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INDIGO Showcase

Posted on October 1st, 2016 by Richard Knol

Last week we visited INDIGO in the Netherlands. An opportunity for us to showcase Sailaway to an audience of gamers. This was challenging, because most gamers don't know anything about sailing, there are no guns in Sailaway and there are no credits or coins to collect. Still, we attracted a large number of people who wanted to learn more and try out Sailaway. We ended up explaining the basics of sailing to dozens of people and helping them to pull sheets or steer away from the wind.

It also allowed us to observe how people interact with the game, what mistakes they make and where the simulator fails to function as expected.

This resulted in quite a few improvements of the interface:

- When people wanted to steer it was unclear when they had a hold of the rudder and when the rudder was simply steering on it's own to compensate for weatherhelm.
To solve this, the rudder highlights and slightly grows when the mouse is over it. As long as the user holds the wheel, it is displayed as green

- People didn't know what all the lines were for
When you hover the mouse over a line we now display a tooltip

- It was too hard to click a line
We added highlighting for all trimlines when the mouse hovers over it

- When people tried to pull a line, they clicked the line, but often nothing happened.
This was due to the fact that they tried pulling a line, that was not allowed at that moment (for instance: you can't pull the main halyard if the boat doesn't point towards the wind). The program would show a warning, but this was not noticed.
When you hover over a line that cannot be pulled at that moment, the line will now light up red.

- When a line was adjusted, it was unclear in which direction they had to move the mouse to pull or ease the line.
We added a small arrow that indicates the direction of the pull

- Once the Helping Hand button was clicked, it was unclear if this process was still busy or if it had finished already
We now display an outline over each button that is currently active

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