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Overlay and Interface Feedback


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Back again with a 4th base under my belt (it's about to go pear-shaped at about 150 cycles). I have a lot more feedback on helping make the game more accessible and fun to play. This time I am splitting it between topics to avoid an uber-thread. Original feedback from my first few attempts is in this thread.

In this final post from my current notes, I'll cover improvements that could be made to the game's interface.

Overlays

Priorities - When in an overlay view, if you click on Priorities, show the priority numbers on top of the overlay. Sometimes you want to prioritise things like wire-building only, plus it's annoying to have to switch out of the overlay just to use Priorities properly anyway.

Constructing/Digging in Overlays - I suggest that when you are in an Overlay and select Dig, the overlay should turn off (or allow you to see the dig interface on top of the overlay). Also when in an Overlay, when you pick a building like wiring or piping, the overlay should switch to the appropiate one for what you are building. Currently you select the building (wires for example), then you have to quit out of the construction and the overlay, and start all over again to see what you want.

Highlight Appropriate Buildings in Overlays - The usefulness of Overlays could be much improved by highlighting appropriate buildings for that overlay, either with an outline or a distinctive bold shading. When I am in the Oxygen Overlay, highlight for me all of my oxygen production machines. In wiring, show me not only my wiring, but also highlight batteries and power production machines. In the Heat overlay, highlight my heat producing machines and tell me how much heat each object is outputting. This simple addition would make it much easier to plan and troubleshoot issues for players.

Jobs Screen

Scrolling - The controls for scrolling in this screen are completely inconsistent with the rest of the game. In the main map, you hold down right mouse button and move to scroll the screen. In the jobs screen, you use the left mouse button to do that. Right clicking to close the screen also feels unintuitive. Just keep closing the screen relegated to the close window icon, and let the player scroll with the right mouse held down to keep consistency with the main game.

Switching Jobs - The game should tell you in the jobs screen that if you change jobs, you retain the skills from earlier jobs, and also their highest decor/food requirements. It should also inform and warn you of this when you attempt to change dupe job roles on the board (it could have a "don't tell me again" checkbox to avoid it becoming annoying).

 

Work Errands Bug - Set an errand category (Cook, for example) to the spanner icon (Only duplicants in a related job can do this task). Now assign a dupe from a different job to the job needed for the spanner errand (I set a Miner to Sous Chef, in this example). The dupe cannot be given the spanner icon/behaviour in the errands list once it has been switched over, even though it is now eligible to do that work. In my example, the Miner previously had Cook unticked, but on assigning him as a Cook, I could not cycle through the icons in the errand list to the spanner, even though I could with my other cooking job dupes.

Allow Dig Command on Game Tiles

Almost every object can be clicked on and commands like sweep, deconstruct, etc can be issued to that object using the buttons in the info box. But when you click on diggable tiles (i.e. normal rock, materials etc) - there is no dig command button available. This would be a nice little addition and would maintain consistency with the rest of the game. It would be handy for things like buried objects. Right now just to dig single tiles you have to go into the dig menu, it would be a nice little time saver.

Resource List

The Resources list on the top right of the screen is intrusive. Suggest having it as a togglable list you can turn on and off via a button by the Overlays menu. Additionally, it took me a long time to realise that the arrows next to resources can be clicked on to make them expand. Although in Windows etc this is standard behaviour, and it's used in the storage compactors, this resource menu looks unlike any of the others and so it wasn't obvious enough. Maybe make this a bit clearer somehow.

Calories

Although at the end of each day you see overall dupe calorie consumption, it would be great if you could click the Calories menu at the top left of the screen and get a breakdown of your daily calory intake/production. You can currently see how much you are making, but not whether it's enough! Perhaps food producing machines and their daily output could be listed here as well, letting you see bottlenecks in your food production.

Save Games

Please let players name their save games. If I have a milestone save I want to keep, its very hard to remember which cycle I made it at - meaning I can load lots of save games to find the one I want - or I might even overwrite it by accident. In addition as I mentioned in my last big feedback thread, consider having the game autosave at important milestones, and not overwrite those saves, to let new players return to critical points and try again - rather than the autosave system wiping out their older progress.

 

That's all my feedback from the last playthrough, hope it was useful.

 

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4 minutes ago, Kasuha said:

Use the Save as... button.

I guess you have to go to New Save button after Save As to name a save? 

I have been clicking Save As, then doing the logical thing of clicking on an existing save slot which then gets overriden. In that case, when you click to Overwrite the save slot, it should give you the option of renaming then.

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12 minutes ago, Jigsawn said:

I guess you have to go to New Save button after Save As to name a save? 

I have been clicking Save As, then doing the logical thing of clicking on an existing save slot which then gets overriden. In that case, when you click to Overwrite the save slot, it should give you the option of renaming then.

Well... heh. Yeah. I think the UI is pretty intuitive there but maybe it would help if the NEW SAVE button was at the top and the same size as individual save slots so its purpose is more obvious.

 

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Food Shortage Camera Behaviour

Currently when you click on the food shortage warning, it moves the camera to the dupe fabricator, which is of no use to anyone. How about if you have food production devices, or farms, the camera moves to them instead. Clicking on the warning repeatedly could cycle between different food production, or even chef job dupes.

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Unreachable Food Warning

The unreachable food warning is really frustrating. The reason why? You get no other information, so you are desperately troubleshooting the dupes that can't get to food for a myriad of ways they may have got stuck, with nowhere to start.

One thing that would really help is that when you click the warning, the camera view switches to centre on food sources the dupes are trying to get to (or failing this, potential food sources they may have been disallowed to eat). Repeatedly clicking on the warning continues to cycle through possible food sources. Highlighting the food source would be useful as well.

This would at least give you a point to start troubleshooting why your dupes can't get to the food. 

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Pump Animations in Overlays

I've noticed that when in overlays, a lot of the time pump machine animations don't play, or are inconsistent in that they will sometimes animate and sometimes stop.

Calories Breakdown

Currently the breakdown of Calories Available (when you click on Knife and Fork at the top of the screen) is confusing.

Check this out:

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It's not immediately clear that the numbers for Nutrient Bar, etc mean the number of Nutrient Bars available, and not calories or some other metric - mainly because of the numbers after the decimal place. Suggest removing the decimal place to make the numbers more obvious, and changing the wording for the food to plural - i.e. "Nutrient Bars, Muckroots, Mush Bars".

Also as I suggested already, it would be nice to show "Daily Calories Consumed" somewhere in this pop-up too, to help with planning (yes you can look it up in Reports but it would be handy to have it here too esp. for new players).

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Decor Requirements Numbers are Confusing

In the Jobs Screen, the numbers shown for Decor Needs doesn't seem at all related to what you see in-game on the Dupes Vitals screen.

Here's what the jobs screen shows you - We need +50 decor - Medium decor - for Tier 3 jobs. Note that my Miner, Stinky, is at Tier 3.

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But when we look in-game at Stinky's Vitals, and check out his Decor Expectations:

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It's listed as 15.

If we go into the Decor overlay, the numbers there make more sense. An overall Decor number is shown per tile - which seems to correspond roughly to the larger numbers we see in the Jobs screen.

But where the Vitals Decor Expectation fits in, I have no idea. What does a 15 mean for Stinky? He should have a Decor Expectation of +50 thanks to the Tier 3 job, added to whatever he had before. Unless Stinky started life at *minus* 35 decor expectation, the 15 Expectation makes no sense.

Or are there other factors at work lowering Stinky's decor expectations? If so, they should be listed when you hover over his expectations in the Vitals screen.  

Right now all the disparity between the decor numbers is very confusing. It's hard to know whether you can safely take high tier jobs, because you don't know what your final dupe decor expectations will be. 

 

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2 hours ago, Jigsawn said:

Or are there other factors at work lowering Stinky's decor expectations?

If you look at the stats for individual dupes after you select them, a duplicant generally also has a default -15? decor requirement from being a duplicant and some personalities I think lower the requirement further.

But I agree it would help to display again in certain relevant contexts to keep it clear.  Or just accept that the one listed in the vitals menu is the absolute final desire from the sum of all of the little effects

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Sounds possible - I would need to load up my old save to check.

Yeah, it might help to have a pop-up or preview of some kind within the jobs screen too. When you hover over the list to promote a dupe, it pops up and tells you what that dupe's final expectations will be. That way you don't have to be afraid to promote without knowing exactly what you're getting too. And for people in my situation, you'd realise that it's ok to promote dupes further. I've been holding back on promotions because I didn't realise the dupes base expectations were much lower than I thought. Take Stinky, who I expected to have 60+ demand but is actually only 15! He could be a super miner by now!

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On ‎3‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 2:23 PM, Jigsawn said:

Priorities - When in an overlay view, if you click on Priorities, show the priority numbers on top of the overlay. Sometimes you want to prioritise things like wire-building only, plus it's annoying to have to switch out of the overlay just to use Priorities properly anyway.

Go to your game settings and opt into the Beta, they've already added a separate in-game priority tree. 

Prio.jpg

Resource list is fine, you can toggle every main resource so Its only as intrusive as one would like.

Vitals display how much your dups are consuming and in the daily reports you have access to the info. 

I wont bother with the rest because it seems to me like way too extensive a list for someone who lacks the knowledge of what's already available, come back when you figure it out first. 

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Thanks, I am aware of the preview build, I'm just giving feedback on my time with the Occupational Update. It's not the priority tweaking I'm talking about though - it's displaying the priority numbers on top of the overlays. Currently you have to switch out of an overlay before clicking on the Priority button to see tasks. When I have wiring overlay on for example, I want to be able to click on the Priorities button and then drag over my wires that are under construction to raise their priority only - and it to show the numbers in the overlay.

The resource list is of course a matter of opinion - maybe it's fine on higher resolutions, this only occurred to me recently). I play on a low resolution (1024x768) and see below that it takes up a decent portion of the screen and interferes with the background. For lower resolutions I'd like to see an option for toggling it on and off:

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I know there are other places to find daily consumption but it would be a nice convenient addition to have it in the Calory list especially for new players.

The whole point of this forum is to give feedback and for new players to give the developers first impressions. As a more experienced player you know how the game works and where to find all the info. I am trying to help the devs by telling them what I struggle with as a new player and where there are gaps in communication. Right now there is plenty of unintuitive stuff and "hidden" information - all of which makes the new player experience much more taxing than it needs to be - which ultimately could put players off the game. The devs want the game to be as accessible and understandable as possible, a difficult task given its complexity. I am giving them suggestions to help. People who have been playing ONI for a long time get accustomed to where everything is, and understand all the underlying systems. For newcomers it's a big challenge and if noone flags this, the devs won't know about the issues.

Consumables Screen

The interface for the consumables screen has an inconsistent interface controls-wise to other screens of a similar nature. For example the mouse scroll wheel moves the menu left and right instead of up and down. Scroll bars are very small, and in different locations compared to other screens. I also get a bug where if I scroll to the far right on the Consumables screen, the view periodically snaps back to the far left of the screen making it very hard to toggle consumables on the far right.

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Regarding overlays, I'd really love to be able to choose a temp range. When trouble-shooting (supposed to be) cold environments the current overlay just shows blue from 30K to 278K. Is it hard to change it to a slider for max and min and distribute the colors equally to the temps included (with white < min, purple > max)? this would make the temp overlay so much more useful.

I'd also love a different gas and pressure overlay, which actually shows the different gases and concentrations (perhaps even movement) instead of the vague breathability overlay. and a button to switch if PO2 is shown as breathable.

both could require a higher level sciencedupe and a station.

 

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On 3/11/2018 at 11:56 AM, Jigsawn said:

Sounds possible - I would need to load up my old save to check.

Yeah, it might help to have a pop-up or preview of some kind within the jobs screen too. When you hover over the list to promote a dupe, it pops up and tells you what that dupe's final expectations will be. That way you don't have to be afraid to promote without knowing exactly what you're getting too. And for people in my situation, you'd realise that it's ok to promote dupes further. I've been holding back on promotions because I didn't realise the dupes base expectations were much lower than I thought. Take Stinky, who I expected to have 60+ demand but is actually only 15! He could be a super miner by now!

Dupes do indeed have a default decor demand of -35. (I hereby claim the title of Alliteration King.) They have a -1 default food expectation too. You're absolutely right that this is super-confusing, especially in the context of the jobs screen. It's baffling to me that the default expectation for each isn't calibrated to be zero so that any modifiers can be intuitively understood.

For food, this would be trivially easy - set default expectation to zero, increase quality of every food by one. No net change anywhere in the system and the numbers make more sense.

For decor, I understand that the idea is to make it so that starter dupes can tolerate some ugliness. With a default decor expectation of zero and default decor value of zero for empty tiles, any debris/ugly buildings would cause stress. As an alternative to the current arrangement, I think it would be more clear overall if the default decor of an empty tile was +35 and default dupe expectation was zero. Since decor is only important in terms of its impact on dupes, baseline dupe expectations (not the environment) should be what the scale is calibrated around.

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Next Dupe Button

It would be pretty cool to have a Next Dupe button which appears on the Dupe info box (the one which shows when you click on a dupe). You use this button to cycle between your dupes (the camera centering on each one as you change and toggling "follow dupe" as the default behaviour) as a nice easy way to flick through your dupes and see what they are up to. Yes you can go between Dupes using the Vitals window, but you need to keep the Vitals window open to do this. A Next Dupe button would just be a nice little addition.

Show Daily Useage on Buildings

It would be really useful to show daily resource use when clicking on buildings (on the default tab). For example, if I click on an Algae Deoxidiser, it shows me that last cycle it consumed 25Kg of algae (or whatever resources/quantities applicable to the building). This would also help new players understand how many of each building they need to make, helping to avoid stuff like totally overpopulating your base with oxygen creating machines. You could also list the current resource useage for the current cycle.

 

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Daily usage would be a tremendous convenience. Knowing input/output per second is great for tuning systems but it's not particularly helpful for giving an intuitive sense of how much stuff you're consuming/creating over time. Most of us probably think in terms of cycles when we're, for example, assessing our algae or coal reserves, and it's tedious to constantly multiply everything by 600.

To that point, even more than showing usage on individual buildings, I would want to see this on a per-resource level. Give me graphs showing my total daily natural gas or clean water consumption over time. Not that you couldn't do both, but usually it's the aggregate number I want.

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Yeah seeing overall daily resource consumption on a separate screen would be really useful and help to identify places where something is being consumed at a dangerous rate. You could just have it as a new tab on the Reports screen and also list the main resources used on the daily report notification. Take my earlier topic about Bristle Berries - if I'd gone ahead and built a hydro farm with a small water supply, at least I might notice via a screen like this that I was using critical levels of water every cycle, if I didn't notice the water tank dropping by eye.

Toggle Follow Dupe by default on Vitals Screen

Following from the last suggestion, I would find it more useful when you double-click a dupe on the Vitals screen that the "follow dupe" behaviour is set by default. Moving the camera off the dupe at any point could turn off the follow behaviour automatically. This would just be a nice little tweak as its a bit jarring to skip to a dupe and then for him/her to immediately run off the screen. Most of the time whilst I'm reading their info screens I'm also curious about what they're up to and where they're heading, and end up clicking the follow dupe button every time anyway.

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On 16.3.2018 at 4:57 PM, Jigsawn said:

Next Dupe Button

[schnipp] Yes you can go between Dupes using the Vitals window, but you need to keep the Vitals window open to do this [...]

If you click on the health indicator on top, you can cycle trough your dupes. No vitals window required. It doesn't auto-follow or keep showing the same stats-tab, though. 

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Exosuit Dock

This is another building that doesn't list what gas you are supposed to be putting into it on the building info windows. I assume oxygen but it doesn't specifically say. It also mentions waste products in the blurb but there are no outputs to suggest that. See suggestion in first post for consistency across all buildings about their inputs and outputs.

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I love the game how all the others, but the UI of the game getting worse. It has something of a Flight Simulator. Many buttons, functions, overlays on each corner and confusing settings in the game. We need a simple menu for all tasks. Each update of the game adds new buttons, overlays and the UI get out of control more and more. Please do anything to minimize these chaos. New players (not me) are overwhelmed with this controls.

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Water Sieve allows water input, but doesn't tell you that

A few people have pointed out recently that the water seive actually takes in normal water without wrong element damage. Those of us who didn't know that have wasted power on filters - to prevent normal water getting into the sieves. That's cool and a nice feature, but the building description should mention that normal water can pass through it without harm. It's something new players would only find out by accident otherwise as the building says it takes polluted water.

Room Overlay Colours too Similar

Right now the colours for a number of the rooms in the Rooms Overlay are very similar, making it hard to see at a glance which is what. It's only a minor issue as you can hover over each room to find out its function. But maybe using darker blues/oranges/reds would help a bit. Biggest offenders are the greens: Barracks, Greenhouse, Mess Hall and Stable all look very similar - see screenshot below

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