Suggestion - UI Improvement

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager (SPM) Road to the Moon is the ultimate game of space exploration.

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Azhrei
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Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by Azhrei » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:08 pm

Hey guys, glad to see you got the game out, I'm playing it and really enjoying it.

The UI could use some work, though. I'm sure that once we've played with the game for a good length of time we'll have a grip on where everything is, but currently all I see is a lot of buttons with no explanation as to what they all are or do. What should happen is that when I hover over one of these buttons, the game tells me what it is. Take the original Buzz Aldrin game, or for a more recent example, Kerbal Space Program, and see what they do when the user hovers over any building icon or button.

This is a simple but effective way of helping players ease themselves into the game - hell, after hundreds of hours of KSP I still need to hover over certain objects to know what they are or do. So if this could be implemented in a future update, that'd be great. As it is, it's just on the side of user unfriendly.

Having said that, I may as well ask about what brought me here to suggest the above - how do I expand my buildings? I got the chance to build the VAB and other such buildings early in the game but now I need to expand my astronaut centre and I haven't a clue how to do it. Any help would be great.

Love the game otherwise, keep up the good work, and thank you for making this :mrgreen:

Nacho84
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by Nacho84 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:58 pm

Hello Azhrei,

Welcome to the forums! Glad you liked the game. In order to expand your buildings, you need to enable the construction mode by clicking on the 'crane' icon in the lower left part of the space complex.

Notice that the game features an extensive game manual, which features a complete walkthrough along with a section that explains all the core elements.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you might have here at the forums. Either myself or some other member of the community will be happy to help you.

Cheers,
Ignacio Liverotti
Lead Developer of Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager

Polar Motion
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FroBodine
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by FroBodine » Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:27 pm

Uh oh. No tooltips to tell you what buttons and other things are and do? That is a necessary feature that EVERY game should have.

I am considering purchasing this game, based on all the positive comments so far. But, no tooltips is a pretty big exclusion that is standard in games nowadays.

An extensive manual is a definite plus, and I commend you guys for that. Too often lately, games are releasing with very poor or no manuals (Pandora, I'm looking at you). Thank you for this!

But still, no tooltips is inexcusable in my opinion.

IainMcNeil
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:03 pm

It depends - the game is designed so you don't need them with buttons all being clear. Many games get by without them and you only need them if you cant show the information clearly without them.

FroBodine
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by FroBodine » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:50 pm

What may be clear to you and the developers may not be clear to us users brand new to the game.

I have read more than one posting now from folks wishing there were tooltips on icons and numbers, to explain what they are.

If this is a design decision to not have them, due to porting over to the iPad, then that is a major bummer.

Niedziak
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by Niedziak » Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:44 pm

Tooltips could be useful actually.
For other things that could help UI from my first play:
1. When you are hiring new personel - counter of free places available would be helpful actually.
2. Sorting personel by their skills while hiring would be helpful also, but seeing how this screen is built it probably would be too much work to redesign this.

Bandred
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by Bandred » Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:04 am

IainMcNeil wrote:It depends - the game is designed so you don't need them with buttons all being clear. Many games get by without them and you only need them if you cant show the information clearly without them.
This is an arrogant response to customers making a legitimate observation.

Things may be clear to you, now that, I assume, you have experience with the game. I am also fairly confident that they will become clear to me when I have played it for longer, and have more data to work out what buttons/symbols represent from the changes that occur as the game progresses. For now my first impressions are tarnished by the amount of time I have to spend trying to work out too many of the UI features. If you feel that including 'tool tips' is too much work, you should at least provide more detailed descriptions of the interface screens in the game manual.

Regards,

Mike
.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Edited 2nd November: Since this post I have found reference to a User Interface Document by Nacho84{Developer] on the Steam Forums. The link supplied there is :

I tried, but .......................... Your post looks too spamy for a new user, please remove off-site URLs ...............

Okay, if you want to look up the link on the Steam Forums, the post topic is 'Where do I check which mission controllers/crew are needed for a mission?'.

or, maybe an admin or developer might choose to post it here.

nats
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by nats » Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:16 pm

Its certainly something that I can see is badly needed myself and I have said that before. The games UI is a nightmare to use. It takes a few hours just to be able to find your way around it and even then you struggle to remember where to go to do what.When I played this game for the first time I struggled a lot with what I need to do, why I needed to do it, what order I needed to do things, what things I needed to get to enable me to do other things. It hasnt improved much from what I have seen - and in fact has probably got worse what with the added complexity that has been added since I tested the game months ago.

Tooltips would absolutely help enormously.

But its a game made by a very small but very dedicated dev team so I am sure things will improve eventually. I have to say I am surprised that things that I suggested like colour coding screens, a better menu bar, a better game heirarchy etc etc havent been done at all.
"It's life Jim, but not as we know it"

Nacho84
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by Nacho84 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:25 pm

Hello guys,

To be honest during the Early Access Program (EAP) we didn't have any strong request regarding tooltips, that's why we deemed them as "would be nice, but let's focus on something else since there are so many things to do". Though, as another player mentioned in the Matrix Games forums, this might have been because during the EAP new features and mechanics were introduced progressively, thus giving early adopters the chance to learn them in small chunks. Anyway, another lesson learned for our next game... :)

In the meantime, please grab this reference guide that Mauricio (our 3D artist) and myself made yesterday.

We'll certainly add more in-game help in a future patch, but hopefully between the game manual and the reference guide you should get a pretty good grasp on how the game works. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm monitoring the forums all the time, so either myself or another player will surely be able to reply.

Cheers,
Ignacio Liverotti
Lead Developer of Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager

Polar Motion
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SeaJunk
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by SeaJunk » Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:28 pm

First up, I like the game and I appreciate the efforts of what looks like a one or two man development team. I'll add to the constructive criticism.
Giving useful feedback and information to the player within a game separates ok games from good and great ones. Brushing off tooltips as a nice to have feature doesn't really cut it and just further illustrates how how small the dev team is. Its a feature in most modern games that players shouldn't have to ask for.

Pay attention to your click budget. It takes too many clicks to get the essential information you need. For example, how many clicks does it take to get 'the combined reliability of the mission components'?. Think about what are the most important parts of the game and make this information more accessible.

Don't rely on the manual, people don't read it. Sure its handy for for understanding how combat modifiers work or the details of a supply system in more complex games, but the UI should be intuitive enough to navigate around without looking elsewhere.

As others have said more upfront information on mission progresses would be handy. "What was the point of failure on a launch/mission"?, was it a component failure or did the controller step in and fail also. Feedback.

Anyway, keep up the good work and I look forward to future patches and games.

Niedziak
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by Niedziak » Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:11 am

Another two things I found would be useful.
1. I found out that there are many situations when I want to move scientist from one program to another and it would be a nice feature to list scientist from other programs even if there are free scientists available. Preferably would be to switch between two list when assigning scientists.
2. Some average components reliability in R&D management screen would speed things a lot.

jack44465
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Re: Suggestion - UI Improvement

Post by jack44465 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:17 am

Nacho84 wrote:Hello guys,

To be honest during the Early Access Program (EAP) we didn't have any strong request regarding tooltips, that's why we deemed them as "would be nice, but let's focus on something else since there are so many things to do". Though, as another player mentioned in the Matrix Games forums, this might have been because during the EAP new features and mechanics were introduced progressively, thus giving early adopters the chance to learn them in small chunks. Anyway, another lesson learned for our next game... :)

In the meantime, please grab this reference guide that Mauricio (our 3D artist) and myself made yesterday.

We'll certainly add more in-game help in a future patch, but hopefully between the game manual and the reference guide you should get a pretty good grasp on how the game works. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm monitoring the forums all the time, so either myself or another player will surely be able to reply.

Cheers,
i think instead there should be a tutorial option that way new players can learn the ropes then when they are ready to play they can just go

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