• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

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SolSara

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Hello everyone!

Welcome to the 15th developer diary for March of the Eagles!
This developer diary will speak about the tutorial and the hints system. As you all know, it can be hard to start a new game without any prior knowledge as to how to play it. How are you supposed to use the keyboard, the mouse or a gamepad to win the game, if you don't even know what the winning conditions are? So we decided to try and make sure you can get all info you need through the tutorial, and by other means as well.

What is a good tutorial? How does a player learn to play a game? Are there more than one type of learning? We had a lot more answers to this problem than we actually managed to incorporate into the game. For March of the Eagles we did a lot of research, read articles online from Gamasutra and other websites and discussed this with people in the office. Hopefully our experiences can be used for other games in the future.

There are three things at the heart of our learning system:
Hints
Advanced Hints
Tutorial

HINTS
Remember the hints we used in Crusader Kings II and Sengoku? Whenever you opened a menu or screen, for example the province view or the budget view, another window would pop up with information about what you were looking at. It was a bit obtrusive and sometimes irritating to have them constantly pop up. Yes, you could turn them off once you had read them, but they were a constant reminder that more Hints would show up when you tried something new. Our solution to this was to add a small extra button for every view we thought needed a Hint. It resembles a Question Mark and if pressed, a hint window pops up with information about that particular view. We would recommend all that have played one or more of our previous games to take a look at these hints in order to understand March of the Eagles better.
See screenshot for more information.

View attachment MotE_tutorial_devdiary_01.png

ADVANCED HINTS
We have many more Advanced Hints than just Hints, over 200 placed all over the game's interface. They resemble an Exclamation mark and will, if pressed, yield more information about the various concepts we have in the game, such as attrition, frontage, leaders, the various map modes, the ledger et cetera. We wanted the player to have more than a basic understanding of March of the Eagles, to know how different concepts connects with other concepts. For example, if you do not have enough supplies for your army in a province, attrition will hit them hard, diminishing your army and its strength. The Advanced Hints system will explain the concepts and their connections more thoroughly than the regular Hints do.

View attachment MotE_tutorial_devdiary_02.png

Both the Hints and the Advanced Hints can be disabled by opening the in-game menu, choosing Game Options, choosing Game, then check/uncheck "Show Hints" for the Question Marks or check/uncheck "Show Advanced Hints" for the Exclamation marks.

View attachment MotE_tutorial_devdiary_03.png

View attachment MotE_tutorial_devdiary_04.png

Think of the basic Hints as what you need to get started on the game – these are the steps and tasks and goals and the like. Advanced Hints are for understanding the systems in more detail, how everything connects at a deeper level. Players of all experience levels should check them out and see what they are missing or how March of the Eagles differs from our other games. But the idea is to not overwhelm new players with more than they need to know at once.

TUTORIAL

View attachment MotE_tutorial_devdiary_05.png

The Tutorial focuses on the basic mechanics of our games, how to move armies from one province to another, how to zoom in and out, navigating the map, explaining various diplomatic actions and teaching the player how to play the game. There are six different parts of the tutorial, a total of ten chapters, each focusing on different game concepts.

Introduction contains Chapter 1, with a focus on tooltips and controlling time, and Chapter 2, controlling the camera and navigating the map of March of the Eagles.

Command contains Chapter 3, with a focus on the army and the fleet, on how to control them and issue movement commands, load armies onto ships and engage other armies in battle.

Recruit contains Chapter 4, with a focus on constructing buildings in provinces, and Chapter 5, with a focus on recruitment of new armies through the province view and the Military view.

Control contains Chapter 6, with a focus on economy, the Budget view and Ideas, and Chapter 7, with a focus on diplomacy, building coalitions and taking diplomatic actions.

Victory contains Chapter 8, with a focus on the Overview and the Victory Conditions view, explaining the game objectives, including which provinces should be conquered to gain Land or Naval Dominance, and Chapter 9, with focus on such diplomatic actions as War Subsidies and Expeditionary Forces.

War contains the last chapter, Chapter 10, where you take what you have learned to fight against the Netherlands to gain control over its provinces and force a peace deal upon them.

Our intention with the Hints, the Advanced Hints and the Tutorial was to make any player, no matter how much experience s/he has with playing games, able to play the game and perhaps play it well. It is always challenging to make a simple learning system for games as complex as ours and we haven't hit perfection yet, but we are satisfied with the result here and we're confident that the next game will be even better with the knowledge we have gained from making March of the Eagles and the focus testing we have done on the game and the tutorial.

This concludes the 15th developer diary for March of the Eagles. We hope it has answered some of your questions about the tutorial, and if you have any you wish to ask, don't hesitate. Keep the questions coming and we will try to answer all we can.

Cheers,
SolSara

ps. check out Svips latests webcomic!
Ulm plays March of the Eagles as Russia: Chapter V
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum...plays-March-of-the-Eagles-as-Russia-Chapter-V
 
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marat271

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Impossible is a word not found in my dictionary, I will fight through the battle that is the interface without help.
 

ashandresash

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I like the hints/advanced hints system. In special the way you've found to bond it to (sort of) alarm system.
 

Will Lucky

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Impossible is a word not found in my dictionary, I will fight through the battle that is the interface without help.
I think its what I did with every other game in the series :D, honestly once you know one Paradox game its typically easy to pick up the others.
 

Lord Martin

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Just one unrelated point/question after seeing those screens:
Why is the city namned Åbo and the sea zone Bay of Turku?
 

Steezus Christ

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This game looks really good. I will be pre-ordering it as soon as I can. Cannot wait to see a firm release date.
 

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^If this doesn't happen I will organise a March for a March of March of the Eagles :D
 
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