Announcement: Be excellent to each other.


Caravel Forum : Caravel Boards : General : Entry Point (Hypothetical hold)
Page 1 of 3
23
New Topic New Poll Post Reply
Poster Message
12th Archivist
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 790
Registered: 12-07-2008
IP: Logged
icon Entry Point (+4)  
Following silver's post on why TSS might not be the best hold for new players, chat has been hopping on what to do about it.

The problem, in a nutshell, is that TSS is a game for fans and not for newbies. It's filled with story and riddled with stuff that isn't part of the puzzle experience. The general consensus in the chatroom is that there should be a proper "entry point" for new players. Ideally, this hold will be an optimal experience for new players, on par with JtRH and GatEB.

It's been suggested the hold should start off easy, giving new players time to acclimate to the controls, and then ramp up the difficulty slowly. It should mimic JtRH's difficulty curve, since JtRH was a great hold for new players, but also got harder and harder. Players wanted to get through it. In that vein, a level might introduce an element using a few straightforward rooms, then show off how cool it is by mixing it with previously-learned elements. The result is the player learning elements in a coherent order, then applying his knowledge to learn more, while being fun and appropriately challenging up to the end.

Pinnacle recommended the use of "tiers" to ensure coherency.
quote:
Tier 0 (before the first hub) could go like this: the first level introducing the absolute basics (roaches, orbs, doors, force arrows), then one introducing roach queens, and then one introducing pressure plates
Each tier would be a hub (or a map) that lets the player choose which element he'd like to learn about next. Once he's completed them all, he would go to an "exam level" that combines all the elements in that tier. After that, he'd move on to the next tier, which would introduce the next set of elements but also include previously-taught elements. The result is the player learning new elements while also learning how to deal with old elements in new ways.

For the sake of organization, this project should go in a beta board. It'll be up to the project manager to create it and invite everyone who wants to participate.

Before the architecting begins, though, we'd need to decide on a list of which level goes where. This is the list of what elements will go in what tier:

Introduction
Movement, UI and controls, Checkpoints, Scrolls
Roaches, Green Doors, Combat, Blue Doors, Conquer Tokens
Pits/Walls/Water, Breakable/Secret Walls, Secret Rooms, Stairs
Force Arrows
Tunnels
One-use Pressure Plates

First Tier
Evil Eyes
Golems
Fire Traps
Hot Tiles
Multi-use Pressure Plates
On-Off Pressure Plates
Trapdoors
Red Doors
Roach Queens

Second Tier
Wraithwings
Mirrors
Wubbas
Bridges
Disabled Force Arrows
Halph
Orthosquares
Spiders
Bombs, Fuses
Sister Gates

Third Tier
Serpents
Invisibility Potions
Mud, Black Doors
Mimics, Mimic Potions
Shallow Water

Fourth Tier
Tar
Rattlesnakes
Disarm Tokens
Goblins
Platforms
Floor Spikes
Arrow Rotator Tokens
Staves
Daggers
Mud/Tar Mothers
Mud/Tar switchers

Fifth Tier
Oremites
Fegundo, Power Tokens
Speed Potions
Clones, Clone Potions
Squad Horns
Seeding Beacons
Adders
Brains
Spears
Pickaxes
Guards
Gel, Gel Mothers

Sixth Tier
Briar
Gentryii
Temporal Split Tokens
Rock Giants
Cabers
Aumtlichs
Constructs
Engineers, Citizens, Relay Stations, Persistence Tokens

Seventh Tier
Slayers
Stalwarts/Soldiers, Soldier Horns
Fluff, Fluff Vents, Ice

Eighth Tier
More fluff
More time-related stuff
More constructs
More builders/engineers
More slayers

This is just a general overview of what element is introduced when. How the levels are organized, and what they contain, is the next challenge.

____________________________
It was going well until it exploded.
~Scott Manley

Check out the DROD Wikia project here!

[Last edited by 12th Archivist at 08-03-2014 05:26 AM]
08-03-2014 at 12:46 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts This architect's holds Quote Reply
brian_s
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 587
Registered: 05-27-2004
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
I really like this idea. It is one I have been thinking about myself. But I imagine that after chapter 1 (mine pretty much matches your introduction list) the hold would be non-linear as chapter 2 introduces the many elements. I would branch off into themed groups. Such groups would include:
Tarstuff (and fluff?)
Sworded Entities
Line-of-Sight (mirrors, eyes, aumtlich)
Serpentines (and gentryii?)
Armory (other weapons/disarm token)
Golems/Giants/Wubbas
Floor Hazards
Doubles, Potions and Horns
Misc Architecture (tunnels, platforms, etc)
Tricky Enemies (goblins and wraithwings)
These levels would be more focused on basic manipulation and combat.

Chapter 3 would be accessed after completing chapter 2. This chapter would focus on the many interactions all these elements have, like mimics and multi-stabbing tar.
08-03-2014 at 01:17 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts This architect's holds Quote Reply
Pinnacle
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 1076
Registered: 06-10-2004
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+3)  
A complete element list, for reference:

Click here to view the secret text


Writing it all out shows that there's a frighteningly large amount of elements. 92, to be exact.

____________________________
Once (adv.): Enough.
Twice (adv.): Once too often.
~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
08-03-2014 at 01:19 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
mrimer
Level: Legendary Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 4335
Registered: 02-04-2003
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
Wow. That is a lot of elements.

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they
used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the
turn of the tide.
08-03-2014 at 01:21 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
disoriented
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 1301
Registered: 08-07-2007
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
No one ever said the smitemaster's job was easy.

____________________________
34th Skywatcher
08-03-2014 at 04:24 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Fang
Level: Master Delver
Avatar
Rank Points: 174
Registered: 07-25-2008
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
Sure, I'm in. As long as I don't have to handle snake or tar.

____________________________
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -Albert Einstein
08-03-2014 at 05:12 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts Quote Reply
12th Archivist
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 790
Registered: 12-07-2008
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+1)  
I've updated the list with what's in the plan currently. Again, it's just a rough list of elements that will go in each tier. The division of the actual levels is another point of discussion.

bomber50 has volunteered to create and invite to the beta board, so we can get this project formally started.

But before we go too far, what's the point of this hold? And furthermore, how should we do it? With a clear goal and method in mind, like what Advanced Concepts had, this collaboration will probably succeed. Otherwise, it will certainly fall flat on its face and fail.

The biggest split seems to be about how the difficulty curve should progress. One solution has already been presented: each level is roughly divided into three parts. The first part presents an element in a straightforward manner, whether it's with explanatory scrolls or just with comments from Beethro. The second part integrates an element with previous elements to show some of the neat interactions it has. Depending on what we agree on, as the hold progresses, this part might increase in difficulty. The third part is unrequired for hold completion but shows off some harder puzzles that involve an element. In theory, this lets the hold start off at a difficulty around JtRH L1 and ends at a difficulty around JtRH L25. This would hopefully give a sense of progression to players.

Of course, there are certainly other (possibly better) solutions out there. There are also other divides to deal with, so this project has a long way to go yet. But there's also no reason why it has to fail.

(It's also not *quite* as ambitious as it looks. It will end up over fifty levels, but some levels might have less than ten or even five rooms.)

____________________________
It was going well until it exploded.
~Scott Manley

Check out the DROD Wikia project here!
08-03-2014 at 06:18 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts This architect's holds Quote Reply
bomber50
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 865
Registered: 09-18-2006
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
I mostly agree with this three-part approach.

Outside of the first few levels, I don't think we need that many explanations, and possibly none for some levels, depending on how exactly we want it to be.

The third part may be better as secret rooms or as rooms behind a Hold Complete Wall. We could do both. I also see the second part and third part as being somewhat mixed together.
08-03-2014 at 02:26 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Pinnacle
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 1076
Registered: 06-10-2004
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
I don't think that anything difficult should necessarily be optional. This third part should really only be reserved for the absolute hardest content, the kind of puzzles that would be considered unreasonably difficult for the main sequence of one of the main games.

There seems to be a recurring theme that "beginner-friendly" has to mean excessively easy. Related elements can be introduced in groups, and particularly simple elements can be introduced as a subtheme of a level. There's absolutely no reason for force arrows to get their own level, then a level that introduces the concept of turning them off, then a third level introducing arrow rotators, all in different parts of the hold. Force arrows should be introduced as a basic element in the beginning, then the first level that actually focuses on them should introduce turning them off and rotators within the same level. It's also extremely limiting to not introduce roach queens in the introductory levels.

Yes, it's true that we're not making any assumptions about previous experience with DROD. But I think it's both safe and necessary to assume the player has a brain.

____________________________
Once (adv.): Enough.
Twice (adv.): Once too often.
~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

[Last edited by Pinnacle at 08-03-2014 03:55 PM]
08-03-2014 at 03:26 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Nuntar
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 3235
Registered: 02-20-2007
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+1)  
I don't entirely agree with the proposed three-part approach. I think there should in general be four parts, including a section of required puzzles that are easier than the unrequired ones. However, depending on the element, this may overlap with the first two parts.

This is the approach I'm taking in my entry-level hold Bubble Wrap. Each level begins with a very simple room introducing its element, where there is no option but to interact with it; e.g. firetraps are introduced with a room that has nothing but some firetraps and pressure plates. The player character comments "Whoa... where did all these fires spring up from?" but there is no "This is a firetrap, pressure plates can activate it and deactivate it, it can kill monsters" type speech. The only times I break the fourth wall to outright explain things to the player are when introducing new controls, e.g. Special Command to switch characters, bumping doors to command Halph, which the player couldn't be expected to figure out on their own.

For more complex elements (e.g. commanding Halph when you have the dagger) there is one room for each aspect -- one for "it can be beneficial to bump a different door before Halph reaches his destination", then one for "Halph always returns to the place where he received his most recent command, which can be used to your advantage", then one for "...but this can also be a disadvantage". But each of these rooms is a genuine puzzle requiring the player to figure out the concept being introduced, and they follow in logical sequence so that previous rooms have given them enough knowledge to do so.

I agree with bomber50 that bonus harder puzzles should be secrets rather than just unrequired -- then the player feels rewarded for completing them.

____________________________
50th Skywatcher
08-03-2014 at 03:37 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
hyperme
Level: Smiter
Avatar
Rank Points: 451
Registered: 06-23-2006
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+1)  
quote:
Pinnacle wrote:
There seems to be a recurring theme that "beginner-friendly" has to mean excessively easy. Related elements can be introduced in groups, and particularly simple elements can be introduced as a subtheme of a level. There's absolutely no reason for force arrows to get their own level, then a level that introduces the concept of turning them off, then a third level introducing arrow rotators, all in different parts of the hold. Force arrows should be introduced as a basic element in the beginning, then the first level that actually focuses on them should introduce turning them off and rotators within the same level.



This is a pretty important point. There is a fairly large difference between 'has never played DROD' and 'overwhelmed by simple ideas'. The Arrow example is a fairly good one. 'You can turn off arrows' is not a complex idea. Neither is 'arrows can by rotated'. The only reason to delay rotation as a topic is to show the effect of multiple rotation tokens being activated on one turn.

Likewise, Pressure Plates are something would benefit from being introduced as a group. This allows the player to immediately see the difference between the different types, instead of delay 2/3s of a simple mechanic.

____________________________
[Insert witty comment here]
Qzvlkx?
08-03-2014 at 04:04 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
bomber50
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 865
Registered: 09-18-2006
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
Basically, Nuntar's reply was what I had in mind, though I didn't phrase it quite as well.

Start out with something very simple, where failing is pretty much impossible. For example, a compact room containing a on-off pressure plate, a mirror and a yellow door. The player needs to figure out that they have to push the mirror onto the pressure plate. Since there are so few elements to work with, the player should be able to figure it out in a short amount of time. If not, that's when we make it even more basic, or provide some help.

Then the following rooms get harder, requiring additional tricks, different interactions with elements, or just being more difficult.

After that, the player can finish the level, but then there are sometimes some additional rooms that are one or more notches harder. I'm thinking this should not be behind hold complete walls; we can have an extra postconquer level if we really need to, or some miscellany bonus levels throughout for that purpose, or even just throw it into one of the exam levels.

I think it would be best to have as few explanations as possible, though I'm certainly open to criticism of that.

[Last edited by bomber50 at 08-03-2014 04:09 PM]
08-03-2014 at 04:08 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Nuntar
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 3235
Registered: 02-20-2007
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+1)  
quote:
hyperme wrote: This is a pretty important point. There is a fairly large difference between 'has never played DROD' and 'overwhelmed by simple ideas'. The Arrow example is a fairly good one. 'You can turn off arrows' is not a complex idea. Neither is 'arrows can by rotated'. The only reason to delay rotation as a topic is to show the effect of multiple rotation tokens being activated on one turn.

Hmm, I'm not entirely in agreement. "Arrows can be rotated" is a simple idea, but solving an arrow rotation puzzle is tricky because you have to hold in your mind a state of the room that you can't see. Also, arrows are an extremely versatile and important element, so there's not much danger of running out of puzzle ideas or seeming repetitive if we introduce arrows early and then go back to them later.

quote:
Likewise, Pressure Plates are something would benefit from being introduced as a group. This allows the player to immediately see the difference between the different types, instead of delaying two-thirds of a simple mechanic.

I'm also not sure about this. I would guess that when all three types are introduced at once, it takes longer for which is which to stick in the memory. On-off pressure plates require something to stay on them, which immediately brings monster manipulation into the equation, so I wouldn't introduce them in tier 0. Introducing the three types together in tier 1 is certainly possible. Bubble Wrap does it differently, introducing multi-use pressure plates in the Prologue and saving the others for later -- a decision influenced by the storyline, since Gunthro has to be unarmed in the Prologue.

____________________________
50th Skywatcher
08-03-2014 at 04:36 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Moo
Level: Master Delver
Rank Points: 214
Registered: 10-14-2006
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
quote:
12th Archivist wrote: The biggest split seems to be about how the difficulty curve should progress.
I think I'm one side of the split, so I need to try to explain my side...
quote:
The first part presents an element in a straightforward manner, whether it's with explanatory scrolls or just with comments from Beethro.
Well, not quite... I think we all agreed that just telling people how things work isn't a great way. Better to "force" them to discover it for themselves, or demonstrate it to them. Voice clips are nice though and make anything more interesting. Actually spelling things out in scrolls or whatever should be left for things that can't be easily demonstrated, either because they aren't game elements (UI features, keys, etc), or are too complex, cumbersome, or unintuitive (snake movement?).
When I say "force" them to discover it, I mean make a room (or part of a room) where the player has basically no choice but to do the "right thing". So, when introducing trapdoors, you could have a 1-wide corridor (that they are already used to) but with some trapdoors in the way... The only thing they can do is go across them, and that they have to cross them is obvious. Similarly when introducing anything, be it a new element, a new feature of an element, or an interaction between two elements. Yes, this means there will be a lot of very trivial rooms, but I don't think that's a problem.
Once something has been introduced by a "no-brainer", it can be used in something more of a puzzle. This should be a way for the player to show that they have understood what has just been introduced. It should be a case for them of "how do I use what I just saw to solve this little puzzle", not a case of "I have no idea what to do here". So what would be trivial is made into a puzzle by the new whatever, not a puzzle that would be tricky anyway, made even more hard by a new thing. You may think this would be too slow, but I disagree. These rooms don't need to be time-consuming for the player. Once they've proved they know what was introduced, you can start increasing the difficulty of the puzzles, to whatever maximum you want, and including more "things" together. The more difficult ones should definitely be optional, but the easier ones could be required. The player can always go back to the hub level if they're stuck and come back later.
What I want to avoid specifically is anything where the player is required to discover something new as part of solving a puzzle with any real difficulty, having to experiment or stumble upon the new thing, introducing several things "together", chances of blundering through things without understanding, and chances of making incorrect assumptions. Anything that could be assumed to work in one way should be demonstrated to either work in that way or to not work in that way. Yes, you can assume the player has a brain, but assuming their brain works "the right way" all the time isn't good. Better safe than sorry, and assume it doesn't. Better for them to spend 3 minutes doing simple things than banging their head against a wall for 30 minutes because they didn't "twig". Simple ideas on their own are simple, but two together is a more complex idea... And DROD has a lot of simple ideas.

For the arrow example, I have no problem with including rotators and switching along with the main arrow section, as long as they are introduced gradually enough. Similar with other related elements.
But continuing with the arrow example, I'll try to list the things I'd want to see covered... You can cross arrows in the direction they're pointing. You cannot cross going the opposite direction. You can cross "sideways". Monsters (that have been introduced previously, so only roaches?) can cross in the same way as you. Monsters are blocked in the same way as you. Monsters cannot kill you "over" an arrow, your sword can kill monsters "over" an arrow. And yes, I do mean these should be introduced individually, and not just give them a room with a load of roaches and arrows and expect them to either try enough things or look in the right places at the right times while making all the correct observations. Any interactions between arrows and elements introduced later should be introduced along with the later elements... So, snakes don't go across arrows in any direction; explosions don't the wrong way; other monsters (and mimics etc) are affected similarly to roaches. This doesn't mean for every monster you need to show they can cross normally, can't cross the wrong way, etc, then check the player understands it, and so on, just have one of the puzzles in each monster area allow the player to confirm that they do behave as expected.

I think the "tutorial" type parts should be unscorable, to allow unrestricted future development. These rooms would be very simple with low move counts and scope for optimization, so I don't think anything would be lost.

[Last edited by Moo at 08-03-2014 04:52 PM]
08-03-2014 at 04:46 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores Quote Reply
Rheb
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 1205
Registered: 08-04-2006
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
I would consider regular red serpents to be the most complicated of the three snake types; often I feel adders are the easiest to deal with when it comes to straight up fighting snakes.

____________________________
Voligner is my very own DROD-like game. Please check it out!
08-03-2014 at 05:01 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Moo
Level: Master Delver
Rank Points: 214
Registered: 10-14-2006
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
Right. Being able to dodge them and occasionally hit them is one thing... Being able to manipulate them into going where you want is harder. Adders have the added complexities of eating other things, and even eating themselves/each other, to deal with though.
08-03-2014 at 05:05 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores Quote Reply
bomber50
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 865
Registered: 09-18-2006
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
I don't think we should have trivial rooms when explaining every interaction, else it just becomes a 'tutorial' with few explanations. The player should be solving puzzles most of the time, not trivial rooms. It needs to be fun.
08-03-2014 at 05:18 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
silver
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 913
Registered: 01-18-2005
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
It doesn't have to be a totally trivial room - as long as they are gated through the lesson first?

Like with the arrows, you can imagine a room where you have to step onto arrows from each of the 5 onto directions, and off of them from each of the 5 'off of' directions, in a narrow corridor leading to the rest of the room, where there might be some puzzle to solve related to that.

----

does scripting have a thing where you can keep track of how many times a player has died in a room? The "don't want to break the fourth wall" seems like a good principle, but also it might be good to be able to give a hint if they player is dying too much?


____________________________
:yinyang
08-03-2014 at 05:42 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts This architect's holds Quote Reply
enzi666
Level: Delver
Avatar
Rank Points: 98
Registered: 01-05-2004
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+1)  
There's 2 problems with any room. The puzzle itself and the execution. Now, if you are new and don't have a lot of experience, the execution in itself (raw gameplay) is hard. Furthermore, throwing puzzles at someone without deep knowledge what can be manipulated, what works, what doesn't etc,.. makes it hard to even see the puzzle.

For a beginner hold, a lot of care must be taken to teach this execution. What helps is restricted movement, coloring tiles, maybe a stalwart that is in a mirrored part of the room, 1 step ahead of you, showing you the solution.

Anyway, what I'm more interested in, is what the distribution will be like. I feel like if it's just a hold somewhere in the hold list people will skip it. Furthermore, there are a lot of holds that could be already categorized as beginner holds. Smitemastery 101 comes to mind. But back to the distribution.

Any plans that this hold gets released as a freeware or that it can be played in a demo? I don't see the point to make this hold for people who bought TSS, but maybe I'm wrong there.

With the inevitable Steam release stuff like this could get a huge momentum so thanks and good luck for everyone who's involved in this.



____________________________
58th Skywatcher

DROD AE: Finished - KDD2: Mastered
JTRH: Mastered
TCB: Mastered - RPG: Finished
GatEB: Mastered - TSS: Mastered
08-04-2014 at 01:26 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts ICQ Status Quote Reply
lopsidation
Level: Master Delver
Avatar
Rank Points: 175
Registered: 05-30-2008
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
I'll volunteer to contribute a level or three.
quote:
silver wrote: does scripting have a thing where you can keep track of how many times a player has died in a room?
No. (We don't want a room that requires you to die 10 times to beat it.) If you want to give a hint to a player, you could place a scroll in a side passage, with a note saying "Don't read that unless you're seriously stuck!"

____________________________
"Happiness is like a cat. If you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you'll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping into your lap."
08-05-2014 at 10:59 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts This architect's holds Quote Reply
kieranmillar
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 1310
Registered: 07-11-2014
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
Can I join in? I had some ideas for how a fluff and puff level could work out.

____________________________
(07:23 PM) Pearls: Kieran is correct.
09-23-2014 at 10:56 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Nuntar
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 3235
Registered: 02-20-2007
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+1)  
As far as I'm concerned, anyone can join in. You have to message bomber50 for an invitation to the beta board. (lopsidation, that goes for you too; I apologise if we forgot to invite you!)

We're halfway through tier 1 at the moment (and it's going well; including tier 0 we have over 80 rooms so far) so fluff is a way off yet, but there's lots more you could contribute before then ;)

____________________________
50th Skywatcher
09-23-2014 at 01:09 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Godot23
Level: Master Delver
Avatar
Rank Points: 114
Registered: 02-28-2013
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
Oooh. Can I join in on this party? I really like this idea. I can think of some rooms for a few concepts.

____________________________
Roses are red
Violets are red
Everything is red
My house is on fire
09-23-2014 at 01:55 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts Quote Reply
Zaratustra00
Level: Master Delver
Rank Points: 107
Registered: 11-12-2004
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
The worst levels in TSS are those that deal with turn order. You might have to add a few of those.
09-24-2014 at 02:22 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts Quote Reply
BlueFlower
Level: Master Delver
Avatar
Rank Points: 149
Registered: 10-27-2013
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+1)  
I could help with some of the levels. I could make them look nice, or make 1st tier levels.

____________________________
7st Skywatcher, but also
1th Not-Quite-Valid-ish-but-successful Skywatcher.
2rd Something.
09-24-2014 at 11:32 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts This architect's holds Quote Reply
Jordthro
Level: Delver
Avatar
Rank Points: 66
Registered: 07-22-2012
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+1)  
I don't understand why this introductory hold will introduce DROD 5.0 mechanics at all. If you eliminated these elements it would make the beginner hold slightly less daunting and have the added benefit of allowing players to discover the new mechanics organically in TSS--an arguably better experience and as a bonus will also be less work. I assume this hold will be bundled with TSS, making TSS an obvious next hold decision after the first one is completed. I thought the purpose of this hold is to kind of bring the new player up to speed with the fanbase who loved (and were prepared for) TSS.

On that vein, why not include the scripting for the main stories of KDD, JtRH, and TCB together? I mean why not literally make this hold a condensed version of the story line thus far. That way, the player has the added benefit of getting completely caught up story wise as well. Also, this will allow you to borrow some of the best made rooms for each element and either keep them or modify them slightly to make them a tad easier. The voice recording is already done, and obviously only the main plot points would need to be included. This idea could mix pretty well with completely new rooms added as well that simply focus on mechanics/lynchpins. Honestly, I think it'd be a blast to play.

____________________________
105th Skywatcher

[Last edited by Jordthro at 10-01-2014 08:54 AM]
10-01-2014 at 08:29 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts Quote Reply
Nuntar
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 3235
Registered: 02-20-2007
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+1)  
Fair question. I'll answer from my own point of view, but this is just my opinion and not the view of the project as a whole.

Pace the opening post, I don't think we were ever trying to produce the one-size-fits-all recommended starter hold for new players. That would be impossible. Some players want every new monster or game element introduced with text explaining what it does; others would hate that. Players may take up this hold after having gone some distance into KDD, GatEB or TSS, and may play other usermade holds alongside it. Some players may want an introduction to all elements so they can get started on usermade holds; others may want to be introduced only to pre-5.0 elements before playing TSS.

Personally, if someone serious about getting into DROD asked me where to begin, I would not recommend playing a pre-5.0 intro hold and then jumping into TSS. The storyline of TCB is too good to spoil that way, even if taken in summary form before playing TSS. Your idea of a "story mode" JtRH + TCB is excellent, and I would like to help make that happen as well, but I haven't asked permission for that idea yet. Anyway, it would be a separate project -- even if some newcomers would prefer to start with that hold and ignore Entry Point, that's no reason to scrap EP in its favour. Having more choice is always better. EP will give novice players more practice in using the elements, even if they don't play it as their absolute first hold. Hopefully, if the rooms are designed well enough, it will be fun to play for experienced players as well (and it will include optional content -- secrets, challenges etc. -- specially to reward more able players).

So, my goal is simply to give beginning players another large hold they can get into (two, actually -- I'm also working on one by myself). When these holds (and two others in progress at the moment) are complete, beginners will have more choices for which hold to play first, each with advantages and disadvantages. And I want to include 5.0 elements, because there is already a top-quality beginner's hold (Dan's Dungeon) covering nearly everything pre-5.0 (it's actually pre-4.0, so it doesn't include shallow water or horns, but those are the only new things in 4.0). But the "niche" of a quality beginner's hold including 5.0 elements is as yet unfilled.

Finally, to answer something you asked tangentially in your post, this hold has no official status and there's no guarantee it will be bundled with TSS. I would like it to be included in the "starter pack" bundled with the game, but we'll just have to see whether it ends up high-quality enough for that to happen.

____________________________
50th Skywatcher
10-01-2014 at 02:30 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Jordthro
Level: Delver
Avatar
Rank Points: 66
Registered: 07-22-2012
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (+1)  
Thanks for the response, Nuntar. I totally understand your reasons and they make sense. I misunderstood the purpose of your project.

Maybe this post should go somewhere else, but I'm not sure where. I had a few more thoughts that I think are worth sharing: DROD 5.0 is somewhat of a contradiction. As a DROD engine, it's perfect for beginners. It features Unlimited Undo, which is a great way to explore monster movements, deal effectively with horde management, etc... but as a DROD game it also has two barriers for immediate entry for beginners:

1) Storywise, it's the definition of epic, but I do think it requires a hefty amount of understanding from the previous entries which veteran players I think take for granted.

2) It's a difficult game which not only assumes the player is very familiar with the dozens upon dozens of mechanics from the first games, but can already solve really difficult puzzles with that knowledge. Honestly, I applaud the dev team for making this game and for putting quality over profit. Whenever someone *is* finally ready to play this game, it's going to knock their socks off. But again this does require a good amount of experience.

I recognize that DROD is a niche game and will always be a niche game, but it would be too bad if DROD ever lost a portion of their legitimate fanbase because either the learning curve was too brutal or they're thrust into a foreign world that is entirely *too* weird simply because they haven't connected with the characters and extensive histories yet.

All that said, I think making light versions of existing holds that simultaneously contain the story and introduce the mechanics from those games is a great answer for both of these problems. They could be released as four separate holds and contain a fraction of the rooms (instead of 350+, how about 100?) while keeping the story elements in tact.

These light versions would also succeed in getting a player to feel an immediate sense of accomplishment at having completed a hold that took maybe a day or two, as well as letting them get immersed in the story which will make them want to play through the other holds. The beautiful thing about this is it's tweaking of rooms that already exist and the speech has already been recorded. Just some thoughts, feel free to disagree.

____________________________
105th Skywatcher

[Last edited by Jordthro at 10-01-2014 07:52 PM]
10-01-2014 at 07:51 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts Quote Reply
Banjooie
Level: Smitemaster
Avatar
Rank Points: 1613
Registered: 12-12-2004
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
No. Stop.

You skipped Jordthro's post just now, because you actually bothered scrolling down this far instead of hitting reply and going 'yes, this'.

I see you scrolling. Scroll back up. Light versions of the holds with the important story bits in them at /minimum/, Easy Mode style, is an amazing idea.
10-02-2014 at 07:42 AM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Show all user's posts This architect's holds Quote Reply
Jacob
Level: Smitemaster
Rank Points: 3511
Registered: 10-01-2004
IP: Logged
icon Re: Entry Point (0)  
So, should we seriously consider releasing a new version of TSS, with puzzles simplified or removed?

Not a bad idea. What do the dev team think?

____________________________
New to DROD? You may want to read this.
My Holds and Levels:
Click here to view the secret text

10-02-2014 at 08:47 PM
View Profile Send Private Message to User Send Email to User Show all user's posts High Scores This architect's holds Quote Reply
Page 1 of 3
23
New Topic New Poll Post Reply
Caravel Forum : Caravel Boards : General : Entry Point (Hypothetical hold)
Surf To:


Forum Rules:
Can I post a new topic? No
Can I reply? No
Can I read? Yes
HTML Enabled? No
UBBC Enabled? Yes
Words Filter Enable? No

Contact Us | CaravelGames.com

Powered by: tForum tForumHacks Edition b0.98.8
Originally created by Toan Huynh (Copyright © 2000)
Enhanced by the tForumHacks team and the Caravel team.