Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why you shouldn't put a tutorial in your game.

Whenever I start playing a new game, I hate when there is a tutorial. Mainly for 2 reasons:

1) I don't want to do something that sounds like going to school. I want to play a game. I don't want to study how to play. 'Tutorial' sounds too much like school. If I saw a link that said "how to play", I would note it, and refer back to it, if I couldn't figure it out on my own.

2) It makes it feel like the game is already too complicated. If I can't figure out what to do on the first level by playing around, you've made your first level too hard, and too complicated. Go see if it is possible to simplify the game or the interface in some way.

And if you do decide to add a 'how to play' section to your game, whether it is dynamic or just text, make it simple and easy, and not: click here, good, click here, good, click here, good, etc. That is no fun. Even the how to play section should be fun and let you play, not just click points like a trained monkey.

Tutorials are one of the ways designers underestimate intelligence in their players. And that is always insulting.

If I play a new game, am forced to click through a dull tutorial, and 'win' the first level, I feel bored and that the game was a little boring.

If I play a new game, jump into the first level and win by cleverly figuring out how it works, I feel good and am encouraged to continue.

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