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Author Topic: User experience on steam  (Read 3157 times)

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Offline prissi

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User experience on steam
« on: August 18, 2016, 08:30:04 PM »
I have looked at the comments on steam and found some things:
- GUI (and especially fonts) are too small: A double size option may be needed to activate on high DPI automatically (easy fix, halfway done).
- People seem overwhelmed by the choices of pak128, may it be engines/trucks (if they ever get that far), or industires. And a wrong (too complex) chain will almost certainly lead to banrupsy, and the same with a freigth train station using the coal station.
Maybe consider pak64 as alternative starter pak (easy option?) as it does not have so many choices and is less biased towards trucks.
- The available pak128 scenarios were too complex and there is no tutorial. pak64 has a tutorial (albeit incomplete, but better than nothing.) This needs to be either ported to pak128 or again pak64 may be the better alternative for a start.

And people complain about the looks, but I think we cannot get this right unless we make one of the comic paks the default ...

So I want to restart the discussion if the fully pak128 is a good default choice, or if one should either go with pak64 or compile a "pak128.starter" with some less complex industry chains and a full working tutorial and less choices in the depot.

Offline HaydenRead

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Re: User experience on steam
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 09:47:22 PM »
I have looked at the comments on steam and found some things:
- GUI (and especially fonts) are too small: A double size option may be needed to activate on high DPI automatically (easy fix, halfway done).
In regards to this, as a temporary measure, I have added in the -res option for fullscreen, so users can force it to a lower resoution (from the launcher).
- People seem overwhelmed by the choices of pak128, may it be engines/trucks (if they ever get that far), or industires. And a wrong (too complex) chain will almost certainly lead to banrupsy, and the same with a freigth train station using the coal station.
Maybe consider pak64 as alternative starter pak (easy option?) as it does not have so many choices and is less biased towards trucks.
As an 'easier' option financially, I have created Pak128E where all purchase costs, running costs, maintenace costs are set to 2/3rds of the amount in Pak128.
And people complain about the looks, but I think we cannot get this right unless we make one of the comic paks the default ...

So I want to restart the discussion if the fully pak128 is a good default choice, or if one should either go with pak64 or compile a "pak128.starter" with some less complex industry chains and a full working tutorial and less choices in the depot.
Prehaps a pak128.starter, or a comic based pak would be a better option be good to here what people think.

Offline Junna

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Re: User experience on steam
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2016, 12:37:10 AM »
Maybe consider pak64 as alternative starter pak (easy option?) as it does not have so many choices and is less biased towards trucks.

But pak64 is far more difficult. Pak128 is ridiculously easy in comparison.

Are these players playing with the time-line set to off, as I don't seem to recall there being that many choices available at any one time? In fact the entire content of pak128 is pretty small, but might well overwhelm some player not used to it.

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: User experience on steam
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2016, 03:14:14 AM »
Quote
But pak64 is far more difficult. Pak128 is ridiculously easy in comparison.
Not true. In pak64 it is very easy to make tons of money and infrastructure is also very cheap to maintain. In pak128 you need to optimize your infrastructure to some extent and making money can be very difficult, especially passengers early on.

Problem with pak64 is it lacks polish. Waste needs some tuning so that it is not a garbage industry (pun intended) that no one touches. End game monorail engines still have wrong gear power product resulting in them never being able to achieve maximum speed (although it has improved since several years ago). There is no end game mail plane, with the existing IL-76 Postvliegtuig plane being incapable of making a profit end game so might as well be retired. There is no high-speed rail tunnel capable of dealing with end game high speed passenger trains. Some cargo boats struggle to break even, with some never being able to make a profit. Bookshop supply chain makes no sense as far as the volumes being delivered. Paper is near impossible to ship around and make profit on.

Offline Spacethingy

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Re: User experience on steam
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2016, 10:29:37 AM »
What about the "beginner mode" option that already exists in the Options menu for a new game? Never did quite work out what that did... :)
Life is like a new Simutrans transformer:

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Offline Tjoeker

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Re: User experience on steam
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2016, 11:00:48 AM »
As far as I know the beginner mode only multiplies the income by 1.5 (default setting) and crossconnects all factories.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: User experience on steam
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2016, 07:56:13 PM »
A slimmed down, simpler, easier, pak128 or pak192.comic style would probably work really well.  Not too many choices per era, simple industry chains, easy profitability.
Current projects: Pak128 Trees, blender graphics

Offline prissi

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Re: User experience on steam
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2016, 08:40:02 PM »
I think, there is a conclusion of how to improve pak128:
- less vehicles
- remove too complex industire chains
- reduce mainanace of rail lines
- Porting tutorial scenario from pak64

By the way, starting Simutrans with Steam was impossible for me. A Window in the background appeared for a split second and then closed again.

Offline Lmallet

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Re: User experience on steam
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2016, 11:05:55 PM »
I too have thought of a pak128.simple.  My idea would be to get inspiration from the original Transport Tycoon:

-Simple industry chains.
-Limit locos to a cheap/slow loco, a fast/pricier loco, and a DMU at any given time (could also do the same with electrified, and should stay true to the era being played).
-Cars/trucks should stay to one or two models only per cargo type at all times (ie. maybe a slow and fast vehicule for each type of cargo).
-New vehicules automatically make older versions obsolete.
-Economics should essentially be profitable as long as player is doing things correctly.

Offline Junna

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Re: User experience on steam
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2016, 11:56:34 AM »
I really think that the industry chains and the way the industries work are probably the thing people would have most difficulty with. I know that I was used to OTTD, so the Simutrans set-up was quite hard to grasp, especially the fact that industries stop accepting deliveries, which means that only full chains will operate. I rarely bother to set up much goods even nowadays for that reason, it is quite cumbrous and difficult to visualise all the various connections that need to be made.