Making the game more accessible for new players

Here you give us specific suggestions on how you think the private release can be improved.

This isn't for bug reports, this is for features (example: wrong way indicator)
TheOnLY
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Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby TheOnLY » Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:54 pm

While almost every negative review animadverts that the cars are impossible handle. I agree that cars don't exactly handle like in other arcade racers, but it also is what makes Grip the game it is.
I think that if they had enough time to learn the cars handling properly there would be less negative reviews. (dont forget that the game is at very positive, too! (90ish % ))

Right now the only way to learn it is racing the bots and getting rekt until you learned the basic handling. Also almost everyone will go wild immediately. (well, i would :lol:)
When i had friends over and they play the game they play terrible on higher speeds and with other cars like the dreadnought but with low speed and cyclone do ok without crashing much.

Maybe some kind of restrictions on when you can access what speed and difficulty (i.e. having to unlock them) could help with that.
Something like having to finish one race 3rd or higher to unlock the next speed setting could do it.
It is also easier to learn the power ups at low speeds.
I don't think would be too bad for better players because doing two races wouldn't be that long.
I think pop ups wouldn't do the job, because ignoring them is just too easy. I don't even read error messages at times and then wonder why something isn't working. :oops:

There also should be some short descriptions about the cars. How does a new player know that the Cyclone is probably the best choice for him?
I am usually like "highest top speed? - sold"


And easy bot aren't that easy to beat. I usually need 2 laps on low speed to overtake them if i give them a 10 second head start.
I don*t think a rookie would be able to beat them and not even being able to beat the easiest AI sure is frustrating.
"engine speed" doesn't really imply increasing difficulty either, but i guess that is exactly the reason why there is an "AUTO" option

I already had some discussions about that topic with some people, but i think everyone should be able to share their opinions regarding that topic, especially the newer players.

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby Ryu Makkuro » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:33 am

Well, first of all... it's players fault for choosing the most difficult settings. It doesn't take a genius to realise that cars will be more difficult on a "Wild" engine speed than on "Low". The faster the cars the more difficult they are to drive.

Secondly, all the cars have stats (although they aren't very accurate but enough for general understanding of a car). There's one stat in particular that informs how difficult a car will be to drive, especially in an arcade racer. Grip. Again, it doesn't take a genius to figure that a car with more grip will be easier to handle than one that doesn't grip at all. If someone ignores that and goes for one with highest top speed... well again, their fault.

In short, regardless of what you'll put into the game, if the player doesn't want to use their brain, then there's nothing you can do. They'll fail and that's that. That's why noobs in racing games will always go for something that is as close to "push forward to win" as possible. Newbies that actually want to learn the game will on the other hand usually try to look for some hints though.

On top of that, 10s headstart is a lot on low speed, although takes me only a lap to get to 1st place. It's that much especially since the start off the line is more than poor when compared with normal launch, even more so when you get the launch boost. Then you have to include that normally a new player would be able to fight with the AI instead of catching it up. In short giving a handicap to AI is not really a good representation of how "bad" the AI is or how difficult it would be for a newbie to win.

Also another thing to keep in mind is that making a game easier is not the same as making it accessible. One could even argue that giving players a win on a silver platter is making the game less accessible, because it results in a completely unsatisfactory gameplay that will bore players very quickly and won't naturally force them to get better at the game (catch up, I'm looking at you). Currently the main thing that makes the game not as accessible as it should be are the issues with physics. Although naturally those are in WIP so issues on that front are to be expected.


Now, one way to try and make new players not use the higher engine speed without using a lot of resources is a form of a pop up on the race selection screen that has a 3s or so delay before you can close it and would have a text like this in it: "Wild engine speed is meant for experienced player. If you're new to the game, low and medium engine speeds are highly advised". Maybe a text in the garage that indicates the cars class would be nice as well. If something belongs to a class called "tank" the only thing you can imagine is it being quite difficult to handle.
Naturally, that is just a "placeholder" so to speak and a proper tutorial will have to be implemented sooner or later. One that would literally explain all the game mechanics to the players, or rather teach them by making them do specific things, like "perform 3 successful wallrides" or "drive through 3 speed pads placed on the ceiling" etc.

As a last note, I'd like to point out there exist a word that describes the type of people that would complain about game being difficult when they choose the most difficult options: hypocrites ;)
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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby Broscar » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:58 am

Locking speed/difficulty would be an unwise design choice, imo.
I'm a fan of the 'tutorial' level. Or simply put, just an option in the main menu called 'practice', in which you're able to select a different car on-the-fly without having to reload the level. RC1, anyone?
Give people a chance to come to terms with GRIP's mechanics, vehicles and weapons without any competitive push behind it; just add a 1 (or more) über-easy bot for target practice and you're good to go.

Ryu is right though. Right now, the handling issues and physics bugs are what makes the game inaccessible to new players. It's a simple matter of a person expecting an action when he tilts the analog stick one way, but then the car ends up bouncing around uncontrollably until it launches itself for some 8-second airtime and ends up on the track 180 degrees from where it's supposed to go. That's a major turn-off for a lot of people; we're patient because we've seen the progress that has been made already, we're loyal fans and some of us are used to similar driving mechanics, but there's plenty of competition in the gaming space and if that's people's first impression with the game, you bet your arse they'll just shut it down and fire up something else.

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby Tathendal » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:39 am

TheOnLY wrote:Maybe some kind of restrictions on when you can access what speed and difficulty (i.e. having to unlock them) could help with that.
Something like having to finish one race 3rd or higher to unlock the next speed setting could do it.
It is also easier to learn the power ups at low speeds.


+1, this would be very mild "unlockable", just so to force people to try the lower speeds first and when they have a grasp of it, they can very quickly move to faster classes. Would help new ppl to grasp the driving better and prevent crashing frustration -> ragequitting -> neg review after 10 minutes.

Ryu Makkuro wrote:Well, first of all... it's players fault for choosing the most difficult settings. It doesn't take a genius to realise that cars will be more difficult on a "Wild" engine speed than on "Low". The faster the cars the more difficult they are to drive.

I agree to some extent, but it is just a fact that many things (incl. games) have to be designed idiot-proof (well not HAVE to but to get better reception and get the learning curve so that you don't get neg reviews that have played the game 10 minutes -> get more people to buy the game) For example Strike Vector got negative reviews by GAMING JOURNALISTS that it had every weapon unlocked from the beginning and therefore hard to get used to every weapon, which was ridiculous IMO. Even though I personally don't agree, we have to remember that different kinds of people will buy and play the game and many of these people don't want to put many hours into practice a game, therefore they need guidance, like in the way TheOnLY suggested.

In short, regardless of what you'll put into the game, if the player doesn't want to use their brain, then there's nothing you can do.


Due to the arguments above, I don't agree to this, there are many design choices to counter the "brainless" players, e.g. the aforementioned speed class "unlocks" and this that you yourself suggested which is a good idea:
Now, one way to try and make new players not use the higher engine speed without using a lot of resources is a form of a pop up on the race selection screen that has a 3s or so delay before you can close it and would have a text like this in it: "Wild engine speed is meant for experienced player. If you're new to the game, low and medium engine speeds are highly advised".


As a last note, I'd like to point out there exist a word that describes the type of people that would complain about game being difficult when they choose the most difficult options: hypocrites ;)


I agree to this very much, but the sad reality is that games actually do get very much negative reviews based on less than 1 hour gameplay, sometimes like even 10 minutes, and manymany gamers have really short temper in that sense, if the game doesn't feel good rightaway or too frustrating, they won't start the game again maybe ever.


Bottom line: with smart design choices you can cater player of all skill levels and different amount of brains without dumbing the game or making it easier. Now what these desing choices can be, that is the real question.

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby potterman28wxcv » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:23 pm

Ryu Makkuro wrote:On top of that, 10s headstart is a lot on low speed, although takes me only a lap to get to 1st place. It's that much especially since the start off the line is more than poor when compared with normal launch, even more so when you get the launch boost. Then you have to include that normally a new player would be able to fight with the AI instead of catching it up. In short giving a handicap to AI is not really a good representation of how "bad" the AI is or how difficult it would be for a newbie to win.

I don't quite get your last sentence. Do you mean that it would be useless to give handicaps to AI for newbies? That's how Rollcage and Rollcage Stage 2 work, and it's quite nicely done to be honest. That's how I was able to beat my first races when I was 8 years old.

Ryu Makkuro wrote:Also another thing to keep in mind is that making a game easier is not the same as making it accessible. One could even argue that giving players a win on a silver platter is making the game less accessible, because it results in a completely unsatisfactory gameplay that will bore players very quickly and won't naturally force them to get better at the game (catch up, I'm looking at you).

It depends what is your standpoint on catch-up. If you view catch-up as an unfair mechanism, then yes, I guess winning is not satisfactory. But when you're convinced that catch-up helps in fairness, or when you just don't care, winning is completely satisfactory, regardless of whether it was on or off. Most newbies won't even notice it's there anyway.

I would even say that catch-up can be the little thing that allows the newbie to win occasionally. It doesn't happen 100% of the time (otherwise he wouldn't be a newbie), but a slight hint of "hey man, you can win this. I assure you, don't give up !" can be helpful to keep the initial playerbase going.

Ryu Makkuro wrote:As a last note, I'd like to point out there exist a word that describes the type of people that would complain about game being difficult when they choose the most difficult options: hypocrites ;)

They would be hypocrites if they would know that playing the game on Wild is harder than playing it on Medium. This is an assumption that I don't take for granted at all. We're talking of someone just discovering the game here, who might even be casual, not a try hard who will be paying attention to each option consequence.

Right now, the speed setting is presented like yet-another-option. There is absolutely no clue about the additional difficulty that it induces.
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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby Cornkid » Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:18 pm

potterman28wxcv wrote:
Right now, the speed setting is presented like yet-another-option. There is absolutely no clue about the additional difficulty that it induces.


Call me old school if you want, I kinda like that I can choose speed settings, and make my own mind up.

If you said that "wild" would be extremely hard to control, I would try it anyways, as we all have different opinions on hard to control.

I guess career mode will start on low speed and work up when game is nearer completion. The issue in Early Access is that Reviewers gonna review, some will have a brain, others won't is how I see it ;)

Not wishing to sound harsh, but I like that I have to practice to get good, it doesnt help when UE gets updated to new version, and theres more bounce now, but its Early Access, so I dont mind.

Some new players expect to win from the onset, I would see the fact they cant as a selling point, a bit like dirt rally, that had a steep curve that you just had to stick with.

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby VooDooQky » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:16 pm

I do agree with the tutorial idea. The game menu should pop up an advice message about playing some tutorial levels, if you launch the game for the first time, with a button, which fly you right into a practice session, like it is in League of Legends. Some simple carkour-style tracks could do the trick.

...Or one longer, which includes all features about driving physics. I could imagine a pretty enjoyable experience if the tutorial would go like this:

Note, that there are alternate tracks for the AI and checkpoints for event triggers after maneuver practices... i know i know, i'm delusional, but whatever, lemme dream :D

BRACE YOURSELVES! WALL OF TEXT INCOMING!

[track barrier in, low engine speed, destructible cars on, pickups for AI: none, with 1 exception]
3-2-1-GO! -> easy short right--> easy short left--> full pedal straight on -> long uphill straight (for natural slowdown, cuz newbs don't wanna release the gas EVER!!!) -> ascending stop (checkpoint) -> easy short right--> easy short left--> full pedal straight on with speedpads -> long right twist upward, twist stopping in upside down direction -> track suddenly cut (with signs about it on the way), falling back on normal position again (checkpoint) -> track axis half twist, making a U turn back, then twist back into normal position -> uphill straight with 2 rocket pickups -> ascending stop-> short zigzag with 2 standstill AI cars on separate floating platforms inserted (target practice) -> short straight with a track cut (checkpoint) -> big drop -> short straight with 1 turbo -> big loop with gattler on the apex (Checkpoint: 1-1 AI starts to move on separate tracks from the sides of the main road ascending to it in a straddling manner, and merging into the main road in the end. The AI's have to be timed, that they arrive right in gattler sight before the player) -> long straight, [track narrows down, track barrier out] -> player target practice (the 2 AI shall fall off the track, checkpoint) -> half loop up with speedpads + EMP -> upside down long right turn -> another AI track merging in, AI speeding in front of the player, EMP practice, AI shall fall into the void -> after straight, the upside down loops back to normal (checkpoint) -> straight + shield -> AI track merges with AI BEHIND the player, while hoarding 2 Gattlers -> AI starts shooting, shield test. Note: shield pickups come mixed with mines for the player, objective: destroy, or drop the chasing AI from the track with mines, totally doable on the narrow track (checkpoint) -> all kind of twists and turns can come from now, just make sure, that a player gets an assasin, and 2 targets before him in the previously displayed manner, to check effect -> finish line, congrats Derp! You are now qualified to... whatever text : D

so, this, while on screen messages (or cleverly made floating billboards ;)) instruct SCREAM at the player what to do at each section. Dunno if it's doable tho. I envisioned this, and it looked intense and fun, for a tutorial! :D

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby Ryu Makkuro » Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:34 pm

potterman28wxcv wrote:I don't quite get your last sentence. Do you mean that it would be useless to give handicaps to AI for newbies? That's how Rollcage and Rollcage Stage 2 work, and it's quite nicely done to be honest. That's how I was able to beat my first races when I was 8 years old.

I mean skilled player giving an AI handicap of 10s at the start is not a good indication of how a newbie player would fare against such an AI.

potterman28wxcv wrote:It depends what is your standpoint on catch-up. If you view catch-up as an unfair mechanism, then yes, I guess winning is not satisfactory. But when you're convinced that catch-up helps in fairness, or when you just don't care, winning is completely satisfactory, regardless of whether it was on or off. Most newbies won't even notice it's there anyway.

I would even say that catch-up can be the little thing that allows the newbie to win occasionally. It doesn't happen 100% of the time (otherwise he wouldn't be a newbie), but a slight hint of "hey man, you can win this. I assure you, don't give up !" can be helpful to keep the initial playerbase going.

Regardless of what the standpoint is, one thing remains always. Catch up gives the win on a silver platter. Which means the player no longer has to learn the gameplay mechanics to win, as would be the case with it disabled. Then such a person goes to MP, gets into a race with catch up disabled and... gets completely annihilated which can easily lead to making those player leave immediately. Or at least throw the usual "HAXOR!!!111!1!111!!!!" in the chat xD (I specifically didn't write "cheater", because those type of people in a vast majority of cases don't know/see the difference between the two)

potterman28wxcv wrote:They would be hypocrites if they would know that playing the game on Wild is harder than playing it on Medium. This is an assumption that I don't take for granted at all. We're talking of someone just discovering the game here, who might even be casual, not a try hard who will be paying attention to each option consequence.

Right now, the speed setting is presented like yet-another-option. There is absolutely no clue about the additional difficulty that it induces.

You don't have to be a hardcore player to realise that the faster the car is, the more difficult it becomes to drive. It's a natural thing. You want a challenge, you go for the fast cars. You don't want a challenge... you go for the slower cars. Anyone who ever played a racing game would instantly knew that. Anyone who didn't would be just asking for trouble by choosing the "Wild" setting instead of Low or Medium. I mean "Wild" means "untamed". Last time I checked anything that is untamed isn't exactly... as easy to control as something that is tamed.
Again, a pop up message that would point out to avoid Wild unless you're experienced player should be enough to keep newbies out of trouble. If they choose it and then post a negative review... chances are high they would do that anyway.
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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby potterman28wxcv » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:06 pm

Ryu Makkuro wrote:
potterman28wxcv wrote:I would even say that catch-up can be the little thing that allows the newbie to win occasionally. It doesn't happen 100% of the time (otherwise he wouldn't be a newbie), but a slight hint of "hey man, you can win this. I assure you, don't give up !" can be helpful to keep the initial playerbase going.

Regardless of what the standpoint is, one thing remains always. Catch up gives the win on a silver platter.

I'm still not convinced by this. You need a bit of skill to win a race, catch-up or not.
If what you said were true, everyone would be first in every race with catchup - which is impossible (it's the definition of a race, no ex-aequo), thus ad absurdum there is something wrong with "catch-up gives the win on a silver platter"

Ryu Makkuro wrote:
potterman28wxcv wrote:They would be hypocrites if they would know that playing the game on Wild is harder than playing it on Medium.
This is an assumption that I don't take for granted at all. We're talking of someone just discovering the game here, who might even be casual, not a try hard who will be paying attention to each option consequence.

Right now, the speed setting is presented like yet-another-option. There is absolutely no clue about the additional difficulty that it induces.

You don't have to be a hardcore player to realise that the faster the car is, the more difficult it becomes to drive. It's a natural thing. You want a challenge, you go for the fast cars. You don't want a challenge... you go for the slower cars. Anyone who ever played a racing game would instantly knew that.

That's exactly where I disagree. If, as a player, you actually think about the options and their meaning, yeah I guess you will deduce that Wild speed is harder. But if you just play the game (you don't even think - just go "wild = more speed = yey"), maybe the "wait, why am i last ? Is it because of the speed setting ?" won't ever occur to you, and you will be frustrated in the end.

It would not be the first time in a video game that an obvious mechanism isn't that obvious to someone.
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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby Ryu Makkuro » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:22 pm

potterman28wxcv wrote:I'm still not convinced by this. You need a bit of skill to win a race, catch-up or not.
If what you said were true, everyone would be first in every race with catchup - which is impossible (it's the definition of a race, no ex-aequo), thus ad absurdum there is something wrong with "catch-up gives the win on a silver platter"

I'm talking a win in SP, not MP. Sure some skill is required as with everything but it's significantly less than it would be with it off. The difference is enough to be able to talk about giving a win on a silver platter.

potterman28wxcv wrote:That's exactly where I disagree. If you think about it, yeah I guess you will deduce that Wild speed is harder. But if you just play the game, maybe the "wait, why am i last ? Is it because of the speed setting ?" won't ever occur to you, and you will be frustrated in the end.

Sure, that thought will never occur. But something along the lines of "Wait, why am I last? Is it because I crash so much? Maybe I shouldn't play on "Wild" setting after all" certainly will. Because if you ain't crashing... you're winning against AI.


My point here is simple. If you'll cater the game towards the "I bought the game therefore I should win regardless of things" type, then it will be no different than all the other arcade racers that ended up being just another racer. And that won't bring anyone's attention to it, which in turn won't result in good sales.
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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby TheOnLY » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:14 pm

Yes, they'd probably do far worse.
Ryu Makkuro wrote:I mean skilled player giving an AI handicap of 10s at the start is not a good indication of how a newbie player would fare against such an AI.

Yes, they'd probably do far worse.

potterman28wxcv wrote:Do you mean that it would be useless to give handicaps to AI for newbies? That's how Rollcage and Rollcage Stage 2 work, and it's quite nicely done to be honest. That's how I was able to beat my first races when I was 8 years old.

I do think the same. And i think the easy AI isn't handicapped enough in Grip. They perform too similar. Hard AI only uses more power ups.
I had the AI race each other multiple times while hiding my car so i wouldn't influence the times. As you can see the "easy" AI is actually faster in the given "noob friendly" setting, possibly because the AI does use less power ups. How can a new player keep up with a less aggressive but faster AI?
Ideally the easy AI would blow each other up more so the player has more opportunity to catch up to them.

Settings:
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Easy AI:
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Hard AI:
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This also applies to Wild speed though

I have no idea why this discussion went off topic to the general problems of catch up, since catch up doesn't cause or solve an issue new players might have, but here is my opinion on that topic anyway:
If catch up works correctly it would give the racer an advantage if they are behind and a disadvantage when they are in front, regardless of whether they are a human player or an AI. The current problem is that the AI can't handle the high speeds, that are a result of wild + catch up so they actually get worse instead of catching up to the player.
That being said I am not a fan of catch up, there are far better ways to keep the pack together (like power ups)
Last edited by TheOnLY on Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby HikikomoriGamer » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:25 pm

Just put a friendly advice saying: getting your ass kicked? try slower classes! or Try practicing with the AI on slower classes before going online. Sadly not everyone is super intelligent or skilled you know :)

But in the end what makes ppl keep playing is if they love the game or not BUT I guess you can save some poor souls by treating them like kids hahahaha

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby TheOnLY » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:33 pm

HikikomoriGamer wrote:I guess you can save some poor souls by treating them like kids hahahaha

The fact that batteries have "do not use as toothpaste" printed on them should be evidence enough :lol:

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby potterman28wxcv » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:11 am

Ryu Makkuro wrote:My point here is simple. If you'll cater the game towards the "I bought the game therefore I should win regardless of things" type, then it will be no different than all the other arcade racers that ended up being just another racer. And that won't bring anyone's attention to it, which in turn won't result in good sales.

The world is not black or white - you can make it a challenging game, while still have some welcoming features for the newbies.

TheOnLY wrote:I have no idea why this discussion went off topic to the general problems of catch up, since catch up doesn't cause or solve an issue new players might have, but here is my opinion on that topic anyway:
If catch up works correctly it would give the racer an advantage if they are behind and a disadvantage when they are in front, regardless of whether they are a human player or an AI. The current problem is that the AI can't handle the high speeds, that are a result of wild + catch up so they actually get worse instead of catching up to the player.
That being said I am not a fan of catch up, there are far better ways to keep the pack together (like power ups)

The point about catch-up was whether it was making the game more accessible or not.
If it indeed makes the AI crash more often, thus making the game easier, then I agree that it facilitates winning
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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby Django » Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:14 am

I dont agree that catch up makes winning much easyer (ok on wild maybe) it just keeps the pack together. Aaand it makes the speed weird but maybe thats just me.

Anyway the game should be done in a way that even casual player without racing experience and crapy hardware will have fun from the start. I know its not easy to balance a game in a way that its always challenging but not too much. But thats exactly what should be aimed for. You should do some testing with first time players and kids. Us people with experience cant even think like a complete newbie anymore.

Will the players be crusehed online? Yes, without lots of players and very good matchmaking thats almost unavoidable and thats the case in most games. Its a logic problem. Once you play online first time you will meet people that have played what you have played and have online experince. And since people who play a lot are more often online youre chance to meet higher skilled players (without ranking or sth.) is pretty high.

EDIT: One way to start a cheap newbie survey could be if experienced players ask their brother, sister, girlfriend or whoever who hasent played the game before to play for 15 min. So just start the game step back and shut up (No help !!!) for about 15 minutes and just let the person check the game out and play a bit.

Afterwards some Questions:
What was your experience?
What did you like? What did you dislike? Would you play more?

And some general Questions: Age, Gender/Sex, Game experience, Race Game experience, Rollcage experience, the used controller set and game version.

This would be a relativly easy way to see what people out of our Bubble think and how to make the game better for new players. (ok the 15 mins could be stretched but i guess not more than 60 mins)

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby Ryu Makkuro » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:36 am

potterman28wxcv wrote:
Ryu Makkuro wrote:My point here is simple. If you'll cater the game towards the "I bought the game therefore I should win regardless of things" type, then it will be no different than all the other arcade racers that ended up being just another racer. And that won't bring anyone's attention to it, which in turn won't result in good sales.

The world is not black or white - you can make it a challenging game, while still have some welcoming features for the newbies.

Noob =/= Newbie

The type mentioned is a noob, not a newbie. Newbie is just short for new player. They are a blank canvas so to speak, they're in just to play the game, which usually means they do want to know how to play it to some degree. Noob is effectively someone who either played for a long time and still haven't learned a bit and doesn't want to or comes into the game with a mindset that he should win by just pressing a button without learning a thing ever.

Making a game challenging means you need to learn it. That means if you cater a game to the noob audience, you effectively make something that isn't challenging, which in turn makes it boring in a long run, or even a short one. You go from "easy to learn, hard to master" to "no need to learn, easy to win" or "no need to learn, impossible to win" if devs decided to implement cheating to AI (which is often the case in many racing games).

Catering to a more core audience while still keeping the game accessible to new players is as simple as explaining all the gameplay mechanics (preferably through a tutorial), maybe adding a description to what each option in the race does, some place to practice stuff and ability to select difficulty level. GRIP so far has one of those things but I think it's the only game that gives so much control of difficulty to the player. Since you can control how difficult AI is but also how difficult cars are to drive. Rest of the options are simply missing because... well, we all know, different priorities currently and they have limited resources.

And just to point out something. My first racing game which happened to be 2nd game ever, was Colin McRae Rally 2.0. I played it when I was 8 years old and it was a damn difficult game at that point in time. Obviously I wasn't good at it at first, which is why to beat AI I went for easy level. Then once I stopped crashing on every corner I jumped to intermediate level. Then I jumped to hard which kicked my ass. But when playing against cousins who were quite a bit older than me, I still managed to be not only competitive but pull off wins consistently.
My point is not that I was good at racing games at such a young age, because I got my ass handed to me by my piece of a sh*t fuckin' father who never played a video game in his life, but that an 8 year old kid was capable of figuring out that if you're losing against AI, switch the difficulty to a lower one. Anyone who isn't a noob that just rejects the concept of learning should be fully capable of doing the same thing.

Naturally, that won't mean the game will receive a positive review. That's down to whether someone actually liked the game or not. But if the physics are good, gameplay is good, then chances are very high that they will give a positive review. If you'll look through the negative reviews on Steam, most complain about physics issues. And when noob comes in... well, they'll post a negative review to a quality game that requires learning anyway (aka the trolling portion of negative reviews), while giving a positive review to a game that is an utter piece of crap but has some eye candy features and is dumbed down to a level of "push forward to win".

Django wrote:I dont agree that catch up makes winning much easyer (ok on wild maybe) it just keeps the pack together. Aaand it makes the speed weird but maybe thats just me.

Well, it's a lot easier to win when the 1st place is just in front of you rather than being half a lap ahead. And it's a lot easier to catch up when you have a faster car and most ahead have a slower car. Keep an EMP or a missile or something that can easily blow the 1st place out of the way when near the end and you won easy mode.
And the fact the speed feels weird comes from the fact of how catch up works. It slows down the cars in the front and speeds up those at the back. Artificial performance change is bad.

Although +1 to that idea of asking new people. Unfortunately the only person right now that I can ask is my mum which... well, she won't do it and she just hates the concept of "knowing" people through internet or sharing information with them. So I'm screwed on that front...

TheOnLY wrote:I do think the same. And i think the easy AI isn't handicapped enough in Grip. They perform too similar. Hard AI only uses more power ups.
I had the AI race each other multiple times while hiding my car so i wouldn't influence the times. As you can see the "easy" AI is actually faster in the given "noob friendly" setting, possibly because the AI does use less power ups. How can a new player keep up with a less aggressive but faster AI?

Wait, let me get this right. You wanted to compare times that AI scores and you left pickups enabled? Next time try it without pickups enabled to see actual times. Because the more you blow up, the slower you'll be even if you're actually driving faster. You know the saying "slow and steady wins the race" ? That's what happened in your case.
Less aggressive AI means that they won't target the player as often, leaving the player more chance to blow AI out and scamper away, rather than being bombarded constantly by EMPs, missiles and Assassins and what not. On easy you don't have to worry about AI shooting you (as much), but on Hard, you do have to, which effectively slows you and everyone else down.



PS. Yes, I like writing essays on an internet forum. It's my hidden hobby :P
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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby potterman28wxcv » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:02 am

Ryu Makkuro wrote:
potterman28wxcv wrote:
Ryu Makkuro wrote:My point here is simple. If you'll cater the game towards the "I bought the game therefore I should win regardless of things" type, then it will be no different than all the other arcade racers that ended up being just another racer. And that won't bring anyone's attention to it, which in turn won't result in good sales.

The world is not black or white - you can make it a challenging game, while still have some welcoming features for the newbies.

Noob =/= Newbie

The type mentioned is a noob, not a newbie. Newbie is just short for new player. They are a blank canvas so to speak, they're in just to play the game, which usually means they do want to know how to play it to some degree. Noob is effectively someone who either played for a long time and still haven't learned a bit and doesn't want to or comes into the game with a mindset that he should win by just pressing a button without learning a thing ever.

Making a game challenging means you need to learn it. That means if you cater a game to the noob audience, you effectively make something that isn't challenging, which in turn makes it boring in a long run, or even a short one. You go from "easy to learn, hard to master" to "no need to learn, easy to win" or "no need to learn, impossible to win" if devs decided to implement cheating to AI (which is often the case in many racing games).

You can make it a challenging game with a noob mode. You seem to think that as soon as you put a noob mode it invalidates all challenge, but it's not necessarily true. Noob modes are not evil. If you have a campaign mode that starts very easy (noob-like), and then go medium (newbie-like) and finally hard (challenge), you will have catered the game to both types of players.

Of course, you would keep the current features in arcade mode where you can choose the AI difficulty etc.. But it wouldn't hurt to have a mini tutorial with different levels, noob or medium (a bit like Rocket League). And in the long run, you replace the tutorial with a proper campaign that goes on increasing difficulty.

I don't know if you have ever played the Soulcalibur series, but the campaign starts very easy (it's hard not to win a fight), and the more you progress, the harder it becomes, to the point that to finish the campaign you need to be very good at the game - but if you're not that good, you can still complete maybe a third of it already. This has the advantage to be 1) welcoming enough, and 2) hard enough, both at the same time!
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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby Tathendal » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:24 am

potterman28wxcv wrote:
I would even say that catch-up can be the little thing that allows the newbie to win occasionally. It doesn't happen 100% of the time (otherwise he wouldn't be a newbie), but a slight hint of "hey man, you can win this. I assure you, don't give up !" can be helpful to keep the initial playerbase going.


Very important point, and a big deal when talking about player motivation and feeling of how rewarding the game is. Player doesn't even need to win but only to feel that the win was close. If you don't believe me maybe you believe this guy who is a pro
http://www.psychologyofgames.com/2016/09/the-near-miss-effect-and-game-rewards/

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby VooDooQky » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:10 am

Rollcage games had some encouraging text, regarding on what position did you finish the race. Would be nice to see them in GRIP. But with more variations for each position :)

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Re: Making the game more accessible for new players

Postby Django » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:27 am

@VoodooQky
I guess i missed that.


I like how it was done in Spec Ops: The Line. If you play a section over and over and dont win, the game asks you to try a lower setting. There were 5 setting if i remember correctly and the highest is almost impossible. The most important part is that you can change the difficulty at any time in the campaign. Not much is more frustrating than playing most of the game and then not being able to finish it because the last level is 5 times harder than anything before.


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