A benchmark for illlustrating direct manipulation techniques, animation, and sound
|The Real-Time Wargame Simulation is a benchmark that
investigates how direct manipulation, animation, and sound can be combined to create a
compelling gameplay experience. This involves simulating how a real commander would
survey and command troops in the battlefield.
This benchmark will be representative of traditional wargaming interfaces where the user will be able to plan strategies for accomplishing certain battlefield objectives and implement them via direct manipulation. Feedback will be returned through sound and animation in simulated real-time.
Examples of this genre
Some examples of this kind of interface can be found in computer wargames currently out on the market. For example:
These games utilize a direct manipulation interface where the user can:
Why this is a good benchmark
This benchmark tests many of the features of direct manipulation
It also tests some features of animation and sound by animating objects and other time-based behaviors. Also, it should animate "drag and drop"-type operations by indicating information depending on where the mouse action terminated.
|Unit Selection||A unit can be selected in two ways:
When a unit is selected, a partial blue box appears around all the unit members. If multiple units are selected, a partial blue box appears around all of the unit members. The commander of that unit will also be bound by a small circle. The main battlefield screen will show all the currently selected units. When the user right-clicks on a selected unit, a context menu is brought up. Refer to the Context menu section for details.
When the mouse is clicked off of the selected unit(s), the currently selected unit(s) is deselected.
|Feedback||A unit gives the user audio feedback in when the command is given. Also, if the command is one that does not take effect right away, the unit will "report" completion of the assigned command when it occurs.|
|Context Menus||When the user right-clicks
on a selected unit, a context menu is brought up with the following elements :
The user can then move the mouse around freely. If the user left or right-clicks on a menu item, that menu item is selected. If the user left or right-clicks anywhere else, that context menu is closed.
When Defend / Ambush are selected, the correct marker icon will appear over the commander of the selected unit.
When Attack, Move, or Move Fast is selected a line is drawn from the commander of the selected unit to the current mouse location. The color of that line depends on various factors, which are specified in the following sections.
|Depending on where the mouse is dragged to, the dragged line
will differ in color.
If the mouse is currently over a target
If the mouse is not currently over a target:
When the mouse is clicked, an attack icon appears in the current mouse location. This icon differs slightly depending on whether or not the target is out of range, and whether or not a target was selected.
|The unit assumes a defensive position.
The marker icon for Defend:
|The unit moves at normal speed to the specified location.
The dragged line will be in blue.
When the mouse is clicked, an icon appears in the current mouse location. The marker icon for Move:
|The unit moves at maximum speed to the specified location.
The dragged line will be in purple
When the mouse is clicked, an icon appears in the current mouse location. The marker icon for Move Fast:
|The unit hides in whatever cover that it can and waits for
opposing forces to come within a certain radius before firing.
The marker icon for Ambush:
|The simulation will update each unit's position with regard to its movement type (Move, Move Fast) according to the game clock. Troops can not be moved off the edges of the battlefield map.|