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Campaign/Tutorial - Check out Anno 1404/Dawn of Discovery

By on July 22, 2009 9:44:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

bonscott

Join Date 04/2003
+19

Frogboy and the devs.

Take a serious look at Anno 1404/Dawn of Discovery for inspiration on how to really do a great campaign that also acts as a tutorial.  There is an 8 chapter campaign, took me about 20-25 hours to complete (I took my time a bit).  It had a great story and had definable goals in each chapter.  But it also acted as a great tutorial.

You always got advice on what you needed to build or do to reach the goal.  For example, in one chapter you have to build some warships.  You need rope to make ships.  So then you get stepped thru the process that you need to build hemp farms to feed your rope factory.  It doesn't cover all the aspects of the game but really gives you a good idea of how to manage your city and trade building.

Look to something like this for inspiration for Elemental.

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July 22, 2009 9:52:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just went through this and I concur it was alot of fun. I'm not so sure how much of this would apply to Elemental, but it was a job well done to be sure.

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July 22, 2009 10:59:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds good. However, the question in my mind is: Should the campleighn double as a tutorial?

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July 22, 2009 11:05:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

At the same time, they can also look at it for an example of what *NOT* to do with DRM!

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July 22, 2009 11:09:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,
Sounds good. However, the question in my mind is: Should the campleighn double as a tutorial?

That is a good question.  I've seen other games that would do the first couple chapters as a tutorial and then you're on your own.  I would think it would be easy enough to have a setting to turn off "hints" or "tutorial mode" in a campaign.  I just know that a lot of Stardock games get dinged sometimes for not having a tutorial and this might be a good opportunity to break that trend.

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July 22, 2009 11:11:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting bonscott,


That is a good question.  I've seen other games that would do the first couple chapters as a tutorial and then you're on your own.  I would think it would be easy enough to have a setting to turn off "hints" or "tutorial mode" in a campaign.  I just know that a lot of Stardock games get dinged sometimes for not having a tutorial and this might be a good opportunity to break that trend.

Yeah, it's true. When a game is really complicated, a tutorial is a huge help to get people into it. Just throwing them into the deep end is a good way to scare people off.

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July 22, 2009 11:12:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tridus,
At the same time, they can also look at it for an example of what *NOT* to do with DRM!

I hear you there.  I didn't know about the DRM until I played the demo and fell in love with the game.  The 3 activation limit doesn't bother me too much since I don't rebuild my computer every 6 months or something and the fact that most publishers have caved so far and at least offered a way to deactivate an install so you don't run out.

But the fact is that especially since it's on Impulse and Steam that those versions don't need the DRM on it at the least.

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July 22, 2009 11:20:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tridus,


Yeah, it's true. When a game is really complicated, a tutorial is a huge help to get people into it. Just throwing them into the deep end is a good way to scare people off.

Yep.  With Anno 1404 I could have done without the tutorial after about chapter 3 or so as by then I understood things like production chains and trade routes but it wasn't too annoying because they integrated the tutorial type hints into the story line so it was actually important to hear them tell you whats going on and with it you'd get the suggestion to setup a quartz mine to supply your glass factory for example.

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July 22, 2009 11:35:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

At the same time, they can also look at it for an example of what *NOT* to do with DRM!

Amen, Brother(/Sister)!

That is a good question. I've seen other games that would do the first couple chapters as a tutorial and then you're on your own. I would think it would be easy enough to have a setting to turn off "hints" or "tutorial mode" in a campaign. I just know that a lot of Stardock games get dinged sometimes for not having a tutorial and this might be a good opportunity to break that trend.

Really, I don't suppose it matters much whether the tutorial is a skippable part of the standard campieghn, or seperate and reachable from the main menu.

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July 22, 2009 5:59:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good ideas.

Have a short campaign tutorial. But have key goals on the processes and more in it. Perhaps one for the Humans and one for the Fallen - if there are many differences between them and the ways they build, expand, research etc.

Perhaps some interesting info and background relevant to the main campaign(s) could be in the tutorial (as another enticement to do it - at least once)

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July 22, 2009 6:33:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That's fine, as long as there's a "skip" button: wouldn't want to sit through the same tutorial gain and agin, now would you?

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July 22, 2009 10:33:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Games used to come with things called manuals...

When this happened in-game tutorials really weren't necessary...

 I would rather get a novel of a manual to read than have to play through some handholding missions.

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July 23, 2009 3:33:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

20-25 hours?  Doesn't sound like a good tutorial. I think you should be able to learn the basics of a game in less than an hour before moving on to playing the real deal.

It's not the place of a tutorial to introduce every single unit, tech, race, building and spell in the game. Just the basic concepts please, leave the rest to discovery.

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July 25, 2009 9:17:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ChongLi,
20-25 hours?  Doesn't sound like a good tutorial. I think you should be able to learn the basics of a game in less than an hour before moving on to playing the real deal.

It's not the place of a tutorial to introduce every single unit, tech, race, building and spell in the game. Just the basic concepts please, leave the rest to discovery.

 

It's not a true tutorial in a way.  It's a true fully fleshed out campaign that goes across 8 chapters and includes things as some peaceful city building and quests to massive island invasion and naval battles.  The tutorial part is that your main ally for the chapter will prompt you to build certain things if you aren't already.  Like you need glass to build a cathedral or something, your ally will prompt you to build the factories and resources in the production chain to make glass.  Thus it also acts as a tutorial.  And after all that It probably only covered half of what is available to you.  It is a pretty massive game.

Quests themselves also act as sort of a tutorial.  So for example an ally may request you to build 3 large warships for them in trade.  Ok, so how exactly do I get the materials together to build these warships?  If you spend too much time your ally will give you hints on what factories or building to build to get those materials.  So it acts as a tutorial in a way.

It's very hard to explain because it's not an explicit tutorial like is included in say Sins.  It's craftly (in my mind) integrated right into the game play of the campaign and senarios.

If I played the campaign again I could probably finish in 10 hours or so if I rushed it.  But there is no manual for this game and I had no idea what I was doing at first.  After the first 2 chapters I had the UI down and I just took my time exploring all my options, even those not needed to finish the chapter.  Also remember this is a city builder/RTS type game so with some things you just have to wait to build things until enough resources come in.

Currently I'm playing one of the easy level senarios which is simply to accumulate 150,000 gold, 5000 population with 2000 of them being nobles.  My "benefactor" is there and still offers hints from time to time.  But with each hint you gain various achievements, honor (with which you can buy things) and so forth so it's nice.

So there are 3 "modes" for this game:

1) Campaign.  The main story behind what's going on.  8 chapters and can be played at various difficulty levels.  You get hints from your allies so it acts as sort of a tutorial.

2) Senarios. There are 6 senarios of various difficulty.  Basically they are open ended games with a specific goal in mind.

3) Continous Turn.  This is where there is no goal.  Very much like Sim City games or Tropico.  You're just building up your city.

 

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July 25, 2009 4:26:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Devs....please ignore this and continue working on Elemental

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July 26, 2009 2:33:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Dawn of Discovery / Anno 1404 belongs in the trashcan together with all the other DRM rootkits.

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