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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: A Tale of Two Tech Levels (05/28/21)

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Author Topic: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?  (Read 23208 times)

nomadic_leader

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #45 on: May 13, 2017, 08:57:15 AM »

I have avoided MMORPGs.  At first because I did not have reliable connections.  Later (after playing Diablo II) because I did not want to get sucked into a grindfest.

Tutorial start is useful; you get free storage and a chance for a Heavy Blaster find.  Even so, I would like the option to skip it and get my money and all of my abilities (especially Sustained Burn) now!

Gaming has changed apparently. I despise steam for impelling developers to moron proof their games for idiot reviews.

And I said real people should be allowed to start without the tutorial; not that they will necessarily succeed without it. Some people just like to jump right into the middle of things. It's really just bizarre to force a tutorial. Folks should be given the personal agency to decide things for themselves, and even make bad decisions for themselves. This is a concept called freedom.
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Megas

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #46 on: May 13, 2017, 09:04:23 AM »

Gaming has changed apparently. I despise steam for impelling developers to moron proof their games for idiot reviews.
So I noticed, and generally not in a good way.  I have more to say, but I am out of time to elaborate.
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K-64

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2017, 09:09:13 AM »

And I said real people should be allowed to start without the tutorial

Semi off-topic, but what the heck would you class as a "real" person? And would all those that don't fit that mold automatically be "fake" people?
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A.Winge

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #48 on: May 13, 2017, 09:16:05 AM »

I might actually do a timed runthrough of the tutorial, and see how long it takes now that I know what I need to do.  I'll even try to avoid the fights that I'm not supposed to do (I wasn't supposed to kill the pirates at the station with my 2 starting ships...right?  Or engage and kill both Jump Point fleets?  :P )  I actually suspect it's less of a timesink than we are estimating; I've found it takes as long to get rolling without the tutorial because I am still going to salvage that Hammerhead.  It's too good of a starting ship to pass up.  I will update this thread if/when I time my Tutorial run.

Edit:
Normal run, including reading the text (almost all of it; I have a bad habit of skimming/skipping) and quicksaving at multiple intervals:
26:23 seconds, from the game's creation to reaching Jangala and finishing the tutorial.
/Edit

That said, it might be best to roll up the rest of the tutorials into the Campaign one.  Splitting up the tutorials like that is probably going to generate confusion at some point.

Gaming has changed apparently. I despise steam for impelling developers to moron proof their games for idiot reviews.

It isn't strictly Steam's fault, although they certainly could do a better job of filtering reviews.  I think it's reasonable to require the user to play a few hours mark on most games (barring refunds, perhaps...Steam's refund system is pretty limited, though).  I see some reviews posted with 30 minutes or so played.  Although, it is possible that they got the game or alpha/beta tested before the game reached Steam.  I would at least like the option of filtering those out.

The main problem is that the game market is flooded right now, and it makes even finding a potential good game difficult.  Most people go by the %'s, which can be helpful but can also be misleading.  I've found the best thing to do once I have found an interesting title is to look at both Positive and Negative reviews, taking into account the user preference (when I can identify it) and time played, as well as the quality of their feedback.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 10:54:12 AM by A.Winge »
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nomadic_leader

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #49 on: May 13, 2017, 10:04:36 AM »

Steam has led to a bunch of throwaway games since it provides an easy way to sell them; then you're dependent on idiots giving reviews to sort them. Steam gives a critical platform for people who lack the faculties to give meaningful criticism. Basically it's the same problems  (albeit with more innocuous results) we've noticed recently with certain other social media.

I can understand a forced tutorial if your job or school is requiring you to use particular program for a particular task. But not people who have paid for a game and want to use it for fun, in whatever way they wish. Those are the real people.

It's a bit odd that the designer is worried about the reviews of 12 year olds on steam (and not the sharp ones), yet also puts in a simulated economy and other irredeemably arcane and over-engineered (but often good) mechanics described in fastidious detail in blog posts. Are you making a casual game for those people? Or a hardcore came for other people? Starsector can't seem to decide in this or several other instances. I doubt it can succeed as both.
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Gothars

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #50 on: May 13, 2017, 10:36:01 AM »

And I said real people should be allowed to start without the tutorial;

Please stop using the term "real people". It's rather offensive in this context.


Gaming has changed apparently. I despise steam for impelling developers to moron proof their games for idiot reviews.
This.  I can't remember ever playing any game that forced me to play through a 30 minute tutorial before I could get to the game.  That's just weird.
I played games for decades.  This is the first game ever where I was forced to play tutorial.  I do not like it at all!



I find that hard to believe. Story-embedded tutorials have been standard for many, many years. Skyrim and other TES parts did them. Fallout 3. Portal 2. The recent Zelda. Arguably even the very first Super Mario started with a forced tutorial level. The game start is often not clearly labeled "tutorial", but that doesn't change its nature.
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Megas

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #51 on: May 13, 2017, 11:00:31 AM »

What I wrote is true enough.  I played less titles in the last decade than I did during the '80s and '90s.  I also have a greater interest in shmups and action games than I do RPGs.

I stumbled on and viewed a Call of Duty game clip recently, and the hand-holding disgusted me.  The spoofs highlighted by the Call of Dooty and "What if Doom was done today" videos highlight precisely why I dislike many newer games.
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Embolism

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2017, 11:42:06 AM »

I don't really classify tutorials, forced or otherwise, as "hand-holding"; because tutorials generally end before the game begins in earnest (with a number of vexing exceptions). For me hand-holding is more along the lines of, say... giving enemies bright red outlines (especially where enemies are supposed to surprise you: not much of a surprise when they glow-in-the-dark), "BLOCK NOW" popups when enemies attack, dotted lines detailing the exact path you need to take and diamonds over the exact person you need to talk to, etc.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 11:47:58 AM by Embolism »
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Megas

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #53 on: May 13, 2017, 11:50:51 AM »

For mehand-holding is more along the lines of say giving enemies a bright red outline (especially in settings where enemies are supposed to surprise you: not much of a surprise when they glow-in-the-dark), "BLOCK NOW" popups when enemies attack, dotted lines detailing the exact path you need to take and diamonds over the exact person you need to talk to, etc.
That is blatant, and what I had in mind with the Call of Duty and various spoof videos.

Forced tutorial is a bit like hand-holding, but not as blatant.  It is a bit insulting that the game treats everyone like incompetent children when we cannot opt to jump past the tutorial and into the game.
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Embolism

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #54 on: May 13, 2017, 12:04:17 PM »

For mehand-holding is more along the lines of say giving enemies a bright red outline (especially in settings where enemies are supposed to surprise you: not much of a surprise when they glow-in-the-dark), "BLOCK NOW" popups when enemies attack, dotted lines detailing the exact path you need to take and diamonds over the exact person you need to talk to, etc.
That is blatant, and what I had in mind with the Call of Duty and various spoof videos.

Forced tutorial is a bit like hand-holding, but not as blatant.  It is a bit insulting that the game treats everyone like incompetent children when we cannot opt to jump past the tutorial and into the game.

Insulting or not, the point is that there are players who if you don't make them learn the game simply won't, and these type of players also tend to post negative reviews on impulse.

Unfortunately the way Steam works a negative review is a permanent smear that cannot be removed by anyone other than the poster, and it affects the rating of the game. A prospective buyer might see a lower rating, not read any of the actual reviews and skip the game because of this.

You can look down your nose on the impulse-negative-reviewers, the rating-browsers and the Great *** known as Steam all you like, in the end Alex is the one paying for it by losing sales. I'm not saying StarSector might get a bad rating because it didn't force its tutorial, but the difference between Overwhelmingly Positive (96%+) and Very Positive is... well, pretty major, and is easily something that can be tipped by as small a thing as this.


(Yeah Steam's review system is extremely crap, but it's the largest digital distribution platform so what can you do? Devs have to dance to its tune or go hungry.)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 12:06:37 PM by Embolism »
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #55 on: May 13, 2017, 12:52:40 PM »

Subcultural gamers, sociologically, tend to be... how to put it gently... young men who think they know everything, and when they don't, externalize fault ('this game is bad!' vs. 'I am bad at this game'). Eventually they get it knocked out of them or they become truly unlikable adults.

This presents a dilemma, because at the same time, these are the players who loudly insist that they want games to be difficult, and who prize 'I am good at games' as a core part of their identity. That doesn't leave a lot of room for learning processes, unless you gently-but-firmly insist that learning happen. And Starsector is a game that needs to be learned, so I'm in favor of forcing the tutorial once; the proposed change, flagging it in registry, is a good one and should solve the problem.
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Megas

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #56 on: May 13, 2017, 03:34:43 PM »

@ Embolism:  Yes, I do not like it.  Years ago, I refused to buy copies of two games I was interested in because of the Steam account requirement.  I have no interest in signing up for a Steam account.

Similarly, I ignored Endless Sky for a while (after I first learned of it via a miscellaneous topic in another game forum) because I thought it was only accessible via Steam.  After some investigation, I found Endless Sky had its own page (GitHub, I think), and got it from there.

If reviews are anything like those for various big-budget games that game ads flaunt, I am not sure I want to trust them.  It is like paying attention to badly biased news channels.  Gaming was not like this.  This is one reason why I mentioned "...not in a good way".

That said, if I had a Steam account, and got a forced tutorial, I could give the game a bad review due to forcing tutorial down my throat (and lack of long-range combat options in case of Starsector).  As I said before, Starsector 0.8 is the first game I played that rammed tutorial down my throat.  By that, the game has an option to skip it, but does not let me skip it because it was disabled.  I was angered by that.

Years ago, when I was trying to decide whether to buy SPAZ or Starfarer.  My first choice was SPAZ, until I saw activation requirement over internet.  Starfarer did not need it.  It was simply an old-fashioned key like I got on my Doom 3 disk about ten years ago.  Second-choice Starfarer beat SPAZ due to that.
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Thaago

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #57 on: May 13, 2017, 03:41:36 PM »

Slightly off topic: I used to be really wary of Steam as well, but the service they offer is very convenient - syncing across multiple machines, automatic game updates, game news feeds in a condensed location, being able to re download to new machines whenever I need, a good (to me at least) refund policy... each thing sounds small, but it adds up to me actually being quite positive about the service. I'm opposed to requiring internet activation in principle... but in practice it has never effected me. Even when I'm on my laptop and away from internet for a few days, its never locked me out or anything. Am I selling out rights for convenience? Possibly, but these days convenience is worth a lot to me.
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zaimoni

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #58 on: May 13, 2017, 04:22:18 PM »

I might actually do a timed runthrough of the tutorial, and see how long it takes now that I know what I need to do.  I'll even try to avoid the fights that I'm not supposed to do (I wasn't supposed to kill the pirates at the station with my 2 starting ships...right?  Or engage and kill both Jump Point fleets?  :P )  I actually suspect it's less of a timesink than we are estimating; I've found it takes as long to get rolling without the tutorial because I am still going to salvage that Hammerhead.  It's too good of a starting ship to pass up.  I will update this thread if/when I time my Tutorial run.
It takes me about three hours from tutorial start to killing both jump point fleets at once, fixing the jump point, and returning to Ancyra to trigger the first pirate bounty.  I stealth my way around the pirate station fleet, but do detour to use the salvage zone that is almost on-route to the jump point to repair.
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Alex

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Re: Why MUST we play the tutorial first?
« Reply #59 on: May 13, 2017, 04:40:30 PM »

As I said before, Starsector 0.8 is the first game I played that rammed tutorial down my throat.  By that, the game has an option to skip it, but does not let me skip it because it was disabled.  I was angered by that.

I mean, I get where you're coming from, but the tooltip for the grayed-out option more or less tells you how to skip the tutorial, if you're intent on that. So it's tough for me to relate to any particularly strong feelings about the matter - I get why one might feel that way in abstract, but given how it's actually set up, we're talking about maybe a minute spent starting a second game. Which, ok, it's an inconvenience, but hardly on the same scale as having to do a 30+ minute tutorial.
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