Jump to content

Why was the interface not developed further?


Recommended Posts

I tried to get used to it but i'm noticing, that there are so many clicks necessary, that wouldn't be necessary, if the interface would have been developed further.

Clicking on movement paths does not select the unit. :mad:

No info in the unit panel, if a unit is hidden, or if a tank is buttoned or unbottened. I'm already getting really frustrated, to zoom in to check that out, instead that the interface shows that info.

Another huge step backbward is, that there are no target lines. So you can easily overlook important action. Three steps back from CMx1.

But that's not only a bad interface decision, IMO it also reduces the thrill: In CMx1, it was part of the thrill, to be noticed about the dangerous fight, that is going to play out, but there was no need, to watch the unit all the time. Now, in the best case, you hear a tank shooting. Or you hear the impact. You are not noticed, when the unit gathers a new contact. Big parts of the rising tension due to the notification of the player, that a unit has engaged another unit are missing (i think that's one psychological key aspect, why CMx1 firefights between tanks were more thrilling and why they lack that tension in CMx2).

Another pain in the ass for me are the missing C2-lines: it forces the player either to click like crazy on every unit to check, if the units are in C2-range or to bunch them up unnecessarily, or not to click like crazy and accept that they could be out of range. Shouldn't graphics be there, to support the gamer?

That there is no window for unit data and no kill stats is ten steps back.

Way to much info about foreign units.

Camera movement is blocked way too early on the map edges. Often i would like to move more freely over the map edges (i.e. viewing level of 8 or 9 above units at the edges of the map) but since the movement is blocked, additional movements with the mouse have to be made.

Or that waypoints still cannot be moved, is also not really a step further from CMx1. How long has CMSF been out now?!

And, btw, the path endpoints with their circles without any 3D-look, look really amateurish and do not fit into the 3D-map.

When CMx2 was announced, it was claimed, that dynamic lighning will allow to judge terrain undulations. That was not true. But what is much worse, that in all the years nothing was done, to give the player a tool to judge terrain undulations. Like in CMx1 days, you have to choose a grid-mod for that and you can't switch that off...

After having played many hours now, the interface to me feels like being incomplete and in some aspects the amount of clicking and mouse movements, that could easily be avoided with certain interface improvements, therefore make it partially a really bad interface.

I don't think,with that interface, CMBN will reach the praise CMx1 received and i think a fair amount of possible gamers, tactically really interested in WW2, will not buy the game, after they tried the demo, because of the interface shortcomings.

Although i like the action and the tactical modeling, the interface frustrates me so much, that my wish to play more and more is kept at a quite low level.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 177
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I think the interface was always a problem for the CM series. The fidelity and details let me overlook how much of a barrier the interface has been. Just things like having mappable keys but as a txt file change. Development time looks to have been spent refining things like localised spotting, discreet aspects of say tanks, parts of a tank and then the individual soldiers.

CM2 is a better CM but it seems to suffer from the same things which really we overlooked when CMBO first came out because everything was new (3d coy and battalion focused game).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say that the interface is a bit clodgy, but it's by no means as outrageous as it could be. There is a lot of sophistication in the way the data is displayed to you in the command bar at the bottom of the screen. Remember, that there has to be a balance between the aesthetics of the game screen and the space people are willing to accept as command space on the screen.

In this case, I think Battlefront has done a pretty good job overall. One thing that I'm sure they'll consider since everyone is asking for it is how much data and where they display it in the game area.

I have to admit that this is one of Battlefront's smoother releases given how many comments are focused on tweaks rather than CTDs or other nastiness. The fact that we're already having THIS conversation is a good sign I think.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Given their resources as an indie developer, I think their priorities are evident...programming stability, historical fidelity, solid game play, attention to detail. The interface seems to have taken back seat but usually gets brought up to speed after a while. I like their priorities since the commercial (mainstream) game developers cannot be counted to support games the way this team does.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Camera movement stops too soon beyond the map edges? Really? You're really going to complain about that?

I've noticed this can be annoying especially on smaller maps when viewing the map from even a moderate height, it requires you to tilt the camera down if you want to see the bottom edge of the map.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've noticed this can be annoying especially on smaller maps when viewing the map from even a moderate height, it requires you to tilt the camera down if you want to see the bottom edge of the map.

I'll third that sentiment.

I can understand not wanting to have the camera move too far from the map, but at certain viewing heights/angles (high height/low angle) I can't see the front edge of the map. I either have to lower camera height or increase the camera angle. It's not a deal breaker, just an irritant that is very easy for a new user to notice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there would be a couple fixes that are obvious. Cameras control and camera speed are around the top.

We had this thread on gamesquad which lists some things and gives workaround for some

http://forums.gamesquad.com/showthread.php?100514-(L)User-interface-usability-issues

Overall I think that for the hardcore players muscle memory kicks in and the wonky UI will work. However, there is a serious concern about driving people away who try the game (or demo).

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are an awful lot of clicks required to plot a fairly basic move if you only use the mouse. To do one move you have many clicking units to select them, deselect them, selecting and deselcecting orders clicking waypoints then deselecting to add facings etc, it is ridiculous. A decent RTS game does the same thing with one or two clicks and drags

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is a fantastic game, it can reach perfection with some fine tuning..

I would say that that fine tuning is a huge understatement. As much as I love what this came could become, it needs a LOT of work in order to reach anywhere near 'perfection', and I don't think that Battlefront has the resources to do that.

Certainly, improvements will be made over time and their support is much better than most other companies. Perfection though? Not likely unless they win the lottery.

Hint: They need a useability expert with multi-player experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites
There are an awful lot of clicks required to plot a fairly basic move if you only use the mouse. To do one move you have many clicking units to select them, deselect them, selecting and deselcecting orders clicking waypoints then deselecting to add facings etc, it is ridiculous. A decent RTS game does the same thing with one or two clicks and drags

I'm not trying to be snarky, just trying to get the reference. Which RTS games allow you to do what CM allows with just one or two clicks and drags? I mean, do they allow multiple waypoints with differing movement, facing and fire orders at each one? That sounds like an awesome interface.

I do a lot of double-click- or drag-selecting with one or two waypoints. I only add facing and such if absolutely necessary. Then again I play RT so I'm usually giving 30-40 seconds worth of orders at most. Then again - unless you're plotting a marathon your troops will live longer if they're not constantly on the move.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To answer the topics question with a simple answer, as with everything is comes down to development time...for this release the development time we spent on the interface went into the quick battle system which we felt was the better choice. We do wish to make some notable changes to the in game interface overall and we didnt feel we had the time to do them justice with this initial release, so keep an eye out in the future guys. ;)

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate clickfests...with avengence...due to me playing WEGO I don't notice having to click alot to be honest....I think a couple of added orders are needed for WEGO and they would be useful in RT...apart from that I'm happy with the amount of clicking required...again something I've never noticed...

Though nothing in life is perfect...and everything can be imporved...BF know what needs to be done and the game will only get better...

This thread is the reason why i think there should be a feature request sticky...

Not sure why people have to keep selecting and deselecting...I click move say and then add my move waypoints...then deselect if I neeed to add a different move odrer...when finished I then issue any facing orders or target arcs...then I'm done...to be honest I enjoy plotting the moves and setting facing etc...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still getting used to the UI, but it's getting better with familiarity and especially since I went with the alternative hotkeys, which for me are more intuitive. I am sure that with more practice I can reduce the number of clicks I require to get through a turn.

One thing I do wish for is movable waypoints. I don't know what the programming feasibility is for that, but it would make my life a bit sweeter.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not trying to be snarky, just trying to get the reference. Which RTS games allow you to do what CM allows with just one or two clicks and drags? I mean, do they allow multiple waypoints with differing movement, facing and fire orders at each one? That sounds like an awesome interface.

I do a lot of double-click- or drag-selecting with one or two waypoints. I only add facing and such if absolutely necessary. Then again I play RT so I'm usually giving 30-40 seconds worth of orders at most. Then again - unless you're plotting a marathon your troops will live longer if they're not constantly on the move.

The example I gave was a simple move and face order, and I'll grant you most RTS don't have different movement types, but since you asked some things that a standard RTS control scheme can do simpler than CM:

Hold down and drag off the last waypoint to get a Facing command. (I refine my facing on almost every order I plot in CM).

Not always having to deselect a selected unit. - Clicking directly on another unit will select THAT unit and deselect the old one.

Similarly - Drag box select starts a new selection instead of adding to the old one. So many times I've still had my old grouping selected when I start a new one.

Assign quick select groupings to number keys. Want platoon 1? Hit 1 and you have that group selected.

Make the default action when you click on an enemy with a friendly unit selected TARGETING it. (duh)

Some other ideas I think may work:

Have the terminal waypoint remain selected rather than having to click on it.

Scroll back and forward through waypoints on a path with the mousewheel.

Have the contextual order menu appear under the mouse when required instead of clicking down on the HUD.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Make the default action when you click on an enemy with a friendly unit selected TARGETING it.

Please, no. Units can target multiple enemies. I would prefer they target multiple enemies and if I click on an enemy unit I don't want to necessarily prioritize it.

Not always having to deselect a selected unit. - Clicking directly on another unit will select THAT unit and deselect the old one.

Similarly - Drag box select starts a new selection instead of adding to the old one. So many times I've still had my old grouping selected when I start a new one.

I'm not sure what you're advocating here.

Assign quick select groupings to number keys. Want platoon 1? Hit 1 and you have that group selected.

I'd like that, not sure how many free keys they have though.

Hold down and drag off the last waypoint to get a Facing command.

Makes sense, but why you use the face command so much I'm unsure of. I only use it when I want my units in a particular section of building.

I've also had problems with map edges, but this is more of a scenario design issue at the moment. Sometimes I really notice, but most maps it doesn't come up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what you're advocating here.

When you are issuing orders to one unit, you have to right-click on nothing to cancel the selection before selecting another unit. In most games of this sort, the action of directly clicking another unit is taken to mean you want to un-select the first and select the second. In CM you can't do this in one click you must do it in two.

Group selecting is the same, you have to deselect one grouping before grabbing another or the previous selection will be added to your new group. In most games you just drag directly and whatever is in the box is selected and whatever is outside is not.

Makes sense, but why you use the face command so much I'm unsure of. I only use it when I want my units in a particular section of building.

I use face to control the deployment of squads (the teams and even individual men deploy very differently based on facing). And I use facing with tanks to control the angle of armour I am presenting to the enemy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
When you are issuing orders to one unit, you have to right-click on nothing to cancel the selection before selecting another unit. In most games of this sort, the action of directly clicking another unit is taken to mean you want to un-select the first and select the second. In CM you can't do this in one click you must do it in two.

This is a matter of personal preference. I find it VERY F'N ANNOYING when I'm trying to move a unit near another unit and the system thinks I want to switch units. Lacking an explicit deselect feature, like CM has, the game switches units and then go back to the previous unit (which might even be off screen) and pick up where I left off. I've had this happen to me enough to know I don't want it for my CM experience.

The right-click to deselect is second nature to me. I don't even think about it. Was the same with CMx1 too. I'd hate for it to be like RTS games, even though in RTS the issue isn't as bad because fidelity isn't as much of an issue.

Group selecting is the same, you have to deselect one grouping before grabbing another or the previous selection will be added to your new group. In most games you just drag directly and whatever is in the box is selected and whatever is outside is not.

Again, this comes down to personal preference. In RTS you're trying to select a bunch of guys in one area and you don't really care too much about what you're doing because it doesn't really matter (because it's an RTS). In CM it's important to be more exact. The way we have it now allows you to be more exact and I for one wouldn't want it to change.

I use face to control the deployment of squads (the teams and even individual men deploy very differently based on facing). And I use facing with tanks to control the angle of armour I am presenting to the enemy.

Yet again... individual player preference :D Whether it be CM:SF, CM:A, or CM:BN I only do Facing for the last Waypoint and only then if the direction of travel to the Waypoint is different than direction I want to face. Which means I probably put down one Face Command for maybe every 1 in 3 units I move.

Which gets back to Phil's point...

How one uses the UI ultimately determines what their perception of it is. While I absolutely will never make the argument that the current UI is "perfect" (no UI ever is), I think that some people create their own problems. And the more complicated a game's UI is, the more potential there is for players to get frustrated with it. Combat Mission is "cursed" with having far more features and user options than other games, therefore it is saddled with a certain complexity of UI which few games have to deal with.

As someone else put it in this thread, RTS games design the UI and then limit the gameplay so it doesn't break the UI. We design the gameplay and then figure out how to make the UI work for it. It's an imperfect process, but I'd rather err on the side of having a super rich game with a slightly clunky UI than a super slick UI with a game devoid of detail.

Steve

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...