The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Video Game tutorials

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/16/2014 Category: Games
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 471 times Debate No: 59071
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




Video games need tutorials, recently a game called "ArmA 3" came out with an in game VR system that is a tutorial. People have argued that the game needs more items rather than a tutorial, and players can just look at the controls or look it up online on how to play the game. Having an in game tutorial allows you to play the game while learning advanced tactics and controls. The point of any game is to play it, and not have to read control mappings or look it up online for ways to play.


The issue with literal tutorials such as this is that they separate the learning of mechanics from the game not against the game having a section which allows the player to get to grips with the controls. The last game I recall which had a literal tutorial was System Shock. It's bee phased out for a much more seamless alternative, the intro stage. Most games allow the learning of a mechanic to be a part of the narrative, a change in the story brought on in a literal context. The point of a game is to play, but is there any real difference between reading a manual and playing a separate stage solely for the purpose of teaching controls before playing the actual game?
Debate Round No. 1


I get the idea of that. Some games do have a tutorial mode before you get into any real action, which is another thing that I'm going against and have failed to specify in the base argument. The tutorial should be something that gives you a lesson on how to play, while playing the game. ie: "Hey man, lets play a round of basketball, make sure to press the A button at the right time to shoot the ball!". Eventually in that stage of the game, you'd win based on what the tutorial stage has been telling you. Right there you have:

1. Learned the basic or advanced ways of playing the game.
2. Gotten hands on experience in the action
3. You won! Yay!


In your first post, you referenced a vr section in Arma 3. I assumed you meant a separate section from the game in that way.
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.
Debate Round No. 2


Well in reference to the VR section in ArmA 3, You are engaged in combat various times, some being unexpected. I'm calling that in game since you're actually in the action.
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 Assassin's Creed opening isn't as easy for the beginner, as they are unaware of the counter attack, the player who first begins will rely on the extra weapons in Altair's arsenal such as the throwing knives. The idea is to give the player an idea of what the latter game will be like. The opening levels of a game without a tutorial will allow the player to earn the controls themselves, giving them time to get to grips with control before giving a tougher challenge. Jak 2 lacks the Geyser Rock tutorial stage in Jak and Daxter, even forcing the player to fight waves of KG. The player may find fighting armed guards difficult, until Dark Jak activates, allowing you to quickly dispatch the guards. The prison gave the player time to learn the controls, rewarded exploration with precursor eggs and then showed the player an ability they would soon have, giving them a taste of the action. When Jak 2 gives you an actual tutorial for the jetboard, it forces you to reach set amount of points on a training course, an doesn't let you keep the board, which is only got much later. This disconnects the boarding section from the rest of the game, when there are plenty of boarding sections in each area the player could have learned from.

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.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Paradigm 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
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.