These ideas might have been presented before, but because I just went through the unnecessarily long process of reinstalling and re-learning 1944, I thought I should write it now before i get comfy with the game.
I am of the opinion that for playerbase and community(potential devs) to grow, it is of outmost importance to simplify the installation and clarify the UI a little tiny bit.
These ideas I presume are very simple to implement, and should not take a lot of code work to get done, although hopefully lower the bar a lot for new players, and perhaps make it clearer for vets as well.
Include at least one map in main download with instructions where to put it in a readme. Having to go online and search for a map take a good deal of completely unnecessary time and thinking. Don’t make them think! Also link from downloads where to get and install more maps.
Include simple get started guide in the download tab of main website. Perhaps rename the main menu button to Download/Installation. (1. download spring RTS -> download s1944 -> Install a map -> Open Spring lobby -> Register -> Singleplayer -> Craigbot -> Faction setup -> Play -> Troubleshoot.)
Ok so the new player has gotten the game to work. Preferably there would be some kind of pop up window with main controls and howto that you can turn off if you know it. If not possible, move on!
*** Most importantly ***
A message telling how to get help, aka press F1 for help. (Doesn’t have to be F1!)
New player need:
- Keyboard shortcuts
- A guide where they can read about concepts.
* Icons when zoomed in. Since this game has somewhat realistic units, they are not made to look very unique, and are thus hard to spot graphically at a glance unless you know them well. Especially infantry which tend to look like black dots. To play you need to know what kind it is at a glance.
I suggest to put (existing icons) showing what kind of infantry it is, right above every man. Something like this:
For tanks, we should do a similar thing: (here is an alternate version with actual tank description, although just existing tank/veichle-type icon would probably be better if they were more precise.)
I also added a small direction line, because for some tanks it’s hard to spot what is forward and backwards.
* For zoomed out view, Especially for veichles and guns, it is very important to know what direction they are facing at a glance. I suggest adding a small line like this:
* Income/expenses text.
New players have no idea of knowing what +23 and -40 is! Or how to increase it. There are lots of space in the ui for a little description saying income/expenses next to the + and - numbers…
* When pressing Shift-Escape
List keyboard shortcuts or how to get help.
Ok that is all for now. Spring 1944 needs players and community. These are very simple steps to lower the bar, and get players and perhaps more devs involved.
I hope someone would take the time to look into these things!
All the best