Shooting for a Silent Tutorial

If you’ve been following Auro’s release, one of the jokes about the game is the fact that Auro launched with “30 tutorials“, which sounds like a ton. In reality, most of these tutorials would get completed in about five seconds, but the fact remains that it’s a lot of stuff, and tutorials kind of suck.

With the huge 1.29 patch, we reduced that number to 10, with another unlockable 10 once you reach Normal gameplay difficulty. That was a step in the right direction, but it still does kinda suck that there’s this annoying “other thing” besides playing the game in front of the player when they start.

Our old philosophy was, let’s have a wiki, and a tutorial video, and a tutorial gameplay mode, and all this extra stuff, and hope players actually use that stuff to go and learn the game. I think, in hindsight, that wasn’t a reasonable thing to expect players to do, particularly for a game on mobile devices.

What we’d really like to do, and are working on now, is inserting a silent tutorial into Play Mode itself. So, hopefully, the player can just hit PLAY and the game will teach itself as it goes. Here are just some (not all) of the ways we’re going about achieving this:

  • There is now a nice “?” button embedded into the HUD. You can click that to enter into Help Mode, which allows you to click on anything – monsters, spells, parts of the HUD Itself – and get information about what those things are.
  • You can now click and hold while activating a spell to see exactly what will happen when you cast this spell. So when you cast Gale east, you’ll see a preview of where all the monsters will go.
  • Trying to bump heavies will bring up a dialogue panel that explains how they’re heavy and you need to bump them with a spell, or on a vortex, or on floe. We’ll do something similar for fliers. And this will only happen in Easy mode, by the way!
  • We have much more granular scaling of monster and spell types for the different Ranks. At Rank 1, you’re fighting just three monsters and you have just three spells. At the next rank, you unlock a couple more things, and it explains what these things do, etc. We already have this system in place in 1.31 but it’s very limited.
  • A new HUD that makes the important elements far clearer.

Beyond that, there are a large number of small simplifications and clarifications across the board to the ruleset that will help it be more easy to learn. One example of this is getting rid of level teleporters and the idea of “going to the next level”; now it’s much more obvious that the goal is score-based.

There’s a lot more exciting stuff we’re doing for 2.0, which really is becoming more like “Auro 2” every day. Thanks for following, and stay tuned for news on the PC version!

auroGame Designtutorial

keithburgun • 11/29/2015

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