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RE: Ready for refund - 4/23/2021 9:02:48 PM   
neuromancer


Posts: 627
Joined: 5/30/2002
From: Canada
Status: offline
This game likes to have screens and popups with a ton of information on it, and most of it is of questionable value. I find for me at least this means I tend to ignore a lot of it, probably to my detriment.

There is a thing called 'Information Overload', and I think this is a very big problem in this game. As I'm sure many of you are aware, this was a problem with the original F4 Phantom. The cockpit was full of so many screens and dials and such that the pilots had a tough time making sense of most of it, especially when they needed it. So they would turn off the screens and ignore the other things, just focusing on a couple specific things they needed and could find easily. After that cockpits were redesigned to have MFDs, the information was still all available, but the pilot could switch the displays to show what he needed at the time, and not have a pile of stuff they didn't need at the moment which would only make it hard to find what they did need.

The UI design needs to be redone to allow for drilling down. The top level should be essential information ONLY. From there you can drill down to what you need. There are places where this is done already like the unit displays, but others are just cluttered with information that isn't useful. Yes, I know the old grognards want to see how many rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition are in each soldier's pockets, but the simple truth is that nobody knew most of this stuff (not even the soldier unless he emptied his pockets to count), and quite frankly most of it doesn't matter. We are supposed to be the top level guys, Halder and Zhukov, or even... gods forbid... Stalin and Hitler (ugh). They didn't care about that stuff, that was what they had staff for, to handle the minutiae.

But fine, have that stuff, but put it where only those people who are that obsessed with the details can be bothered to go find it, and let the rest of us focus on fighting the war.

Also... the turn summary? What the hell? This is a prime example of not telling me what I need to know. I need to know how many times the enemy attacked, and how many times I won or lost. I need to know which units are under-strength and which are out of supply (it does actually tell me this... sort of, the numbers it displays and then the units it highlights are sometimes different), I need to know new units are available (this is theoretically mentioned, but this is the prime case of an important bit of information being lost among the less meaningful information), I need to know frozen units have been activated, I need to know air units are depleted. How many tons of freight are in the system doesn't actually tell me anything I need to know, especially as there is very little I can do about it anyway.

Decisive Campaign Barbarossa had good reports, I could look at a few reports and see what I needed to know, they were divided up well, and I could focus on what I needed. The game didn't have as much detail as this one, but there was still quite a bit and you could drill down to see it when you needed it, it didn't just dump it all on you and tell you to figure it out yourself (I think aides have been fired for less).

And really, did Halder or Zhukov get reports every week telling them exactly how many men were on the entire front, and even in each unit? Somehow I doubt it. I'm not even sure they could have gotten that information even if they wanted it!

- - - - -

This actually reminds me a lot of where I work. We have top level people who demand all these reports about the pandemic (I work in healthcare), and then they don't actually understand the information they are given (but they like to freak out about changes in it). And most of the time they only read the summaries anyway because they have other things to do than wade through hundreds of pages of numbers about things they don't actually understand (and when they do try to read them they quickly display their lack of understanding, so now someone else has to spend a bunch of time explaining to them why their conclusions about what it meant was wrong). And to be fair, it isn't their job to understand them, that is what other people do, their job is to listen to those other people when they say there is a problem, and facilitate a solution - of course that isn't what they do, too many managers tend to be prime examples of Dunning-Kruger.

- - - - -

Aaaaanyway.

tl/dr: The information UIs could really use some redesign to be more useful.



< Message edited by neuromancer -- 4/23/2021 9:05:27 PM >

(in reply to Hanny)
Post #: 31
RE: Ready for refund - 4/23/2021 9:15:13 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 36697
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
It's worth noting that while some aspects are objective, there are many other aspects of information presentation and management that are subjective and dependent on a player's playstyle, focus and information management preferences. A lot of the improvements to the UI in WITE2 were based on allowing more options to sort, filter and customize the vast amounts of data.

Since this is turning into a more general thread, I'll just direct folks with suggestions to the Feature Suggestion sub-forum here:

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=1822

Or with issues to the Tech Support sub-forum here:

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=1815

Either way, your ideas or issues will be seen more quickly by the development team in those places.

Regards,

- Erik



_____________________________

Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC




For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to neuromancer)
Post #: 32
RE: Ready for refund - 4/23/2021 9:48:08 PM   
loki100


Posts: 10183
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: neuromancer

This game likes to have screens and popups with a ton of information on it, and most of it is of questionable value. I find for me at least this means I tend to ignore a lot of it, probably to my detriment.

There is a thing called 'Information Overload', and I think this is a very big problem in this game. As I'm sure many of you are aware, this was a problem with the original F4 Phantom. The cockpit was full of so many screens and dials and such that the pilots had a tough time making sense of most of it, especially when they needed it. So they would turn off the screens and ignore the other things, just focusing on a couple specific things they needed and could find easily. After that cockpits were redesigned to have MFDs, the information was still all available, but the pilot could switch the displays to show what he needed at the time, and not have a pile of stuff they didn't need at the moment which would only make it hard to find what they did need.

The UI design needs to be redone to allow for drilling down. The top level should be essential information ONLY. From there you can drill down to what you need. There are places where this is done already like the unit displays, but others are just cluttered with information that isn't useful. Yes, I know the old grognards want to see how many rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition are in each soldier's pockets, but the simple truth is that nobody knew most of this stuff (not even the soldier unless he emptied his pockets to count), and quite frankly most of it doesn't matter. We are supposed to be the top level guys, Halder and Zhukov, or even... gods forbid... Stalin and Hitler (ugh). They didn't care about that stuff, that was what they had staff for, to handle the minutiae.

But fine, have that stuff, but put it where only those people who are that obsessed with the details can be bothered to go find it, and let the rest of us focus on fighting the war.

Also... the turn summary? What the hell? This is a prime example of not telling me what I need to know. I need to know how many times the enemy attacked, and how many times I won or lost. I need to know which units are under-strength and which are out of supply (it does actually tell me this... sort of, the numbers it displays and then the units it highlights are sometimes different), I need to know new units are available (this is theoretically mentioned, but this is the prime case of an important bit of information being lost among the less meaningful information), I need to know frozen units have been activated, I need to know air units are depleted. How many tons of freight are in the system doesn't actually tell me anything I need to know, especially as there is very little I can do about it anyway.

Decisive Campaign Barbarossa had good reports, I could look at a few reports and see what I needed to know, they were divided up well, and I could focus on what I needed. The game didn't have as much detail as this one, but there was still quite a bit and you could drill down to see it when you needed it, it didn't just dump it all on you and tell you to figure it out yourself (I think aides have been fired for less).

And really, did Halder or Zhukov get reports every week telling them exactly how many men were on the entire front, and even in each unit? Somehow I doubt it. I'm not even sure they could have gotten that information even if they wanted it!

- - - - -

This actually reminds me a lot of where I work. We have top level people who demand all these reports about the pandemic (I work in healthcare), and then they don't actually understand the information they are given (but they like to freak out about changes in it). And most of the time they only read the summaries anyway because they have other things to do than wade through hundreds of pages of numbers about things they don't actually understand (and when they do try to read them they quickly display their lack of understanding, so now someone else has to spend a bunch of time explaining to them why their conclusions about what it meant was wrong). And to be fair, it isn't their job to understand them, that is what other people do, their job is to listen to those other people when they say there is a problem, and facilitate a solution - of course that isn't what they do, too many managers tend to be prime examples of Dunning-Kruger.

- - - - -

Aaaaanyway.

tl/dr: The information UIs could really use some redesign to be more useful.




but the geniune problem is that is what you want, what you find essential and so on. Nothing you say is unreasonable but its not what I look for - and I too use a pretty cut down set of screens most of the time. Now no set top level screens is going to satisfy us both, never mind the 1000s of other players.

You mention DC:B as a good example, well I really enjoy Shadow Empires and I find the information structure there near impenetrable.

_____________________________


(in reply to neuromancer)
Post #: 33
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