A lot of games have training missions, and in many cases you can’t actually see the full UI until you “unlock” it through a sort of tutorial.
I think a guided walk through like that would help. However, there are a couple disadvantages with that. The first being that it would add more dev time when changes were made since the training would need to be done. The second disadvantage is that a big tutorial might put off people that would rather learn it on their own. (or veteran Outscape players that already know the UI)
Now, here’s what I would do for the training mission:
Mission 1) When the game loads you see two fleets and a planet. The first fleet is 4 scouts, and the second is a SEED ship (yes, I intentionally made the seed ship part of this ) . The first task is move the scout into planet orbit to scan the planet. The second task is to send the seed ship to colonize the planet. This mission shows basic fleet movement and colonization. There should be pop-ups explaining planet temp, landmass, mineral densities etc. All the info you’d need to know before attempting to colonize.
Mission 2) When the colony is created it doesn’t build any of the initial structures (aside from base farm and power). Instead, the player has to construct those things. The seed ship would deposit enough minerals, and the player starts with enough credits for the construction. The initial construction should complete nearly instantly. Mission 2 shows basic construction. During construction there pop-ups explaining power, population, happiness, and taxes. It should also show how to use automation.
Mission 3) This mission should be a simple overview of how to use the tech tree, and how to use the research automation. The objective should be to get the first colonizer. Mission 3 shows how to use the tech tree to queue research. There should be pop ups explaining how the different branches work.
Mission 4) Build a colonizer. This should really just be a walk through of basic ship design.
Mission 5) The player should now be able to see the full system. The first task would be to split the scout fleets. The second task would be to scan all planets in system. The third task would be to colonize a planet. Mission 5 should show splitting fleets, and review movement and colonization. (This does require there to be a decent planet worth colonizing in system)
Mission 6) Attack a pirate fleet. The first task would be to merge the initial 4 scouts into a fleet. Then it should go through a walk through of fleet design and targeting. The third task would be to attack a (weak) pirate fleet. Then it should show the player how to loot the wreckage, and finally have the fleet return home to transfer loot to planet and reload ordnance.
Mission 7) Mine an asteroid field, collect resources from planets, and deliver resources. This should revisit the tech tree to get a player to get the asteroid mining module, then create a blueprint for a mining scout. The player then would need to build a miner and send it to mine an asteroid.
Mission 8) The player is now able to see the galaxy. The final tutorial mission would be to send a scout outside your system. The first task should be to edit a scout blueprint to include fuel tanks. Then the scout should be upgraded to the new model with fuel tanks. The third task would be to load fuel onto a scout. Next should be moving the scout outside of the system, and the final step would be toggling warp boost. This should also show the range limits of fuel use.
There should be a few ad-hoc missions too. How to upgrade structures would be one that might not happen right away in game, but it would be good to see. I’d also add tutorials (or maybe in-game links to wiki and/or videos) on things like mines, cloak, mine detection, invasion, etc. Each training should conclude with a link to the wiki page for that topic.