Thursday, April 26, 2018

Keyfiles and Tutorials

I was able to knock out the keyfile/demo system today. It was pretty simple. I can now record and play back keyboard inputs as the basis of the upcoming tutorial system. However, it then became a question of... What should I tutor?

ROE has kind of an esoteric interface. It's one of the things I find charming about the game. However you shouldn't have to read a 220 page manual to learn how to play content anymore. Current gamers, for all of their nostalgia, reminisce about when games came with booklets. I can relate. However, here's a little tidbit. Right now I'm learning how to play breach so I can get the IGS linking done properly. That game is not very intuitive at all! It's 126 page manual, (Which also doubles as it's copy protection), is a bit heavy interspaced with stories and lore. However, you have to get to the end to find the quick-start tutorial and the key bindings. Another thing is RTSs have grown a little and there are conventions nowadays that didn't exist in 1991.

Giving the manual a facelift.
It get an idea what is important, I decided to end-to-end the ROE manual. While cracking it open, I figured while I had it, I might as well work on updating that as well. When I get the ROE sourcecode, it came with the manual in both DOC and Adobe Pagemaker 4 formats. Sadly, there is nothing that is going to crack open the Pagemaker files. The last program that could open those was version 7 and Adobe redirects you to InDesign, which can't open them at all. Such is progress I guess.

So I'm updating the DOC files, that seem a bit out of date. I'm filling in the gaps from a scanned PDF of the original manual. It's looking good, and while I go through it, I'll be getting together a tutorial syllabus and implementing what I think is important. Most likely there will be a run though of the Shakedown Cruise. This may require me to do a little datafile shenanigans as it will require me to make a commander and start a game that won't mess up the player's settings.

I'm also mapping what the actual command line arguments are for the game. I know most of them, but it's best get get them all written down somewhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment