Video Game tutorials
Debate Rounds (3)
1. Learned the basic or advanced ways of playing the game.
2. Gotten hands on experience in the action
3. You won! Yay!
Super Mario had a genius opening level which allowed the player to quickly grasp mechanics; the screen off center initially so the player learns to move right, the first enemy being clear and the first mushroom difficult to avoid, ensuring the payer understands to jump on goombas and collect mushrooms. Assassin's Creed 1 began with every item and a full healthbar so the player had time in the opening defence of Masayaf to understand the basics of combat and later of climbing. These features were removed and the given back piece by piece, so that the opening was not as much a tutorial as it was an opening narrative, and the sudden loss of power fitting for both balance and story. Tutorials in your sense are a break in the flow of a game, and distance the learning of controls from the rest of the game.
In that point, I do believe it's a smart idea to have a player start off with an advantage which is essential what the idea of that is. However there is an extremely bad reason to that, and it lets the players think that the game will be easy and overall, let the players guard down, It's a smart plan. Further on, having a proper tutorial, like in the old game Battalion wars. They gave you a mission right off the start of the game to destroy enemy defenses, as the person showing you how to play game was giving you idiot-proof instructions on how to play. In this mission you weren't overpowered, but he showed to strategic movements and ways to get around enemy attacks, which is what players should learn in the game, and not learn to just rely on an overpowered start to win.
With the logic the games that you gave an example from, you're putting in the players mind "Don't worry, with all this powerful gear, you'll be unstoppable! Who needs strategy? You've got POOOOWWEEEER!". Tutorials should have strategy and control mixed together to make you a smarter player.
The part where the player learns to play is not a set point, and many players learn new techniques mid game. Having the player do a level which they carry nothing over to the main game or narrative breaks the flow of a game. I'll use another example;
Skyrim's first level lacks a tutorial. However, there's one of every weapon type, allowing the player to try each fighting style, and a player who explores the inventory discovers a fire spell. The side character you follow gives a narrative to the level, allowing you to get an idea of the two sides in the war. Each combat skill is learned by the player who at any time, can ignore the side character and run ahead, the game allowing that.
My point here is; why have a training course which interrupts the game when you can allow the player to discover the controls themselves? Tutorials just teach you the basic moveset, and only become complicated in strategy games. But for each strategy tutorial I've played, there's been this moment where the game is explaining something as basic as selecting units and ordering them to attack. A full tutorial is at a set pace. The game could simply have a campaign mission where the enemies played defensively and didn't attack. This would prompt the player to explore without fear of interruption, trying out each unit and building themselves, learning in a natural method. The player would be given an opening level with a degree of freedom to figure it out themselves. In following levels, enemies would become more aggressive in a difficult curve which would prompt players to speed up their advancement naturally. The player can be limited in what units it gets, but this kind of level allows players to learn at their own pace and feel their victory is self earned, without the game telling them how to win.
In conclusion, a full level used solely for teaching basic controls to players is a tad too patronising and assumes players are unable to understand the controls for a game.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Paradigm 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I was very confused at times about what the two sides were supposed to be arguing. I have concluded that Pro was in favor of literal tutorials in games that are separate from the narrative. For example, characters in these tutorials would be aware that they are in a game. Con was in favor of introductory levels that are part of the narrative, but introduce the player to the game's concepts and controls. I am awarding Con the arguments point because he went through many examples and explained how they favored his side. The other voting categories did not really come into play in this debate - disappointingly, both sides only alluded to various video games and did not discuss them in enough detail to warrant earning the sources vote.
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