Changed user interface in Kakuro (Full Version)

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ColinFine -> Changed user interface in Kakuro (4/24/2021 2:52:24 PM)

The fiddliness of entering possibilities (little digits) in number games such as Kakuro and Sudoku was already the thing that most often caused me to swear at Conceptis: I have been frustrated by the necessity to line up the cursor precisely in a new position for each separate digit in turn, and if I miss the position it takes the entry as definite, and (as I have error checking on) tells me prematurely whether that digit is right or wrong. Then the location in the square of these extremely precise positions is different in the different games.
But this morning I find you have changed Kakuro (I haven't tried any of the others yet) and made it still worse by moving the location away from the edge of the box, so it is floating in the middle, and I have to peer to find the slightly lighter area.

aileencb7 -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (4/24/2021 4:34:12 PM)

To build on what Colin said, the font size of the small digits is now extremely small. I have to focus in on a small area to see them and therefore can no longer see the puzzle as a whole which is necessary in Suduko. Please increase the font size.

westbend -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (4/24/2021 6:07:05 PM)

I agree completely. The new position for the pencil marks is EXTREMELY (yes I am shouting) annoying and error prone. It always was hard to enter pencil marks without accidentally entering a square filling entry. Now it is even harder. I probably spend 25% of my time correcting errors due to mouse jiggles. I also agree the font size is very small(it always was small). The new pencil mark position reduces the space available for pencil mark by about half! I play for fun but the aggravation level is starting to match fun factor.

dave -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (4/24/2021 8:58:51 PM)

We recently added a new Auto-fill pencilmarks feature (the new button on the toolbar) which automatically manages all pencilmarks while playing the puzzles. Although the squares are now smaller (to allow clicking space in the top/left sides of the boxes and to enable showing all possible pencilmarks) it is no longer necessary to fill in or to delete pencilmarks while playing. We hope that after getting used to this new playing mode you will enjoy our puzzles even more.

Thanks, Dave

mianthia -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (4/25/2021 3:12:52 AM)

Thank you for the explanation, but as I mentioned in my other 'new' post re: Sodoku, you did the opposite. Beforehand, I didn't have to erase the pencil marks. Now I do AND it's more difficult to enter the pencil marks.

dave -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (4/25/2021 2:52:37 PM)

Please see our reply in the other post thread.

Thanks, Dave

westbend -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (4/25/2021 6:39:42 PM)

I don't know if I like the new feature or not. It certainly makes the game play faster and will eliminate many of my typing mistakes. But it also makes the puzzles much easier. I tried a couple "easy" puzzles and they became simply an exercise in finding boxes with 1 digit. No thinking involved. I'll have try some hard puzzles to see if the challenge is still there. The new feature also makes all the older average times irrelevant.

I feel for you. It is a tough balancing act for a developer to balance automating of "simple tasks" against removing the challenge.

Was this change announced in a way users would clearly know about it? If so I missed it. A reasonably sized banner near the toolbar of the puzzle would have saved me a lot of frustration.

bunnytwoshoe -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (4/25/2021 6:57:07 PM)

I have no difficulty entering the pencil marks, but they are too small to read. I have to expand the size of the puzzle itself to a size that makes the puzzle itself too big for comfortable playing.

Why can't the pencil-mark boxes be 1/9 the size of the main box?

Akbar -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (4/29/2021 9:49:36 PM)

I hope Conceptis will seriously consider restoring the size and position of pencil marks. After doing several puzzles with the new "feature" (which, I'm sure, will be ignored by many of us) I'm don't think that the new format will just take some getting used to--it's clunky and interfering. The new positioning is odd. And the smaller typeface is difficult to read.

Fonze -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (5/1/2021 6:57:03 AM)

I'm a bit confused as to what the fuss is about... perhaps I haven't done enough puzzles in conceptis's kakuro app to notice a significant change in the UI, but after reading and rereading this thread, then looking in the app for myself, I can't seem to find some of the changes... I do notice the new autofill pencilmarks button, which is kinda cool, and I have some armchair thoughts on how that could be improved on.

I tend to shy away from any sort of automation in puzzle solving to begin with so I may not be the target audience for the new feature to be fair, but I think it would be nice if the autofill feature allowed for deleting only the added pencilmarks from having hit the button. Of course you can just hit the undo button, but thinking for somebody who plays halfway through a puzzle, then hits the button and continues on a bit, it may be nice to be able to bulk-condense pencilmarks back down without having to choose between doing so and losing progress or manually erasing pencilmarks all over the puzzle.

Along a similar vein, if the goal is to simplify or merely quicken the process of beginning a puzzle, allowing for multiple button presses at the same time would be huge. Like most humans, I have two thumbs and can easily hit a pencilmark for say a 1 and a 9 at the same time. Other Kakuro apps allow this and it speeds up the process of beginning pencilmarks greatly, while also becoming sort of a calming, therapeutic ritual, aided by not having to worry about taking one thumb off the touchscreen before touching with the other to avoid neither click registering. In the app's current form, clicking like a madman results in missed digits and later confusion, necessitating a slower, methodical and observant approach to filling the puzzle with pencilmarks, which seems to be the issue trying to be addressed here (if I'm interpreting the intent correctly).

Back on topic, I like the new changes that I can notice and I think it's great to push for an interface that makes solving these beautiful puzzles more pleasurable. I can see how making digits smaller would be a pain for people with bad eyesight, and if that's the case here then yeah that's probably not for the best, but I am also slightly curious as to what the other issues are as I could not notice anything. Is this a difference in ports (mobile vs pc)?

Rikki -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (5/2/2021 10:23:58 PM)

The new pencil mark locations, the difficulty of finding the tiny square, and then of reading the even tinier number mean that sudoku and kakuro are effectively unplayable. It is not simply a matter of getting used to the changes.

Please restore the previous settings. These changes are NOT an improvement.

[I am a PC user.]

mig23 -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (5/5/2021 3:44:15 AM)

Rikki - you can easily make the puzzles larger on a pc - have you tried doing that? I tried one and the new pencil marks are a bit weird/different but I think I only misplaced one of them.

Rikki -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (5/6/2021 3:56:55 PM)

Hi mig23

Yes, I have tried making the puzzles as big as my screen allows, but it doesn't help. The boxes are too small, placed strangely, and the numbers in them are way too small to be useful.

Thanks for the suggestion, though :)

Dazzled -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (5/21/2021 12:25:19 PM)

I also hate the new position of the pencil marks. It seems like I mistakenly click on them about half the time when I don't mean to. It's not fun when that becomes more of a challenge than the actual puzzle.

Akbar -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (5/28/2021 3:55:43 AM)

Just putting this out there In case anyone from Conceptis happens to monitor these forums.

How about providing an option to turn off this new "feature?" It does nothing more than reduce the challenge of the puzzle to near trivial.

Or at least, how about restoring the pencil marks to their previously- readable sizes and positions?

There's an ancient adage--"if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

And an even more relevant adage here--"if it ain't broke, don't break it."

dave -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (5/28/2021 8:48:10 AM)

To turn off this feature, make sure the Auto Pencilmarks button in the toolbar is not active.

Thanks, Dave

Akbar -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (5/28/2021 2:38:25 PM)

By "turn off the feature" I meant "restore the user interface to what it was before the new feature."

Of course, it's a good thing that there is a switch to turn off auto-pencil marks. However, when this feature was added, the size of the pencil marks shrank and the pencil marks were repositioned. As a result they have been made difficult to use, particular to those of us with difficulty reading small print. It's hard to imagine messing with the size and location of the pencil marks played any part in implementing the auto-pencil marks feature.

dave -> RE: Changed user interface in Kakuro (5/28/2021 3:04:02 PM)

We added the Auto Pencilmarks feature after repeated requests from users in the last 10 years. However, this feature can create situations where all 9 pencilmarks are filled in one cell and it is not possible to enter a large number. This is the reason why we reduced the size of the small boxes to allow "clicking margin" to the top and to the left. We understand this solution isn't perfect, but it was the best we could do.

Thanks, Dave

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