Tutorials!

What do you want to see in Armagetron soon? Any new feature ideas? Let's ponder these ground breaking ideas...
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Phytotron
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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Phytotron »

sinewav wrote:Either way, I'm fairly certain tunneling is not something tutorial worthy.
Tunneling (as in, learning how to pass through and navigate tunnels and seams, whether you're just behind someone making them or not), yes. "Open" and all its silly "rules" and methods, definitely not.
The main goal of the tutorials should be how to kill your opponent, not how to romance them.
:lol: Or yourself.
Wait, I stand corrected. They do make stupid traps.
They do, actually. And as we've discussed before, at higher IQ levels they also do a lot of stupid, pointless "mazy" shit, grinding all over themselves. But, yeah, go into Shrunkland sometime when no one is there and get into a tunnel between a wall and a bot just ahead of you. They not only tend not to make good grinds, but also will in fact sometimes make those little so-called "traps" when going around the outside of a corner.

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Z-Man
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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Z-Man »

New build has some improvements I implemented after forcing my wife to play through the tutorials:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/armaget ... pha_z1926/
- you're no longer forced to complete the highest difficulty of the tutorials. Everyone should be able to pass them.
- the tooltips for the general tutorials only show you how to turn. Nothing else is required for the tutorials themselves anyway.
- there is a special tutorial forcing you through all input commands in settings where you can't die permanently.
- the background during fullscreen messages (such as the tutorial introductions) is now static, the moving slanted grid makes smaller text than the default menu a bit hard to read.
- you can't complete the team start tutorial by going out the back.
- the conquest tutorial now has help texts appearing as you play for the unlikely (cough) case the player doesn't read the full introduction text or forgets what to do after killing/driving off the defender.
- the double grind tutorial is now a challenge and moved downward. It was too similar to the regular start. I'll probably make it run faster, too.

There is one potential change I'm thinking about: the first setup menu. It asks you your name, favorite color and mission err bandwidth and keyboard layout, but most of those things only get important later. The tutorials don't even show your name (except when you press TAB, of course, and except for the AI fight), just the keyboard layout matters for them. So maybe it would be better to pop up three separate menus?
- when you first enter any game mode or player setup, ask for the keyboard layout
- when you first enter the AI fight tutorial or a challenge or a regular game, ask for the name and color
- when you first go online, ask for the bandwidth

Anyway, this is a good build to test on uninitiated people. If you have some left among your friends, sit them in front of a computer with a default installation of the game, also uninitiated (check that it works before, then delete the user*.cfg again). Don't help them, but rather observe what they're doing, where they are having difficulties, where they are bored, and of course where they break things. And report back. "Hallway Usability Testing" this is called where there are hallways to grab people unrelated to the project from.

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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Thilo »

These are awesome!!! Total bonus noob netting.
I showed it to a few friends, and I played through the tutorials with my feet.. to put myself in the "noob" state. And it worked pretty well.
So I have some thoughts.

Navigation:
I'd say a lot of the text is unnecessary. People will figure it out.
"Reward early, reward often" they say.
I think it'd be better as: "Mission 1: Navigate your cycle to the green zone." Boom, done, then on to the next.

Survival:
This would be way cool if they survived inside a zone for 30 seconds instead of empty grid.

Grind:
I'd say move the winzone closer and make it a close race.
That'd be more exciting. Maybe they lose once or twice, that's fine. They'll try again.
Also, if the winzone is closer, it'll prevent the possibility of just killing the AI.

The "But that now was just an easier version etc" thing confused my friend. He was like, "What? I already did this one.."
He PROBABLY didn't read the screen, but it's probably best to assume people won't read the text.
Also.. I don't think it's grammatically correct.

Conquest:
The setup time is a big lull. Especially after dying a few times.
What if the AI def started already set up, and you spawned right there ready to attack?
That'd also be cool for an attack vs def server.

Team Start/Double Grind:
Why so many fort concepts? I know WE love fort, but noobs don't. Noobs love CTF more than fort. And if the goal is to get noobs to stick, prepping them for fort is a bad move. Fort just gives noobs anxiety.. noobziety.. I'd say prep them for CTF instead of Fort. And of course HR.

My friends got the physics and concept pretty easily, but I had to explain rubber/digging to them.
"How come sometimes when I hit a wall, I die, and sometimes I survive?"
Maybe there's a tut on that in the latest version.. I can't compile it so I just got the latest exe
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Z-Man
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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Z-Man »

Thilo wrote:Navigation:
I'd say a lot of the text is unnecessary. People will figure it out.
"Reward early, reward often" they say.
I think it'd be better as: "Mission 1: Navigate your cycle to the green zone." Boom, done, then on to the next.
You're probably right, less text is better.
Thilo wrote:Survival:
This would be way cool if they survived inside a zone for 30 seconds instead of empty grid.
Possibly, but the only 'stay inside or die' zones used in the wild are sumo zones, and they kill with a delay, which would be confusing at this stage. Zones that instantly kill when you leave them are possible now, I think, but I tried limiting the elements used in the tutorials to things the players will actually see later.
Thilo wrote:Grind:
I'd say move the winzone closer and make it a close race.
That'd be more exciting. Maybe they lose once or twice, that's fine. They'll try again.
Also, if the winzone is closer, it'll prevent the possibility of just killing the AI.
The kill possibility is there on purpose, but yeah, I'll see if I can tweak this.
Thilo wrote:The "But that now was just an easier version etc" thing confused my friend. He was like, "What? I already did this one.."
He PROBABLY didn't read the screen, but it's probably best to assume people won't read the text.
Also.. I don't think it's grammatically correct.
Maybe he just read the title. I'll rework it. Again :)
Thilo wrote:Conquest:
The setup time is a big lull. Especially after dying a few times.
What if the AI def started already set up, and you spawned right there ready to attack?
I tried that, but it messes with the zone ownership assignment and both zones stayed gray and ownerless. I'll check again and dig a bit deeper.
Thilo wrote:Team Start/Double Grind:
Why so many fort concepts?
See last post: one of them has been moved back. And the team start is not just for fortress. CTF isn't in the main codebase, so teaching that is out.
Thilo wrote:"How come sometimes when I hit a wall, I die, and sometimes I survive?"
Maybe there's a tut on that in the latest version.. I can't compile it so I just got the latest exe
It is already explained in the grind tutorial. Problem is that people don't read :) It would be possible to add a popup text after rubber assisted grinds along the lines of "Rubber just saved you", but I doubt people will read and understand that. I guess the only thing that could work reliably would be writing "This is the rubber meter. Hit a wall and it goes up. If it fills, you die." On the rubber meter of the minimalistic tutorial cockpit (something I'll do once we have a fixed cockpit to work from). Or maybe a general documentation system for the cockpit were you can have it display such doc strings for all widgets while you hold a key.

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Re: Tutorials!

Post by sinewav »

Z-Man wrote:It would be possible to add a popup text after rubber assisted grinds along the lines of "Rubber just saved you", but I doubt people will read and understand that.
True, I didn't even know what the rubber meter did until after several weeks of playing this game online. Even the word "rubber" doesn't seem to have a place in the Tron universe. Superconductivity on the other hand...

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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Z-Man »

Or Training Wheels.I'm thinking about giving the tutorials all 5 rubber to avoid inconsistency confusion (the changes are announced, but yeah, reading) and then telling the player the training wheels are off once they hit the challenges.

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Re: Tutorials!

Post by sinewav »

Z-Man wrote:Or Training Wheels.
Niiiiiice. I like the subtle hint that more rubber = noob, haha.

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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Z-Man »

At least per intention. People turned Bobby Car Racing into a real sport, too.

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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Discosuperstar »

I think the best way to showcase how rubber works is to run players through a range. For example, start with a very high rubber value and let players experiment and notice how it's nearly impossible to die. Then increment the rubber down in steps, so players can get a feel of how it changes, finally ending in a no rubber mode where players can see how difficult the timing becomes.

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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Thilo »

Discosuperstar wrote:I think the best way to showcase how rubber works is to run players through a range. For example, start with a very high rubber value and let players experiment and notice how it's nearly impossible to die.
I think I agree..
It's obvious that what gets noobs hooked on tron are high speeds and high rubber.
Assuming the ultimate goal of these tutorials is to hook noobs on tron, they should be optimized for that purpose.
Sure, brie is the "better" cheese, but if you want to hook kids on cheese, start them on Kraft singles.
Just a thought.

O btw @Z-man you pro at receiving criticism.. wd
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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Z-Man »

Thilo wrote:It's obvious that what gets noobs hooked on tron are high speeds and high rubber.
I don't think that's the case. I think a lot of people are turned off by high rubber servers if that's the first thing they experience, the main reason being that high rubber gameplay happens on invisible length scales. Imagine for a second you're on a HR server and it's your first visit. You trap someone. They escape through the seal you made, you go WTF. Later, you get trapped, you initially escape, following your trapper. His cycle jerks around a bit and yours suddenly stops without visible obstacle. WTF again. And then people are making those tight 180 turns in the open, no way your fingers are fast enough to do that. No, HR is right up there with Fortress in newbie unfriendliness, maybe not quite as high because at least you don't get kicked for sucking. We can prepare players as best as we can for what they'll find out there, but we're better off encouraging newbies to stick to simple servers with transparent rules.

I'll be thinking about that rubber range. Thing is, it will teach people what rubber is, but it won't help them learn how to exploit it. We may not be able to give a better lesson at that than in the HR showcase challenge.

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Re: Tutorials!

Post by ppotter »

I don't think learning to exploit rubber is a basic principle of the game, so long as they're taught what it is/does. Most players don't fully understand how it works anyway, even those that have been playing years. I know I don't :P

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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Thilo »

HR turns a lot of people off, but a lot of people are turned off regardless.. it's a matter of what turns the least number of people the least off. Though you're probably right about HR being confusing. Maybe like.. Cheers-style fzx is optimal, I dunno. Sorry if I'm kicking a dead horse, I just get really into this stuff.
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Re: Tutorials!

Post by Jip »

When I started to play online (it was cheers or DDL) the first thing what popped in my mind was: "this server is buggy, I dont die when I go against walls :O" and quit.
Took a while until I found out what rubber was.

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Re: Tutorials!

Post by sinewav »

Thilo wrote:it's a matter of what turns the least number of people the least off.
Dude, this might be how you browse for pr0n, but people need to explode when they touch walls. That's what TRON is. Using your appeal to popularity philosophy I'll assume you love to rock out to Katy Perry in your underwear too. Have some integrity bro.

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