Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Skill Changes, Part 2 (07/15/21)

Author Topic: Tutorial thoughts.  (Read 1277 times)

Locklave

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 536
    • View Profile
Tutorial thoughts.
« on: September 29, 2019, 10:48:20 AM »

I was in the forums for a completely different game having a good conversation about tutorials and the lack of a good one in that game. It occurred to me at that moment how good the Tutorial is in Starsector. A great tutorial is one that doesn't feel like a tutorial, one that feels like you are just playing the game while it teaches you the basic things you need to understand to get started. A great tutorial makes you feel involved with what's happening. In this case escaping the systems you start in.

Starsectors tutorial is great, it catches the themes of the whole game, how brutal it can be, how careful you need to be and the core mechanics you need to know to play the game. It doesn't hold your hand or protect you from being stupid, it guides you. It's the only game I play where I won't always skip the tutorial, because I enjoy it.

Props to you! Credit where credit is due.
Logged

Alex

  • Administrator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 18894
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2019, 11:08:39 AM »

Opened this thread expecting to find some thoughts on how to improve the tutorial - which, to be fair, it certainly could be.

Thank you! <3
Logged

wirthi

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2019, 02:34:52 PM »

Having just entered the world of Starsector two weeks ago, I have to say that I really like the game so far. I'd call it "Sid Meyers Pirates in Space" without annoying dancing  ;)

That being said I'd have a few suggestions. First of all when playing the tutorial I found it a bit annoying that the Quicksave is asked more than one time to continue in it. Once is more than enough. Secondly it completely fails to introduce a player to the colony mechanics, e.g. when and how the Luddic Path starts targeting a colony once you've build one, why other factions start attacking it after a while even though you have good or better standing with them (these two I found out by searching this forum). What I still have not figured out is if one builds a ship at a colony, does it become available to your fleet to take or does it become part of the fleet patrolling your system? Didn't want to waste the time and ressources to find out... Also the "Bar" needs an introduction since in the tutorial nothing happens there so I never bothered to visit it again until I read in this forum that this is the place where one can be told about Pirate or Luddic bases (but it is well possible that I overread this). To solve this I'd propose that one has to build a colony in the tutorial with ressources given by the Hegemony and increased build times (nobody wants a tutorial that is too long) with a necessary warning that it normaly takes longer. Once it is finished it becomes part of the Hegemony to prevent the player from starting with a colony.

Apologies for any mistakes and my far too long sentences. English is not my native language.
Logged

Terethall

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 151
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2019, 03:08:31 PM »

Opened this thread expecting to find some thoughts on how to improve the tutorial - which, to be fair, it certainly could be.

Thank you! <3

Literally the only place reasonable people get stuck is not realizing they need to quicksave in order to progress it. Everything else about it is perfect. There are plenty of guides online for the esoteric stuff (like colony optimization) and most of the fun in the game is with experimentation and exploration anyway.
Logged

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 9373
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2019, 03:50:57 PM »

The quicksave is a real nag.  Player should be able to ignore it.
Logged

Vind

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2019, 04:56:47 PM »

Maybe autosave before first tutorial battle with info on how to quicksave manually. People expect game to auto save most of the time.
Logged

bobucles

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 516
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2019, 05:02:25 PM »

The quicksave is a real nag.  Player should be able to ignore it.
This. I thought it was real weird that the tutorial doesn't actually move on if you don't save.

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 9373
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2019, 05:06:53 PM »

I would not want the game to auto-save unless I opt-in to it.
Logged

Alex

  • Administrator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 18894
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2019, 08:52:55 PM »

That being said I'd have a few suggestions. First of all when playing the tutorial I found it a bit annoying that the Quicksave is asked more than one time to continue in it. Once is more than enough. Secondly it completely fails to introduce a player to the colony mechanics, e.g. when and how the Luddic Path starts targeting a colony once you've build one, why other factions start attacking it after a while even though you have good or better standing with them (these two I found out by searching this forum). What I still have not figured out is if one builds a ship at a colony, does it become available to your fleet to take or does it become part of the fleet patrolling your system? Didn't want to waste the time and ressources to find out... Also the "Bar" needs an introduction since in the tutorial nothing happens there so I never bothered to visit it again until I read in this forum that this is the place where one can be told about Pirate or Luddic bases (but it is well possible that I overread this). To solve this I'd propose that one has to build a colony in the tutorial with ressources given by the Hegemony and increased build times (nobody wants a tutorial that is too long) with a necessary warning that it normaly takes longer. Once it is finished it becomes part of the Hegemony to prevent the player from starting with a colony.

All of these features have one thing in common: they were implemented after the tutorial :)

Building a colony as part of the initial tutorial is tricky - what you're suggesting there makes sense, but it might make the flow of the tutorial kind of weird... will just have to think about it, in any case.

As far as building ships, btw: they're for your use and they get placed in the designated "gathering point" colony's storage, which you can select in the custom production screen.


Literally the only place reasonable people get stuck is not realizing they need to quicksave in order to progress it. Everything else about it is perfect. There are plenty of guides online for the esoteric stuff (like colony optimization) and most of the fun in the game is with experimentation and exploration anyway.

I've actually got a todo item to place the quicksave nag in the center of the screen so it's harder to miss!

For the tutorial, I do think it's important to have the nags at the points they're at, since they're always right before there's an opportunity for the player to mess up and lose their fleet - i.e. if you fail to sneak into the mining station and get bushwacked, etc.
Logged

intrinsic_parity

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2019, 11:20:05 PM »

I think you could do a separate colony tutorial, it doesn't need to be a part of the beginning tutorial. Maybe the hegemony official you meet on jangala later offers you a job managing a new hegemony colony and they guide you through defenses and industries and stuff. It could be a quest later down the story progression or something, or it could be available immediately after the initial tutorial.
Logged

bobucles

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 516
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2019, 10:02:37 AM »

Colony development is a very large personal investment and doesn't make sense at the very beginning of the game. The player can't even carry 1000 crew members, much less deal with the future expenses.

Many games shape their campaign as a huge tutorial, introducing new mechanics one step at a time until the player is ready to jump into the sandbox. A colony tutorial might make more sense towards the mid game, or at some point in the campaign where developing a personal base of operations makes sense. If the colony tutorial shows up too early the player won't have the resources to accomplish its goals, so if it shows up early it needs to stay available for a very long time. Maybe it won't time out at all, letting the player wander around the galaxy before coming back to try their hand at colony development.

The tutorial already has a player rescue a planet from ruin. Maybe as a next step they get the chance to guide its future development? In terms of story perhaps their industries broke down and need repair, or they want to develop more self sufficiency so that a future disaster won't hurt them again. Example goals might include colonizing a nearby, low quality world that has agriculture (no more starvation), repairing a few broken down industries (resource collection? maybe a discount?), bolster a few defenses (stable points? A star base?) and defend a pirate raid or two(action!). At the end of the quest chain the planet rewards you with a regular tithe, similar to how the "lost Hegemony world" tutorial gives a nice reward.

Would the player let to permanently keep the planets after putting all their effort into the colony tutorial? It doesn't make sense for the hegemony to give a planet to a random player, no matter how fancy they are. It may make more sense to consider a feudal system, where a very high ranking Hegemony person becomes a planetary governor. They get paid colony tithes, in exchange for growing and protecting Hegemony assets. That kind of reward isn't possible outside of having a very strong Hegemony commission, but they can definitely tease it as an incentive if the player signs up.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2019, 10:07:42 AM by bobucles »
Logged

Alex

  • Administrator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 18894
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2019, 10:06:27 AM »

Hmm, yeah. I think the general idea of helping develop someone else's colony (and thus be introduced to the mechanics) has a lot of promise.
Logged

wirthi

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Tutorial thoughts.
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2019, 10:51:59 AM »

As far as building ships, btw: they're for your use and they get placed in the designated "gathering point" colony's storage, which you can select in the custom production screen.

Thank you very much for the information
Logged