Author Topic: "DC Isn't User Friendly"  (Read 3970 times)

Offline nologgie

  • Non-resident Non-expert
  • Dungeon Craft Tester
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3465
Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2011, 02:31:59 PM »
!ATTENTION! If you can read this message, your computer is already on. ;)
I don't understand. Are you implying that the computers of the illiterate can't be turned on? ???
- Tom the Vocally Obtuse

I tend to read the documentation if I can't get something to work on the first couple of tries.

One advantage of painfully explicit help pages is that you'll have something to point to, to ask what isn't clear and needs to be improved. It's a painfully small advantage, admittedly.
Some days it just doesn't pay to gnaw through the straps.

Offline manikus

  • Skriptor
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9972
Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2011, 02:35:19 PM »
!ATTENTION! If you can read this message, your computer is already on. ;)
I don't understand. Are you implying that the computers of the illiterate can't be turned on? ???
- Tom the Vocally Obtuse

I tend to read the documentation if I can't get something to work on the first couple of tries.

One advantage of painfully explicit help pages is that you'll have something to point to, to ask what isn't clear and needs to be improved. It's a painfully small advantage, admittedly.

Back in the early days of Windows (1 to 3.2 or there-abouts), many included readmes began with "Step 1: Turn on PC" - maybe necessary if in a printed manual, but when in a .txt or .doc file? :D

Offline Nol Drek

  • Dungeon Craft Tester
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2236
    • Nol Drek's Web Site
Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2011, 03:13:24 PM »
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.

:)

I agree with you that the installation of the Dungeon Craft Editor can be a little confusing. Starting a new design, placing designs in folders, having the editor in a folder, using the template design, and locating the resources for your design all require some knowledge of the Windows OS and take some getting used to.

That being said, I expect that after version 1.0 comes out there will be an installation guide for those who want to use the editor.

The process for downloading and playing a design, however, will be very straight-forward. You don't need the editor to play a Dungeon Module. Anyone who has ever played a Gold Box game will find the user interface very comfortable, familiar, and easy to use. Even those who have never played a Gold Box game will be able to figure it out, I hope.

1) Unzip "Village of Hommlett.rar" to the Desktop.
2) Now open that new "Village of Hommlett" folder you see on your Desktop.
3) You will see folders called "Data", "Resources", and "Saves". You might not be sure what those are for, but you will also see an executable file with a nice icon named "UAFWin".
4) You double-click on UAFWin, just to see what it does.
5) Hey, that's a nice Title Screen!
6) Now you have options: Create Character, Add Character, Load Saved Game, or Exit From Game.
7) You guess that you want to Create Character.
8) Now you are in your comfort zone! You of course want to create a Male Half-Orc Fighter and keep rerolling until you get an 18+ STR and 10+ HP. *
9) Choose an appropriately beefy combat icon and portrait for yout Half-Orc.

* [jk] No, you don't want to make a Paladin, a Female character, or a Gnome Magic-User. You know the rest of the party will just hassle you if you choose something weird.  [/jk] *
"Into the Drachensgrab Mountains!"

http://www.noldrek.com

Offline Kaz-Keith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 486
Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2011, 07:22:55 PM »
...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. ;)

  This is very much a response to a human issue, not a technical problem or lack with anything DC  :) .

  FRUAdom did not appear overnight:  FRUAites and fans and lurkers have, over the years, contributed documentation, suggestions, and articles and yet folks still show up with questions.  This is to be expected... for my own part, I still post conflicts and queries, even after using the program extensively for nigh twenty years.  The newsletters are valuable, surely, but the community here as a whole with all the requisite experience and courtesy has been -invaluable-.

  Once DC gets chugging along with an official release, I hope and expect the same will happen for the program.

Offline Olivier Leroux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2345
  • Yip, yip, yip!
Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2011, 04:03:51 AM »
I confess to fitting into the category of users manikus mentioned, the ones who seldom read documentations if they can avoid it. My first impulse is to try and figure out anything by myself and see if a program/game is so intuitive you can understand it without reading a manual first. Then, if I have specific questions, I either look them up or ask them on the game's forum (politely though, I don't complain for I'm well aware part of my problems are due to my own reluctance to read manuals  ;D ).

I think a huge pool of information can also be intimidating, so it could also be possible that the more documentation there is, the less likely people are to read it, unless it's perfectly organized and very easy to find what you are looking for.

As for loading DC designs, my favorite method and a proposed standard for future designers would be the one used by Dinonykos: Include a shortcut to UAFWin.exe and rename it by using your design's name, and maybe also put it outside of the game folder, so that after unzipping the game, you'd have:

a folder named after your design
a shortcut named after your design that immediately loads your design with UAFWin.exe

Offline Nol Drek

  • Dungeon Craft Tester
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2236
    • Nol Drek's Web Site
Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2011, 04:27:14 PM »

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 ?

An icon that resembles the cover of the Player's Handbook is possible. Here's one, for example:
"Into the Drachensgrab Mountains!"

http://www.noldrek.com

Offline Nol Drek

  • Dungeon Craft Tester
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2236
    • Nol Drek's Web Site
Re: "DC Isn't User Friendly"
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2011, 04:32:52 PM »
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).

This is an interesting idea, to have the Editor come with a small default design for 1st level characters.

Here is the B&W map from T1 - The Village of Hommlet, followed by a more colorful version for Dungeon Craft.
"Into the Drachensgrab Mountains!"

http://www.noldrek.com

 

anything