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"Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:44 am
by Agent West
Hey everyone!
I'm currently working on a "trainer" (or "tutorial") map to have so that newbies would at least have an idea about how to play before they go onto a busy server, get their butt kicked, get discouraged, and leave. So looking at how most games made theirs, i'm making it to be few rooms where first one explains driving, next one explains jumping, next one is about shooting/rico and so on. Last one would be a big field full of bots (two reasons for bots: simple to destroy and will keep the map at the top of server list so newbies will notice it right away) that the player would have to cross to cap a flag, thus finishing the basic tutorial.

Anyone got suggestions/ideas? Lemme know!

NOTE:
THe rooms are 30 by 30 tank-meters, 30 high. Anyone is welcome to make a room or two :)

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:22 pm
by Mark_IV
Nice, I was thinking of a map like this, but I never got around to it.

It would need a plugin where they can't shoot at the beginning, or at least be all the same team with -noteamkills.
A map like this would have to be easy to follow, I can easily see all the rooms getting confusing.
In my opinion it should have 2 rooms for each concept. The first one with directions on how to do it, and the second a small trainer. (ie, One room would teach jumping, and its accompanying room would say have platforms they need to jump to)

I used to have some other ideas for a map like this, but since I never made it I've forgotten them.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:41 pm
by Agent West
Thanks for the input!
Was planning on making it One player/many obs (watch-and-learn kinda thing) plus bots for target practice.
The rooms would have exits outlined in bright border with maybe an "exit" sign on it.
Two rooms per concept might be a good idea, for now there will be billboards, one per room, that describe how to do one thing at a time. Things like the MoFo Twist (or MoFo Jump, as some call it) would be in the next room folowing the Basic Jumping. The Pyramid Climb would be after that, and so on from simple to difficult.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:11 am
by Mark_IV
If I find the time I may try my hand at making a few. April vacation in in 2 weeks so I may try one.

One player may not be a good idea if it catches on. A tutorial map is greatly needed and 1 at a time could get clogged.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:03 am
by Agent West
We can always increase the number of players, although won't go over 3 yet, depending one how much stuff there will be.
Issue with multiple players would be them trying to shoot each other as soon as they are able, although with them being on same team a No TK thing can be used.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:02 pm
by ryanfesta
It's great to hear from you again, Agent West. This is my new callsign; I was guitargeek42... A trainer map is a great idea, but now that BZFlag is getting old and retiring, this might be near pointless. This seems like a very harsh word to me, but no other word was coming to me. The number of players in BZFlag are dramatically dropping, so this kind of map is both a good and bad idea.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:02 pm
by Agent West
I was hoping that a trainer would help bring new people in but you might be right.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:19 pm
by Pizzahead
BZFlag may be dying, but it certainly isn't beyond help. The idea sounds great, AW, keep working on it. I'll be brainstorming ideas for it as well.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:46 am
by ryanfesta
Well, I definitely believe it would work and attract players, so dont give up on the idea, Agent West.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:59 am
by easy tank
I have an idea, you could make Dodge Training Room!

- Easy !

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:42 pm
by Agent West
How would you want the dodge room? Random World Weapons or Bots shooting at ya?

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:29 pm
by JeffM
There are 2 main problems with a tutorial map for new players with the current software

1) There is no way to let players know they should play on the tutorial map first. We have no way of sending new people to a tutorial, and there is no way to change where the tutorials show in the list server.
2) The server can't really direct the player with prompts and ensure the player has learned the correct controls. To do a proper tutorial you'd want the server to bring up little popup dialog boxes with information that the player has to read. Info in chat will just be ignored or misunderstood.

Having a tutorial is a great idea, but unless it is fully sported with the rest of the software it may not be as useful as hoped.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:41 am
by Agent West
Agree, Jeff. As nice as it would be to have a "Tutorial" in the main menu, there is not one yet. As far as getting it to show up at the top of server list, that's kinda why the bots will be there. Not exactly a fair way, but it might be possible under the circumtances. Or set the "Message of the Day" to something along the lines of "Please go to such and such server/map for a tutorial." and hope newbies will actually notice it.
As far as letting people know what to do, i'm planning on making bilboards above (or next to) the 'doors' so people see them before they go to the next part. Would be awesome to have a "ghost tank" to perform the actions so players can observe and repeat. I guess a Replay Server setup won't work though.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:10 am
by blast
Agent West wrote:As far as getting it to show up at the top of server list, that's kinda why the bots will be there. Not exactly a fair way, but it might be possible under the circumtances.
Artificially inflating the list position violates the list server rules.
Agent West wrote:Or set the "Message of the Day" to something along the lines of "Please go to such and such server/map for a tutorial." and hope newbies will actually notice it.
The MOTD is pretty much worthless, since the text is behind the menu.
Agent West wrote:Would be awesome to have a "ghost tank" to perform the actions so players can observe and repeat. I guess a Replay Server setup won't work though.
I'm not sure of the current state of server-side players, but that's something that would (eventually) make that possible.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:21 am
by JeffM
I would not use the MOTD to advertise a third party server, and yes bots would get a server that did that banned from the list server.

There is no method to "ghost" a player, local or server side.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:35 pm
by Agent West
How many bots can i have without violating the rules?

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:49 pm
by JeffM
there is not a number, the rule is that bots can not be used to move the server up the list ranks.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:06 pm
by dartman
I like the ghost tank idea. Maybe you could use some kind of moving, pass-through object in the shape of a tank and have that demonstrate what the player should do? Or maybe you could make the blllboards animated and use that to show them step-by-step?

Also, maybe there's a way to make a plug-in so that whenever someone enters one of the rooms, the server will send them a message telling them what to do. Pop-up windows might be the best way to go, but since we don't have that I don't see why the message box would be such a problem. I don't think it would be ignored if it's used consistently enough and if private messages are used instead of general ones, so that they'll hear the sound every time the server tells them something. That way you could use the messages for the actual written directions and then reserve the billboards for simple animations demonstrating what they're supposed to do.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:05 am
by Agent West
Actually considering the Animated Billboard idea at this point.

Update!

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:12 am
by Agent West
~Instead of using bots i've decided to use two teams of human players (red VS blue).
~The "rooms" are now 60x60 instead of 30x30, still 30 tall.
~Changed the layout a little. Now there are six zones for each team:

1- Driving. Tells newbies how to drive the tanks.
2- Jumping. A basic "jump to get to the next section".
3- MoFo Jump (or Twist Jump). Explains this tricky maneuver with an animated billboard.
4- Teleport. Basic two-teleporter setup to show what they are for.
5- Dodging. Make your way through bullets to get to the next section.
6- Tank VS Tank. Actual combat situation where the two teams meet. The zone is divided by "don't cross this line" line to prevent camping.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:00 am
by SkillDude
As a recommendation, and I don't want this to become too complex, is hand out flags once they are in tank versus tank mode and messages will pop up explaining how it can be used. Flags will alternate randomly to allow players to learn the various flags too. I think adding this to the training map will complete every aspect of BZFlag in a nutshell. The cycling through flags could be done in a separate stage, but at the same time, their usefulness may be more suitable in actual combat. Perhaps have the player get one kill with one flag before cycling to another. Bad flags should also be explained, and flags like Phantom Zone and useless may only be mentioned but not actually given out.

Just a thought on something I find missing from your schematics.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:40 pm
by dartman
Maybe, but don't the flags already come with a brief description when you pick them up anyway?

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:55 pm
by blast
Only if you have that turned on. It's on by default, but you can't assume the user hasn't bumped the 'f' key.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:06 am
by dartman
Got it. Still, I wouldn't see the point in going through nearly every single flag in the game during one training session. It would probably make the new players impatient. What might make more sense is if you grouped certain similar flags together (shot altering flags, size/hitbox altering flags, flags that affect movement, bad flags, etc.) and just had them use one of each type. You could even have the different flags of certain types sorted into certain areas to make it easier for them to pick out the type they're looking for. That way they aren't going through every different flag in the game at once, but they aren't being limited to being able to use only the same few flags from each type every time they play the server--they might end up with different flags each time they play. Alternatively, if you didn't want to sort the flags on the map like that, you could have all the different flags spread out over the tank vs. tank zone and allow them to pick up the flags freely as on any other server, but they only have to score a kill with one flag from each type (except maybe bad flags) in order for the server to register that they've completed the tutorial and can continue practicing in the tank vs. tank zone freely if they wish. If possible, you could have the server send them a couple of messages whenever they pick up a flag: one briefly describing that flag type, and another describing that particular flag and maybe a quick tip about how to use it.

Also, it would be cool if someone could make a trainer map for CTF play as well, considering that's the playing style that gave BZFlag its name. Probably not on the same map though--maybe if this could be made into some kind of series.

Re: "Trainer" map suggestion box

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:47 pm
by ryanfesta
I think this would all be great; I love all the new ideas. But dont drift too far! We starred off with possible ideas, but we have to make sure this is all feasible.

This is the time where JeffM comes in and crashes the party!