Used this week to further solidate the idea of how to present the Mechanics along with the inevitable UI (User Interface) changes that would accompany the implementation.
Have visualised and planned one way to show the mechanic and UI changes:
1. Start with an explanation about how players of strategy games often find it frustrating to reposition and command units into precise places only to do it again moments later (with video example and text showing the repetitive movement) and how this is based on first-hand experience with the genre of game and second-hand research carried out by asking players about their experiences;
2. Then explain how the premade player formations mechanics and UI changes, address and correct this problem (explanation covers that the players will be able to have one or multiple units follow multiple orders/commands to the players preferences with enough precision to determine individual character direction, orientation, position, and action – therefore removing many tedious and repetitive actions with a single button press and click), show an example of a formation being made in the menus (with video) text saying a little work in the short term to make rest of the game easier and more enjoyable;
3. After taking about the uses and benefits talk about practical use in gameplay. Show clip of units being selected (explain at some-point that players can make formations for individual units and groups) as in the base game and focus/highlight the icons at the bottom then do a side by side of the Reference clip with the same UI but with the UI and icon changes added to it (current ideas being to either add the formation button to the left of the command bar, to fit them in-between other UI features, or to put them on the left of the command bar but have the base game command buttons be mirrored on the right instead of the left);
4. Possibly show different icon options for the buttons, one being just to let the players name them, the simplest being to have numbers represent the formations with correlating icons (such as I, VI, III), the most complicated option being to allow the players to make custom icons to represent their formations command buttons – fitting with player control;
5. Once the location of the button is established show the command being carried out – must show the units moving from the previous position to the new position, in the order and formation indicated by the command (could be done in a game engine on an open expanse with dots/triangles to represent the individual unit destination and direction/orientation);
6-optional. Show alternative movement method in the form of drawing a unit’s movement command and that a formation could be placed at the end of it (this would address an annoying risk associated with strategy video games, that being the units take the wrong route to the commanded destination – possibly causing the unit to die or delay the plan), this would however involve research to ensure the feature doesn’t already exist;
7. finally talk about of this could allow for faster pace and engaging battles while increasing player agency/control (a very important aspect of strategy games). Even more convincing if I can think of a way to visually show the mechanic being effective.
After this week I will have to start creating the environment and icons to display what the mechanic would look like when performed.