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#1 2013-07-29 04:31:55

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

I would really like a substantial fraction of the new players to find their way into the game so here are just two things I thought of.

First, I would suggest a separate forum called "house design". The point would be that beginners know where to go and get inspiration (and ask questions) instead of rummaging through stuff hidden in threads here. E.g. blips and dallecks starting house suggestions should be there so people find them easily.

Second, I think there might be a need for a quick list of essential pointers - some mistakes happen so often it's a shame. (Stepping on a drugged pitbull etc.) Could be showed somewhere at the download page and / or at the bottom of the purchase email. Something like:

"It’s not a friendly neighbourhood out there, and death is permanent (though nothing to be scared of), so here are a few pointers:

Animals will start chasing you (or fleeing from you) once you saw them and continue even if they no longer see you.

A drugged pitbull will wake up if you step on it.

Animals can trigger switches, so if you see an animal behind a window and a switch next to it, chances are the animal will do something to something electric next to you as you move around. (Take the power off a trapdoor, or switch on an electric floor as you step onto it.)

Some of the electronics you won’t see in a house can be used to do things you don’t expect as you step on a switch, so be suspicious.

When designing a house, keep in mind that sometimes very simple tools can render your smart defense strategy useless. (A brick thrown onto a switch, a saw to cut through one wall etc.)

If you design something deadly, you can replace trapdoors etc. with electric lights to see how they work without any danger to you during self-test. If you walk back out of your door instead of onto your safe you can even get a refund on them when you replace them with the real thing (as with all things you built during that session).

Lots of design suggestions and explanations can be found in the forums, so you might have a look at what has been done and get some inspiration from that!

And a general hint: Don’t be afraid to try out things a lot and dust yourself off if you die in the process. Reincarnation is just around the corner.
"

You catch my drift.

Last edited by bey bey (2013-07-29 04:36:23)


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#2 2013-07-29 04:52:20

colorfusion
Member
Registered: 2013-04-02
Posts: 537

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

I think a sandbox type thing would make it easier for new people to learn the mechanics. Nothing would be saved or published but you would have no money cap, just sent back to buildmode if you die or reach the vault, and you could use tools in self test.

Messing around with using tools on pitbulls would definitely help a lot of new people from what I see.

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#3 2013-07-29 06:15:04

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

The first suggestion is great. A quick, easy fix that would probably help. Maybe even another section for new players to get help or a sticky that has FAQs.

I think the community should drive the second part. An old quote from Jason:

Yep, dangerous experimentation (like Minecraft) was part of the intent.  I'm guessing that wikis, etc, will spring up eventually.

Thus, the official experience of the game (including anything in a purchase email) will probably allow one to have that dangerous, frustrating/rewarding experience without any spoilers. The wiki, the forums, and other resources will have to fill in the gaps for players that want to jump past that stage. We should be updating the wiki and writing guides and tutorials. I tried to my hand at writing a guide, but I really have no idea how helpful that is. Maybe it needs expanding.


Golden Krone Hotel - a vampire roguelike

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#4 2013-07-29 06:21:40

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

Yeah, I immediately realised the tactical error of grouping two different things into one post. The forum section thing is more or less a no-brainer.

The other thing is more debatable, I agree. I was just thinking that the trailer and all that suggest something quite simple: Build a house and rob a house. And then you see the reality and its WAY more complex and a LOT of totally unexpected things happen all at once. Throw that at me three times in a row and I'll quit most things. So I thought some sort of pre-emptive glimpse at the fact that there is high complexity and potential frustration would be a good idea. Might be wrong about that though.

Last edited by bey bey (2013-07-29 06:22:11)


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#5 2013-07-29 06:56:26

gyuri
Member
Registered: 2013-07-09
Posts: 231

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

First thing I did when I started playing back then was watching some videos on Youtube. I might not be the only one, since a lot of new players these days do things you wouldn't really expect, but they might have seen on some very old Youtube videos.

So I think the most important thing is deleting the old videos (whoever made them) or marking them as outdated, and make some proper tutorials. I'm not a video guy myself, but I'm sure there are some much more competent people in this community.

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#6 2013-07-29 07:11:50

colorfusion
Member
Registered: 2013-04-02
Posts: 537

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

gyuri wrote:

First thing I did when I started playing back then was watching some videos on Youtube. I might not be the only one, since a lot of new players these days do things you wouldn't really expect, but they might have seen on some very old Youtube videos.

So I think the most important thing is deleting the old videos (whoever made them) or marking them as outdated, and make some proper tutorials. I'm not a video guy myself, but I'm sure there are some much more competent people in this community.

Getting a bunch of different people to rename or delete their videos is probably going to be a bit tough. Maybe have some kind of in-game version number just at the top left or something?

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#7 2013-07-29 07:52:22

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

Even a version number in the title would go a long way, probably together with a disclaimer that mechanics of the game have changed. A good idea would be an official youtube channel or something that categorises videos into "up to date" and "outdated" and could be linked from the homepage.


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#8 2013-07-29 15:33:35

largestherb
Member
From: england
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 381

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

i think a sandbox is on the way~

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#9 2013-07-29 16:03:13

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

largestherb wrote:

i think a sandbox is on the way~

But there is already a sandbox, essentially, filled with a new 2k every time and a fresh family for good measure. wink


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#10 2013-08-11 14:55:05

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,231

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

There are no plans for a sandbox.... I really want to keep everything "real" in this game.

The trailer shows you getting killed by your own dog, so I don't think there are too many surprises there.

However, I am worried about player retention.  I wonder how many people are quitting early?  Ah... I think the database can answer this!

In the current server world (since the last full reset), we have 1590 players.  Here's the break-down by number of lives lived:

.
+------------+---------+----------+
| numPlayers | percent | numLives |
+------------+---------+----------+
|          1 |  0.0000 |       49 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       51 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       62 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       64 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       65 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       72 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       73 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       78 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       82 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       87 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       88 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       91 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       94 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |       97 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      106 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      108 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      112 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      115 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      145 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      146 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      165 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      167 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      178 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      181 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      185 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      188 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      200 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      245 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      252 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      258 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      284 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      317 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      326 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      362 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      508 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      537 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      551 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      668 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |      755 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |     1026 |
|          1 |  0.0000 |     2292 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       33 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       43 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       45 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       50 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       57 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       60 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       69 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       70 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       71 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       74 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       83 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       89 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |       92 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |      103 |
|          2 |  0.1000 |      105 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       29 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       35 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       37 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       38 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       39 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       40 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       41 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       42 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       44 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       47 |
|          3 |  0.1000 |       54 |
|          5 |  0.3000 |       34 |
|          5 |  0.3000 |       36 |
|          5 |  0.3000 |       52 |
|          6 |  0.3000 |       30 |
|          6 |  0.3000 |       31 |
|          7 |  0.4000 |       28 |
|          9 |  0.5000 |       23 |
|          9 |  0.5000 |       26 |
|         10 |  0.6000 |       20 |
|         10 |  0.6000 |       21 |
|         10 |  0.6000 |       22 |
|         10 |  0.6000 |       25 |
|         10 |  0.6000 |       27 |
|         12 |  0.7000 |       15 |
|         12 |  0.7000 |       24 |
|         13 |  0.8000 |       19 |
|         13 |  0.8000 |       32 |
|         15 |  0.9000 |       17 |
|         20 |  1.2000 |       18 |
|         21 |  1.3000 |       14 |
|         23 |  1.4000 |       16 |
|         26 |  1.6000 |       12 |
|         26 |  1.6000 |       13 |
|         39 |  2.4000 |       10 |
|         40 |  2.5000 |        9 |
|         48 |  3.0000 |       11 |
|         62 |  3.8000 |        8 |
|         64 |  4.0000 |        7 |
|         86 |  5.4000 |        6 |
|        114 |  7.1000 |        5 |
|        150 |  9.4000 |        4 |
|        217 | 13.6000 |        3 |
|        383 | 24.0000 |        2 |
+------------+---------+----------+

So... that's 24% of players only playing 2 lives and then stopping.  But some players are just going to do that, no matter what, especially over time. 

Also, 30% of players have played 10 or more lives.  I'm not sure if that's good or bad.


What about more recently?

173 people have played in the past 7 days.  Here's the break-down for them:

.
+------------+---------+----------+
| numPlayers | percent | numLives |
+------------+---------+----------+
|          1 |  0.5000 |       18 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       22 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       23 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       24 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       26 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       29 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       30 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       32 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       34 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       35 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       36 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       37 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       38 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       39 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       40 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       42 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       43 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       44 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       45 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       49 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       62 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       70 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       71 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       72 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       74 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       82 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       83 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |       92 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      103 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      105 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      108 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      112 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      115 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      165 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      167 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      181 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      245 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      252 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      258 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      508 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      537 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      551 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      668 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |      755 |
|          1 |  0.5000 |     2292 |
|          2 |  1.1000 |       12 |
|          2 |  1.1000 |       14 |
|          2 |  1.1000 |       15 |
|          2 |  1.1000 |       21 |
|          2 |  1.1000 |       25 |
|          2 |  1.1000 |       31 |
|          2 |  1.1000 |       60 |
|          2 |  1.1000 |       89 |
|          3 |  1.7000 |       13 |
|          3 |  1.7000 |       17 |
|          3 |  1.7000 |       52 |
|          4 |  2.3000 |        9 |
|          4 |  2.3000 |       19 |
|          5 |  2.8000 |       10 |
|          5 |  2.8000 |       16 |
|          6 |  3.4000 |       11 |
|          7 |  4.0000 |        6 |
|          7 |  4.0000 |        7 |
|         10 |  5.7000 |        8 |
|         11 |  6.3000 |        5 |
|         12 |  6.9000 |        4 |
|         13 |  7.5000 |        3 |
|         19 | 10.9000 |        2 |
+------------+---------+----------+

So, we're down to just 11% playing only 2 lives.

And, in the last 7 days, 52% of players have played 10 or more lives.

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#11 2013-08-11 15:32:02

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

Oh man, how I would like to know how many times I've died! A simple stat on that in game would be pretty cool.


Golden Krone Hotel - a vampire roguelike

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#12 2013-08-11 17:14:34

Blip
Member
Registered: 2013-05-07
Posts: 505

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

gyuri wrote:

So I think the most important thing is deleting the old videos (whoever made them) or marking them as outdated, and make some proper tutorials. I'm not a video guy myself, but I'm sure there are some much more competent people in this community.

I'm starting work on a set of tutorials tomorrow, when I'm home from vacation. I'm planning three videos: Basics, Advanced, and Electronics. Each would be aimed at a different segment of the player base, with the mission of expanding general knowledge about the game, and helping players not feel trapped by their lack of understanding of the very devious traps that are installed in the neighborhood. Here are some proposals; feel free to make any pointers or correct any inaccuracies I claim to be true, as I want these videos to be as correct as possible.

The Basics video would discuss the construction of traps, starting with the basics of walls and pit bulls, then moving on to simple power and the three trap devices. Pressure plates would be introduced, along with the idea of using them with animals to create dance traps. VTSs and VTiSs would be explained, with examples for usage (not including looping electronics). The mechanics for death in self-test would segway into robbery itself, and strategies for avoiding death and scouting houses.

The Electronics video would cover looping electronics, including bits, counters, and adders. Various devices would be constructed, probably ending with a discussion of the CDHDD, the nonrewritable bit storage method I developed here. I might bring up some of my currently secret work on rewritable storage, which seems to have massive trap potential.

The Advanced section is troubling me the most. I have most of the trivia down (using a Chihuahua at your feet to avoid pit bulls, the switch-electricfloor-pit combination to make somebody commit to a path while chased, etc...) but I need a bigger swath of overall strategies to bring up other than mine. I'd love to hear some of yours -- do you rob first, then build? Or build, then rob slowly (or go for a big target right away)? I think that giving newer players examples of the strategies of those more experienced would do much to help them get better, and help the game get better with them.


Current life: Not dead, but I have no clue who I am
The Life and Times of Christopher Alvin Harris
Record: 149 Paintings!

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#13 2013-08-11 18:16:33

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

Advanced strategies:

One good way of getting started is to use one's 2k lives on all existent houses above 5k until chills forbid with the aim of getting past the security protocol. Not all of them are hard. I have seen the dances to my house figured out. (Since there have been a few attempts, I assume that it was an honest trial and error attempt and not a form of cheating.)

Getting another 5 or more k to get started isn't something to be sneered at.

An important advanced hint is to take psychology into account. If a house LOOKS like it's well defended (and withstands the simplest of attacks), it might stand for quite a while since people assume it will be more difficult than it is.

It also helps to have one's first part of defense strategies (or even entire house) mapped out up front, in the castlefortify sandbox (one can use one's starting cash to simulate how stuff will work in lieu of a dedicated sandbox mode before starting real building, I need that especially for electronics that rely on limbo-state-switches and the likes.) I used to pre-map entire houses, but the game has changed so that it's not all that likely to get to a full house quickly so I enjoy starting with some little trap or experiment and building upon that as and if things move along from there.


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#14 2013-08-12 00:09:24

Cent
Member
Registered: 2013-07-25
Posts: 41

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

Some guy died nearly 2300 times in the past 7 days?

Sounds like exploiting to me.

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#15 2013-08-12 10:08:29

largestherb
Member
From: england
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 381

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

$4,400,000 somewhere tongue

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#16 2013-08-12 21:51:46

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,231

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

Oh, no, that's not the death toll for the past 7 days.  Those are TOTAL deaths for all players who were active in the past 7 days.  Someone has lived 2000+ lives, yes!  But that was over several months.

Blip... major changes to mechanics (like animal movement, wires through walls, etc.) might still be coming!  If you make a vid explaining magic dances, those might go away soon.... so, you might want to wait, or be ready to revise later.

And I REALLY appreciate you working on tutorial vids.  I think it will help new players a lot.

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#17 2013-08-13 06:58:51

Blip
Member
Registered: 2013-05-07
Posts: 505

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

My plan is to revise the tutorials as major changes came out. When I make a new set, I'm going to delete the outdated set to avoid confusion.

Last edited by Blip (2013-08-13 06:59:23)


Current life: Not dead, but I have no clue who I am
The Life and Times of Christopher Alvin Harris
Record: 149 Paintings!

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#18 2013-08-13 07:19:17

colorfusion
Member
Registered: 2013-04-02
Posts: 537

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

jasonrohrer wrote:

There are no plans for a sandbox.... I really want to keep everything "real" in this game.

Forgot who originally suggested it, but what if sandbox was entirely done in blueprint graphics mode? It would be like planning out your moves, or drawing out some traps on a piece of paper before going in to build them for real.

There are certainly a lot of things with dog movement I'd want to try out which can't be done just with chiwawas, and with how tools work in different situations.


Perhaps somebody will create a mod for it; it doesn't need to connect to the main server so it could probably just be a copy of the game where you start with infinite money or everything costs nothing.

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#19 2013-08-13 09:37:03

largestherb
Member
From: england
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 381

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

oh. maybe that 2000 deaths is me tongue

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#20 2013-08-13 19:57:22

Ludicrosity
Member
From: US
Registered: 2013-06-22
Posts: 144

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

Wow, interesting to see those stats! Do you sometimes feel like the NSA Jason? You know, monitoring all of our activity in the Castle Doctrine World round the clock and storing the resulting stats in huge data files. wink I'm joking of course. It would be a missed opportunity not to keep useful information like this. smile

I'm betting that I am one of the people with over 1000 deaths. Actually, I'm surprised there are not more such people. I must have died several hundred times back when I first started many versions ago when pump & dump was still possible (before the chill of death was implemented). My first ever house cost almost 100k, which I got entirely by pump & dump, and I had to restart a few times whenever some lucky soul happened upon my snowballing pile of loot.

More recently however, I have racked up a lot of deaths by repeatedly committing suicide until I get the family I want (the desired wife, son, daughter graphics). I imagine the folks who are boycotting the game and whining about it on twitter would read too much into this and practically have a heart attack at the implications. What does this say about me and/or the Castle Doctrine World? Don't bother thinking too hard though, I do this with every game I play. I'm a bit OCD about having things juuuust the way I want them in games.

Last edited by Ludicrosity (2013-08-13 19:57:58)

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#21 2013-08-14 05:47:15

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

Wow, interesting to see those stats! Do you sometimes feel like the NSA Jason? You know, monitoring all of our activity in the Castle Doctrine World round the clock and storing the resulting stats in huge data files.

I think Jason having access to all the security tapes leads to 2 more apt analogies:

filepicker%2FDPiPIFPfQMqLfYoqGskD_the_matrix_architect.jpg
Blog_Ozymandias.jpg


Golden Krone Hotel - a vampire roguelike

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#22 2013-08-14 09:24:48

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,231

Re: Suggestions to make it easier on beginners

Yep, eye in the sky over here.

Though I'm not keeping this data on purpose.... it's just all in the database as part of keeping the game running.  With the proper SQL query, you can pretty much answer whatever question you want to answer.

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