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Movement GUI design [Q for AW:Dual Strike owners]

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Consider the Nintendo Wars series (in North American limited to Advance Wars, AW: 2 and AW: Dual Strike). A turn based strategy game played on a grid. On a console the task of choosing movement is quite simply - you use the D pad to move to a unit, select it with a button, then use the D pad to create the path the unit will follow. The interface automatically snaps the movement to match how far you can go. On the PC however using the cursor keys for such a game would seem backwards. The more straight forward approach would be to click a unit, then click on a destination. However this poses a problem for fog of war. Consider the following 3 screens: As you can see, in fog of war certain terrain, such as forests, hide units even if the terrain tile is within the units visible range. The only way to see units hiding in a forest is by placing your unit directly adjacent to that tile, or by moving a unit through that tile. If an enemy unit is hiding there, a "Trap!" message will flash, and the unit will be stopped mid-move (that units turn will have ended, preventing it from attack the now revealed enemy, though if you have other units they can now attack it). In the above example, we suspect that there is an enemy unit (perhaps an artillery unit) hiding in one of the 3 forests near the road. We want to reveal it so we can attack it. Using a click (mouse) interface alone, we cannot choose the path our units take, only the final destination. That means we are stuck with the second screen - we can reveal all 3 tiles, but we can only attack the enemy unit this turn if we get lucky with the first tank we move. However if we can choose the exact path to take as in screen 3, a rather indirect one, we can reveal all 3 tiles with just one unit, leaving the other unit free to attack. This pathing advantage in FOW also applies defensively - what if you wanted to move a such as an APC, but want it to take an indirect path to avoid being trapped by a hidden unit. So my question is: Does Dual Strike (which supports the pen as an interface) provide a way around this? And could a mouse solution be made to do the same? 95% of the time only the destination matters, so most gamers would not want to be bogged down with an interface that makes each individual move a micromanagement task. At the moment the best solution I can come up with myself is a click/drag solution: The player can click a unit (it becomes highlighted and the terrain around it highlights to show what tiles can be reached) and then click another tile to move, or if they press the mouse down on a unit and hold it, then can draw a path manually to a destination.

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I'm assuming that each unit has range of spaces it can move in a single turn?


Why not alow the player to move multiple times with the mouse in one turn as long as the unit has not reached it's maximum alowable range? (Just like the console version)


So with a mouse, you can click your destination 3 spots away, and your unit moves directly to that position

OR

You click one spot away... then the next spot away ... then the next spot away. The unit's turn is complete when you have reached it's maximum range.

Many games have employed this technique in the past but I can't remember any off the top of my head.

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Quote:
Original post by Nuget5555
I'm assuming that each unit has range of spaces it can move in a single turn?


Why not alow the player to move multiple times with the mouse in one turn as long as the unit has not reached it's maximum alowable range? (Just like the console version)


So with a mouse, you can click your destination 3 spots away, and your unit moves directly to that position

OR

You click one spot away... then the next spot away ... then the next spot away. The unit's turn is complete when you have reached it's maximum range.

Many games have employed this technique in the past but I can't remember any off the top of my head.


The console version doesn't let you move a piece at a time - you have to plan out your move. Also, multiple clicks would mean that for regular direct moves (as stated, 99%) you have to click twice - once to move to that square, and a second time confirm that it was your final destination - the fog of war is not lifted in transit, it is only lifted after getting to your final destination, and after any attack you make [you can't move, spot a hidden unit, and attack it with the same unit in the same turn].

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I don´t own Dual Strike, but the obvious solution to me seems to let the user drag a path with the mouse. This wouldn´t clutter the normal movement and let you chose a path like in the GBA version.

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