The hints are nice. They go away either after a threshold number of time being displayed or a total threshold of time has passed. I need to structure a tutorial level that would mechanically introduce the game. I sketched out a plan in an email to a colleague, Dave (his game is here devness.itch.io):
- players start on an island with dogs lounging on the island, visible on screen. there will be no other thing to interact with except the dogs. players will have to mount and begin to fly in order to progress.
- after taking flight, the area is still enclosed or linearly leads to a finite number of enemies, but not a nest. tweaking the number based on number of players active. if a player's dog dies, and they get trapped in their crystal, other dogriders will have to figure out that they can pick up their teammates and ride with 2 players on one dog. if everyone dies, i made the enemies too strong, or the players are just really bad and they can restart the tutorial.
- the players discover another island with dog food. and they learn how to heal. maybe they find a hurt dog or there's some event that forces every dog to take damage, if they weren't already damaged.
- then the whale appears, asks for help/hell breaks loose and the whale rescues them/i don't know.
- the flock then moves out, the dog food is aboard the whale, the hud for the water and the solar power is turned off.
- they encounter some finite enemy groups and some loot drops including a key. then there's a gate house the whale must dock at so the key can unlock the gate, to introduce whale parking.
- somewhere around here use tooltips to explain how to roll the whale over to access the belly.
- after passing thru the gate, then something like the current tutorial would take place. maybe the river is found for the first time and the whale explains it can follow the river to make it back to whale land.
- the water system turns on, the hose appears, and the whale tail reigns appears and the hydration system is explained.
- the turret is attached and a press "A" appears over it or something.
- at some point later, use another gate to halt progress and introduce the solar panel and energy box.
- NOTE: i'm also considering not introducing the solar panel, harpoons, turret, drill, at all. making those part of a whale upgardes system that are purchased or found as you progress. i've had other ideas for different whale systems and then your build would be dependent on what systems you buy/find each run through. maybe the solar panel system will stay and the solar power can be used to power a variety of different systems you can attach. not sure.
Didn't get as much work done on the game as I'd have liked. Mostly just over the weekend. I had an 8 am appointment about an hour away earlier this week. So I had to be up at 6:30 to walk dog and get ready and go. Then, of course, that afternoon I fell asleep for a few hours. Which meant I was then up until like 3 am. And then the next day, I fell asleep in the afternoon and was again up until like 3 am. I should just embrace it and use that time to code, but I end up just sitting in bed watching Twitch or, as it happened this week, 6 episodes of The West Wing, which I've never seen before and it's alright.