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Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
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Location: Watsonville, CA
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First-time players of TriadCity arrive at the Origin Stone naked with no idea what to do.

People with prior exposure to text-based MUDs will have a better chance than others of figuring out first steps. Seems likely that those with no previous experience of similar milieu could be entirely baffled.

There's a very feeble help system for new characters. The Help Bot will Tell you some pointers. The Central Computer will intervene to suggest when to level, and to not run off into NorthEast quite yet.

Experienced players are expected to help first-time visitors. But, if noobs are unlucky enough to arrive at a time when there's no-one else on, they're out of luck.

What about a full-scale Tutorial Mode for first-time visitors?

I'm thinking we could create a scripted series of events which will take a newbie all the way to level. The script will filter alternatives, forcing new players to take the sequence of actions specified by the script.

For example, you won't be able to leave the Origin Stone room without 1) wearing the robe given to you by the Monk; 2) reading the welcome sign; 3) looking in all directions; 4) reading the arch inscription; 5) chatting something; 6) asking Help a question. Until you've done those things, no Exits appear. Once those six actions have been taken, the Exit north appears and you can go to the Donation Room, where you have a further series of steps to complete. Each time you enter a new room, no Exits are available until you complete the tutorial steps for that room. Then, one Exit appears, taking you to the next room. The Central Computer, or the Help Bot, will walk you through the commands required.

You can turn off Tutorial Mode any time.

What do you think?

An alternative would be to create a Tutorial Zone, and have newbies enter there. There'd be a path of rooms, each containing a new tutorial action to complete. The path ends at the Origin Stone on SI and TriadCity begins there.

What do you think about that alternative?

Very much appreciate your ideas!

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Gary Smith



Joined: 2000.01.02 00:00:00
Messages: 166
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Mark Phillips wrote:First-time players of TriadCity arrive at the Origin Stone naked with no idea what to do.

People with prior exposure to text-based MUDs will have a better chance than others of figuring out first steps. Seems likely that those with no previous experience of similar milieu could be entirely baffled.

There's a very feeble help system for new characters. The Help Bot will Tell you some pointers. The Central Computer will intervene to suggest when to level, and to not run off into NorthEast quite yet.

Experienced players are expected to help first-time visitors. But, if noobs are unlucky enough to arrive at a time when there's no-one else on, they're out of luck.

What about a full-scale Tutorial Mode for first-time visitors?

I'm thinking we could create a scripted series of events which will take a newbie all the way to level. The script will filter alternatives, forcing new players to take the sequence of actions specified by the script.

For example, you won't be able to leave the Origin Stone room without 1) wearing the robe given to you by the Monk; 2) reading the welcome sign; 3) looking in all directions; 4) reading the arch inscription; 5) chatting something; 6) asking Help a question. Until you've done those things, no Exits appear. Once those six actions have been taken, the Exit north appears and you can go to the Donation Room, where you have a further series of steps to complete. Each time you enter a new room, no Exits are available until you complete the tutorial steps for that room. Then, one Exit appears, taking you to the next room. The Central Computer, or the Help Bot, will walk you through the commands required.

You can turn off Tutorial Mode any time.

What do you think?

An alternative would be to create a Tutorial Zone, and have newbies enter there. There'd be a path of rooms, each containing a new tutorial action to complete. The path ends at the Origin Stone on SI and TriadCity begins there.

What do you think about that alternative?

Very much appreciate your ideas!


I like the tutorial mode better. Most people create more than one character. The most common question I hear from newbies is "What am I supposed to do?" They don't look at things.'

Gary
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Joshua Finken


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Joined: 2003.10.09 00:00:00
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Location: Washington, DC
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I enjoy the tutorial mode too, it does not seperate new players and old players. It still includes the player with the rest of TC.

That and Gary's point, with each person having multiple characters it could get annoying to have to get out of the tutorial zone.

Triad City Characters: Andor, Zensekai, Saul, Yourk

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Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 563
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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Is it a good idea to have players interact with newbies during a tutorial? I would think it's better to let them focus on learning commands without distraction.

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
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I lean toward a separate intro zone where the tutorial would happen. The "You're now logged in" page on the web site would have a pair of icons: "Take a tutorial" and "Go to the City", something like that. You can exit the tutorial any time by typing "tutorial off". To me this seems more lightweight and easier for everyone to manage.

This is a very soft opinion, though. Please do weigh in with yours!

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Gary Smith



Joined: 2000.01.02 00:00:00
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Mark Phillips wrote:I lean toward a separate intro zone where the tutorial would happen. The "You're now logged in" page on the web site would have a pair of icons: "Take a tutorial" and "Go to the City", something like that. You can exit the tutorial any time by typing "tutorial off". To me this seems more lightweight and easier for everyone to manage.

This is a very soft opinion, though. Please do weigh in with yours!


Would higher level players know that someone was in the Tutorial Zone?
Could a higher level player return to the Tutorial Zone.

Gary
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Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
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Gary Smith wrote:Would higher level players know that someone was in the Tutorial Zone?
Could a higher level player return to the Tutorial Zone.


We can display characters who are inside the tutorial zone with <tuturorial> after their character name, as we do with Game Wardens or Builders now.

Higher levels returning: not sure. Was thinking that while inside the tutorial zone you're taking the tutorial, so your options are structured by where you currently are within the tutorial's sequence of actions. Ending the tutorial - type "tutorial off" - exits you from the tutorial zone automatically and places you at the Origin Stone. If this idea meets with collective approval, there really wouldn't be anything for higher levels to do by returning to the tutorial except walk themselves through the tutorial's steps again. Anybody can always talk with characters taking the tutorial, though, so they can help that way.

Again these suggestions represent an extremely soft opinion on my part. I could equally go with creating a structured tutorial on SI, per the first message in this thread.

BTW Au writes that Second Life's official tutorial area was a disaster, quickly replaced by volunteer players not unlike our Game Wardens. I don't remember ever seeing a tutorial in SL, maybe it was eliminated. Anya, do you know?

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Gary Smith



Joined: 2000.01.02 00:00:00
Messages: 166
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Mark Phillips wrote:
Gary Smith wrote:Would higher level players know that someone was in the Tutorial Zone?
Could a higher level player return to the Tutorial Zone.


We can display characters who are inside the tutorial zone with <tuturorial> after their character name, as we do with Game Wardens or Builders now.

Higher levels returning: not sure. Was thinking that while inside the tutorial zone you're taking the tutorial, so your options are structured by where you currently are within the tutorial's sequence of actions. Ending the tutorial - type "tutorial off" - exits you from the tutorial zone automatically and places you at the Origin Stone. If this idea meets with collective approval, there really wouldn't be anything for higher levels to do by returning to the tutorial except walk themselves through the tutorial's steps again. Anybody can always talk with characters taking the tutorial, though, so they can help that way.

Again these suggestions represent an extremely soft opinion on my part. I could equally go with creating a structured tutorial on SI, per the first message in this thread.

BTW Au writes that Second Life's official tutorial area was a disaster, quickly replaced by volunteer players not unlike our Game Wardens. I don't remember ever seeing a tutorial in SL, maybe it was eliminated. Anya, do you know?


I was concerned with some higher level players harassing newbies.

Gary
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Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
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Gary Smith wrote:
I was concerned with some higher level players harassing newbies.


Ah, gotcha.

Would having a separate tutorial zone be better than using SI for that purpose, then?

Our higher level types are usually pretty cool, though.

To totally contradict myself: SI itself kinda already has some tutorial-like attributes. The Monk who gives you clothes; the Donation Room. So I'm waffling.

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Gary Smith



Joined: 2000.01.02 00:00:00
Messages: 166
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Mark Phillips wrote:
Gary Smith wrote:
I was concerned with some higher level players harassing newbies.


Ah, gotcha.

Would having a separate tutorial zone be better than using SI for that purpose, then?

Our higher level types are usually pretty cool, though.

To totally contradict myself: SI itself kinda already has some tutorial-like attributes. The Monk who gives you clothes; the Donation Room. So I'm waffling.


Maybe a scaled down tour guide--sort of a kinder gentler ChattyKathy
would be the answer. Groups a newbie makes sure they get a robe. bows to them, gives some general lore about the island, suggest that they look at everything shows them the fountain and the trees that grow on the island and drops them off at the donation room with the knowledge that they need to have food and water but dont need weapons yet--too many noobs think they have to fight for their lives in the begining. With some work you could get her to speak about the three thirds orientation.


Gary
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Mark Phillips


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How about having the NPCs on SI tell newbies about the Room they're in?

So, the Monk will give instructions on how to type commands; give the Robe; suggest reading the signs and the inscriptions. The newbie then moves wherever they want.

If they go to the Temple, the Scribe can suggest reading the inscriptions, look at the pedestal, and so on.

If they enter a Room with no permanent NPC, we can have the Sandwich Board Man or the lost tourist join them.

Or we could just station a newbie tour guide at the Origin Stone who can handle SI, then hand the new character off to the NW Tour Guide, which, perhaps it goes without saying, should then actually get written by someone. Radical thinking!

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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Mark Phillips


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"Mein Fuhrer! I hev a plan."

How about a "newbie welcome squad" inside the tutorial zone, one NPC from each Third. They kindof get along with each other, but are a bit like the Three Stooges, definitely a semi-functional unit. The vampire from NE rubs his hands together and says, "I love newbies. They're so... naked." The bot from S smacks him in the mouth with a loose hose and says "Meep". They lead the noob around the tutorial zone, which is quite small, teaching the basic commands and arguing about which Third is better. The bot has a cold or flatulence or something silly, a slight glitch in the replication algorithm. The NW NPC is serving her required annual stint as a public servant and isn't super happy with her assignment.

I like this better than turning SI itself into a tutorial area. I'm kindof fond of the semi-mysterious nature of the Origin Stone and the Monk, followed sooner or later by the absurdist slapstick of the Temple of the King.

This sounds kinda fun, what do you think?

Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
[Email] [WWW]
Gary Smith



Joined: 2000.01.02 00:00:00
Messages: 166
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Mark Phillips wrote:"Mein Fuhrer! I hev a plan."

How about a "newbie welcome squad" inside the tutorial zone, one NPC from each Third. They kindof get along with each other, but are a bit like the Three Stooges, definitely a semi-functional unit. The vampire from NE rubs his hands together and says, "I love newbies. They're so... naked." The bot from S smacks him in the mouth with a loose hose and says "Meep". They lead the noob around the tutorial zone, which is quite small, teaching the basic commands and arguing about which Third is better. The bot has a cold or flatulence or something silly, a slight glitch in the replication algorithm. The NW NPC is serving her required annual stint as a public servant and isn't super happy with her assignment.

I like this better than turning SI itself into a tutorial area. I'm kindof fond of the semi-mysterious nature of the Origin Stone and the Monk, followed sooner or later by the absurdist slapstick of the Temple of the King.

This sounds kinda fun, what do you think?


I like this and it can introduce some humor into the game. One thing that is needed is quick communication for those who dont read ahead of time is that players cannot kill players (actually they can but indirectly).

Gary
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Anya Sweetwater



Joined: 2004.04.02 00:00:00
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BTW Au writes that Second Life's official tutorial area was a disaster, quickly replaced by volunteer players not unlike our Game Wardens. I don't remember ever seeing a tutorial in SL, maybe it was eliminated. Anya, do you know?


I'm not familiar with the current welcome areas or what sort of tutorial may be available...no, that's a lie. I know one welcome area maintained by Caledon, a private collection of steampunk themed sims (land areas) which built it's own tutorial area and staffs it with a number of volunteers to work with newbies. I don't know what the official Second Life (Linden Labs' own) welcome areas are like these days. Back when I joined six years ago, there was a very active community of volunteers who staffed the Welcome areas and were available to answer questions from newbies. Linden Labs, in its infinite wisdom, did away with this at some point. I did use a basic tutorial when I first joined which just taught you how to walk, pick up something, etc.

Also, in those earlier days, more experienced players often would spend time with newbies. I used to do quite a bit of this myself and enjoyed it.
Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 563
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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I played SL for the first time a few days ago. There was no tutorial or special welcome as far as I was aware. I was given a choice of portals to walk through, chose one eenie meenie minie moe, and landed in an area with poetry by World War One soldiers. I found the poems wonderful, along with a narration by someone who was an expert on those authors. The area seemed disconnected from anything, I guess it was intended to be a military barracks but it felt more like a kid's camp in the woods, except it had glowing display panels where information was found, and for some reason there were two small boxes on the ground holding a soldier's uniform and a nurse's uniform. It felt very random. The interface and graphics were off-putting and reminded me instantly why I don't play those games. The software froze my laptop. That was my dilemma: I loved the content, and hated the experience.

By the way there was no-one else there. It was like Myst, as some of you have noted about IFs.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2012.09.08 17:18:10


Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
 
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