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[Suggestion] Tidy up the Main Menu

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:59 pm
by Woetoo
It seems at the moment, like a lot of the Maia functions, that the main menu has evolved and mutated through necessity rather than been explicitly designed.
It started life as a minimal menu, but the "Launch" functionality has grown and grown and is all hidden one layer down.

I'd therefore like to suggest an alternative.
  • Campaign
  • Load Game
  • Scenarios
  • Custom Maps
  • ---
  • Tutorial
  • Settings
  • Exit Game

A couple of notes:
  • I picked "Exit Game" to replace "Abort" because I think a new user needs clarity.
  • I would exchange "Campaign" and "Launch New Campaign" based on whether a previous campaign save file exist.
    • That is, 1st time into the game the menu option would be "Launch New Campaign" and clicking it would start the campaign (or the tutorial, depending).
    • 2nd time through (assuming the player started a campaign), the option would be "Campaign" and clicking it would take you to the campaign menu.
    • Campaign mission tracking would be based on "mission started" rather than completed, since a player would naturally be returning to the mission they were previous playing.
  • Scenarios would be custom maps with scripted events, effectively this is where the mods would go too.
  • Maps are just maps. Pick from a predefined list or customise all the various options.
  • I am presuming Save Game would be on some sort of popup window within the game (Save / Load / Settings / Abandon Mission)
Currently, Campaign / Launch New Campaign would be grey'd out as unavailable.
Likewise "Load Game" should be grey'd out if no saved games exist.

If you feel that the lack of "Launch / Campaign" might confuse new players during alpha testing, then perhaps replace "Campaign" with "Launch Alpha Test" and have it link directly to "Predefined Map A".

A full breakdown of the menus and submenus/options would be something like....

Code: Select all

  |--- Launch New Campaign
  |--- Continue Campaign
  |--- Pick Mission ---> [Campaign Mission Picker] {limited to campaign missions already started}
  |                  |__ Back
  |___ Back
Load Game
  |--- {Scenario A}
  |--- {Scenario B}  
  |--- {Scenario C}
  |--- ...repeats...
  |___ Back  
Custom Maps
  |--- User defined Map... ---> [Map Variable Options] ---> [Pick Colonists]
  |                         |__ Back                    |
  |                                                     |__ Back / Launch
  |--- {Predefined Map A} ---> [Pick Colonists]
  |                         |__ Back / Launch
  |--- {Predefined Map B} ---> [Pick Colonists]
  |                         |__ Back / Launch
  |--- {Predefined Map C} ---> [Pick Colonists]
  |                         |__ Back / Launch
  |--- ...repeats...
  |___ Back

  |--- Video
  |--- Audio
  |--- Controls
  |___ Back
Exit Game
I moved the settings menu around a bit. Mainly because I'm sort of used to the order being Video / Audio / Controls... so resequencing them seemed more consistent with other games, therefore more natural.

Re: [Suggestion] Tidy up the Main Menu

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:06 am
by Woetoo
The latest update to the current menus are making the menu structure even more convoluted. It's menu's within menus for very little benefit. With menu options seemingly reflecting the technical infrastructure rather than just being a clear and simple menu that is familiar to most gamers and straight forward.

I've revised my original thoughts too.

I think the tutorial needs some extra thought. Personally, I'd like to see it just be the first mission of the campaign.
First time the game is started, the Start Campaign would throw you straight into the tutorial with just a single click. Every subsequent play through, the Campaign option would take you to a list of (started) missions. The first one need simply to be titled "Tutorial", removing the need for it to be on the main menu.

Either that, or remove the tutorial completely and have an (optional) advisor who assists new players during the first mission, explaining key concepts and nudging them in the right direction. Bonus points for the advising to be selectable as either "Explain everything", "Explain the important stuff only" and "Don't bother, I know what I'm doing". (I saw this approach recently in Stellaris and was really, really impressed with how well it balances the needs of newbies and experienced players alike.)

I'm still struggling with "Scenarios" and "Custom Maps". I want to call scenarios "Custom Scenarios", but then the difference between them becomes even less obvious. I recognise that scenarios are predefined maps with scripted events happening, whereas custom maps are just random levels where the player can pick all the settings. I just want the difference to be much clearer for someone playing the game for the first time. It's perhaps just a wording issue, thought I can't think of anything that is clear enough for my liking. I thought perhaps "Solo Missions", but then that's so close to what the campaign is. Bahh.