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Welcome to World War II online - Battleground Europe : Free community contributions to a new User Interface design

Oct. 2009

Please sit back, relax, throw some food to the fishes, and take a hour to discover the content of this blog.

The purpose of this input is to introduce new gameplay concepts that could contribute to a fix of persistent issues highlighted during the last couples of years, with a special focus on the User Interface (UI).
Though it will confuse established players, I believe it will be alot easier for new players to understand.

The blog (creative) layout has been designed to make the reading more comfortable (you can easily pause your reading thanks to feature #IDs) as to make search & discuss easier. Use the labels to select a single part, or use the tree on the right to find a specific feature back.
If you are in a hurry, you may just have an attentive look at the screenshots which should be intuitive to understand. The text is just pointing out drawn features or detailing the context.

All opinions and suggestions are welcome. Please, provide feedback (here) in the official forum . Remind that the whole content is a free gift to Playnet.

Since English isn't my main language, please apologize for the mistakes. I hope you will still enjoy the reading.

ZEB
-Un0fficial gameplay architect, advises concepts since 2002-

1.6. Platoon HQ - Platoon Leader display


[SIDE HQ]
    - Welcome screen
   - Squad selected
   - Town selected
   - Platoon selected 
[PLATOON HQ]
   - Mission member display
   - Mission leader display 
[BRIGADE HQ]

____________________________________________________________

   When an officer wants to create a platoon (feature 18), the procedure should be simplified to a simple pop-up window like the on displayed in the next screenshot. The same pop-up would also allow easier dynamic mission configuration changes. In this topic we'll mainly focus on specific features accessed by the ML.



Typical platoon HQ display for the leader editing his platoon configuration


#45. In the chat window you can notice that the ML gets brigade orders from the OIC, in the same way platoon members recieves orders from him. This will allow the OIC to give some directives when a new leader is setting up a platoon, or to organize the battle. Also notice that the ML still has access to the recruitment channel while platoon members didn't (feature #34).

#46. Feature #41 introduced the concept of approving mission members. The ML thus needs to approve every member that joined before deploying. He gets in the platoon members window a slider next to each member name, set on "refuse" by default. If sliding it to "approve", it will remain in this state unless the member modifies his origin or unit.

#47. An issue that could raise is that the ML won't be able to launch if new members are constantly joining the mission. Therefore, when enough members have joined according to ML, he's first invited to set the platoon status to "deployed". Since players can't join a deployed platoon (feature #3), the ML gets time to finish approving everyone. I didn't draw how to kick someone out of the platoon, but this should probably be considered as well.

#48. Once everyone is ready, the ML makes everyone spawn automatically at the same time,  in the same way it's performed in the multiplayer mode of most of Real Time Strategy games. In the screenshot you have to imagine that the button "mark as deployed" would change to a "Spawn platoon" if everyone is in an approved status.

#49. The ML also gets the ability to leave his leadership position to someone else by either .makeleader -ing someone else, or by leaving the platoon.

#50. The ML is allowed to edit the current Platoon configuration at any time. The management window appearing contents :
  • #50a. Mission Type (with eventually an impact on the way your earn points):
      Facility attack
      Facility defense
      Area occupation
      Transport/escort
      In field supply and repair
      Recon & reporting
      Infiltration & sabotage
      Brigade resupply
     
  • #50b. Specialization (without any restriction on available units in order to allow tactical variety):
      Multi-arms (default)
      Infantry
      Paratroopers (meaning units will be spawned from an AF and the ride performed by plane)
      ATG guns
      AA guns
      Armor

  • #50c. Countdown setting:
      It can be launched, updated or canceled at any time. It doesn't have any impact on the automatic spawning (feature #48), it's just an informative display.

  • #50d. Setting appropriate target on map:
      According to the selected mission type, an appropriate target should be set on map. Area occupation would mean to consider the ability to set up a custom waypoint as target objective.

  • #50e. (or) Select a priority target set by OIC:
      A leader can join and just pick up a target suggested by the OIC (feature #66) and try to gather troops to accomplish the mission. This can also be selected from in field by an already deployed platoon looking for a new mission. The new design and gameplay features allows to "easily" introduce this command features that a lot of people will appreciate. The available information would be the target location, the mission type, and a short message typed by the OIC for instructions. Note the lat-long coordinates as target location for an area occupation.

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