How to Make Game Tutorials Better: Immediate Feedback

It’s time to return to the topic of making video games easier to understand, and that begins (and sometimes ends) at the tutorial stage. Trying to teach someone the basics of your game is vital and can be difficult to get right, because every game is different. For today’s post, I want to focus on

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1800d ago
wonderfulmonkeyman1800d ago

The answer to that is simple; follow the example of Megaman. Or more specifically, Megaman X.
As Egoraptor explains in his Sequelitis episode all about it [ ], the key to a good tutorial, at least in a game that's action-based like Mega Man, is all about simplistic conveyance.
If you can teach your player the rules of your game through situations within the game that make the solution obvious once experimentation takes place, you make the game easier to understand, and you make the "tutorial" more fun to play through, and less obviously a moment of "learning" rather than just "Playing".

For example, straight from the video, during the opening level of Megaman X, Highway [which btw has one of the best opening level music tracks in any game EVER!], you come across a couple of mini-bosses shaped like giant bees.
Once defeated, the first one will drop you into a pit along with its remains, with no obvious way out and two large walls to the left and right.
The first reaction for most would be to jump at one of the walls, perhaps searching for a weak point.
Mega will begin to slide down it.
And in a moment of clarity, the player will likely see this slide and think of trying to jump again.
Boom; they've learned the wall jump, a technique that remains relevant throughout the entirety of the game, in the very first minutes of the game.

And when they learned it, they didn't feel like they were "being taught".
They got the feeling of "discovering" this ability.
The game itself put them in a situation where it could convey to them one of the rules of the game, by putting them into a situation they needed to be in to learn it.
It felt natural and smooth, not something that interrupted the flow of the game.

So that's it, really; just make the tutorial feel natural, smooth, and easily-conveyed through the game itself.
There will obviously be different ways of doing this in different genres, and some might be more complex by necessity, but there should always be a way of making it feel fun, at the least, and natural at the most.