Clicking in new development version

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Velensk
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Clicking in new development version

Post by Velensk »

I'm not sure where this is supposed to go so I wanted to talk about it here.

In the new development version the interface has been changed so that you still set ToMove with the left click but movement is now done via right click and normal selection is still on the right click.

I'm not sure what the rationale behind the change is but I would much rather have an easy way to deselect a unit from anywhere on the screen easily than whatever I am supposed to be getting out of the new arrangement. I would like to know if there's a way to switch it back or failing that if I could convince whomever is in charge of that decision to reconsider.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by Turuk »

Velensk wrote:I'm not sure what the rationale behind the change is but I would much rather have an easy way to deselect a unit from anywhere on the screen easily than whatever I am supposed to be getting out of the new arrangement. I would like to know if there's a way to switch it back or failing that if I could convince whomever is in charge of that decision to reconsider.
Part of the supposed logic used is that the button set-up is now more in keeping with regular RTS games, so new players will not have to adjust their thinking to the same controls Wesnoth has maintained for years and that its current players are familiar with intimately.

I do believe it should be given as an option but not the default as well. Until a decision is reached, shadowm provided the method to change it back in the release announcement.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by Velensk »

Thanks for pointing that out. While I'm here I'll also comment that I also believe that it'll still be easier for new players to learn about alignment if you put it on the unit info bar rather than giving a contextless percentile that you have to mouse-over to figure to find out what quality the unit has that is causing it.

EDIT: Another comment, is there a way to get it so that mousing over units shows their move radius again?
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by fabi »

Hello Velensk.
First, let's talk about selecting hex fields, not selecting unit.

Wesnoth's engine internally selects hex fields, not units. This is not new, it has been so since the beginning.
In case of an empty hex field, you just had no visual feedback before thus players got the impression that selecting empty hex fields means deselection.
Velensk wrote:In the new development version the interface has been changed so that you still set ToMove with the left click...
Selecting is done with the left click,
is that what you mean with "ToMove"?
... but movement is now done via right click...
Right, movement and attack is now done via right click.
... and normal selection is still on the right click.
No, there is no way to select anything with a right click and never was.
I'm not sure what the rationale behind the change is...
Okay, let's discuss that below.
... but I would much rather have an easy way to deselect a unit from anywhere on the screen easily...
Clicking a selected hex field again means deselecting it.
Thus, in most cases (you selected a hex field but the highlighted reach is not fitting to what you had in mind, your pointer is still above the field) a simple left click does the trick.
The worst case (your mouse pointer is not over the selected hex field) means that a "double click" is enough.
I have set the double click in quotes because technically the term double click means two clicks in a short period of time without mouse movement in between. This "double click" just means you still hover over the same field, the time between the clicks does not matter at all.

Simple enough?
Maybe not, but the new system is quite flexible.
The mouse interface controls are now handled via the hotkey system.

My old (>7 years) cheap mouse offers already 5 buttons.
You can bind any of the extra buttons to the "Deselect" hotkey action.

Although,
the old interface trained the player to deselect often because keeping the unit selected means the danger of mis clicking and accidentally movement.
This is no longer true, you can just keep the unit selected, search for a new one and select this.
There is no danger at all as long as you do not use the right mouse button.
... than whatever I am supposed to be getting out of the new arrangement.
I hope that I can convince you in the discussion below to reconsider that.
I would like to know if there's a way to switch it back...
Like Turuk already said,
bind the left mouse button to "Move/Select/Attack" and the right one to "Deselect" in the hotkey preferences dialog.
... or failing that if I could convince whomever is in charge of that decision to reconsider.
Okay, let me convince you and others that the new scheme is superior and indeed worth to be the new default.

The new one is quite simple to define:

Left Mouse Click: Selects the hex field. Re-selection means deselection. Nothing more.
Right Mouse Click: Moves or Attacks. If no hex field is selected, bring up the context menu.

Comparing this to the old one will show that the new is much more following the KISS principle.
I wanted to provide a formal definition of how the old one works here but I failed to do so, because it is not easy.
Alone the huge amount of c++ code involved to implement it speaks for itself.
I will try to come up with one later.

Okay, let's come to the benefits of the new control scheme:

Browsing is much more comfortable because it is much more failsave.
Use the left mouse click like mad, there can't go anything wrong anymore.

Think before using the right one.
Every change of the game state (be it a move/attack or a menu action) is now dedicated to the right.

Separating UI actions that change the game state from those which do not so is the idea and it is a good one,
used by many games out there.

Which brings us to another benefit:
The new scheme is known to every player out there who plays strategy games being it hex field and turn based or realtime strategy ones.
I am not suggesting to jump from the bridge just because your neighbor does so.
Still copying working stuff is what made the industry of Japan and Germany strong after World War II.
China is following the same way right now.

Have a look at recent Strategy games,
all are using the new scheme.
Civilization5 and BattleWorldCronos are examples of the turn/hex field genre,
real time strategy games use it since Warcraft3 (or even earlier).

The change is only an issue for long term Wesnoth players, new players are familiar with it at once.

Last but not least, the new control scheme allows an additional feature which is not easy to get right with the old one.

You can select an empty hex field.
This will highlight every of your units being able to reach the field and print the amount of them into the selected hex field.
Right clicking at one of the highlighted units will move it into the field.
Again this feature is failsafe, there can't go much wrong as long as you are careful with the right mouse button.

I often know that I need to occupy a certain hex field (being it a village or another strategically important location on the map).
Thus I spent much time by clicking through my units to see which ones can reach it.
This feature makes such a situation much more easy to handle.

Okay, I hope I gave some convincing arguments.
Let me say that I do not want to sound unfriendly the English language just gives me some problems to do so.
Turuk wrote:I do believe it should be given as an option but not the default as well.
Turuk, I strongly disagree on that matter.

As mentioned above, new players will be fine with the new controls.
No long term player will quit Wesnoth because of the new controls just because they are the default.

On the other hand, a new player won't stay with the application long enough to learn how to get a modern control scheme configured if our ancient awkward one repels her.
Velensk wrote:Thanks for pointing that out. While I'm here I'll also comment that I also believe that it'll still be easier for new players to learn about alignment if you put it on the unit info bar rather than giving a contextless percentile that you have to mouse-over to figure to find out what quality the unit has that is causing it.
Yes, small changes to the sidebar are still possible, but better let's discuss this in a separate thread.
EDIT: Another comment, is there a way to get it so that mousing over units shows their move radius again?
No, the only way is fixing the bug that prevents the game from doing so, I will take care and fix it asap.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by Turuk »

fabi wrote:Turuk, I strongly disagree on that matter.

As mentioned above, new players will be fine with the new controls.
No long term player will quit Wesnoth because of the new controls just because they are the default.

On the other hand, a new player won't stay with the application long enough to learn how to get a modern control scheme configured if our ancient awkward one repels her.
I disagree with your disagreement. While many of the game types you reference may follow a similar basic scheme, we have never seemed to have any issue with the current scheme being described as awkward compared to the number of players who have already responded with hesitation around this new method.

This change has been made default for the benefit of "new players" but does not at all consider the thousands of players who are currently playing and have to shift. Yes, they can learn and adapt, but it's not quite as simple or foolproof as you have made it seem. You designed it so it is familiar and comfortable to you, and that bias should be accounted for in this.

Why can't this RTS control scheme be noted and made available as an option to new players to select?
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by Velensk »

I'm going to skip quoting you just to conserve on space and readability.

It seemed to me that when I tried it that if you had a unit selected and you left clicked somewhere that it would plan a route as it would if you tried to move somewhere beyond what your move radius. You would not actual move along this path it would just site it out for you.

What I had meant was that when you right click you do not deselect things which is more intuitive to me (and not just in Wesnoth).

I don't really care about the technical end of things just as long as I'm able to do everything I was able to do before with similar ease. It is a constant annoyance to me when in search of progress that is genuinely good people remove capabilities I would rather have.

As for the merits of the new system as far as being intuitive: It'll ultimately come down to a matter of preference but speaking as one who has been playing RTS games since Warcraft II (which did the right click left click thing) I have frequently found it annoying not having a way to deselect things despite the fact that selecting things does not have any risks if you don't right click (which you do only to order units), simply because I like having less clutter when I'm multitasking. I like having all essential functions on one mouse button (not possible in most RTS unfortunately) and abort/cancel effects to be on the other because of being accustomed to many other interfaces which are set up that way (most economic strategy games). I find it just as intuitive and more akin to the mindset I have while playing a turn based game like Wesnoth (as opposed to Starcraft and related games where the way I process things is different and I use different reflexes).

I don't think that the old control set is any less intuitive for new players. In truth, that's one of the few things I've not seen anyone come here to complain about over the years.

Is there a place where the sidebar is being discussed?
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by Crow_T »

It'd be nice to see a checkbox in prefs for the classic control scheme, what is default doesn't matter so much as ease of changing it.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by Pentarctagon »

Even if the old system wasn't completely intuitive, it was also extremely easy to figure out. Selecting and all actions are done with left-click, deselect and menu-items are right click. Congratulations on learning how to use Wesnoth.

The new system mixes the actions together with the other stuff and in general makes it more complicated.

Left click to select and right click to do stuff.

Deselecting is done with double left-click or reselecting the unit but when reselecting it isn't readily apparent that the deselection actually happened other than the unit losing the slight brightness it had while selected. Honestly I didn't even realize that the double-click deselection existed until reading it here.

Left-clicking a unit and left-clicking somewhere in movement range seems to do nothing other than highlight the hex I clicked and grey out everything else, but without telling me anything useful about that hex, the unit, or why it's even doing it. Left-clicking other hexes simply moves the highlighted hex to where I clicked without telling me what it means, why it's doing it, or how to make it stop doing it.

Left-clicking outside the movement range shows how many turns it would take to get there, which would actually be useful if I wasn't already told that information simply by selecting the unit and moving my mouse around.

I can no longer right click on anything until I've deselected a unit (which now requires a double-click instead of just a right-click). However if I accidentally right-click somewhere while a unit is selected, instead of deselecting the unit in preparation for opening the right-click menu (old system) I've now moved the unit somewhere I mostly likely did not want it to go.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by Turuk »

Crow_T wrote:It'd be nice to see a checkbox in prefs for the classic control scheme, what is default doesn't matter so much as ease of changing it.
This is true, though I think Pentarctagon summed it up nicely as to ease of use for keeping the current default.
Pentarctagon wrote:Even if the old system wasn't completely intuitive, it was also extremely easy to figure out. Selecting and all actions are done with left-click, deselect and menu-items are right click. Congratulations on learning how to use Wesnoth.
It takes all of about 2 minutes for someone to comprehend and you are good to go.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by fabi »

Turuk wrote:I disagree with your disagreement.
While many of the game types you reference may follow a similar basic scheme, we have never seemed to have any issue with the current scheme being described as awkward compared to the number of players who have already responded with hesitation around this new method.
This is because of the environment.
The "we" you refer to is the Wesnoth community, especially the visitors of the forum.

I call every forum member (with only a few exceptions) a Wesnoth expert.

A new user who feels that the game has an awkward interface won't make it into the forum.
She will just search for another free or commercial game to spend her time with.
This change has been made default for the benefit of "new players" but does not at all consider the thousands of players who are currently playing and have to shift.
I have considered the thousands of players and thus preserved the old method and made it an option.
Still I like the new one being the default to give them the chance to see the benefits of it, at least some will stay with the new one.

They don't have to shift.
Every not so new player should have learned about the hotkey preferences already (well, most games feature such a thing) and I really want them to learn that the basic UI controls are now configurable from there as well.
The need to reassign two of them is acceptable imho and shows the player that he can now bind all kind of keys (mouse, keyboard, gamepad/joystick buttons) to all kind of actions, including the basic UI controls.
Yes, they can learn and adapt, but it's not quite as simple or foolproof as you have made it seem.
You designed it so it seems familiar and comfortable, and that bias should be accounted for in this.
Yes that is very true.
I am biased towards the new scheme, while most long term players are biased towards the old one.

Maybe the new scheme is not as simple or foolproof as I might have made it seem.
Then let's work on that.
I already received a handful of good suggestions to improve the new scheme to make it even more foolproof and simple.
This kind of feedback is valuable for me and I like to hear more critic that helps me improving it.

Feedback that shows me that the player did not give the new method a chance and reverting to the old early on,
while demanding to make the old the default (which means a limited amount of feedback for me in the future)
is not so useful for me.
Why can't this RTS control scheme be noted and made available as an option to new players to select?
Isn't the other way around the better way to go?
Give new players the new scheme and ask old ones (maybe those that made an update, it should be doable to see if a previous version is or was installed)
if they prefer to stay with the old?

Just having the hotkey actions lying around between dozen of others is too hidden.
It will make the new one being used seldom, a fate it doesn't deserve.

RTS == Real Time Strategy ?
I like to point out that all modern Hex Field and Turn Based games I know of use this kind of control as well.
And we speak about the Desktop here, touch screen or gamepad based devices are a different issue,
one I like to address during the next development cycle.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by zookeeper »

If (and I hope that's a big if) the new scheme remains as the default in 1.12, then that should absolutely be on the condition that the game tells you about it when you first run it. It is not acceptable to have the game use the same control scheme for 10 years and 6 stable branches and then change that in the 7th without a note telling old players that it's happened and how to change it back.

The ideal solution? Have a dialog pop up when you first run the game asking whether you're an old player who wants to keep using the old scheme, with the controls getting automatically set the way you wanted without further hassle. That's the sane way to change long-standing defaults for fundamentals like the control scheme.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by Velensk »

For what it's worth I've been playing on the dev server and I've run into a couple old players who've had a small panic on the first turn because they think they can't move.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by Turuk »

All of the points kind of roll into this one:
fabi wrote:Isn't the other way around the better way to go?
Give new players the new scheme and ask old ones (maybe those that made an update, it should be doable to see if a previous version is or was installed)
if they prefer to stay with the old?

Just having the hotkey actions lying around between dozen of others is too hidden.
It will make the new one being used seldom, a fate it doesn't deserve.
You phrase it as a question, but you have already made the change to the new method. This strikes me of painting a room, asking someone if they like the color, then saying that if they don't, they have to change it back. It already leads the recipient towards accepting change because you have put the work on them. The indication that they will be hidden and they don't deserve that fate implies that they were made default only because the work should not be wasted, not because they have yet actually proven to be superior.

Why not make both options available to the player in the tutorial to try (as many games do with control set-ups), and they can play with both and then pick one?

I have played extensively with both types due to having to move back and forth between 1.11+ and 1.10, and the process to deselect a unit(even if this used to mean you were selecting a hex) is now more involved, as is the process to bring up the menu, whether that be on a unit or not.
fabi wrote:Feedback that shows me that the player did not give the new method a chance and reverting to the old early on,
while demanding to make the old the default (which means a limited amount of feedback for me in the future) is not so useful to me.
This statement is a dangerous one as it runs the risk of feedback being disregarded if you feel that the author would like the old method back, and showing favoritism to the new method.

zookeeper wrote:The ideal solution? Have a dialog pop up when you first run the game asking whether you're an old player who wants to keep using the old scheme, with the controls getting automatically set the way you wanted without further hassle. That's the sane way to change long-standing defaults for fundamentals like the control scheme.
Highly agree (if it ends up as default), as it's not as if these change frequently, they have been the same for years.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by Pentarctagon »

fabi wrote:I like to point out that all modern Hex Field and Turn Based games I know of use this kind of control as well.
I'm not sure if this counts as modern, but the Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic controls are almost identical to Wesnoth's old controls.
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Re: Clicking in new development version

Post by fabi »

Pentarctagon wrote:Even if the old system wasn't completely intuitive, it was also extremely easy to figure out. Selecting and all actions are done with left-click, deselect and menu-items are right click. Congratulations on learning how to use Wesnoth.
This is oversimplifying the old control scheme.
As promised earlier I will come up with a formal definition of the old scheme to have comparable sets of definitions soon.

I show Wesnoth to new users regularly here at home (over two dozen during the past 5 years) and I saw them struggle with the control scheme first in almost all cases.

Again, I will find the time to give some examples of such new user test runs later.
The new system mixes the actions together with the other stuff and in general makes it more complicated.

I can't follow you on this, what is mixed together?
Why is it more complicated?
Left click to select and right click to do stuff.
Indeed.
Deselecting is done with double left-click or reselecting the unit but when reselecting it isn't readily apparent that the deselection actually happened other than the unit losing the slight brightness it had while selected. Honestly I didn't even realize that the double-click deselection existed until reading it here.
This is a good point and actually the kind of feedback I like to hear.
I will address this issue soon and make it more obvious when a unit got deselected.
Thank you very much.
Left-clicking a unit and left-clicking somewhere in movement range seems to do nothing other than highlight the hex I clicked and grey out everything else, but without telling me anything useful about that hex, the unit, or why it's even doing it.
Left clicking a hex does nothing more or less than selecting it, in every case.
If the hex is empty, it prints the number of units able to reach it into it (except when only one is able to) and highlights them.
Left-clicking other hexes simply moves the highlighted hex to where I clicked without telling me what it means, why it's doing it, or how to make it stop doing it.
No, left clicking an empty hex shows the number of units able to reach it and highlights them.
Left-clicking outside the movement range shows how many turns it would take to get there, which would actually be useful if I wasn't already told that information simply by selecting the unit and moving my mouse around.
No. Again, left clicking a hex selects it. Showing the number of units able to reach it (during this turn) and highlighting the units able to do so if the hex is empty. When the hex is not empty it shows the reach of the unit.
I can no longer right click on anything until I've deselected a unit. (which now requires a double-click instead of just a right-click).
Yes, the double instead of just a right click is a little more overhead.
Still the mechanism behind it is easy to get and easy to handle after some time.
However if I accidentally right-click somewhere while a unit is selected, instead of deselecting the unit in preparation for opening the right-click menu (old system) I've now moved the unit somewhere I mostly likely did not want it to go.
Indeed, you need to be more careful with the right, while the old scheme was save with it.
This comes with the benefit of having no longer any danger while using the left mouse button.
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