Author Topic: Newbie feedback about early Lix singleplayer  (Read 994 times)

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Offline Simon

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Newbie feedback about early Lix singleplayer
« on: June 12, 2024, 12:50:54 PM »
In May, after work, I had a colleague try Lix on his notebook computer. I believe we had a mouse, not only the touchpad. He had played Lemmings ages ago.

Any Way You Want: No problem. A few died, but that's expected. You must save 1/10, he saved several.

Pipe Dream:
  • Unclear what to do. The exit isn't visible at the start of play.
  • Once, he bashed out of the left of the map and had to cancel or restart.
  • He assigned some bashers in the open, without a nearby wall. (This is OK, I expect this with new players.)
  • He repeatedly bashed facing away from the wall instead of facing towards the wall. I told him how to do it right, he said "yes", but his success rate didn't increase.
  • He ran out of basher! Pipe Dream gives you 20 bashers. You need at least 6 to pass. If you squander 15, you're stuck, but you don't know it yet.
For the next Lix release 0.10.24, I'll increase bashers from 20 to 50. Unsure if the other findings are a huge problem. Or, if they are: Unsure how to fix them.

In hindsight, even the L1 devs were wise and gave you 50 bashers in You Need Bashers This Time.

I'm reporting this like a usability test here, and while it produced usability findings, the session wasn't planned as a usability test. In a proper test, I should explain as little as possible. Here, I explained things along the way, which can steal attention.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: June 12, 2024, 02:40:59 PM by Simon »

Offline Proxima

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Re: Newbie feedback about early Lix singleplayer
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2024, 04:18:16 PM »
Pipe Dream is a bad Level 2 because it was never intended as one. I just had the idea of converting 2-player Level 9 The Pipe Room into a single-player level, and the placement was decided later.

Having a good Level 2 is much more important than fidelity to the original level, and yet it does look good so I don't want to scrap it completely. The attached level is what I came up with.

(I've also changed the author field to "Proxima". Would it be possible for you to do this on all my levels? I imagine it could be done quickly with a script?)

Offline Simon

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Re: Newbie feedback about early Lix singleplayer
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2024, 06:14:04 PM »
Thanks for taking this seriously and choosing to fix it from the ground up. I'll look at your level in detail tonight.

Yes, I'll mass-change the author field in your levels to "Proxima" without quotes.

Also, I'll write some code in Lix itself such that, whenever Lix loads existing checkmarks from user/trophies.sdl, the checkmarks of your levels change their author to "Proxima", too. Reason: Lix saves the three following fields per checkmark, and later, to match a checkmark to a level, requires that all three of the following are identical:
  • The basename of the level file, i.e., the part of the level filename that comes after the directories and slashes,
  • the level title,
  • the level author.
When I auto-adapt the checkmarks according to this author change, we can rename the author in your levels and people still keep the checkmarks.

The directory isn't in the above list. You can always move levels between directories and the checkmarks will come with them.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: June 15, 2024, 06:24:53 PM by Simon »

Offline geoo

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Re: Newbie feedback about early Lix singleplayer
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2024, 11:28:05 PM »
I just saw the updated Pipe Dream in Simon's stream, I think this makes for a really good second level now!

More generally I think out early level progression isn't ideal. Historically we just had a bunch of introductory levels people made which I put in order.

I think in an ideal setting, we would map out a desired learning progression (what are the skills, etc, including reinforcement), and then have a sequence of levels that realize it. If we go by modern puzzle game design, this progression would probably cover at least a full rank, slowly introducing concepts (e.g. skills) and reinforcing them sufficiently along the way, keeping players hooked with interspersed simple puzzles combining the concepts they are already familiar with.

Offline Simon

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Re: Newbie feedback about early Lix singleplayer
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2024, 08:25:30 PM »
Thanks to both of you for watching that part of my stream and giving your feedback. We now give 25 builders, 0 platformers, 25 bashers. We need 3 to pass. That current Pipe Dream on Github, I'll merge it into Lix 0.10.24.

We have tutorial puzzles, but I don't advertize those.

geoo is envisioning the mixed approach where a game teaches itself without calling it a tutorial outright, and without making it feel like a dedicated tutorial. Lovely has several facets of that, but isn't designed from the ground up as that. I can't tell how far off it is, I'll continue to let you know about the rough edges as I find them.

Other than sanding the rough edges, I'm open to redesigns, radical or minor. I merely won't spearhead such a modern tutorial rank (self-teaching puzzles, implicit tutorial) myself this year.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: June 17, 2024, 08:31:53 PM by Simon »