Tutorials!

What do you want to see in Armagetron soon? Any new feature ideas? Let's ponder these ground breaking ideas...
User avatar
Z-Man
God & Project Admin
Posts: 11240
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: Cologne, Jabber: [email protected]
Contact:

Respawning at place of coredump?(Split from "Tutorials!")

Post by Z-Man »

Well, it wasn't meant to go public so soon, but two screwups on my part got it out early. I accidentally pushed the XCode adaptions to the 0.4 branch instead of the tutorial branch, and found out later that build z1705 was borked. So I had to make a new one, which invariably now has the new stuff in. It's here and of course available on ZeroInstall and the PPA.

What am I talking about? Tutorials, of course. For everyone who hasn't completed them yet, they're the first menu item in the 'Play Game' menu, once they're completed, the menu item wanders down. Yeah, I said they wouldn't be feasible because the infrastructure isn't there, but if you don't mind hardcoding the missing bits instead of making them data driven, that's not too much of a problem. A few hooks in gGame.cpp are all that is required, all the ugliness hides in gTutorial.cpp. And it isn't too bad. Most things can simply be covered by setting up a regular game with custom parameters and calling it complete once the human player wins.

What's there:
1. Navigation. Get to the winzone!
2. Survival. Don't crash into your own wall for a bit.
3. Grinding. Grind the AI to get a minimum speed (I'll probably change that one to "Use your speed advantage to get to the winzone first", it's not really satisfying right now how the tutorial ends when you hit the target speed, but a good test for the custom win condition hook)
4. Test. The old first start tutorial. Is there as a test for the basic code, mostly, it will probably be reworked or thrown out.

Planned:
The AIs already have the capacity to follow given paths, I had almost forgotten that. It *should* be possible to use this for the obvious
5. Conquest. Conquer the fortress zone defended by the endlessly circling AI leaving a reasonably sized gap.
6. Team startup. Learn to collectively grind for speed. Here, a custom fail condition is needed, your teammates must not die.

Also:
7. Just a wall of text introducing the players to some of the play cultures they will encounter online.

NOT PLANNED: Digging, double binding, color chat, color overflow bug. Only digging would be possible to do at all in this form anyway.

Any other ideas? There are no limits to success and failure conditions, but what is actually happening must be something you can set up for yourself with the right map and settings and possibly the AIs following strict paths, or strict paths until they hit an obstacle. Fortress Defense and Sumo are out, basically.

Oh, also, there are introduction animations! Yay. They're in a really basic format, showing individual .pngs in a specified order for a specified time, and limited alpha test based animation. Basically, the alpha test threshold is moved down from 1 to 0, revealing more and more parts of a partly transparent image. That's how the 'check' and 'fail' effects are done. In theory, this could be used for smooth cycle movement animations, but I couldn't find out how to properly set up the alpha channel in gimp. If I do, they'll get better. I wouldn't object if one of you wants to do the work, either :)

And most importantly, what you can do is try to break the tutorials. They're obviously not cheat-proof and not meant to be; you can just edit your user*.cfg and mark them as completed, for starters, or bring up a console while you play them to spawn you an instant giant winzone. But what they should be is accident proof. Anything the player does outside of the tutorial in good faith in the menus should not break them. What's not working right now, for example, is if the player activates spectator mode before going in. Or splitscreen. Those are things that simply need to be overridden. If you find other menu settings that break stuff, do tell. When testing, remember that for the full first time user experience, you need to move your user*.cfg out of the way; only then you'll get the 'how to turn' tooltips, for example.

syllabear
Shutout Match Winner
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 1:37 pm
Location: UK/HK

Re: Tutorials!

Post by syllabear »

It's fantastic that you're working on this! I might try give it a go, but no idea how to compile lol
The Halley's comet of Armagetron.
ps I'm not tokoyami

User avatar
Light
Reverse Outside Corner Grinder
Posts: 1657
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:11 pm

Re: Tutorials!

Post by Light »

syllabear wrote:It's fantastic that you're working on this! I might try give it a go, but no idea how to compile lol
If you use 0install, it will do the work for you. ;)

Otherwise just ./configure then make && make install like normal.

epsy
Adjust Outside Corner Grinder
Posts: 2006
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:02 pm
Location: paris
Contact:

Re: Tutorials!

Post by epsy »

Light wrote:Otherwise just ./configure then make && make install like normal.
Or just yaourt -S armagetronad-svn! Oh wait, you might not be using ArchLinux, or even Linux at all!

Yes, that's quite outdated ಠ_ಠ

User avatar
Phytotron
Formerly Oscilloscope
Posts: 5041
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:06 pm
Location: A site or situation, especially considered in regard to its surroundings.
Contact:

Re: Tutorials!

Post by Phytotron »

Z-Man wrote:Planned:
The AIs already have the capacity to follow given paths, I had almost forgotten that.

Any other ideas?
Linking back to myself once again, this post has the most specifics, I think. Would any of those be possible?

Down the road, how about camera usage? Could the game instruct the player to glance this way, "good, now glance that way, good...." etc.?

Just thinking of what fundamentals would be most appropriate to include.

<snip, quoted often enough in the split>

User avatar
Z-Man
God & Project Admin
Posts: 11240
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: Cologne, Jabber: [email protected]
Contact:

Re: Tutorials!

Post by Z-Man »

The edit above by no means indicates I blame Phyto for the split. Posts before his were moved as well.
Phytotron wrote:
Z-Man wrote:Planned:
The AIs already have the capacity to follow given paths, I had almost forgotten that.

Any other ideas?
Linking back to myself once again, this post has the most specifics, I think. Would any of those be possible?
The Time Attack and Time Survival things for sure, two of the tutorials already follow that basic pattern. While it may be possible to do the 'AI traps you' setup, it's probably easier and safer to just set up an oddly shaped map. If no suitable zone mechanic can be found to do the 'after X seconds, an exit gets available exactly here', an AI can be used as a gatekeeper with the right settings. And yeah, it's probably a good idea to throw in a couple more of those, not marked as tutorials, but as 'Challenges' that you don't have to complete to get rid of the Tutorials menu item.The Moves thing can be emulated by maps, too, just build a tight maze with low walls the player has to follow. Definitely, a 'get used to the incam' tutorial where you have to follow a twisting corridor is in order.

You get my trend: At this point, whatever can be done with maps instead of AIs should be done with maps. It's more robust and less hardcoding.

The rest... not so much. It would require new rendering, adaptive AI or watching very closely over each turn of the player, and frankly, I don't think it would be much fun or educational. I can see a 'dance battle' multiplayer mode somewhere in the future, though.

I'm a bit biased against teaching players too many specific 'moves' in tutorials. They should learn the very basic mechanics, it's supposed to be part of the fun of the game to figure out what to do with that. Unless, of course, we add combos later. Press 'left-left-left-right-right-right' for two seconds of infinite rubber! Or maybe not.
Phytotron wrote:Down the road, how about camera usage? Could the game instruct the player to glance this way, "good, now glance that way, good...." etc.?
It does that and keeps bugging you to glance until you do it. I tried coming up with a scenario where you HAVE to glance to succeed, maybe a map with a long narrow corridor you drive along and lots of side corridors with a winzone in one of them, OR just a repetition of the first tutorial with an insanely long cycle_delay so you only have one turn.

So, breaking the order:
8. Glancing. I'm leaning towards the corridor thing.
9. Incam. Follow the maze!
10. Speed Kill. Like the grind tutorial, but in an open field and your goal is to use your speed advantage to trap the AI.
11. Speed Kill Defense. Reversed positions, the AI is chasing you.
12. Optional Challenges: Time Attack/Survival, more insane incam mazes. I'll make the original Survival tutorial a bit easier, then.

The tutorials also enforce specific cockpits. So no cheating with maps or rear view mirrors.

Word
Reverse Adjust Outside Corner Grinder
Posts: 4163
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Tutorials!

Post by Word »

would it make sense if you change the default camera from 'smart' to 'custom' (if you haven't already)? I think it's the one most players use and there are many who don't know how to change it and say they 'press C 3 times' at the start of every round.

User avatar
Z-Man
God & Project Admin
Posts: 11240
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: Cologne, Jabber: [email protected]
Contact:

Re: Tutorials!

Post by Z-Man »

Done that just last week in r1196 :)

User avatar
Phytotron
Formerly Oscilloscope
Posts: 5041
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:06 pm
Location: A site or situation, especially considered in regard to its surroundings.
Contact:

Re: Tutorials!

Post by Phytotron »

Z-Man wrote:You get my trend: At this point, whatever can be done with maps instead of AIs should be done with maps. It's more robust and less hardcoding.
The only downside I could see to that is it might normalise special maps, put into the minds of new players that maps are standard.
I'm a bit biased against teaching players too many specific 'moves' in tutorials. They should learn the very basic mechanics, it's supposed to be part of the fun of the game to figure out what to do with that. Unless, of course, we add combos later. Press 'left-left-left-right-right-right' for two seconds of infinite rubber!
I agree with that. I was more thinking of tracing lines or some such in order to teach timing and anticipation, accuracy.


Changing default camera to custom cam? BOOOOO! HISSS!!! Custom cam may be used by a majority of players, but as far as attracting people to the game, I think smart cam does better in that regard, and gives a novice a better view of his surroundings. Besides, most of the best players I know or have known use smart cam. Now, changing the default glances to custom, that I could support.

User avatar
Z-Man
God & Project Admin
Posts: 11240
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: Cologne, Jabber: [email protected]
Contact:

Re: Tutorials!

Post by Z-Man »

Phytotron wrote:The only downside I could see to that is it might normalise special maps, put into the minds of new players that maps are standard.
Well, they kind of are, and as far as I can tell you're the vocal minority on whether it is a downside.

However, it turns out it's actually quite easy to give AIs a head start (well, the cycles, not the AIs, they'll drive straight), that's enough to make 'follow the maze two guys are building for you' challenges. And it's even easer to do that way than it is to generate new maps, at least for me. Plus, it's more fun. Look forward to a Peano Curve maze.

I'm scrapping the glancing plans. It just doesn't sound even just a bit engaging or fitting. We'll have to rely on the 'press X to glance' prompt and players figuring out for themselves when to use it. If anyone else has a scenario that naturally could be used as a glancing tutorial, go ahead and tell.

The other planned tutorials mentioned here are done. Challenges will probably come later.

And I found out how to properly edit the alpha channel, so I can do the animations in a way that looks good.

User avatar
Light
Reverse Outside Corner Grinder
Posts: 1657
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:11 pm

Re: Tutorials!

Post by Light »

Is it possible to move the tutorials button down the list a little so Multiplayer is on top? I know you probably want it there for new users, but I keep going into it because I've always just [enter, enter, enter, up, up, up, up, enter, enter] to go into my most used server (bookmarked). Probably sad that, that is that much of a habit, but I was just wondering if I could change it locally so I don't keep goin' into it.

User avatar
Z-Man
God & Project Admin
Posts: 11240
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: Cologne, Jabber: [email protected]
Contact:

Re: Tutorials!

Post by Z-Man »

Sure, you can just complete the tutorials, it'll move down then :)

(Or you can cheat and tell it you completed the tutorials. Not too hard to find in users*.cfg.)

User avatar
Light
Reverse Outside Corner Grinder
Posts: 1657
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:11 pm

Re: Tutorials!

Post by Light »

Z-Man wrote:(Or you can cheat and tell it you completed the tutorials. Not too hard to find in users*.cfg.)
Thanks. :)

User avatar
kyle
Reverse Outside Corner Grinder
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Indiana, USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe, Multiverse
Contact:

Re: Tutorials!

Post by kyle »

nice work on them, the speed kill was the only one that I had trouble with. But that is because i used up the rubber too fast.
Image

User avatar
kyle
Reverse Outside Corner Grinder
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Indiana, USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe, Multiverse
Contact:

Re: Tutorials!

Post by kyle »

I realized part of why i could not get passed this one. there is a slight bug. It does not set it back up properly if you fail to complete it. when it reloads it to let you try again, it does not reset the grid.

EDIT: in fact you must restart tron to get it to set back up correctly.
Image

Post Reply