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Dwelvers Journal 2014.06.09 - Feedback is the key
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #1
2014.06.09 - Feedback is the key
Feedback is the key

If there are something the feedback from the 0.7 versions has taught me it is that the game is giving the player way to little feedback when something is wrong. Most of the time the player will have to guess.

So in between the bug-fixing I have started working on a way to give the player this feedback.

Better building efficiency feedback

First off, more information on what items a building takes and what it deliverers, and what items are halting the production and not. I have also included a health-bar for some buildings as you can see.

The down-arrows means that they are items that gets delivered to the baking table, and the up-arrow is what it being produced. The colors of these arrows shows how long time the baking table has to wait before they are being delivered. Red color is slow to no delivery, yellow is medium speed delivery, and green color is fast delivery. The same goes for the out arrow, there are some situations the imps don't want to pick up the bread, for example when the storage room the bakery is connected to is full.

[Image: BakingTableEfficency.jpg]

Better storage room capacity feedback

Many of the issues I have seen being reported is the cause of that the storage room a room is connected to is full. When a storage room is full, all other rooms connected to that storage room will stop producing items. I think this is a good thing as it can keep the production balanced and prevents all the storage rooms from being filled up with one item type only. The issue here is that in previous versions released the game don't tell the player that this is the issue, the buildings just stop producing items and that's it.

What I have done here is to add a storage icon with a percentage over the room flag that tells the player how full the storage room is.

[Image: StoragePercentage.jpg]

Also, if a storage room is full, then the other rooms connected to this storage room will complain like this:

[Image: NoStorage.jpg]

I got rid of that big annoying item window

Something that has been bothering me for a while is that huge window that comes up and fills a quarter of the screen each time a tile with some items are selected. So I got rid of it and replaced it with something more discreet.

[Image: ShowNumItems.jpg]

Room chain flags

Another issue that can be very easy to miss is when the room chain is broken. I have taken two actions to prevent this from happening. First of, all rooms that aren't storage rooms can't be disconnected from a storage room. If the player sells a storage room that a room is connected to it will locate another storage room to connect to.

Secondly, if all the storage rooms are connected together they will form a large chain that will make all items in the dungeon available for all the rooms. On the other hand if the player has three storage rooms and one of these storage rooms are disconnected from the rest of the dungeon, then the items in this storage room will not become available for the rest of the storage rooms. This may be a tactic for the player, maybe he wants to separate production chains that don't interfere with each other. But no matter if this is the case of not the player should be able to see with ease what storage rooms are connected to what storage rooms.

So this is how I solved it. Each chain of storage rooms will get a different icon color over their room flag:

[Image: FlagChainColors.jpg]

In this case I have the farm and the bakery connected to one storage room, and that storage room is not connected to anything else, so it gets a red color flag. Then we have the Dark Mother room that has a storage room and a bar room connected to it, so it gets a green color flag.

This connection is NOT good, because the bar room will not get what is produced from the cookery room. But it is easy to see where it went wrong, and that is the whole point.

Editing room chains

If the player uses the radial menu and choose the room chain tool he will get an improved visual look of what is connected to what like in this picture:

[Image: EditChains.jpg]


What's next?

I need to fix the new bugs and solve the issue with the well being neglected when the imps run of to dig or claim paths. After that I will release the 0.7d version. My plan from now on is to release one version at least once a week until the game is finished Smile
09-06-2014 08:59 PM
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TopperHarley Offline
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Post: #2
RE:
Great news and great ingame feedback.
We will test it and give feedback:-)
09-06-2014 09:22 PM
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #3
RE: 2014.06.09 - Feedback is the key
(09-06-2014 09:22 PM)TopperHarley Wrote:  We will test it and give feedback:-)

Yeah you better! Big Grin
09-06-2014 09:30 PM
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DrBoom Offline
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Post: #4
RE:
I like the upcoming changes. Just one suggestion. I noticed in the last picture where you are showing the connected rooms. The rooms connected Cookery, Farm, Storage have red flags and red chain. Since "Red" is a indicator when chains are broken or things are wrong in general and used in indicating negative feedback to the player. You might not want to allow the room chain flags to be red as this might mislead a player to thinking something is wrong. Just a thought.
10-06-2014 02:41 PM
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Sebt Offline
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Post: #5
RE:
I also have suggestion - what do you think folks about having small previews of connected with one supply chain rooms in the corner of screen?

Some rooms could be far away from room they're connected to with chain and if you want to see each room at the same time it would not be possible to see all on the one, main screen, but those which can't be seen could appear as their previews in a small window in the screen bottom-right corner where you could see stats/feedback icons because previews are centered to icon - (this way you could see creatures walking through there).

If there would be more than 1 room out of the screen, the window could show one by one room in the same window by 3 seconds or only when we use special keys to see next/previous previews... but this would work only if player could see feedbacks from each chain separately, not as global connections at the same time so when you hover mouse for 2 seconds on certain room it will show feedback only for rKim's in its chain, not all on the map you control.

Preview of... preview:
[Image: 33m4fae.jpg]
I support The Venus Project & Resource-Based Economy - The feasible plan to get rid of scarcity, poverty, and other incoming global issues.
(This post was last modified: 10-06-2014 03:45 PM by Sebt.)
10-06-2014 03:29 PM
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Excess Offline
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Post: #6
RE: 2014.06.09 - Feedback is the key
(10-06-2014 02:41 PM)DrBoom Wrote:  You might not want to allow the room chain flags to be red as this might mislead a player to thinking something is wrong. Just a thought.

Was about to say the same thing. You either use colours to differentiate groups OR states. Not both.

You'll need to change the way you represent groups or states. You already use red/yellow/green in the creatures info box, where red is low, yellow medium and green full, so you should probably stick with that and change the group thing.

I can't think of anything clever right now, so I suggest using numbers until something better comes up. Definitely not colours.
10-06-2014 04:46 PM
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Rasmus Offline
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RE:
Hmm, you may be up to something there..
The reason I used colors is because they paint up a very clear picture for the player what is belonging to what. Using numbers for this would make it way to hard to see the full picture. It is not just about putting numbers on the flags, but also on the chains leading between the rooms. Using different shapes instead of colors is one idea, but somewhat limited.

What about if I avoided the green/yellow/red colors when coloring flags and chains?
10-06-2014 05:25 PM
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DrBoom Offline
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Post: #8
RE: 2014.06.09 - Feedback is the key
(10-06-2014 03:29 PM)Sebt Wrote:  I also have suggestion - what do you think folks about having small previews of connected with one supply chain rooms in the corner of screen?

Some rooms could be far away from room they're connected to with chain and if you want to see each room at the same time it would not be possible to see all on the one, main screen, but those which can't be seen could appear as their previews in a small window in the screen bottom-right corner where you could see stats/feedback icons because previews are centered to icon - (this way you could see creatures walking through there).

If there would be more than 1 room out of the screen, the window could show one by one room in the same window by 3 seconds or only when we use special keys to see next/previous previews... but this would work only if player could see feedbacks from each chain separately, not as global connections at the same time so when you hover mouse for 2 seconds on certain room it will show feedback only for rKim's in its chain, not all on the map you control.

Cool idea!!! But I think a quick fix for being able to see what all rooms are connected would be allowing us to zoom out farther to see a more complete view of the dungeon while in TAB mode/Dungeon Overview.
(This post was last modified: 10-06-2014 06:11 PM by DrBoom.)
10-06-2014 06:10 PM
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #9
RE:
True, but I will probably have to design a new dungeon layout for it, maybe something in the graphicstyle of the minimap. We could have the tab-map as usual, but if the player zooms out enough it will switch to a more simplistic view of the dungeon. This is something I could do, it would take me a day or two, so it will not be available in the upcoming version, maybe the version after that. I am really curious if the new feedback system will be enough to get rid of questions about why buildings stop producing or imps stops delivering..
10-06-2014 06:34 PM
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Aische1984 Offline
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Post: #10
RE:
Really nice ideas for the next version
and i think color coded groups could work as long as the colours used are not too similar to colors used for other things
oh and i think it would be nice to have a "dont stockpile unneded wares" button in the menu you use to assign imps so the storage room of a food production chain doesnt get stuffed full of stone metal and coal just caus you dig near it
10-06-2014 08:02 PM
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Rasmus Offline
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RE:
You mean something like this? http://forum.dwelvers.com/showthread.php?tid=923 Wink
10-06-2014 08:33 PM
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Excess Offline
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RE: 2014.06.09 - Feedback is the key
(10-06-2014 05:25 PM)Rasmus Wrote:  What about if I avoided the green/yellow/red colors when coloring flags and chains?
You are not left with much colors to work with, I think. Teal, Blue, Violet, Pink? Perhaps not enough contrast?

I'm only brainstorming here, but what would happen if you take out the colors from the creatures necessities altogether? Replace the "dotted" bar...

▓ ▓ ▓ ▓ ▓ ▓ ▓ ░ ░ ░ ░ ░

...with something like this...

☹▓ ▓▓ ▓▓▓▓ ▓▓░░░░░░░☺

...all in the same color? Would it communicate the same urgency when reaching the left part?

You could then use green, yellow and orange too for the groups (I would stay away from the red though, that's heavily reserved for wrong things and problems)
(This post was last modified: 10-06-2014 11:27 PM by Excess.)
10-06-2014 11:24 PM
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Rasmus Offline
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RE:
Hmm, there are not many colors, that is true.. But I can probably mix together 10 colors and add numbers on the flags as well for when the player exceeds the colors (which I highly doubt). The only reason to disconnect room chains from eachother is when the player wants to create other bases, which I don't think will be that often. Lets just say that if players starts complaining about there being to few colors I will make some extra effort to come up with another solution Smile
10-06-2014 11:49 PM
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Excess Offline
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RE:

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∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
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11-06-2014 12:00 AM
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #15
RE:
All bright colors that has enough difference, very nice Smile
11-06-2014 12:48 AM
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