Once the player logs in for the first time, he will find himself trapped in a gloomy prison. This initial dungeon will represent a quick interactive tutorial to the game itself. It leaves the gamer with no other option but to seek an exit whereas every once in a while tool-tips pop up with basic information about how the game mechanics and controls work. This will prevent a step learning curve which casual players may encounter.
- Level linearity – remember this is a tutorial dungeon. One shall not wonder in which direction to go.
- Keep it short – Don’t annoy hardcore gamers with overlong tutorial parts. Five to ten minutes ought to be enough for this type of game.
- Show a lot. Show nothing. – Introduce the basics but don’t give away the best parts in the game within the first five minutes.
Although the tool-tips are currently turned off, and not all rooms are filled yet, the dungeon layout gradually takes shape. The first few entry-monsters still feature no AI and the Field of View implementation creates some nasty artifacts but its a fair start. To help me with the creation of further environments, I am developing a basic Tile Editor in Java. I could imagine that someday players create their own maps and upload them to Zulu but that’s distant future.