New Player Survival Notes

Discussion on the IRC lead me to make a suggestion that received some positive feedback so I thought I’d bring it here.

The goal is to provide soft nudges to help push new players into the right direction or to help set goals for themselves by utilizing survivor notes. As mentioned in the IRC this would be an alternative to having/using achievements.

Considering my lack of experience in the game, I thought I’d post it here. If this idea is acceptable to the players and devs I’m willing to work on this, but I could use suggestions along the way.

Some examples of ideas that pop into my mind are things like:

Acquire a knife - “Now that all the lawyers are dead, I guess the next best thing would be for me to find a knife.”

Acquire tools - “Tools! I can’t work without tools! Am I so desperate that I must make them from stone? Or should I risk looking for them in the town?”

Acquire a way to purify water - “Ugh! I’m sick! Note to self, PURIFY the water before you drink it.”

Acquire skill in tailoring - “My daughter knew how to sew. I miss her. I guess I should make a crude needle and start practicing before the next zombie encounter leaves me naked.”

Stockpiling food and warm clothing - “Food, water, and warm clothes. I should be okay this winter, as long as I can find a warm place to sleep.”

And maybe some advanced game suggestions - “I barely made it out with my life! The reward was well worth it! But the next time I go into that lab I should be better prepared.”

There’s supposed to be a file for tips from NPCs like this, but I’ve never seen any sign of where/how it’s used.

That tutorial needs a revamp. Id be interested in doing this. And we could add text on the walls like whomever wrote them went nuts?

Honestly how hard would it be to change the terain downstairs and design an ‘obstacle course’? To start th player as hungrey/thirsty and maybe in some pain?

actually, that idea needs its own thread. brb.

I just was reading your tutorial haha! Maybe it acted subliminally on me. It is really impressive.

I suggested survivor notes just because it was a simple fix to the “What am I supposed to do now?” question that I hear now and again or sometimes even ask myself. I want to try to encourage players throughout their game to find/set their own goals and try to keep it more open ended. Just kind of sneak in an invitation to try something new without leading them by the hand.

Those are some really good ideas!

I spent some time thinking over these ones…

Smash a piece of furniture “In order to build something new we must first take something apart. I guess I could start by smashing things with a rock…”

Being sneaky 01 “They are drawn towards the living, but only the living they have seen or heard! I’m closing all the curtains and I’ll be as silent as the grave.”

Make a crowbar or lockpicks. “I could use what is in those houses, but breaking windows makes a lot of noise. It would be nice if I had a crowbar or some lockpicks. Perhaps I could make some…”

Acquire knife - “When it comes to survival, there is no better tool than a good knife! That is why I am willing to risk life and limb to get one.”

Stop the bleeding “…It just kept bleeding! I finally got it to stop after cutting my shirt into rags and applying pressure, but if I had been prepared I would not have lost so much blood.”

It looks somewhat cool, but the general spirit and fun of rogue-likes is “find this out by dying” approach. I think that would be pretty obvious for anyone using common sense that you have to boil your water. Even if not - well, try one more time. There’s definitely some charm behind all this. And permadeath is a part of this as well.

Maybe you’re right, and what I suggested is, after all, just a suggestion. I would just like to help players find answers to their questions in game and give them goals to shoot for. Despite having rogue-like elements the game is very open ended. Even if there was an end game it is not the kind of game you would speed run. Nor is there a direct “How deep into the dungeon can I go!” The tutorial just explains the workings of some of the commands and how to interact with the world. I’d like to try to create something that players can strive for. Something to encourage them to become a wandering nomad in a death mobile or to build, govern, and defend a city of survivors. And though those are some nice goals for hardcore gamers there should be some mention made of smaller goals one can get along the way.

Maybe I’m just rambling about nothing and maybe I’m alone in this… but I don’t think so, I’ve heard this question before and not just yesterday.

Hmm. Well, it depends on what things NEED to be outlined. If nothing else, we can save the helpful notes for making the tutorial less shitty. Or we can do like what a lot of the survivor’s notes already hint it, mentioning some of the weirder shit you might run into.

Hints that would be useful not for common-sense stuff (though “the blob is in the water” already underlines the idea of boiling it first), but giving vague hints about situations where real-world knowledge is not helpful. If anything, those hints will only become clear once the situation occurs, or right after dying as a consequence, at which point having read that note makes it easier to puzzle out what they did wrong.

Actually…yeah, a few survivor’s notes already do this, both general hints and foreshadowing anomalous Fun things. >_>