I have been playing since early 20 alphas and really like the game. We're now in alpha 36 and I've loved watching the game grow and enjoying the alpha videos.
However this is something I'm surprised isn't being suggested more. It's a feature I would not expect to see this early but should definitely be considered in the future especially that this game has come such a beautiful long way.
Bad UI can completely ruin an otherwise incredible game and prison architect is such an incredible game. Controls should feel like an extension of your body and thoughts and currently that's just a little lacking. There needs to be as little time as possible between a task forming in my mind of what I want to do in the game, and then actually implementing it. Right now, there is to much pointing and clicking and even searching through the large library of objects. (Totally not complaining about the library of objects). The point-and-click is actually great for a touchsreen version of this game. I love actually that I technically do not need the keyboard at all to play this!
However when the time comes I want sit down and do some serious
and awesome prison-architecting I should have the option to blow away game challenges with an arsenal of key taps.
gunhed508 wrote:I've only recently jumped in to play the game, and it feels a bit click-happy for me (as in RSI). Being primarily a keyboard guy, I thought of a few suggestions for shotcuts:
- (P or 0) pause, time speed: (+ or =) increase, (-) decrease
- (Ctrl+S) save game, (Ctrl+L) Load
- (F5) quicksave, (F9) quick load
Screen / Panel Navigation
- (P) open/close Reports panel; use (PageUp / PageDown) to flip from report tab-to-tab
keys for other panels, also:
- (F) Foundations
- (B) Beauracracy
- (U) Utilities
- or, a simpler solution: ([) and (]) square brackets to navigate left/right along the icons along the bottoms screen, maybe (SHIFT+LEFT) and (SHIFT+RIGHT) instead - perhaps (SHIFT+A) and (SHIFT+D)?
- (S) search selected item, (C) search cell of selected item
- allow multiple selections by holding SHIFT or CTRL
- (X) to center the screen on selected object or the cursor
You could set the cursor's "mode" to one of many tools, like:
- Search Tool, for example, causing a clicked object to be searched by a guard
- Open/Close Door Tool to toggle a door open or closed, same as a guard
The space bar already pauses and the +/- keys adjust the size of your UI. This is already fine actually. I like the idea of incorporating tab somehow and using certain letters and shortcuts to get the menus. Whether or not players use them is besides the point, the availability should be there though. I am not
a fan of specialty mouse tools. Those can get confusing and traditionally can confuse or even deter the new user. The new player experience is great as is for the most part I think, but the user should be able to discover things "as they go" and realize things like keyboard shortcuts but not be penalized or limited because they do not know those shortcuts when they start.
(Clash of Clans is actually a great example of UI implementation mixed with lowering new users' learning curves!)
Bottom line: Without sacrificing the current usability of just the mouse, add some keyboard shortcuts and keep that learning curve as low yet sexy as possible.
Great game developers! Happy to be apart of the alpha. You are all doing a wonderful job.