Welcome to Memoirs of a Board Gamer  Tuesday, July 29 2014 @ 06:41 AM EDT

Ingenious Milestone

I periodically check the statistics for the games on Marquand.net and over the weekend, the Ingenious implementation surpassed 300,000 plays. I hope you all continue to enjoy the game and thank you again for the donations.
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Ingenious Milestone
Authored by: evdweide on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 06:49 AM EDT

There seems to be a minor bug - placing a tile in an invalid position on the board will show the "invalid first tile placement" message, even when it's not your first tile you're placing. Maybe a different "invalid tile placement" dialog should be shown instead, with a different explaining text, of course.

I've also got a few minor wishes, which may be safely ingored, of course:

  • It would be great if dialogs could be closed with a keypress.
  • Alternatively, some dialog boxes (like the "invalid first tile placement") might be replaced with an off-board div that becomes visible at the appropriate time and disappears automagically as soon as the player takes some action (dragging a tile, ending their turn). This would make them a lot less intrusive by not interrupting the "flow" of the game.
  • It would also greatly improve the interface if there were two clickable buttons to end your turn (with and without swapping). The swapping button could be disabled if swapping isn't an option, although I understand that this might be more complicated to implement.
  • The combobox for the number of bonus moves could be avoided by making the "end of turn" keypress (or button) a bit more intelligent.

I must emphasize that the game as it is is a very playable and nice implementation of a great game, and I will continue to play it even if you ignore all of the above.

Ingenious Milestone
Authored by: matthew.marquand on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 07:37 AM EDT
> There seems to be a minor bug - placing a tile in an invalid position on the board will show the "invalid first tile placement" message, even when it's not your first tile you're placing. Maybe a different "invalid tile placement" dialog should be shown instead, with a different explaining text, of course.

You must be playing with less than the full complement of opponents. The only way I was able to duplicate the bug you mention was to play with 2 or 3. The "invalid initial move" dialog does show when you attempt to place a tile in an area of the board that is outside the valid area. With 2 players the board extends only in the bright white areas. With 3 players, it extends into the light gray areas. With 4, the entire board is available. I agree though, that the text in the dialog is misleading.

I'll take a look at the rest of your suggestions especially about making the dialogs hide on a key press. I really like that one. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Ingenious Milestone
Authored by: evdweide on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 12:06 PM EDT

The dialog also pops up when you place your tile on hexes that are already occupied; as far as I know this is regardless of the number of opponents, since it also happens if the hexes were white.

Maybe it's significant that I'm using FireFox? Should you need more info, or if I need to test things, you can also mail me.

As I'm a software designer and engineer and have experience developing user interfaces (and games) I'm easily irked by small GUI imperfections. It's always hard to decide whether to try to be helpful and mention them or to be kind and shut up.

Ingenious Milestone
Authored by: matthew.marquand on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 01:13 PM EDT
> As I'm a software designer and engineer and have experience developing user interfaces (and games) I'm easily irked by small GUI imperfections. It's always hard to decide whether to try to be helpful and mention them or to be kind and shut up.

irked can be good...

I also write software for a living but I have to say, coding at home isn't my "labor of love". I have way too many other hobbies that interest me more. When I implement something at home, it's usually just because something triggered an obsessively manic phase and then I'm off of it and onto something else. My ADD side kicks in and I'm done with it.

However, I do encourage you to point out bugs, likes, and dislikes. Usability is, of course, subjective and in most cases (especially since I've been away from the game implementation for a long time) a request for a change to an otherwise minor UI feature won't necessarily force me into action. That doesn't mean that mentioning it isn't worth the effort. True bugs that affect play or allow for an incorrect play, however will force me into action.

Long story short...there's no need to feel like you need to shut up to be kind. However, when you do speak up...be kind :-)

Ingenious Milestone
Authored by: evdweide on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 01:37 PM EDT

I'll try... ;-)

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