Yesterday, I handed in my undergraduate dissertation titled “An Analytical Study Into The Design And Development Of A Tutorial System”. I will be uploading it in all it’s glory once I find out from my supervisor if/when I can make it publicly available.
But here’s my favourite section of it, taken from the Background segement (bar the results, of course!);
The topic for this project was chosen because tutorials are normally the first interaction a player will see or experience when starting to play a game. However, very little time is dedicated to the design of these segments. Even industry-standard game design textbooks overlook the existence of tutorial levels, with either only a short sentence being dedicated to them, or being omitted from these textbooks altogether. The Fundamentals of Game Design (First Edition, 2006) by Ernest Adams only allocated two sentences to tutorial levels. However, in the Second Edition of The Fundamentals of Game Design (2010), Ernest Adams expands upon this slightly. None of the design suggestions by Adams references research or previous studies to back up these tutorial design tips. This is much the same with a vast selection of game design books. It is the opinion of the author, and the main justification for the project, that if industry-respected designers such as Adams cannot support their design suggestions and tips with provable facts as to the type of tutorial that is best suited to specific genres or target audience, should research into this topic not be done? Whilst The Fundamentals of Game Design is a basis for game design education, the fact that the entirety of the tutorial level section of the book is reduced to one page is justification in itself for the topic of this project. However, Adams does suggest to “make the tutorial levels optional” which was the expected outcome of this research.