Right-hand pop up progress alerts

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

Re: Right-hand pop up progress alerts

Postby Ophryon » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:52 pm

We're mixing a lot of things together and calling them all alerts. I thought it might help the discussion if we categorize them. Here's my stab at it:

    Reports - Mission results that are info only, no action required (resources found, Scouted, zombies killed, non-mission buildings reclaimed)

    Opportunities - Things that require a menu action to gain benefit (backstories, equipping new items) or character assignment (tech researched, mission building reclaimed)

    Warnings - bad things that might happen
I think it gets confusing to mix different types of information in the same delivery method. Example: alerts currently mix Opportunities with Reports. Since Reports pop up more often, I get conditioned to ignore them all.

I agree that Warnings would be useful but should be via some other method. Don't forget, though, that Sarah already has a warning system in place: event-book popups. The game gives us warnings like "you don't have a hospital" or "people are unhappy" but presented in a form that feels like it's part of the story. I enjoy a warning seeming to come from a character. Glowing status bars would be OK too, in moderation. Immersion might suffer if the UI starts to feel like a flight simulator.
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Re: Right-hand pop up progress alerts

Postby luisdiego30 » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:38 pm

Ophryon wrote:Warnings - bad things that might happen[/list]

I agree that Warnings would be useful but should be via some other method. Don't forget, though, that Sarah already has a warning system in place: event-book popups. The game gives us warnings like "you don't have a hospital" or "people are unhappy" but presented in a form that feels like it's part of the story. I enjoy a warning seeming to come from a character. Glowing status bars would be OK too, in moderation. Immersion might suffer if the UI starts to feel like a flight simulator.


The thing about the event-book popups is that it warn you when something already bad happen. For example your guy get ill he die, if you had a hospital he could have been saved. A better warning would have been we have the materials and the builders to build a hospital or their one near by and it tell you to reclaim it next to avoid long injury time or death by illnesses. In rebuild 2 the event-book or log wouldn't even tell you you were running out of food until you ran out of food completely and by that time your scavengers collecting food or reclaiming a farm you loss two survivors by starvation.
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Re: Right-hand pop up progress alerts

Postby Ophryon » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:49 pm

Some of what you're describing is what I call playing the game: taking stock of available resources and anticipating problems.

Regarding events as warnings: we have the "illness strikes" event, which injures a character and reduces happiness. It is a warning that you need a hospital, but the penalty integrates it into the story. I'm guessing Sarah will balance this (and other warning-type events we haven't seen yet) so that nobody dies without this sort of fair warning.
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Re: Right-hand pop up progress alerts

Postby luisdiego30 » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:19 pm

davea wrote:
jaydedman wrote:luisdiego30 makes an interesting point that the right hand side alerts could give you warnings when certain criteria has been met. If Ill run out of food in 3 days according to my group's consumption. If Im below 10 units of construction materials. If happiness is so low that bad things will soon happen. Not sure if this is necessary or possible, but it does make alerts more useful.

I agree that this type of notification is useful. However, I am not sure adding more right side alerts will help. Instead, we have the left side summary buttons. For example, the lower left hand zombie icon changes color based on the overall danger level. If nobody has noticed that, perhaps the first step is to make this pulse red, or something, so the player will notice, although perhaps clicking on it should stop the pulsing for now.

Then, for example, the left side food status button could change color to yellow or red below a certain number of days and start pulsing. For happiness, same thing. For materials, I have suggested that the building construction thermometer should also show materials, and if it did, then it could show red below a certain level. Since materials starts at zero, I guess it can't immediately show red, but something related to the number of buildings you own could set a "red threshold" for materials.

(EDIT partial ninja by chah, I spent too long typing that.)


I agree davea having the food icon change colors is good. If the food icon is yellow that mean you have nine days worth of food left, orange six days left, red three days or less worth of food left for your whole group. Maybe a sound of a growling stomach playing when the color changes and it get loader as the colors changes. I also think the music should change to a more tenser kind of version or music to reflect the danger level in the fort.
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Re: Right-hand pop up progress alerts

Postby jaydedman » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:42 pm

I agree that nothing needs to tell me how to play the game. If I'm not smart enough to build a hospital, people are going to die. Alerts should be "this just happened".

I started this thread to talk about the right side alerts since it's a new feature from RB2. I'm hearing confusing answers. Are they useful or not?

Personally in their current form, I don't find the right hand alerts useful. I've ignore like spam. So I see two options:
--make the current alerts useful (like linking to actual concrete actions when needed)
--remove these right hand side alerts and put the alerts in other places so there's not redundency

Obviously Sarah will make the final decision. I just find that the alerts take up a lot of valuable screen space and offer very little useful info/action.
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Re: Right-hand pop up progress alerts

Postby davea » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:14 pm

Some of the right side alerts are critical. For example, that is the only way to see the details of new recruits. I think those are also the only ones that don't expire when they reach the bottom of the screen.
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Re: Right-hand pop up progress alerts

Postby Ophryon » Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:14 am

I always wondered why the new recruit event doesn't just automatically pop up. I usually want to immediately put them to work, which means I want to immediately see them. Having to click the alert always feels like an extra step.
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Re: Right-hand pop up progress alerts

Postby jaydedman » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:03 am

I wonder if the issue is that RB3 seems to be turning into a Real Time game from a Turned Based game. If it remained strictly a turned based game, we could just bring back the old logbook updates at the end of each turn.

I guess if Real Time remains then these right hand alerts are somehow necessary to keep a player updated.

Is there even an argument about keeping Real Time anymore? I remember that thread just died out.
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Re: Right-hand pop up progress alerts

Postby Ophryon » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:38 am

I just came back to add a similar thought but you beat me to it. One function of the alerts is to signal that a character has finished a mission. Without them, you might miss that someone has returned to base. This seems to be mainly a function of real-time, though.

Sarah has said she will balance the fractional mission times so there is no difference between real time and turn based. I'm curious to see how that affects the usefulness of alerts. My guess is that will be even more reason to prefer a daily report, log book style.
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Re: Right-hand pop up progress alerts

Postby davea » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:52 am

Ophryon wrote:I always wondered why the new recruit event doesn't just automatically pop up. I usually want to immediately put them to work, which means I want to immediately see them. Having to click the alert always feels like an extra step.

I think the concept of the right side alerts, in a scrolling panel, is much better than having a full dialog box pop up the instant the mission finishes. Popping up dialog boxes is a lot more intrusive: what if the player already has some other panel up, and is reading it? Or what if multiple events finish at the same time? It would be annoying if I was reading one recruit dialog, and then another one popped up on top of it. If you suggest a "queue" to manage these popups, then I guess that is exactly the purpose served by the scrolling panel.

I think we agree that the "recruit success" alert is important. I think we agree that the various "mission complete" alerts are important because otherwise you may miss the animation of a stack moving back to the base (especially if it happens to be off-screen).

I am on the fence about the incremental scavenging messages. On a four day scavenging mission, I suppose you get four alerts; each one says the number of food and other interesting materials you get. Today, I have no reason to care that I got ammo or medicine or anything; I don't care all that much about how much food I got specifically; so maybe these alerts are useless and could be removed.

So, we can ask the question this way: which alerts are *useless* and should be removed?
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