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Civ 4 the List: User Friendliness/ The Manual / Help Files

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  • Civ 4 the List: User Friendliness/ The Manual / Help Files

    Introduction

    User Friendliness- what makes the game easy to play. The Manual- the guides to Civ I and II provided historical information and pull-out charts that gave the game character- will Civ IV have such things? Or will the manual merely be a cheap on-line PDF? Help Files- how easily can the owners of the game find their way around it once accessing the game itself?

    Summary

    While this wasnt the most glamours of sections, it is in some ways the most important because without easy accessibility, Civilization would be both unfun and impossible to play. Many ideas which could fall in this area were included in other sections, thus its sparseness can be explained by the universality in where these help information can be put in.

    Table of Contents

    The Ideas
    Conclusion

    The Ideas

    Historical Garbage:
    Forget the historical stuff about units. Most people never read it and it doesn't enhance gameplay.
    -Kuciwalker

    (It should be noted, however that a significant group of civvers actually appreciates these historical things and the fact that they are in the game makes it more educational and acceptable to teachers and parents trying to teach their children through learning. It also makes the game more 'intellectual' and provides a good reference.)
    -DarkCloud

    Generating Civlopedia Entries IN THE EDITOR::
    Make it easy to generate Civpedia entries IN THE EDITOR.
    -Kuciwalker

    A "?" to click on and point at elements:
    I propose that somewhere at the top of the screen there would be a litte interrogation mark to click on. If you click on it, there will be a bunch of very visible interrogation marks each place on the present screen you can get a little text explaining how it works, what it is and everything that's nice to know. This would help many, without even bringing the need of a complete tutorial (though a tutorial can always be nice, and it could use the information put with this interrogation marks system).
    -Trifna

    "Hovered on" information:
    I also think that there should be, in the options tablet, a checkbox that when clicked, will cause the mouse button (when it's hovering over an object) to describe the object in a short description
    -DarkCloud

    Improved file save/retrieve:
    Would it be too much to ask to slightly improve the file save and file retrieve dialog boxes? I feel like I'm back in Windows 3.x with the spartan [...] file operation box. What I would like to see is a page ripped from Microsoft's book on this. First, make the box a little bit bigger. If I'm doing some file operation, go ahead and cover most of the screen. It's not like I'm playing the game while opening/closing a game.

    Second, I need to see some properties information displayed regarding my file saves. A small thumbnail of my map would be nice. Also, some information like:

    • When was the file created (game started)
    • Date last saved
    • How many civs active
    • Current scores/perhaps a histograph?
    • Whether the game is SP, MP or PBEM

    Speaking of PBEM. Could a seperate interface be developed for keeping MP and PBEM games organized? I create seperate folders, but I think with minimal effort, a little nicer front end could be developed to make it easy to store, organize and launch games.
    One last thing...the manual makes it a point to say that it doesn't store email addresses. This is a pretty simple thing that would help the player tremendously.
    -Shogun Gunner

    Using the standard Windows open-file box:
    Why not use the standard Windows open-file box, with an extra part to display some info about the actual savegame you have selected?
    -Kuciwalker

    Mini-map, and opening a game in one click:
    A mini-map thumbnail is essential.
    I'd also like a way to open games with one click from the main menu.
    -MattH

    For a printed manual:
    The manual should be printed, not digital! I find it much nicer to be able to paw through actual paper.
    -MattH
    ...Digital is transient... paper is for all time
    -DarkCloud

    Being able to pause at any time:
    Be able to pause the game in the middle of anything it's doing to look at settings, etc. When it's cycling through automated or AI units. Be able to change orders in the middle. Be able to more easily observe what the AI is doing before it's finished.
    -Brent

    Conclusion

    This section is pretty explanatory and compact, but basically people want ways to easily determine what different sorts of data is on the map and to easily plunge into a game of civ.

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