Tutorial Island

Content and general development discussion, including maps, quests, and server code from the development team.
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Dave
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Dave » Mon May 05, 2008 2:58 pm

Superkoop wrote:I like the idea of an island, I think it would be able to add more story to the game rather than just a building ... Either way, I prefer the island idea.
I respect your preference, but I fail to see how using an island "adds more story".. it's okay to like something without really knowing why.

If you can just skip the island, it seems unfair to allow characters to gain experience or earn equipment / money from the tutorial.
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Dave wrote:maybe we could make it so that every character is eventually forced to leave Argaes, presumably never to return.
When you do that Argaes itself would become the "Newbie Island".
I realize that. If we wanted to do that, we could.. (just trying to present other possible options :wink: ) If we ever implement multiple starting locations (like one per nation) Argaes could be the ideal newbie nation. It's small and straightforward.. and eventually you're forced to leave, introducing you to another part of the world.

Again, I'm not married to any of this, it's just an idea.
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Jaxad0127 » Mon May 05, 2008 6:47 pm

I don't like the idea of being locked out of large parts of the world after a certain level. Small tutorial places, yes, whole continents, no. I do like your new story idea.
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by 5t3v3 » Wed May 07, 2008 8:31 pm

jaxad0127 wrote:I don't like the idea of being locked out of large parts of the world after a certain level. Small tutorial places, yes, whole continents, no. I do like your new story idea.
Perhaps a compromise would be that it's difficult to leave/go back (example: you need to catch a boat during specific times, pay a fee for it?)
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Dave » Thu May 08, 2008 1:03 am

One thing that we have determined is that we want the tutorial, whatever form it takes, to be easily (and quickly) skipped. I'm pretty sure we're going to end up using an academy setting, rather than an island. If we don't use the academy, the tutorial will be completely removed from the world.
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Red Lord » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:29 pm

I would have to say the academy idea is the best. That way if you have more than one character each time you start as a new one you don't have to go through the tutorial multiples of times. Not to mention some of the advantages of being able to go their anytime. That way you can check up on what you need to know at that time if you would ever forget something or if something new is introduced that is needed to be put in the tutorial.
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Superkoop » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:42 pm

I don't think there should ever be a need to go back to the tutorial and relearn something. IMO, all the info in the tutorial should be in the F1 menu, and the wiki. The tutorial would mainly be for players who don't know about F1 or the wiki.
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Arkyan » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:20 am

I think an island would be beneficial to newcomers, as it would isolate them from more harassment than needed. (imagine high levels screwing around in the only place new people can level...would drive lots of people away) So, to supliment my idea (and as a product of boredom), I've created a small town in Tiled that I think would serve well on a newbie island (or just an isolated town, if the island idea just CAN'T work)

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1. This is the academy. This building will have lots of books to read and mentor NPCs to receive advice from. A couple of these NPCs should provide a couple starter quests for either a small amount of experience, some currency, or both. The academy basement, however, has a slight maggot infestation which new players may need to clear out. ;)

2. My idea is a temple or something, where people are brought into this world by the gods. This however is entirely open to debate, and this building can simply be used for resurrection upon dying, healing when hurt, and some other method of introduction into the gameworld.

3. This is the residents quarters. Any NPC who doesn't live in the academy lives here, and it is mostly a few soldiers who have been stationed here to keep the town free of mobs. The NPCs in here will offer some extra pointers to the game not found in the academy.

4. Newbie island shop. Here you can buy starter equipment and other items, as well as sell items for currency.

5. Restaurant/pub. A place for the newbies to hang out and tell stories of their maggot hunting or something. Just a nice addition to make people feel more at home. :)

6. Bridge to the rest of the island. The soldiers stationed on the island dug the trench to isolate the town even more, so a bridge was constructed to allow players to access the rest of the island.

7. Portmasters office. An NPC should be outside this to allow passage to the mainland. If a few towns are in place by then, a newbie can select what town they wish to start in. Some sort of limit should be imposed to ensure the players have either a good footing in the game or a good understanding of it. Requiring a certain amount of currency, or a certain level, would serve these purposes well.


What this newbie island would excel at would be isolating new players in their own environment safe from more harassment than needed. Bored higher level players wouldn't be able to drive off new players by killing off the only spawns they can kill (and it WILL happen when the game gets a larger player base, might as well plan for it now). It'll also give them a place free from PvP (if the whole gameworld gets set to allow PvP, which I hope happens for the depth of gameplay) so they can get a foothold safely.

It would allow a slow, easy, and safe transition into the game environment without too much hassle to repeat players. Repeat players would know what to do, where to go, etc. and easily pass the requirement to make it to the main area of the gameworld. Once on the mainland, and of the few selectable starter towns should have an extension of the academy somewhere in the town so that if they forget something, players can visit this branch of the academy to brush up on something. Or hit F1 if they remember that from the tutorials. :)
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by 5t3v3 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:02 pm

I really like this island, and it's not so much a skipable tutorial, but just an isolated, newbie-friendly, beginning point. One thing is unclear though, does that bridge lead to another island or to main land?
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Arkyan » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:10 pm

The bridge would lead to another part of the island. The only way off is from the dock via an NPC. The rest of the island would have some scorpions, maybe a giant maggot for the "OMG RUN" factor for new people, just to add some flavor. :) Maybe a small spawn of bats with a low spawn rate mixed in with a few things. Just small things that'll let new people get their foothold on TMW. I think one map west of the town, and one southwest of the town would still fit into the current map scheme fairly easily. There would of course be caves and such under these with some mobs as well, to pre-empt the game growing and thus a need for more mobs. Spawn rates would always be adjusted accordingly as well.
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Red Lord » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:12 pm

This does look quite interesting...If this is accepted, I could help if you want. A small quest would be good too. Maybe something in the caves, we could make a newbie only monster on the island that drops something that can help them get off the island(Perhaps the NPC's boat crashed and he needs a certain type of wood to fix it so you can go).
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Arkyan » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:17 pm

Just has to get accepted first. :) And them to say how many map tiles in which direction I can use. :P I think the ones I stated are safe...but not sure. If you want to help, the cave system would probably be the place it'd be needed. If someone gives me the go ahead, I'll draw up a rough map of the surface and you can have some caves to do with as you please. Multiple layer caves would be a huge plus I think. :)

Also, if any developer type people read this: where can I find a resource on how to script monster spawn points and other map-related things for 0.1? (I think the wiki is in 0.0 still isn't it?) I'd like to make it compatible straight away with the new one instead of having to port it soon. And if there are going to be any new mobs that would be good for newbies, that'd be nice to know too so I could include them. :)
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Crush » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:20 pm

Thanks for the initiative but the chances that this map will get into the game are slim.

We can not design a tutorial map before we decided what exactly we want to teach there and before we can decide that we first have to finish implementing the new game mechanics and their user interface.

(Designing a tutorial map for the current game mechanics would be quite a waste of time)
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Arkyan » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:25 pm

So you want an island/area for a tutorial only and not just a starter area plus tutorials? The NPC's and books could easily be rescripted to reflect changes in game mechanics if a new newbie area were created.

And what things need discussed? :) I'm full of ideas. And if I don't have one already, I can come up with one. :P Maybe a new topic in the suggestions area to get the community moving on topics at hand? To move things along?
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Red Lord » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:26 pm

Something utterly important is to possible have a message pop up right when they first join and login telling them the basic stuff.

"Welcome to The Mana World, so you can continue the tutorial process with ease, I shall tell you some of the basic knowledge. To talk to NPC's click on them or right click them and choose the option to talk to NPC....."
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Re: Tutorial Island

Post by Crush » Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:28 pm

Arkyan wrote:So you want an island/area for a tutorial only and not just a starter area plus tutorials? The NPC's and books could easily be rescripted to reflect changes in game mechanics if a new newbie area were created.
A good tutorial should have more than just written information. It should include areas which demonstrate key features of the game and allow to practice them. These areas have to be mapped especially for this purpose.

A good tutorial should also be strictly linear to make sure that the player doesn't miss any crucial information. Another aspect which has to be considered while mapping a tutorial map.
And what things need discussed? :) I'm full of ideas. And if I don't have one already, I can come up with one. :P Maybe a new topic in the suggestions area to get the community moving on topics at hand? To move things along?
What we currently need aren't further ideas and suggestions regarding game mechanics. The wiki is full of them. What we need are programmers who program them.
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