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Beta Testers: Enhancement Ideas

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Level 14 Human Shadow
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Earth Orbit, Preparing to Attack
Posted on October 6, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Starting up a thread for enhancement ideas. Figure keeping these separate from the bugs is somewhat important.

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From Rick's bug thread, moved over
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1. Merging slaves: It is often hard to control 6 groups of an average of 7 slaves. Being able to merge slaves into groups of up to 40 units would be helpful. If merging is added, it might also be important to be able to split the groups again, but not critical.

2. Display sea trade routes on the 3d map. I'm thinking a lighter blue overlay showing the route.

3. Improve game loading screen compass to show activity better. The compass point was often stalled and even when moving was hard to tell it was moving without looking at it for a while. Perhaps enhancements to the compass itself. Perhaps a some sort of loading bar showing how far through the process the game was? Maybe even a ring around the compass that slowly fills in a clockwise motion? Just throwing out ideas.

4. Improve game loading screen to have a delay on the last tip to give the user a chance to read it. Often it vanishes before I can read it.

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New ideas from today
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1. I find that the counter disks could be improved by providing 3 different display modes on strategy map:
- Show Only Combat Units
- Show Only Non-Combat Units
- Show All Units (current method)

Often I find myself looking for just the combat units, but having to click on all the structures that have counters before finding which actually have combat units and which are filled with massive amounts of slaves. This is especially important after my troops have been routed and I don't know where their home cities are.

2. When I look at the interface, the six control icons left of the compass do not fit with the rest of the interface.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm

1. Merging slaves: It is often hard to control 6 groups of an average of 7 slaves. Being able to merge slaves into groups of up to 40 units would be helpful. If merging is added, it might also be important to be able to split the groups again, but not critical.
You can already merge slaves. Select one group of slaves and right-click on another. I've added a loading tip about this.

2. Display sea trade routes on the 3d map. I'm thinking a lighter blue overlay showing the route.
They are drawn on the 3D map but can be hard to see in some lighting since they use the world lighting. We can try other colours.

3. Improve game loading screen compass to show activity better. The compass point was often stalled and even when moving was hard to tell it was moving without looking at it for a while. Perhaps enhancements to the compass itself. Perhaps a some sort of loading bar showing how far through the process the game was? Maybe even a ring around the compass that slowly fills in a clockwise motion? Just throwing out ideas.
There's a limit to what we can do without multi-threading or significantly reorganizing the code (both of which are out of the question at this point). I actually replaced our old progress bar with the compass not that long ago because the animation was so erratic and the progress didn't reflect actual time remaining very well. I did however get interrupted breaking the map loading into smaller pieces so I know there is some room for improvement there.

4. Improve game loading screen to have a delay on the last tip to give the user a chance to read it. Often it vanishes before I can read it.
This has been raised before internally. I wasn't sure if extending the loading time was preferable to getting interrupted. I had also considered reloading the same tip next time if it got cut off too soon.

1. I find that the counter disks could be improved by providing 3 different display modes on strategy map:
- Show Only Combat Units
- Show Only Non-Combat Units
- Show All Units (current method)

Often I find myself looking for just the combat units, but having to click on all the structures that have counters before finding which actually have combat units and which are filled with massive amounts of slaves. This is especially important after my troops have been routed and I don't know where their home cities are.


I had wondered about colour coding non-combat units like I do for generals right now. That would be my first choice over adding more buttons to the gui.

2. When I look at the interface, the six control icons left of the compass do not fit with the rest of the interface.

Do you mean the ones on the right of the compass for Menu, Pedia, Objectives, etc? We had tried them with a solid bar behind them as well but had decided on floating buttons because it kept the gui minimal. Do you have any ideas in particular?

Level 14 Human Shadow
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Earth Orbit, Preparing to Attack
Posted on October 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Combat/Non-combat Units:
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Color coding would be fine. Only concerned it might get a bit busy :)


Icons:
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Yep, those icons. I'll think about ideas and let you know if I have any!

Level 14 Human Shadow
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Earth Orbit, Preparing to Attack
Posted on October 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Unit Skills dialog (K): When opened and not selected on any unit, it would be nice to be able to see a list of all units with skill point upgrades available, how many points are available for each unit, and what their current skills are.

Suggested navigation for when opened with a specific unit: A "go to unit list" arrow/button that takes you to the above list. Hit the (K) key to go to the above list (or double-tap K to go to the above list while clicked on a unit and the dialog is not open).