One of the difficult things about creating a game based on a genre from the 90s is that many fundamental philosophies of gameplay have changed since then. Back in the 90s, gamers would buy games like Wing Commander and they would read the generous manual that came with it. But in modern gaming, reading a manual is almost unheard of; in fact most games don’t even ship with a manual anymore. So how do we explain to new players how to play a game as complicated as Eterium without forcing them to read a manual or “attend” training missions? What if a player is returning to the game after a long time of not playing and doesn’t remember all the details? Do they need to fly the training missions again, just to continue their game? Most modern FPS and Third Person games play similar to each other, so a veteran gamer can quickly pick up and play. While Eterium plays very similar to Wing Commander and other space sims, it is still a very complex and complicated game, particularly for modern trends.
Our final conclusion is to develop an intelligent tutorial system (optional of course) that will analyze how the player is playing the game, find his mistakes, and display a relevant tip for the player in a discrete location that does not interfere with the action. In the case of the screenshot below, I forgot how to turn my engines on, so I was stuck on the flight deck. The tutorial reminded me that pressing Y on my Xbox controller will get me going. (Of course our tutorial tips also support keyboard/mouse and joystick for those players not using an Xbox controller).