Author Topic: "DC Isn't User Friendly"  (Read 3969 times)

Offline prespos

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"DC Isn't User Friendly"
« on: August 16, 2011, 06:51:40 AM »
Pls. don't take this the wrong way, but I really think that is true for 99% of the 1st Ed. people out there.

Look, the UA/DC community is at least a notch higher in intelligence and skill than most people, and that is including most D&D gamers. For you guys, setting up an adventure in the right directory, no problemo.

For some people, that is a real hurdle.

To me, "User Friendly" would be :

DOWNLOAD --> RUN --> SELF-INSTALL = CHARACTER CREATION & DEFAULT ADVENTURE

That's all.

Please don't take any of this the wrong way .. the work that you guys have been doing is not easy, and it's been great so far.

Really, I think you need to simplify the start-up for a lot of people out there.


Thanks,
Prespos


PS.
For a default starting adventure, if you can have a version of T1 The Village of Hommlet, that will knock their socks off !

:)

Offline Nol Drek

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 10:46:07 AM »
Look, the UA/DC community is at least a notch higher in intelligence and skill than most people, and that is including most D&D gamers. For you guys, setting up an adventure in the right directory, no problemo.

For some people, that is a real hurdle.

To me, "User Friendly" would be :

DOWNLOAD --> RUN --> SELF-INSTALL = CHARACTER CREATION & DEFAULT ADVENTURE

Thanks for the feedback. I agree that DC should strive to be user friendly.

Once a designer releases an adventure, the process would look like:

DOWNLOAD-->UNZIP TO THE DESKTOP-->DOUBLE-CLICK "UAFWIN" = CHARACTER CREATION & ADVENTURE
"Into the Drachensgrab Mountains!"

http://www.noldrek.com

Offline Orgetorix

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 11:34:31 AM »
Thanks for the feedback. I agree that DC should strive to be user friendly.

Once a designer releases an adventure, the process would look like:

DOWNLOAD-->UNZIP TO THE DESKTOP-->DOUBLE-CLICK "UAFWIN" = CHARACTER CREATION & ADVENTURE

Personally I've played around with a few modules for DC, and I honestly can't think of anyway to make it easier. You unzip the folder, and double click on the executable, you don't even need the full editor. You can't get much easier than that.

Offline manikus

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2011, 01:22:20 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, prespos. :)

I think Nol Drek and Orgetorix have touched on something that may not be obvious - that DC is a design editor as well as a game engine - the downloads do not come with a default design to play, because  the release is really for designers to make designs. Designs to play, such as those by Dinonykos or Harri Polsa, or really as straight-forward as they can be - double-click executable, create character, play game. :D

I'll add a note to the Help to mention the above.

Offline prespos

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 07:45:00 AM »
Thanks for putting up with me, guys.  :)

OK, I just walked myself through the install again,
pretending / role-playing that I am some grognard from the 70s or 80s who knows nothing about computers.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *  * *

These are the specific hitches:

1.(problem)
After install .. now what ??
(Of course, go into C drive, etc. etc. ... just remember that I'm roleplaying someone with no computer skills).

1.(solution?)
Maybe have the installer place an icon on the desktop, and an icon on the Start menu.
With regards to the Icon, would it be possible to have a mini-reproduction of the front cover of the Player's Handbook (original Trampier art), just the art, no writing ?

2.(problem)
After getting tech help from my grandkids, I was able to open DC.
SEARCHING FOR AVAILABLE DESIGNS ON C
??
What designs? What is a design?

2.(solution?)
Maybe, after 1. places the icons, have the installer run the game immediately, with some kind of a default design preloaded in the package, and ready to go (again, my recommendation would be T1 The Village of Hommlet).

* * * * * * * * * * * * *  * *

It's hard to believe, but there are a lot of AD&D fans who don't know how to use a computer.

Thanks again for having the patience with all of this.

:)

Prespos

 

Offline Nol Drek

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 11:48:17 AM »
It sounds like you are installing the Dungeon Craft editor. To play a design, you would not need to go through as many steps. I agree with you that the game should appeal to grognards, so your feedback is very valuable to us as a community.

Full disclosure: I remember buying games which had cardboard sheets of "chits" which you had to separate before you could set up the board. War of the Ring by SPI and The Awful Green Things from Outer Space by Steve Jackson (published in an issue of Dragon Magazine) were favorites of mine.
"Into the Drachensgrab Mountains!"

http://www.noldrek.com

Offline manikus

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 01:52:59 PM »
I think I can only reiterate what Nol has said, and I have said in an earlier post, the DC download is for a game creator, not a design to play. If you would like to play a design made with Dungeon Craft, and using the Dungeon Craft engine, please see this link to the "Designs to Play" post maintained by Olivier Leroux:
http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=1302.msg19467#new

Offline Nukedemus

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 04:12:47 PM »
It is indeed very easy as it is, and if it ever will be possible to make an exe of the design that is even better.

But a really simple installer is not a bad idea. Maybe there are open source applications that can create an installer?

The installer should: 1) ask for install path (suggest Program Files if there is no trouble with that) and then, if not present, create a Dungeon Craft folder and then put the design in it. 2) Create a shortcut (Dungeon Craft/the design) in the start menu, and a shortcut on the desktop.

If UAFwin search the harddrive for designs on start up, there should be no extra shortcuts installed, but just a Dungeon Craft shortcut in the start menu, and one on the desktop. I think this is the best way.



Offline manikus

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2011, 04:36:04 PM »
Version .914 has this -  and I have probably gotten about 50 emails from people that hate it. "I don't want to install DC in that directory." is typically what they say, and then I inform that it is the suggested directory. :) A lot more work than it's worth in my opinion.

Offline Nukedemus

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2011, 07:28:26 PM »
Those people got to be complaining about a lot of applications then, not just DC... :) Weird. :)


Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 04:44:42 AM »
Well,  if there is an installer that suggests Program Files as DC's directory, users should also get the option to change the path of the installation, of course. If not, I can see why they would be annoyed, especially when there are known issues with Vista, DC and Program Files. If the installer already offered to change the path though and people still complained, I guess there's hardly anything you can do about it. I think you should be allowed to expect some kind of very basic computer knowledge of anyone using a computer, no matter how DC is set up.

Maybe a manual "Installing DC for Dummies" could be of help but then it would probably have to be run automatically and if the users don't have Acrobat Reader installed and don't know what it is there will be new complaints and so on and so on ...  :P

(PS: Expect a lot of more questions and complaints when these people try to work with the editor ...  :o )
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 04:46:57 AM by Olivier Leroux »

Offline Nukedemus

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2011, 06:27:12 AM »
Quote
(PS: Expect a lot of more questions and complaints when these people try to work with the editor ...   )
Lol. Maybe it is best to get rid of those complainers by making it really complicated to play DC designs!

And I agree on the basic computer knowledge. I figure most people that want to play a computer game knows how to open a folder and double click an exe file. Still, an installer would be slick... :)

EDIT: Everything I say on this forum should be read like this, before the actual text: "AFTER 1.0 we could do "this". My intention is not to bother or put pressure on the developers of DC with nonsense".
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 09:53:39 AM by Nukedemus »

Offline nologgie

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2011, 11:21:03 AM »
I'd definitely avoid PDFs for the help files. Too many people don't have a viewer installed. I prefer text files (simple. compact, and every computer OS should be set up to view them), but I suspect we will need to go with html so we can include illustrations.

We might break it down to include hyperlinks for things like:
- How do I extract this?
- What is a folder?
- How do I create a folder?
- What is a design?
- How do I run this?
- How do I create shortcuts?

All of these things can be confusing initially, but are very simple when understood. If we help educate a few people along the way, so much the better.
Some days it just doesn't pay to gnaw through the straps.

Offline manikus

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2011, 01:16:30 PM »
!ATTENTION! If you can read this message, your computer is already on. ;)

Offline manikus

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Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2011, 01:45:45 PM »
In the .914 version (the current release available from SourceForge) has an installer, which suggest "Program Files" but can be changed to anything. That is something you should know when reading my previous comment that I have received about 50 emails complaining that DC was installed into their Program Files directory. :(

Here's the truth about users (I know this may hurt a little) - most never read the documentation. By most, I do not not mean all. ;) I would suspect that a lot of people in this forum have read or do read the manuals and readmes for the programs they download. But, in reality, even in DC. For example, and I won't name names here, but you know who you are; when I started the beta testing, there was a nifty page of instructions that came with the download links, and I know that at least 5 of the 10 testers did not read it, because they PMed me asking questions that were answered on the page, and at least one of those persons didn't read it after I wrote back and told him where to read and what to read. In my opinion, the testers are all Power Users of FRUA/DC (there are other Power Users who were not part of that initial team of testers - they are probably the ones that always read the documetnation). :D

In summary, no matter which method I choose, at least one very vocal individual will want the other one; and no matter how much documentation I include, most of the users will never read it, even when I tell them where to look to find the answers to their questions. I resigned myself to this a long time ago, which is why I'm active in the forum and have provided my email address in the documentation. ;)