Added the Newbie Checklist!

Sun 14 Jun 2015, 02:55 by bencelot



Yesterday and today were spent brainstorming and adding an amazing new tutorial system to the game - the Newbie Checklist. It works a bit like an achievement system but is designed to guide newbies through the game and teach them how to play. Up the top right hand corner of the screen will be a checklist of tasks the newbie needs to complete. Stuff like buy a gun, chat to the server, unlock skills, etc. Whenever a newbie completes the current item in the checklist they will be awarded with XP and bright flashing lights. This gives new players a fun incentive to read about the game and learn how to play properly.

Attachment:
MF-2015-06-13-20-34-47.jpg


The system is smart too and will save the completed items to your account so you don't have to do them again. It will also generate a list of items dependent on the game mode that you're playing in. This way the steps you're shown are relevant to the game mode. For example, in Outbreak you are not taught how to use chemicals until after you have collected and returned some zombie souls. This is because chemicals aren't too necessary for Outbreak. In Chemical Warfare however the list will be ordered to teach you how to use chemicals before you attempt to capture Compounds, as this is obviously necessary. The system will even check server settings to give relevant information on how to unlock skills (PM vs QM) and also ensure that vehicles and chemicals are actually enabled in the server before requiring you to complete them.

Finally, the system is designed to only show you 7 items at a time. As you complete them new items will display on the screen and the old completed ones will be removed. This prevents cluttering up the screen and makes the checklist nice and symmetrical with the Minimap. Furthermore this system allows us to have plenty of items, and new players will gradually make their way through them at their own pace without being overloaded with information. There are currently 27 items, ranging from the simplest "Buy a Weapon" to very obscure items like "Unlock a Cosmetic". If you have any ideas of things to add let me know! Here's what I've got so far, and the order they must be completed in (assuming they're relevant to the server you're in):

Code:
  tt.Set("XL_NC_BUYWEAPON",          "Buy a Weapon"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_CHATSERVER",         "Chat to the Server"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_USEBARRIER",         "Use your Barrier"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_KILLENEMY",          "Kill an Enemy"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_PICKUPGUN",          "Pick up a Gun"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_BUYVEHICLE",         "Buy a Vehicle"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_UNLOCKSKILLSQM",     "Unlock Skills"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_UNLOCKSKILLSPM",     "Unlock Skills"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_CASTSKILL",          "Cast a Skill"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_KILLZOMBIES",        "Kill some Zombies"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_PICKUPSOULS",        "Pickup Zombie Souls"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_RETURNSOULS",        "Return Souls to Bomb"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_SAVECASH",           "Save $10000 Cash"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_BUYBASE",            "Buy a Base Chemicals"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_PLACEBASE",          "Place Base Chemicals"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_PLACEWARPFIELD",     "Place a Warp Field"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_USEWARPFIELD",       "Use Warp Field"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_BUYCOMPOUNDER",      "Buy a Compounder"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_CAPTURECOMPOUND",    "Capture a Compound"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_CAPTUREOBJECTIVE",   "Capture an Objective"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_EXTRACTOBJECTIVE",   "Extract an Objective"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_CAPTUREBATTERY",     "Capture the Battery"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_COMPLETELAP",        "Complete a Lap"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_COMPLETEMISSION",    "Complete a Mission"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_NEUTRALIZECHEMICAL", "Neutralize a Chemical"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_UNLOCKCOSMETIC",     "Unlock a Cosmetic"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_OPENGUIDE",          "Open the Help Guide"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);


Have I missed anything? Let me know! I really think this system will do wonders for the game and help retain a lot of new players. We finally have a way to introduce newbies to the awesomeness of this game without overloading them with information or expecting them to read massive walls of text. It's a simple, fun and rewarding system where new players WANT to learn more, just to get that sweet XP. Very curious to see how this works out!


7 Comments


Maximilian says:

Sun 14 Jun 2015, 11:21


Yeah, now what matters is what achievements are in the list. I highly recommend they should be not "activate the barrier" but "absorb 200 damage with barrier", not "buy a skill" but "kill somebody with a skill" etc.
They should reward for successful use of anything.


bencelot says:

Sun 14 Jun 2015, 17:41


Yup, let's talk about what they should be and in what order. I think it needs to be a balance between super easy (active your barrier) and more difficult and rewarding (kill an enemy, or extract an objective). I've designed the first 4 items very specifically as they are what will lure newbies in and get them engaging with the system. Once they're engaged they can start doing more complicated stuff. Basically the purpose of the first 4 items is to make them aware the system exists, get them to use it, and get them on a mission to kill someone as soon as possible. My thinking is as follows:

1) Buy a weapon. When a newbie first joins the game they'll see the F12 menu, press F12 to close it and then be confronted with the full HUD. They're not going to look at any of it except the buy menu right in front of them. But as soon as they buy a gun the checklist will flip out, start flashing and making cool noises as they completed their first step. This will draw their attention to the newbie checklist and make them aware that it exists.

As a secondary measure to make sure they actually know the checklist exists, when they die for the first time a popup will appear pointing it out to them saying something like "Learn to play with the Newbie Checklist! You'll earn bonus experience for every step you complete!". Newbies should at least know that this thing exists now. Whether they choose to participate is up to them, but they should because the next item says:

2) Chat to the Server: (+20xp)
"Press (ENTER) to chat. Introduce yourself to the server and you'll receive a bonus 20xp! You can chat to just your team by pressing (T)."

This will be the first one that players actively check off, as they'll probably do the first one by accident when they buy their first weapon. This one is positioned second because there's not much to say about chatting, so we take the opportunity to explain how the system works. They know the system exists now, and so they'll read this and see they can earn bonus XP. Also it takes 2 seconds to press enter and type hi, so it's a very quick and easy reward for them. Woo, more flashing lights! Free XP! They're starting to actively participate in the system now. Not only that but we've got them talking to the server nice and early, so people might be friendly and reply. This sort of community building is important. They also now know how to ask questions. Also you're not going to accidentally tick this one off, whereas you might accidentally tick off the barrier one if it was second. We don't want people accidentally ticking stuff off because it defeats the purpose and they don't take the time to read the description. By putting this 2nd we guarantee that all the steps below it are being read and completed actively, rather than happening at random and by accident.

3) Use your Barrier: (+20xp)
"Your Barrier absorbs damage into your mana pool instead of your hitpoints and will often save your life. Hold (CTRL) to activate it."

After the extremely easy and rewarding completion of step 2, they'll move right into step 3 to see what else they can do to get free XP. Again, the XP comes easily here. But I don't tell them how to use the barrier until AFTER explaining they key dynamic for how it works. Most people won't know that CTRL is the key for barrier, so they'll be forced to (they'll WANT to) read the little blurb of text explaining how to get the free XP. They now know that barrier provides protection and is related to your mana somehow. That's good enough for early stages. For a brand new newbie barrier is SO important. It doubles their hitpoints (as they have no actives to drain mana yet) AND makes them more accurate. It's very important to teach newbies how to use barrier as soon as possible, and it needs to be done before they get killing.

Anyway they now know this critical bit of information and again with the simple press of a button they hit CTRL and boom, more flashing lights! By this point they are well and truly using the system and locked into it. Lots of quick and easy positive feedback. These first 3 items can all be ticked off in the first 30 seconds, but they're already feeling good after these 3 quick rewards. 3 rewards is enough to make sure they know how this system works, but we don't want to overdo it or it'll get boring. They do want to actually play the game afterall. Which is why step 4 jumps straight into:

4) Kill an Enemy (+50xp)
"The purpose of killing is to earn cash and experience. Hold your barrier to improve your recoil and try firing in short, sharp bursts."

Now that they're using the system we give them their first challenge. Killing someone. This is what all newbies naturally try to do anyway, so we give them what they want. Time to play the game. They've got a gun and they know barrier exists. We taught them how barrier gives them protection in step 3, and now we reinforce this by talking about the improved recoil in step 4. This step will take them a while as they're crappy newbies, but that's ok. They will probably die a few times, but that's fine too. They have a very clear goal now and they're armed with the most important items - a gun and barrier. They'll also have a constant reminder to use their barrier and control their recoil as they complete their first challenge. This will help their chances a lot and start them off with good shooting habits from the very start of the game.

Anyway those are the first 4 steps. 3 really quick ones that get them into the system and prepare them for step 4, the kill, which is what they naturally want to do anyway. They're engaged with the system, using barrier hopefully, and on a mission to kill, and when they get it that kill will be all the more rewarding for them. This reward will further engage them with the system as they'll really feel that they've earned this one this time. After this we can once again give them a mix of easy and challenging tasks to complete. And they will go for them as it gives them something to do, rather than running around aimlessly.


LucasRo7 says:

Mon 15 Jun 2015, 21:31


yaay, now we dont need to explain everything to the newcomers, we dont need to spam "come on man, chat with me im trying to help u!" and we dont need to suicide to make them continue playing(sometimes sure, but not as often) :D


bencelot says:

Mon 15 Jun 2015, 21:46


Yeah I'm hoping that now all we'll need to do is say "do the newbie checklist" and it will take care of the rest. The step by step nature where it requires them to actually DO the steps rather than just read about them will really help I think.


LucasRo7 says:

Mon 15 Jun 2015, 22:53


bencelot wrote:
Yeah I'm hoping that now all we'll need to do is say "do the newbie checklist" and it will take care of the rest. The step by step nature where it requires them to actually DO the steps rather than just read about them will really help I think.


i think just the most noobs of them all or people that doesnt understand the checklist(like people from places where there is no translation for the game ex: russian) wont get helped


Encrypted says:

Tue 16 Jun 2015, 18:30


Maybe add:

"Get 4 kills in a row without dying (advanced)" - Simple yet entertaining. It should be somewhere at the bottom of the list, so newbies will have time to learn how they're supposed to do this.
"Use a healing skill to save your teammate from dying (advanced)" - Shows up when they've bought SR and done a lot of checks, marks, whatever. Allows newbies to learn teamplay while earning XP - isn't that nice?
"Kill someone with a car (medium)" - Newbies learnt how to buy cars. Now they can learn how to drive [precisely] while getting XP.
"Perform the Buggy Bomb maneuver (expert)" - It's not very hard, yet you need good timing to do this. Buy a Buggy and a Bazooka (Buggy because it's fast and cheap), charge at your enemy, get out of the car and explode it with the bazooka when it's close enough to the enemy. You'll deal damage BOTH with that Buggy and Bazooka. YAY! And newbies can get XP for that.

Yeah, maybe that last thing is a bit out of place...

Also: Yeah, we'll need to translate those checklists.


bencelot says:

Tue 16 Jun 2015, 18:46


Yeah so all the ones I have right now are here:

Code:
  tt.Set("XL_NC_BUYWEAPON_DESC",          "Go to your spawn zone and press (B). An UZI is a good all purpose weapon. If you run out of ammo you can rebuy the gun to get more."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_CHATSERVER_DESC",         "Press (ENTER) to chat. Introduce yourself to the server and you'll receive a bonus 20xp! You can chat to just your team by pressing (T)."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_USEBARRIER_DESC",         "Your Barrier absorbs damage into your mana pool instead of your hitpoints and will often save your life. Hold (CTRL) to activate it."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_KILLENEMY_DESC",          "The purpose of killing is to earn cash and experience. Hold your barrier to improve your recoil and try firing in short, sharp bursts."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_PICKUPGUN_DESC",          "You need to save cash to buy the more powerful weapons, vehicles and chemicals. Save cash by picking guns up off the ground with (E)."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_BUYVEHICLE_DESC",         "Go to your spawn and press (B). Vehicles provide protection and can help complete game objectives. You can change seats with the number keys to fire out different windows. You can also boost by holding (SHIFT) or the Right Mouse Button."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_UNLOCKSKILLSQM_DESC",     "Gaining experience lets you unlock powerful skills. This server is a Quickmatch meaning your skill choices are TEMPORARY and will reset next round. This means you can experiment! For now though you should unlock the SELF REPAIR skill, as it will heal you and is useful in any skill build. To unlock skills, hold (ALT) and click the skills you want to unlock. Better yet, try using one of the preset skill queues!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_UNLOCKSKILLSPM_DESC",     "Gaining experience lets you unlock powerful skills. This server is PERMANENT, meaning your skill choices will be saved to your account. You can easily reallocate your skills however, so feel free to experiment. For now though you should unlock the SELF REPAIR skill, as it will heal you and is useful in any skill build. Press (N) to open the skills menu, click on the CYBERNETICS tab, and invest some points into the Self Repair skill."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_CASTSKILL_DESC",          "Casting skills uses mana, which is shown by the barrier icon next to your health. It's important to note that skills will both help AND harm you when they're cast, so use them wisely! You can hold (ALT) to read the skill descriptions if you've forgotten what they do. Your active skills are show down the bottom left of the HUD and can be cast with the number keys. You can rearrange which keys cast which skills by holding (ALT) and dragging the skills onto different slots. You can also cast skills with Right-Click and cycle the selected skill with (Z)."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_COLLECTSOULS_DESC",       "This is the Outbreak game mode. To win you need to kill zombies, collect the white souls that they drop and then return them to the bomb. Try using skills with large splash damage. These will kill zombies much faster than just using guns."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_RETURNSOULS_DESC",        "After collecting souls you need to return them to the bomb. You'll gain score and experience for every soul you return. Try doing this frequently as you can use the bonus XP to unlock powerful skills and kill zombies even faster. Follow the white arrow on your HUD to take your souls to the bomb. You can hold (TAB) to see your score."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_SAVECASH_DESC",           "At the start of each round try save $10,000 as soon as possible. You'll need this to buy chemicals. With chemicals you can build a base in the map and gain many strategic advantages. The sooner you get them the better, so start saving!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_BUYBASE_DESC",            "The first chemical you must buy is called BASE CHEMICALS. It acts like a buy zone - when you stand in it you can buy all the other chemicals. It is your base and must be protected at all costs! Go to your spawn zone, press (B) and buy one from the chemical menu on the left."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_PLACEBASE_DESC",          "Hold (C) and stand still for a few seconds to place your chemical on the ground. Do this quickly before anyone kills you! If you die while carrying a chemical it will be wasted."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_PLACEWARPFIELD_DESC",     "Congratulations! It's important to note that other players CANNOT SEE your chemicals once you place them. However they can still destroy them with the Neutralizer chemical if they guess where they're located. For this reason you should place your chemcials secretly, so enemies don't know where to Neutralize. It's now time to expand your chemical empire! Save up another $5000, stand inside your Base Chemicals, press (B) to buy a WARP FIELD, and place it somewhere else on the map."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_USEWARPFIELD_DESC",       "When you stand inside a Warp Field arrows will display pointing to all the other Warp Fields and Base Chemicals that you have in the map. Simply hold (ALT) and click one of these arrows and you'll instantly teleport to your target! Cool huh? Try experimenting with other chemicals too - they all help in your ultimate goal of completing game objectives and winning the game!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_BUYCOMPOUNDER_DESC",      "This is the Chemical Warfare game mode. To win you need to capture all of the Compounds in the map. You do this by buying and placing COMPOUNDER chemicals. These are very expensive, so the players who win are often the best at getting kills and earning cash quickly. Save up $10,000 and buy a Compounder from you Base Chemicals by pressing (B)."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_CAPTURECOMPOUND_DESC",    "Compounds are the little biohazard symbols you see on the map. To capture one you must walk into it and hold (C) to place a Compounder inside it. This is hard! You're very vulnerable while carrying and placing chemicals. Try using vehicles to help transport chemicals safely. After you capture a Compound you will be awarded points. Hold (TAB) to see your score."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_CAPTUREOBJECTIVE_DESC",   "This is the Extraction game mode. To win you need to capture Objectives (like the Flag, Radio and Truck) and take them to their respective extraction zones. Follow the white arrow on your HUD to go capture the current Objective."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_EXTRACTOBJECTIVE_DESC",   "Once you've captured an Objective you must extract it. Follow the white arrow on your HUD and take the Objective to its extraction zone. Successfully extracting an objective will award both you and your allies scoring points, so work together! Hold (TAB) to see your score."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_CAPTUREBATTERY_DESC",     "This is the Checkpoint game mode. To win you need to pick up the Battery in a vehicle and then complete laps by driving it through all of the checkpoints. Buy a vehicle and then follow the white arrow on your HUD to capture the Battery."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_COMPLETELAP_DESC",        "Once you've captured the Battery you must drive it through the checkpoints to complete laps. Follow the white arrow on your HUD to drive through each of the checkpoints. If the enemy team has the Battery you can try setting up roadblocks to stop them from making laps. Successfully completing a lap with the Battery will award both you and your allies scoring points, so work together! Hold (TAB) to see your score."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_COMPLETEMISSION_DESC",    "Mission are a way to make extra money. Each mission has a requirement and if you complete it you'll be rewarded with extra cash! They are displayed under the minimap and you can look through them by pressing (M). For now try completing one of the easier missions like Pistol Practice."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_NEUTRALIZECHEMICAL_DESC", "Another good way to make money is to Neutralize enemy chemicals. You buy the Neutralizer from your Base Chemicals and then place it on the ground where you think an enemy chemical is. If you guess correctly you'll not only receive cash, but you'll destroy their chemical too! You cannot directly see enemy chemicals, but you can deduce their location by spying on your enemy and seeing where they go."); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_UNLOCKCOSMETIC_DESC",     "Cosmetics have no impact on gameplay but they look nice and are a fun way to personalize your character. Most cosmetics are unlocked with Community Credits (press F12 for info), but for now you can unlock one for free called Spawning Lights. Press (ESC) and go to the Player > Unlocks menu to unlock the Spawning Lights cosmetic. Looking sexy!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);
  tt.Set("XL_NC_OPENGUIDE_DESC",          "Wooo, you've done it! By now you have a solid understanding of how to play Mutant Factions. But if you really want to master the game you can press (F12) to open the How to Play Guide. This is full of tips and tricks that will really give you the edge in combat. Have fun!!"); defaultTranslations.push_back(tt);


These are the core ones which actually introduce concepts to the player. They're pretty easy to do, or straightforward at least. And the focus is on education, not just for the sake of fun. But I wouldn't mind tacking a few fun ones onto the end. Thing is they have to be achievable. They can't be things like "kill 5 enemies in a row" unless that's at the very end maybe. Because if that's in the middle a newbie will never be able to achieve it and never get past that step. Remember this is designed to bring newbies up to speed with the game in a quick, fun and easy way.

I really do like this system though, so what I might do is create a secondary system which is purely for achievements. Here is where I can put all the ridiculous items that are really hard to pull off. I'll probably wait till Steam to do this so I can integrate it all nicely. But I could borrow a lot of the elements from this newbie system.

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(9)


New version is out! Introducing v0.691

(7)


Yehaaa!! Version 0.69 is out!

(4)


Woo hoo! We now have new hosting :D

(10)


Woohoo!! Over 5000 members!

(4)


Subvein is back up and running!!

(8)


2000 members. Let's make it 20000!!

(36)


Subvein version 0.6 has been released!

(13)


New promo video!!!

(12)


Added a new Community page!

(6)


Just added camera shake :)

(3)


Updated the news page!

(3)


Start earning community credits today!

(16)


A war is coming..

(6)


Account system coming to Subvein v0.6!!

(29)


First ever demo of Subvein vehicles is up!

(5)


Version 0.551 Released :)

(4)


Subvein version 0.55 Released!

(8)


Version 0.541 is out. Thank god!

(5)


Version 0.54 is different. Experience it now!

(9)


Version 0.54 comes out in 24 hours!!

(9)


Subvein v0.53 is OUT!!

(3)


Subvein v0.53 will go up within 24 hours!!!!

(9)


Added a new SHARE button!

(2)


Added a new FAQ section to site!

(5)


Subvein version 0.52 is HERE!!!

(13)


Subvein v0.52 will be released in 7 hours!!

(13)


Development towards version 0.52:

(70)


Version 0.51 is OUT!

(6)


Welcome to Geneshift!

(167)