Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

An area for discussing new ideas and additions to Oolite.

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ffutures
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Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by ffutures » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:07 pm

One problem I've noticed with the current add-on system is that there is nothing to guide a newcomer who has never played the game before. You just have a list that goes on and on with nothing to indicate which add-ons are almost essential, which are optional, and which can be a real pain if you try them before you're ready.

What I'd like to suggest is an additional menu item, "Recommended Downloads" with some sub-menus such as

Fast PC with graphics card
Fast PC without graphics card
Average PC with graphics card
Average PC without graphics card

(or if possible have the program test the PC to see what it's like)

Then for each one some recommended downloads such as BGS and other ambiences, textures, and equipment - for that I'd particularly recommend auto crosshairs, Distant Suns and Torus to Sun drive (though for some reason it's shown as a game mechanic, not equipment), and so forth. Maybe keep it down to one or two pages of add-ons for each setup.

later - might be a good idea if it explained what they do in a little more detail, gave detailed install instructions (or automated the install to one kep press rather than separately for each item), etc.

Any thoughts?
Last edited by ffutures on Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by spara » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:19 pm

Good luck :mrgreen: . To my experience, there will never be consensus about which OXPs to include to that kind of lists. Unless they are something like top downloads lists.

You literally cannot find a single OXP that would be considered as essential by everyone.

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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by Cody » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:20 pm

spara wrote:To my experience, there will never be consensus about which OXPs to include to that kind of lists.
<nods> Yeah, good luck!

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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by ffutures » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:22 pm

So go with the popular ones, perhaps, if there's some way of tracking which ones get downloaded the most?

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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by Rese249er » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:26 pm

spara wrote:You literally cannot find a single OXP that would be considered as essential by everyone.
The last time I remember something like that happening was an OXP to adjust turning rates for those of us with crappy keyboards. Nobody needs that anymore because our awesome friends added the whole Ctrl key excellence...
Moral of the story: if it's really essential, it's already in the core game or wil be quickfast.
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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by Smivs » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:41 pm

Rese249er wrote: Moral of the story: if it's really essential, it's already in the core game or wil be quickfast.
Seconded.
And seriously, I've lost count of the number of times a 'newbie OXP recommendations list' has been discussed, and how many attempts at doing this have failed spectacularly.
Save your energy for the Pirates :wink:
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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by Venator Dha » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:29 pm

It might be slightly easier to produce a not recommended for beginners list :D
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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by Rese249er » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:23 pm

Venator Dha wrote:It might be slightly easier to produce a not recommended for beginners list :D
Excellent point. DeepSpace Pirates would be on such a list if I was writing it. Also HardShips... Skilled NPCs adds more difficulty too, which makes it a good candidate for the "Not Safe For Jameson" list.
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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by cim » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:40 pm

If you want to produce a very easily installable recommended OXP set, then one way to do it is create an OXZ which contains only a manifest.plist file, which contains a requires_oxps list which contains all the recommendations. In 1.81/1.82 downloading that sort of OXZ through the manager will give the option to automatically download every dependency without further intervention.

Anything more official than that would be requiring the devs to make decisions over which OXPs to include on a recommended list, which is certainly not something I'd be comfortable doing (nor, given my extremely short installed OXP list, something I'd be qualified to do anyway)

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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by Cody » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:48 pm

I'm not a fan of recommended lists, and making them so easy to install... hmm!

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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by ffutures » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:02 pm

OK, I suppose that this is one of those ideas that will just cause problems. Let's forget about it.

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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by UK_Eliter » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:01 am

How about having the in-game expansion pack manager indicate, for each OXZ:

(1) computer load (i.e. how demanding of one's system the OXZ is - values could be 'Low', 'Medium' and 'High');
(2) difficulty (i.e. how much the OXP will make the game more difficult - values could be 'not applicable', 'Low', 'Medium' and 'High')

Some webpages for expansion packs give this sort of information already.

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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by Wildeblood » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:44 am

UK_Eliter wrote:How about having the in-game expansion pack manager indicate, for each OXZ:

(1) computer load (i.e. how demanding of one's system the OXZ is - values could be 'Low', 'Medium' and 'High');
"Everyone" lies. Very few people would admit, "I'm a lazy coder, this OXZ is full of bloat and will slow Oolite to a crawl on slower computers," which is essentially what you'd be asking a lot of them to do.

Really, I don't see a problem with using the method cim describes to make a recommendation list, nor do I have the aversion to such lists that others report. The only problem I see is that if the practice became too popular it would bloat up the OXZ manager even more than it already is.

While I'm here:- to make the "in-game expansion pack manager" easier for newbies to find, re-label it "Free App Store". :D

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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by Amah » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:25 am

Wildeblood wrote:While I'm here:- to make the "in-game expansion pack manager" easier for newbies to find, re-label it "Free App Store". :D
:D Don't forget a swipe like movement to activate it.
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Re: Recommended Add-Ons for Beginners

Post by UK_Eliter » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:21 pm

So the only alternatives for Oolite expansion pack management are (1) Windows 8 style accessibility (or, one might think, would-be accessibility) or (2) the status quo exactly as it is? Surely that is a false dichotomy.

Moreover, I don't see why my proposed change would be rendered useless by lying. Some expansion packs clearly use quite a few resources and I imagine that at least many of the authors of such packs would label them accordingly.

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