We are aware of that, however, some of the points are outside of our control. We are not dismissing it - though Zveroboy may well do so, he does not represent the rest of us.
As you described it, you downloaded and ran the installer. The first problem thus was the lack of a start option. There is no easy way to do a start option, because the game requires both the lobby client and the engine. Loading the engine directly is only suited for testing, and starting the game through the client is a multistep process. We could and probably will have it simply open SpringLobby (the lobby client) upon installation completion. I think we can run a bot in the lobby which can guide people toward their first single player or multiplayer game, if we have the fresh install default to the Chat tab.
The thematic difference is similarly a result of the multi-program structure. We will discuss making the 1944 branch of SpringLobby perhaps more like this site, but that will take time and involves another development team.
When you run Springlobby it checks for the engine version and the version of the lobby. They are both outdated there because we build full installers manually on major releases and otherwise release and distribute testing releases through the lobby/as the game content files alone. I believe we discussed having the main installer automatically rebuild with new engine and lobby releases, while retaining the current stable game content release, and this can be done, but again will take time on our part.
Now, as for the update process, it directs you to the website so you can download the ideal engine package for your purposes. I do not know why it doesn’t simply autodownload - it does have a torrent system implemented internally - but that would be something for me to discuss with the SpringLobby team, which otherwise is outside of our control.
The lobby does not necessarily need to be updated, it requests it and most people ignore it. It was unable to update at that point probably due to a version conflict, once again I need to talk with the SpringLobby team.
We are very concerned about usability issues, but as they involve a variety of factors outside our immediate control they are often difficult to resolve. We know most people who download 1944 never actually get to play it, and we try to force the percentage of players up during collaborative cycles with the various teams and projects who have an impact on our usability. Your input is useful, and it points to some basic assumptions that we make about user behaviour.
- We assume that a user will dismiss cosmetic or inaccurate bugs, i.e. the C++ errors.
- We assume that the user will be comfortable downloading the new version of the engine from the engine download page.
- We assume that the user will be able to work around the lack of a click and play option at the end of install.
- We assume that the conflict of styles between elements will go unnoticed.
- We assume that given barriers in general the user will simply climb over them.
Your post indicates, once again, that these assumptions are not helping us, and are not valid. The user wants a package which appears and works, tossing them either into single or multiplayer, with no barriers after initial download. We as developers also favour this model, but have thus far been unable to obtain it.
We will redouble our efforts to do so, thank you for your time.