You talked about the first few minutes. And since it is that case that 50% of my players leave after 5 minutes or less I might need to improve some stuff indeed. Question is: what
How is the audio tutorial at start. Boring? Yet by clicking 5 times "Continue" you can skipt it... Or should I add a "skip" button? I'm proud of the story background that Cohorts of Kargonar has, but ofc I don't want to force anyone to read it.
What did you have in mind when writing "streamline it even more"?
Hey! Sorry took me a couple days to check in here.
Unfortunately, I can't recall exactly now what I saw when I started, but maybe something like:
1- After character creation, I saw the screen showing how to zoom. (possible this was before.)
2- TBH I can only vaguely remember the introduction. I feel like I did see the intro.
3- After this, I saw the city screen. I clicked the auction house, closed it down, then clicked the city gates to (at the time it seemed) exit the city.
4- On the map screen, I believe dialogue did come up immediately explaining how to move around, i.e. the tutorial section. This part was fine generally!
As for ideas to streamline-- you guys will know best how to approach this, even if it takes awhile to figure it out, so I don't want to poison your best ideas with my surely off-the-cuff and mediocre ones. That said, here is how I might approach it (take with huge, huge grain of salt)
1- Moving around is satisfying. You have a well-realized world, with interesting things. The "standard" way to open an rpg, and I think it makes sense, is to let the player just move around at first. So maybe this takes place in an area before the courtyard. Give them something interesting to explore, maybe they can start in a tower or something like that, and end up in the courtyard.
2- Once in the courtyard, have a bit of exposition setting up your story.
3- Don't do combat in the courtyard. The trouble is the combat is always going to be, in a sense, a negative action-- something you *have* to do, a challenge to overcome. This is what combat tutorials are so cumbersome. The motivation is very small.
So let's say, player starts off in barracks or tower of some kind. Messenger arrives and says to get down to the courtyard. At this point give the player some small rewards if they explore the tower. Explain at this point how to move around.
They reach the courtyard. At this point give a little bit of exposition in terms of who your teacher character is (I'm sorry, don't take this negatively but I just can't remember his name-- I really liked this character and having him around to help with battles from the very start feels really good!) At this point, you are instructed to leave the courtyard.
Now, this is a larger change. But rather than return immediately to the city to learn about all the buildings by searching for the assassin person (again I'm sorry-- I also can't remember the exact term, but I did like this segment as well generally) go out on a short mission that just involves some combat. You can have them ambushed somewhere nearby, and then basically do your combat tutorial there. This is much better because well, now there is something AT STAKE in the combat. It won't feel like a tutorial even though it is.
At this point, player will finish the mission and already have some experience and rewards under their belt. They know movement, NPC interaction (say they learn this in the courtyard) and the basics of combat. Now, it's time to return to the city.
At this point, have the segment where you are searching the city for the assassin.
I'd say, in a way you have a very focused early game, which is good. The problem is that it's too *dense*, I think. You are showing the player first movement, then NPC interaction, then combat, and then as soon as they leave the city, you are sending them right back in to (presumbaly) learn about the different types of buildings. Added to this is some background information abou the world.
Again, all this is, on it's own, good (excepting maybe the combat tutorial as I mentioned before) but I think you will do much much better if you just spread it out. Don't forget that the player will learn by doing, as well. So you need to give them a chance to actually engage in some things. Imagine if by the time they return to the auction house or the pub they have a reason to want to buy/sell the loot from their first mission-- suddenly these buildings are a lot more interesting.
Okay! Again, please do take with a huge great big gigantic grain of salt
These are just my thoughts, because you asked, and because I think there is great potential here. If even one of these ideas is helpful in some sense I will feel good!
EDIT: scrolling back, I see you had asked about the audio intro. Unfortunatley I played without audio so I can't weigh in on that. However as I said I can't remember the intro that well.