Author Topic: Tutorial intro text.  (Read 1811 times)

Offline x4000

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Tutorial intro text.
« on: September 08, 2013, 01:59:10 PM »
Hey all,

I'm trying to write a brief intro statement for players that will get them up and going really fast, as I think the game is deceptively simple once you pass a very early point.  Care to help me fine-tune this?

--------------

Welcome!  This game is pretty simple to get into, even though it's quite hard to master.  That said, it's really easy to get yourself killed at the start, too.  Here are the basics.

When you first start out, you have the city map.  You choose missions from here based simply on what rewards you want.  Between missions you customize your exos with the loot you got from the last mission.  Easy peasy.

In each mission, you move around with WASD and shoot stuff by right-clicking it.  These controls are shown at the bottom of the screen in the mission, you don't have to memorize it.  Every time you take a single action, each enemy that is awake also gets to take a single action. 

While you're not acting, you can sit and think as long as you like.  You can also pan the view with the arrow keys and zoom with the mouse wheel.

Anything that is lit up is in your sight range and can be shot, weapon range permitting.  Anything in your sight range can also shoot you, their weapon range permitting.  There is a "sensor range" area outside of your direct sight range.  Things are grayed out here, and glowing.  You can see enemies here, but they may or may not be awake.  You can whistle to wake them up and lead them into traps.

Your goal in each mission varies, and can be seen on the left sidebar.  Similarly, on the left sidebar you can see your weapons and switch which one is active.  You can also see your exos, and switch which one is active.  Only one exo can be active at a time unless you are playing multiplayer.

If all four of your exos die in a mission, you lose that mission.  Fail too many missions and you lose the game.  Your overall goal is to last until the 50th day, then defeat the robot army that attacks you.  Everything prior to that is preparation: strengthening yourself or weakening your enemies.

The easiest way to get killed is to run at enemies.  Hang back, use the Wait function (spacebar) to let them come to you, and then take them out before they reach you.  Use corridors and other narrow places to face one enemy at a time.  And later use more advanced stuff like traps and stealth.

That's all the basics!  Everything has a tooltip explanation, so the rest you can figure out as you go without too much trouble.  Enjoy!
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Offline Breach

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 04:41:21 PM »
Good idea. I've done some retooling of the text, mostly just putting in key prompts here and there and signposting things a bit more obviously. I'm not sure whether the equipment screen needs its own guidance text or can be clarified using extra tooltips. Most of it was fine, and I definitely appreciated the small bit of tactical advice at the bottom!

------


Welcome! Bionic Dues is a pretty complex game with a high skill ceiling but getting up and running can be difficult, so here's some tips to get you going.

When you first start out, you have the city map.  You choose missions from here based simply on what rewards you want.  Between missions you customize your exos with the loot you got from the last mission.  Easy peasy. Just keep in mind the energy limits for each bot - you won't be able to start a mission if they're exceeded.

In each mission, you move around with WASD and shoot stuff by right-clicking it.  These controls are shown at the bottom of the screen in the mission, you don't have to memorize it.  These controls can also be changed in the game settings.  Every time you take a single action, each enemy that is awake also gets to take a single action.

While you're not acting, you can sit and think as long as you like.  You can also pan the view with the arrow keys or middle-mouse button and zoom with the mouse wheel.

Anything that is lit up is in your sight range and can be shot, weapon range (shown using the shift key) permitting.  Anything in your sight range can also shoot you, their weapon range permitting.  There is a "sensor range" area outside of your direct sight range.  Things in this sensor range have a glowing wireframe appearance.  You can see enemies here, but they may or may not be awake.  You can whistle (an ability on the left sidebar) to wake them up and lead them into traps.

Your goal in each mission varies, and can be seen on the left sidebar above your character's portrait.  Similarly, on the left sidebar you can see your weapons and switch which one is active by clicking or using the number keys.  You can also see your exos, and switch which one is active.  Only one exo can be active at a time unless you are playing multiplayer.

If all four of your exos die in a mission, you lose that mission.  Fail too many missions and you lose the game.  Your overall goal is to last until the 50th day, then defeat the robot army that attacks you.  Everything prior to that is preparation: strengthening yourself or weakening your enemies.  You can see how many days remain until the final assault at the bottom of the map screen.

The easiest way to get killed is to run at enemies.  Hang back, use the Wait function (spacebar) to let them come to you, and then take them out before they reach you.  Use corridors and other narrow places to face one enemy at a time.  And later use more advanced stuff like traps and stealth.

That's all the basics!  Everything has a tooltip explanation, so the rest you can figure out as you go without too much trouble.  Enjoy!

Offline x4000

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 05:09:57 PM »
Hmm.  I think I'll avoid the value judgements in the first bit there. ;)  The game really is not that complex if it is explained properly, at least judging by our experience at PAX and so on.  The problem is we've been trying to see how little explanation we can get away with, since we know people hate reading.  If you want volumes and volumes on how to play the game, I can obviously provide them (I think my verbosity is well established).  I'm explicitly trying to avoid that, though. ;)



Welcome! Here's a few tips to get you going in Bionic Dues.

When you first start out, you have the city map.  You choose missions from here based on what rewards you want.  After every mission, you can customize your exos with the loot you got from that mission.  Easy peasy.

In each mission, you move around with WASD and shoot stuff by right-clicking it.  These controls are shown at the bottom of the screen in the mission, so you don't have to memorize them.  These controls can also be changed in the game settings.  Every time you take a single action, each enemy that is awake also gets to take a single action.

While you're not acting, you can sit and think as long as you like.  You can also pan the view with the arrow keys or middle-mouse button, and zoom with the mouse wheel.

Anything that is lit up is in your sight range and can be shot, weapon range permitting.   You can see your weapon range by holding the shift key.  Anything in your sight range can also shoot you, their weapon range permitting.  There is a "sensor range" area outside of your direct sight range.  Things in this area have a glowing wireframe appearance.  You can see enemies here, but they may or may not be awake.  You can whistle (an ability on the left sidebar) to wake them up and lead them into traps or ambushes.

Your goal in each mission varies, and can be seen on the left sidebar above your character's portrait.  Similarly, on the left sidebar you can see your weapons and switch which one is active by clicking or using the 1-5 number keys.  You can also see your exos, and switch which one is active by clicking or using the 6-9 number keys.  Only one exo can be active at a time unless you are playing multiplayer.

If all four of your exos die in a mission, you lose that mission.  Fail too many missions and you lose the game.  Your overall goal is to last until the 50th day, then defeat the robot army that attacks you.  Everything prior to that is preparation: strengthening yourself or weakening your enemies.  You can see how many days remain until the final assault at the bottom of the city map.

The easiest way to get killed is to run at enemies.  Hang back, use the Wait function (spacebar) to let them come to you, and then take them out before they reach you.  Use corridors and other narrow places to face one enemy at a time.  Look at the tooltips for each enemy and carefully decide which order to kill them in, or how to exploit their individual Bugs.  Later you can use more advanced stuff like traps and stealth.

That's all the basics!  Everything has a tooltip explanation, so the rest you can figure out as you go without too much trouble.  Enjoy!
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Offline mrhanman

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 07:48:58 PM »
  If you want volumes and volumes on how to play the game, I can obviously provide them (I think my verbosity is well established).  I'm explicitly trying to avoid that, though. ;)

I love it when games include extensive in-game information on how to play the game - so long as it's tucked neatly away in an encyclopedia.  I really like how the Valley games do it.

Offline x4000

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 08:22:47 PM »
  If you want volumes and volumes on how to play the game, I can obviously provide them (I think my verbosity is well established).  I'm explicitly trying to avoid that, though. ;)

I love it when games include extensive in-game information on how to play the game - so long as it's tucked neatly away in an encyclopedia.  I really like how the Valley games do it.

I actually do plan on putting some stuff of that sort in there at some point, but my reasoning at the moment is:
1. Most people won't read that.
2. The people in our alpha are way more likely to read that.
3. Therefore if I want to simulate "most people," I can't put that where the alpha folks can get it. ;)
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Offline Misery

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 08:48:05 PM »
One thing I'd like to suggest is stat descriptions.  Put like a question-mark icon on the customization screen, which when clicked simply brings up a list of all of the different stats in the game, and exactly what each one does, so the player can have a look when they feel that they need to.   I've seen alot of other games do this one and it generally works out pretty well, as the player doesnt HAVE to look at it but it's obviously there if needed.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 12:00:46 AM »
What about doing away with the wall of text and just going for bullet points?

1) You have 50 days. Each mission will bring you closer to the final battle.
2) Each mission has consequences that will equip your robots or slow the tide of the enemy in the final battle. You can take on as many missions as you like in any order, until your 50 days is up.
3) Mouse over your objective (the mission icon on the bottom left for each level), and try to survive with the least amount of casualties. You will be rewarded!
4) Customize your robots to your play style, getting to the final battle is only half the challenge. You will need creativity in design to get there.

That's it. Covers customization, where to go, what the goal of the game is, and how to approach the missions. You could probably even subtract a few more words.
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Offline mrhanman

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 12:32:12 AM »
One thing I'd like to suggest is stat descriptions.  Put like a question-mark icon on the customization screen, which when clicked simply brings up a list of all of the different stats in the game, and exactly what each one does, so the player can have a look when they feel that they need to.   I've seen alot of other games do this one and it generally works out pretty well, as the player doesnt HAVE to look at it but it's obviously there if needed.

Please, please, oh please do something like this!  That's really the only nebulous part of the game to me.  Everything else was worked out after trying it a few times.  Even if it's not a popup on the equipment screen, I'd really like to know exactly what each stat means.

Why not have a page of currents stats on each exo's loadout screen?  That would be a good addition, and a good place to put the tooltips for each stat.


Offline Breach

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 07:59:48 AM »
What about doing away with the wall of text and just going for bullet points?

1) You have 50 days. Each mission will bring you closer to the final battle.
2) Each mission has consequences that will equip your robots or slow the tide of the enemy in the final battle. You can take on as many missions as you like in any order, until your 50 days is up.
3) Mouse over your objective (the mission icon on the bottom left for each level), and try to survive with the least amount of casualties. You will be rewarded!
4) Customize your robots to your play style, getting to the final battle is only half the challenge. You will need creativity in design to get there.

That's it. Covers customization, where to go, what the goal of the game is, and how to approach the missions. You could probably even subtract a few more words.

This is a good point actually. Most players would rather not read a big box of text and so a few bullet points would be best. Information given in the bootstrap hints (e.g. movement) doesn't need to be repeated. In addition I think information about the controls could be replaced by having bindings appear in the tooltips shown when hovering over an action (e.g. Gamma-Ray Laser: Attack: 400 etc. ... [Key Bind: 1]).

I would include a bullet point about the line of sight and range mechanics, and also an indication of what the symbols mean. Most important I think is the crosshair indicating unexplored areas. A bullet point about the importance of the HQ would also be good, then they can hover over it to get more info.

I still think the basic hint of keeping back and letting your enemies come to you is essential to include somwhere.

Offline x4000

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 08:16:32 AM »
Okay, so how about these for bullet points, broken into sections so that the increased number is not so overwhelming?

CITY MAP HOT TIPS
* You have 50 days. Each mission will bring you closer to the final battle.
* Each mission has consequences that will equip your Exos or weaken the enemy in the final battle. You can take on up to 50 missions in any order, then the robots attack.

INDIVIDUAL MISSION HOT TIPS
* Hang back and let your enemy come to you.  Use narrow places.  Use your whistle ability (left sidebar).
* Switch which of your four exos is active, which gun they are using, and activate special abilities such as Stealth on the left sidebar.
* Mouse over your objective (the mission icon on the bottom left for each level), and try to survive with the least amount of casualties. You will be rewarded!

CUSTOMIZATION AND LOOT HOT TIPS
* You get loot from winning missions, from hacking locked doors, and from spending credits at the store on the left sidebar of the city map.
* Customize your Exos to your play style between missions.  Getting to the final battle is only half the challenge. You will need creativity in design to get there!



In terms of the bare minimum to get people up and going, I think that's everything we need?  The range and LOS stuff is covered a bit more in the tooltips at the bottom of the screen, at least somewhat.  It tells you how to see your range, and the LOS stuff is relatively apparent.

Remembering that the more info we try to pack in here, the less likely people are to read it, is there anything else that is missing in anyone's opinion?  I do really like the bullet point format a lot more, and putting it into small sections makes it even less overwhelming IMO.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 09:30:05 AM by x4000 »
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Offline Tridus

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 09:08:11 AM »
One potential revision:

* Switch which of your four exos is active, which gun they are using, and activate special abilities such as Stealth on the left sidebar.

Looks good to me, otherwise.

Offline x4000

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 09:30:27 AM »
Great thought, updated mine to have that up there.
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Offline Breach

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 10:57:51 AM »
Those tips look good. Would they appear the first time the player enters the appropriate screen? So when they first enter the customisation menu the customisation and loot tips pop up in a window. They'd be quite small and wouldn't take long to read at all.

Offline nas1m

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Re: Tutorial intro text.
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 03:59:42 PM »
Adding a single tooltip, popup or help section definitely is a great idea.
The last draft looks good to me (i.e. the one made of bullet points, split into sections with Tridus' addition).

And I am definitely with Misery on the stats part. That explanation is missing - dearly ;).
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