Yet Another Backer's Whine

Discussion in 'Backers Lounge (Read-only)' started by EkV, October 27, 2014.

  1. EkV

    EkV New Member

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    Hi, since I never posted before let me introduce myself: I'm a backer (physical rewards tier) who never played a RTS before (more or less); once I tried StarCraft 2, but I really didn't liked it for many reasons, however when PA showed up on Kickstarter it seemed to me the perfect game to start my new "RTS adventure": the concept looked good (more awesome than good, actually), the graphic looked awesome too (even the eye demands to be satisfied), the team seemed to have the expertise and the right background, and the campaign raised lots of money, all perfect conditions for the making of a great game, that's why I backed it.

    I tryed to play it when during alpha and beta, but it was just too difficult to understand at that point of developement, and also I didn't wanted to get used to the game until the relase, because everything could have changed from one day to the other (it happened to me once during the open beta of an online driving game: they changed the physics of the cars and suddently I wasn't able to drive anymore). I was also waiting for a proper tutorial, which usually is something that is done at the end of the developement. You can imagine how disappointend I -still- am to see that the game got relased without a tutorial (why it got relased in such an incomplete form?).

    I really don't mind about the unit cannon, or the asteroid belts, or the offline server (all hot topics here on the forum, the last ), or even the documentary, I care about the physical stuff I should get in a relatively minor way, but (here's the whining part) what I really want is a real tutorial that takes you (a.k.a. me), braindead noob (still me), by hand and teaches how to play the game in a way that AT LEAST you don't get steamrolled by the AI in five minutes (or less). I read some tutorial on the internet, I watched some tutorial on youtube, but sadly it didn't help: for me the learning curve is a bit too steep as of now.

    So, after this unnecessary wall of text, the question is: do you have any news on the tutorial? Will it ever come?

    Thanks.

    P.S. If the armory showed ALL the units, with maybe a brief description along their stats, it would be awesome.
    FSN1977, nawrot and zihuatanejo like this.
  2. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Very valid "Whine" actually. A tutorial is definitely needed to get more players -especially players new to TA-style RTS- to stay/come back.
    MortQ42, Remy561, mjshorty and 2 others like this.
  3. brandonpotter

    brandonpotter Well-Known Member

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    The armoury wont really change. All the Commander skins are cosmetic. So basically, what you see is what you get. All the stats are the same.

    A tutorial would be nice, but since there isnt, people can set the AI economy to 0.1 or 0.0 so you can get a hang of the game much easier.
  4. EkV

    EkV New Member

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    Indeed. I'm sure that a -very- good tutorial, that smooths out the learning curve for the less skilled players, would greatly increase the desirability of PA among those who are not RTS enthusiasts.

    I wasn't referring to the commanders: the armory shouldn't be a shop for commanders' skins, it should show all the units (bots, planes, ships, etc) and buildings with their stats (cost, health, etc), with a brief description (e.g. "This is a fabrication bot: it fabricate things", "This is an energy plant: it plants energy", etc), so you can do some math (if you want) or just look at them (if it renders them in 3D so you can have a 360° view, it would be really amazing: you probably don't care much about the appearance of every single unit and building during the game, but I'm sure it would be interesting to be able to see them one by one without having to mind about the whole annihilation stuff it's happening around you).
    maxpowerz likes this.
  5. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    That is not the intention behind the armory as it is, but it is a nice feature. There is a mod that does it, but ofc it should be in the default game, probably as part of the tutorial.
    maxpowerz likes this.
  6. brandonpotter

    brandonpotter Well-Known Member

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    Probably refering to the Unit Database mod avalible in PAMM. Tis how I discover new Commanders as soon as there is an update XD
  7. fuzzels

    fuzzels Member

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    +1 for having a "Unit Database" inside the game. Would effectively be a sort of a help function.
  8. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    they should steal from @raevn and have community members write up a tutorial...
    maxpowerz likes this.
  9. Bgrmystr2

    Bgrmystr2 Active Member

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    Total Annihilation didn't have a tutorial whatsoever. There was a halfassed semi-advanced tactics expansion which, against the AI, wasn't exceptionally good. And I just played it recently, too. TA also didn't have a unit database, you had to get programs like an ISO viewer to see their stats, and it still didn't tell you what they did (mine doesn't, anyway). It's not needed.

    There was no need for anything to jump right into TA other than the economy, which the game started you off really slowly, and by pure experimentation in the campaign through the slowness, you learned by yourself how to play it. Not gonna lie, you really should be playing TA before you play PA to understand the core mechanics of the gameplay.

    That said, PA doesn't have a slow introduction where you can mess around with things and figure out an objective, a lot of the units are small usually, compared to your viewing angle, and their design really doesn't scream what they do. It wasn't built for those who've never played RTS games, and quite obviously so, the amount of demand for tutorial proves it. (Back in my day, didn't need no tutorial, get offa mah lawn, etc)

    I think both are viable points, and I think a community-made tutorial would be better than Uber would be able to afford based on time and money constraints, as well as sacrificing time from other elements of the game. A unit database would also be nice for those interested in stats (modders, advanced players), but I don't think it's necessary for those new to the game. If you design your units and the UI correctly, there's basically no need for that database at all.
  10. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    there sure are people that don't get discouraged quickly and play the game until they understand it, but if you have a really nice tutorial you can get more players, as even people who want to spent less effort might start to like the game.
  11. Bgrmystr2

    Bgrmystr2 Active Member

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    I totally understand why people want a tutorial, and how it will help PA, don't get me wrong. I just have a problem with people wanting to spend little to no effort into the game. It's a friggin' RTS. Micro or macro, they need major amounts of effort. If you're looking for a game that you don't need to put any brainpower into, PA isn't for you, point blank.

    If someone's not going to put any effort learning the game, they're not ever going to, no matter how good the tutorial is. It's not viable to teach the unwilling, which is why I would rather have a tutorial to build players from the ground up through interaction instead of pure visual. It's a much better teacher and it weeds out all the players who think they can get away with doing nothing to get everything. (Yes, I have real-life experience in this regard.)
  12. EkV

    EkV New Member

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    The fact Total Annihilation didn't have this and that, was -maybe- due to the fact it was 1997 and there were some space restrictions and things like that. Now we're in 2014, where everyone has hundreds of free GBs and an internet connection, so software houses can just relase a patch to fix or add what's missing.

    Let's face it, Kickstarter made this game possible, but it still needs to sell: making a game intended for RTS hardcores is more than fine, it's great, but forgetting about the rest of the market is just a bad move. Attracting new players and convincing them to keep playing is what makes an online game successful; how the game presented itself attracted me (IMO the PA concept is very attractive for everyone), but how it left me helpless in front of the new challenge didn't really persuade me to keep trying.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm perfectly aware of the fact I should roll up my sleeves, but the whole gaming experience would be infinitely better without having to withstand the repulsion that gives me the process of figuring out how this game works. In the end you become a good player only by spending hours on the game, you can't escape that, but if someone or something teaches you all those little things and tricks you need to know, the process of becoming acquainted with the game gets much less frustrating (after all, nobody likes to be a newbie). I speak from personal experience.
  13. Bgrmystr2

    Bgrmystr2 Active Member

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    I'm not talking about how they didn't include a tutorial with TA, I'm stating they didn't need to. The game taught itself from gameplay. PA doesn't have that because it's currently tailored to the better players from it's mechanics and UI. There's no easy way for a new player to jump right into PA like in TA, and that's a problem.

    I didn't mean that you in particular weren't trying to learn, and if I came off like that, I apologize. I've seen many people, and still know quite a few who don't bother trying at all to learn something at all, and think teaching by simply watching someone else is the perfect example of how schooling works. Utterly false.

    I don't mind newbies. Noone should. EVERYONE was there once. Noone immediately starts knowing everything. Ever. Teaching newbies in a good setting is a wonderful thing. These are the players who become the next generation of 'professionals', teaching the newbies of that generation how to play. It's a cycle, one that should never die.

    What I don't like are the noobs who expect everything on a golden platter without trying, ignoring your suggestions even after asking you for help, and then bitching about how they failed. They may then proceed to tell you your suggestion didn't work, and/or that you don't know what you're talking about. Ugh. That kind of player you can't ever teach, and even if you do succeed in teaching them, they'll find something else to complain about, spreading negativity everywhere. It's not even worth teaching these people because they'll not only take you for granted, but then they'll spread the wrong image everywhere they can, and it's completely counter-intuitive. You don't want these players at all, even if they pay money, it hurts more than it helps, and that's a bad thing.

    Edit : What I'm getting at is you want to tailor your mechanics, UI, and tutorials to newbies while leaving the noobs behind. Something user-friendly, but interactive. Requiring input, but giving fair results. That gains you good players willing to learn and removes those who won't.
    Last edited: October 27, 2014
  14. zihuatanejo

    zihuatanejo Well-Known Member

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    It is a very complicated game and it sorely needs an interactive, detailed tutorial. The official video just doesn't cut it, at all. It's actually a little pathetic, to be blunt. It wasn't even made upon release, it's from gamma!

    I intend to make some tutorial videos soon, I've only just got into making videos, but I'm super busy right now.

    For people new to the RTS genre, and even for people who are familar with RTS games but not with the streaming economy that PA uses, it must be extremely overwhelming and hard to get into.
  15. maxcomander

    maxcomander Active Member

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    Tutorial.

    Start a game with one large planet.

    Add 2 absurd a.i's.

    Launch game, select your comander and press delete key.

    Select the button that takes you back to the game.

    Sit back and watch the fun! Use the cronocam to rewind bits you miss.
  16. EkV

    EkV New Member

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    ...so no uber's employee has a word to spend on the topic?
  17. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    @jables I summon thee, so you may tell us that Uber also thinks that a better tutorial is required ;)
  18. DeathByDenim

    DeathByDenim Post Master General

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    I thought I had read that they are working on a new tutorial, but it will still be a video only. But I cannot find the post anymore, so maybe it was just a figment of my imagination.
  19. jables

    jables Uber Employee

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    We are looking at the new player experience overall. We want to redo the entire tutorial, and have lots of cool ideas with things we could do, even possibly tying it into Galactic War (just something we are looking into, not sure how well it will work). We are planning on doing a pass on the current videos though, as they are out of date and not really that useful. We will do a pass on some videos to get some help in place for short term while we work on longer term goals for it.
  20. LeadfootSlim

    LeadfootSlim Well-Known Member

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    Very helpful to know.

    By the way, this is your 666th post. o_o
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