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UI Feedback: I don't find the scientist/engineer UI intuitive

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I have a problem with the Scientist/Engineer UI on the base screen - I don't find it at all intuitive.


My first issue is with hiring scientists engineers. Intelllectually I know that the scientists/engineers you get are added to a hiring pool, but when you look at the base screen it looks like the scientists/engineers have been directly added to the roster. I keep getting messed up when I think I've got scientists but I actually haven't. There's lots of room in the soldiers screen - could that be expanded to a more general personnel screen and include hiring/firing of scientists/engineers?


Secondly, assigning personnel on the base screen is difficult and the results of assigning staff are not obvious.  There used to be little lights to show that a room had been assigned the appropriate tech but those lights have been taken away. I can't tell if I've assigned staff to a room or not and any bonuses that staff provide are not obvious - I mean I knew that assigning staff to a generator improved it, but it was difficult to tell what the improvement was, because you'd see a bump to the power supplied but only if you were looking in the right place.

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Yeah, it's a bit of a mess at the moment because it's a feature that was added on after the "flow" of the screens was set, so it's kinda awkwardly tacked-on. The whole thing is a bit of a puzzle.

Fundamentally, the two options we have are: 1) the current X2 system where we allow hiring on the Base Management screen for Scientists and Engineers but then handle soldiers differently by hiring them via a special pop-up on the soldier screen, and 2) the X1 system where the Soldier / Research / Engineering screen all have their own sub-sections where you can hire additional staff of the appropriate type (assume that after the Early Access launch we'll be moving to the old X1 / X-Com system where personnel and base stores at each base are independent from one another).

The advantage of allowing hiring on the Main Base screen is that you get a better overview of which base you have selected, the facilities at that base and the balance of staff there. The disadvantage is that it is a bit weird to have two types of personnel hired on one screen and then another type on an entirely different screen. Reverting to the X1 system would mean a bit of a UI redesign, but I'd probably just add tabs along the top of the current research / engineering queue boxes on those screens.

I suppose you're right there might be a third way where we allow all three types of personnel to be hired on the Personnel screen, but I wonder if that would have the worst of all worlds where it's not immediately obvious what base you're on but also not clear what effect it would have on your research / engineering output. Maybe I'll have a think about it though.

The personnel assignment on the Main Base is also confusing, I'll agree - I actually thought I'd removed all the buildings that you could assign staff to, but you're right that the Generator still supports it. Hmm. Those little rectangles we had before were OK in some senses but they didn't actually explain what the effects of staff assignment were; I think we're probably going to have to implement a detailed pop-up for each room that lets you handle assignments and demolition. There's too much information to display and too many features to handle with just simple left / right clicking.


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