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Mission Planner Redesign


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Poll: When should we fix the mission planner? (20 member(s) have cast votes)

When should we fix the mission planner?

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#1 nachtwolf

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 04:39 PM

This is referring to an issue on the bugtracker and we would like to know the general opinion.

Currently, the mission planner is hard to use and not user friendly at all. Of course some people see no problem with that and can use it easily. Unfortunately, most new users and people who play for the first time find it very hard to use. Some even quit playing the game early because of this screen. We've had games where players did not even know they could change their equipment.

So, the mission planner will be redesigned for sure. But when should we do it? As most of you know this is not an instant process and it requires a bit of man power to do so.

This question simply tests the general opinion as if the mission planner fixing is important to do before next stable release or not.

Please cast your vote on this poll.

Edited by nachtwolf, 04 December 2005 - 04:41 PM.

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#2 Sporb

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 06:25 PM

i believe that it needs done before the next stable as it will help encourage people to play (The stable is still more popular for some reason) and get other players to join. Leaving the planner as is for the next stable wont effect the current player base but it probably wont encourage many new players either

Edited by Sporb, 04 December 2005 - 06:32 PM.


#3 Angry Lawyer

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 02:17 AM

Agreed, it needs doing. Even if its not a complete overhaul, having little Tooltips appear, guiding people on how to do things would help. And a general beautification would be nice :P

-Angry Lawyer

#4 nappes

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 05:46 AM

The two most confusing issues in the mission planner are the weird CTRL-clicking manoeuvre to enter the inventory screen and the hassle with the separate SEND/START buttons. Add a clickable button for the inventory and combine the SEND/START buttons into one, and the mission planner will already be a lot more user-friendly. Complete overhaul in the way Nachtwolf suggested wouldn't hurt, but it looks kinda like work, so maybe it could be postponed after the stable. ;)

Edited by nappes, 05 December 2005 - 05:49 AM.


#5 Angry Lawyer

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 06:30 AM

Send and Start could be combined into a "Ready" button, and an extra "change loadout" button, which opens the inventory at the first unit would also be helpful.

-Angry Lawyer

#6 Archaon376

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 06:51 AM

I seemed to have understood right off the bat when I got this lovely game :)
It's not that hard, ctrl + click to change equip, then there's the F# buttons to either save/load, change attributes.

It's straightforward but I guess not every new player is smart like me :P
so it could help to redesign for them I guess. We really need more players too. I told a good number of people about it.

#7 Hobbes

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 07:07 AM

Currently, the mission planner is hard to use and not user friendly at all. Of course some people see no problem with that and can use it easily. Unfortunately, most new users and people who play for the first time find it very hard to use. Some even quit playing the game early because of this screen. We've had games where players did not even know they could change their equipment.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That is more because of players not caring about explaining to newbies how things work. Everyone has problems with it (i.e. not knowing what to do) until they either: RTFM (Read The Flaming Manual) or have a more experienced player explaining CTRL + Click, Left ALT, Right ALT and all those other keys.

#8 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 07:35 AM

Is there a readme included in UFO2000 that explains how the whole interface works?

#9 Hobbes

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 08:44 AM

Is there a readme included in UFO2000 that explains how the whole interface works?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


In English, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Finnish and Polish. Pick your language :)

#10 JoeJoe

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 10:36 AM

making things pretty and easy to use, will bring people to the game, but its the game its self that keeps them coming back.

if the next stable version has a main goal to expand the player base, then i would go ahead and simplfy the interface

if the next stable version has a main goal to expand the game, well then dont worry about making things pretty

thats my vote

#11 nachtwolf

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 11:49 AM

Agreed, it needs doing.  Even if its not a complete overhaul, having little Tooltips appear, guiding people  on how to do things would help.  And a general beautification would be nice :P

-Angry Lawyer

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I think adding a few help features instead of doing the whole work is a not-so-good-idea. It would be like a temporary bandaid delaying the job a bit and the main effect would be increasing the overall time we put on the mission planner.

My philosophy about this is do it once and do it right.

So I think that if we are to change anything to the mission planner before stable, we should change it all the way. Otherwise we just wait until stable is done. Anyway once the mission planner is fixed it will be easier both for programmers and users to both add and use new mission planning features.
http://ufo2000.lxnt....view.php?id=434

Thanks to everyone for showing interest in this issue!

Edited by nachtwolf, 05 December 2005 - 11:51 AM.

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#12 Llyr

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 04:50 PM

my philosophy is to let the people doing the hard and dirty work have some freedom and some choice on their own... so i won't vote

if you want a redesign of the mission planner and you are going to do it on your own, then go ahead, you won't need my vote for that.. if this is just about making others do something: get lost :P in that case you should have done a normal thread requesting what you'd like, not a vote....

youre right, mission designer needs to be redone. but if this happens before or after the next stable, is something that should NOT be decided by players, but by the programmers. they have to judge how much work it is, if its a good time to do it, or if there will be changes to the game soon that would cause changes to the mission planner too.

just my thoughts...

Edited by Llyr, 05 December 2005 - 04:50 PM.


#13 nachtwolf

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 05:11 PM

my philosophy is to let the people doing the hard and dirty work have some freedom and some choice on their own... so i won't vote

if you want a redesign of the mission planner and you are going to do it on your own, then go ahead, you won't need my vote for that.. if this is just about making others do something: get lost :P in that case you should have done a normal thread requesting what you'd like, not a vote....

youre right, mission designer needs to be redone. but if this happens before or after the next stable, is something that should NOT be decided by players, but by the programmers. they have to judge how much work it is, if its a good time to do it, or if there will be changes to the game soon that would cause changes to the mission planner too.

just my thoughts...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Nice POV. Fact is I would do everything involving the graphics and design for this issue... but I'm unfortunately not fluent at all with C. So yes I want to redesign, but I can't get it in the game efficiently. So this goes into teamworking. If it was only me I'd have started already but this would involve a programmer too so this poll is there to survey if the mission planner should be a priority for stable or not since programming power is limited.

I agree programmers will have the last word, but if the general opinion is about getting this before stable, I can make everything ready (images, design and interface) so that the programmers can then use that stuff when they see fit.
However, if the general opinion is after stable. I'll just work on some other graphics.

I will try my hand at C, probably before stable, but learning takes more time than making stuff... Currently I have time to make images, work the design out, see how it would interact, but not enough time to learn enough C to do all this.

Edited by nachtwolf, 05 December 2005 - 05:19 PM.

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#14 Sporb

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 06:47 PM

its a good point - im willing to lend my rogramming knowledge to help but im in the same boat as Nachtwolf

Wont somone please think of the Windoze generation who cant read instructions, only point and click

#15 Angry Lawyer

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 11:12 AM

Well, if you come up with a solid design, and detail what you want everything to do, I'm sure I can pitch in a few lines of code.

-Angry Lawyer

#16 Hobbes

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 11:48 AM

I basically agree with Lwyr's POV.

I voted No because I think there are more pressing issues for the programmers to solve out before the next stable is released and the initial reasons presented (lack of playability for new players) aren't that important. I think that to attract new players (and future developers too!) the first thing is to welcome them and to be patient, which sometimes can be frustrating when you want a nice fight and all you have is an 'anonymous' on the server.

But if meanwhile someone cames up with a new, nice design for the mission planner, all work is more than welcome. I've been playing this game for almost 2 years and what I've seen so far is that its development is both a mix of planning (i.e. sorting out issues and their importance) and chance of someone joining who is really set for a specific task. Take for instance Angry Lawyer and his recent addition of alien races: everyone wanted that for ages but it wasn't considered much important and all of a sudden, voila!

So, if you want to add something just do it. This whole thing lives of individual contributions, not endless talk like I've just done on this post.

#17 Blood Angel

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 12:57 PM

It's fine. Like, really fine.

#18 Angry Lawyer

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 01:28 PM

Take for instance Angry Lawyer and his recent addition of alien races: everyone wanted that for ages but it wasn't considered much important and all of a sudden, voila!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Necessity is the mother of invention. I just noticed it was open sourced, and had no Floaters, so I added them. I only learnt about UFO2000's existance two weeks ago :P

Of course, the next big self-assumed neccesity on my plate is expanding the LUA units thing, to make units work in the same way as weapon sets. But I'll code a little bit of interface if you design one. A detailed design, with pictures, and arrows, and "what does this do" bits.

-Angry Lawyer

#19 Sporb

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 04:49 PM

take into account that the Stable versions are the face of ufo2k- more people play the stable than the beta and the stable is going to be the version that advertises the game to all those who want to begin to play. the Beta's never receive as much attention so i think that som grpahical interface is required

Edited by Sporb, 06 December 2005 - 04:59 PM.


#20 Llyr

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 05:21 PM

no offence meant...

as i wrote...

you should have done a normal thread requesting what you'd like, not a vote...
[...]
just my thoughts...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


this is just my personal (subjective) feeling... and i just feel a vote is more like an instrument to exercise pressure than a way to say "please". i hope you understand what i want to say... i sometimes have some trouble to express myself in english, since im not a native speaker.

i just felt a normal thread would have been sufficient, since a vote implies (at least it does for me) that the will of the majority will be obeyed.

i didn't take any standpoint concerning wheter to redesign the planner before or after next stable release. and as i told you i won't take sides, not now nor later.

hm... maybe i'm just thinking too much.
sorry for that, but i do that always... cant help it ;)

#21 nachtwolf

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 06:21 PM

no offence meant...

as i wrote...

you should have done a normal thread requesting what you'd like, not a vote...
[...]
just my thoughts...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


this is just my personal (subjective) feeling... and i just feel a vote is more like an instrument to exercise pressure than a way to say "please". i hope you understand what i want to say... i sometimes have some trouble to express myself in english, since im not a native speaker.

i just felt a normal thread would have been sufficient, since a vote implies (at least it does for me) that the will of the majority will be obeyed.

i didn't take any standpoint concerning wheter to redesign the planner before or after next stable release. and as i told you i won't take sides, not now nor later.

hm... maybe i'm just thinking too much.
sorry for that, but i do that always... cant help it ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It's fine, and yes I understood your point the first time. When I made the poll I didn't intend to use it as pressure on poor overworking programmers but more as a tool to know the general opinion. It's not because I think something that everyone does so I wanted to know what people think.

Your null vote is still great as you are showing interest and giving your opinion on the matter :P
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