For various reasons I decided to give Disciples II a whirl this weekend - and as I'd not played a Disciples game before, I (sensibly, I thought) selected the Tutorial.
Now I'm not sure if it's a translation issue but what I got was NOT a tutorial and I cannot remember any game which made less effort to tell me how to play it...
After creating a Lord I was told to "Select the Moving Party" and "something something from the somewhere somewhere" zzzzzzz.
No clue as to what the fuck these things mean - no flashing button (and there are a LOT of buttons) hinting at what to hit - erm...
Stepping back a bit - not even the usual (tiresome) 'how to use a mouse and keyboard' stuff - not even a hint as to how to select and move anything was given - do I need to buy Disciples I? :)
After much clicking and faffing I think I made a party but they didn't appear on the map - when I managed to get them to do that, my first attempt at moving them made them DISAPPEAR again.
When I got them back and moved them I was told to go 'somewhere' and meet 'someone someone' - no clue as to what/where/which direction - no hints as to a map or anything like that - after a bit of wandering I found them and lost the will to continue...
I'm not sure what they had in-mind when they created this 'tutorial' - I reckon if I'd been driven to the manual I'd have gotten further. Yes! It has a manual but it's a typical old-school manual which is mostly useless because it's a list of all the menu options and UI features with no real attempt to explain how to play - but they were all like that once-upon-a-time.
I've recently gotten around to playing a few games I'd never tried before - Master of Magic, SMAC and XCOM amongst them - and they all had manuals that even when you'd read the whole thing, you still didn't know which button turned the fucking game on!
Once upon a time did they just ask random people to write the manuals? I realise a car manual doesn't tell you how to drive one, just how to open the windows etc, but that wasn't the model of manual writing to follow here surely!? When did the penny drop and someone said "Hey, it might be an idea to guide people into this stuff - then people who aren't autistic might figure it out!!"
Seriously - before the internet, how the fuck did people work out how games worked!?
Were the early years of PC gaming - those first years of games being a bit more complex than arcade games - a massive collection of people pressing on things and guessing what the fuck they did? It must have taken longer than most current games take to complete just to make a move! :)
Are there worse examples than this!?
I'm not sure I want to know but - go on - tell me anyway ;)