Very simple UX issues

Hi Cliff,
Thanks for releasing the alpha. I only spent like 15 minutes with the build, but I already felt that there a some issues you might not consider as such, as you may be too familiar with the interface:

  • I can’t seem to resume a game I haven’t saved yet after I went to the options menu (Hitting Esc) to for example turn down the music- Pressing Esc again quits the program.
  • The mouse-on-edge scrolling seems off. I have to position the cursor about 20 pixels away from the screen border to make the camera move. I’m running the game at 3840x2160 in fullscreen mode. I resorted to using the keys to scroll.
  • Drawing conveyor belts “around the corner” seemed quite unintuitive to me. I expected it to work like in a grid-based city builder game, where you draw a road, and then another orthogonal, so the first road would just snap into a curve (here: a turntable). Here, I have to draw a curve to make it work.
  • You can draw conveyors over existing stations and delete them without a prompt. That accidentally happened quite a few times and drew me into bankruptcy twice (!) within 10 minutes.
  • Figuring out in which orientation I have to place and connect stations took me some effort to figure out. The yellow arrows on the conveyors are very subtle and in some cases (painting) not clearly visible.

I’ll give you feedback about actual gameplay once I spent some more time with the game.

Thanks for your comments. Yup, I agree the belts are too subtle, I have plans for more obvious ones like these:

And yup, need to fix that dumb overwriting with conveyor belts…I’m on it!
Agreed on the quit to main menu, I was planning on allowing in-game access to the options to make this more sensible.
I might adjust edge scrolling to a percentage of screen size, as with extremely high resolutions like yours I can see it being fiddly (I test at 1920, but game normally at 2560). I admit I prefer arrow keys which is why I haven’t noticed it.

We don’t have curved conveyors purely because it involves at least 16x as much car artwork, so the trade-off is huge. I’;ll see what the consensus is on this.

Ah I think you misunderstood me about the “curved conveyors”. I was referring to placing them, not the actual artwork.

Consider a 3x3 grid, numbered like a keyboard numpad. If I place a conveyor in 4 and 2 and then in 5, I expect 5 to become a turntable. Instead, I now created two parallel lanes; or a dead end. It only works when I draw a line from 4,5 and 2 in one stroke. I get that this is probably to prevent accidentally snapping, but I just wanted you to know that it felt a bit unintuitive at first.
(I think Big Pharma had a nice system where each cell actually had 4 directional sub-cells you could click on to adjust the conveyor configuration.)

In the same vein of suggestions a big direction arrow (or sequence of chevrons spanning the 1 tile width of the conveyor segment) showing the expected input and output of a slot during the pre placement would be very handy since ive installed a fair few back to front.

(also congrats on getting the game out as an alpha)

Yup I have had on my todo list that very concept for ages…hoping to get it done soon. It is a pain right now…especially with the paint slot :smiley:

Basically this will be in the next build:

I do think that would be best way to show direction, hard to miss it that way.

Looks great to me!

Nice one ! Adding and option where the belt direction could be changed without rotating the station and it would be almost perfect.

A couple more UX/UI and playability issues ive just spotted

if you have more than a certain number of saves its impossible to save any more games (see attached image)

And if you redo your conveyors such that you cut off an existing operating stockpile from one socket and then connect it to another no new stock is delivered to the stockpile until you reload the game

Hiya Cliff,

I found a small issue: If I don’t have enough money to build a station, it is impossible to open the specializations thereof, even if I already have researched them and would have enough money to build them. The (+) icon does not react to clicking.
Example: I have researched Engine Specialization, but do not have enough cash to build the “Fit engine” station, so it is grayed out in the build menu. This prevents me from opening (or closing, for that matter) the submenu for the specializations.



[EDIT]Added screenshot for clarification

Found another one, I call this one the moebius belt

Ha! I think its only while dragging to place them correct? If so I may know a fix. I just uploaded a fixed build which fixes the save game thing BTW.

@cliffski: Nope, I just applied scientific method to it and tried all conceivable permutations of single-click-placing and dragging. They all go moebius.

Dear Cliffski,
thank you for the alpha! :slight_smile:
Sorry for the long post, in advance.

I’ve been playing the game for hours now. I’d like to share some of my user experience.
I know it is not final, and not optimized now. But it took me a very short time to max out the basic features. (Still enjoying so much! :slight_smile: )
I mean, when I start a new factory, I always place 2-3 simple production lines to make some money, a lot of research offices, unlock all the producing slots quickly, and then start to create a really big line with all the stations included, all the production steps separated as possible. Paralell duplicating the slow parts, to reach an 8 sec “technology time”, to match the export speed (or even double the export slots, and try to go down for 4 sec cycle time). And done :slight_smile:
It is easy now, beacuse of the great starting budget. And the research office is very cheap to purchase and run.

I tried, that I add only one “sub-slot”, for example to make the front axle, before the complete chassis assembly slot. I was hoping, that if a car has a part already installed, then the combined assembly slot is skipping that part, as it is already made. But it is making the same process again.
Maybe it could work that way, if possible, that some parts can be installed in different order.
First time i placed the rear axle first, and the front second. Took me 5 min to figure out why the production is not starting.
So, it would be nice, if the research would be harder, but i could instantly add a sub process in front of (or behind) the combined starter slot, and make benefit from it. Maybe manually turn on and off the sub processes, to let the following sub-slots make those.
Like, if a slot gets a car, which already has that item installed, it just skips and passes forward. And if one task is disabled, it is passing forward (if there is a sub-slot following for that task)

Other thing. When i started to make the car upgrade features (abs, aircon…) and i added the upgrades to the line, there was a lot of “new model” notifications, even if i dont want to produce that modell, made only 2-3 pieces of that model while setting up the line. It’s okay (a bit annoying though) but it would be great if i could delete the models that have 0 cars in stock and i don’t plan to produce anymore. I see the hide out of stock feature, but it does the same with those cars, that i want to keep, just currently doesn’t have one.

Maybe random generated default names for new models? :slight_smile: Based on the equipment’s level. I don’t like to name them always. First I started to number them, then write something based on what it is equpped with, then i went down to hitting the keyboard like sadkhfvsjkljk.

One visual bug: the “fit brakes slot” is showing wrong graphics when i am placing them (2 conveyors under the green highlight, instead of the stock pile).

I always get bottleneck with the fit valves, and some times with the fit wheels part. The conveyors have to import 8 pcs of valves for each car, and it really doesn’t want to fill up the pile. I know the import algorithm is under upgrade now.

I am still on 1.01, will upgrade now to 1.02.

With the printscreen button, the game hangs for a few frames, and makes a shutter sound. Is it saving the screen somewhere? :slight_smile:

Keep on coding! Your game will be awesome! :slight_smile: