The other night, I sat down my recently retired dad to play the NPE.
He's never seen Factorio before, but likes video games; however, most of his experience is either on a console or a Diablo-style game.
Also, his vision isn't the best, but he does ok and he's color blind and has issues with greens/reds.
I loaded up the demo level and walked away, hiding in the background watching as he played but only commenting when absolutely necessary (and mentioned below.)
As he looked it over, he had to read the tip from Computron about moving with WSAD and asked if there was click to move. I told him there was not and he quickly figured out the movement.
The first time he opened a GUI, he was surprised by the tutorial overlay and confused that he didn't see anything it was talking about - I let him know I'd already put in a bug report about showing the GUI first - When the gui displayed, he then didn't know how to close it. I had to tell him E closed the window.
When he was told to collect stone, he wandered all over the map and ended up harvesting the scrap before finally stumbling across the stone deposit.
When told to craft a furnace, he did go into the character gui, but missed the furnace option. Later, he did find it.
Once he'd crafted the furnace, he attempted to place it with the gui open - which forced him to place it more than the 9 units away you're allowed to build, so kept getting the 'Can't reach' response. He did eventually close the gui and was able to place the furnace.
When he opened the furnace gui, he tabbed too quickly through the hints and didn't read any of them. Given the color/placement, I'm not sure that he even saw them (re: color blindness.)
Once he had the furnace running, he closed the gui and went off to craft the miner using the gears he'd collected from the scrap piles.
After getting the 'not enough ingredients' message, he noticed that iron gears are in fact, not iron plates. He then returned to the furnace to retrieve the plates and craft the miner.
He then tried to place the miner next to him, but he did not seem to notice that it was the red ghost you get when not on resources - maybe again due to his color blindedness. He then moved it over to the copper resource and tried to place it again, but was too far away. I don't think he was able to see a difference between these two colored concepts - ghost of too far vs red ghost of 'no resource'.
After clicking around for a while, he did eventually move closer to the copper resource, and placed the miner.
When he got the notice of needing fuel, he walked down to the coal deposit and manually mined enough coal to get the miner working, walked back over, opened the gui of the miner, placed the coal in it and closed the gui.
As I watched him play, I kept noticing that he always wanted to click the search icon in order to close the gui screens - then he'd catch himself and find the E key instead.
When the copper landed on the ground, he went and crafted the chest and then placed it next to the miner - but instead of in front of the output chute, on the square to the right of it.
When the miner continued to be blocked, he built a 2nd chest in front of the output chute.
As the chest filled, he opened it and realized that the contents were copper ore, not coal. He then tried to click/drag the miner to the coal - which just opened the miner gui. He then opened the character gui as he asked me if you could move the miners and started to build a second miner until I told him that they could be moved.
Through all of this I kept watching painfully as he would open the character gui, craft/pick up an item, close the gui, build the item, then open the character gui and manually place the item back into the square with the hand icon - Is Q taught anywhere?
Next, he went over to the iron deposit and manually mined enough iron to make a burner inserter.
Computron was nice enough to build his smelter rig...
This is the point where he started using ctrl+Click to get the coal from the chest. But he was still manually placing coal into furnaces, etc - he never split stacks or placed single pieces of coal. Is this taught anywhere?
For the next couple minutes, he ran around trying to keep the smelters going, but the one miner was not pulling up coal fast enough for him to be able to keep everything running (remember, the entire full-ish stack pulled from the chest went into the first burner inserter to complain about needing fuel) so to supplement, he manual mined coal.
Eventually, he built a 2nd miner on the other coal deposit.
I think at this point, he noticed that he had a new quest goal as he started looking through every item in the inventory/craft menu and finally asked me where to find computron's chest inserter - it was off the screen to the north.
He then built a burner inserter and tried to build it at the end of the belt containing the plates the inserter pulled from the furnace. However, he placed it facing onto the belt, so it never did anything.
At this point, he was getting frustrated by not being able to get things into the chest. To help him get a little progress towards the quest goal, I told him you could use Z to place items on belts.
He then alternated between pulling plates from the wooden chest and holding Z until he had 50 plates in the computron chest.
He had no trouble building power poles - chopped down trees without hesitation, retrieved the copper that he'd mined at the beginning, smelted it into plates, etc.
Then he placed his first power pole right next to the power generator - it connected just fine. He placed his 2nd pole 2 places to the right of the first pole - nowhere near close enough to the assembly plant to power it - then he logically pulls out the extra copper wire in his inventory and tried to use it to connect power to the assembler - only to be greeted with a 'Manual wire dragging is disabled' message.
At this point, he was getting frustrated again and I had to step in - I helped him move the power poles farther apart in order to proximity power the assembler.
He was then tasked with building gears and placing them into computron's chest - he'd collected enough from scrap that he just Z'd 50 of them into computron's chest.
By now, he was clearly not enjoying the game and was only continuing because I'd asked him to play it. He even asked if I was having him beta test it.
I decided to just try getting him to the end of the first part before teaching him all the tricks...
He then went to get more copper plates and I showed him how to use ctrl+Click to place the copper ore into the furnace.
Then he would hold the copper ore on the cursor and ctrl+Click the furnace - which I know was pulling the finished plates from the furnace - but confused him why it didn't place the ore into the furnace, so he would sigh and open the furnace gui to manually place the ore into the resource slot.
He then went to get more coal for the furnace and was surprised when the chest was empty - I then had to teach him about 'expected resources'.
He then went back to manually mining what he needed - he said it was less frustrating.
He then refueled a burner inserter with a full stack of coal - he really needed to know how to split stacks!
Then it was back to the copper deposit for more manual mining.
I suggested that he make more miners to do that for him, to which he replied "but that takes more coal."
After a while of manual mining, he did finally make another drill for the copper.
Once that filled up enough to get him his 50 copper plates, he clicked the chest, clicked the ore, clicked in the character inventory to drop it and then said to me "They should let you move this easier" - so I taught him to shirt+Click things in chests.
This is the point where he stopped for dinner and had no desire to return to the game afterwards.
I promised him I'd teach him 'the fun way to play' another time...I have some serious damage control to do.
He never crafted a single belt, never tried or knew he could rotate things with the R key.
I'm not sure that he noticed when the quest objectives changed - it generally took him a while to start working on the new objectives vs continuing what he was doing prior.
He also never once opened the 'Hints' window. I don't know if he didn't notice it, didn't realize he could open it or thought maybe it was a 'spoiler' type of thing.
Left by himself, I don't think he'd have made it past the first computron chest - he'd have just quit and never looked back.
I'm over 1200 hours in.
Before I bought the game, I played the old 0.15 demo. I ran through the scenario at least half a dozen times before deciding to buy the game. I loved the building (I was playing FCE at the time) but hated the biters, so I'd finish up, go back to FCE and then come back and play the demo again. It took me 3 months of doing that before I finally bought factorio.
Now, I kick myself for waiting!
You guys have made an amazing game that I love playing. Thank you!