The pencil mark is NOT clutter, it indicates that you can edit (re-name) the item.
Or just use F2 to rename if a window has the input-focus. Anyone familiar with the Windows UI might be able to discover this, and even so, this could be mentioned in the docs or on forum-posts from time to time. Of course, double-click-to-rename should work too.
there’s also way too much info being shown.
While I agree that there should be some decluttering going on, all the info should still be accessible. If you really want to get rid of tabs, at least being able to hover over things like the financials should show the full financial details. One thing tabs are good at is aiding discoverability, but if you want to go for the ‘hover to bring up more details’ approach, at least make the hoverable area show some sort of change when a mouseover event happens. Less clutter does mean it looks tidier, but it should always be possible to access the information.
I do like the new vehicle detail screen – especially the age-progression and value-deprecation graphs. Perhaps, there should also be a distance-graph for how far the train has travelled from the previous stop to the next stop (Railroad Tycoon 2 has something like this).
Text labels of other stats replaced by icons
If that does happen, it should be possible to hover over an icon to see what it is. The icon for loading-speed does not look very intuitive.
Another problem could be new interfaces (touch screens). They are known to be defective regarding hovering compared to older interfaces…
ARGH! The T-word!!!
I honestly don’t think that Train Fever is suitable for the user-input-abomination known as the ‘touchscreen’. And if Urban Games did try and make it touchscreen friendly, I hope they don’t have to compromise on the usability of a keyboard-and-mouse interface.
[re: main connections] There’s no point worrying about the minutiae of (2) while (1) is happening, because the game is getting slaughtered in the ratings, harming reputation of UG in the process. (1) has to be fixed before (2) can even be thought about.
Perhaps there could be four difficulty-levels: Three (or maybe more) pre-defined levels – ‘Easy’, ‘Medium’, ‘Hard’, and a fourth one – ‘Custom’. Easy, Medium and Hard have things like main-connection fixed (off for easy, on for hard – not sure about medium) and in ‘Custom’ mode, ‘main connection’ can be turned off or on independently of other difficulty-parameters. This way, the Easy mode can have several things turned off (eg. Main Connection) that new players have a hard time with.
From my point of view as a user (different from the point of view of the company), I’d rather see a more challenging game than to make it simpler in order to gain more audience or higher ratings in whatever popular ranking. Most of games are very simple just in order to get more market and that’s specially frustrating in simulations.
This! Very much this! Please don’t insult the intelligence of your players, insult their stupidity instead! Fortunately, TF doesn’t fall into this trap, although the UI can still be frustrating at times (but not as frustrating as it used to be).
Just similar with the “not able to align terrain” when building. It makes no sense since construction is really possible. You have to elevate terrain here and there. Construction should be either impossible or automatic. If the programmers wants to forbid certain abuse when building, just put a higher price in unrealistic constructions.
I agree – more flexible construction at a price. I find that when building a track at a different altitude than the ground, unless a bridge or tunnel is built, the land that is added or subtracted slopes ca. 45 degrees, which can be the cause of many a terrain-alignment-collision error, but if I use the raise/lower tools, I can create steeper slopes – and hence tighter junctions. It would be nice if we could automatically build steeper slopes – even if it came at an extra cost (in the real world, you’d have to build something to re-inforce a steep slope to prevent it from collapsing, so the extra cost would be justified).
Oh, and my suggestion for the TF UI: could you please change the mouse-cursor-image according to the mode/state the mouse-action is in (a different mouse-cursor for ‘select’, ‘build’, ‘delete’, ‘add-station-to-route’, ‘group-station’, ‘road-upgrade’, etc). Currently, we have this implemented for electrification and high-speed-rail, so why not for all possible action-states? This would come especially in handy if bulldozer-mode is selected – it will reduce the chance of someone accidentally demolishing something when they were intending to select something. Being able to tell at a glance which mode the cursor is in would all of a sudden make the interface feel a whole lot less awkward.