UI REQUEST: Remove, grey out, or relabel buttons when subsystem is unavailable

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UI REQUEST: Remove, grey out, or relabel buttons when subsystem is unavailable

Post by strictlyrude27 on Tue 14 Jan - 23:43

When you start out in the game, you don't have a geoscanner - but the option to scan a planet when you orbit it is available. Clicking that option opens a dialog box that tells you that you don't have the scanner installed. Likewise, if you attempt to orbit, drill, or probe but somehow don't have an interplanetary reactor, drill, or hydrogen probe, the button implies that you're able to perform that action and then yell at you when you try.

From a UI perspective, popping up error boxes to tell a user something is typically annoying and ignored, and users mash the "OK" button as fast as they can to get back to what they were doing. (I tried to link to a programming blog about this problem, but am barred from doing so. Google for "Coding Horror Unnecessary Dialogs" for more info.)

So I suggest that these buttons be greyed out with a different overlay text. For instance, instead of a white "Scan" button, either make it grey with the words "Geoscanner System Required" or just remove the button entirely. This is already done if you have, for instance, a Death Seed - the button to use the Death Seed on a star is not visible unless the player actually has a Death Seed. (On that note, the Death Seed button ought to be greyed out with the words "Omega Element Required" if the player doesn't have one in his cargo hold.)

Removing the button entirely may cause confusion for drill/orbit/probe if the player didn't realize his equipment broke, so greying out the buttons and say "Drill System Required" or "Hydrogen Probe Required" for "default" systems might be more intuitive than if those buttons disappeared all of a sudden.

TLDR: Get rid of dialog boxes and subtly inform the player of actions he can/can't do rather than with an annoying in-your-face dialog box that might not even get read.


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