remaining feedback from 0.42-0.43

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

remaining feedback from 0.42-0.43

Postby davea » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:52 pm

I think the addition of the R2 style mission creation, where you can click a square first, and get a list of survivors to assign, is a big improvement. Especially for scouting missions, it saves a lot of clicking.

However, I still feel like a ton of clicking is needed to make progress (not counting the new backstory feature which requires clicking on every character every week or so.) There are a few suggestions from the 0.42 timeframe which would help reduce clicking.

* Overlays. We really need to see which squares aren't scouted, which have food, and which have high zombie danger. I spend a huge amount of time clicking around to see which squares have food left, and which ones I haven't scouted yet. Even putting the ? icon on unscouted squares would be a huge improvement.

* Food / materials tooltip. We need to know whether our food income is positive or negative. Having this one piece of info on the food hover help would be a big improvement. The survivors hover help says "15 survivors, room for 3 more"; so the food hover help could say "8 days of food, -4 food lost per day". Similarly, having the materials count on a tooltip (maybe on the building count thermometer) would help to know if we need to scavenge for materials or demolish.

Not related to clicking, but one feedback from 0.42 is: What are those bunnies doing on the loading screen? (Well, I know what they are doing, but kids watching may not know.)
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Re: remaining feedback from 0.42-0.43

Postby Ophryon » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:28 pm

Yep, those are all essential gameplay improvements that are worth repeating so they don't get lost among the creative brainstorming threads. +1 for overlays, food income, and material count.
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Re: remaining feedback from 0.42-0.43

Postby jaydedman » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:36 am

+1 to all these ideas. Overlays and tooltips would fix the issue of having to click too much to get necessary info.
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Re: remaining feedback from 0.42-0.43

Postby Chah » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:58 pm

I just bought Rebuild Mobile and started playing it. It's making me remember how good the old interface was: The signs that show which squares have survivors or food on them, the danger level overlay, and the food display that also shows the food consumption rate. It really saves time since I don't have to click each square to get their info.

This series has wonderful gameplay, but the biggest issue is the amount of tedious clicking involved, especially as the town grows bigger. This problem doesn't surface as much in shorter games, but Rebuild 3 will have huger maps and a story that spans a series of maps so the problem of tedious clicking might get exacerbated.

I'm sensing a drive to reduce the amount of information displayed on the screen as much as possible. But reducing the number of required clicks during play should be just as high a priority.
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Re: remaining feedback from 0.42-0.43

Postby Chah » Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:05 pm

To explain how the amount of clicking affected me with earlier Rebuilds:

When I started playing Rebuild, most of my games were short and brutal. But in a good way that made me want to try it again. In those games, the town doesn't grow large so the tedious repetitive clicking problem didn't surface as much.

When I actually got to build a large town, say, in one out of five tries, it was such a special occasion that I could emotionally overlook the tediousness of managing it.

But as I got better so that I always reach the late game, I just stopped playing Rebuild except once every 3-4 months because it takes half of a day to finish a game. This is when the interface didn't demand clicking on multiple squares just for info.

If the story mode of Rebuild 3 is going to be about making your way across a series of maps, from easy ones to hard ones, I have a feeling that a higher ratio of the games are going to be those long games, not the short trial-and-error ones. Having lots of long games that you actually get to play through to the next stage (rather than die in the early stage) and a slower click-intensive interface seems a disastrous combination to me.
Last edited by Chah on Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: remaining feedback from 0.42-0.43

Postby Chah » Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:32 pm

The drag-and-drop interface seems to be torn between two goals:
- To streamline gameplay.
- To make the game look more appealing to players that didn't want to play the earlier Rebuilds.

If the goal of drag-and-drop is to streamline gameplay, the game should never hide away info that is necessary for making decisions each turn in a separate window requiring an extra click. In earlier versions, the game was played by clicking on a square to start a mission, so it helped greatly that the game showed the minimal info about each square that helps make that decision without requiring you to click on each one to open up a separate window. We could visually compare the squares at once, not check them one by one. If the game is going to be played by dragging survivors, we need that same quality of info for survivors that we had for squares: We need to be able to see their info without clicking, and we need to be able to visually compare the info for multiple survivor stacks.

If the goal of drag-and-drop is to make the game look more appealing to players that were scared away by earlier Rebuilds because they looked too complex, then it does makes sense for the game to hide away all the stats in separate windows and banish any numerical stats from the main screen. But it's only a superficial change, and players still need to think about all those stats in order to play the game. Maybe the game would look less daunting to players before they download the game, but once they start playing it, such a system would be slower and more tedious for both those new players and the hardcore fans.

Maybe there is some out-of-the-box solution that provides the best of both worlds.

But creating a "reward" to entice players to open an info window (such as checking if a character has gained a new chat bubble) is not the answer, because time is still wasted with mechanical clicking rather than actually playing the game (making decisions, etc.)
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Re: remaining feedback from 0.42-0.43

Postby jaydedman » Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:23 am

Well said. We have several different threads discussing the same thing. The need for more visible info and less clicking into menus.

I feel there are two kinds of info we're discussing. Each needs to be treated differently.

--"Field info":
this is all the atmospheric info that needs to be easily visible to make decisions and keep the gameplay fun. How much food do I have and am using, how many materials do I have, the zombie danger on different squares, scouted info showing what squares need to be scavenged. This info can go in overlays and tooltips.

--"Can I have your attention?!":
These are the things that need my immediate attention. Perks that need choosing, Stories that need to be told, items that need to be equipped, new survivor needs to be assigned, a Relationship(?) that needs to be dealt with. This info can either go in the Logbook that used to pop up at the end of turns in RB2, or in these new right hand side alerts that exist in RB3 for Real Time play. If I click this alert, it should take be directly to the action/choice.

As is now, info is really all over the place. If I hadn't played the first Rebuild games, I might be lost because information is hidden.
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