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Recipe list improvements for new players


Rinklestein
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Just started the game and loving it, there's just something I feel that would make it so much better for a new player aiming to go in blind without having to resort to wiki use or read walls of text in the written survival guide
If the survival handbook was divided up to show only the recipes that were immediately available I would feel better about it, as I've been 9 hours in and I didn't even know I could pan for minerals, or even make a rough door in the first few hours. When trying to search for items you're just overwhelmed with information with absolutely every block (and some spoilers regarding materials and armor types you won't be seeing for a long time), and sometimes can't even search for them because you don't know TO search for them like the pan in my case.
This would of course be an option, but I feel like it would be better as the default state for new players. There are things I still probably don't know because trying to find new things I'm not aware of isn't feasible without gorging on meta knowledge or reading extensive tutorials.

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Just gotta say I just found out I could make torches and I'm 9 hours in, I have been using oil lamps instead and have functionally skipped them because I did not know to search for them in the handbook. There are probably loads more things like that still waiting for me to discover.

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I actually really like this. The textbook is overwhelming and filled with spam. If there were ways of filtering it, that would be super awesome.
EDIT: To clarify, I think it should be split into the various stages of development. Like, hide away platebodies if I haven't even seen an anvil.

Edited by Omega Haxors
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The handbook is fine. I think you guys just need to look at it more, specifically the guides section of the handbook. Making torches is talked about in the starter guide and panning is talked about in the progression guide. None of these guides are long either so just spend a minute or two to read them.

The devs made it so that you can look at most recipes from an ingredient (shift + h with cursor over item in question) by using the hand book, so look at the materials you have this way and you will quickly find out what there is to make.

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It's an issue of readability and sheer overwhelming amounts of information, I'm usually someone who can absorb this kind of stuff so it's not as terrible for me, but if I were to recommend this game to a friend I would see them becoming frustrated very quickly with having to read a dictionary. You can have loads of information available in a game, but it needs to be delivered in a nuanced and user friendly way. It's like reading a manual currently and very few people that I know want to read a manual when playing a game.


And yeah divvying up the guide book into stages of development even would be great. If you opened it up and immediately saw pottery age tech that would be good enough.
And if it could merge things that clutter up the guidebook like the 6 variations of each block type into a single readable entry page (like thatch blocks and roofs together) and reference that would be a great improvement. Clicking on straw grass shows absolutely everything that can be made with the item and not all of it is relevant especially with the majority being these decorative blocks that serve the same purpose with minor aesthetic and shapely differences, nevermind that each sprite for the block from the guidebook isn't immediately recognizable to a new player, and they would have to click each individual entry to get an idea of what everything even is or what is being offered.

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I think this is a great thing if its optional. I enjoy everything being available at once; I've actually suggested catagorizing the handbook before not exactly the same way as you did, but obviously I am in favour of that idea too it wouldn't lock me out of looking for recipes I want to reach into the future but don't quite have the materials for yet

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8 hours ago, Rinklestein said:

I were to recommend this game to a friend I would see them becoming frustrated very quickly with having to read a dictionary.

How? The starter guide is like a 1 minute read. Same with the progression guide. S/he can also look at the wiki guide online, and if that is not enough, there are let's plays s/he can watch the first 5 minutes of to see what to do.

If your friend cannot devote more than 10 minutes to figure out the basics of a game then Vintage Story probably is not for him/her, nor most games really.

8 hours ago, Rinklestein said:

You can have loads of information available in a game, but it needs to be delivered in a nuanced and user friendly way.

It is.

There is an intro guide that mentions everything important for a beginner to do/learn and each industry has its own guide in the book and the game makes sure the player is aware of it. If you want the recipe for an item you can look it up and see what is needed. If you want to know what you can make with an item, the handbook will tell you everything it is an ingredient for.

I would say the game strikes a good balance between hand holding and letting you figure it out on your own.

8 hours ago, Rinklestein said:

And yeah divvying up the guide book into stages of development even would be great. If you opened it up and immediately saw pottery age tech that would be good enough.
 

It already does that, in the progression guide and it has links to the items/industries in question. Did you even read it?

502961477_ProgressionGuide.png.1f8dc5841d708e83f53335ea9933f075.png

8 hours ago, Rinklestein said:

And if it could merge things that clutter up the guidebook like the 6 variations of each block type into a single readable entry page (like thatch blocks and roofs together) and reference that would be a great improvement.

If you are looking for a specific thing then this really is not a problem as you can just narrow the search by typing some more letters in. If you are just looking around the handbook, then why would you want things abstracted away? If you are looking at an item entry and looking at what it can be made into or from, the game already joins the variations into a single slot and cycles through the variations (see tools, most stone items, etc.)

8 hours ago, Rinklestein said:

Clicking on straw grass shows absolutely everything that can be made with the item and not all of it is relevant especially with the majority being these decorative blocks that serve the same purpose with minor aesthetic and shapely differences, nevermind that each sprite for the block from the guidebook isn't immediately recognizable to a new player, and they would have to click each individual entry to get an idea of what everything even is or what is being offered.

There are ten entries for dry grass, it is not that many. Most items are similar, and even for sticks where there are 42 things under "ingredient for" they are laid out so the player can easily look at each entry by just mousing over, where they can see the rotating 3D model and a tool tip without needing to click.

1368858388_StickEntry.png.e4b5158bfb16a0628289cdd651bff94d.png

The handbook is fine and is much better than having to alt-tab to the wiki and clicking on links trying to find basic item recipes. Players just need to spend a minute and use it. 

Edited by Silent Shadow
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Most people in the topic think it could use some improvements is all I'm going to say. It's not a game breaking issue, but seeing where a game performs at it's weakest and criticizing it in good faith isn't something that should be disregarded. I want to see this game become better, and reach more players. It's an early access and feedback is especially valuable during this time. 

And yeah most of the improvements I talk about would be lovely as optional. Having options to categorize them into their block types, functions, and tech level would be greatly helpful by itself. I'd compare the blocks and items tab to the Rimworld menus, where it divides everything you can build into tabs like structures, furniture, production, temperature, power, security and more. By allowing that option you could already cut out half of the bloat there of structural and decorative blocks, and see the immediate tools you can make for the players who just want to learn by playing.

And yes the guide is a great alternative to the wiki, I appreciate more information than no information in game.
Oh and here's a quick reference / mockup for what it looks like in Rimworld, it's narrow enough to fit in the section, can act as either a drop down menu or link to a page with said item types. It would be easy to optionally disable tabs so they return to being the normal uncategorized layout. This would allow for browsing in the case for when the player doesn't know exactly what they're looking for, like torches in my case.

20210914035854_1.jpg

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