Totally agree! Though I would go further and say that the underlying problem is inadequate User Interface design.
Look at the first image you posted - the "call out" boxes you've added would be really useful as tool tips. You've even half designed how the screen should look! We've had tooltips for decades, yet WITE/WITW are really deficient in them. I know people will say "read the manual". But even when you do, you then have to remember what each number means. What the number in braces or with an asterisk means - it's different every time and it would be so easy to put a description on the screen, like in your images.
Also showing in your images - columns with no headings. Why not put a description on the heading? With a tooltip that explains it? Numbers floating around, badly aligned with no explanation. This is why the game needs to become your lifes work - if you leave the game for a few weeks, you have to relearn it all - and spend yet more time going through the manual to find what an asterisk means.
TBH This is what drove me away from these games. Not the actual game complexity. But that the interface confuses things even more, not displaying things like basic column headings, tool tips and so on. I'm a developer so I know these are trivial to implement (if you are using a sensible UI framework...). That's what I don't get - we're not talking anything flashy, just what is generally considered the bare minimum in software usability. It's nothing that requires vast expense, just basics. Columns of numbers should have a heading explaining what they are. This is not the only very basic rule of UI design that is broken (ignored?) in this and many other computer wargames.
And going off on a tangent.. I think that this lack of attention to accesibility is a big reason "serious" wargames remain such a tiny niche. That and poor production values in general. NOT complexity or lack of flashy graphics. Plenty of complex games (eg HOI) have huge followings. The difference is things like presenting information in a way that makes it easy to understand - this being, to me and probably thousands of other strategy gamers - the big blocker on WITE/WITW type games. HOI is complex yet has 100,000s of players because it is accesible. When you hover over numbers, you get tooltip boxes explaining them and the rules behind them, just like in your examples - right there, in the game.
I can only guess that as a spin off from board games, most of the market are happy reading a 400 page manual before starting and having to refer to it regularly to make sense of lists of untitled numbers.
Will be interesting to see if the UI is improved for WITE2, from screenshots, it doesn't look like it.
Bye, and "45* (3.4) M -0.44 [R] " for now
< Message edited by hazxan -- 1/7/2021 11:35:06 AM >