Why video game tutorials are necessary evil


In my time On this earth, I swear allegiance to many masters. Learned men and women: Buddhists, dissidents, Jedi. Their words-always prudent-often resonate at critical moments.Whenever I face a sudden attack, whenever my enemy shows up, the wise advice of my best man will come out of my deepest brain folds, reminding me to press [square] Perform a quick attack.

Obviously, I need this information. I would die without it. If I had to die for knowledge a dozen times, then any game I played would definitely not be that interesting. (Brilliant or not, soul The game provides the same appeal as hot wax pressing. ) Fast attacks are not always [square]. Maybe for you, yes [Y]. Maybe you are playing a hospital simulation game and you just want to hire a nurse and don’t need a quick attack. Of course, you need to know which button to press and when to press it. You need conditions and use cases. You need a tutorial.

As a category, video game tutorials are not good or bad; they are completely specific to specific situations. They can be cunning or mean. They act as an interesting prelude, which makes them look stranger than they actually are—as if every novel begins with a genealogy, or every TV show uses warm-up comics to remind the audience how to laugh and applaud. Fundamentally, tutorials are just another stubborn convention in mature media. Popular movies and shows are supported by various metaphors. Like flashbacks, suspense, and cold openings, the tutorial has undergone natural selection.

In the arcade era, when the immediate goal of the game is exactly the same as the final goal—destroying space invaders and letting frogs cross the road—instructive prompts are usually superfluous. A separate joystick and one or two buttons work as single-shot tools; their role literally feels intuitive. Most games increase difficulty at a linear rate in neatly divided levels, which means that beating the first one will prepare you for the next game. Game players are responsible for their own guardianship.

“At the time, no one needed on-screen prompts to tell you how it worked,” said Patrice Désilets, creator of Ubisoft’s hit series Assassin’s Creed.

Compared with the laissez-faire model, today’s tutorial can make people feel patronized.There is a kind of frankness in the steady progress of the space invaders, the clock is ticking Time crisis, The ghost is always the way to win on Pac-Man. The rule set governs these games, but they are fully reflected on the screen at any given moment. Our immersion is immediate, because there is no additional context, let alone the subtext: just play.

What has changed? Obviously, the game has become more complicated. Software manufacturers have added actions, and hardware manufacturers have added buttons. And, narrative—the oldest human convention—is more and more integrated into things.

If you’ve ever played a game featuring cutscenes, starships, or named weapons, you might reasonably think that video game writing is responsible for modern tutorials, it offers as many narrative concepts as mechanism, and tends to Trade in a pure, uncut exhibition. Blame the screenwriter!

But bad writing cannot explain the frustrating opening level friction—the disorientation between desire and result, and we stumbled into the same death in the same rigid sequence. We start each game like a newborn giraffe struggling to stand; a well-designed tutorial can reduce the time wasted on unproductive errors. Tutorials are not used to polish the edges of the narrative—they exist to bring us into a strange 3D space.

“The real story of the game is teaching how to play it,” Desiletz said. “Everything else is noise.” This is a clear assertion from the founder of one of the most baroque plots in the game, and it shows that while tutorials may initiate the process, the best games provide a continuous learning curve. Progressive power game. “We do stories around it, we do character development and so on, but deep down, all of this is to teach people how to use mechanisms inside the loop and within the system.”



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