Thursday, December 29, 2011

That's Crazy Talk

Probably my favorite line from Dilbert. It’s usually right before that statement that is so alien and out there that it can only make sense in bizarro world. So, why start with that?

You start at the end of the game:
Yep, there’s the crazy talk. Most games, you start before a great war, at the time of a great catastrophe, a new era. Here? Nope, all that already passed. Your living standard day to day life AFTER everything went to hell. So, what was with my talk of letting people play through the calamity?

Training. Above and beyond normal training. Because it’s in the past, and a different time, I’ll let them have access to most everything in the game. Imagine the newbie missions in EVE letting you use a fully outfitted Drake or racial similar ship? Maybe if the newbie zone in WoW let you play an 85 through a simulation raid? That’s what I’ll do. You start off as one of the colonists in the landing of the ship, you pick your name, and you do your best to survive…

Only to flash forward and it’s an old man telling the story to his grandson or old woman telling the story to his granddaughter. Then, you’d choose whether to keep the first name to honor them, or change it. This gives you a real tangible connection to the story. Let’s be honest, In a situation like this, training someone with some tutorial based around ‘solving’ small day to day tasks with in-game functions is, well, overdone. EVE does an acceptable set of tutorial missions, as well as Skryim/Oblivion. They attempt to teach you the skills you will use in the way you use them.

However, as part of the tutorial, I’d like to throw in a feature that I don’t ever see. Keybind-on-the-fly should be part of any tutorial. If you are learning to do X by hitting the b key, but instead you want to use the h key, then you have to interrupt the tutorial and figure out how to change keybinds, usually something tutorials don’t even cover, much less explain how. By adding in something like when it says ‘Press the WASD keys to move Forward, left, back, or right respectively, or hit the F4 key to change the default movement keys’ I feel could give some quality of life to some people. Also, at the end, a quick sheet to say what was changed and if you’d like to move them around. After, it would give you the keys on how to get to the game control configs for later.

So, there you are, you are just an average joe/jane. Two hundred years after any real action. The environment is essentially set here with this, and you can go any way with it, from all out war to straight-up survival. Which way to go?

Well, wait right there, a very important key is missing. Size. That's the next topic.

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