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Author Topic: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR  (Read 2738 times)

Offline darkestaxe

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Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« on: March 19, 2015, 09:19:42 am »
Will it may not seem like an issue to us (if you frequent these forums, you're probably 'us') I think having a giant frikkin list of option/value combos is not a very user friendly way to present the wide range of configuration options present in OXC.

I'm not saying we should get rid of the options/advanced section, but I think many of the features could and should be moved to other parts of the options menu. Preferably in a way that's more intuitive to OXC noobs.

I thought of this when I saw this thread, I spent about 10 mins looking for the options I already know are there so I could refference them in my own post, and didn't find them. I gave up and simply said that they're there.

I missed them because I'm a drunk fucking pigeon and there's a cat scratching on my door but I already know the options are in there somewhere. I would not have spent an hour searching for an option that may or may  not be there - nor would I waste so much time on a game that I'm not so invested in.


Offline Warboy1982

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 09:30:09 am »
we know.

this is one of the reasons why i'm fighting to resist adding any more.

Offline darkestaxe

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2015, 10:35:55 am »
ROFL

Would it be helpful if I made prototype GUI menus of ways I'd integrate options into the other menus?

Online Meridian

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2015, 10:39:15 am »
I personally don't think the list is too long. Even 2-3 times longer would be OK with me.

You can go through the options in a few minutes. If you can't spare even a few minutes, then you should not even look there and just go with the vanilla defaults (and return to the options in your 2nd, 3rd or 100th playthrough). Let's say it takes you 10 minutes (which is generously overestimated) to configure the options, and 30 hours (generously underestimated) to finish the game... you have spent only 0.5 % of the time "not playing".

When you go bowling, you also spend a few minutes looking for a bowling ball that fits you, so that you can enjoy the game... and nobody ever complained... how is this different? Heck, when you buy ice cream, you spend more time picking the flavour than actually eating the ice cream...

I guess the word "options" comes from "optional" (or maybe the other way around? :). If you don't like it, don't do it... it's completely optional. But please don't take away the new possibilities from people, who play this game for 20 years and options+mods made their favourite game even more awesome and more replayable.

Offline mrxian

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2015, 06:52:28 pm »
I agree with Meridian.

When I first saw the options list, I was like 'Whoa!'. But when I saw that each option was clearly explained and (for the most part) a simple concept to grasp, I almost squeeled with glee. I love tinkering with things like this, and setting everything to just the way I want it was awesome. Sure, it took me all of five minutes to properly understand and go through them, but I don't see that as a problem, I spend more time waiting for stuff without complaining too. If the list were to be much expanded, perhaps it could use a little more division into sub-menus, but other thant that I think it's fine.
It's called 'advanced' options for a reason. You can't expect to do advanced stuff in two easy steps! (It has to be at least five.)

Offline jgatkinsn

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2015, 07:01:22 pm »
Instead of submenus, what if the list was simply expandable by "category"?

+ Battlescape
+ Geoscape
+ Other

You click on the "+" for the category and it expands out to the list of related options.

+ Battlescape
    - Option 1
    - Option 2
    - Option 3
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 07:34:34 pm by jgatkinsn »

Offline volutar

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2015, 08:55:37 pm »
Hiding options into sections is not a great way of making something more usable. How it gonna help to make list shorter? You still would need to read and check each line, but you'll also need to open each section in addition.

Unfortunately vanilla's resolution 320x200 is still the "standard" for OXC, so we can't fit more things. I think we may try to fit another "section" button at the left (shrink some space between buttons, make buttons 14 pixels tall, instead of 16), and add there "Interface" section, for example. And make all buttons smaller, to allow fitting of more controls. Try to make shorter descriptions, also make dropdown list having descriptions for each line, instead of enumirating all options. I.e. totally rearrange options screen.

Frankly, some of options in "advanced" are meant to be in mods, because they are game-related (like tftd building rules, or damage formula, you name it). Only engine options should stay there. And most of these game-specific mods should be applied without restarting the game, and having proper multilanguage description.

But it gonna be quite an overhaul. And I hardly imagine devs dare doing that :P
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 09:02:34 pm by volutar »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2015, 11:31:17 pm »
Well, I am inclined to agree, Volutar. :) Mostly because some mods, especially total conversions, would benefit a lot from enforcing some settings (like, for example, destroying researched objects).

Offline mrxian

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2015, 12:04:43 am »
If it is really important to shrink the options list, perhaps it is an idea to split the mods list in two - one list of built-in mods that are now under advanced options, and one list of external mods. That would make the menu shorter without actually changing anyones options.
Of course, it only migrates the issue to the mods list.

Offline jgatkinsn

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2015, 01:33:56 am »
The reasoning behind the collapsible list would help more advanced users digest the options and navigate quicker to the options they want to tweak.  It doesn't make the list shorter overall, but makes it more manageable in the long term.  The principle is the same for a GUI that displays a file system.  It could list every file in the hard drive broken up by directory in one big list where you have to scroll down to find a file much like OXC's option screen.  Do you really want a file system explorer interface that displays every file and directory in a single list?

Is it the best option? That's always matter of taste, sometimes :)

I certainly agree that if there are items that don't belong in a certain screen that they should be moved to where they are more relevant and grouped more logically. 

Offline Jstank

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2015, 05:25:47 am »
I agree. There should be a separate list of built in mods and extender mods. However, do remember that if you have an external mod, it was installed by the user. Therefore, the user already knows what the mod is when its installed.

Offline volutar

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Re: Options>Advanced has turned into TLDR
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2015, 07:26:11 am »
The reasoning behind the collapsible list would help more advanced users digest the options and navigate quicker to the options they want to tweak.
Advanced users don't have problems with finding things, they are already experienced and can find whatever they want pretty quickly. The main focus here should stay close to noobies, to allow THEM find needed options without reading and searching through this maze with lots of clicks.

Unwanted thing there, is that some of options are spreaded between battlescape/geoscape, and some are in advanced, without logical reason (just because they couldn't fit into battle/geo parts).
They are initially wasn't sorted out perfectly, and some of options was added later.

It's obviously, that at some moments advanced options and options screen at all should be rearranged, to make these options systematized and found easier.

But honestly, if even TAB key between X:Y dimensions doesn't work, there's no real point to demand something more.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 08:15:44 am by volutar »