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In Game Tutorials

04-28-2012, 10:03 PM
#1
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: California
Posts: 31
In Game Tutorials

When it comes to in game tutorials, what approach are you taking? The ones that "lock you in" them, meaning can't do any other actions until you complete the task. Or a easily skippable tutorial screen.

My initial approach has been to have the information available for those that seek it. Giving the player the option to figure out while they play or learn the mechanics first. The approach I see from games that are very addicting is they lock you in the tutorial. In essence, they are using the tutorial system as a skinner box that will give stimuli and also useful information about the game.

It's not a coincidence if a lot of games are doing it, it's very deliberate and seems to work. I'm still on the fence because I get extremely frustrated when forced through X amount of minutes, when all the tutorial system is doing is trying to modify your behavior so you will be compelled to do a specific action for a response.
04-28-2012, 11:33 PM
#2
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: The red Skittle
Posts: 5,506
What I as a player despise are tutorials that only unlock an ability once the tutorial deems it fit for you.

E.g. you can't jump until a message telling you to press the jump button appears. Otherwise I'm good with all other forms of tutorials. The best ones let you feel like you're completing levels already, rather than being dragged by the nose through them.



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Last edited by Echoseven; 04-29-2012 at 08:28 AM.
04-29-2012, 01:53 AM
#3
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 72
George Fan, designer of Plants vs Zombies, gave a terrific talk at the Game Developers Conference this year on in-game tutorials. I highly recommend it. For my game, I'm trying to follow that advice as much as possible.

My game: MazeMage, a turn-based pixel-sprite puzzle adventure game.
TouchArcade thread here or play the old web demo. We're also looking for iOS beta testers.
(Plus I'm also the Sr Art Director working on mobile games at Kabam)

Last edited by emdash; 04-29-2012 at 08:52 PM.
04-29-2012, 02:11 AM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by emdash View Post
George Fan, designer of Plants vs Zombies, gave a terrific talk at the Game Developers Conference this year on in-game tutorials. I ighly recommend it. For my game, I'm trying to follow that advice as much as possible.
Thanks for the link...

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04-29-2012, 04:49 PM
#5
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: California
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by emdash View Post
George Fan, designer of Plants vs Zombies, gave a terrific talk at the Game Developers Conference this year on in-game tutorials. I ighly recommend it. For my game, I'm trying to follow that advice as much as possible.
Awesome, thanks for that invaluable resource. After watching it I was better able to pick apart how other games introduce game mechanics. Instead of slapping on a tutorial towards the end, I will develop the tutorial alongside the game now.

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