Feedback from a Newcomer
Hi! I recently started playing CatanUniverse (CU) about 2-3 weeks ago when none of my kin would play the board game with me. I can't believe hadn't thought to look for an online version of the game before. So I apparently completely missed out on PlayCatan. I've been reading through all the comments about CU and --- My deepest condolences to all the PlayCatan fanatics. Even as a new comer I feel your frustration, especially because the more I read it seems like PlayCatan had all of the things I'd change. Here's my 2cents: (though it may very well repeat what quite a few others have already said/suggested)
suggestion: 1) game rules/instructions page for each version available on the site and 2) site navigation and use tips
comments: I've never really had the chance to play any of the other Catan games aside from the basic Settlers and Seafarers. Having the rules or the almanac available would have been very helpful when playing other versions for the first time if at least for the sake of knowing points needed to win. Also, explaining how to trade or what you're looking at when your trading would've been helpful for the first go round.
comments: I like the variety of options since I've never had the chance to play them before. I can't wait for the rest to be available. I also like the idea of earning coins by winning and playing to buy/unlock other expansion/versions
suggestion: 1) one screen (shows trading, building, your own resources and board at once), and 2) limited/no animation option 3) showing each resource card with a number to identify the amount you have of it
comments: Coming to the online version of Catan after only playing the board game was pretty cool. Because they were so similar I was able to figure my way around easily. At first the animations were interesting, but it quickly got old. I don't think that anyone is under the illusion that the game is being played in real life...I think it would be alright to just have the other computer players' initial settlements and roads just appear and skip that animation part, instead of waiting "to see" where they put their pieces. Animations slowed down the game too much and got annoying because so much happened for something so small and repetitious. Also, the nose picking thing by the avatars is gross. One screen fits all would improve game play and speed I dislike having to go back and forth between the two or three screens to figure out my next best move. Or being stuck on the Year of Plenty or Trade screen and not knowing what I need or don't need based on the cards in my hand or the positions of other players on the board, etc. Showing the entire board at once would be nice especially for the Seafarer games so that you can see where you might want to head and don't forget about it or overlook it.
suggestion: 1) "no trading this round/turn" option 2) "I don't have the resource" option 3) counteroffer option 4) being able to see the board when you trade 5) eliminate "no trade (X)" verification when you don't have the resource other players are asking for (automatic no) 6) move the "yes" "no" confirmation buttons away from the "end turn" button
comments: The trading screen is a bit much. I get annoyed when when I get asked 5 times for a resource I don't have and have to click to confirm each time. Although I understand that it could be beneficial to know what the other player are trying to trade, I don't need it to be the focus of my game especially when I'm not a part of the trade and/or not interested. also I dislike how the "yes" "no" confirmation buttons overlap the "end turn" button. I've accidentally clicked the "end turn" button after clicking the "yes" button
suggestions: n/a ....well you could stop making them pick their nose...
comments: I like the variety/options and accessories
TURN CHANGE/DICE ROLL
suggestions: 1) different audio cue for turn change
comments: There is a visual cue for whose turn it is. It took me a while to notice at first. I'm surprised they have an audio cue for building a city but not your turn...just seems backwards.
suggestions: 1) allow players to set views or at least keep them in or out of zoom
comments: It's super annoying zooming in to look at something and being abruptly pulled out of it because someone wants to trade. You practically have to wait until your turn to zoom into anything.
suggestions: 1) allow statistics to be viewed during the game like the game log
comments: statistics would be more useful during the game than afterwards in my opinion...helps gauge where the game is going, helps strategize based on likelihood
suggestions: 1) allow chat box to be visible without covering game board
comments: I think it's unnecessary for the chat box to cover the game board.
-- game play time the quickest games I've played was about 20min (basic versions only) on average the game takes closer to 35-45min. I enjoy playing more than one game back to back, and after a game the animations just really seem to drag it out. I was surprise to hear that people could usually play a game in 10min which is why I totally understand why people are so aggravated by the game play time being extended and some delay caused by animations. It hasn't bothered me that much yet just because I've only really ever played the actual board game.
-- everything doesn't have to be a big production (i.e. victory points earned) a quick, unique sound would be sufficient especially since the players points, development cards, knights, and roads are displayed. I'd definitely prefer a quick audio cue instead of the animation for the "longest road" or " largest army" ...etc.
-- browsers for some odd reason I can no longer play Catan in my Safari browser. I receive an error message. After switching to Chrome to play I also realized that the Full Screen function actually works! ...so it must be something where it just doesn't work in Safari.
I hope the developers/creators understand that these features are important to the GAME and just to people who were used to PlayCatan. I wish I could have experienced PlayCatan especially from hearing about the changes that have been made in changing over to CatanUniverse. I do still enjoy playing CatanUniverse, but I'd love it if they made these changes (scratch that) IMPROVEMENTS
Thank you very much for your suggestions from a newcomers point of view. We will implement more and more usability features like sounds, steady camera angle and general feedback into the next updates. The Almanach will be implemented during the Early Access as well. It will give you all relevant info about the game and its rules. Your other suggestion will be forwarded to the developers as well (as we do with all the suggestions submitted here)
Please put off animation. We like fast game , and it is unreal to wait until cards flying on the screen.
this game is unplayable
@Administrator Thank you for your timely and thoughtful response! And also, the "Friendly Robber" game option sounds pretty nice too. I've played quite a few games where the robber was rolled at least 2-3 times a round and everyone else would roll it except me. It definitely made the game less fun especially since I didn't even get the chance to move the robber because I never rolled it!
Like the OP, I don't have experience with PlayCatan - just the board game and CU. I completely agree with everything she said. I get that the CU platform is being developed for multiple devices types and touchscreen - so everything might not fit on one screen. However the focus still has to be on game speed.
The trading screen is the biggest problem. All of the great trading suggestions above need to be implemented.
Screen real estate needs to be optimized. Reduce or get rid of avatars.
The board has to be visible at all times!!! This includes trading and building.
Also add ability to select multiple things to build at once (like road + settlement, multiple roads, etc) then return to board to place them. Make it similar to how the Road Building card works. The build screen could be a pop out (like the chat box) where I can select what/how many I want to build.
Chat box should be sorted with last comments at top and should open without covering the board.
I look forward to seeing CU evolve with all the great suggestions on this forum!
Great feedback from Queen Ofall. I especially agree with:
Suggestions for trading. Might also want to implement options to respond to trades (Don't have it, I need that, I want more, etc..). As it is now, without knowing why your trades are rejected, you might just continue every possible combination of trade trying to figure that out. Might speed the game along a bit.
If not already planned, would like game stats/almanac to include dice statistics.
Thanks and keep up the great work!
Thanks for the great feedback in this thread and also the great suggestions. We are looking into various ways of expanding the trade system and you will hear about upcomming changes in the near future from us.