May 7th 2015
Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.2 is here! Today’s patch adds the much-discussed tutorial mode, which teaches new pilots to fly in Arena Commander. It also incorporates a host of bug fixes and balance updates. You can find the complete Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.2 patch notes here. You can read more about the creation of and purpose for the tutorial mode below.
Any developer who has worked on a tutorial for a game will tell you that they are one of the most difficult parts to do well. Not only do they rely on a whole host of highly specific code and UI which may not be required anywhere else in the game (detecting an axial roll anyone?), but they require their designers to strike the right balance between informative and engaging. They also need to deliver instruction comprehensively whilst avoiding being condescending to seasoned backers already proficient in the various aspects we needed to teach to new players.
In order to appeal to players both new and long-standing we knew the tutorial had to be fun and full of exciting new content so we set out to teach the player through gameplay and engaging narrative whilst showing off our most recent ships and introducing a brand new hangar.
One of the intentions of Arena Commander is to help test features necessary for S42 and the PU. With that in mind we wanted the tutorial to be our first attempt at a story-driven mission in the vein of something we might do in S42.
We started by introducing a flight instructor as the player’s guide through the tutorial. His function is to demonstrate and explain the various maneuvers and concepts needed to become a proficient pilot, but he would also be our first interactive character. This allowed us to test the conversation system we had in development and showed up many issues which, while not fully addressed for the tutorial, are being worked on for S42.
The other thing we had to figure out was how to handle complex maneuvers within confined spaces given that neither normal flight mode nor decoupled mode had the functionality and finesse necessary. The hangar flight mode you see in the tutorial is by no means complete, but is a first step in the right direction.
The tutorial is comprised of 6 sections which teach the following principles:
Your feedback from the releases on the PTU have already been incredibly useful and anyone who played the first release will definitely see a vast improvement in clarity and stability so thank you to anyone who contributed in making this tutorial great.
As always any more feedback is extremely useful and will help us when it comes to future tutorials.