The UI reminds me of the golden age of strategy games (and the game itself), like when Microprose and New World was a thing.

(in reply to eddieballgame)
Post #: 8
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 5:47:55 PM   
eddieballgame

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ZiggyMaca


quote:

ORIGINAL: eddieballgame


quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

While the basis is solid, people overall seem to disagree with that assesment for now:
https://www.vrdesigns.net/?p=2014


My assessment is based on my many hours of playing...while comparing this to many past 4X games;
& I have played quite a few over the decades.

I am thinking much of the newer generation crowd needs everything on one screen or else they panic & get...confused.




LOL. Yeah, I've been in game dev since the early nineties, I'm an old fart. The UI reminds me of the golden age of strategy games (and the game itself), like when Microprose and New World was a thing.


Ah yes...the 'good ole' days. I remember them well.

(in reply to ZiggyMaca)
Post #: 9
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 5:57:36 PM   
eddieballgame

 

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Joined: 6/29/2011
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One of the many things I like about this UI, is how easy it is to go from one screen to another (& back) while trying to make decisions per the screen you are on.
Many UIs, I have encountered tend not to be so friendly in this area.
I get that improvements can be made, like what leader actually handles the taxes, (without having to remember) for example.
Still, for me it gets an A for ease of use.

(in reply to eddieballgame)
Post #: 10
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/28/2020 9:01:34 PM   
GodwinW


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What I love is that there's so much info you can look up and may need at some time.
And that there's hardly any handholding on what's going wrong why.
It makes for a very interesting 'investigate your own empire' minigame which I LOVE and which is UNIQUE!

(in reply to eddieballgame)
Post #: 11
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/29/2020 4:05:54 AM   
Tomn

 

Posts: 148
Joined: 4/22/2013
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Eh...I dunno. The UI might be better than other grog games, but my friend and I, both light grogs at best, agree that a huge part of this game is simply learning where to find the information you want and how to interpret it when you do. Having vital knowledge nested within a tab, inside a button, and under a mouseover tooltip on some interface text with sometimes only minimal labels on the tooltips to explain what you're seeing makes the game's UI something of a safari. Granted there IS a mass of information out there and I'm not entirely sure how to BEST present it, not being a UI designer myself, but it seems hard to argue that you spend nearly as much time, if not more, learning how to navigate the interface as you do working out the game's system when starting out - and that doesn't seem ideal.

I mean, heck, look at how many topics in this forum can and have been answered by someone going "You just need to look in X part of the interface." It's an issue! Not to denigrate Vic or to downplay the complexity of his task in any way, it's a hell of a job he's got and he's done fairly well with it, but I still don't feel like we're looking at the best of all possible UIs here exactly.

(in reply to GodwinW)
Post #: 12
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/29/2020 5:27:53 AM   
Radagy


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It’s a great game, with strong and solid ideas behind it, but IMHO, UI should be #1 on the list of things to improve.

(in reply to Tomn)
Post #: 13
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/29/2020 7:06:23 AM   
eddyvegas

 

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Joined: 6/16/2014
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I'm not a wargamer, and 'praise' is not the first word that comes to mind when confronting (and that is the correct word) the UI. My god there are so many simple things that could be done right now to make the game more user friendly and agreeable to play.

Great suggestions above. Now, will the 'delete all 31 traffic signs' button get moved? Or will there be a 2% modification to one of the stats? Personally I vote for moving the button.


(in reply to Radagy)
Post #: 14
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/29/2020 9:19:15 AM   
Pi2repsilon

 

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Joined: 6/15/2020
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quote:

ORIGINAL: GodwinW

What I love is that there's so much info you can look up and may need at some time.
And that there's hardly any handholding on what's going wrong why.
It makes for a very interesting 'investigate your own empire' minigame which I LOVE and which is UNIQUE!

That's certainly an interesting point of view, and, dare I say it, positively unique: Information valued for its potential use rather than its present use, and lack of pointing out relevant information praised because it makes the hunt for the right information the sweeter.

At that point one has to wonder whether the UI minigame of hunting pertinent information has superceded the game itself in importance.


(in reply to GodwinW)
Post #: 15
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/29/2020 10:06:41 AM   
GodwinW


Posts: 511
Joined: 6/5/2020
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pi2repsilon

quote:

ORIGINAL: GodwinW

What I love is that there's so much info you can look up and may need at some time.
And that there's hardly any handholding on what's going wrong why.
It makes for a very interesting 'investigate your own empire' minigame which I LOVE and which is UNIQUE!

That's certainly an interesting point of view, and, dare I say it, positively unique: Information valued for its potential use rather than its present use, and lack of pointing out relevant information praised because it makes the hunt for the right information the sweeter.

At that point one has to wonder whether the UI minigame of hunting pertinent information has superceded the game itself in importance.




Thanks :)
I had an experience where I suddenly saw my capital, which always was max happiness, suddenly have red arrows for their happiness. [Negative experience]

So I went to look why. It went down because of QOL being low.
QOL low? Wth did I lose that 50% bonus profile feat? Nope I did not.

Inspect some more: oh! The private economy is mothballing practically all of their QOL buildings.
Alright, but why?

Then I found out that the private economy has no money.
Alright, but why?

Found out that there were about twice as many private jobs as there were people (this must have been going for many turns)!
People were migrating.

And, the private economy was spending all its money on buying Free Folk.
[Positive experience: figured out the cause]

So the negative experience is already offset by a positive one.
Now comes a challenge: to repair it.

Call governor: massively increase public budget for a few turns, and forbid them to buy free folk. Lower taxes. All so private economy stops bleeding credits.

Then use colonists and recruits to increase city population and play stratagems to put more population in that city.

Then make sure the target cities (the cities my capital's pop was emigrating towards) don't need as many workers anymore.

And increase QOL a bit by building 2 QOL buildings myself.

Manage this closely for about 4 turns:
YES! QOL comes back up, population growth to the city grows! We evaded catastrophe!
Very cool!
[Positive experience]

Now, compare this with:

New turn report (much earlier in the process): "Sir, You're having slightly too few population for your private economy jobs.
Play stratagems to attract more people or fire workers to fix this." [slightly negative experience: bleh some busywork to do]
Alright, fixed it [slight positive experience as it's now fixed].

The second is so much worse than the first in terms of epic stories happening as you play. So very much worse.

The first makes you feel like a leader in charge really managing their own empire and is immersing you into the game world.
The second is just making you a robot: Problem: pull this lever to correct problem.


But about superseding.. I don't really know about that.
It's just incredibly cool and unique how this all works in this game.

(btw I forgot the whole tangent where due to them mothballing their farm I almost had food problems which I managed to notice in time and narrowly avoid :D)


< Message edited by GodwinW -- 6/29/2020 10:15:03 AM >

(in reply to Pi2repsilon)
Post #: 16
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/29/2020 10:58:55 AM   
Pi2repsilon

 

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Joined: 6/15/2020
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Sounds less like being a leader of a country, than being the head inmate in charge of a madhouse. Oh, I get the joy in figuring out how to repair the damage done when it is something that counterintuitive, but the situation you address is this:

People are emigrating from and closing businesses in a city that has full employment and many excess jobs in needs of workers, because their quality of living is dropping because they prefer working in non-QOL jobs and thus mothball all their QOL jobs making everybody miserable, and they are spending all their money on enticing other people to immigrate to fulfill their city's excess jobs.

Which frankly sounds more like a bug report should be in order, because without examining the situation closely in a savegame, it sure sounds as if mothballing QOL buildings that typically have low population upkeep and production costs in order to eke a bit more out of non-QOL jobs is the wrong thing for the city to do.

(in reply to GodwinW)
Post #: 17
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/29/2020 1:13:07 PM   
GodwinW


Posts: 511
Joined: 6/5/2020
Status: offline
No it makes sense.

I pay workers well (better than private economy).

I just finished Bureaucratic Offices IV, which need 23k workers, which is a huge number.

So, many people said goodbye to their job and took up that job. That combined with all the rest that was happening means that the private had no choice. They literally had double the jobs to fill. So mothballing was sensible and not a bug.
Also, the other option was to starve (they were already using my emergency food anyway, they had reduced their farm workers by half as well). Then reducing QOL buildings is better for sure.

But THEN QOL drops and *other* people emigrate. It's not the same people. In that respect it's realistic: there's no perfectly logical population that reshuffles itself according to maximum efficiency.

(in reply to Pi2repsilon)
Post #: 18
RE: Praise to Vic's UI Design - 6/29/2020 4:43:16 PM   
ricanuck

 

Posts: 162
Joined: 5/24/2013
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: eddieballgame


quote:

ORIGINAL: ZiggyMaca


quote:

ORIGINAL: eddieballgame


quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

While the basis is solid, people overall seem to disagree with that assesment for now:
https://www.vrdesigns.net/?p=2014


My assessment is based on my many hours of playing...while comparing this to many past 4X games;
& I have played quite a few over the decades.

I am thinking much of the newer generation crowd needs everything on one screen or else they panic & get...confused.




LOL. Yeah, I've been in game dev since the early nineties, I'm an old fart. The UI reminds me of the golden age of strategy games (and the game itself), like when Microprose and New World was a thing.


Ah yes...the 'good ole' days. I remember them well.


You mean, before the rise of the Instant Gratification generations?

Yeah... me too.

(in reply to eddieballgame)
Post #: 19
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