I have been playing for a few weeks, and I humbly present a few suggestions which - I think - may improve FS.
This is a bit long, but please take time to read it.
- The "new turn" notification popup (from another match) should not be modal and should not be centered on screen: It interrupts thinking on current turn.
- We have large screens nowdays. It's such a shame the GUI does not scale to fill the screen. We have to scroll a lot.
- When exporting a match to OGV, the video should not show cursor and chat popups.
- On replay (or video export), please allow slow motion ! (speed/2 or speed/4). That would be great.
- I truely regret that FS uses its own protocol over TCP instead of HTTP. This prevents playing from a number of networks which only allow HTTP out. I don't know the internals of FS, but I as a developer I guess that the amount of data to transfer is rather small. How about using HTTP ? (and don't forget proxies... and proxies with login/password). This would allow more player to join.
- In the frozen synapse feed, the list of results would be more readable presented in a grid such as this one (colors are awfull, sorry, this is only a mockup):
- I know there is a wiki and that experience comes with time, but the tutorial would really deserve rework. Lot of concepts are not explained (cover, importance of distance to cover, etc.)
- The button to look for a match (lower-left corner) should display its state in text too (Idle / Accept games / Look for games). Or a last the state should be displayed when hovering.
- Global ranking : How about showing up/down arrows to show players who are progressing ?
- Global ranking: How about showing a small graph of player progress (like sparkcodes) on each player ?
- How about allowing players to upload a small (16x16 or 32x32) icon as avatar. This would be more easy to spot players in list (online players, ranking...)
- How about allowing a compact and local storage of matches ? I like to record my matches and watch them offline, but the OGV format takes a lot of place. By storing only movements and a few metadata, this would probably take only a few kilobytes. The files should be viewable offline.
- LAN play would be nice (with a single licence). Why ? This is a good way to : 1) let friends discover and taste the game together. 2) show them how to play (the tutorial is a bit rough and initial difficulty of the game may put off some people. Guided, this would be easier for them to enter the mindset of the game).
- The only game we can play against the AI is "Extermination". Why not allow other game types ? That would be great to train before going online. (I guess it's more complicated for AI programming.)
- I would love a web-based games browser (history, "all games" and "my games"), etc. You could add a few figures to show player progress.
- Idea: Add frozensynapse:// protocol support. This would allow people to exchange links to specific games and replays (click--> immediately see the game in FS.)
Signed: A happy player who blogged about this on his website (15200 visitors/day... and I really hope this brought some sales in !)