Author Topic: New life for Freespace?  (Read 12705 times)

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Offline Woolie Wool

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Re: New life for Freespace?
Well, there's the fact that bombs can be shot down. If you just fire it the first chance you get it may blow up in your face.
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16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: New life for Freespace?
So basically, Woolie, you're saying that you want a series of missions that basically amount to "A Game of TAG".

That's not going to fly. Ever.
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: New life for Freespace?
No-one's gonna change retail, but there's nothing stopping Woolie from making his own tutorial missions. He could even release them as a standalone set or single mission.
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Offline Woolie Wool

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Re: New life for Freespace?
We're not talking about FS2. We're talking about a hypothetical FS3. FS2 is what it is.

So basically, Woolie, you're saying that you want a series of missions that basically amount to "A Game of TAG".

That's not going to fly. Ever.

You know, except for the fact that the TAG-A missiles were worthless and your fighter sucked, which are the real reasons why everyone hates that mission.

(although I think Fury-like dumbfire TAGs carried in large quantities would be great against stealth fighters)
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

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Offline Droid803

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Re: New life for Freespace?
Or just a damned TAG primary...
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Offline stuart133

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Re: New life for Freespace?
The tutorial missions are very useful for a number of reasons:

1: It teaches you how to fly (duh!)
2: It means you're not overwhelmed 3 mins into the game and then killed as the combat flows very fast and you're still staring at the reference card looking for the target button
3: It teaches you some things you otherwise might not notice, like bomb targeting or closest attacking ship

Also even if you don't like this there is always the skip button!!
If the first 5 or so missions if freespace tried to not be 2 hard to teach me something I don't think I would have played it.
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Re: New life for Freespace?
I think the training missions would be okay if they were just more interesting. The trainer voice is very bland, and the environment is even moreso. If the environment was for example leaving an Arcadia with a nice starfield etcetera it would be more appealing.

I understand people's argument to have them skippable, because they don't want to play them on the second go. But I also understand the appeal of having them in-game. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but really which one is implemented should be determined by which will be better for newer players. The needs of new players should always trump the needs of returning players, because if it were the other way around there wouldn't be any new or returning players playing the game in the first place.


Sometimes having them skippable is not a good thing. After a few years I replayed Half-Life 1 and after getting all the way to the alien world I realized I didn't know how to do long jumps so I had to go back and do the training anyway. If they just threw that into the game I wouldn't have had that problem.

A lot of First Person Shooters bring the training into the game (ie SiN, some Halo knockoff I can't remember). Putting you in an obstacle course for example, where there's a log so it says "press X to jump" then you get to another doorway and it's "press X to crouch" that sort of thing.

THOUGH, one thing to keep in mind, that as the character, you should know how to duck and jump. You're a  human being after all. Whereas the character in Freespace wouldn't just be thrown into a combat situation. They need to have training, it's a part of the universe.


So . . . I think in the end I would probably disagree with Woolie Woo about bringing them in-game so to speak. But at the same time I agree that any training missions would need to be a lot more interesting. They sims are important because they fit the universe but those sims could be milked for much more than they are now. The FS2 training mission tell you two things, how to fly your ship, and that the simulator is boring. Why not for example have the training with a human being, like Snipes, who is not only entertaining but drops some story hooks into the conversation to get the player interested.

The ideal training mission I think would be skippable, but interesting enough that returning players choose NOT to skip it. Just because as basic as it is, it's still worth their time to play.


 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: New life for Freespace?
You know, except for the fact that the TAG-A missiles were worthless and your fighter sucked, which are the real reasons why everyone hates that mission.

(although I think Fury-like dumbfire TAGs carried in large quantities would be great against stealth fighters)

The Ulysses is basically the best dogfighter the game offers. There's nothing wrong with the ship. Sure, you have crappy primaries. But there's also nothing wrong with the TAGs, you just haven't figured out the best way to use them.

Because there's no training.

"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

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Offline Woolie Wool

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Re: New life for Freespace?
You know, except for the fact that the TAG-A missiles were worthless and your fighter sucked, which are the real reasons why everyone hates that mission.

(although I think Fury-like dumbfire TAGs carried in large quantities would be great against stealth fighters)

The Ulysses is basically the best dogfighter the game offers. There's nothing wrong with the ship. Sure, you have crappy primaries. But there's also nothing wrong with the TAGs, you just haven't figured out the best way to use them.

Because there's no training.

No, the TAG is a terrible missile. It has neither lock-on like dogfighting missiles nor can it be spammed like Tempests, it does no damage on its own, its effects are short-lived, and the secondary positions are even more spread out than the primaries, compounding the aiming difficulty. The Ulysses has a poor gun configuration, a small weapon load (criminal considering the weapon that is being tested), and one of its banks is a Prometheus . You're flying an outdated fighter with ****ty primaries and really ****ty secondaries, right after being introduced to the Perseus and Prometheus S, which are basically flying sex and the most versatile pieces of equipment (aside from the captured Maras, but those aren't exactly standard issue) in the whole game. You're facing a so many Shivan fighters that you will run out of TAGs and be all but unarmed. And it's a capship defense mission in the nebula. It's the perfect storm of everything people hate in space sims.

It's telling that I've never seen a major fan-made campaign that used TAGs to any siginificant degree, and I actually went out of my way to create a rationale for them (unstealthing stealth fighers) that is completely different from its original purpose. TAGs suck. A mission that makes you use TAGs as your primary armament sucks by extension, And when you add all the other aspects of the mission, it really sucks.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 06:58:35 pm by Woolie Wool »
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

"did they use anesthetic when they removed your sense of humor or did you have to weep and struggle like a tiny baby"
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Offline Droid803

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Re: New life for Freespace?


No, the TAG is a terrible missile. It has neither lock-on like dogfighting missiles nor can it be spammed like Tempests, it does no damage on its own, its effects are short-lived, and the secondary positions are even more spread out than the primaries, compounding the aiming difficulty. The Ulysses has a poor gun configuration, a small weapon load (criminal considering the weapon that is being tested), and one of its banks is a Prometheus . You're flying an outdated fighter with ****ty primaries and really ****ty secondaries, right after being introduced to the Perseus and Prometheus S, which are basically flying sex and the most versatile pieces of equipment (aside from the captured Maras, but those aren't exactly standard issue) in the whole game. You're facing a so many Shivan fighters that you will run out of TAGs and be all but unarmed. And it's a capship defense mission in the nebula. It's the perfect storm of everything people hate in space sims.

I can't agree with you more. I hate that mission. With a passion, because the game makes it harder than it really needs to be by forcing you to use, basically, ****. If you were flying a Herc 2 with both banks being Subachs and two secondary bays full of TAG-1s (instead of a Ulysses with one functional bank and a tiny amount of the missiles being tested), it would probably make more sense...

Though the TAGs are worthless ****s anyway, even WITH ULTRA-AAAs.

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Offline blackhole

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Re: New life for Freespace?
If anyone made FS3, it would need to accomplish the near impossible - Training missions that are interesting and yet teach you the basic skills you need to fly a fighter. Beyond that the entire control scheme would have to be MASSIVELY simplified. I mean for christs sake, FS2 uses almost EVERY SINGLE KEY ON THE ENTIRE KEYBOARD. I don't even USE half those keys. While the advanced stuff should be made available, there also should be a default basic view so it doesn't scare off half its playerbase. Freespace is very fun to play, its just that the first few missions need to be dumbified for the general masses. Once you get them hooked, you can throw anything at them.

 
Re: New life for Freespace?
I can't agree with you more. I hate that mission. With a passion, because the game makes it harder than it really needs to be by forcing you to use, basically, ****. If you were flying a Herc 2 with both banks being Subachs and two secondary bays full of TAG-1s (instead of a Ulysses with one functional bank and a tiny amount of the missiles being tested), it would probably make more sense...

Though the TAGs are worthless ****s anyway, even WITH ULTRA-AAAs.

That's just a bad mission design period in my opinion.
The worst of all is that your wingman is guardian and the shivans invariable waste the guy so you wonder, where's  your wingman and then you see it sitting dead in space with 4 Maras shooting at it and wonder "I wonder why she's not dead yet". Takes you out of the moment. . .

 

Offline Thaeris

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Re: New life for Freespace?
The question in general, as I precieve it, is "what is FreeSpace or what should it be?" Well, first off it's a simulator. A simulator attempts to create a virtural environment which adheres to a set of laws or parameters under a given set of circumstances. Under that guise, I suppose any game is a sim... but, that's a separate tangent. FreeSpace is a non-Newtonian space simulation (the flight dynamics might be explained in a realistic manner via some new and/or nonexistant technology) which plays a good deal like Star Wars. In truth, you might even get away calling the flight dynamics realistic because you could get a spacecraft to perform the maneuvers as seen in FreeSpace. It's definately more "game" than "serious flight sim," but has enough environment/complexity that it feels somewhat real. As such, to retain the "real" element of the sim you need to incorporate those elements into gameplay.

Since the "hook" of the game is not full-blown Newtonian flight physics, you need to look at atmosphere. You see it in missions, but then you're just flowing with the story. As a "pilot," you want to "feel" that you're in a sophisticated, complex craft. That's where the training mission come in. The training mission establishes the fact that you're supposed to be in such a craft. That it could be dangerous if mishandled (though you know it's not). And most importantly, that YOU ARE a friggin' GTVA fighter pilot, an officer. The training mission sets a precedent. Any military flight sim sets these precedents: if you're flying off carriers, you're taught to fly a pattern. "Realistic" protocol creates a realistic, believable environment. Any gamer/simmer wants to feel like they're in the universe that the author of that universe created. It's the same for books. If you get rid of that environment, you remove a vital part of the said universe.

Now, could you make training missions more fun/entertaining? HECK YES. Let's imagine this:

FS3: Training Mission #1:

"Strapped in tight, rookie?" the instructor asks. You're inside the hangar bay of a GTD Orion, not some silly TSM. The story is set up so you've perhaps already graduated from that part of flight school... now you need to try the real deal.
To add to this: ...note that FS2 already assumes you're a qualified pilot. They ask you to review your training. Like I said... atmosphere. Now, through dialogue between your instructor and prompts on the HUD, you maneuver your fighter to the launch port of the destroyer. "This is Tower... Alpha 1, you're clear for launch. Stand by for linkup with accelerator array." Here, we assume that "runway" on the Orion actually does something... clearly we also assume FS3 has complex launches and landings. "Alpha 1, this is launch officer, stand by for release in 3... 2... 1..." Your fighter shakes as it blasts off from the launch bay at full power... your instructor is right behind you in his fighter. "Well pilot, I'm sure you've already heard a lot about the Orion-Class Destroyer you'll be based on for the next few days while you complete your flight qualifications. The GTD [insert name here] is a proud ship with a proud heritage. In... blah blah blah... As the Orion-Class has been removed from front-line duties, several of the vessels have been retrofitted for service in alternate roles, such as training. Old [insert name here] is one such example." You clear the ship and cover some basics. You fly around, looking in awe upon other ships in the area, doing their "own thing." Dialogue is engaging as well as informative. You are made to feel like the GTVA as well as your own responsibilities are real and that your fighter is everything that a fighter is supposed to be: complex, powerful, expensive, and most of all, FREAKING AWESOME! You return to the Orion, enter the landing bay, and come to a stop. A ceiling arm comes and grabs your fighter (which you are now certain could destroy the entire Shivan Armada, of course) and sets it upon a landing fork. You are then debriefed and informed that your next mission will be live-firing practice on some old derelict from the second Shivan incursion... probably a Leviathan or some freighter.

I don't know about you, but that does not sound boring. As it's a training mission, you can still skip it, but there might be just enough to do that experienced players might not even mind playing it again. It sets a precedent for the universe. It makes FS real for the player.

I for one don't think FS should ever be like Half-Life or GoW in terms of training. You, the pilot, is not a "dumbard" as I've been saying. You are a professional officer, not some grunt on the ground with a gun. And, it's a sim, so the controls will be inherently harder than any shooter. The game should make you understand full well what controls to use and how to use them. And it should tell you in a manner that makes you feel like you're really there. Training missions do that. ATMOSPHERE.

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Offline Qent

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Re: New life for Freespace?
Personally, I really enjoyed the training missions in FS2, and I even liked the instructor. It really helped immersion because it was "real" training. Sprinkling popups throughout the campaign would have destroyed my suspension of disbelief. Even after turning them off, that "suspiciously weak wing of fighters" would bug me every time I play the mission.

 
Re: New life for Freespace?
Unless you can somehow make an in-game tutorial far better than anything I've seen in any game so far, I think training mission would be inevitable for a game like this.

I mean, I've tried to get a few people into this game, and even with me looking over their shoulder and explaining everything they still struggle to grasp a lot of things much to my disbelief. Even when they do seem to get it, they'll simply fail to recall random things that cause great difficulty even after having it explained to them three or four times previously.
Usually it's not until I tell them to go through the training missions that they finally get it.

I think we're biased observers in this case because we're already used to the controls and easily forget how thick people can be.

Heck, even in an ordinary first person shooter it's easy to forget how absurdly hard it can be to get the player to do anything that they didn't repeate a dozen times just then, even the simple act of looking up. If you've ever played a Valve game, even with their simple and easy to learn gameplay mechanics one thing you notice immediately is that they frequently set things up to "re-introduce" and "re-teach" many concepts just so the player will know to use it shortly afterwards, and they have such little faith in their players that they don't expect them to have the attention span to apply the same concept just ten minutes later. If you've ever gone through a Valve game with developer commentary, you can pretty much sum up most of the commentary as "players are stupid and this is what we had to do to get around that".
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 08:28:20 pm by paul1290 »

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: New life for Freespace?
Yep. But while that works in an FPS it doesn't work as well in FS2. It's pretty hard to set up a situation where the player has to use a certain skill to progress without heavily penalising them if they don't or making it bloody obvious that you're teaching them the same skill again.


What makes you think the missions with tutorial boxes in them won't themselves get harder as the story progresses?

This is the point at which I realised you're not even bothering to read what I've written before going off half cocked to answer. I said the exact reverse of this. I said that missions with tutorial boxes in them are going to start off ridiculously easy and then rapidly get difficult as soon as they stop being tutorial missions in everything but name and become real missions.

It's this rapid change in difficulty I object to so strongly. It completely sucks when it comes to replays.

Quote
I don't think a campaign at a fixed or very limited range of difficulty throughout its entire length (or worse, a sudden and severe jump in difficulty right in the middle with no curve at all) is desirable.

Yet the latter is exactly what you are arguing for. As soon as the non-tutorial tutorial missions are finished there will be a jump in difficulty. Same as there was between the FS2 tutorials and the real thing. In the tutorials it was pretty obvious that the enemy drones couldn't kill you and were just there for target practice. Once the first mission started there was a jump because now it was serious. The enemy were a lot faster, smarter and could actually kill you. The difference was that the player was ready for the jump because they had the "Out of training, it's the real thing now" mindset. With your system the player never knows when he is in training and when it's real so the jump in difficulty is much more obvious.  

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Play it again on Medium and every mission is a bit harder than it was the first time around. Play it on Hard and you'll get Hard, with the difficulty curve becoming more unforgiving as the difficulty level rises.

Alright. Let's examine that claim. You've already stated the minimum number of things a player needs to learn to fly. So what happens when you play the campaign with the tutorials turned off? Well you won't get any pop ups but there's nothing to go in that particular time frame. Either you completely change the story or you make the player sit through the instructor telling him how to fly even though he already knows.

Now let's get to the combat, in the training mission you couldn't make the player face wing after wing of fighters as that would be cruel. Sure you can have more fighters turn up on hard but now you've got the issue of balancing a mission which has two very different ways to play it. In the end you end up making in effect two missions in one mission file. And if you're going to do that you might as well have just made two different missions and had the first one as a tutorial. That way both newbies and experienced players could enjoy the proper mission which otherwise only people who play on medium or hard get to see.

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Players gain skill with continued playing and the difficulty should rise slowly but constantly as the game progresses. The early missions would be actual missions with real combat and real danger (the lack of danger being one of the principal features that makes a lot of people hate training missions), not a Simon Says instructor routine with a few more ships as window dressing.

I don't think that is acceptable because there are no real stakes involved. Nobody gets killed if you screw up. You're not under any pressure.

Great idea. Ever thought what happens if a newbie pilot dies from your "Real Danger"?

Trust me, I have.

What happens if the player does screw up? You've basically forced them to sit through the entire tutorial mission again. That's ****ing awful mission design.

So what happens if they just need a little more help than usual when it comes to combat? Well after the 3rd time having to listen to the instructor telling them how to fly the ship they're going to quit and never be heard from again. The FS2 tutorials allowed the player the opportunity to learn to dogfight in an atmosphere where they weren't at any serious risk. So it didn't matter if it took them 10 seconds or 10 minutes to kill a drone. They'd eventually do it and learn from it.

Unless you're willing to nerf the enemy fighters to the point where they aren't a real danger you are going to have players failing your non-tutorial tutorial missions. And you're going to make them extremely frustrated when they have to play again from the start.

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Because I think the average modern gamer will quit. They want to be in the game doing their thing in minutes. My concept allows them to indulge this wish without severely simplifying the game. And since the average modern gamer are the people to whom and THQ will need to sell a lot of copies of the game to to make money and ensure the continued existence of the franchise, it's rather important that the "console generation" sticks around to play the whole game.

So you include a skirmish mode for the ADHD sufferers then. They can get blown up as much as they like and then realise they need to do the tutorials to actually get anywhere.
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Offline Woolie Wool

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Re: New life for Freespace?
Yet the latter is exactly what you are arguing for. As soon as the non-tutorial tutorial missions are finished there will be a jump in difficulty. Same as there was between the FS2 tutorials and the real thing. In the tutorials it was pretty obvious that the enemy drones couldn't kill you and were just there for target practice. Once the first mission started there was a jump because now it was serious. The enemy were a lot faster, smarter and could actually kill you. The difference was that the player was ready for the jump because they had the "Out of training, it's the real thing now" mindset. With your system the player never knows when he is in training and when it's real so the jump in difficulty is much more obvious.
But the whole point is that you're never "in training" and every fight is real with actual enemies who are out to kill you from the very first enemy wing to the very last. They may differ in skill, equipment, and general difficulty, but they're all out to kill you dead. The very first enemies you fight would be real enemies flying real ships armed with real weapons that can really kill you.

Quote
Alright. Let's examine that claim. You've already stated the minimum number of things a player needs to learn to fly. So what happens when you play the campaign with the tutorials turned off? Well you won't get any pop ups but there's nothing to go in that particular time frame. Either you completely change the story or you make the player sit through the instructor telling him how to fly even though he already knows.

Now let's get to the combat, in the training mission you couldn't make the player face wing after wing of fighters as that would be cruel. Sure you can have more fighters turn up on hard but now you've got the issue of balancing a mission which has two very different ways to play it. In the end you end up making in effect two missions in one mission file. And if you're going to do that you might as well have just made two different missions and had the first one as a tutorial. That way both newbies and experienced players could enjoy the proper mission which otherwise only people who play on medium or hard get to see.
But the thing is that many newbie gamers don't want a training mission. They want action, real action, now. They're also the ones who will the game will have to be sold to. But they can't completely be left to sink or swim either. So you try to string along the various tutorial sequences and squeeze in as much action in them as you possibly can.

And yes, that sort of "two missions in one file thing" has been done in many games. Harder difficulty settings wouldn't just have harder enemies, they'd have more enemies, enemies would be added to places that previously didn't have them, and the entire gameplay strategy for the level would become more complex and demanding as you go from Easy to Hard. For instance, let's take Doom again. E1M1 is essentially an entirely different map on Hard than on Medium, and if you do what you do to pass the map on Medium on Hard you will die because powerful new enemies (Former Sergeants, not seen on Medium until two levels later) have suddenly been added to a formerly trivial level. The architecture is the same but your opposition and the way the level is played are completely different. On Medium and below it's a gentle cakewalk level, on Ultra-Violence it's well, ultra-violent.

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Great idea. Ever thought what happens if a newbie pilot dies from your "Real Danger"?

Trust me, I have.
Uh, they die and start the mission over? And if a game, any game, makes you die more than a couple of times when first playing the first level on the default difficulty level, the first level is too hard. And yes, there's a difference between being easy enough to pass in one or two tries and impossible to lose.

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What happens if the player does screw up? You've basically forced them to sit through the entire tutorial mission again. That's ****ing awful mission design.

So what happens if they just need a little more help than usual when it comes to combat? Well after the 3rd time having to listen to the instructor telling them how to fly the ship they're going to quit and never be heard from again. The FS2 tutorials allowed the player the opportunity to learn to dogfight in an atmosphere where they weren't at any serious risk. So it didn't matter if it took them 10 seconds or 10 minutes to kill a drone. They'd eventually do it and learn from it.

Unless you're willing to nerf the enemy fighters to the point where they aren't a real danger you are going to have players failing your non-tutorial tutorial missions. And you're going to make them extremely frustrated when they have to play again from the start.
If it takes them 10 minutes to down a drone, then they'll fail the first mission anyway (probably several times) because they won't be able to stop the Hercs. Either way you lose, the original FS2 way just makes you take a 10-minute sterile detour where nothing of importance happens before you lose. Besides, you could just hit a button to banish the popup screen if you've seen it before. FS2 has no "Instructor Shut Up button". It's not like these kids aren't used to pressing X all the time anyway (God of War III: Quick-Time Boogaloo: Press X to Not Die).

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So you include a skirmish mode for the ADHD sufferers then. They can get blown up as much as they like and then realise they need to do the tutorials to actually get anywhere.
If you toss them into a sterile training environment with nothing exciting to do, the ADHD kids will quit. If you throw them into the shark pool without any help, they'll also quit. So therefore you split the difference--a mission with at least the illusion of mortal combat (and illusion can be a powerful thing, especially with modern game engines), that also teaches the fundamentals of game play. After the first mission, you can greatly reduce the number of tutorial boxes to a couple each mission (and eventually none), and turn up the difficulty. So Mission 1 is very easy but can be failed if you display stunning incompetence, Mission 2 is just a little bit less easy, mission 3 is starting to get more challenging, etc.

Trust me, I've tried to get quite a few people into FreeSpace 2, and most of them told me the training missions were too long and had nothing in them. Not some, most. It was depressing.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 09:18:04 pm by Woolie Wool »
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

"did they use anesthetic when they removed your sense of humor or did you have to weep and struggle like a tiny baby"
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: New life for Freespace?
I just want to interject that TAGs, in fact, rock, and anyone who says otherwise doesn't know how to use them.

Seriously, they're uber.

 

Offline Woolie Wool

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Re: New life for Freespace?
I just want to interject that TAGs, in fact, rock, and anyone who says otherwise doesn't know how to use them.

Seriously, they're uber.

Where can I find this parallel universe version of FS2? Sounds interesting. :P
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

"did they use anesthetic when they removed your sense of humor or did you have to weep and struggle like a tiny baby"
--General Battuta

 

Offline karajorma

  • King Louie - Jungle VIP
  • Administrator
  • 214
    • Karajorma's Freespace FAQ
Re: New life for Freespace?
But the whole point is that you're never "in training" and every fight is real with actual enemies who are out to kill you from the very first enemy wing to the very last. They may differ in skill, equipment, and general difficulty, but they're all out to kill you dead. The very first enemies you fight would be real enemies flying real ships armed with real weapons that can really kill you.

I get that. I just disagree with it on a fundamental level. And the simple fact is that although you don't want to call level 1 for newbies a tutorial mission that is in effect what it is.

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But the thing is that many newbie gamers don't want a training mission. They want action, real action, now. They're also the ones who will the game will have to be sold to. But they can't completely be left to sink or swim either. So you try to string along the various tutorial sequences and squeeze in as much action in them as you possibly can.

In the entire time I've been in this community you're one of the few people who has complained about the tutorials. We have lots of those newbie gamers coming here every week and I don't hear complaints about the tutorials turning them off. If you hear different I suspect it says more about the kind of people you're trying to get into FS2 than anything else.

Quite simply I don't think it's just a case of the newbie gamers wanting instant action so much as that being all they are ever given.

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And yes, that sort of "two missions in one file thing" has been done in many games.

Yes. And in case you hadn't noticed my point is "Is it worth it?" To be honest I think not. For the same effort I could rewrite the mission so that it plays differently on every playthrough regardless of the difficulty. Thus allowing people who aren't particularly good at the game to see everything rather than just the super-gamers who can play on ultra-violent.

As far as I'm concerned that's far better design than having to redesign the mission for each difficulty level.

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Uh, they die and start the mission over? And if a game, any game, makes you die more than a couple of times when first playing the first level on the default difficulty level, the first level is too hard. And yes, there's a difference between being easy enough to pass in one or two tries and impossible to lose.

Evidently you haven't thought this one through. They die. They start the mission again. And they have to sit through the same popup tutorial they heard once already.

Remember your entire argument is predicated on not losing the ADHD kids because they get bored easily. Congratulations. You just lost them. Which basically makes your entire argument pointless.

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If it takes them 10 minutes to down a drone, then they'll fail the first mission anyway (probably several times) because they won't be able to stop the Hercs. Either way you lose

Incorrect. It may take 10 minutes with the first drone but you get dozens to practice on. By the time the player gets to the real missions they've already learned the skills they need to play the game. Your method simply pushes them in the deep end of the pool, throws some water wings at them and says "Look out for the sharks!"

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the original FS2 way just makes you take a 10-minute sterile detour

And again you're confusing your personal dislike of the FS2 instructor with the concept of tutorial missions. I've not heard a single complaint about the sterile BtRL instructor. Yet that was a mission very much in the mould of the FS2 tutorials.

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Besides, you could just hit a button to banish the popup screen if you've seen it before. FS2 has no "Instructor Shut Up button". It's not like these kids aren't used to pressing X all the time anyway (God of War III: Quick-Time Boogaloo: Press X to Not Die).

So your solution to the problem is to break flow, turn the tutorials off and hope these idiots remember to turn them back on at the start of the next mission? :lol:
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

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