I want to revolutionize the way we view and interact with tutorials. That’s a big dream to have you may think. Or at least you’re thinking “Why?” Well as an industry, as a consumer and possibly even as a newcomer to games, we cannot decide on whether tutorials are good, bad, effective, or even needed. I hope to soon provides answers, backed up with research, to those questions.
I do not like to be told when to jump in a game. Some games pause the gameplay to tell me that pressing X does something and that I must do this mysterious action right now. Some games give hints and tips on loading screens. I even remember a time when if you dared start playing a game prior to reading the manual, you were in for a bad time, mostly a lot of death and confusion. Some games came with nothing. No on-screen help, no in-box manual. Nothing. You just had to figure it out for yourself.
With such a vast array of tutorial systems, is it no wonder that we cannot decide on what works? This is the focus point of my Final Year Project. I’m aiming to research past and current tutorial designs, prototype approx 4 designs identified from the research and then observe participants playing these prototypes. The results from these observations will either tell us that things need to be changed, or perhaps even indicate that the designs we’re currently using are effective. Hopefully, if my results indicate that changes are needed, they should then point me towards a step-by-stepe “perfect” tutorial system.
With this being my FYP, I am, of course, limited on time and resources for my practical work. For this reason I will be focusing my practical work on 2D platformer and/or adventure games, with the theoretical side of my research including a wide range of platforms and genres.
Do you know of a game (of any genre) who’s tutorial stuck out for being excellent or atrocious Are there any games you applaud for not including a tutorial? Past or present? Let me know in the comments.