Suggestions for UI and UX improvement.
Hi there! Great job on updating the Catan game thus far!
Specifically, the information pane beside each player is very well done. Everything I need to know all in the right place. Also, the general look and feel of the game feels very immersive. Perhaps one day their will be a customization option for the look of the table the catan board is upon.
One slight improvement I would make is to the box surrounding the avatar picture. It needs to get bigger on the BOTTOM of the box, in addition to the triangle WITHIN the box. Perhaps just move the triangle to the bottom of the box INSTEAD of within the box.
I have a couple of suggestions for the UI. Bear in mind, that some of this applies to Base Catan and others will apply to Cities & Knights, et al.
First off: No 'splay' for the cards you hold in your hand. While that makes sense if we were physically holding the cards in hand, I think click/tap real estate trumps the mimic of reality. Therefore, remove the trapezoid (the card splay), replace with a rectangle.
Second: Show a number of how many cards you have, as well as a vertical stack.
I'm not too sure why a player would like to expand upon their Resource/Commodity stack, as there is no activation of any individual cards. But it could be helpful for a new player to get a better idea of what cards they hold, especially if it better displays the central icon, which relates well to the build options cards on the bottom display. Showing numbers in the corners of each card stack, while possibly confusing for new players used to a traditional 52 card deck, is essential for any experienced player to know their hand quickly.
Third: When you click/tap your Progress or Development Cards, it simply makes your 'card splay' bigger on the screen, which is not very useful, since you can only see the description of each card one at a time. Instead, it would be great if you could see all the Prog/Dev card descriptions at once, simply by tapping your prog/dev card stack, similar to how cards are displayed when I have played the Spy progress card.
Fourth: While I understand that harmonizing the OK/Accept button at the bottom right corner seems like a good idea, its current implementation is un-intuitive to the player and can create confusion because someone could Double Tap/Click the OK button and end their turn prematurely. I am recommending that for major functions, like End Turn and Roll Dice, it makes sense to locate it in the bottom right corner. But for In-Turn actions, like playing dev/progress cards, re-deploying the Robber/Ship, I think the Cancel /Accept buttons should be location and context sensitive to the location of the played piece or card. Also, since they are tapping in the middle of the screen to select a card, it makes sense to put the secondary taps(cancel/accept) very close to that original tap location.
Fifth: Make the Roll Dice button pulse yellow when it is someones turn. Also, an animation + sound to inform the player that one turn has ended and another begun (followed hopefully and quickly by the current sound of dice being rolled).
Sixth: I would like to have some indication that I am waiting on another player. It may be my turn, but I might be waiting on someone who has the Aqueduct, or needs to forfeit half their cards due to a 7. I would like everyone in the game to know that they are waiting on someone to do something. Also, this might help alleviate concerns that game has been frozen due to a bug or a glitch.
Seventh: The board /shelf that appears when trading, or when you have played a progress card that requires a resource/commodity selection, it covers up the cards I have! (not when trading, i see those on the 'shelf' but, I want to be able to know what cards are in my hand at all times. Say I play a Trade Monopoly; I want to be able to continue seeing what commodity cards I already have in mind (if any).
Thank you for your time! And keep up the great work!
Edit: fixed broken image link.
Having played about 20 matches and played the original online game as well as an owner of the board game, I would agree with all of the above. Care should be taken to ensure that while being immersive, the graphics and mechanics do not detract from playability and more importantly, TIME. I play the online game because it is so much faster setup and implementation than a brick-and-mortar game. Also it is harder to find brick-and-mortar players since I moved out of town.
In addition to the above I would suggest the implementation of the KARMA system quickly. If I am not playing with friends a game is almost impossible to finish due to members who sit idle after I steal a knight or the like. This has happened for over 5 of my 20 games played. There should also be a profanity filter in place as I have been pumped full of some vulgarities I'll tell you!
I know that this is in Alpha so I can't be too critical. Just my two cents.
Thanks, its looking good,
@c4explodes Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback and the passion as well as the time you put in to your suggestions. We really appreciate it. This thread will be forwarded to the developers. Some of your suggestions are very close to what we are already discussing and testing to make the UI more intuitive. We are also aware of the fact that the UX isn´t quite there yet where we want it to be. Implementing sounds and more vivid indicators for actions is the way we want to improve CU. Thanks again for your great post!