The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Talk about Sarah's upcoming game in the Rebuild series.

Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby EllaClass » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:11 pm

I have mixed feelings about the current features, but whenever I dislike something I assume it's because the game is still a work in progress. That being said, at this stage of the implementation in easier/smaller maps I can usually skip most of the "extra" features.

However, in very large, very difficult maps:
- I use traps as a passive way to clear large sections of territory while I focus on immediate fort defense. They don't wear out, so you can clear huge sections with traps while leisurely focusing on defense and then rapidly take squares in the late game.

- I use fireworks in emergencies when my happiness is very low and I'm risking a riot. (I seem to have that problem more often in harder maps when I can't give people time off and maintain defense).

- I separate survivors when they are angry, or put them on missions with friends to increase happiness.

- Having children age up to adults is a nice source of labor in longer games.

- I am more likely to retrain survivors in schools to ensure the right skill set is present.

I never use medkits or bait, and I very rarely take the time to build towers; the added defense doesn't seem worth the time and materials. I also rarely use explosives or fuel. Sidenote: What is ammunition made from? I seem to be able to make it with no materials penalty, just the investment of labor. I find optimizing equipment distribution takes more time in the beginning, because as I gain more equipment that better suits certain perks I move it around. However, once the equipment has been maximized, it's less effort.

Implementations/thematic changes I'd like to see going forward:
- An option to set traps on multiple sites and click a "stop laying traps" button on the main page when I want to stop. Right now the only way I've found is to lay a trap, go to the Resources tab and select traps, go back to the main screen, etc.

- Traps should wear out/need replacing, or should only clear the area for a certain amount of time. They seem a bit overpowered right now. This would increase the strategy for timing placement with how quickly you can re-take an area. Also, just like when you get the resources in a building for reclaiming it, if you reclaim a square with a functional trap you should be able to re-use that trap on a different square.

- A sort feature that allows me to display only the survivors with a particular perk. In large maps with dozens of survivors, finding the 2 survivors with a negotiator or faction perk is frustrating. This becomes even harder since so many survivors look alike. This sort feature would also make maximizing equipment options easier, since I could quickly call up survivors with a firearms perk to assign guns. This would also make it easier to identify, sort, and separate survivors who acquire the "cultist" perk, to prevent infection. I think this would make it easier to manage perks and make them feel less burdensome.

- Only listing dead survivors on the "dead" sort list. I can't see a purpose to having them in any of the other displays, unless it's to make you feel guilty.

- Clearer highlighting of target survivors. If I need to locate a particular survivor to re-assign them, currently I can click on their listed location and zoom there on the map. However, on dense maps it's hard to see which survivor cluster is highlighted; I wish the survivor of interest (or their group) stood out more.

- An exception to the "only take 4 survivors to the next city" option if they're related. I tend to play in campaign mode, taking my top survivors to the next city. Two of them married and had a baby. Once that baby aged to an "adult" (age 14) I had to ditch one of my main crew to keep the kid along; I assume splitting up parent/child in campaign mode could tank mood? Things got more complicated in my recent game when the grown kid got married. If they have kids I'll have to leave someone behind. I get the game mechanics logic of the survivor limit, but depending on how big/complicated the campaign mode will be in the final version, it places that game play balance at odds with the immersion/storyline aspects of the game. (I know that many adults live away from their parents, but I figure post-apocalypse if you're lucky enough have a child/grandchild, you'd probably want to stick close). Maybe you could take more related survivors to a new city, but it would reset their skill level lower than expected, or they couldn't be equipped with gear during the move, etc. to penalize the choice?

- An option to build a daycare and station multiple kids there. There should be a cost associated with this so you'd have to weigh whether it was worth the materials/time to free up adults with another equipment slot and reduce the -1 kid penalty. The cost could be in initial building materials or in restricted building sites (maybe only along a hills or water border to enhance defense). Also, there should be an adult/kid ratio, but not 1:infinity or 1:1. Maybe 1 adult:3 kids? That might make the -1 penalty vs. complete loss of workers a choice that requires consideration. It would also allow for a better fit of game mechanics and storyline/immersion - right now it feels weird to assign a toddler to a soldier I'm sending out on dangerous missions.

- Similarly, there is a policy option where you decide if kids have to help adults, go to school, or work. The "go to school" option should only be available if you have a school in the fort and can assign an adult as a teacher (similar to assigning them as a farmer; a passive, ongoing role).

- If I reach 100% respect and declare an alliance with a faction, they should stop spying on/raiding me. However, it makes sense I might need to keep paying attention to them to maintain the alliance. I know allied factions provide my fort with goods; am I supplying them with anything? Maybe you should have to meet with them every so often or they consider raiding you again.

- An option to remove the main goal update (e.g., ally or eliminate two factions) from the top corner. I understand the utility for newbies, but at a certain point, I'd rather just have that indicated on the map via the exclamation points so it reduces clutter on the screen.

- Collapsing updates. I'm not sure if this is possible, but instead of having 6 "killed zed" alerts at the top feed, I would love to have 1 alert that said "killed zed x6." Then, when I click on the announcement, all 6 squares could light up and stay lit up/highlighted until I deleted that alert and/or clicked the next alert. That would be more helpful to me than having the screen zoom to each site for each alert. Similar functionality for survivors spotted, found resources, etc, would be appreciated. I feel like that would really free up/simplify the repetitiveness of that interface.

Thanks Sarah for all of the effort you put into this project! I look forward to each update!
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Woolfe » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:44 pm

Objection wrote:
Woolfe wrote:Traps are very useful. They reduce the growth of Z next to your fort, and eventually clear the Z from the block allowing you to take it uncontested.

This is one of the reasons why I don't use traps. I want my survivors to be useful throughout the game. If traps can clear out zombies next to my fort, it raises the question: why use soldiers? The other reason (and an answer to the question "why use soldiers?") is I'm paranoid about running out of materials, even when I have upwards of 300 in reserve. I would start using traps more often if they reduced the growth of zombies and maybe even reduced the number of zombies but not to the point where it eliminates them from a square.

Basic traps are VERY slow to wipe them all out. I use them as a method to assist my "push". So I drop them on the spots I am not actively attacking but intend to once I have cleared the Z where I am attacking. This prevents more Z turning up, and starts to reduce the numbers depending on how long I take. It doesn't stop the large groups of Z, Z mobs or, Z Roamers. The basic trap effect is never powerful enough to replace soldiers. The Advanced traps might be, but generally by the time I get them I am dominating enough that it is not that helpful. I haven't tried pushing for them early. Not sure if it would unbalance or not. I tend to have about 6 traps going depending on my "front".

Objection wrote:As for children and relationships, I have to ask those who aren't using them: how do you keep your survivors happy? Seriously, I have played with a fort where I have plenty of fireworks to set off (and plenty have been set off), plenty of bars and churches staffed with leaders, plenty of survivors who like each other paired up with each other while those who hate each other are kept away from each other, plenty of animals, children and recreational equipment like baseball bats, and both power plant and water treatment plant running. The happiness level never got higher than yellow and was always on the decline.

Agreed. And what I would give for more recreational equipment... Sigh....

madman12 wrote:For me the UI works, its unique which gives it abit of a learning curve but not that bad. A simple tutorial at the start would help in that respect as to point out where everything is.
<snip>

Yeah I get that and I agree. I am not concerned by it yet though, mostly because tutorial type stuff will likely be one of the last elements done.
Now making the UI a bit more useful. That would be nice.

Kizzycocoa wrote: I would be very interested in watching any lets-plays you guys are playing, that will explain just how wrong I am. I simply cannot see how these features are "core gameplay". last I checked, core gameplay meant you used it every round, or every so often. not digging to the core of the UI, as I've experienced with them.

I use traps constantly, but the behaviour at the moment is set so that they automatically move to the next empty spot once you take the one it was in. Hence I don't "Use it" in the sense of the menu system all the time.
As to relationships etc, if something is stated as a problem (Two people fighting etc) then I will specifically look at those individuals. Outside of that I occasionally do a general review of the characters looking for unhappy people. But normally it is simply when I have someone selected either for a mission or to change equipment or whatever, a quick glance tells me if they are unhappy. If they are unhappy I look to see why. I then usually check the others in the same stack. If the issue is something that affects groups of people, then I may check other groups. If it just individuals, then I check those individuals.
I then use pets, children, recreational tools, and time off to manage the unhappiness.

I'd like to clear up some confusion, in that there are multiple reasons these features fall flat. One such reason, I believe, is the UI. most of it is inaccessible or bloated, and changes would not only streamline the game, but bring it to the forefront.

Inaccessible? That means you can't use it at all. I think you are looking for inconvenient Design.
Bloated? What exactly is bloated. Bloated usually suggest more than is required. So which areas are bloated? If anything isn't the issue that the UI is lacking features like for example a way to place traps directly from the city map.

Streamline is a dirty word in my book. But lets discuss this.

For example, if the traps were given icons towards the top of the screen, with a way to quick-open a workshop window, I know for a fact I'd use traps more often, as they are there. no need to navigate to an obscure menu. these features need refining, but the UI modification suggestion is a part of this refining, and affects all of the features.

its not really an obscure menu. It is the ONLY menu for using Traps, Explosives, Medkits, Fireworks, Z bait, etc. If you are not making use of this menu somewhat regularly then you are probably not getting the most out of your gear.
Now I happen to agree that it could have been done in a better manner. But your suggestion that it is obscure is incorrect. Something "obscure" means that you have no reason to normally go there. In this case it is one of the pages of the "overview" section of your entire fort. So not really obscure, it is something you should be using to manage your fort.

This can mean the HUD, the way news is presented, the sheer massive (why is it so big?!) menus and logos etc.

I too think these elements could be refined. I don't see them as wrong however, they provide a certain flavour, and functionally they make the game playable on touch devices.

There are other steps that would help bring these features forward to shine. previewing the effects of traps on the map would be an excellent start.

Previewing the effect?

A new UI for group sorting would be another large step forward.

Agreed.

Perhaps some effects around the group icons for rivalry tensions.

I don't think this should be done. A major component of this is managing the relationships. Which means remembering them. If it is all handed to you on a platter, then why not just automate the separation process as well.

for the most part, the features mentioned do work. the issue is, they've become so obscure in the game, that bothering to use them is to go out of your way, interrupting the flow of the game, to try and figure it out.

Your terminology constantly confounds your arguments. Obscure suggests you don't know where it is because you never go there. But if you never go there then you are playing the game wrong.
Interrupting the flow of the game. I'll give you that. The example of Traps is probably the most obvious. But that would be easily fixed by adding a line of "item" icons that you click on to use.

marriage is a nice feature, but is marred by the lack of group management mechanics.

? Why? If you can't remember who is married to who, then click on the happyface and it will tell you. It isn't hard.

traps, fireworks and bait are nice features, marred by their inaccessibility.

Again not inaccessible. Inconvenient perhaps. inaccessible means you can't get to them.

children are nice features, marred by their total absense of usefulness.

A) They affect happiness a lot.
B) There are events that require children
C) When they hit 14 they become very powerful characters in their own right (Skill lvl 10)

What level are you playing on, that you can ignore the happiness benefits of children?

rivalries are good features, but there is no way to sort these out due to the absense of an interactive system to keep them apart.

Use your own head. In a small group it is easy to remember, in a large group it becomes harder. Which actually works with the style of game, because you are the leader, you are meant to be looking after these people.

equipment is a nice feature, but the clunky time-consuming UI makes using it a headache, to be avoided.

!!!!
You avoid using the equipment....
You need to increase the difficulty you are playing on. You would not be able to avoid using equipment if you were on harder levels.

That said, the equipment UI could use some work, but it is very simple to add something to a character that you want to. The hard part is when you remove it from another character and then need to go give that character something else.

not only that, but the UI is bloated. you can call artistic vision all you like, but when I play on a 1920px width monitor, and the menu takes up half of the page, you have dun goofed. I mean, I am prescribed glasses, but I am not legally blind, and would rather not get thrown out from the immersion of the game to view screens of information you rarely ever use.

Ah so that's what you meant by bloated. Which menu takes up half the page?
I am also running 1920x1080 altho I am running in windowed mode, so the actual used real estate is a bit less than that. The basic menu takes up maybe a 6th of the screen. Or do you mean the "news" list on the right. Sure that takes up a bit of space, but not a lot more than the basic menu, an if you clear it out regularly it is not an issue.
That said it should scale better, or allow you to modify those settings where possible. Not everyone will be playing on a touch screen.

Also immersion is a subjective term that is different for each and every person.

In gameplay, the goal should be to keep everything accessible from a small number of clicks or movements.

Agreed

I fully love Rebuild, and have grown up playing these games. But when I see this glaring issue where these features are kept under lock and key, and see nothing happening to correct it, it's really disappointing. particularly when you've made waves about it for a year.

IMO, whilst some of your issues are valid. I believe you are exaggerating other elements, especially some that are aesthetic. You are also using contradictory language and not being clear in your arguments which may weaken your argument somewhat.
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Shining Hector » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:53 pm

I basically agree with Kizzy with the feature creep. I got the same feeling as time went by. There's been lots of really neat features added over time that you could build a entire game around, so many in fact that the game feels very unfocused. If the game had 20 developers I'm not sure they would have really been able to polish everything in the current time frame.

Given that most recent statement was for full release is April, I'm not sure exactly how much iterative polishing you guys are really expecting at this point. "Don't worry, it will all be fine-tuned before release" has basically been the standard response when people questioned the addition of unpolished features for over a year now. It's no longer a valid argument if it ever was in the first place. What you see is largely what you're gonna get at this point.

In a way, though, I think it probably is better that some of the neat extra features are tucked away, like traps and bombs. They're really not necessary, but it's fine because they don't get in your face if you just ignore them, and they can potentially increase the replay value of the game at no expense to the core gameplay. You can easily try a no soliders playthrough for example by relying on traps. That exact principle is one of the main problems with kids, though, IMO. Unlike traps, they are in your face, and they're the prime example of a cool-sounding feature that really needs a ton of polishing that's just realistically not gonna happen at this point.
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby sarahnorthway » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:43 pm

madman12 wrote:Unique can have it's gremlins. It's up to us to work with the development of the game to make sure they don't get fed after midnight.


My favorite quote of the day. I'm delighted to see so much dedication and thoughtful discussion in this thread. You guys are the best!!

Yes, many of these features are intentionally peripheral and yes they all need polish. I purposefully don't draw attention to schools or traps even though they're an important part of my own strategy, because I want people to have fun discovering them on their own. I'm not going to overhaul the UI, but I'll hear out complaints about specifically clunky or frustrating menus. Probably they're already on my list now; it's a matter of priority. I wish I could do it all and make Rebuild 3 the most perfect game possible but also need to finish it while I still have my sanity.

The things I'm focusing on right now are the world map, long questlines, and faction combat, and also making it not run like mud. I know I'm nuts to expect to hit 1.0 by the end of April but if I keep repeating it maybe the video game fairies will help. After that I'll switch to part-time and do bugfix / balancing updates. Maybe a big seasons update next winter.
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Kizzycocoa » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:56 am

There's a fair few things to respond to, but I'll first respond to Sarah.

sarahnorthway wrote:Yes, many of these features are intentionally peripheral and yes they all need polish. I purposefully don't draw attention to schools or traps even though they're an important part of my own strategy, because I want people to have fun discovering them on their own.

I am completely not opposed to this, depending on how it is used. If, say, the UI is "hidden" until you get a workshop, that would be fine. but to hide away the UI on purpose is not intuitive at all.

My current thoughts, is to have a small bar on the top, with a quick-launch to open the workshop, and buttons to quick-use traps. That would increase their usage massively. perhaps a form of tutorial or tooltip will help here too.

sarahnorthway wrote:I'm not going to overhaul the UI, but I'll hear out complaints about specifically clunky or frustrating menus. Probably they're already on my list now; it's a matter of priority. I wish I could do it all and make Rebuild 3 the most perfect game possible but also need to finish it while I still have my sanity.

The problem is, near all menus in the UI are clunky; an issue I've been talking about ever since I came here. all the menus, such as the tech tree, is hidden away. Once more, I'd point to the previous "unlocking" potential, and suggest a small scientific beaker appearing upon reclaiming a lab, or something similar. I personally use the lab like crazy, as it is super-useful. but the tech tree goes unused, and that's a terrible shame. I'd like for research to be launched from that tree. But that is just one of many, many UI issues.

Frankly, I'm somewhat dissapointed that you aren't going to consider overhauling the UI. this is the UI we've had since the start of the game. back then, where it was bare-bones, it was fair enough. betas are usually hard to use for the sake of just trying to get all the stuff down, then refine the access later. But we've moved past that now, and it needs a revamp

sarahnorthway wrote:The things I'm focusing on right now are the world map, long questlines, and faction combat, and also making it not run like mud. I know I'm nuts to expect to hit 1.0 by the end of April but if I keep repeating it maybe the video game fairies will help. After that I'll switch to part-time and do bugfix / balancing updates. Maybe a big seasons update next winter.


These are all much, much better. not features, but more, events and gamemodes, which I suggested for future updates. 100% excited for these upcoming plans, particularly the world map!

Woolfe wrote:
Kizzycocoa wrote: I would be very interested in watching any lets-plays you guys are playing, that will explain just how wrong I am. I simply cannot see how these features are "core gameplay". last I checked, core gameplay meant you used it every round, or every so often. not digging to the core of the UI, as I've experienced with them.

I use traps constantly, but the behaviour at the moment is set so that they automatically move to the next empty spot once you take the one it was in. Hence I don't "Use it" in the sense of the menu system all the time.
As to relationships etc, if something is stated as a problem (Two people fighting etc) then I will specifically look at those individuals. Outside of that I occasionally do a general review of the characters looking for unhappy people. But normally it is simply when I have someone selected either for a mission or to change equipment or whatever, a quick glance tells me if they are unhappy. If they are unhappy I look to see why. I then usually check the others in the same stack. If the issue is something that affects groups of people, then I may check other groups. If it just individuals, then I check those individuals.
I then use pets, children, recreational tools, and time off to manage the unhappiness.


That's a terrible system, to auto-use traps. traps should be used as and when, not automatically.
See, I don't know how you would do that. make sure they are happy using those features. time off, children, recreational tools (?? what do you mean?).
Time off itself os somewhat of a strange concept to me. not that time off is strange, but it messes up your group. if, after having time off, they rejoined the group, I'd be much more inclined to use this feature more often. but again, it's all about the UI clutter.
not to mention, you talk about characters as if they hand you their issues on a silver platter, rather than the awkward UI juggle that you need to perform to check these issues. particularly when there's 2 in a group that don't get along.
pets, I grant you, is a good way. and that is because it's an event, not a feature. it doesn't interrupt the flow of the game.

Woolfe wrote:
I'd like to clear up some confusion, in that there are multiple reasons these features fall flat. One such reason, I believe, is the UI. most of it is inaccessible or bloated, and changes would not only streamline the game, but bring it to the forefront.

Inaccessible? That means you can't use it at all. I think you are looking for inconvenient Design.
Bloated? What exactly is bloated. Bloated usually suggest more than is required. So which areas are bloated? If anything isn't the issue that the UI is lacking features like for example a way to place traps directly from the city map.

Streamline is a dirty word in my book. But lets discuss this.


Bloated such as, the icons being far too big for what they are showing.
take, for example, the visual representations of characters. they're massive. surely, they can be made much smaller, with a zoom button if you want to view them in their full glory. but as it stands, when you click on these characters, you don't give a rat's ass what they look like, you just want to jump through the UI hoop to find out what equipment they use, or search, fruitlessly, for the marriage/rivalry stuff.

Woolfe wrote:
For example, if the traps were given icons towards the top of the screen, with a way to quick-open a workshop window, I know for a fact I'd use traps more often, as they are there. no need to navigate to an obscure menu. these features need refining, but the UI modification suggestion is a part of this refining, and affects all of the features.

its not really an obscure menu. It is the ONLY menu for using Traps, Explosives, Medkits, Fireworks, Z bait, etc. If you are not making use of this menu somewhat regularly then you are probably not getting the most out of your gear.
Now I happen to agree that it could have been done in a better manner. But your suggestion that it is obscure is incorrect. Something "obscure" means that you have no reason to normally go there. In this case it is one of the pages of the "overview" section of your entire fort. So not really obscure, it is something you should be using to manage your fort.


Being the only menu does not mean it's location isn't obscure.
I've said how the menu can be made more accessible up top, but the basics is, have a button that leads to the workshop interface, and have quick-use buttons for the various traps.

Woolfe wrote:
This can mean the HUD, the way news is presented, the sheer massive (why is it so big?!) menus and logos etc.

I too think these elements could be refined. I don't see them as wrong however, they provide a certain flavour, and functionally they make the game playable on touch devices.


I agree, the style should be kept the same. but the size is too massive. at times, the menu takes up the entire screen, when it really shouldn't.

Woolfe wrote:
There are other steps that would help bring these features forward to shine. previewing the effects of traps on the map would be an excellent start.

Previewing the effect?

Previewing what these traps do.
frankly, I'm still clueless on what most of them do. I used them a few times, but some of them, particularly fireworks, I have no idea what they do.
perhaps an "area of effect" as you use the traps from the menu, as I suggested above.
Woolfe wrote:
Perhaps some effects around the group icons for rivalry tensions.

I don't think this should be done. A major component of this is managing the relationships. Which means remembering them. If it is all handed to you on a platter, then why not just automate the separation process as well.


That is all well and fine when you're running a colony of 10 people. the issue becomes managing a colony of 100 or so. then it's a nightmare and a pain. I didn't even bother in the end, allowing the groups to sort it out themselves.

Woolfe wrote:
for the most part, the features mentioned do work. the issue is, they've become so obscure in the game, that bothering to use them is to go out of your way, interrupting the flow of the game, to try and figure it out.

Your terminology constantly confounds your arguments. Obscure suggests you don't know where it is because you never go there. But if you never go there then you are playing the game wrong.
Interrupting the flow of the game. I'll give you that. The example of Traps is probably the most obvious. But that would be easily fixed by adding a line of "item" icons that you click on to use.


Perhaps I'm using some terminology wrong, and it could be put across better. But the gist of my arguments have remained the same. these features are buried, and need to be brought out, simplified or reworked, be it UI or the feature itself.
I'm glad that we both had the idea of the item icons. I personally think that would help traps immensely.

Woolfe wrote:
marriage is a nice feature, but is marred by the lack of group management mechanics.

? Why? If you can't remember who is married to who, then click on the happyface and it will tell you. It isn't hard.


Except, you are NEVER told to do this. I took ages trying to hunt this down. See? Obscure UI. you're never told it's there.

Woolfe wrote:
traps, fireworks and bait are nice features, marred by their inaccessibility.

Again not inaccessible. Inconvenient perhaps. inaccessible means you can't get to them.


Inconvenient, inaccessible, they mean the same to me when playing a strategy game. If something interrupts the flow of the game, that thing is no longer of strategic importance to me. That is wrong, and I know this. The traps can prove useful, and I should manually sift through the groups to split up rivals. but the systems to manage these features are unwieldy, and as suck, I tend to ignore them.

Woolfe wrote:
children are nice features, marred by their total absense of usefulness.

A) They affect happiness a lot.
B) There are events that require children
C) When they hit 14 they become very powerful characters in their own right (Skill lvl 10)

What level are you playing on, that you can ignore the happiness benefits of children?


Normal, right now. and I can ignore them completely. hell, whenever one of them attatches to my people, I see those people as "bricked", and send them to chop wood. because you can't send them into battle without them messing everything up. they have to be kept out of harm's way.

Woolfe wrote:
rivalries are good features, but there is no way to sort these out due to the absense of an interactive system to keep them apart.

Use your own head. In a small group it is easy to remember, in a large group it becomes harder. Which actually works with the style of game, because you are the leader, you are meant to be looking after these people.


Except it is a terrible thing during the endgame. you aren't going to use 7 small groups, and manage them all. you're most likely to use 3 groups, and leave the social dynamics to solve themselves.

Woolfe wrote:
equipment is a nice feature, but the clunky time-consuming UI makes using it a headache, to be avoided.

!!!!
You avoid using the equipment....
You need to increase the difficulty you are playing on. You would not be able to avoid using equipment if you were on harder levels.

That said, the equipment UI could use some work, but it is very simple to add something to a character that you want to. The hard part is when you remove it from another character and then need to go give that character something else.


I avoid visiting that feature often. It is a total headache. I will visit it from time to time, but I avoid it most of the time, until I make a large equipping run.

Woolfe wrote:
not only that, but the UI is bloated. you can call artistic vision all you like, but when I play on a 1920px width monitor, and the menu takes up half of the page, you have dun goofed. I mean, I am prescribed glasses, but I am not legally blind, and would rather not get thrown out from the immersion of the game to view screens of information you rarely ever use.

Ah so that's what you meant by bloated. Which menu takes up half the page?
I am also running 1920x1080 altho I am running in windowed mode, so the actual used real estate is a bit less than that. The basic menu takes up maybe a 6th of the screen. Or do you mean the "news" list on the right. Sure that takes up a bit of space, but not a lot more than the basic menu, an if you clear it out regularly it is not an issue.
That said it should scale better, or allow you to modify those settings where possible. Not everyone will be playing on a touch screen.

Also immersion is a subjective term that is different for each and every person.


all of them. all of the menus are taking up colossal space.
Some can take up that space happily, like the tech tree. but the survivors taking up that space is nonsense. It's like having a post-it note to read through for every pawn on a chess board. and when your pawns can go into the hundreds, it's simply not worth it.

the news on the right is basically useless. I don't tend to take notice, and it too is bloated. We do not need suck large icons/text. I'd much prefer a large full-page summary page after each round, than tons of notifications on the right, which are basically white noise. Not to mention, manually clearing it out. That is a terrible design decision. it's like asking you to officially recognise that you have got 10 new food. why the hell do you need to rubber stamp all of those actions, especially as you sent them out to get said food? makes no sense.

Woolfe wrote:
I fully love Rebuild, and have grown up playing these games. But when I see this glaring issue where these features are kept under lock and key, and see nothing happening to correct it, it's really disappointing. particularly when you've made waves about it for a year.

IMO, whilst some of your issues are valid. I believe you are exaggerating other elements, especially some that are aesthetic. You are also using contradictory language and not being clear in your arguments which may weaken your argument somewhat.


I really am not. the icons, text etc. are far too huge, and the space the menus take up are far too big. Some menus work taking up that much space, but others simply do not work at all. I have been clear, apparently from day 1 on this forum. the UI is an issue, the feature locations are unwieldy and the groups need to be redone. I've said this consistently from my first beta test.
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Kizzycocoa
 
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Woolfe » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:17 am

Kizzycocoa wrote:
Woolfe wrote:I use traps constantly, but the behaviour at the moment is set so that they automatically move to the next empty spot once you take the one it was in. Hence I don't "Use it" in the sense of the menu system all the time.
As to relationships etc, if something is stated as a problem (Two people fighting etc) then I will specifically look at those individuals. Outside of that I occasionally do a general review of the characters looking for unhappy people. But normally it is simply when I have someone selected either for a mission or to change equipment or whatever, a quick glance tells me if they are unhappy. If they are unhappy I look to see why. I then usually check the others in the same stack. If the issue is something that affects groups of people, then I may check other groups. If it just individuals, then I check those individuals.
I then use pets, children, recreational tools, and time off to manage the unhappiness.


That's a terrible system, to auto-use traps. traps should be used as and when, not automatically.

I am kind of used to it now, but I don't disagree. Ideally you should be able to move a trap after you have set it. Then it wouldn't matter. Generally the auto movement of the traps is a time saver rather than a time waster.

See, I don't know how you would do that. make sure they are happy using those features. time off, children, recreational tools (?? what do you mean?).

:lol: Man, I don't know what I am doing that is explaining the game to me better than you, but everything is explained to some degree. Oh sure it won't give you exact numbers all the time but certainly it will tell you things. Hold your mouse over stuff. Interact. For example if you add a child to someone, they get the little Nappy icon. Holding your mouse over that tells you they get +10 happiness for looking after a child.
I honestly can't recall how I worked out to click on the happiness symbol. They might tell you when you research it, but I am not sure.

As to the Traps etc, you know that if you click on the Apple, it opens the menu on the resources screen right? With the Traps medkits, explosives etc there for you.

Recreational equipment. If you went into the equipment menu more often and read the things they say. So you can get to the equipment list from the Resources page. Click on say the "Cricket bat" or "Baesball bat". It gives you the brief descriptive blurb, and then tells you the stats it affects, and what perks. Hovering over the recreation perk tells you it prevents boredom. There are very specific messages about boredom in some characters happiness comments. If they are bored, give them a recreation item and it will prevent the boredom.

Time off itself os somewhat of a strange concept to me. not that time off is strange, but it messes up your group. if, after having time off, they rejoined the group, I'd be much more inclined to use this feature more often. but again, it's all about the UI clutter.

But the game is all about you managing your people. Where they are resting, where they are guarding, where they are attacking. If you only had 1 place that someone could rest, and had 2 characters that dislike each other, if you rest them together they might not get a benefit, they might even get into a fight. Your job is to manage those characters so that it is not an issue. You choose how long the person has off. Do you let them rest until happy, or just enough to get them in the content level? This is the main management element of the game.

not to mention, you talk about characters as if they hand you their issues on a silver platter, rather than the awkward UI juggle that you need to perform to check these issues. particularly when there's 2 in a group that don't get along.

Sometimes they do. It comes up as one of the news items. Or as an event. But generally you want to deal with it before that happens, and that means checking out your characters semi-regularly to see if they are happy. It's a big icon on purpose, so you can see at a glance if you need to address something with a character or if you can leave them be for a while.

pets, I grant you, is a good way. and that is because it's an event, not a feature. it doesn't interrupt the flow of the game.

Sometimes its an event, but it is also a generic bonus that occurs in their happiness section. Basically says things like they snuggled with the dog/cat or whatever.

Woolfe wrote:Bloated? What exactly is bloated. Bloated usually suggest more than is required. So which areas are bloated? If anything isn't the issue that the UI is lacking features like for example a way to place traps directly from the city map.


Bloated such as, the icons being far too big for what they are showing.
take, for example, the visual representations of characters. they're massive. surely, they can be made much smaller, with a zoom button if you want to view them in their full glory. but as it stands, when you click on these characters, you don't give a rat's ass what they look like, you just want to jump through the UI hoop to find out what equipment they use, or search, fruitlessly, for the marriage/rivalry stuff.

Sarah may answer that better, but my guess it is an artistic choice. Although it does serve a useful purpose in smaller groups when you have mostly unique heads, in that you cna at a glance tell who is who. I personally like the representations.

Woolfe wrote:its not really an obscure menu. It is the ONLY menu for using Traps, Explosives, Medkits, Fireworks, Z bait, etc. If you are not making use of this menu somewhat regularly then you are probably not getting the most out of your gear.
Now I happen to agree that it could have been done in a better manner. But your suggestion that it is obscure is incorrect. Something "obscure" means that you have no reason to normally go there. In this case it is one of the pages of the "overview" section of your entire fort. So not really obscure, it is something you should be using to manage your fort.

Being the only menu does not mean it's location isn't obscure.
I've said how the menu can be made more accessible up top, but the basics is, have a button that leads to the workshop interface, and have quick-use buttons for the various traps.

The big red apple? Its a button hey. Takes you straight to resources section of menu.

I agree, the style should be kept the same. but the size is too massive. at times, the menu takes up the entire screen, when it really shouldn't.

I disagree again. I click on a group to see their details. I click and drag to move them around, which doesn't invoke the character menu. So I only see the menu when I want to see it. And when I want to see it, the rest of the game is meaningless, as I am interacting with the character menu, until I am ready to move away from the group I am currently checking out.

Woolfe wrote:Previewing the effect?

Previewing what these traps do.
frankly, I'm still clueless on what most of them do. I used them a few times, but some of them, particularly fireworks, I have no idea what they do.
perhaps an "area of effect" as you use the traps from the menu, as I suggested above.

Do you want to know the inner maths about what they do? When you place a trap, it says that it "Gradually kills zombies here". Which is pretty much what it does. Put it on a red square and leave it for a while, the red will become orange, then yellow, then Green then clear. I presume there is some mathematic equation for how many Z it kills each hour but I don't really need to know that.

Woolfe wrote:I don't think this should be done. A major component of this is managing the relationships. Which means remembering them. If it is all handed to you on a platter, then why not just automate the separation process as well.


That is all well and fine when you're running a colony of 10 people. the issue becomes managing a colony of 100 or so. then it's a nightmare and a pain. I didn't even bother in the end, allowing the groups to sort it out themselves.

Totally disagree. That is actually where this shines. Do you take the time to manually manage every guy when you colony hits 100 survivors, or do you not bother, and let nature take its course. As the leader, you are meant to be managing this, just like you manage all the events, throw people in jail, choose if someone can join etc. That is kinda the point of the game.

As for the actual gameplay effect, in the easier levels you can get away with ignoring it. You can probably get away with it to a degree in the late game even on challenging. But don't think it is not having an effect. You just aren't seeing the adverse bits because the game is more forgiving.

Woolfe wrote:
marriage is a nice feature, but is marred by the lack of group management mechanics.

? Why? If you can't remember who is married to who, then click on the happyface and it will tell you. It isn't hard.


Except, you are NEVER told to do this. I took ages trying to hunt this down. See? Obscure UI. you're never told it's there.

Do you need to be told to kill the zombies? Sometimes you just need to work things out. Its not hard to draw conclusions. Oh look the fort happiness is low, why is that? Click on the survivor icon to bring up the "survivors" menu. Then click on each surivor. Huh why are they unhappy, click on smiley face. Oh they got injured, or they want a stiff drink, or they want a place to worship, or they don't like another survivor. Its pretty intuitive. Could it be better. Sure.

Inconvenient, inaccessible, they mean the same to me when playing a strategy game. If something interrupts the flow of the game, that thing is no longer of strategic importance to me. That is wrong, and I know this. The traps can prove useful, and I should manually sift through the groups to split up rivals. but the systems to manage these features are unwieldy, and as suck, I tend to ignore them.

Again I disagree. I don't get an "interrupted flow".

Woolfe wrote:
children are nice features, marred by their total absense of usefulness.

A) They affect happiness a lot.
B) There are events that require children
C) When they hit 14 they become very powerful characters in their own right (Skill lvl 10)

What level are you playing on, that you can ignore the happiness benefits of children?


Normal, right now. and I can ignore them completely. hell, whenever one of them attatches to my people, I see those people as "bricked", and send them to chop wood. because you can't send them into battle without them messing everything up. they have to be kept out of harm's way.

Yep that happens to me as well. Though sometimes I have to send them into harms way. Thats the choices I make.
I would suggest give challenging a go. You should notice the happiness issues more, and then children become quite important to helping manage that.

Woolfe wrote:
rivalries are good features, but there is no way to sort these out due to the absense of an interactive system to keep them apart.

Use your own head. In a small group it is easy to remember, in a large group it becomes harder. Which actually works with the style of game, because you are the leader, you are meant to be looking after these people.


Except it is a terrible thing during the endgame. you aren't going to use 7 small groups, and manage them all. you're most likely to use 3 groups, and leave the social dynamics to solve themselves.

Again I have to disagree, your job is to manage them. I still occasionally run into situaitons where I have accidentally thrown some people together who don't like each other. But by late game, I have enough "peacekeepers" "musicians" and other perks that can usually keep it under control until I notice.
Woolfe wrote:Ah so that's what you meant by bloated. Which menu takes up half the page?


all of them. all of the menus are taking up colossal space.
Some can take up that space happily, like the tech tree. but the survivors taking up that space is nonsense. It's like having a post-it note to read through for every pawn on a chess board. and when your pawns can go into the hundreds, it's simply not worth it.

I gotta disagree again. You are seeing them as pawns only. The big part of the relationships section of the game was to make that otherwise. Your pawns now have personality and require a little bit of attention. This game isn't chess. It isn't just go wipe out all the zombies. If you want that go back and play Rebuild 1 and 2. This game is wipe out the zombies, deal with the other factions, and keep your fort from imploding.

the news on the right is basically useless. I don't tend to take notice, and it too is bloated. We do not need suck large icons/text. I'd much prefer a large full-page summary page after each round, than tons of notifications on the right, which are basically white noise. Not to mention, manually clearing it out. That is a terrible design decision. it's like asking you to officially recognise that you have got 10 new food. why the hell do you need to rubber stamp all of those actions, especially as you sent them out to get said food? makes no sense.

The news ticker IS annoying. But it is also important. Sure you don't need to know you collected 10 food while scavenging, well except when your food is at 0 anyway. But it needs to tell you as it is important information. Its not just normal food growth from farms, it is additional stuff on top. The news ticker also contains all those important tidbits that you are able to ignore on the easier levels.
Reducing the real estate used, and allowing you to "hide" news bits that you no longer care about (food gathering when you are making massive amounts of food for example) would resolve most of the issues.
The reason it isn't just a daily page of what happened is that the game is now Real time with pause(which I personally hate with a passion), so you need the ticker to keep you abreast of what is happening at all times, so that you cna respond correctly.
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Objection » Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:49 pm

Oh by the way, you know you can actually unequip children and then equip them onto someone else, right? If a soldier of yours has adopted a kid, just unequip the kid and then equip them to your builder or scavenger.
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