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Rasmaster
Junior Member
First Lieutenant

Posts: 9
Registered:
July 2010
Suggestions for improvement (from a newbe perspective) Sat, 04 June 2011 12:12
Hi all.
My brother, Rasmussen81, has been trying to get me to play Memoir 44' with him for years. With the new online version about to go public I've finally joined up and I'm having a blast. I love it now that I can play without the setup time and all the little pieces to deal with. I also love being able to look up rules and have them displayed for me real-time (sure... call me lazy Very Happy ).

I have a few suggestions as a new online player to help secure new recruits. I love how the game plays and it is a beautiful interface but there are some rough patches in on-boarding new players (like me Smile ).
I received my brothers invite and immediately downloaded the game, watched the tutorial and began playing. Most of the following points I did not understand until reading the user's guide and I think it would be advantageous to make the first experience as natural as possible.

Here are my suggestions:


Tutorial Section
well done video... maybe split it up.
instead of jumping right into a comprehensive, non seek-able movie, have 4 or 5 movie choices of shorter lengths.

~Movie 1: Intro to M'44- turn based adaptation, scenario driven, etc. (a teaser useful as an advertisement too)

~Movie 2: Game Rules - move order cards, tactic cards, retreat, attack range, dice, etc.(NOT how to use the program. Let players familiar with M'44 rules skip ahead)

~Movie 3: Playing M'44 online- how the program works. using double click or drag-drop, auto selecting, playing ambush, light/dark green move options, etc.

~Movie 4: Match Making and HQ page explanation - talking about honor, the bell icon (could not figure that one out Confused is it even in the manual?), invisible/auto-ignore, and buddy/ignored.
Also, make sure to mention that you have to select a free player AND a mission before the invite button appears (maybe just grey it out or change "invite" to "busy" instead of hiding it?)
One more thing, floating answer bubbles would be great to explain this screen's features. Especially for the "?", crossed swords, and star icons.

~Movie 5(optional): Tips and tricks- retreat trapping, Armor overrun, whatever else is continuing ed. in the world of M'44. maybe even a new selection of videos with other theater's rules.


Links to Add
Its obvious the web based portion is a large part of M44 but there is no sign of this in the program. Adding some key links would help tie them together.

~1: The main "Memoir '44 Online" on the home page could be a link to M44's home page

~2: Jesse mentioned your ranking system. Maybe add a link under "Service Records"

~3: The text banner "Welcome First Lt. Billy Bob Thorninmyside" could lead to the rank hint page.

~4: An in game list of achievements to strive for. Found in Service Record area. (maybe in pull-down filtered style ...>earned, >unearned, >all
or at least a link to the achievements' page.

~5: A third tab in Service Record labeled "Intel" with either in-game documents or links to them. Could include FAQ, User's guide, bug reporting instructions, Card Lists, Map Details... you know, the nerdy stuff that not everyone wants to read.


Those are My "New Player/Ease of Use" suggestions that would allow an over eager (lazy-non-manual-reading) new player (like me Razz ) to understand the system and fully join the community within minutes. even if all we did was download and open the program.

I love how this game plays online and I want to see you guys succeed.

Thanks, and sorry it's so long,
Kenny

AKA 1st Lt. Rasmaster

[Updated on: Sat, 04 June 2011 12:22]

      
sam1812
Senior Member
Brigadier General

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August 2006
Re:Suggestions for improvement (from a newbe perspective) Sat, 04 June 2011 21:46
Hi, Kenny --

Welcome to the Memoir family. Smile

Your brother has been a huge supporter and resource for Memoir players. It's wonderful to see that your first post is, similarly, aimed at making this little corner of the world a better place.

I look forward to meeting you on the electronic battlefield.

Sam
      
Rasmaster
Junior Member
First Lieutenant

Posts: 9
Registered:
July 2010
Re:Suggestions for improvement (from a newbe perspective) Sat, 04 June 2011 22:16
Very Happy thank you. It must run in the family.
      
rasmussen81
DoW Content Provider
Designer's Oath

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Posts: 7161
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July 2007
Re:Suggestions for improvement (from a newbe perspective) Sun, 05 June 2011 05:37
Great thoughts, Kenny, and thanks for sharing them!! Cool Make sure to send these same suggestions to the development crew so they see them right away instead of whenever they have time to check the forums. You can find a link down in my signature to the Bug Report Form you can use. Smile

Aside from the fact that he's my brother and by relation 'must' have good ideas, I think these suggestions could really help improve the accessibility of Memoir '44 Online to brand new players.

Breaking the videos into segments will allow people to watch or review the part of the game they need to. I was going to suggest that DoW allow people to rewind and pause the movie (something I couldn't seem to do when I watched it) but this is even better because it breaks the information down into related topics.

The idea of creating internet links within the Memoir '44 Online game is also something I could see being useful for new players. As we were playing this weekend, I found myself explaining to Kenny where certain features were on the web site so he could look them up on his own time. If I hadn't been talking to him, there are a lot of features he wouldn't have even known existed, let alone where to find them. This means that a majority of new players don't know about the Official FAQ, the downloadable PDF rule books, the Card Compendium, the M44 ranking system, and even some of the M44 Online features like Promotion Requirements and Achievements. It's not that these features aren't available, it's just that they're on the web site and there's no link between the game and the web site.

I don't know what kind of programming would go into linking the two, but it seems like since we have to be online to play the game anyway we should be able to click on something in the game (like the big M44 Online icon at the top) and have a web browser pop up, open to the M44 Online home page. I already do this kind of thing on my own when I need to check an achievement requirement or something, but new players won't necessarily know where to find these web pages.

Anyway, I hope Kenny's ideas can be implemented in some way to the current game because like he said, they will improve the experience for new players! Smile Welcome to the forum Kenny, and keep the good ideas coming!! Very Happy
      
Rasmaster
Junior Member
First Lieutenant

Posts: 9
Registered:
July 2010
Re:Suggestions for improvement (from a newbe perspective) Sun, 05 June 2011 08:09
Jesse... just so you know, it's not like they just let me download the game and go. After each of my first 3 missions I would get introduction e-mails with links to the manual and the M'44 and to the HQ webpage. I didn't get them till after a few games and when I did read the manual, that is how I found it.

getting those e-mails worked but I get so many adds, promotions, and other random mail that I often ignore e-mails. I just see the need for the two halves of M'44 to be linked closer.
      
rasmussen81
DoW Content Provider
Designer's Oath

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Posts: 7161
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July 2007
Re:Suggestions for improvement (from a newbe perspective) Sun, 05 June 2011 08:16
Rasmaster wrote on Sun, 05 June 2011 10:09

Jesse... just so you know, it's not like they just let me download the game and go. After each of my first 3 missions I would get introduction e-mails with links to the manual and the M'44 and to the HQ webpage. I didn't get them till after a few games and when I did read the manual, that is how I found it.


Ah, good to know. I didn't realize that new players got periodic e-mails with links and such. It's a good idea and sounds like for the most part you found your way to the needed files. I can still see a need, though, for those same documents to be available or link to directly from the game (like you're suggesting) because it will help speed up the learning process.

Out of curiosity, Kenny, at what point did you actually read through the User Manual?

Quote:

getting those e-mails worked but I get so many adds, promotions, and other random mail that I often ignore e-mails. I just see the need for the two halves of M'44 to be linked closer.



Yep, that makes sense. I had one friend say that he almost ignored my Recruiting Invitation because he thought it was spam or something. Confused I like the idea that once you're in the Memoir '44 Online game, you can easily pull things up from the Memoir '44 web site without having to do a whole lot of searching. The goal should be to make a smooth and obvious connection between the online game and the web site that talks about the table-top version. Smile That way people who are introduced to the online game are drawn into the board game version... Very Happy

[Updated on: Sun, 05 June 2011 09:12]

      
Rasmaster
Junior Member
First Lieutenant

Posts: 9
Registered:
July 2010
Re:Suggestions for improvement (from a newbe perspective) Sun, 05 June 2011 11:40
I played Pegasus bridge solo (the intro mission). Then went to the war room and could not figure out how to invite someone. I kept clicking on people already in a game or I would not pick a map. Because the "invite" button only appears when you select both a map and a free player. I tried using the bell button a few times, Embarassed people must have thought me crazy.

I could create a game and I got invited to a few games so didn't need to figure it out to play. After I was done, I searched the program for the answer. In the tutorial I skipped to the slides which just shows the button but does not describe the conditions to see the invite button. Nothing in service record or settings to help. So then I closed out and checked my e-mail for that file.
flipped through it to find my answers about match making but never did find the bell description till you explained it to me.
      
    
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