- INTERLUDE: I'll take a moment to explain how the game works, it's an odd mix of RPG-ish adventuring and really basic strategy.
The arrows on the bottom right are used for navigation - you move from one room to the next. Out in the desert you can freely move endlessly in any direction, but as you've seen, that just gets you killed. The two slots on the bottom left are for character you bring along with you. You can't bring more than two at a time.
Your immediate goal is simple; fly to the sietches available on your map and recruit the Fremen chiefs you find there. The only task they'll perform for you right now is mining Spice; other tasks become available as the game progresses.
This screen allows you to give orders to your troops - at the moment, I can only give orders to the troops present in the sietch where I am. I can tell them to mine Spice, to go and search for equipment (they will only do this if there is a nearby sietch you've visited that has an unused harvester or ornithopter), or move to a different sietch. This last one becomes necessary when, for instance, the area they're in is almost out of Spice.
Simply flying around won't let you discover new sietches - the game determines when you'll find new sietches by either having someone tell you (and then the locations appear on your map), or by having someone tell you to fly in a specific direction. You'll only discover the sietch if you have another character with you. Later on, Fremen chiefs who you visit in their sietch may randomly say "there is a sietch not far from here, [flight direction]". It's hard to say whether this is randomized, and what prompts the Fremen to tell you this, plus you'll sometimes find that flying in the direction they mentioned doesn't lead you anywhere at all. If you do find a hidden sietch, it's usually loaded with useful equipment, though.
After the first few sietches, every place where you want to mine Spice has to be prospected by these guys first. Prospecting also shows you, via color code, how much Spice there is in an area. Once depleted, an area never regains its Spice, so you have to keep checking in with your Fremen to see if it might be better to move them to a new area.
Despite the strategy element, the game is extremely linear. You'll be prompted to go to specific places with specific people to trigger new parts of the story, which in turn allows you to find new sietches and explore more territory. You simply won't be able to progress further unless you keep doing the adventure-y stuff.
An important thing to keep track of, is the Emperor's shipments. Every few days he will contact you (and you will receive a vision to warn you) for Spice. If you don't have enough Spice to send him what he wants, he'll demand Spice again in two or three days. If you send him what he wants promptly, he'll leave you alone for 5, 6, or if you're a very good boy, as much as 7 or 8 days. If you don't send him Spice at all, he will send his troops to come and kill you (instant death). What's frustrating about the game is that you can't receive visions while travelling. So if you leave to a faraway sietch that takes you half a day to reach, you won't get warned with visions until you get there.
Little tip: if the game's too hard because you can't meet the Emperor's Spice demands, don't follow Jessica's advice. Keep Gurney and Harah with you, and just grind for Spice. The game will not progress (and the Emperor won't call) until you go into the desert alone and wait for the evening/morning there. You can build a big stock of Spice this way and not have to worry about that element of gameplay. For the record, I didn't do it in this LP.
I think that's all there's to tell for the moment - more to come as the game progresses.
BACK TO THE GAME!