Helping New Players Get Started.......

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Cardno
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Helping New Players Get Started.......

Post#1 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:54 pm

There has been some dialogue about the need to get new players into the game or retaining the ones who do start playing.

I agree with this - and feel that the most important of these two is to help retain new players. They tend to be enthusiastic and will tell their friends about the game if they are enjoying it. Problem is, us more experienced players (i'm only about average really, but have been playing on and off for a few years), tend to wipe out the new players pretty quickly - which means they can often become discouraged.

IN order to help new players into the game, how about a few games where more experienced players team up with a new or relatively new player and we kick off in teams of 2 versus other teams of 2. This could be a good way to mentor new players and essentially 'fast-track' them into how to play the game.

This would require experienced players who are prepared to spend a bit of time communicating and doing that coaching.

That's all for now...

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Kid Khan
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Re: Helping New Players Get Started.......

Post#2 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:25 pm

Cardno wrote:IN order to help new players into the game, how about a few games where more experienced players team up with a new or relatively new player and we kick off in teams of 2 versus other teams of 2. This could be a good way to mentor new players and essentially 'fast-track' them into how to play the game.


That's a fine idea and I support it. I would offer to team up with a new player and try to guide him/her into the game. Not, that I'm in a position to actually teach someone the ultimate secrets, but I think I do know a little bit about the basic mechanics.

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FLETCH
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Post#3 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:04 pm

Sounds like a good idea...if you can get the experienced players to give away at least a few trade secrets. :wink:
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FLETCH
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Post#4 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:08 pm

Hey ][avok, does this idea sound familliar to you?? :wink:
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Havok
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Post#5 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:34 pm

FLETCH wrote:Hey ][avok, does this idea sound familliar to you?? :wink:


Yeap 8)
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B A N E
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Post#6 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:09 pm

That's a funny thing about the veterans.
There are some that will gladly divulge tricks of the trade
and there are those that hold them close to the vest.

Both methods have merit and logical justifications.

I'm one of the ones that let the cat out as I think it improves the
playing field but it also means I'll be facing my own tactics.
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Cardno
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Post#7 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:28 pm

I don't think its really even a matter of divulging the 'dark art' secrets.... but rather, more about teaching the fundamentals. The great thing about a two player game is that with rst exchange, the experienced player can very quickly spot some funadmental weaknesses and provide more meaningful and specific help.

Just understanding how to get a good economy going for instance will help a lot of new players..

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FLETCH
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Post#8 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:40 pm

I guess the next question would be do we have enough experienced players who would be interested in taking on a young Padwan?
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Post#9 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:46 pm

B A N E wrote:That's a funny thing about the veterans.
There are some that will gladly divulge tricks of the trade
and there are those that hold them close to the vest.

Both methods have merit and logical justifications.

I'm one of the ones that let the cat out as I think it improves the
playing field but it also means I'll be facing my own tactics.


I'm just the opposite. What did Patton say when he beat Rommel? "I read your book!"

I do like teaching people, but I tend to get people started and then see how they progress and whether or not they're serious about this game. I don't like to give it all away. I also tend to help those that help themselves more, and that's probably because no on helped me.

DF and I used to find any little tidbit we could and just go over it and over it and over it and really bounce idea's back and forth with one another. And that was pretty much my training other than playing.

But hey, there's lots of strategies posted here! :)
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FLETCH
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Post#10 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:02 pm

I don't think giving people some of the tactics or "secrets" of the game is going to necessarily upset the player apple cart. There have been thousands of people over centuries who have been Generals and leaders of men. Many of these have had much the same training, ie. from military academies and such. Only a small percentage become "great" leaders. It is one thing to tell people how things work and why, it is then up to those people to use what they have learned and make it work. Not all of the people who have been trained in leading men are good at putting what they have learned into practice. Some have the natural aptitude and that is where the Napoleons of the world come from.
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Post#11 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:07 am

This line of discussion seems to have gone quiet.......

Is it safe to say we wouldn't have enough experienced players keen to be paired up with relative noobs?
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Cherek
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Post#12 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:47 am

I don't think "teaming up" would be a good way to go. There is a difference between being a good player and teaching someone else how to be a good player. That is were the “teaming up” would run into trouble.

I agree with Havok, they need to read the manual, check the forums, check at Donovans and ask questions. I freely answer questions when someone asks a question, either by email, IM, posting the question in the forum or by PM. Players need to develop their own strategies.
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Kid Khan
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Post#13 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:42 am

Commodore Cherek, IRJTN wrote:I don't think "teaming up" would be a good way to go. There is a difference between being a good player and teaching someone else how to be a good player. That is were the “teaming up” would run into trouble.

I agree with Havok, they need to read the manual, check the forums, check at Donovans and ask questions. I freely answer questions when someone asks a question, either by email, IM, posting the question in the forum or by PM. Players need to develop their own strategies.


Well, I beg to differ. I guess its safe to say people learning by reading manuals are a minority. Hats off to you, if you can. But I still think doing their first turns with advice, may be even approvement and a tactical kick in the back here and there would get far more people going. Its not about teaching them how to play the game to the final detail, its not about forcing them into your own tactical mindset, on the contrary, its an opportunity to take away their fear of contact, which you get once being confronted with the written manuals. The manuals are not gone and away because you got some initial hints and such guidance would not take longer than a game. Someone seriously considering to play a game or two will have to dig through the manuals anyway sooner or later, in fact you never stop doing so. But after all its called a "game" and its "played", and playing games got something to do with fun in my book. So, I guess its far easier to find an approach, if you learn about the fun side first. May be its a definition of "fun" really. Some people might find the fun in reading stuff and mastering it, but most people dont.

May be its not so much a Black-and-White decision. May be the whole idea goes blank, when no newby ever accepts an offer like that. I'm not sure... I guess I would have refused it, when I started... not so much cause I like reading the manuals better, but more as a matter of ambition... "I dont need no help, thanks". But then again, may be we should just try...

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Post#14 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:12 am

Let me clarify one thing, when I said the “teaming up” isn’t a good idea, I was referring to a game based on that concept (but then again, I’ve never been too keen about team games), not the idea of experience players teaming up with new players. I will ally myself with a new player as readily as an experienced player. I have always felt that the experienced players should pass on our experiences with new players. How else are they expected to learn? Mind you, it would be nice if the new player would let you know that this is his\her 2nd or 3rd game before an enemy fleet is bearing down on them.
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Trillian
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Post#15 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:19 pm

Cardno wrote:I don't think its really even a matter of divulging the 'dark art' secrets.... but rather, more about teaching the fundamentals. The great thing about a two player game is that with rst exchange, the experienced player can very quickly spot some funadmental weaknesses and provide more meaningful and specific help.



As most of you know, I am the real life wife of Zaphod Beeblebrox. I am new to VGA Planets, playing in my first 3 games.

In my first game, No Frills V, Zap taught me the fundamentals of the game and basically proof-reads all my turns before I send them in. Without THAT help I probably would have given up on the game.

He's not really teaching me any "dark secrets" at this point, just basic general instruction on HOW to play the game. Now I find that I am really enjoying VGAP (obviously, since I signed up for two more games) and learning things on my own. I can already spot things other players in my games have done and say "Wow, that was a stupid thing for them to do" and "Why the hell did he put THOSE engines on that ship?". Whereas, had I been left to do this on my own I would still be fumbling around like an idiot and possibly even decided that the game was not fun and quit playing.

I think that a Vet teaming up with a newbie and sharing RST's is a good way to help a new player. The newbie can look at the Vet's turn and see the kinds of things the Vet did, and, if they are intelligent enough, determine why those things were done and learn from it. The Vet can also look through the Newbie's turn and point out mistakes that have been made.

I often sit down and look at Zap's turns in other games and learn from things he has done.

I did read the manuals and they were helpful in SOME ways, but there are other aspects of the game where it was quite helpful to have an experienced player to assist.

No one can teach you to be a GOOD player, that is up to each individual person, this game is a more intellectual oriented game than the normal online games. But someone CAN teach you the basics of the game. This game, when you first start, is not automatically FUN, you need to stick with it a while and if/when you catch on, it gets fun. If you have someone teaching you the basic mechanics of the game you get to the fun part much more quickly and then become more likely to continue playing.

A new player doesn't need anyone to divulge any secret tactics, but as Cardno said, understanding the basic economy is important. Understanding the need for fuel is important. Understanding that building 200 mines on a planet that doesn't have enough minerals to last 30 turns at that rate is wasteful is important. Understanding that fuel consumption is affected by engine load is important. Once the basic fundamentals of the game are learned a player will develp his/her own style and learn tactics of their own based on their experiences.

I didn't mean for this to turn into an essay, and I had more to say but someone is calling "Mommy" so I'll stop here.
Trillian

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