Deprecated: Function set_magic_quotes_runtime() is deprecated in /DISK2/WWW/ on line 14 Fate of Heroes Developer diary: Complexity


Sep 1, 07:27

One of first issues with complex game is that well … it is not fun if you don’t get it. Zilions of options are sweet for veteran who had time to absorb them, but if you are newbie you have no frame of reference for them, so you have no clue what what means. And you might not even notice some options.

First obvious solution is some kind of tutorial. While tutorial works for getting around in gui and for basics, it can’t provide deep knowledge to players. Also, people tend to skip tutorials, which is quite understandable, longer, more indepth tutorial will bore and be more prone to people skipping it.

Another solution is to do away with tutorial and instead start with all but basic gameplay elements and reintroduce more complex ones later, well spaced out so that unlocking new gameplay elements feels like reward and character progression. This has disadvantage of being usually preset and provide rather dull gameplay untill you reach point in game where you are getting your “money worth” – which is not really bad for newbie which will be learning to navigate gui and world and confusing him serves nothing.

Yet another solution is simply to have system easy enough to grasp instantly and nothing more. Simple, easy, workds quite well if gameplay is more action oriented or when story overshadows combat.

My proposed solution is this:

Leave player choose what he wants to do. Idea is that pretty much everything will be Optional. Anything beyond swinging sword will be set to reasonable defaults and invisible until player chooses to discover it and progress in it.

For example, player will start without attributes, they will exist, but invisible, set in default “10” points. Player must first make effort to unlock UI for manipulations and seeing them and then then attributes themselves. Usually by thematic quests and by some other means (for example by using consumable items from random drops).

This makes place for lot’s of stuff, effectively hiding it but keeping it within reach.





  1. Brilliant idea, I like the “unlocking UI” aspect. It’s very organic and your UI develops in parallel to your character. You may want to get the best of both worlds and have options to automatically reveal everything if you’re working with alts.

    I think the UI is the place where things should happen and it should be integrated, rather than the various panels you get in WoW and GW. Make things uniform and offer to detach parts of it, like a lego game.

    Fril Estelin · 18 September 2008, 14:26 · #

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