Elemental: Advisors

By on April 13, 2010 4:19:26 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Galactic Civilizations II had advisors for the players. The players could query the advisors and it would give advice on what it thought they should do.

Unfortunately, I wrote the advisors in Galactic Civilizations II and my bias was always pretty anti-human so when I say players, I mean the computer players.  Humans did not have access to the advisors. It was always considered an unfortunate necessity that the computer players had to tolerate having humans in their game since humans were the ones who spending money to play it.

In Elemental, the advisors will be back and this time human players will be able to access them for help and advice.  The idea is that, especially early game and for new players, the advisors will offer a means to walk the player through the game.  I very much want to avoid putting in some sort of “tutorial” but rather have a system where players can learn the game by AI driven advisors.

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April 13, 2010 4:37:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds good. But how would we access these advisors? Since you don't want a tutorial that would put them all in one place. Would you have something like a "help" button we could press at any time whenever something stumps us?

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April 13, 2010 4:44:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As long as they aren't telling me to build additional pylons.

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April 13, 2010 4:45:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am curious, why don't you want a tutorial?

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April 13, 2010 4:47:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A Crystal Ball that cannot be removed from the inventory?

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April 13, 2010 4:47:22 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Perhaps a continuation on that thought - http://forums.impulsedriven.com/378952 .  Human tutors.

 

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April 13, 2010 4:55:14 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

If they're anything close to Civ 2 style that would be awesome

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April 13, 2010 4:55:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds good. It will be very helpful for the new players.

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April 13, 2010 5:20:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think a tutorial would be almost better (some sort of introduction campaign) than advisors. This is simply because (speaking from past experience) their advice becomes a redundant and frustrating intrusion for accomplished players.

If advisors are included there definitely needs to be an option to turn off their introduction oriented pieces of advice. It would be great if advisors could offer a range of micro/macro management oriented information and advice that regular players would find helpful.

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April 13, 2010 6:52:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I may know nothing about coding or selling games but as a customer and a player I can say that nothing beats a good tutorial and its absence is always felt.

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April 13, 2010 7:10:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Advisors are a great idea but I still think the first campaign mission or a special tutorial mission should be available.  It doesn't need to be too fancy but just enough to get people started and introduce key concepts.  You can make your advisors be the tutorial, just offer a little more advise and be a little more aggressive with the suggestions in that special mission.

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April 13, 2010 7:13:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds like an opportunity to apply "Simple systems work together to create complexity." Connect the advisor code to the champions code and let players at lower difficulty levels start the game with a free champion who has few-to-no assets other than the advisor capability. Could also be a good vehicle for leveraging more Random House novel content for the campaign components if you can pull some characters from that story to serve as advisors. (And yes, I'm also thinking about Scott's idea about champions as chancellors. Could be two good things that go great together.)

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April 13, 2010 8:34:02 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Wintersong,
A Crystal Ball that cannot be removed from the inventory?

 

2 of them actually. And they can be removed but its a painful process and not something anyone but the most hardcore player would want to do.

 

Anyway, about the advisers. I have only 1 thing to say: Afterlife. If you havn't played it, youtube the advisers. NEED MOAR! That is how all advisers should be. Even in real life.

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April 13, 2010 9:10:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A tab that can access a screen of advisors (one for Misc help that breaks the 4th wall, one for Empire building in general, one for Adventuring, Military, Magic, ect)

In FFH2 there is a pop-up text in the beginning, which explains basic concepts. (at least on first game-run).

Having various pop-ups in-game would be extremely annoying, however having a place to go in need of help (adviser Lair) would be useful to new players (or just if your bored).

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April 13, 2010 9:21:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm all for this idea, but I agree that for seasoned players starting a new game, advisor pop-ups can be annoying.

 

The idea of an Advisor Tab alongside those for Research, Spells, etc would work well.

 

It could also appear as advice underneath the report lines within your city overview.

 

Regardless, a good balance between Easily Accessible Advisory Information and YDHVYDWT, better known as You Don't Have To View It If You Don't Want To(tm) would be nice.

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April 13, 2010 9:36:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Crazy Idea Frogboy - What if you made them recruitable and gave you bonuses as well as advice? The more advanced ones would give you better advice, and better bonuses. The starter ones would teach you the basics only. Lots of room in between for "OK" advisers.

 

Ok bad idea I know....

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April 13, 2010 9:51:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If we're going to have advisors I think they need to be extremely personal and engaging, like they were in King of Dragon Pass.

 

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April 13, 2010 10:04:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"Kill them all".... Yes I know that but how....? Wait is this all you can say...!? (Kills my first adviser.) Next!

 

But seriously tutorial never hurt nobody. As long as you have options to skip ahead, or skip to different sections... I think you will be good.

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April 13, 2010 10:37:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Could also be a good vehicle for leveraging more Random House novel content for the campaign components if you can pull some characters from that story to serve as advisors.

Tidy.

I like the idea of advisors, especially if they're fallible according to skillset or bias. Eg: Coupling a victory condition playstyle to each advisor.

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April 13, 2010 11:36:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds to me that people DO want a tutorial. If that is the case, we'll need to revisit that.

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April 14, 2010 12:31:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm going to go ahead and put in my vote for:

 

No Tutorial

 

I think that if you have an Advisor System, you've essentially got an Integrated Tutorial Tool without the need to require players to engage in a Tutorial Level before progressing to the Real Game.  The Advisors can provide the knowledge required for new beginners to get a handle on things, while not being necessary for veterans starting new games, or for people who just want to Click Around to Figure Stuff Out (what I generally do).

 

My two cents.

 

[Additional Note] For those players interested in being immersed in the game world an Advisor System would be a far better option than a Tutorial, which generally screams "You aren't a sovereign in this game world, you're a dude(tte) sitting at a computer reading instructions about how to win."  To me an Advisor System would just be that much more seamless.  No breaks in gameplay unless you want them, and a better immersion factor.

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April 14, 2010 12:55:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the idea of a tutorial but if it could be an optional thing that would be even better! Something like an ever present "Well what do you think?" could be referenced but you have the choice to ignore it as well.

 

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April 14, 2010 12:56:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Honestly the only way you can get away without a tutorial is a really detailed manual with the game (Hate games that don't come with manuals) or Really Really good tool tips.After playing the Beta for a bit (and yes I know this is very early beta) and being very familiar with this genre of game. There are still quite a few changes to the norm in here, and things like figuring how you are supposed to get enough housing or even that you need to be very aware that pop is key to leveling cities.

Advisors while nice are

A. Annoying

B. controlled by a AI which doesn't always understand what you are trying to do or what information you are looking for.

C. Annoying

D. Sporadicly Helpful at best

and E. Annoying

hrmmm guess as far as I am concerned they really aren't nice. Please include a turn off yappy sycophants and have them executed button. I am God Here and need no lesser beings telling me I am Wrong!!!!!

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April 14, 2010 12:57:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the idea of a tutorial but if it could be an optional thing that would be even better! Something like an ever present "Well what do you think?" could be referenced but you have the choice to ignore it as well.

 

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April 14, 2010 1:11:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not sure how the campaign menu is going to be laid out, but you could do something along the lines of

  • Play Prologue (tutorial campaign that fills in some lore that isn't necessity, just nice to have)
  • Play Chapter 1 (main campaign)
  • Play Chapter 2 (main campaign)
  • Play Chapter 3 (main campaign)
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April 14, 2010 1:20:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I liked the tutorials in GC2, but then I was a beta and gamma tester and didn't really need it.  A couple of people I showed them to thought they were helpful, but they thought they needed more.  The advisors might be a good addition.

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