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eladalfassa

[BUG?][RC8] Default interaction changed from Drag to Click

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I realize some people like click more and that it helps disabled people play the game more easily, but I really think drag was better. Before this change, you could simply click on an inventory item to "examine" it. Now, you have to click on it twice and it is not very intuitive.

I think that it's good that there's an option to change this, but I really think it works better with "drag".

(edit: fixed typo in title)

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I know I can, I said that. My problem is that it's a bad default. New players who don't know how to change it will find it confusing. The default should be drag and click should be an option, not the other way around.

As someone who has done UX work in the past, I'm saying that defaults matter. If your default isn't good, people are not going to fiddle in the options - they are more likely to give up and think badly of your product.

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I see your point. You could be right, but as someone who also has done UX work in the past, I know it's impossible to be sure without user testing.

Also: It's perhaps worth noting that you can still drag even with the "Click" option enabled, so maybe it's not so bad?

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The problem is not with the dragging itself, but the un-intuativity of having to click an item twice just to examine it.

With that in mind, as the "drag" option has undergone more user testing and refinement than the "click" option (as it was the only option since the beta release and probably even before) I think Double Fine would be better off having "drag" as the default instead of the less-tested "click" option.

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Since one click would change the cursor to that of the item, the only way new players would manage to examine an item is by accident. This is not a good thing.

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You do realize this is not a change that can be reverted after release, because you can't change a released product that drastically under the feet of your users? This has to be decided upon by Double Fine before the final release.

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It shows a magnifying glass icon on top of the item cursor when you click on an item which disappears after moving the cursor. You don't think that's evident enough? It's like having the item interact with itself, which kind of makes sense (especially with the magnifying glass). Perhaps the item should remain visually in your inventory as well as becoming a cursor instead of "moving" it out of your inventory.

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Right now it has a looking glass but the looking glass moving with the item, so it's not really helping. You still have to preform two clicks to examine and the game doesn't do a good job explaining that. I guess this mode is good for people who know what to expect but not for new players - especially if they are new to adventure games or hadn't played one in the last decade or so. Since it's too late (we are mere three days from release!) to add a tutorial to Broken Age, and a tutorial level is usually very immersion breaking, I suggest reverting to the more intuitive dragging mechanism instead of the clunky "click" mechanism.

When you click an item it "lifts" it from the inventory and it becomes your cursor. So when that happens it's REALLY unclear how to examine it. Sometimes if you try to return it to your inventory it will examine the item, and sometimes it won't. The only sure way to examine an item is clicking on it twice without moving the cursor even a single milimeter, and I don't think you can expect new players to figure that out easily.

Also, such last-minute changes of interaction methods is a sure recipe for bugs that will only found after the release, and since I think it is in Double Fine's best interest to have a product that is as polished and free of obvious bugs as they can get for release day, the better. Reactions and interactions that can only be triggered by accident or by preforming a very specific clicking pattern is not something you want in a video game.

People who whine about how dragging is "tablet-y" (even tho this method of interaction was invented way before the invention of the touchscreen) and "not old-school" will have 'click' as an option, but if it was default new players who are unlikely to ever open the option menu will suffer from the general bugginness and un-intuativity of this method might quit the game before even thinking there might be an option to change that. You should keep in mind that examining an item is an important interaction in the game, since many puzzle clues will only be heard if you examine an item. Also, think of all the jokes people will miss if they would be un-aware of the ability for examining an item.

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Well, this IS a "classic-style adventure game" ;). This move is at least ONE example of DF actually being considerate to classic adventure fans and showing them some priority. I'm pretty sure people will figure this out. It's not that cryptic. Unless there are truly moronic people out there, which I'm sure there are. It's also not as cumbersome as you're making it out to be. I hardly think something like this requires a tutorial. Yes the looking glass moves with the inventory item cursor, but it disappears when you move off the item's original placement in the inventory.

I guess I just don't see this as the issue that you do. Also, for the record, I never whined about the controls being "tablet-y". But I am pleasantly happy with this change.

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The problem is not with the dragging itself, but the un-intuativity of having to click an item twice just to examine it.

With that in mind, as the "drag" option has undergone more user testing and refinement than the "click" option (as it was the only option since the beta release and probably even before) I think Double Fine would be better off having "drag" as the default instead of the less-tested "click" option.

Yep, I see your point. That does make a lot of sense actually.

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Maybe it could be simply asked the first time you play, also to let people know about it.

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Well, I thought the new mode was good in principle but a little wonky. It does effectively make the item look-descriptions a bit less likely to be heard, and maybe puts the less-developed item-use descriptions more in the forefront. It's pretty impossible for me to know, but this does seem like a good step difficulty-wise -- since a lot of those look-descriptions are kind of unwelcome-giveaways. The implementation is still less intuitive feeling than using both mouse buttons (right click for look!), unfortunately, and it sort of shines a light at the less developed on-use descriptions. Pretty bold change this close to release, either way.

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I agree with most points here, I just don't see it as a big issue. People will figure it out. But if enough people are complaining, just revert the default I guess.

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I don't think I've encountered any "giveaway" when I examined any item, except maybe (slight spoiler) Marek's strange little screwdriver. I don't think introducing such change so close to release is a good idea, especially cause it is (as you describe it) a little wonky compared to the "drag" mode. It's really weird to play a game where everything is polished so neatly except the default interaction method. I also should point out that first impression is an important thing, and if the game gives a good first impression for people who bought it they will recommend it to their friends (and then the network effect will come into play here) and result in more sales. More sales means more money to Double Fine, which means more money to work on Act 2 and future games.

So I think it's in our best interest to make sure the first impression people get from this game is a good first impression.

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With that said, minor polish-related changes done in RC8 are great, I especially like the inventory opening on hover. The change in default interaction method is the only change that seemed out-of-place because it made the game look *less* polished while the rest of the changes made it seem way more polished.

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I must admit, the dragging really annoyed me in the beginning. I always wanted to just click an item and so always triggered the description. I just tried the new option and to me it feels a lot better and I will definitely keep it like that. But I am not sure if the double click is the best way to examine the items. Maybe a right-click would be better, but it would also need some kind of explanation or tutorial popup (first time you open your inventory in a new game or after switching the interaction method) as the right mouse button is not used anywhere else in the game. I would also suggest that right clicking while having an item attached to your cursor should put the item back into the inventory.

I also have no idea which option would be better as the default but I have an idea how to avoid that problem, if it is not too late to add this. Would it be possible to let the user choose the preferred interaction method when a new game is started? You click on "New Game and after or before you select your autosave slot you get another Screen showing both options with a description of how to examine the objects and the information that this can always be changed from the menu.

The description could be something like this:

Drag mode: Click and hold your left mouse button to take an item from your inventory. Release your mouse button above another object in the world or your inventory to use the item there. Releasing the mouse button anywhere else will put the item back. Clicking items in your inventory will let you examine or interact with that item.

Click mode: Click on an item to take it from your inventory (it will be shown as your mouse cursor). Click on another object in the world or the inventory to use the item there. Clicking anywhere else will put the item back. Double-Clicking an Item in your Inventory will let you examine or interact with that item.

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Right-click look would have to be a separate control as you can set other functions in the key mapping to right-click. Then the game would suddenly have two-mode interactions and you'd think you'd have to right-click on everything to look at it. I wouldn't mind this, but it goes against DF's whole plan of streamlining the interface to one "multi-verb" cursor. I think the backlash from that at this point would be worse than having to click twice. That's why they went with drag to begin with to better accommodate a one-button cursor. This could all easily unravel really fast if they get too carried away with it.

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Well, I thought the new mode was good in principle but a little wonky. It does effectively make the item look-descriptions a bit less likely to be heard, and maybe puts the less-developed item-use descriptions more in the forefront. It's pretty impossible for me to know, but this does seem like a good step difficulty-wise -- since a lot of those look-descriptions are kind of unwelcome-giveaways. The implementation is still less intuitive feeling than using both mouse buttons (right click for look!), unfortunately, and it sort of shines a light at the less developed on-use descriptions. Pretty bold change this close to release, either way.

Thanks for your thoughtful feedback on this (to everyone). It is elementary for us to switch to Drag as default and this particular change is actually not very high risk from code side. We made Click mode default because we wanted feedback on it. :D

Keep in mind regarding right-click that most Macs don't have a right button on their mice.

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Click to select, hold to examine …? Or yeah, right click. That's a good option, too.

I also like Wildax' suggestion of asking the player.

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Thanks for your thoughtful feedback on this (to everyone). It is elementary for us to switch to Drag as default and this particular change is actually not very high risk from code side. We made Click mode default because we wanted feedback on it. :D

Keep in mind regarding right-click that most Macs don't have a right button on their mice.

Thanks for your reply Anna.

I think that polishing the "click" mechanism would be a good thing, but I can't say exactly how. I think that (for release) changing the default back to Drag would be wiser (for all the various reasons I stated above).

What is your personal opinion on that matter? which mode will be the default on release day?

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Or you could send out a manual with the game that explains all the nice things.

You know, just like it used to be.

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Or you could send out a manual with the game that explains all the nice things.

You know, just like it used to be.

As fun as it sounds, most people will get the game thorough steam and will never bother reading an online manual even if such would have been available online.

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Right-click look would have to be a separate control as you can set other functions in the key mapping to right-click. Then the game would suddenly have two-mode interactions and you'd think you'd have to right-click on everything to look at it. I wouldn't mind this, but it goes against DF's whole plan of streamlining the interface to one "multi-verb" cursor. I think the backlash from that at this point would be worse than having to click twice. That's why they went with drag to begin with to better accommodate a one-button cursor. This could all easily unravel really fast if they get too carried away with it.

You are probably right about the right mouse button. But i just had another idea. The main problem with the click-mode seems to be that the double click to examine feels slightly wrong or "wonky" as someone else said, and as you said, using the right button would be inconsistent. So, there could be some kind of additional button on the item, that triggers the examination. So if you move your mouse to an item in the inventory a small magnifying glass will be displayed in (e.g.) the lower right corner. If you then move the mouse to this small icon, there should be some kind of visual feedback to show, that this is indeed a separate "button" from the item (e.g. it could become slightly bigger). This way you could both examine the item and pick it up with a single click and the only difference to picking it up would be a small mouse movement.

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I like the new addition, the developers listened to the complaints and added this option. I am playing on Windows 7 and it was click by default, but dragging still worked and I did not find it hard to understand that I had to click twice to get the description.

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It's worth noting that, despite the negative feedback from a minority of players, most people polled thought the controls were just fine (67% actually). I agree with eladalfassa that the drag option, while obviously annoying for some players, was very intuitive and polished. It seems like more of an "advanced" option to switch it over to "Click".

Either way, I'm sure most users will figure it out, so it's probably not a huge deal.

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The problem is not with the dragging itself, but the un-intuativity of having to click an item twice just to examine it.

I don't see how it is un-intuitive when the magnifying glass icon thingy appears. That is the international videogame symbol for "examine".

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