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Tutorial Campaign


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Hi all,

as some of you may know we're planning to include campaign support for A25. With that also comes the opportunity to include a tutorial campaign. Since devs usually are nose-deep into the game, community voice is particularly important in creating such tutorial.

I was personally thinking about splitting the different learning goals in subsequent scenarios:

  • Basic interactions (for those compleatly new to RTS)
    • Selecting entities
    • Giving orders
    • Notion of resources and population
    • Entity creation (and stopping to create)
  • Basic economy
    • Resource gathering
    • Corralling
    • Dropsite position (mind the docks!)
    • Fishing
    • Treasures
    • Territory
  • Basic warfare
    • Diplomacy
    • Building defenses
    • Capturing
    • Unit classes
  • 0 A.D. interactions
    • Batch training
    • Selection modifiers (idle, military, deselect)
    • Queuing orders
    • Secondary orders
    • Order-one
    • Pushing orders to the front
    • Structure snapping and turning
  • Advanced economy
    • Diplomacy (tribute, shared vision and dropsites)
    • Trading (international bonus)
    • Bartering
  • Advanced warfare
    • Scouting
    • Siege
    • Loot
    • Strategic positions
    • Covering retreat
  • Other tips and tricks
    • Keep producing entities. Always.
    • Tips from pro players?

 

This way, people can choose what extra training they need without doing a lot of boiler plate actions first. One can couple the different scenarios, such that one follows the other (with the basic interactions one being optional). Following a storyline would be nice also.

IMHO it would be nice to use random maps for the tutorials, such that when one plays the same one again the feeling is still a bit different.

Let me know what you think, what can be improved or elaborated! Also, if someone wants to take a shot at one of the scenarios, please do so :) (I guess economy is (partly) handled by

already.)

Edited by Freagarach
Reordered.
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  • 1 month later...

Bumping now that campaign support has been merged.

IMO your "0 A.D. interactions" section should come after Basic Economy ?

I definitely need the tutorial campaign should be scenarised too, and not just a tutorial.

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okay, first you have to create a story.

1-It could be the prologue of the Persian campaign.

2-Or or the rebellion in Egypt during the Persian empire.(This one would need special actors to be propelled to the native Egyptians, before Alexander)

3-A campaign about golden age of Athens.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth-century_Athens

the truth is that there are several interesting events in the fifth century BC.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/5th_century_BC

Some of these events could be the prologue.That's how it was in the Age of Empires with Egyptians campaign.

William Wallace's campaign in AoE 2 was about how to create an entire economy and an army to make a rebellion.

It would be called a learning campaign.

But in the calm campaign and without big problems in the first stages.

In the end is where the great battles begin.

 

 

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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41 minutes ago, Feldfeld said:

That campaign was pretty good

Yeah I loved it too. Then again, I was young :P

I think we could do something similar -> a civilisation arriving in a new unknown land (perhaps after being chased by a more powerful foe?), then rebuilding, then finding locals that are unfriendly, and chasing them (kinda bookending then campaign)

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17 minutes ago, wraitii said:

Yeah I loved it too. Then again, I was young :P

I think we could do something similar -> a civilisation arriving in a new unknown land (perhaps after being chased by a more powerful foe?), then rebuilding, then finding locals that are unfriendly, and chasing them (kinda bookending then campaign)

They could be Greeks or Carthaginians arriving in a city or a land,founding a colony.

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Obviously the Greeks are in the best position with their multiples colonies (Massalia, Emporion, Alonis, Taras, Cyrene, Odessos, Istros, Sinope etc.) and their explorers (Pytheas, Megasthenes, Euthymenes, Colaeus etc.).

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I'm interested in working/helping along with making scenario tutorials when i have the time. I guess it's also important of having some form of minimum level (or baseline) of quality for the tutorials if multiple people will work on this no? Otherwise it may feel a little inconsistent to the one playing the tutorials. 

Edit: I see many possibilties for the cinametic tool to be used, introducing units, buildings, or showing some tactics with a short scene presenting it (After the cinametic scene let the user mimic what he just saw).

Edited by Grapjas
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16 minutes ago, Genava55 said:

Obviously the Greeks are in the best position with their multiples colonies (Massalia, Emporion, Alonis, Taras, Cyrene, Odessos, Istros, Sinope etc.) and their explorers (Pytheas, Megasthenes, Euthymenes, Colaeus etc.).

do not underestimate Carthage :)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tingi

For historical reasons it must fall at the earliest in the years 600-400 BC.

All this for reasons of chronological order, so that you can see the feeling that you are taking the first stories, in addition to the simplest tasks.

 

But yes, Massalia is a good candidate.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marseille

 

Emporion also has a good date

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empúries

 

Antipolis Close and opposite from Massalia.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibes

 

 

 

 

 

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Just now, Yekaterina said:

What is campaign mode? Is it any similar to scenario mode? 

if you played Age of Empires, It is a game mode with history and missions, which is outside the conventional scenarios, because it follows a whole historical plot and storytelling line.

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A few suggestions (as someone who has seen some catastrophically bad indie-RTS tutorials :glare:)...

1. A complete RTS tutorial system should be split into 3 separate and stand-alone segments:

i. A primer on RTS controls and concept for completely new players.
ii. A gameplay tutorial that teaches the specific skills needed to play the campaign and skirmish matches.
iii. A multiplayer introduction that teaches fundamental skills and strategies players will need to know to be competitive in multiplayer.

2. We should be able to skip any of these segments or complete them in any order. Forcing someone with 1000 hours of AoE2 to relearn unit selection and tech trees in order to find out about some build orders is a @#$% move.

3. The RTS Primer really should not have any narrative elements or context. Its purpose is to teach new players how to play the game, which for many is a big enough challenge already. They don’t need a side helping of historical fan-fiction to digest on top of all that new information.

4. The Gameplay Tutorial can and probably should have a simple story to keep players entertained. However, it should be completely independent of any other campaigns. Forcing someone with 1000 hours of AoE2 to sit through hours of tutorials to get the prologue to one of the main campaigns would be a @#$% move. We also don’t want a very involved story unless there is the ability to skip it. The point of a tutorial is to teach gameplay. To much extraneous narration will get in the way and piss off anyone who genuinely needs the tutorial.

5. The Multiplayer Introduction absolutely MUST NOT have any narrative context what-so-ever. This is for the developers sake, not the players. This tutorial may need to be frequently updated, and that will be much harder to do if every balance change requires rewriting large chunks of the framing story and narration from scratch.

6. AND if you can possible help it. Don’t decide on a framing story for the tutorial until AFTER you have designed and preferably built the training scenarios. Otherwise people will get attached to their story devices and it will be much harder to make necessary changes down the road. :)
 

But if you do all of this well, you can make a great first impression on new players and grow your active player base significantly.  :victory:

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I agree that I think the best civ for tutorial is any of the Greek civs (Hellenes), in addition to them actually being colonists (If we already agreed on the story being the founding of a Greek colony), they are also make up almost the majority of civs currently available in 0 A.D.

As for @Freagarach, I agree with your tutorial syllabus, but I suggest putting Basic Warfare before Advanced Economy. Basic Economy should be followed immediately by Basic Warfare, so we could see the connection between economy and combat immediately. I also agree with @wraitii that 0 A.D. Interaction can be put much later. I suggest putting this after Basic Warfare.

My first RTS was StarCraft, and this game has only one official tutorial, basic economy (goal is to gather 100 resources). The rest of the mechanics are explained piecemeal across the entire campaign. And I enjoy it more in comparison to AoE2 style of tutorial campaign set.

Some other tips I think would be useful:

1. Beware of combining too many learning materials in one scenario. It's better to have only simple goal for each scenario (e.g. gather 100 food, train 10 citizen soldiers and build 1 barracks, etc). The rest of the time can be filled with explanation or history. This is where story/narrative plays a part, i.e to make simple tutorial less boring.

2. Make the goal specific and the solution general. Do not rely on triggers to goad player into completing a goal in a specific way. I've seen a countless tutorials where I have to walk to certain spot before the next step, and then the next order never came. It was bugged. Tutorials relied on scripts so use it wisely as little as possible.

3. Reveal the features slowly. It also means hide features that are not yet needed in the scenario. If the goal of the scenario is to build farmsteads only, then ensure all units can only build farmsteads, hide other buildings from UI.

I'm really looking forward to 0AD tutorial campaign :)

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Not sure if that already applies to the tutorial campaign, but definitely for further campaigns:

Make 3-4 distinct difficulty levels so you can increase the challenge and replayability. Difficulty should not simply affect AI and their gather rate, but also

  • number of starting units
  • trainable unit types
  • number of starting buildings
  • buildable building types
  • starting resources
  • collectable resources and treasures
  • (already) researched technologies
  • researchable technologies
  • type, frequency and impact of trigger events
  • ...
Edited by Palaxin
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On 05/03/2021 at 4:26 PM, ChronA said:

1. A complete RTS tutorial system should be split into 3 separate and stand-alone segments:

i. A primer on RTS controls and concept for completely new players.
ii. A gameplay tutorial that teaches the specific skills needed to play the campaign and skirmish matches.
iii. A multiplayer introduction that teaches fundamental skills and strategies players will need to know to be competitive in multiplayer.

2. We should be able to skip any of these segments or complete them in any order.

I like the way Age of Mythology did it. Basically a simple story for i. and ii. that let you get to know the main character. There was a smooth transition to the main campaign, however, you didn't miss anything essential when you skipped the learning campaign.

I would advocate a continuity between i., ii. and the main campaign, however, each part should be playable on its own right from the beginning.

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4 hours ago, Palaxin said:

I would advocate a continuity between i., ii. and the main campaign, however, each part should be playable on its own right from the beginning

This means that you are going to play on your own terms as you would always play with a normal map?

It means that the scenarios are going to be flexible and sandbox mode, and not to follow a rigid, limited and punctual system.

 

It sounds fun if we do it on our own terms, that is, the ability of the player to explore the game for the first time.

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On 05/03/2021 at 8:41 AM, Lion.Kanzen said:

at some point you should have a screen called brief.

 

Which consists of history, objectives, summary and a historical map.(all RTS have it) 

 

Screenshot_20210305-084100.png

Screenshot_20210305-084604.png

Screenshot_20210318-010350.png.24c61cc84021d5918b535ca7b6c5be69.pngI would like to see a render like this but with a map very much in the style of AoE I

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  • 2 weeks later...

It might be useful to also extend the written manual. Because sometimes you just want to look something up. Also, some aspects are better explained with words, such as the difference in damage / resistance types and how to deal with that.

If the text manual follows the structure of the in-game tutorials, the texts could also be used as explanations alongside the tutorial instructions.

As a somewhat experienced RTS player I found 0 A.D. quite accessible. For pure recreational use it is easy enough to just have a go at it IMO. The economic tutorial is very good and complete as I see it. Some more advanced things are not self-explanatory though and to accommodate different learning styles this could help.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I think this Greek Colony idea is good.
Here's a quick rundown of what I'm thinking:

  • Start in a small coastal town. You control a unit of some kind, and need to walk around the city, gathering stuff. Maybe at some point you get in a fight with another guy over insurance money 'cause that's showbiz baby. The goal is to get your ship ready, and get underway.
    • Walking around, some light resource collecting, some light attacking.
    • It looks cool.
  • You get diverted by a storm and must pause for repair on some unspecified Mediterranean island.
    • More resource gathering, scouting
  • You land in you new place.
    • More scouring, more resource gathering, more base building & starting some actual fighting
  • And then we'll see where we go from there.
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