Right-click strategic move orders?

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Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby sven » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:54 pm

sven wrote:
Devildogff wrote:I still think that having to click move before every move is clunky and obtrusive.


One of the things that is consistently bothering new beta testers remains the strategic fleet motion interface. And making a right-click based motion shortcut might help it feel less clunky... There's at least one simple candidate UI tweak I'd like to try here, I'll post it sometime later today.



I've just gone ahead and posted a build that includes a quick candidate right-click (strategic) fleet move semantic. I remain skeptical of whether or not it's something we ought to keep in the game, but, I'd like to get a sense of what other people think of it.

The core issue, really, is that when we know that the player's intention is to start a move order, then it makes sense to show a bunch of UI hints about things like whether or not the star they're mousing over is in range of the fleet, how long the candidate move will take, etc. If a stategic move action takes 2 clicks, then we know we can safely show all sorts of hints of this type.

However, in a one-click move action, we can't be sure what the players intentions are when they have a fleet selected, and then mouse over a star. Are they planning to move the fleet to the star, or are they planning to select the star system, and interact with the planets? There's no way to know... So to avoid confusing players who just want to select the star, I think we need to be careful about not showing as many motion UI hints as we would in the 2 click case.

In the current distro (r11958) I'm showing a no UI hints in the case that a right-click would trigger a fleet move order. In the 2 click case, I'm making a lot of changes to the UI after the player clicks on "Move".

If we are going to include a right-click semantic, I think we need *some* kind of UI hint on star mouseover that suggests that a right-click move is possible. I just don't know what sort of hint might be appropriate... Even a minimal motion-line preview (of the sort that shows up in the 2 click case, feels a bit distracting/confusing.)

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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby Arioch » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:19 pm

What I would suggest is that with a fleet selected, mouse-over on a valid move target should change the mouse cursor to something appropriate (possibly the spaceship icon, but for now anything will do). A single-right-click and release executes the move, and that's fine, but I think an additional more interactive mode would be good: if you right click and hold, the UI could enter into the move orders mode, so that the user can see the proposed destination line, and drag the cursor to other possible destinations, then activate the move by releasing the right mouse button. This is how the Civ V right-click move system works.

So I think there should be three ways to execute a move: left-click on the Move button and left-click on a destination; right-click on a destination; or right-click and hold on a destination, then release to execute the move (which may be to a different location than the original right-click).

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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby sven » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:24 pm

Arioch wrote:So I think there should be three ways to execute a move: left-click on the Move button and left-click on a destination; right-click on a destination; or right-click and hold on a destination, then release to execute the move (which may be to a different location than the original right-click).



hrm... this right-click-and-hold semantic shouldn't really be that hard to implement -- as we're just putting together 2 pieces we already have, the click-and-hold semantic used in map panning, and the UI decorations used in the 2-click move semantic. and there's a lot to be said for copying ui conventions from games most of our players already know and love ;)

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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby sven » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:35 pm

Arioch wrote:right-click and hold on a destination, then release to execute the move


can you think of a reason that, if a fleet is a selected, a right click and hold anywhere on the starmap shouldn't just switch into a move preview mode? that's no harder to implement than the "hold on destination" behavior, and i'd imagine it would be a lot easier to discover.

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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby Arioch » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:37 pm

sven wrote:
Arioch wrote:right-click and hold on a destination, then release to execute the move


can you think of a reason that, if a fleet is a selected, a right click and hold anywhere on the starmap shouldn't just switch into a move preview mode? that's no harder to implement than the "hold on destination" behavior, and i'd imagine it would be a lot easier to discover.

I can't think of a reason. It makes sense.

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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby Devildogff » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:01 pm

I'm completely certain that this is a great move. I'll report back after some testing tonight.
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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby Devildogff » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:42 am

I'm playing the new build right now and the right click to move is not working.

Also, the zoom to ship zooms way too close.
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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby Arioch » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:04 am

Devildogff wrote:I'm playing the new build right now and the right click to move is not working.

Make sure you're on the "dev" build and not the "stable" build.

Devildogff wrote:Also, the zoom to ship zooms way too close.

Disable "expanded tactical zooms" in the Options menu.

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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby sven » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:39 am

ok, as of r11967 (stable) this right click drag semantic appears to be more or less working (complete with Civ V-ish right-press-and-hold move previews)

the system could use more UI hints -- in particular, i think it would be good to indicate which ships in a fleet don't have the range to complete a given move order (in the case that some ships have warp-amplifiers, and others don't), but, apart from that, it feels ok to me.

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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby Devildogff » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:38 am

Arioch wrote:
Devildogff wrote:I'm playing the new build right now and the right click to move is not working.

Make sure you're on the "dev" build and not the "stable" build.

Devildogff wrote:Also, the zoom to ship zooms way too close.

Disable "expanded tactical zooms" in the Options menu.

It all was as it should be, I guess there was a big that Sven worked out while we talked.

I personally love the change and it makes it much easier to play for me.
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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby luciderous » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:29 pm

sven wrote:However, in a one-click move action, we can't be sure what the players intentions are when they have a fleet selected, and then mouse over a star. Are they planning to move the fleet to the star, or are they planning to select the star system, and interact with the planets?

The question is, are there any other possible ways to interact with star systems while having your fleet selected, besides giving the move order? As I see it right now, there is only one reason for selecting your fleet - to move it somewhere else. Or am I mistaken?

sven wrote:In the current distro (r11958) I'm showing a no UI hints in the case that a right-click would trigger a fleet move order. In the 2 click case, I'm making a lot of changes to the UI after the player clicks on "Move".

Why not show UI movement hints on star system hover right away after having your fleet selected? Just like you show them after clicking on the "Move" button? You just reduce the 2-click semantics to 1-click. It worked well that way in MoO2, and I can think of no reason why it wouldn't work the same way here :)

sven wrote:If we are going to include a right-click semantic, I think we need *some* kind of UI hint on star mouseover that suggests that a right-click move is possible. I just don't know what sort of hint might be appropriate... Even a minimal motion-line preview (of the sort that shows up in the 2 click case, feels a bit distracting/confusing.)

Why is it confusing? Personally, I feel it is quite natural.

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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby sven » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:23 pm

luciderous wrote:The question is, are there any other possible ways to interact with star systems while having your fleet selected, besides giving the move order? As I see it right now, there is only one reason for selecting your fleet - to move it somewhere else. Or am I mistaken?


You may want to check on a fleet's battle damage, or just remind yourself of what ships are at a given star. You'll also need to select a transport's fleet if you're planing to embark/disembark colonists, or send it to the trade pool. Motion is certainly the most common case, but, it's not the only one.

luciderous wrote:Why not show UI movement hints on star system hover right away after having your fleet selected? Just like you show them after clicking on the "Move" button? You just reduce the 2-click semantics to 1-click. It worked well that way in MoO2, and I can think of no reason why it wouldn't work the same way here :)


It's a fair question. But it's worth remembering the fleet motion in MOO2 is actually left-click to select, followed by left-click to move. And if that's the control scheme, then I think showing motion UI hints immediately on fleet select makes sense. What makes less sense is showing fleet motion UI hints when a left-click on a star will not move the fleet, but, instead, select the star.

As long as we're using a left-click to select, right-click to move scheme, I think showing motion UI hints immediately on selection will be confusing. If we switched to a left-click to select, *left* click to move pattern, then, as you say, I think it would be natural to show the hints. In that case, like in MOO2, the button in the fleet pane would not say "Move" but instead "Close" -- and the only way to abort a move action after selecting a fleet would be to hit ESC, or click the fleet close button.

It's an old-fashioned control scheme though, and my sense is that most modern gamers would prefer a left-click to select, right-click to act pattern. Particularly given that our ships are a bit more "interactable" than MOO2s, and include things like the embark/disembark buttons, that would otherwise be awkward to use.

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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby luciderous » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:51 pm

sven wrote:As long as we're using a left-click to select, right-click to move scheme, I think showing motion UI hints immediately on selection will be confusing.

Ok, that's a fair point. Then, perhaps, it might be worth considering/trying out a design of 'left-click-select with left-click-move' mechanics, just like with MoO2. This will also have the benefit of allowing to map the RMB to open info/context help panels on ships etc., like one of the beta-testers previously suggested. What do you think?

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Re: Right-click strategic move orders?

Postby Arioch » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:59 pm

Most games these days have a dual mode: you can either left-click "Move" or "Attack" and left click on the target, or you can just right-click or right-click-drag on the target to implicitly move or attack. Some users like one, and some like the other, and they don't interfere with each other; I don't see any reason not to have both. I think the movement semantic is in a good place with the most recent build (though selecting/deselecting ships in the fleet interface will eventually need some work).

I don't think there's any pressing need to show the movement hint (the destination line) before the user either left-clicks "Move" or right-clicks on the map. You won't always want to move a fleet when you select it. I agree that UI should be as intuitive as possible, but I think at some point you have to give the user credit for some basic intelligence. If a user is looking at the UI trying to figure out how to move a fleet, isn't adventurous enough to trying clicking around, and can't be bothered to notice that there's a giant button that says "MOVE", then he's going to be in some difficulty playing this kind of game.


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