Robo Instructus devblog

Updates on the development of coding puzzler Robo Instructus

Story And Tutorials

I'm that guy who quit his job to sit in his house making games. I'm currently working on robot engineering game Robo Instructus. For my previous weekly posts look here.

I’ve been working on the tutorials this last week. They manifest themselves as between-level messages. They also set the scene and start telling the story of the game.

Tutorials are obviously vital for letting people actually engage with the game. I’m going to be leaning towards brief tutorials initially and see how they go down with the first alpha testers. Discovery can be fun, but frustrating lack of information is less so.

With the first message I actually want to just set the scene. This introduces the story of the game. I’d like the story to be a mystery gradually uncovered by completing the puzzles and accessing more of the facility. In this way the lore of the game becomes part of the reward for completing levels and a motivator for finishing more.

Right now the story is just a skeleton in my mind to be fleshed out later. The focusing question in the alpha stage remains: Is it fun? I’m really looking forward to getting feedback on that as soon as possible.

Technologically I still have work to do on the tutorial/story screens. I need to render more complex glyph layouts, or multiple fonts & scales in variable widths. I need image & animation rendering from simple source material. These tutorials are expected to be changed and improved many times, so I’m trying to make them as hackable as possible.

I’ll give you a quick look at the in-development initial info screens to get an idea of where it’s headed. You’ll notice it isn’t finished yet.

Progressing to the next level may show further screens, explaining new tools or new slices of lore. You’ll be able to re-read previous screens via the menu … when I implement the menu!

Clarity of this kind of information is really important. The in-game tutorials & documentation are things I’ll be putting a lot of effort into. So expect these to improve a lot during the alpha phase.

Once I’m happy that the tutorials are implemented and make sense, the alpha will be ready for testers! If all goes smoothly that should be ready in the next week or two.

If you’d like to help me test the incoming very first version please get into contact using one of the methods on the front page.

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