Friday, December 26, 2014

Buttan?

I made a note for myself to write about Eve needing more buttons. I then had an impassioned speech about why I've become so focused on some type of social group support being added to the game that is not corporations. I then blended the two together because I was discussing the exact same subject in different areas.

It is about layers. Eve is full of layers. These come in basic forums like the right click menu and more advanced forms such as learning how to play the game. Wherever you go there are layers and half of the complexity of the game is learning that those layers exist.

I wondered, the other day, if we could solve some complexity issues with buttons.


On the right side of my HUD I have my modules. On the left side I have utility buttons that I use off and on. The Confessor got me thinking. It has three mode buttons. I have not heard people say that they are horrified by the location of the buttons or finding them hard to use. They may not always work but that is another thing.

Bringing the game out of menus and into the screen is important. And I wondered, why don't I just have a button for things like jumping and using my clone bay? Would that be better or would people consider it a step backwards. I know some games are moving away from the menu selections and such but is the obscure several things deep right click menu a good thing just for being obscure? Or, if buttons happened and the right click menus till existed would that be bad?

I don't care for screen clutter but as long as screen clutter is removable or customizable it may have a place.

7 comments:

  1. I am a real Luddite when it comes to buttons. I'm a right click EVE player come hell or high water. The radial menu came out and I've all but had to disable it - it keeps popping up at the wrong times (generally when I'm trying to undock and spin the camera to look around me, and I end up locking the station instead).

    With that in mind, I'll say that the last few patches have started to thaw my resolve. The little spinning direction finder, bookmarked locations, agent locations, and such have made a difference.

    So yah... bring on more buttons.

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  2. Please and thank you. The right click menu was done because it was simple from a dev perspective. Creating a ui that is simple from a user perspective takes a lot more work. Usability testing should be done. The radial menu seems like something that was pitched, given the go ahead because it looked ok, but wasn't really tested, and then had no way to improve or mature.

    It would be nice if a ship with a jump drive had a jump module button you could load it with fuel, it could go active if a cyno went up, and only if you had multiple cynos would you be given a choice. But for God sake test it first. I don't mean test it for bugs, I mean ask someone who is just starting to jump to try it, then ask a vet, and then 10 more people. Then use that feedback and try again.

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    Replies
    1. Wait... what? User Acceptance Testing!?! That... that.... that would be like... like... EVE having sound or something ridiculous like that.... =\

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    2. Sound? In space? Can we please be serious?

      Sorry maybe I wasn't clear, not User Acceptance Testing. It's a user interface, the user should be involved from the start, and not the users that know what the test server is or former users turned devs. To me, UAT is a check to see if you delivered what was asked for, and you can make minor changes but you're mostly stuck with what you have.
      Maybe I'm wrong and the radial menu was the 3rd or 4th attempt after testing other options, but that is really hard for me to believe.

      They said the reason they added manual flying was because of watching people who had never played before (finally?). Did they actually check to see how it worked for new players or did they just implement and wait for test server feedback.

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    3. I actually like the Radial Menu and use it for a lot of things. I would like it to operate in more places to be honest.

      Another great place for buttons would be the drone interface. Right now that is mostly drag and drop, right click menus, and a few hotkeys, but there is plenty of room for additions to this. (Also, would be nice if mining drones responded to the 'engage target' hotkey)

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    4. Would you rather use the radial menu to control drones or have buttons specifically designed for that? I would like buttons and the radial menu feels like a one size fits all patch to the ui.

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    5. Think I'd prefer one click buttons for just about everything in Eve. Single click stack all buttons for inventory, launch this drone group (draggable to module bar would be ideal...) Best would be customizeable, even per-window toggles...

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