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Tips are Tools: Improving Game Descriptions

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Creation & Customization' started by Cyphose, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. Cyphose

    Cyphose y tho

    Feb 1, 2016
    If you're wondering why this isn't in a more specific subforum, it's because I'm more asking for advice here than anything. The mod is still a WIP. If I've erred in posting it where I have, feel free to move it (as if I could stop you).

    Something that has incessantly bothered me in all the Civ games that I've played (admittedly just 5 and 6 thus far) has been the nigh-useless tooltips/descriptions provided by the game. Civ6 is marginally better than 5 in this respect, but both are still abysmal at providing useful information in a somewhat presentable manner.

    As an example of what I mean, let's take a look at Germany (using Sukitract's Civ Selection Screen):

    • Barbarossa's Ability: Descriptive enough. There's no glaring issues with it, though in the interest of consistency across the board, it's going to be changed.
    • Civilization Trait: Again, good enough, but will be changed for brevity and consistency's sake.
    • U-Boat: The U-Boat is actually among the acceptable unit tooltips in the game, but because I change the others, it's going to change as well. To preface: my main problem with Unique Unit tooltips in general is that they don't hammer home the unique aspect, i.e. what the unit improves on or changes from the base unit.
    • Hansa: This tooltip (and others for Districts in general, but especially Unique Districts) was so bad that it was my primary motivation for making this mod. Seriously, it's abysmal.
    So what would I change?
    1. Descriptiveness (within reason) is the first name of the game here. You should be able to look at a tooltip and tell what something does or what it offers, so you can make an informed decision as to whether you want it or not.
    2. Consistency is a personal pet peeve of mine. If a similar effect is worded two (or more) different ways in different parts of the game, I get uppity. All similar effects should be worded and approached the same way.
    3. Aesthetics of the tooltip. It needs to look organized; the last thing people want to read is a monotonous wall of text.
    4. Brevity is a lesser concern, because it takes a backseat to descriptiveness. In almost all cases, the tooltips I write will end up being longer, but this is after I've trimmed down all I could think to trim down without losing important details.
    With this plan in mind, let's take a look at Germany with my proposed changes:

    First thing I'd see: wow, that's much longer. This is one of the more apparent examples of an increase in length, both because the U-Boat is significantly longer and the Hansa's description is no longer completely useless. But like I said, brevity--while it's still important--is the last item on the list, and the three items above it take precedence. Descriptiveness is most apparent in the U-Boat, and all three are most apparent with the Hansa (consistency insofar as District adjacency bonuses are addressed; you'll see what I mean when we look at other Districts).

    I'm willing to accept any and all criticism or suggestions of the basic changes there. I changed the wording and appearance to what I personally found the best I could get, but I'm just a single man.

    Obviously, one isolated example isn't really enough to show you what I mean, so here's a few more as links instead of images, otherwise the post is going to be flooded with massive preview images:
    You can probably see what I'm talking about with a bunch more examples to look at.

    Obviously, this isn't it--quite the opposite, actually. The initial scope of the mod grew greatly when I accepted my inner consistency nut and decided that, if I was going to change something in one area, I'd need to change it as it appears in other areas. The easiest example of this was my choice to capitalize the word "District" in tooltips--you bet your ass I'm changing every mention of District in the game. I might be a little bit crazy.

    With this in mind, as well as the fact that many other tooltips were far from acceptable, here's some other miscellaneous changes to various things:
    Even with all this in mind, it's not the half of it. I've finished updating the tooltips for every District, Improvement, building, Religious belief, and Civilization leader/trait in the game, along with almost all the units. Currently, I'm updating Great People, and I've undoubtedly got a lot to go. I've limited myself to in-game tooltips, though, which means there's no way in hell I'm going to start updating the Civilopedia.

    What do you guys think? Does this mod have any merit beyond satisfying my inner consistency nut? I'm certainly going to use it for myself just to solve my own problems, but would it be worth release to the public to help people grasp how things work, or just satisfy people like me, who want to see better tooltips? One of my friends who's learning the game uses my mod and says the extra information helps, but that's obviously just one guy (and me; I vouch for me).

    Again, I make no claims to perfection, so feel free to criticize or give suggestions. I only have my own perspective to work with, so any other views on how to word various things or something I might be missing or overcomplicating are welcome.

    1SDAN likes this.

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