[Gameplay] Progression tips for beginners

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Reading the General Discussion, there just seem to have quite a lot of players who are still new to this genre of game. Unlike minecraft/terraria players like some of us, these newbie players don't exactly know what they need to do in order of succeed in this game.

I've read this article and understand that some mechanics had been tried and tested before. So I thought of what other method can help newbies, but not end up spoon-feeding or become completely objective.


Well, so then I realised that there is ONE tip that keeps getting shown...

"The darkness is coming, I need to start a fire." - Or something along those lines.

I thought that this is actually a very good, subtle yet attention-grabbing method to tip players on what they are meant to do. So why not expand on using character speech to highlight to players what is required?

This should only be for Wilson though! - Because everyone starts out with him, so he is pretty much the beginner's character. The absolute, last character to have such tips as well should only be up to Willow, as she is the second character, because getting spammed endlessly on each character will probably get on many players' nerves.

Also, these tips should be displayed only up until the player "achieves" it, either FIRST 'completion', or first 'in-game week or less'. Same reasoning as above.


The very start - Day 1

So Wilson just woke up. Not knowing what to do, the player have him dance about, running around looking at animals, chasing butterflies, and MAYBE picking flowers. However, he neglected the important thing...

"I really need to look for food, I'm getting hungry!" - Finally! After a minute of walking around aimlessly, Wilson realises he really needs food. (This should only be tipped ONCE)

"Those berries on the bushes look really tasty!" - Well, at least he knows what he can get and eat. (This should occur when there is a berry bush within Wilson's proximity, and repeat every few minutes until he picks ONE bush)

"The birds left seeds behind, maybe they can fill my belly!" - He learns that there are more than 1 food source right at the start. (Same occurrence as berry bush)

"That flint looks sharp and solid, I can improvise them into tools!" - Yadda, yadda.

"Those twigs on that sapling looks hard, maybe I can use them for something!"


Tools - Day 1

After picking up Flint and Twigs, Wilson realises that he needs different tools for different jobs,

"I need an Axe to chop down the trees!" - When near a tree. Message occurs after Wilson has minimum materials to make. Repeats once a day until the player makes ONE axe.

"I need a Pick to mine the boulder." - Ditto

"I can use a Shovel to dig up its roots!" - Ditto, when near Berry Bush, Saplings or Tall Grass.

"I can dig out the Tree Stump using Shovel!" - After cutting down a tree. Repeat once a day until the player digs out ONE stump.


Approaching nightfall - Day 1

Well, after frolicking for half-the-clock's time, Wilson need to start realising that he needs to make a campfire for the coming night.

"The night will come Soon, I need some logs to make a campfire with!" - This should occur Wilson doesn't have enough logs to build a campfire with, for the night. Repeats once a day until a campfire is made.

"The tall grass looks like a great source to keep me warm!" - Same as logs.


The darkness - Night 1

Finally, it's evening! Or so Wilson noticed.

"The darkness is coming, I need to start a fire." - Yup, the usual tip.

"I need more things to survive this land, what else can I make?" - This should occur when the darkness descends completely. So now, Wilson will see what he can make.

"I may learn to make more things with the Science Machine!" - This should occur when the player moves the mouse cursor over the Science Machine. If not, this should occur after a day or two, whichever comes first. Message should repeat once every one or two nights.


Might be a little extensive on the amount of information been spam-tipped, but I think it may somewhat help newbie players.

I know this is some-what of a Spoon-Feed idea... So... Thoughts?


*Update 7/1/13*

To be honest, I think that progression tips should be disabled at first, but can be enabled from the option menu, or there should be a little popup box asking the user if they would like to enable progression tips. What got my interest when I purchased this game was the fact that there are no progression tips, as if you are actually testing what you would do in a survival situation like that. A lot of the times that I start to try a game, if they have mandatory tutorials or tips, I usually end up abandoning the game because I personally do not like having them there. I prefer to have that sense of mystery with the game and even now I am still learning how to get certain resources after nearly a month of playing this game.. I prefer to keep it this way as it keeps me coming back to play it. Again, when trying this game, having no tips makes you really feel like you're relying on your own judgement in order to survive rather than having learnt the game through tips and not learning how to do things on your own. But that's just my personal opinion. My sister, Auntie and Brother also agree when they got the game based on my recommendation, as well as 5 of my best friends..

If you do beginners tips though, I'd advise keeping them vague, like hinting to go chop down a tree instead of telling them how to do it, or hinting to think about research seeing as they're absolute beginners.

The enabling/disabling makes sense, I'll update that thread with your advice.

The current idea is either to make the tip only available for Wilson, as he is the beginner character for all players, or to have it as an end-of-session tip, after you died, in which the tip will... Not directly pointing... but rather an observation on how the player died to certain element or the activity of the player.

As regards to the enabling/disabling for first time players, perhaps a detection system (maybe using cloud) and make a yes/no pop-up when clicking the [New Game] button. It'll still be switchable via option menu.

Edited by Moonphos
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I agree that this kind of messages should only appear for Wilson.

What I'm not convinced is that we need more tips. I feel that the ones we already have are enough.

The best teacher in this game is death. Instead of making it easier to survive by giving tips, they should work on making it less frustrating when you die.

I want to read statistics about my playthrough upon death, and see my final resting place and how the rest of the world keeps going on after I'm gone.

This game started as permadeath, and with games like that you have to teach about death early on. Otherwise, the players that survived up until day 60 on their first playthrough and die, rage quit an never play it again. They ask for saves. They get too attached and start shouting "why can't we load a savegame?". This game is about exploring, and suffering the consequences of it.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. Perhaps it's like so because I was introduced to the game back when misclicking on a swamp meant death. I still have this image of the game where death is just a normal learning part of it.

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Hhmm, how about an observation when a player dies, based on the element of death caused?

"You are dead... Killed by Spider!"

"Have you considered using Armor and a Spear before fighting them? Maybe a Flame Dart to attack from afar? Perhaps you should retreat ever so slightly, tricking those spiders, then move in for a kill! Oh well, better luck next round!"

I'll think of something better when I wake up later.

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Personally there are only a few pieces of information that are essential, IMHO. The key one is that you need the science machine, and then the alchemy machine, to unlock tier-1 and tier-2 inventions. And that feeding objects into said machines grants RP used to unlock them (which will change in January). Beyond that, I'm not sure what needs to be explained. Do we really need to tell people how armor and weapons make killing things easier? That seems fairly basic. Or what monster killed them? I'm sure they would see it happening.

I mean it's hard for me to say what was hard and what was easy, because I watched a Let's Play. But still, I believe I could have figured these concepts out... only I would have died a few times in the process. For example, I might have been eaten by a Grue by not getting a camp fire ready or killed by a pack of beefalo when I try to attack one of them... but then I would know what not to do.

Anywho, that's my thoughts on the matter. I agree however that any and all tips should be for Wilson only.

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Hhmm, if using the "End Game" tip method, I think it can work with implementing for every character, since its going to only appear once, based on the method of death.


A mix of both? Perhaps not as much and detailed as what I've stated in the OP, but still an easily understandable message that occurs within the first to second week (which I think should be around the time the game, NOT in its current form but in the future, transits into mid-game).

First Night

"I should attempt to research stuff" - Science machine (or Science tab)

After Science Machine is up

"I could try and grow some fruits" - Farm (or Food-tab)

"I need to better defend myself" or "I need better hunting gears" - Fight tab

Etc - And this should be for Wilson only. Subtle, but tells players to scroll through the tabs and see what is available. Might be more 'Open' than what I've suggested in OP.

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