Some UI Issues


#21

I thought of another thing that would help the user friendliness aspect of the research screen

why not allow the user to click, hold and drag the background to move the research tiles to the left instead of using the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen? if I remember right a lot of games have this and I didn’t think of it till now, its kind of second nature to me but I think thats probably why it would be really effective. it sort of treats the entire page as an image or a single entity. I think this would be a nice addition that would probably be more simple than adding that zoom function someone mentioned

it would at least save people the trouble of moving their mouse down to the scroll bar, moving it, then moving their mouse back up to continue whatever they were doing. this would be a lot more direct.

also while im at it, can we click and drag stuff within the research queue as well? those arrows are not really helpful when you want to seriously rearrange the flow and dont want to have to remove stuff in case you forget one


#22

I’ve actually included the background click & drag into the next update for the game (just pending me getting a 64 bit version working in release build).
I do plan to support drag and drop of the research queue as well at some stage


#23

Thinking more about the way the research screen is organized I think another problem of why its so frustrating to use is due to specializations and they way you have to hunt around for them on 2 separate screens.

So I think restructuring the research window as follows would work out better:
Factory Upgrades > Robots, Improved Efficiency, Factory Expansion, Power Production
Factory Administration > Marketing, QA, Export, Research
Product Design > Car Designs
Product Features > Safety, Driver Assist, Security, Environmental, Convenience, Entertainment, Performance
Station Specialization (Unlock Slots/options for improvement in existing Stations) > Chassis, Body, Paint Engine, Accessories
Manufacturing Process (Unlock New Manufacturing Stations for Components) > Chassis, Body, Paint Engine, Accessories

to make this less confusing at the bottom of the page for Product features that require a Station Specialization include the research required so you dont have to switch tabs

adding the required prerequisite research to the research queue would help as well

also I think doing a top down approach would be better than a left to right layout because text is read left to right if there is more research they do not stack as well. going vertical would allow a lot more on screen I think


#24

@cliffski
draft of the suggestion:

side scrolling would still be a thing, but it would not be as noticeable.

plus of doing the research screen like this is that each sub category, like “Faster Drying” in the example above can be minimized so that you only see the frist prerequisite research instead of the entire list down that research branch.

as mentioned in the previous post, for Product Features that require a Station Specialization to be unlocked you can split the screen horizontally and have 2 tabs combined into 1 essentially, you just have to do a little bit more vertical scrolling, but it would solve the problem of having to swap tabs and look through the giant tech screen we have currently


#25

thinking about the layout of columns in the previous draft, with this format you could actually just put the entire tech tree into one big tile-set that is divided into columns and expand them under those columns as needed on 1 screen (no tabs) and it would take up less space and maximize screen use, though it would require a bit of scrolling still

also you would have to remember the expansions done when you minimize an expanded tile

so you could put dividing lines or headers above different sections of the tile-set within those columns and it would be much more compact. also putting in a search bar or a quick link on a tool bar to go to designated sections might be a thing as well. I think mostly these would be more useful for those that want to heavily mod the game. otherwise I think it would be a nightmare to play the game.


#26

I just got the game the other day and this was by far the most frustrating part of the game. The tech tree needs better organization. Switching between the tabs, trying to figure out which specialization/feature/tech combo I was trying to get was not fun. I just stopped playing and went to work mapping out the tech tree by shop station.

While the Safety/DriverAssist/Security/Environmental/etc partitions make sense from a theme point of view, is there any reason to them besides adding a layer to the tech tree? As it is I spent the first several hours just bouncing around techs, starting down one feature tree before realizing it needed something else. Meanwhile one of my competitors researches car alarms 16 seconds into the game (I was still picking my logo) lol.

Its fine to have a flat wide tech tree, but the design needs some work


#27

Some Alternative ideas…

Instead of having to hunt down different stations and figure out what you should be researching just hide research that is irrelevant to the player currently. I don’t see a reason a new player needs to be able to see all possible research at the start of the game anyhow. Make this something you can toggle if necessary.

This would make it more clear to the player what research is available for the upgrade stations you have placed currently.

Also it would be great if when you click on an upgrade that needs research

  • it takes you to the research screen that it would highlight the research you need
  • OR put a button on the upgrade window to queue this item for research
  • OR queue this item and all prerequisites for research rather than taking you to the research screen.

#28

Yup I agree that we should be highlighting the tech when it jumps to that screen. I’m undecided on the ‘hide tech you cant use yet’, unless its just heavily faded and only partly hidden, because I think that generates confusion when people know of a tech, even one that they know they can’t get yet, but they cannot find it anywhere, and thus do not know what path to take on earlier research.