Topic: Simplifying keystrokes?  (Read 517 times)


redfish

« on: February 13, 2021, 11:53:12 PM »
So, as a longtime player, I'm used to using the keyboard commands, but sometimes they require more fingerwork than feels comfortable when doing things repetitively, and it gets tiring.

One example is the Look command, because the situation in which I commonly use that is when I'm wandering around villages looking for something to buy. Its simpler than it used to be, because now you can select a target and then move the target on to the next item, and the next. But, I'm still moving my right hand up from the arrow keys to the L key; so there's still a tendency of me just wanting to move over the items to see what they are instead of using the Look command, because that would require me to lift my fingers up.

It would be a lot simpler, say, if I could press something close to the arrow keys, like the Shift key. On my keyboard, Shift is close to both the arrows and the numpad -- so, using either, I could pivot to Shift without much tedious fingerwork. Another possibility is using the Space key, because even though its not next to either the arrows or the numpad, I can at least use it with my left hand, and don't need to move my right hand. My preference for this kind of quick access is the Shift key.

In any case, this would be "Look mode".

Then, from there, it seems to me you can simplify some other common activities. For example, there are common reasons you would want to look at an NPC or animal: to determine who to talk to, or determine who to attack. It would simplify things greatly if once the Info Box came up with the description of the NPC or animal you're looking at, you could press the commands to chat (C) or attack (1 or 2 or T for throw) immediately, without having to retarget the NPC or animal, by pressing Esc, then pressing Esc again, then C or 1 or 2 or T, and then Enter a second time. Or if not at the Info Box, then at the targeting cursor. This would get rid of one or two keystrokes.

You would of course have to determine for directional attacks whether the target is next to the player. If that's done, though, he same mechanics could also apply to things like picking up or moving things, though. So you could go into Look, and if you find the right pile of things, you can then press the , key to pick something up without exiting Look first.

These are just my suggestions, but I think they would reduce hand fatigue.

trowftd

« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2021, 12:14:19 AM »
I think what you want is closer to a customisable keyboard shortcuts option, because in contrast to what you wrote, I don't use the arrow keys for moving. And moving the "Look" command to shift would require me to lift my hand again anyway.

It is really hard to create a layout for such a game that has so much functionality. If you played Cataclysm:Dark Days Ahead or Dwarf Fortress, it is not uncommon to see such keyboard layouts. So rather than trying to create "comfortable" shortcuts, it is much more reasonable to create easier to remember keystrokes. Like Alt+H for Hide working and Alt+F for Fishing and such.

Another thing to regard is how shortcuts are actually coded in the game. It can be a really long and tedious task if shortcuts were not created with the intention of customizing in mind.

For the menu navigation, I feel the same that user experience can be better. In my humble opinion, Unreal World still stands as the friendliest option when it comes to user interfaces though(this might change with the Dwarf Fortress Steam release, the UI looks crisp, but there is a whole team working on it).

So if Sami decides that it is time to give a widescreen support for the game(Sami pls), then it would be a good time to talk about some easier navigation in menus. Which is not an easy task by any means.

Just wanted to write out my thoughts about the interface as I think it is a lot easier for Sami to read different thoughts in a single topic rather than trying to find numerous topics one by one.

redfish

« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2021, 01:24:46 AM »
That would help cover part of my suggestions, but I also like I mentioned, I think there are too many keystrokes for common tasks too.

If Sami and Erkka are able to put in customizable shortcuts, maybe then they could also review what default options are for common keyboard setups, too.

(Note that the Shift key being really easy for me to pivot to is why I suggested in the other thread pressing Shift to skip through animals interrupting your task, too)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 01:51:19 AM by redfish »

paulkorotoon

« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2021, 02:05:38 AM »
It is really hard to create a layout for such a game that has so much functionality. <...> So rather than trying to create "comfortable" shortcuts, it is much more reasonable to create easier to remember keystrokes. Like Alt+H for Hide working and Alt+F for Fishing and such. <...> Another thing to regard is how shortcuts are actually coded in the game. It can be a really long and tedious task if shortcuts were not created with the intention of customizing in mind.

Agreed. If memory doesn't fails me now, Sami or Erkka said it would require a real lot of coding to implement customizable keys. Can't find that very message, but here are some other comments on the subject I saw before: 1, 2, 3.

That would help cover part of my suggestions, but I also like I mentioned, I think there are too many keystrokes for common tasks too.

If Sami and Erkka are able to put in customizable shortcuts, maybe then they could also review what default options are for common keyboard setups, too.

Mate, don't get me wrong, I sure mean no offence (it's just being Russian probably, hehe, we're used to speak out), yet to me suggestions of yours look like you just want UnReal World to change into your own Perfect Game. And that's completely fine, but also it should be always considered that all of us have developed our own playing styles, which differ more or less, and what is perfect to someone, can be unsuitable or simply insignificant to someone else.

Nevertheless, thanks a lot for this particular suggestion! It inspired an idea to make (and share, of course) a set of my own macros for common tasks that require the most fingerwork.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 02:10:26 AM by paulkorotoon »
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redfish

« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2021, 02:16:03 AM »
Mate, don't get me wrong, I sure mean no offence (it's just being Russian probably, hehe, we're used to speak out), yet to me suggestions of yours look like you just want UnReal World to change into your own Perfect Game. And that's completely fine, but also it should be always considered that all of us have developed our own playing styles, which differ more or less, and what is perfect to someone, can be unsuitable or simply insignificant to someone else.

Nevertheless, thanks a lot for this particular suggestion! It inspired an idea to make (and share, of course) a set of my own macros for common tasks that require the most fingerwork.

Not really.

As for the suggestion about reducing the number of keystrokes, that would also leave more than one way to accomplish the same thing; it would just create a shortcut.

Customizing my own keys would do well enough for my own purpose, but I think the devs should be thinking about what might work best for new players. @trowft said he would have to lift up his hand to do what would be easy for me, so it suggests he has a different keyboard layout than me. I don't know what type of keyboard layouts are common for players but the idea would be at least a couple of defaults for common keyboards, so new players don't have to set up everything from scratch.

So that's not really my idea here, although I personally don't hold it against anyone to ask for their own Perfect Game, because everyone's idea of a Perfect Game will make the game better, if it expands what the game offers and is also in line with the devs have in mind, too.

redfish

« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2021, 05:24:25 AM »
By the way, what does everyone here think of this...

I was in a village right now looking at items they had available for sale, and looking through all items in one area is a process of going to one tile, hitting enter, going to another tile, hitting enter, going to another tile, hitting enter, etc.

Because looking doesn't really take any turns of movement, wouldn't it make sense if when you're in Look mode, and you have something under your target, a small overlay box appears somewhere in the corner of the UI, the objects in that tile appear in the overlay and it updates the information when you move the cursor to the next tile?

JP_Finn

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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2021, 06:37:33 AM »
Cursor on-hover ‘tooltip’ could be handy.

As for the 1,2,t under ‘look mode’, unless you’re adjacent to the looked tile, only ‘t’ would be viable choice. And if you’re adjacent to a tile, you can hit ‘x’, then the directional key on NumPad to look in to that (visible) direction.
Granted, the x look doesn’t generate the NPC wields—wears—carries window as look does, it’s still handy AND it doesn‘t require exit/Escape after.

Oh, also, the info box goes away with any click, not just Esc.
E.g. Alt-e for hErblore checks, you can keep tapping Alt-e to activate the check-something-in-inventory, then either alphabet shortcut or arrows+Enter to check it, then Alt-e to close the info box and alt-e again to check another item. (Handy when working couple points of fatigue off, and with various ‘peculiar, sweet and nice’ plants in inventory)

redfish

« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2021, 07:40:01 AM »
As for the 1,2,t under ‘look mode’, unless you’re adjacent to the looked tile, only ‘t’ would be viable choice.

Yea, I know. I figured the game could decide what commands are available depending on the tile.

Though, if the devs did implement a tooltip kind of overlay whenever you have a target over a tile, it would also probably make unnecessary the mechanic I was thinking of. Basically, what I was frustrated with is that sometimes you have to look around at a group of animals to see which one is injured, or look around at a group of NPCs to see which one to chat with; and I was thinking it would be easier if somehow the two commands were grouped together. But if you had the tooltip overlay, that also bakes the two things together also.

Although, you'd still have to look around to see which animal to hit with a sword, if they're all surrounding you, I guess, and then there are times, too, where you can't find the animal that was injured on screen before looking around and decide not to attack. I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud about this.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 07:54:31 AM by redfish »

paulkorotoon

« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2021, 10:56:54 AM »
I was in a village right now looking at items they had available for sale, and looking through all items in one area is a process of going to one tile, hitting enter, going to another tile, hitting enter, going to another tile, hitting enter, etc.

That seems like really hard way. I usually just glance at the quick message log. In most cases there's not too many items, so the list does not exceed a dozen of lines and finds room enough in there.

Spoiler: screenshot • show

Oh, also, the info box goes away with any click, not just Esc.

Wow, seems I either didn't know that exactly or just never noticed. Thanks for the info!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 10:40:03 AM by paulkorotoon »
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redfish

« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2021, 06:54:52 AM »
I was in a village right now looking at items they had available for sale, and looking through all items in one area is a process of going to one tile, hitting enter, going to another tile, hitting enter, going to another tile, hitting enter, etc.

That seems like really hard way. I usually just glance at the quick message log. In most cases there's not too many items, so the list does not exeed a dozen of lines and finds room enough in there.

That's what I'm talking about, except you have buildings with maybe five piles of items. So you have the two choices I mentioned, either to walk over every pile you want to inspect, or use the Look command and retarget the cursor on every tile and press enter Every time. And I guess @JP_Finn is right that you can use directional keys also.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 07:32:44 AM by redfish »

 

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