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[Discussion] Tutorial and Training maps

#1
With conversations on IRC and this thread about a single player map, which lead into a discussion about a tutorial or training map, I've decided to kick off the conversation with some notes of previous efforts.

From the Nexuiz days:

Tutorial Map (Single Player):




Dojo v2 (Multiplayer Online map):

Quote:Using the road map as guidance, we will systematically complete this map together Smile

LEARNING

Movement -- COMPLETE - just needs tweaking
--------
- laser - (Wall, lasering the floor for speed, lasering the floor for height, lasering jumppadds for more height and speed, jumping and lasering simultaneously)
- rocket - (rocket jumping)
- trick jumps - (hitting them for speed, hitting them for height)
- bunny hopping
- circle strafing
- battle strafing

Weaponology
-----------
- individual-splash (mortar, rocket launcher, hagar, electro)
- individual-aim (crylink, machinegun, nex, shotgun)
- doors (using electro/mortar to open doors)
- combos (nex + MG, mortar + nex, mortar + rl, etc)
- targets (that is all)
- hook

CHALLENGE/LEARN

Player vs. Player Challenge rooms
---------------------------------
- 1V1 Serv
- DM Hook Serv
- DM Serv
- TDM Serv
- CTF Hook Serv
- CTF Serv

Speed Challenge Rooms
---------------------
- laser/rocket/trickjumps
- obstacle courses

NOVELTIES

Game Room
---------
- skeeball
- tic tac toe

Information
-----------
- change log
- console info
- cvars
- tips

------------
Moo Section
------------
-Demos
We'll have "bot" named ^8Tutori as a name for demos (one demo of how to do each challenge.)

-Organization of Map
In terms of skill, if the player runs the halls clockwise, he will go from low to high skilled challenges.

Front Hall - Nothing, aside from display of the honored Nexuiz Ninjaz.
Left Hall - Movement (strafing, laser, rl/mortar jumping, trickjumps) , then Weaponology (individual, targets, combos, doors)
Back Hall - Speed Challenge (trickjumps, obstacles), then Player vs. Player (DM, CTF)
Right Hall (objects require no skill, so they are left at the end of the "clock") - Game Room (tic tac toe, skeeball), then Information (all-in-one room)
Courtyard - Relaxation and hopping around

-recording lesson demos
fov 90; viewsize 120; cl_showpressedkeys 2; cl_showpressedkeys_position "0.5 0.8"; scr_centertime 0; showspeed 0; cl_showspeed 1; shownetgraph 0; showfps 0; con_notify 0; con_chat 0; slowmo 0.8; vid_height 768; vid_width 1024 (don't forget setting the light settings back to default and game settings to ULTIMATE (minus bloom and add motionblur to where it looks cool but you still understand the movements), remember to wait 3 seconds before moving AT ALL in each lesson, record only the lesson, not teleporting to the next room or whatever, if the lesson has parts record each one, organize the filenames as movement-lessonname-pt#.ogv or .avi. remember, record the DEMOS, not realtime. - that's for RECORDING the demos. you can make the demos with your normal settings Tongue

From the Xonotic days:

Justin's movement training map (single player?)

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#2
About weaponry, I had this idea of a rocket control training:

The player is restricted behind a glass room. The room has a hole on the east, but the opponent/target is on the north. So the player would need to shoot out the rocket through the hole on the east and turn the rocket to hit the target.
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#3
This would be awesome as it usually takes me a good half hour to explain everything. Having a map based around the specifics of the weapons and physics would not only be less of a burden but a fun and interactive experience for a new player. I would also include in the tutorial advanced information such as missile speed, reload times and any information that might not be readily apparent.

edit: autocorrect is a bitch
[Image: 38443.png]
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#4
(01-07-2016, 08:08 AM)BuddyFriendGuy Wrote: About weaponry, I had this idea of a rocket control training:

The player is restricted behind a glass room. The room has a hole on the east, but the opponent/target is on the north. So the player would need to shoot out the rocket through the hole on the east and turn the rocket to hit the target.

This sounds similar to what the nexuiz tutorial contained with training a player to steer the rocket around a wall to hit a button. Is this what you're thinking? Training on guiding rockets?

(01-07-2016, 10:09 AM)SPLAT Wrote: This would be awesome as it usually takes me a good half hour to explain everything. Having a map based around the specifics of the weapons and physics would not only be less of a burden but a fun and interactive experience for a new player.

Yes, exactly.

This is why I think we need both approaches as well. The tutorial should be pretty simple, explain the weapon and movement basics. The training map could be used in collaboration with other players to hone your skills.

Quote:I would also incause in the tutorial advanced information such as missile speed, reload tides aND any information that might not be readily apparent.

This is interesting but I'm not sure how we can reliably get this information into the map (if balance were to change, it's not something we can just have on a texture).


In regards to developing a training map, I think it would be great to create a design that can scale "infinitely". What I mean by this, is that we can plan out all the floors/rooms and develop them using a modular approach then "stack them" onto the rest of the main training map as the work gets merged in.


If each modular component of the map is thought to be a "floor", the main floor could have portals to all other floors. Each floor would have two teleporters one "back to main room" and the other "advanced to the next floor."
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#5
Also if were going to do voice overs again I nominate Antibody Big Grin
[Image: 38443.png]
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#6
(01-07-2016, 05:26 PM)-z- Wrote:
(01-07-2016, 08:08 AM)BuddyFriendGuy Wrote: About weaponry, I had this idea of a rocket control training:

The player is restricted behind a glass room. The room has a hole on the east, but the opponent/target is on the north. So the player would need to shoot out the rocket through the hole on the east and turn the rocket to hit the target.

This sounds similar to what the nexuiz tutorial contained with training a player to steer the rocket around a wall to hit a button. Is this what you're thinking? Training on guiding rockets?

Yes, that's what I meant. I didn't know that's already done.

(01-07-2016, 05:26 PM)-z- Wrote:
Quote:I would also incause in the tutorial advanced information such as missile speed, reload tides aND any information that might not be readily apparent.

This is interesting but I'm not sure how we can reliably get this information into the map (if balance were to change, it's not something we can just have on a texture).

I think if we have a room/floor/map dedicate to each weapon, this information then can be included. It's ok that the balance setting isn't universal (for example, trick jumps behave differently if gravity is different anyway, but trick jump training maps are still useful). We just need to help players be aware of those factors.

(01-07-2016, 05:26 PM)-z- Wrote: In regards to developing a training map, I think it would be great to create a design that can scale "infinitely". What I mean by this, is that we can plan out all the floors/rooms and develop them using a modular approach then "stack them" onto the rest of the main training map as the work gets merged in.

If each modular component of the map is thought to be a "floor", the main floor could have portals to all other floors. Each floor would have two teleporters one "back to main room" and the other "advanced to the next floor."

I actually vote for separate maps, rather than floors/rooms. That way, users don't have to always go back to the main entrance, and it's also easy for future addition. For example, if you have a rocket steering training room, and later on, somebody else adds another type of training for rocket steering, it's very easy to put the two maps together in the game menu. But if you use teleports in one main entrance, you may have to insert and shift a lot of teleport destinations just to put two rooms next to each other.
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#7
I like what I see here.

Actually I have been working on a concept for a tutorial map together with Samual I think two years ago. We managed to put together a pretty good concept from my point of view, but unfortunately I lost access to the concept when Samual's etherpad server went down and he didn't care to restore the concept for me to continue working on it ever since.

We ended up with the following idea:

There should be a main entrance room where the player can choose to select various training paths. We thought about weapons training and movement training, but there could possibly be a third one that introduces other gameplay related information, I'm not sure how to pull that off properly with a map though.

If you choose the weapon training path, you'll get teleported to a room where you get your first training lesson. Each lesson should focus on a certain capability of a certain weapon (such as rocket guiding, next one on rocket remote detonation, then maybe a combined one), and we should build each room in a modular way. The concept that I remember was as follows (excuse sloppy drawing, I just quickly sketched it without making any effort to make it look pretty):

   

To the left we have the entrance teleport, guarded by a door (possibly like the cylindrical slide doors used at the lifts from MirceaKitsune's map Red Planet). If required, the door from the entrance teleport can be scripted to open only after the player has taken a certain action as instructed. We then have the player accessible area where the player will be able to move in. The exit door will open after the room's objective has been achieved. The room's objective briefing should be made in an easily exchangeable and translateable way, for example by using notifications/chat. The weapon accessible area is where we can construct the scenery for the relevant objective (like obstacles to circumvent with rocket guiding). The weapon accessible area would be what varies from room to room and could also vary in size, it only would have to connect to predefined coordinates of the player accessible area module. Between the player accessible area and the objective area there should be a barrier which may vary from room to room, sometimes a hole in a glass wall to shoot through, sometimes a gap stretching horizontally, or a slide wall that opens after a given event and closes to rebuild the objective scenery for a second attempt (if the lesson requires you to move around things in the objective area).

Each of the rooms should be in their separate map area within a predifined grid section and with own skyboxes so you don't see other rooms. If we snap the modular part of the room to a fixed grid, I imagine we can relatively easily exchange rooms or add new ones in the future to acoomodate balance/physics change or new weapons to be introduced.

For the movement training path I would recommend to follow a similar approach, only maybe there the action area that is built around the relevant movement challenge should be inbetween the entry and the exit teleport. I think it would be wise to make the connection coordinates of the entry and exit teleport to the action area standardized, so we always have the same coordinates we can snap any action area to. If that is not feasible regarding the different natures of action areas, we might use fixed coordinates and allow variations only in a way that makes it totally easy to move the exit teleport unit to the action area's connection point by a given number of fixed units (so you only would have to move the teleport unit 2 units up and 1 to the right and it would connect seamlessly for example). We need to make sure that the modular units are perfectly movable, if required, every vertice snapping to a given grid.

Both paths (weapons and movement) should be linear to keep the complexity low and to make it scaleable, but we can of course insert rooms anywhere, only thing we'd have to do would be insert a new room into the map and remap two teleports (preceding exit to added entry, added exit to subsequent entry).

With regard to the lesson concepts we already described in detail what effects/mechanics of the weapons we should teach, and I also drafted concepts for the movement lessons. However, we should always make the challenges only show the mechanics and design them so you actually have to use the mechanics in order to advance, but we should not make them so you have to be proficient in a given skill in order to complete the challenge.

I'd envision a system where you could achieve different challenge levels and earn "achievements" so you can see where you managed to max out a given skill and where you still need to train to get it right (example: reaching different platforms of varying height by laser jump, highest platform would earn you a complete achievement, while you are able to advance already by earning the lowest platform). But that would be something we could think about once we actually managed to pull of the basic concept.

In any case, I'd strongly suggest to first finish and define the structure of the training map and then focus on the individual challenges. If we do the basic structure right, we'll be able to easily implement all sorts of challenges later on. I'll be happily providing the concepts I remember with regard to the individual weapon lessons and movement lessons - but let's first work out and define the general concept we'll be following to ensure scaleability, flexibility and expandability.
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<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#8
I like the fact that you're switching rooms in Nexuiz as opposed to staying in one room and shooting targets. Gives the tutorial a richer feel. Also, as far as movement related tricks go. There should be different levels of difficulties in each section like in Justin's map, between easy and really hard so that players can get the feel to the possibilities and know where they're at. And with "easy" I don't mean jumping over things with walk speed. Imo there's no point in learning jumps that are easily learned in seconds. Even in the easiest level there should be at least a little bit of need to exploit the physics, otherwise it'd be a waste of tutorial. And hardest level should be something active defraggers might find difficult too, if for nothing else than to demonstrate what the game is capable of. I'd be happy to benchmark the difficulty levels Tongue

Tricks should include:
Bunny hopping (with obstacles that force you to turn)
Strafe jumping (straight path where speed is of essence)

Circle jumping
Ramp jumping (height)
Ramp jumping (distance)

As well as:
Blaster jump (height)
Blaster jump (distance)
Air jump for rocket?
Climbing with Hagar? (both vertical and horizontal)
Hagar probably won't need different levels because once you figure it out, you can go on forever - assuming you have the health.
Crylink jumps?
Ceiling boost with Crylink? (0:18)

(01-07-2016, 08:08 PM)SPLAT Wrote: Also if were going to do voice overs again I nominate Antibody Big Grin
Hello everyone, Antibody here

*tutorial blabber here*

I CAN SEE IT, I CAN SEE IT!!!
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#9
Antibody would be great for any voice stuff but we have to remember that we need to stay scalable and translateable. If we need to make adjustments later on, we can't depend on Antibody being around and willing to re-record, and a subtitle system would be equally fragile to adapt even if we manage to get it implemented.

I would volounteer to coordinate the concept if we can identify mappers that are capable of designing quality and quite scripted maps.

Idea: We could have the following paths from the main room: (1) weapon tutorial (2) movement tutorial (3) training parcours. In (1) and (2) we show the mechanics, and (3) offers more difficult challenges.
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<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#10
(01-08-2016, 02:01 PM)Halogene Wrote: (3) training parcours.
This should include tricks from maps that are played a lot, like the ones shown in your guide and some harder ones like 100a jump on Hub or this one in fuse (shown at 0:30):



Someone did a map like that on Reflex and new players have been playing on it a lot:

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#11
As for (3) I believe that should not be linear in the classic sense but allow you to access any stage directly so you can continue where you left off last time. It would be great though if we could monitor progress somehow, so that you need to unlock further stages by completing previous ones. No idea how to achieve that though (thinking of a corridor with teleports left and right and only the ones you completed plus the next ones are active). After all, it's about training there.

However, (1) and (2) should be classic tutorial type of challenges, taking the player by the hand and explaining the mechanics as NEW CONCEPTS. We'll have to make sure the stages there cannot be completed without making use of the mechanics that are supposed to be used. (1) and (2) are about getting to know the mechanics so you can utilize them for advanced techniques.

I'd be happy to help pulling this off, there is a lot of good thoughts and ideas around already but I believe we should form some sort of team where people commit themselves to contribute (within reason, of course).

@-z-: you kicked off the discussion here - if you are looking for a team to make this happen, I'm happily offering assistance for the concept stage. I'm no good at mapping however and have no knowledge of engine limitations :o(
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<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#12
Where can i download Justins map?
I like Bread Smile
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#13
Smilecythe, is Blaster Jump for speed the same as Blaster Jump for distance? If not, perhaps can we add that too.
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#14
Sorry, Brot, You can't. Sad I lost the files and never published the map... which was a mistake.. Helogene: Maybe some pickups for players or buttons they have to press to open new sections of huge map within which all tutorials and trickjumps will be? I don't rly offer my mapping as I am very busy at the present moment but I will gladly help with advice in terms of visuals and architecture for such map.

This Reflex Jump tutorial looks ridiculosuly hard and I wouldn't recommend such approach for Xonotic... It actually looks like some fancy defrag map for hardcore players.
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#15
@Halogene: if you have some good concepts for singleplayer maps, I'll gladly make them. Polish up my Netradiant skills and get stuff done in the meantime Wink
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#16
@kaadmy: sorry, I haven't yet put any thoughts into a singleplayer map aside of a tutorial/training map. To me, Xonotic's fascination comes from the fast, trick-jump-rich, combo-heavy and threedimensional (as opposed to groundpounder shooters) gameplay in combination with the open and friendly community, all of which is typically not required or present in single player mode.

My vision is to add a tutorial and training feature to this game that immediately shows newcomers all relevant mechanics and ideally provides a training ground to practice and perfect the newly learned skills.
[Image: 249.png] Latest track on soundcloud: Farewell - to a better Place (piano improvisation)
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<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#17
A training map doesn't need to be purely training.
Some fun aspects (singleplayer related) could spice it up a bit and make it both instructing and entertaining.

Most games have a tutorial section which introduces you to the gameplay while also providing on-screen controls and tips to pull off the tricks needed in the main game.
While this isn't always necessarily an actual singleplayer level (but usually part of the first level of the game), we could make it part of one (or even multiple levels if one chooses to go into more advanced tutorials or something).

I personally didn't find the Nexuiz tutorial map until long after I started playing (in fact, it was after I got into Xonotic development), but it seems to me more like a chore (or a somewhat boring task), waiting around to be told the ideas then shooting a button and moving onto the next room to await further instructions.
Even if the player completed the tutorial without falling asleep, they wouldn't have gotten much out of it that they would be able to apply to real matches, since it's not a real example of them in action.

Simply put: If we make a training map, it should be more than just that... it should be fun.


There are of course alternative routes, like providing these tips on first launch (and/or as an option) in an actual match (for example, a simple arrow and jump sign sweeping forward when they first join the match, and fading when they move, to show that they can bunnyhop).
[Image: 230.png]
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#18
Well you can of course make a mixture of single player and tutorial map. I believe this would be most feasible for the movement training section though. Imho, people should get explained how the weapon mechanics work - and to achieve this without explaining (if explaining != fun) will be hard. I figure the movement section can be much more fun, like trying to get to a certain place and you'll have to solve certain missions to advance - for example a corridor with turrets shooting at you that you can only get through by bunny hopping (otherwise you'd be too slow). Of course with a preceding explanation, preferrably something you can just click away if you already know it.

Nevertheless we'll have to follow a strictly modular approach with defined fixed interfaces if we want to avoid to remake huge portions of the tutorial/introduction/training map any time we fiddle around with the balance.

By the way, is there a possibility to do the following:
1) recording a real player playing certain passages, then
2) copying the real player's movements from the demo to a bot,
3) allowing the bot to replay those movements ingame,
3) and then making the actual player watch the bot in spec mode how it's done before trying it himself?

Then we could do something like this: player pushes a button, then player gets moved to spectator team, bot spawns, player is made to spec the bot's view, bot starts performing the actions required to solve the current stage, at the end bot gets removed and player respawns at the button.
[Image: 249.png] Latest track on soundcloud: Farewell - to a better Place (piano improvisation)
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<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#19
Explanations are useful, but they shouldn't be all such a map has to offer.
I can't think of any player (including myself) who would bother to play or watch a 10-15 minute introduction to a game before jumping into gameplay if it wasn't interesting and fun, most would just skip it (which is probably why it wasn't all that accessible in Nexuiz).
For that reason, such a tutorial should be separated into small segments (perhaps a hub at the initial spawnpoint, with teleporters to the various lessons). This would support the modular approach.
Each "lesson" would put you in some situation, for example: A brief message letting you know how you'll need to use the blaster to jump, with a hoard of zombies chasing after you through some kind of obstacle course (perhaps jumping over fences to escape them).
The ideas for lessons can come later though, once the basics are decided upon.

The bot scripting tools can do some pretty advanced things (like following the player in the old tutorial map). It should be possible, would have to ask someone like divVerent though.
[Image: 230.png]
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#20
I have been playing some DM in the evenings and a lot of new players hardly seem to take notice of health and armor pickups. Possibly because they have been playing a lot of games where you cn only wait until your health regenerates. My simple idea: a room with a hurt trigger that you can only pass if you pick up some armor and health that is a little out of your normal route. That should bring across the idea that it's worth the effort to expressly go out and hunt for those pickups.
"Yes, there was a spambot some time ago on these forums." - aa
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#21
Yes, good idea. One might even combine several aspects in one lesson (for example you might have to flee from zombies and laser jump over so many fences that you are required to take not the straightest route in order to replenish health. You might even have to bunny hop or else parts of the floor would sink into lava with you.

A hub room makes sense for training lessons (which you might want to access several times in order to complete the most difficult path). I think however for explaining the mechanics there should be a linear path in order to have a defined sequence and to allow for inserting an additional lesson where required without touching the hub room as well. I would still vote for having an explanation course that you can optionally complete and which focusses in detail on isolated aspects. How would you explain crylink particle concentration and make the player get a feel for how to do it in a fun oriented (!=slow paced) environment? Mechanics like rocket guiding, strafe turning and weapon comboing should get isolated attention in order to comprehend it. The tutorial path should feature reasonably short lessons that DON'T make you wait for the explanation to finish. So you can make speedruns through it :o)
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<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#22
I like the idea of speedruns and optional/skippable explanations. Maybe a ? sprite on the map could trigger that explanation when you stand close to it.

I like the idea of solving simple puzzles or challenges to explain the use of secondary fire, or at least to make people aware that they are there and how to use them. Rocket bending was already discussed and you can make that challenge as hard as you want of course.

You could explain remote detonation using a non-solid target of some sort in mid-air that you can't hit with a direct shot. Secondary electro could easily be incorporated in a fun little puzzle too I think.

I am beginning to get quite excited about this project and think I would be happy to contribute, either with ideas, mapping, or both.
"Yes, there was a spambot some time ago on these forums." - aa
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#23
I've noted a few potential ideas for missions here, feel free to add more: http://piratepad.net/IvStubv0lr
[Image: 230.png]
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#24
Good idea. How about we use the very same pad for discussing the general structure and technical implementation of a combined tutorial/training map? I'll add my thoughts as soon as I find some time to do so.

@PinkRobot: any help would be appreciated :oD
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<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#25
Would it be possible to have demonstration clips for some tricks? Like playing a demo in middle of the tutorial if players can't figure out the technique. This should be done without disconnecting from the current game and position. Once the demo is over the game resumes from where the player decided to watch the demonstration. This would be really convenient for strafe/circle jumping segments.
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