Author Topic: Story and Tutorial Text Suggestions  (Read 497 times)

Offline Cyprene

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Story and Tutorial Text Suggestions
« on: April 15, 2014, 02:43:16 AM »
Hi Chris-

Thanks for accepting me into the Alpha.  I've been watching the progress of this game for a long time, and it's been simply amazing to see it develop.  I know you've got a lot riding on the success of this title, and I'm eager to contribute in any way I can.  Unfortunately, I have the tactical and strategic skills of an enraged howler monkey.  When I play AI War, I set the difficulty to five, bop around the universe with a giant ball of units, and then swarm the enemy homeworld while playing triumphant music.  So asking me to critique things like balance, or tell you which weapons are overpowered and which are underpowered, or what tactics can be exploited, isn't going to get you the results you're looking for. 

What I do know, however, is writing.  I've got an editor to handle my spelling, which is fortunate, but communicating ideas and phrasing sentences is something I understand fairly well, and this is an area where I think I can give you something the other testers aren't focusing on. Thus, my comments will concern mainly the game's story and tutorials.  I guess the thing to do, if I'm reading these threads right, is post observations for comment and discussion here in the forums, and then if others agree upload them to Mantis?


The opening text of the game could use some work.  Remember this is the first thing your player is going to see, and so it's worth thinking about a little.
Section 2-7 of the intro screen could use a bit of cleaning up, writing wise.  Suggestion:  "When our race was wiped out, I was the sole survivor.  I was away from our planet, on a renegade mission to deliver spacefaring technology to the other species."
Section 3-7 is pretty good, but I think it needs a comma.  "My goal?  The creation of a peaceful, (<- Comma goes here) unified federation of planets."
Section 4-7 could use a bit of touching up as well.  Suggestion: "When I crash-landed on this planet, I was placed in "captivity".  Having no concept of my strength, they did not realize I was merely waiting.  And that I could wait a long, long time."  If the last sentence strikes you as cliche, perhaps just the first one. Why'd he crash land?  Was his mission a failure?
Section 5-7 is fine as it is.
Section 6-7 isn't as clear as it could be.  Particularly this section: "I have a short window of opportunity."  Opportunity to do what?  Mechanical CEOs making planetary "acquisitions" is a neat concept that tells you something about the race.  That should be kept.  I realize you're hitting your length limit, though.  I think the important information to share here for a new player is that nobody else has spacefaring tech.  Suggested revision for the first two sentences, "The Actuians are the only ones with sparefaring technology, but their program is still in its infancy.  Soon, though, their mechanical CEOs..." 

Welcome to Combat Tutorial: 
The text is fine, but after it says, "You need to give your ship a movement order," it doesn't actually tell you how to do that.  I see that it says what to do lower on the screen, but it seems odd not to have it in the tutorial text itself.

First Encounter Text:  This is a little confusing.  When it says, "Make things even worse by attacking their infrastructure," what am I making worse?  Am I damaging relations with them?  Setting them back technologically? 
Also, the top text reads "Destroy all flagships or dock with survey platform", but the first encounter text tells me that I need to blow up all the flagships.
I noticed also that there's nothing here that tells me what a "flagship" is.  I can guess it's the three yellow dudes, but its absence seems odd.

Now it's Time To Attack Tutorial:
It tells me I have three weapons, but it's not immediately obvious what they are.  I see the Minigun, Energy Blaster, and Gravity Lance, and I know from watching videos that these are weapons, but when I mouse over them it tells me "This special weapon has been completely used up, and can be swapped out for another in 30 turns."  Are they special weapons or normal ones?

Objectives Tutorial:  This is fine.  It's very clear and gets across all the information you want to share, and the parenethetical asides are a neat touch.

Power Management Tutorial:
2/6: Part of the last sentence is cut off by the "next" button.  I think that last sentence could use a bit of rewriting too.  Suggestion: "Increasing power to your Engines gives you faster movement, better turning arcs, and increases the distance you can move each turn."
5/6: I suggest adding this sentence to the first paragraph.  "The engine power system is the yellow bar on the right side."  It's fairly obvious if you think, but no reason not to say it.
6/6: If you want to use an em-dash instead of the --, it's alt+0151.  The -- is kinda retro-techno-y though, so if you wanna leave it as is that's probably fine.

Solar Map Tutorial:
A word about time progressing on the map might be a good idea; I didn't realize this was the case until I went to the logbook to re-read things .  Again, a word about what you're actually supposed to do would probably be a good idea.  "Click on a planet and then click the "friendly acts" button." or something similar.  Also, what's a dispatch mission?  Is it different than a joint mission?

Deliver Spacefaring:
At the end, there's a note, "Preparing to withdraw, sir!" about how your ship needs time to jump to lightspeed, with a comment about how calculating the neccessary coordinates "isn't like dusting crops," a reference which I am afraid eludes me.  However, there's an "end combat" button which immediately whisks me away.

Geopolitical Fancy Analysis Tutorial:
Others have said this, but I don't think anybody is gonna know what RCI means in this context unless you tell them.  The last good Simcity was SimCity2000 and that came out when I was in middle school.

That's all I saw tonight, so I'm posting this in the forum and seeing what feedback I get.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Story and Tutorial Text Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 09:30:08 AM »
Great feedback Cyprene. I fully agree with you that the text could do with some work. This is indeed an area that has not received much feedback so far aside from the usual spelling or grammatical errors, as far as I'm aware. Your help would surely be most appreciated, although I think that Chris is a little resistant to accept wholesale rewrites.

Offline Histidine

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Re: Story and Tutorial Text Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 09:46:31 AM »
Is there a reason we can't just play that story intro video?

Offline Cyprene

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Re: Story and Tutorial Text Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 12:05:41 PM »
Quote
Your help would surely be most appreciated, although I think that Chris is a little resistant to accept wholesale rewrites.

Certainly.  It's his text and his story, and it's not my place at all to tell him what to do. 
So do I just put this on Mantis then? 

Offline nas1m

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Re: Story and Tutorial Text Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 12:06:36 PM »
Quote
Your help would surely be most appreciated, although I think that Chris is a little resistant to accept wholesale rewrites.

Certainly.  It's his text and his story, and it's not my place at all to tell him what to do. 
So do I just put this on Mantis then?
Sounds like a good idea :).
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