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Interface

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Hotkeys

More ways to open and close menus, assign people, move the map around etc using the keyboard.

Set-up

Norcekri (talk) I was happy to find out that we can rename the city and the survivors. I was *not* pleased to discover the limited character set. Please expand to accept at least the full range of common characters, so that I can save my favorite places(Harlösa, Timişoara, etc.) with my favorite people. It's hard, losing so many characters from the Latin-based alphabets, let alone Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, and Greek.

Sarahnorthway (talk) Good point! I limited the characters in Rebuild2 because of programming + filesize limitations, but I'll take another stab at it.

Norcekri (talk) Please include better choices for the avatar appearances, at least for the main leader (my point of view).

Multiple Screens

Rebuild 3 needs to look decent on iPhones, Android tablets, netbooks and giant highres monitors. A modular interface might be a good idea; for Rebuild Mobile the interface & map scale but stay in the same aspect ratio optimized for phones. So it doesn't look as good on tablets: menus fill the entire screen and the (unzoomable) map buildings are very large. I want to try to improve on this.

Karrachr000 (talk) If you were planning to make the screen modular, some people, like me, would not mind some kind of setup for dual monitors. I could do all of my work on one screen and have a mini-map and some reference menus on the other.

Discussion: Units on the Map

As discussed in Combat, survivors, regular zombies and npc faction units will be visible on the map; I imagine them looking like board game playing pieces with round bases under their feet and dropshadows, hovering over the buildings. They can be dragged and dropped on buildings to start missions; if more than one mission is available a radial menu will appear around the survivor with your options. The round base under their feet will change to indicate what kind of mission they are on.

Multiple survivors on one building will spread out. If there are too many they'll stack, and clicking on the stack will bring up a list where you can select the one you want. On pc you can click+drag a box to select multiple survivors, but I guess there's no mobile equivalent.

Clicking on a survivor should bring up their character sheet. What if you were trying to click on the building underneath them? :(

Survivors will stay where they're assigned until the mission is finished, then go back to the main defensive building inside the fort, eg your starting police station, to indicate that they're now on default guard duty. Hopefully I can have walk animations for survivors so they can stroll back after you hit End Day and close the last result notice. This would help catch your eye and remind you that they need to be reassigned.

Might also need the old way of starting missions by clicking on the building then picking survivors from a dropdown, but drag & drop might be more comfortable for new users, and the indicators more useful than just a hammer or gun symbol. If I keep the old way too, I could add a config checkbox or overlay setting to hide all units from the map.

Issues with characters on the map (and reasons to keep the old way):

  • Dragging a long way away with scrolling map is difficult (need to speed up as you approach the edge)
  • Multiple survivors on one square make it hard to click and drag the one you want (need dropdown)
  • Hard to tell them apart unless we spend a lot of time on the art
  • Can't see their skill levels easily without a mouseover
  • Characters will block the building art so you can't tell what kind of building it is
  • May make the map look all cluttered
  • Might cause misclicking on a building while trying to click on a survivor or vice versa

Karrachr000 (talk) Something that you might want to consider is an easy way to differentiate separate units and squads on the map. Something as simple as having the stats listed as three (or more depending on if any new stats get added) different colored numbers under the unit. This would make it so you would not have to select a squad to view their total stats and number of units.

Squads

As mentioned in Combat, I'm also going to try a squad system where you can group survivors together so dragging one will drag them all. Maybe dragging one survivor over another and holding it will bring up a box you can drop them both in, like the iPhone folder interface. Except that most idle survivors will be sitting together in the same building inside the fort, right?

Max Distance From Fort

In the early game maybe you can only send survivors on missions at most 5 squares (4? 3?) away from the fort. This would minimize issues with dragging and scrolling for early players. Vehicles would enable you to do missions further away.

Miguelinileugim (talk) Ideally the danger of any square you had to travel through would add to the risk of the mission multiplied by a factor (like 0.5). Vehicles would decrease this factor to 0.25 or even 0.1.

Prutton (talk) There could be a button to access the idle soldiers, with a number indicating the ammount of iddle units. There, you would be able to see the last action performed. Then, instead of selecting a block and choosing an mission, you could select the last mission and then choose a target block. This would quicken the proccess to resend units to missions.

Idea: Wiki a.k.a minmaxers utopia

Miguelinileugim (talk)

You know, there are some players (I am one of them) who either are very obsessive or have some form of OCD (or both) and just can't live without knowing with 99% precision what's going on.

For example, when choosing a tech to research it may seem innocent to put a little "i" button with a little link to a little in-game wiki that explains what it does, so players won't have to guess what does every option, and thus don't get headaches wondering what does it do.

In rebuild 2 I usually checked in a walktrough what did each option do before deciding, and that's really time-consuming. So, even only a brief description would be great, here are some examples:

Tech: Electrical engineering Requirements: Lab, level 3 scientist Effects: Increases happiness by 1 each round Allows advanced research (link) and food conservation (link)

Policy: Representative democracy Requirements: Capitol, level 10 leader Effects: Increases happiness by 5 each round Allows advanced policies (link) Prevents uprisings unless happiness <20

Building: Machine-gun tower Requirements: Advanced construction, level 6 builder Effects: +10% defense (due to good sight) Adds 1 unit of tower, which has 100 attack and 200 defense, can shelter up to 20 civilians in case of attack and is situated in the last line of defense


If you're lazy you might let players create the wiki and then upload it to the game (updating it every month or so). This may seem like a lot of work, but it's worth it, it's really really worth it.

Idea: Unlockable-free game

Miguelinileugim (talk)

Some games unlock rewards after achieving certain milestones, like extra money at the start of levels and such. Other games (or the same ones) lock the hardest difficulties after the player has beaten the game at least once.

In my opinion it's ridiculous to force player into playing the game in easy mode for unlocking unlockables to make the harder mode easier or just to be able to play it. In Rebuild 2 you had to beat the game once to unlock the "huge" map size, thanks to Ccleaner I've had to replay the easy mode up to three times to be able to play in a huge nightmarish map, now thanks to changing my computer I'll have to do it again.

So, please, let players play without unlockables and with the nightmarish huge mode unlocked from the start, that way truly hardcore players won't be forced to play in easy or in a small map.

Once you've tasted the cake, it doesn't appeal anymore [1]

Batch: The Map

Bigger maps

Need to load map tiles in and out more efficiently so that large cities can be scrolled around faster on slow computers and devices. This is totally crucial to allow for maps bigger than those in Rebuild 2. In that game I hide the Large and Huge mapsizes from players until they beat the game once, partially so it isn't super slow the first time they play.

Miguelinileugim (talk)

Limiting the initial size just makes experienced players to have to beat the game once every time they clear their cookies.

I think that larger mapsites will make the game much longer, they might dilute gameplay and greatly increase all the micromanagement.

So, either keep the map size relatively small or improve (greatly) the micromanagement part.

Zooming

It would add a lot to the map interface if you could use ctrl+scrollwheel, +/- or pinch zoom to zoom the map. Probably would be blurry and low-rez while zooming, then the new tile sizes could render gradually and pop into place one at a time.

Overlays

(Kirigaya Kazuto)

  • Make movable the main character in town and able enter in building (and customize it) Posted
  • Show progress on structure when destroying or building a building(like removing adding roof or wall etc)

Add more SimCity-like data overlays that provide extra information about the city like:

  • Danger level (like in Rebuild 2)
  • Show faction territory (entering these buildings will be like declaring war)
  • Highlight buildings that can be upgraded
  • How much stuff is left to be scavenged

Outskirts

As discussed in Scenarios, cities should come in more organic, round-ish irregular shapes. Need also to make sure that the areas outside the fort look nice when you scroll out to look at them (but not too far!). They shouldn't always be trees either; in densely urban areas the outskirts should look as if the city continues, but only greyed-out boring office buildings and obviously not part of the game.

Maybe there are no roads out there beyond the boundary, just dense city or large, continuous fields... except this might be hard to accomplish with irregular shaped cities.

Miguelinileugim (talk)

It might be a good idea to make all the territory outside your city a desert, just for the sake of graphics.

Speaking of that, special missions there might be a good idea, though the desert would be very dangerous to your survivors.

Dude (talk)

If you ask me, the desert would be easier. A wider range of view, more open areas, all of the zombies coming from one direction, etc. Unless it was a super long mission, then I'd see why the desert would be harder.

Batch: Ordering Lists

You should be able to change the order of the list of survivors by:

  • Name
  • Skill level
  • Skill type
  • Day they joined the fort..?
  • How often you use them (come one, you're not going to keep any survivor idle in the middle of the apocalypse right?)

And reorder the list of items (equipment + resources + plot items + etc) by:

  • Name
  • Unequipped at the top
  • Value (relative or comercial)

When selecting to give items, it should come up with a truncated list of survivors who don't already have items equipped, with an option to look at the whole list if you want to. Similarly, it should be possible not only to change the order of the list but to shorten the list by searches on the same criteria mentioned above. That way, when you have many survivors the list is shorter to scroll through.

(Harvey) Could you make it so you can drag the mouse over the naming list to select insted of clicking?

Sarahnorthway (talk) Squads might make this easier, or the select all button

When selecting to give items, it should come up with a truncated list of survivors who don't already have items equipped, with an option to look at the whole list if you want to. Similarly, it should be possible not only to change the order of the list but to shorten the list by searches on the same criteria mentioned above. That way, when you have many survivors the list is shorter to scroll through.

(Kakinaga) I think date is simple than "day" they joined the fort. Value => level?

Killerbean (talk) I would like to see that you can group certain people in a standard mission group so you dont have to choose people manually everytime. Or group people in tasks like: Mission group, Farming group, Guard group etc. So you can order your list of survivors. And be able to drag people in a group. Other way to do this is being able to make a custom group and be able to drag people in this group and organize the list.

Maybe we should also be able to drag groups up & down or have group tabs.

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