Posts Tagged ‘tutorials’

Don’t hate on tutorials

“Press B to Crouch” under the obviously placed fallen ceiling. Remove your abilities to show you how to aim your gun. Wrest the camera control away to show the low cover you’re meant to be hiding behind. ‘Onboarding’? Vomit. Usability is a mark of all that is bad about modern game design. It undermines all the best things about games, sanding off their edges, taking autonomy away, designing for the lowest common denominator. Right?

Nope. “I’ve never met anybody yet who only wanted ten people to play their game,” says Graham McAllister, founder of Player Research, a playtesting and user research specialist for games. “These are passionate people who want as many people as possible to love their game.” Usability is one of the more misunderstood elements of game design. It doesn’t strangle challenge, depth and imagination. In fact, it’s meant to do precisely the opposite. Read the rest of this entry »

Dote Night: How To Fix Tutorials (Sort Of)

Welcome to part two of “Thoughts about MOBA tutorials” – I hope you are as excited as I… WAIT COME BACK!

Tutorials might sound like a weird thing to devote two columns to given the wealth of other shenanigans and dramas in the MOBA communities at any given time but tutorials (or lack of them) can be the difference between having a good introduction to those games and communities and bouncing off so hard you could have treated the game as a launch rocket.

Last time I took an in-depth look at what Valve are doing in Dota 2’s Reborn client, this time I’ve had a chance to return to Smite [official site] and League of Legends [official site] to check out what they’re doing and not doing. I also have some suggestions for other ways to get players up to speed. Here’s what I reckon:

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Dote Night: The Wisdom Of Guided Bots

Actually, everyone should get this framed.

Tutorials and practice in MOBAs is something I think about a lot. It came up again over the last couple of weeks because Riot ventured the opinion that a sandbox mode in League of Legends would introduce problems and take away from fun of the game.

I already talked about the sandbox situation in greater detail here but I figured I’d put forward a few of my own ideas for useful practice scenarios. Before doing so, though, I wanted to check on the current state of tutorials in MOBAs. A quick peek turned into a longer look because Dota 2’s Reborn beta has introduced a whole bunch of new tutorial stuff in the form of these guided bot games you can play in their entirety as well as a demo hero mode. What I’ll do, then, is go into Reborn’s guided bot matches in more detail to say what’s good and bad about them – how they work and what’s still not covered. Next week’s Dote Night will be for broader thoughts about MOBA tutorials in general. Feel free to pitch in with your own in the comment section!

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Riot Might Reconsider League of Legends Sandbox Mode

According to Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, Design Director for League of Legends [official site], the company is up for reconsidering the implementation of a sandbox mode based on feedback from players and the associated community.

The ruckus kicked off last week – I don’t think we wrote about it so I’ll explain the context here and why the initial statement seemed so nonsensical.

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Holy Tutorial Blindness, Batman!

I will tune out this red writing too.

There has been an awful lot of Batchat over the last week or so thanks to Batman: Arkham Knight‘s [official site] release (and subsequent de-release on PC). I actually ended up picking it up on PS4 because I find tend to find my PC now offers too many distractions for me to sink into a huge gameworld like that effectively. I’m really loving the game now but it took a little time and that’s because of tutorial blindness.

Tutorial blindness is a very real condition which involves not seeing, interpreting or understanding any of the tips developers provide to help you get to grips with their game. Obviously this specific discussion was sparked by a console edition of a game but it applies more generally and definitely manifests on PC. I expect tutorial blindness to be included in medical dictionaries from 2016 onwards.

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