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In Game "How to Play/Gameplay" Tutorial for New Players

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by HakanOzcan, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. HakanOzcan

    HakanOzcan

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    Guys I need some very cool ideas. What is the best and much painless(!) way of it. In fact my gameplay is pretty much easy, but new players generally dont use most of functionalities/features. So I need a way to describe the gameplay. My first idea is that record a video and upload it to youtube. When a player open my game for the first time, show that video link to player?
     
  2. nickyoso1

    nickyoso1

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    I think showing a youtube link to the player isn't a good idea. By doing it that way the player has to leave the game to watch a tutorial/how to play video. Generally you don't really want your players to leave the game.

    You could show the video inside the game, which would be better than showing them a link to the video. I don't know what platform you're targeting, but if it's mobile then having the players watch a youtube video would also consume bandwidth which can be expensive.
    Why not just have a "how to play" section somewhere in your menu in which you explain how the game works with some text and illustrations?
     
  3. HakanOzcan

    HakanOzcan

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    Thanks @nickyoso1. I will think about that. Any other ideas?
     
  4. MrSkyhenge

    MrSkyhenge

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    I've always had a soft spot for the way Fallout Tactics did their tutorial way back in the day...they had four or five separate tutorial scenes that walked you through basic gameplay and gradually got more advanced. There are a few in this YouTube playlist.

    It wouldn't work well for every type of game, though, but maybe you can get a few ideas from it?
     
  5. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Can you give us an idea of the gameplay?

    You can show another character doing something just before the player can do it. For example, in a platformer the player can often jump up to make coins pop out of an overhead box. You can show another character doing this at the beginning of the level. Then the player will know he can do this.

    If it's more complicated, such as a special input, you can flash the input over the character when it does the action.
     
  6. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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  7. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Sounds like your problem is nothing to do with tutorials and everything to do with level design. It should not be possible to beat your game without using all the mechanics.

    In fact, clever level design can eliminate the need for tutorials altogether. Introduce one concept at a time, along with a challenge that can't be solved without it. Portal is the classic example of this.

    Many FPS games also do it to a lesser extent. Halo had a level where you started at the end Iong canyon armed with a sniper rifle. Canyon was lined with aliens in stationary guns. Charging up the canyon with an assault rifle lead to death pretty quick, even though this strategy had worked for every level up to this point. Even the most clueless player could work out you were supposed to snipe the gun operators form a distance. Later the game simple gave you a sniper rifle and said "see what you can do with this". Because of the earlier forced sniping, you knew exactly what to do with it, and could decide if it made sense for the given scenario.
     
  8. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    Nah. This is games. Do > Show > Tell.

    What I would suggest is a nice introduction level that allows new players a chance to properly acclimate. The first thing you'll need to identify is what the 'basic' mechanics are that you want to let the players discover. If you can move, give the player a safe place to mess with the controls. Some helpful, very short, and dismissable, tips, can also be useful in this part of the game just in case the player is completely inexperienced with games.

    Also, keep in mind the idea that games teach, and in the earliest part of the game, you want to avoid a hefty time penalty. If the user fails for some reason they should only be required to do very little to re-reach the point they failed at. However, if the user fails this early, you've still got a problem - it means they didn't understand how to use those basic mechanics. Be clear about what you're asking the player to do; the feedback loop you cultivate here ideally carries through the entirety of the game. Metrics can help you see how often players are failing early on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  9. HakanOzcan

    HakanOzcan

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    Thanks @Gsterpop @TonyLi @BoredMormon @Asvarduil

    My gameplay is,in fact, easy. The only thing user can do is applying force to a ball. But there are some things user should know. Forexample, user needs to hold down a button + pinch out/in = zoom in, zoom out. I think a introduction level is the best way to give informations to users.
     
  10. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Instead of text, at the beginning of the introduction level you could show two fingers (sprites) pinching in and out to zoom.
     
  11. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Players won't watch a video, and they won't read text. Guide the player through it in the game - a little at a time. See ANY successful mobile title for an example of how this is done. PS - Training in games is no different than training in real life, you need to unlock the concepts slowly, over time, as the player learns to use them. See Block 64 for a trivially simple example - even with only one mechanic, I still had to teach it.

    Gigi
     
    AndrewGrayGames likes this.
  12. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Can you simplify this mechanic? Personally, I hate pinch - though it's fine for Zoom, as long as it's not really a part of the game (ie, zoom in to see cool graphics, zoom back out to play). Pushing a button, PLUS pinch sounds like bad design.

    Gigi
     
  13. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    Watch this video *WARNING* Bad language...
     
  14. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    My view is, if you need documentation, tutorials, or explanations, that are not a part of the gameplay already, then you have failed at usability and progressive design. The player should automatically learn what they need to learn on their own, if you put it to them obviously, and spread it out over time. Unless your game does something out of the ordinary, I guess you need to say like 'move with the keys' or 'tilt to move' or something... but most of what the player learns should be part of the game experience itself, otherwise you're basically saying your game isn't friendly or intuitive.
     
  15. HakanOzcan

    HakanOzcan

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    Thanks to all for your valuable comments.