aubergine18

Home Forums Behind the scenes #4 – Sales, distribution, piracy and marketing

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  • in reply to: UX/UI Suggestions #20453
    aubergine18
    Participant

    Minor tweaks…

    Speed added to footer panel:

    Vehicle icon and name shown in footer panel when info panel is active:

    Also, on the info panel:

    • Hover over Age graph: Number in middle replaced with recycle icon – click to upgrade/replace vehicle
    • Hover over Val graph: Number in middle replaced with “$” icon – click to sell vehicle
    in reply to: UX/UI Suggestions #20452
    aubergine18
    Participant

    An alternate vehicle detail screen:

    • age progression and value depreciation shown as horseshoe charts
    • …tooltip could provide numbers (eg. “x% of y years” and “x% of y purchase cost”)
    • Text labels of other stats replaced by icons

    in reply to: UX/UI Suggestions #20451
    aubergine18
    Participant

    Good idea RAAndre

    in reply to: UX/UI Suggestions #20448
    aubergine18
    Participant

    It’s clutter. Anyone who wants to edit the names of stuff will ask if they can’t work it out for themselves.

    For reference: Cities: Skylines has over 1 million players and doesn’t have a pencil icon next to names (which are editable by clicking them). Every few months someone posts a question asking how to edit names, it’s no big deal.

    When it comes to UI, less is more.

    Compare the simplified UI mockups in my last comment to the current game UI shown below:

    Not only is the window changing size for each tab, but there’s also way too much info being shown.

    in reply to: UX/UI Suggestions #20445
    aubergine18
    Participant

    Vehicle panels… Their varying shapes and sizes are somewhat annoying, so here’s my take on how they should work…

    You’ll notice some changes to the basic panel:

    • Pencil icon removed from title bar – it’s just clutter
    • …double-click to edit title; existing title should be selected so any typing immediately replaces it
    • …press Return/Enter to save; note: should return keyboard focus to main map (doesn’t currently)
    • Tabs removed;  window takes up less space…
    • …replaced by new “i” button added in sidebar; will explain in next pic
    • Reverse icon moved down the sidebar as it’s more associated with Stop icon than “go to depot” IMO
    • Footer area re-arranged; handles long line / place names better

    Welcome to the new details/financials screen – everything you need in one place. Note the window size hasn’t changed.

    Hover mouse over the “i” button in sidebar to temporarily view the details pane, or click the button to toggle persistent display. Would be nice to have game setting to choose which screen is shown by default (camera view or info view) when panels are opened.

    Want more details about the financials? Hover over a year panel and the running costs & income for that year are displayed in the footer area.

    One more thing: Right-clicking any window should close it so we don’t have to fiddle with the small “x” button. This will make closing multiple windows so much easier.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by aubergine18.
    in reply to: Tryed a game after 10months – frustration 100% #20441
    aubergine18
    Participant

    Actually, one more thing…

    Current way to install a mod:

    • Go to some external website (eg. this site)
    • Work out where the mods are
    • Agree to some terms and conditions that are never going to be read
    • Hunt through badly designed downloads section, most of which is in language I don’t speak, to see if you can find something
    • Download it
    • Unzip/rar
    • Copy stuff to folders, hopefully the right ones, and hopefully without breaking anything
    • See if it works, if not, meh.

    Manual removal of mods is also painful.

    I know there’s some windows apps for making process less painful, but they are no use to us Mac users.

    What it would be like with Steam Workshop integrated:

    • Search workshop or browse by category
    • Subscribe

    Don’t like the mod? Unsubscribe. Mod updates? Automatic. Ratings, comments, discussions, list stuff by same author, collections… Long list of other ways that Steam Workshop makes life easier for users and modders alike. If I’d seen a workshop filled with some of the awesome mods available – like those Russian trains for example – I’d have purchased the game much sooner.

    Also, sharing mods via workshop would be a whole lot nicer too – see games such as Cities:Skylines and Prison Architect for great examples; just click a Share button and maybe fill out a few extra details or add a preview image an the game deals with uploading to workshop. So after testing your mod in-game, the workflow is Main Menu > Assets (or whatever) > Share. So simple.

    in reply to: Tryed a game after 10months – frustration 100% #20440
    aubergine18
    Participant

    continued…

    Transporting cargo is way too much pain, particularly when using road vehicles.

    Suggestion: Make it much clearer what a vehicle can transport. Some of the rail wagons for example, I had no real clue what sort of resource they could transport – it might say it on screen somewhere, or in some guide, but I didn’t spot it. Show icons for what the vehicle will transport.

    Suggestion: When upgrading vehicles, have them default to resource the line is currently carrying, if possible.

    Suggestion: If vehicle can carry multiple resources, just show the resource icons as buttons = more obvious that I need to make the choice, easier to make the choice (no need for pop-up resource menu), and clearer which choice is currently active (assuming a background colour added to selected resource).

    Suggestion: Even if vehicle can only carry one resource, show it’s icon = make it super obvious that a vehicle can only carry that type of resource.

    By this stage in my game, I was also getting fatigue from the billions of dialog windows cluttering the screen every time I tried to do something. I realise you can press Del key to get rid of them all, but I’m on a Mac and there is no Del key!

    Suggestion: Allow Backspace key as alternate to Del key

    Suggestion: Find ways to avoid having so many damn pop-up windows all the time. (Compare TrainFever to Cities:Skylines – there are often alternate ways to approach UI!).

    So, back to cargo. Meh. It feels messed up, I’m not sure there’s much you can do about it without breaking backwards compatibility. Here’s some ideas of what could be in TrainFever 2…

    • Get rid of road cargo depots (or whatever they’re called – the round things with 2 or 4 cargo bays). They’re kludgy and ineffective IMHO.
    • Factories should act like ‘road cargo stations’ – I should be able to add them to lines and have my trucks go to them direct to collect/deliver stuff.
    • Add a placeable warehouse building (maybe small, medium, large options for capacity)
    • Trucks can take stuff from and to warehouses; they drive in to warehouse to reduce amount of animation used (that whole thing with resources moving around a train station is just crufty and slow)
    • I can create chains of warehouses, eg. a bunch of trucks shuttling things between warehouses
    • I can assign a fleet of trucks to a warehouse to automatically distribute goods to surrounding area (eg. place warehouse in city and the truck will go about making deliveries) – this would also remove the need for lots of single resource icons moving around screen (and associated pathfinding)
    • Allow adding stations to a road line, so trucks can deliver direct to station (maybe this is already possible, I’ve not tried) – note: I’m aware of grouping, but this isn’t what I mean; trucks should drive in to train station to deliver goods (and without the crufty animations of resources moving on to platforms)

    That’s all for now 🙂

    in reply to: Tryed a game after 10months – frustration 100% #20439
    aubergine18
    Participant

    I registered for this site just to comment on this post. 100% agree with everything said by OP. And also because I think lurking behind the irritating UX is a stunningly awesome game.

    As a new user, it didn’t take me long before I was giving the game a “thumbs down” negative review on Steam. Such reviews affect your sales, which affects your profits, which affects your ability to keep developing games.

    Here’s what I went through when I first started playing…

    Main menu screen: It’s very badly designed. Whenever I see an opening screen like that, I start to worry – if the UX on the main menu is bad, the rest of the game is likely to be worse.

    Suggestion: Full screen image background, with smaller menu panel in middle of screen. (See Cities: Skylines for an example).

    When starting a new game, the UI remains cumbersome. In particular I clicked on the “Cogs” icon which switches to the advanced tab, but then clicking on the Europe tab didn’t take me back to basic tab. It was a while before I realised that there were tabs, because they don’t look like tabs. If they did look like tabs, there would be no need for the Cogs icon.

    Suggestion: Make Basic and Advanced tabs look like tabs, remove the Cogs icon.

    So, I finally get in to the game…

    My biggest frustration by far was the “main line” feature. What the actual f*** were you guys thinking when you coded that pain-inducing feature? I just wanted to build some roads – my roads – and the game was throwing all these obstacles in the way. It’s as if the devs have chosen to punish me for purchasing the game. Long term players may enjoy the extra challenge, but for new users it’s major butt-hurt.

    Luckily, community members over on Steam directed me to the bundled “no main lines” mod (which disables achievements, sigh) and the game suddenly felt playable, resulting in me changing my rating to a tentative “thumbs up” positive review.

    Suggestion: The main lines feature should be an option, which is Off by default.

    The next major frustration I hit was road upgrading. Want to upgrade those dirt tracks between cities? Sorry, you can’t upgrade the road because a rural dirt track to some industry you’re not planning on using is getting in the way. WTAF? So now I have to switch to bulldoze mode, which closes the roads panel (srsly, wtf?), and remove the offending dirt track (which would be impossible without “no main lines” mod) just so I can continue my road upgrades. Click. By. Click. By. Click. Can we not click and drag along a road to upgrade it rather than having to click. every. single. segment. one. by. one? My mouse is going to get carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Suggestion: Auto-bulldoze offending dirt tracks if “main lines” are disabled.

    Suggestion: Dirt track generation should be optional (default On) when starting a game.

    Suggestion: Allow click and drag for road placement and upgrading.

    Suggestion: Bulldoze tool should be separate button that doesn’t close whatever menu I had open.

    My next frustration is with upgrading buildings. So much pain. When playing a game I enjoy challenges, not pain. I want to upgrade buildings like I can upgrade roads. Currently I can’t upgrade, I have to destroy, rebuild, and then deal with all the broken lines and groups, etc.

    Suggestion: Add a “Renovate” button to buildings when a newer version of the building is available. Tooltip could show cost. Clicking button upgrades building in place without breaking lines, etc.

    Suggestion: “+/- platform” buttons on rail stations. Auto-bulldoze anything that gets in the way.

    Even upgrading vehicles is a world of pain. As I don’t want to delete all the vehicles (which would then mean I have to buy new vehicles and assign to a line), I’m looking for a way to quickly upgrade them – and not necessarily when they’ve reached a certain age.

    Suggestion: Add an “Upgrade now” button to the vehicle upgrade panel = upgrade as soon as possible.

    to be continued…

Viewing 8 posts - 16 through 23 (of 23 total)