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.
As I said, illusion is a powerful thing. With crafty mission design you can make someone feel like they did something cool even if their performance was pathetic by the standards of anyone with real experience at the game. Even if they didn't really earn it, if you make them think they just made it through a big fight it's far more gratifying than "you have successfully completed Class Z qualification for the GTF Hermaphroditus Space Inferiority Fighter".
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.
I don't know about you, but most of the people I tried to get into playing FreeSpace turned it down because they got sick of training missions. I find them tolerable. They could be a lot better (and some campaigns have training missions that ARE a lot better), but they're tolerable. However, it seems to me to me that a very large portion, perhaps overwhelming, of typical video game players will not find them tolerable. They whine about the missions taking too long. They complain that they're boring. They want to know when they'll be able to blow something big up, and more often than not I'm unable to convince them to stick with it.
So you have to work instant gratification and instant action into learning how to play the game without sacrificing FreeSpace's gameplay depth.
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.
It's a vicious cycle. Player demand for instant gratification suppresses the financial viability of games without instant gratification, and THQ is not a niche company. They're about big budgets and big audiences.
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.
And somehow despite the game having radically faster progression on higher difficulty levels, Doom sold millions of copies and singlehandedly made Id Software a household names. If that's not success, nothing is. Changing the way the mission plays for higher difficulty levels is done because it works and has worked for a very long time. It also gives an incentive for players to play the game again and push themselves to the limit, because the game is like "Medium was cool huh? Try it on Hard and you'll see even more
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.
splicing in quote from later because it is related
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?
I said press X to banish a popup screen, not disable tutorials. Playing through it the second time around. The screen dims--tutorial time! Bam, it's gone. Another box? Bam, it's gone. The Instructor Shut Up Button. If the player needs to reload the first mission more than twice the mission is too hard. Remember that looking
intense and challenging is more important for the first mission than being
intense and challenging. Seeing whole fleets slug it out in the background, even if they won't shoot at you and Command might even reprimand you for wandering outside your assigned zone (because in real world militaries playing Rambo and wandering off into parts of the battle that aren't your problem will probably not endear you to your superiors), makes an instant impression that can make the game's success in five seconds of hitting the Commit button.
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!"
Well that's why enemies can come in different strengths. The first mission's enemies can only kill you if you do a colossal
screw-up but they can kill you. The next mission's enemies are somewhat harder and the game is holding your hand less. And the third mission's are harder than those and the game's hardly holding your hand at all. Preferably the enemies should be made to appear stronger than they really are to make Alpha 1 feel like he is achieving something.
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.
Somehow I think the average person who downloaded BTRL is quite the same as the average person who rents an action game for the XBox 360 from Blockbuster. It's a fan work that tends to attract fan-type people who are really into what the game is about and will gladly sit through the tutorials. I thought the BTRL tutorial was hilarious, but THQ isn't selling games to those sorts of people because there aren't enough of them. Game audiences were much smaller and more dedicated even in 1999 (never mind in the early 90s or before) than they are today. Now the genre is mainstream and action games are marketed towards the same general demographic as meatheaded explosion movies. So to protect FreeSpace from being severely dumbed down, the game's early missions must be structured in a way so that you can get the fundamentals through that demographic's skulls while providing enough action and explosions to keep them stimulated until they've got the hang of it and making a huge first impression. Once that's done, it's smooth sailing from there on out.
I don't think training missions are necessarily horrible, but I think that they're horrible to the Target Demographic of modern action games, which is all THQ is going to care about. Twist of Fate has a couple of training missions (more elaborate than the TSM modules--the first even starts you off looking directly at the 1st Fleet orbiting Earth to make a big impression--but I'm not making it for those people.
(and speaking of those people, FS3 must
have a VOIP mute command, because those people are also the people who call people who kill them "faggots". Nothing's worse than a VOIP temper tantrum.)