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Welcome to the Preparation Phase!
As outlined in the Preliminary phase, each Ludotronics phase has a number of levels, sometimes in a linear, sometimes in a non-linear arrangement. The first level in this phase, Level One: Spawning Ideas, will engage you with the nature of ideas and how to produce ideas reliably in a disciplined fashion. For all practical purposes, this level constitutes the training level. But not in the sense of a tutorial level that makes you familiar with basic controls and gameplay mechanics after which you’ll leave it forever, like the preceding phase that you just beat. Instead, it is a true “training” level which you’ll want to visit again and again like a gym or a shooting range or a demanding sensei. In this level, you will also begin to build your Ludotronics inventory from scratch, a loose collection of achievements at first that will be consolidated later.
After that, you will proceed to Level Two: Panning for the Core to pan your freshly spawned idea and identify its core element, around which you will build a high-potential game concept later in the Procedure phase. Your core element, in turn, will gain you access to a series of three nonlinear levels: Level Three: Tough Investigations, Level Four: An Army of Avatars, and Level Five: Enter the Value Matrix. You’re free to tackle them in any order you like. But you must beat all three before you can proceed to this phase’s boss encounter in Level Six: Capture the USP.
On the Ludotronics map, all the action in this phase takes place in the lower, or southern, part of the perimeter labeled Market Research. Which comprises “spawning ideas” as well because generating ideas that make sense has at least as much in common with research as with revelation.
The Preparation phase is iterative in principle. Not every time will your output from its first level enable you to win the boss battle in its last, or even let you come that far! But, again, don’t underestimate this phase’s replay value. Gaining higher skill levels through persistent training can be addictive in and of itself.
This phase’s reading order is fixed for the Introduction, Level One, Level Two, and Level Six.
Level Three through Five are non-linear: you can tackle them in any order you like.