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Author Topic: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips  (Read 4323 times)

Offline darkestaxe

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New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« on: January 01, 2013, 09:15:38 pm »
I would like to see OXC be accessible to new players or younger/noober players, much more so then XCOM1 was. Veteran XCOM masters like us can easily overlook how steep the learning curve actually is. It's obvious when you new it about 20 years ago.

Messages/tooltips could be added later as MODs but that would kind-of defeat their purpose. New players don't try a new game out with the best MODs for learning the game already installed, they actually only look to the modding scene once they decide they like the game. Most new players won't even look at the manual, and for most games why would anyone?

New Player Messages would show once per game when getting to a screen for the first time. Right-click notifications would provide in-depth descriptions of specific things anytime you click on them. Both could be turned off in the options menu (for all games, in options.cfg) and New Player Messages could be reset, all flagged as unseen for the current game, or all flagged as already seen for the duration of the current game.

    New Player message examples:
    • Geoscape: This is the Geoscape. Here you control the X-COM organization on a global level. The Geoscape connects all other areas of the game. Here you control your crafts and can detect and shot-down hostile alien UFOs, land soldiers at crashed or landed UFOs and respond to various global events.
    • Monthly Costs: This Screen shows a readout of the monthly costs associated with running this base, followed by the total monthly income of the X-COM project. This includes craft monthly rental costs, personnel wages, and the maintenance costs of the base itself. Beware that his does not include costs associated with another base, nor the costs of any spending you do throughout the month. If the sum total of the costs of each base is greater then your monthly income, you will lose money at the end of each month. This can cause you to go into debt.
    • Pre-battle Soldier Equipment: Here you can choose what weapons and equipment you want on each soldier. Having too much equiped or too heavy of items equiped can cause a soldier to do everything slower, resulting in less then their full amount of TUs being available at the start of a turn. Two handed weapons are more accurate when the other hand is empty. You can view a soldiers stats by clicking their rank insignia. Beware that once you click OK to proceed to the battlescape it will be much more difficult to change your loadout for the rest of the mission.

      Tooltip Examples: I assume you can guess what was right clicked on.
      • This is the total time it will currently take for your engineers to complete production of these items. The time is shown as hours/days. Items can be manufactured more quickly by assigning more engineers if available. Engineer hours to produce one unit X Total units to produce / Engineers assigned = Total hours to finish
      • This is the weapon currently equipped to %STR_CRAFT_CLICKED%. You can find out more about individual craft weapons by looking at their individual pages in the UFOpedia. Craft weapons are used to shoot down UFOs.
      • Energy is an unnecessary stat that is only meaningful to newblets that run their soldiers into the middle of the battlescape without reserving time units. Do yourself a favor and right-click on a different stat.  :P NOOOB!

      I'd be willing to write individual messages, collect feedback, etc, if someone else wanted to actually code the messages in. It took me like 30 mins just to write these examples and they're pretty rough so I don't want to write all of them unless they're actually being included. Someone else would still need to write them for other languages too, I only know English.

Offline Nickolaidas

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 09:40:28 pm »
Frankly, I think that the old games are targeted towards the now-almost-extinct hardcore strategy gamers, who hardly need a lot of explanation for these things. The more casual-friendly strategits will probably get their fix with X-COM Enemy Unknown.

Good ideas, though I feel that very few people will bother with the classic in this day and age, aside from old players.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 09:59:45 pm by Nickolaidas »

Offline Warboy1982

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 10:37:18 pm »
i'd be willing to code something like this in, but i'd prefer to avoid things like
Quote
Energy is an unnecessary stat that is only meaningful to newblets that run their soldiers into the middle of the battlescape without reserving time units. Do yourself a favor and right-click on a different stat.   NOOOB!

i'll assume this is a joke, but saying energy is unnecessary isn't the same as explaining WHY it's unnecessary. leaving aside the fact that it IS necessary, you'd do better to explain it's full functionality and let the player draw their own conclusions as to how "necessary" it is.

Offline grzegorj

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 10:37:02 pm »
I think this idea can really be useful. Just not very long time ago, a 15-year old girl saw me playing UFO, and she felt the need to give it a try too. I showed her how to start a game, she heard and heard... and looked frightened. Young people are too lazy for such games. But I am pretty sure she could do use of this sort of help willingly if it was possible.

How to implement the help? A kind of a mentat like in Dune 2 maybe?

If the help messages are ready, and if they are implemented in the game, I will translate them into Polish with pleasure (if time allows).

Offline luke83

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 10:58:49 pm »
I think there should be a Scripted Tutorial for new players with Voice over to talk them through some key features, this next generation of gamers need all the help they can get :P

Offline 54x

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 11:31:29 pm »
I think there should be a Scripted Tutorial for new players with Voice over to talk them through some key features, this next generation of gamers need all the help they can get :P

OR we could just do a YouTube tutorial and link it.

Offline grzegorj

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2013, 03:42:33 am »
In each language? Not everyone knows English sufficiently well...

Offline luke83

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 03:43:32 am »
Sure , but a youtube tutorial isnt interactive, you need to spoon feeds these guys. Anyway , something is better than nothing.

As for the language issue, you create a English version , then have someone else redo the audio for each language.

Offline xracer

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 04:55:54 am »
Not to be rude, but do you seriously think new players are idiots?

I mean my five year old was able to follow game play and once i told her that the red dot was an "enemy" she quickly said "send someone to kill it" and once she saw that there was a little white dot after the fight she asked "what is that" so i explained and she said "how do we kill them???"

So seriously a really quick equip you units, equip your craft, research, manufacture, blow crafts out of the air and send a recover group should be sufficient at least to get your game started, let the player figure out the rest.

Offline moriarty

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 09:18:53 am »
well, but she did have somebody to explain those things - you :) :) :)

Offline luke83

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 08:14:39 pm »
Not to be rude, but do you seriously think new players are idiots?

I mean my five year old was able to follow game play and once i told her that the red dot was an "enemy" she quickly said "send someone to kill it" and once she saw that there was a little white dot after the fight she asked "what is that" so i explained and she said "how do we kill them???"

So seriously a really quick equip you units, equip your craft, research, manufacture, blow crafts out of the air and send a recover group should be sufficient at least to get your game started, let the player figure out the rest.

Some are, my mate at work is 18 and a FPS gamer , he is  a complete Moron with strategy , It was more the Geoscape he has trouble with xcom. My Daughter ( 4 year old) has a pretty good understanding of the Battelscape already, if she sees a alien i get told quickly to "shoot it Daddy".

Offline darkestaxe

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Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 09:22:18 pm »
Warboy: Absolutely that was a joke, filler text. The point was that if you right click the energy bar you find out what it is, instead of wondering and needing to experiment. I thought it'd be more fun to read my idea if there were some funny parts.

As for young players, I was young when I started playing X-COM and Master Of Orion II. I learned MOO II with all the right click help, and X-COM we learned as a family. Keep in mind that we only had like 3 other games in the house.

It's easy to assume that it's the demand for strategy games like x-com that's dying without considering other aspects of the gaming market. Most games on today's market do a piss poor job of both designing and describing their new mechanics. There isn't a lack of a demand for complex strategy, there's a lack of investors.

Investors won't put money into strategy experiments because it's hit and miss, and bankers can't look at a game prototype and know whether it's good or not, especially for strategy. FPS, MMORPG and platformers will sell as long as the trailer is good, however 4x strategy will only sell well when the game mechanics are decent, something that can't be measured by investors before the game is complete.

Finally people who grew up without good strategy games aren't going to be aware of the possibility of good strategy games.  X-COM is unique in that even now it still appeals to non-hardcore gamers immediately, it just looks interesting at first glance. Back in 04 when I was in the military I was in a processing unit that didn't allow us to leave the building for a day. They had a lounge with 12 computers, all of which had X-COM and everyone there was playing X-COM instead of Solitaire/Minesweeper.

Afterwards I talked to several people who wanted to know where to buy "that cool game in the lounge". Sadly I didn't have an answer at the time, I just knew it wasn't on the shelves anymore.