Beta feedback was requested to this forum, so here’s some UI feedback for you. This is using build 1.05 (it doesn’t seem to have patched itself yet).
Deployment grid placement
The mouse interaction with the grid is not quite right. If you press the mouse button over a ship, anywhere over a ship, it shouldn’t move until you move the mouse. Related to this, when you move the mouse, the ship should be snapping to the grid so that the point on it where the mouse went down remains as close as possible to the mouse pointer.
Perhaps not so vital if the grid thing is fixed, but it’s all too easy to drop a cruiser off the left hand edge of the deployment area when just clicking on it to select it, thus deleting the ship and causing intense frustration as all the orders are lost, as are orders of other ships which had it as a target.
Undo would be the ideal solution to this, but failing that, a confirmation that you really wanted to delete the ship would be an improvement. Confirmation not needed if the Delete key is pressed, though, I’d say.
Rubber-band selection bug
Using the rubber band selection doesn’t update the Orders area. To reproduce, have at least two ships deployed. Give them different orders. Click on one, then rubber band select empty space. Now no ships are selected, but the orders area still has orders in it. Click on the other ship, then rubber band select the first ship. Note that the orders area still shows the orders for the unselected ship, not the selected one.
The windows standard shortcut keys are to hold down Shift and click to add to the selection, and Ctrl and click to toggle selection of the clicked item. Is there any reason not to use those for ship selection? Currently, you have Ctrl to add to the selection, and Shift, as far as I can tell, does nothing. There is no way to remove from the selection. These keys should also apply to rubber-band selection, which they currently don’t.
Mass Deploy UI feedback
While in Mass Deploy mode, a ghost of the ship you are inserting should track the mouse cursor, as it does for normal insert. That way you can see what you’re deploying, and where it’s going to go.
Click to deploy
I know the intended way to add ships is to drag and drop them. For some reason I always find myself trying to click on the ship button, then click where I want it to go, though. Is there any reason to disallow this behaviour? Clicking on the ship button doesn’t seem to do anything at present, so it doesn’t look like it would interfere with other functionality. Why not have a click on the ship icon automatically initiate an deploy drag?
It should be possible to save the default orders with a ship design, as most designs are intended for specific uses, and deployment-time tweaks could be made from a more sensible base.
Copy and paste/duplicate
It would be nice to be able to duplicate a selection of ships, including orders. For example, have 4 frigates with orders to protect a cruiser, arranged around it. Select all 5 ships, and copy and past them to form another identical group, with the new 4 frigates arranged around the new cruiser, with orders to protect it.
I also have some crashes logged for you, if that’s any help. No error message beyond the windows standard:
8/9/2009 - 16::52 - Assertion failure:filename:…\src\GUI_BehaviourEditor.cpp,linenum:170,build:Beta 1.05
8/9/2009 - 17::28 - Assertion failure:filename:…\src\SIM_TacticalModule.cpp,linenum:600,build:Beta 1.05
8/9/2009 - 18::10 - Assertion failure:filename:…\src\SIM_TacticalModule.cpp,linenum:294,build:Beta 1.05
I hope this feedback is of some use. If so, I’ll continue to provide it as I play more with the game.