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Thread: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

  1. #1
    Street Boss
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    Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    Former forum guru Selene once said that the objective of the game is to have more attack and defense. I was resistant to this idea. I think it's completely true for every player above LV200. I think it might be less true for the players who are filling out their inner circle, and leveling 15 times a week. Those players might be more focused on building than destroying, if that distinction isn't over-simplified. Eventually, it becomes about fighting. So, it's a building game, and then it's a fighting game. But it's social, it's fun, and winning is a hoot.

    In August, I'll have been playing for 4 years. I play a lot of squishy toons. But there are two areas that I think you are challenged to improve because I think the game is going in the wrong direction.


    MESSAGING

    First, and most bothersome, is how you message players in-game. At one time, pop-up windows weren't troubling. Now it seems like the pop-up windows pop up more windows, and the messages just spew like a volcano. It's a problem because sometimes they go too quickly. During a boss, for example, I might use a refill by accident, because I was going to tap the screen and the message popped up while I was in motion. Other times, a message comes up and I was in the act of tapping and I accidentally clear the message before I know what it said. The status quo is distracting and frustrating. The game design principle that it breaks is called "flow" - where you can play and play and play without interruption or distraction.

    Early in the game, the flow is pretty good. Later, not so much. I'm not suggesting that you should enable higher-level players to level faster or anything, just saying that the flow changes as you progress. Outside of EvE, it becomes "pay to play" because you can only play a few minutes until you're out of resources. EvE only gets better as you advance and get stronger. The building gets harder, the fighting gets easier.

    There's another thing related to it that is just plain irritating. When I'm in the flow and doing what I want, I don't care to be interrupted by a bunch of pop-ups that tell me about achievements, LT levelups, things like that. I don't want to be forced to play the game how The Man wants me to - I want to play it my way. By that I mean that I don't want to have to tap to dismiss messages that I didn't want to see in the first place. And sometimes I can dismiss them by tapping anywhere. Other times I have to tap on the red X. When I can't focus on the task I've chosen, it's a distraction, and distractions cost game designers money.

    There are a number of ways to get information to players without interrupting them. You do it three different ways already - by showing a red number on the tabs in the bottom row, by blinking the arrow in the top right, and by making Sara blink in the center left. So players are used to being led away from whatever they're doing toward items of interest without being forced to abandon the current task until they're ready to do so. But still, we get the popups in-game. There are conditions where it might represent completion of the task that I'm doing - I can imagine a case for using it in moderation. But that's not what users experience. Instead, they get a blinding series of quick boxes coming and going.

    I encourage you to re-think the UX for giving information about the state of the game to players in ways that promote better flow.


    SIMPLICITY

    The second thing is simplicity. If a game is simple, like a match 3 game, you can just play it with no more than a few seconds of practice. But this game is becoming unwieldy. The chem packs and the insignia - why do we need both? And the new skills for LT's are pretty confusing. How do I decide on a plan to build a toon with so many choices? Sure, we like choices. But do we have too many?

    When I was a new player, I couldn't even get into certain bosses. I couldn't even see certain tech lab items. I think you could put training wheels out there for new or weak players without damaging the balance between them and advanced players.


    JUST THOSE TWO THINGS, THAT'S ALL

    Please notice that I'm not complaining about prices, or drop rates, or value of prizes. Sure, I wish I had Sara parts dropping all around me like whenever I have to tap a popup window. But people will fall on both sides of all of those price/value issues no matter where you put the rates. Instead, I'm suggesting that you consider improving the UX - especially for new players - in terms of simplicity and flow.

    Thanks for letting me have my say. I'm still tapping.
    Just a bit analytical.

  2. #2

    Re: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    Move all pop ups to banners across the top. That way you can continue to play and they can scroll through without interruption.

    It is annoying. I've signed on 45 seconds before war once and couldn't switch to my health load out because I got hit with daily login, the pop up from it. The pop up for auto collect. The reward from it. The additional reward. The daily achievement rewards from the other rewards, etc. it's annoying.

  3. #3
    Street Boss Quaranj's Avatar
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    Re: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Xcali1985 View Post
    Move all pop ups to banners across the top. That way you can continue to play and they can scroll through without interruption.

    It is annoying. I've signed on 45 seconds before war once and couldn't switch to my health load out because I got hit with daily login, the pop up from it. The pop up for auto collect. The reward from it. The additional reward. The daily achievement rewards from the other rewards, etc. it's annoying.
    That drive me a bit crazy too, though not as much as having daily achievements 4 & 5 pop at the same time while doing something time-sensitive in EvE. I can't imagine the frustration of this happening to a demo toon between revives...

  4. #4

    Re: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Quaranj View Post
    That drive me a bit crazy too, though not as much as having daily achievements 4 & 5 pop at the same time while doing something time-sensitive in EvE. I can't imagine the frustration of this happening to a demo toon between revives...
    Have had that happen. Trying to sneak in a few demo hits then get the achievement for dropping 30 tokens, followed by thanks for charging the super power.

    Only thing that drives me crazier is leveling while in EvE. Clearing Sara from screen. Adding points or closing to get back to the fight takes longer than it should.

    Even worse on Android FYI

    If they made the daily achievements like the first 20-30 achievements when you first start out. How you have to open challenges tab to manually collect would be nice.

  5. #5

    Re: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    Those are really good ideas! We will consider of them.Thanks.

  6. #6
    Street Boss Quaranj's Avatar
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    Re: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    I *always* miss that I have leveled my LTs while spamming taps on gold jobs.

    Would it be possible to have an x/xx display shoehorned in somewhere?

  7. #7

    Re: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    Agree to all above.
    How about to have a donation bottom in Main menu so we don't need to enter members screen than empire screen to donate? A simple small bottom after gift or between main and news
    Or add it to the drop down menu when you click you money. (Best place imo)

  8. #8

    Re: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    Found this out
    So you intentionally miss lead players? You know in your heart thats WRONG on so many levels it's not even funny. So as a representative of and for the game you are telling me that it is OK to intentionally lie to players. I would think that being UP front and honest with people would be the foundation of a player based game.
    Please read my thread. MmB

  9. #9

    Re: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    As an example on a boss hit with you can get the following notifications from just one attack

    - bullet collect notification
    - stat converter collect notification
    - LT level up
    - daily notification for lt level up
    - daily notification for alloy found
    - daily notification for stamina use
    - daily notification for 5 dailies completed.
    - level up.

    I think some of those can be double notifications to have to close.

    Had about 5 of them on one hit today.
    Last edited by Mercurial; 05-21-2017 at 06:25 AM.

  10. #10

    Re: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercurial View Post
    As an example on a boss hit with you can get the following notifications from just one attack

    - bullet collect notification
    - stat converter collect notification
    - LT level up
    - daily notification for lt level up
    - daily notification for alloy found
    - daily notification for stamina use
    - daily notification for 5 dailies completed.
    - level up.

    I think some of those can be double notifications to have to close.

    Had about 5 of them on one hit today.
    Forgot the thanks for charging your empire..... messages.

  11. #11

    Re: Challenges for the devs - simplicity and flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Xcali1985 View Post
    Move all pop ups to banners across the top. That way you can continue to play and they can scroll through without interruption.
    Yes please!

    It would be nice for events as well so you can just plow through and watch the banner for event item drops as they happen along the way

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