A newbie's first problems

Hi guys!

First things first: I only played the game for a very brief period. Honestly, I expected much-much less from a game in such an early development phase. So big, fat kudos to you! :3 I felt like I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to give a review on what problems a first timer encounters in the first few hours, since it is probably the most critical time. Since I played VERY briefly, I might have missed some options and controls, but that can be also telling that newbies might not find this or that easy enough. If things does not feel right, and the experience is not nice in the first few hours, people will just leave. So without further ado, I collected some early game annoyances, that will hopefully disappear with time:

First things: gathering from the ground is always finicky in VR. If you really have to touch the items, those with smaller setups, or often changing setups will have CONSTANT issues not being able to pick up stuff or hitting the ground. I actually hurt my hand today to the point of bleeding because I just could not pick up stuff, even though I spent almost an hour recalibrating my setup. Just add the pointer from other vr games, that teleports stuff you point at into your hands from like 30-50cms or so. Constantly bowing might seem like immersiveness to some, but not to my best friend in a wheelchair, nor to my (excuse the pun) bloody hand. Also adjustable arm length, ingame height and (please don’t laugh) boob size should be a thing as soon as you can fit it onto your priority list. Looking at my boobs and arms made me feel like I was in uncanny valley. Also my height was off from what I set up in Oculus that also made me feel weird. I don’t know if others have a problem with their hand size? For me that was a perfect fit, even though I have long fingers. :smiley: I absolutely love the fact that we have arms! Their movement is quite amazing and pretty. So is the way I can throw around objects, rotate them, handle them with two hands. Sometimes handling an axe with two hands did not register my movements from the right angle though, that felt a bit weird.

Second thing: learning curve. Right now, the learning curve is just too high at the very beginning. I love the tutorial quests, I hope you’ll expand those with voiced or animated explanations. No one wants to read wall of texts, some NPCs showing us what and how to do would be nice in the future. It took me a while to figure out how to craft just the backpack… and then I had zero idea what to do in a real server. All those crafting (?) stations and tables made no sense. Or all those containers around the town. Do their content ever despawn? Does anything ever despawn? How long does it take for things to grow, birds to come back? What happens if I die? I had bazillion of questions, and the only place I could turn to was the Discord… which I won’t open while I have the headset on. Maybe a mentor system could help. Having a (mentor) guild helping novice crafters would fit the game so well. :o Or a personal book maybe with a written faq? Also the skillbooks need a redesign. They are very chaotic at first glance. The borders around items confused my eyes, also the pictograms of the items were not telling enough. I opened several books and I had no idea what I was looking at most of the time.

And the last problem I encountered was motion sickness. I did not feel it for a long time. Here however, jumping off from heights just killed my stomach. Sometimes there is even a small fps drop due to greater heights/loading, which made things even worse. Maybe add an extra locomotion option: if you start falling, everything goes black, you hear the sound of falling and then you teleport down instead of watching your sudden movement alongside the Y axis that makes you wanna throw up.

I think this is it for now. I will probably play a lot more in the near future. Heck, I am even considering donating you guys. Amazing game!

Hey there, and welcome. As an experienced player, I’ll try and relay the general community and dev’s consensus on your issues.

  1. The developers want Township to be a very physical game. Other games like Boneworks and HL:Alyx are made to make you feel like a badass with your magical gravity gloves, or the like. The developers do not want this kind of Gameplay in Township, thus they have stated that they will not be including a force grab feature.
    A much more likely addition is an artificial crouch slider as seen in the likes of Boneworks. If you would like to hurry the developers along with that, feel free to vote on [my feedback on the issue.]
    (Crouch Button/Slider)
    As for arms… They do already have some stretchyness to compensate for different arm lengths, but I do agree on that one.
    Also, congratulations, changing the breast size is one of the few actually new ideas I see on here.

  2. Next we have the issue of the learning curve, and this is a much more difficult issue to address. Yes, Township can be very hard for new players, and the only "guaranteed " way of learning the game is through the Wiki (which I would recommend you use).
    NPCs are also very unlikely, and would probably make the game feel too artificial. The developers wish for Township to feel like a real, living community.
    Now, in the past I, and others, have suggested ideas such as a Library, or better books around the overworld which you could go upvote, but after time I have realised that these are not a good way of doing things.
    Township is a game that heavily relies on the community (or at least tries to, the issue is that a lot of “community members” aren’t the most gracious), so imo it should be up to the community to teach new players. That is how I learned the game, and how many others also did. Township has one of the best communities I have ever seen, and it is best to capitalise on that fact. So don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask for a tour as many people will be more than willing to give you one.
    People have the habit of coming into Township like it is any other toxic multiplayer game, and believe that they have to go solo on their adventures, but that really isn’t the case… yet.

  3. Don’t know what else to tell you here. Don’t go jumping off cliffs?

Overall, these are all issues that will eventually be resolved. We will eventually see a crouch button, and we will probably see an extended tutorial, but the latter’s inclusion certainly worries me as to how the community will change. The only reason I give tours is because I was given a tour those many moons ago, as was my tour guide, and most likely, as was theirs. I just don’t want the kind nature of Township to disappear over time.

Hi, thanks for the fast reply. :slight_smile:

  1. Soooo basically I cannot expect to be able to play with my best friend until this crouch option is added? (Thanks for the link btw!) Do they plan mod support with time? Cause people in a wheelchair will struggle without force grab… crouch sounds like a workaround, even if an annoying one. Most of the time I play with her, so I would feel bad to start a multiplayer game without her. :frowning: I don’t see the harm in having more options when it comes to game controls, especially if it makes the game more available to more people (not to mention that back pain, back injuries and other health issues can be worsened or developed if you constantly keep bowing especially without a warmup session). I played plenty of games with VERY short forcegrab feature. No more than 20-50 cms. That makes controls less clunky. I often felt like a clown cause I could not reach something and I had to struggle with turning and moving, since I ran out of room space to that side. Having 30 cms of force grab would not make me feel like a badass magician, but less like an unlucky, poor gal, who cannot afford a 50m^2 dedicated VR room, who is extremely annoyed that she needs 10 button presses to grab a piece of wood. It’s not like a convenience option messes with game balance or makes you all godlike. Maybe if this was a sport simulator. But it isn’t. People like me would still go with the more immersive version anyways, but I am a sport expert, so I do not mind a little bit of streching before each of my VR sessions, nor movement intense/sport games. And heck, it could even be a server setting, if some people really want others to use the same controls. In my humble opinion restricting controls in any game, any platform, any way is a big mistake. Especially in VR where it is not just about convenience, but you unknowingly can exclude certain groups from playing their game just so they can force some settings some find fun, on other people who might not find those settings fun.

Yeah well, haha, as for the boob size… I think I am the first person to ask for that everywhere. Other gals with bigger boobs are way to shy to mention it I guess. It is just weird until some items can be equipped on the shoulder/chest are… after that, it turns into painful, because to reach the virtual item, you have to literally push in your RL boobs, because items tend to be inside them when the modell is smaller than you are. :_D Same goes for hips. I would be grateful for a hip slider or an inventory shape/curve and size adjuster. Right now the leftmost and the rightmost orbs/slots are at a weird place for me.

  1. Yeah I know about the wiki. But new players won’t start there. I hoped it wasn’t a final solution for info gathering. I really like the idea of a library! Yeah I can see why NPCs can be offsetting… but if they only exist in the tutorial area? Oh and what about trading? Things like stalls could have a standing NPC, basically your copy, behind the counter so you don’t have to interact with… well a table? Cause that is weird. :smiley: Using a 3rd party site like a wikipedia is a joke, if force grab is not introduced for “immersiveness” reasons like making the game more physical. What is so physical in taking off my helmet, sitting down, reading (so basically studying) and then taking the helmet back each time I have a question and no one is around? Even if the current headsets would have decent resolution and sharpness to be able to read IN them, it would throw me off that I have to open the Oculus menu and basically alt-tab from a virtual word. This morning I logged in again, and there were even less players than yesterday. I started on the EU server, which pretty consistently seems like one of the “biggest” ones. It had only 8 (!) people. This morning (well okay, no surprise there, it is a workday) even less. I met only 3 outside the tutorial area. But I might have picked a wrong time to log in, I don’t know what is the peek in player numbers? Cause 8 people is not really much if I need sudden ingame help. Since I had voice issues, I could not really chat with them, but I did not expect they would be “ungracious” :S In most crafting games it is usually pretty easy to find friendly and helpful people (and trolls, too, haha). It is the player number that worries me here a bit if I will have to play without my friend, alone and expect support from other players, too.

  2. But even the tutorial area tells me to jump off to find out if there is fall damage. :smiley: Also I am not going to go around when it takes more minutes than to jump off. XD I’d rather close my eyes (or rather feel sick if I forget). From a game design point of view, if you have the option to fall, you have to think of all the people with motion sickness. Blackening the surroundings is not such a huge thing to add as an option. Especially if it helps a lot of people.

+1: Is there any story planned for the game? I saw some RP servers this morning. But they were empty. :frowning:

Well yeah I hoped most of these are planned to be addressed. :slight_smile: I like the idea of tours, it is very kind of you. :3 Of course if the community has many nice people like you, it is not needed. But having something like a rating system where any time you help a novice would increase your rating, or give you any kind of reward, would sure boost the willingness of people to help.

I am fairly sure that with this upcoming large content update, they will also add a crouch feature to make way for all the inevitable newcomers. Balancing a physical world which requires real effort to live in with accessibility is a very large task. To put it frankly, the devs don’t want to do the same thing as other VR games, making every interaction a breeze, and I believe that they sadly are able to sacrifice some of their potential playerbase for this kind of interaction. It is a shame, and they do of course understand that, but forcegrab is just off the table for them.

Just to make it clear, I was never suggesting that the devs should rely on the Wiki instead of implementing a better tutorial. I better tutorial will be necessary eventually, but I do prefer the idea of some dependence on the community.
Being rewarded for being a tour guide would be fantastic, but still, not ideal.

For me, Township has always excelled with its unique game design. No heavy menus, no annoying sounds or popups in your view or on a wrist computer thingy. I would love to be able to come to a compromise when it comes to a tutorial between minimalism and inforrmity, and it is an issue I will be giving great thought to.

As for the story? Nope. That’s not to say there won’t be lore! There’s already plenty if you know where to look, but there will be no main storyline or quest structure, as those tend to include NPCs.

I spend far too much time on this site.

Likewise here, many thanks for the crouching link. You have my vote.

In my case, I can physically move around just fine, but for two of my friends who are getting into VR, they outright struggle. One has a VERY small playspace and the other cannot physically move around too much. I tried to play sitting down and using OpenVR Advanced Settings to move up and down, and to be honest, I hated it. The belt inventory moves away from me (because it thinks I’m leaning) and made ground pick up doable, but overall a royal pain. I completely understand not wanting to “use the force” grab, but unless crouch or something is added, this really hurts playability. That also being said, an option to NOT move the belt inventory could alleviate the issue as well.

As for community knowledge, while I do agree it has its charm, I’m also not a social person, and the wiki is more or less always behind. Leaving hints of some ideas is totally okay, and can usually even spark up discussion within the community, so something giving me more information that is out there and needs to be found is completely okay.

From what I can gather though, I feel I can see a few additional options in the making:

  1. Crouch option, as per your suggestion (people, if you are reading this, click their link and VOTE)
  2. Belt Inventory needs to be adjustable, both by size and by location. A height slider and spacing slider should be a great start.
  3. Improvements to the tutorial to help gear players to what is offered. I dare say, make a world that is an advanced tutorial that acts as a playground for the current skills like cooking, blacksmithing, archery, and fighting (I couldn’t think of a melee-centric name). They don’t even need to be required to do, but be offered as a suggested next step after people complete the tutorial. Heck, it’d mean people trying to find out what way to design a weapon of their dreams can play around without penalty, get feedback, then join on their server of choice and work towards it.