How will the first 10 minutes play?

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Re: How will the first 10 minutes play?

Postby mrout » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:40 am

I wouldn't agree it's "very common" to make deep and simple games. That's arguably the most difficult thing you can possibly do.

Complexity isn't inherently a bad thing. It doesn't matter how complex the game is, just like it doesn't matter how complex Pokemon is at its heart: the key is how much complexity you present to a player when they first start playing. Compare Dwarf Fortress to Age of Empires II. In AoE2 you start the game, click Learn to Play and you're given *one* unit. One. 1. A single unit. You move it to a flag, then another flag. Then you get another 4 units, then you destroy a tower. In the next scenario you have villagers, in the next you get more villagers and military units, etc. Later you get monks, etc. It builds up the complexity it presents to the player over time. Anyone can click on a unit and right-click on a flag. That's easy. And once they know how that works, anyone can drag a box over a unit and right-click on a flag. That's easy. And once they have that down pat, anyone can drag a box over some units and right-click on a big red tower. That's easy. If the game started off with five units and a tower, would everyone be immediately able to attack it if the voiceover just said "drag a box over the units here and attack the tower"? Nope.
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Re: How will the first 10 minutes play?

Postby SirAwesomelot » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:35 pm

Well said. It's true that it's not common to make deep and simple games, maybe I shouldn't have said that. It is very common to try, though, which we should probably take into account when deciding what to do here.

I think the complexities of a game can be taught. In Portal 2, for instance, by the end of the game you have quite a number of different mechanics (funnels, 3 kinds of goo, etc), and if you were dropped into that from the start, it would probably be pretty confusing. Instead, they drip-feed it to you, which I really like, and which is inherently different from a distinct tutorial. Complex games are just harder to teach, and the more complex it is, the more likely it is that we'll have to have a tutorial.
For me, tutorials really break the flow of the game. I'd personally rather have a simple game, because then we don't have to deal with that.

Thoughts?
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Re: How will the first 10 minutes play?

Postby DarkSpartan » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:34 pm

The plan at this point is to steal a page from Portal's book and use the first bit of the single-player experience to introduce all the fun stuff little bits at a time. I don't expect to have "tutorial" text anywhere except for a fade-in/fadeout set of pictures to tell people which keys they use to move, and maybe the jump button if added.
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Re: How will the first 10 minutes play?

Postby mrout » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:01 am

SirAwesomeAlot: Yeah, drip-feeding complexity to the player is just simply a much better thing to do than a tutorial, *if that's possible*. Sometimes it's not. Depending on how we design the tutorial - if we do one - it can be fun or boring. The best tutorials are in multiple parts so that more experienced players can go straight to the new stuff.
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Re: How will the first 10 minutes play?

Postby Talvi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:21 pm

I like the idea of using Portal's example - turning the tutorial into fun gameplay with a story behind it. I do agree that the drip-feeding is a good idea, though.
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Re: How will the first 10 minutes play?

Postby DarkSpartan » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:52 pm

Talvi wrote:I like the idea of using Portal's example - turning the tutorial into fun gameplay with a story behind it. I do agree that the drip-feeding is a good idea, though.


I rather enjoyed the way Portal did it, and we could do far worse than emulate it. Right now, the current plan is to do that. If they want to, the Player can skip the single-player environment altogether and and assume the full burden of learning the game straight to the face.
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Re: How will the first 10 minutes play?

Postby kibbles » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:34 pm

DarkSpartan wrote:I rather enjoyed the way Portal did it, and we could do far worse than emulate it. Right now, the current plan is to do that. If they want to, the Player can skip the single-player environment altogether and and assume the full burden of learning the game straight to the face.

Does that mean we'll have a skippable default tutorial along with a few optional seperate tutorials? One size fits all probably won't work for this game.
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