In furtherance of our pre-alpha prototype build, we've added an in-game help menu that logs tutorials for you as they trigger in-game. We've managed to break up the basic rules of the game into only 8, count 'em 8, separate texts. It's a handy little reference guide mid-game as you're learning the ropes.
That first one there is a tutorial on "exploring" and it's about the main mechanic of From Rust. As mercenaries, explorers, scavengers etc. you'll be heading to areas of the planet long abandoned by civilization. Now they're the territory of possessed machines, and only the most dangerous scavenger parties still dare to enter.
Each of these zones is represented by a deck. That deck contains all kinds of cards, including gear, resources, items, and of course monsters. You'll need to accumulate enough of all of those things to get strong and take on the boss. Which means exploring as much as you can (ie. drawing as many cards as possible) before the boss fight is critical.
So how many cards can you draw? Each character has "exploration points" (EP), and that represents the number of cards they can flip over in a single day. You can always stop short (in case your scout tells you there's a tough monster ahead), but after your EP is over it's time to head back to camp and start another day.
Each zone has different triggers for when the boss starts, but the prototype zone is simply "after 5 days." That means you'll need to gather resources and craft as fast as possible, because come hell or high water, you're gonna have something nasty to deal with sooner than you'd like.
There are plenty of cards that modify EP, along with other mechanics that impact EP, but we'll talk about those...another time!
This week in the From Rust world was all about the tutorial experience. Why? Isn't that something you do at the end? Yes! But on October 28 it'll be your first chance to play the game at Playcrafting's Halloween Expo and so, uh, we'd better have some way to teach the rules to you.
For this at-the-con build, we're currently working on a short session involving 2 of the game's core characters. This session will be scripted - meaning we're not shuffling the deck or randomizing loot drops - so that we can walk you through using the zone deck, combat, consumables, crafting, and all of that as you play. Way better than having me hover over you and teach you the rules.
The nice thing about this tutorial is that we've actually made a tutorial manager that plays the events in sequence - displaying text, having characters chat, manipulating the screen, etc. If you're thinking "hey, that sounds not only like a tutorial, but also a cutscene," please apply for a job working on the team (we pay in encouragement). But also, you're right! This system we're building right now can be used to do cutscenes in-session as we explore From Rust's questing and narrative sides.
This system also integrates with our "barks," small one-off lines or conversations that your characters have in response to things happening in the game. So far, we've already got 20 of them hooked up to events as frequent as ending the day, and as uncommon as crafting one specific piece of gear. This is a "whenever I can't focus on real development" kind of project, so expect hundreds more of these ;)
If you happen to be in New York at the end of October, don't miss your chance to play our insanely early build and let us know what you think of the tutorials!