Hey there! This here will be a walkthrough of getting up and running with a little experiment of mine, where you play a strategy game a bit so I can try to figure stuff out about tension and AI in strategy games. All researchers are perpetually in need of more participants, so if you have half an hour to kill by playing a strategy game, and answering a short questionnaire afterwards, I'd love for you to try!

This post aims to make it as smooth as possible for participants to get up and running. It involves:

  • Setup (~10 minutes)
    • Downloading a free strategy game: Battle For Wesnoth
    • Installing the experimental scenario - something like a level
      • Easier than you'd think! you can do it from within the game
    • If you'd like, playing through the game's tutorial
      • This is in two parts - the first takes about 5 minutes, the second would take another 20. I'd recommend doing the first, but don't worry too much about the second if you don't want to. You don't actually have to do either.
  • Actually Doing The Experiment (~20-30 minutes)
    • Playing through the scenario
    • Answering a questionnaire
    • Uploading your save file
      • I will forever hold you dear to my heart if you do

With that overview in mind, here's how to do that stuff!

Downloading Battle For Wesnoth

You can get it either from Steam, or from its official site at https://wesnoth.org/, where there's a big Download Now button on the right.

If you'd like to play the tutorial, now's a good time. From the main menu, just click Tutorial. The tutorial is in two parts: a basic introduction, and a more advanced dip into a few other mechanics. I'd recommend doing the first - it takes about 5 minutes, and you'll have more of an idea of what's going on in the scenario. The second part however, takes about 20 minutes, so feel free to skip that with no guilt.

Installing the scenario

Wesnoth has campaigns, which are made up of scenarios: essentially single levels in which you have an objective, and may either succeed or fail. For this experiment, the idea is you play through a scenario I've built.

To install the scenario, open up Battle for Wesnoth. From the main menu, you will want to click Add-Ons, Connect (leave Server as-is), and once that's loaded use the top-left textbox to search for "Interception", and then click the shield with a plus on it to install the add-on. Ta-da! Installed.

Playing the scenario

From the main menu, click Campaigns, and type "Interception" into the top-left box. One campaign will be left: Interception. Select it, and read the description; it has both a little setting, and a recap of things you need to know. Hit OK to play, and you're off to the figurative races!

Need a visual guide to follow? I've got you sorted. This covers both installing the scenario and running the campaign.

The text on there might have changed a little since I've written this page, so don't worry too much if it's changed.

Play through the scenario, and enjoy!

Finding Your Savefile

Wesnoth, by default, should auto-save every turn in a scenario. So once you're done (whether you succeeded or not), you'll have a file somewhere called INT-Interception-Auto-SaveX.gz. I'll show you where to find it, so when the questionnaire happens, you don't have to go digging on your own.

On Windows, you should find the savefile in Documents\My Games\Wesnoth<version>\saves\

On Linux or BSD, you should find it in ~/.local/share/wesnoth/<version>/saves/

Just open that folder in a file explorer, and keep that hanging there; you can drag it into the questionnaire. Pretty please. Having savefiles helps me a fair bit.

Doing the Questionnaire

I promise, this is the last part! Just follow this link. It shouldn't take long :)