Tai_MT

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Esch, you're taking things too personally.  My joke is directed at any human being that exists who cannot be bothered to read a short description.  I'm sorry, but if you're too lazy or cannot be bothered to be interrupted for the twelve seconds it takes to read a short description of how a system works...  You really are too stupid to be playing games and should probably be doing something else (like playing Call of Duty... or setting your house on fire... or learning how the light switch works).

I think that if you can show how a system works without the words, do it that way.  However, if you have to use words to explain it, you need to trim it down as much as possible.  The one exception of this comes into play if you're delivering your narrative via text.  If you're delivering the bulk of the game already in text, then the players are already in it for the long haul and a medium sized description or text tutorial will not hurt anything.

You're also a bit off about FFX to begin with.  You see, the game doesn't have a "New Game Plus".  It assumes you're playing the game for the first time each time you select "New Game".  Why?  Because anyone willing to play through it in its entirety again will likely not care about the minor tutorials that you can mostly mash the button to get through.  It isn't perfect by any means and subsequent playthroughs prove that...  But it's a lot better than some of the other games out there who continually throw tool tips out at you even though you're something like Level 48 and almost beating the game.

A tutorial should be done in a way that best conveys what exactly you should be learning.  I've found that even entirely text-less tutorials that require you to trigger certain flags to proceed are actually a bit worse.  Why?  Can't just mash the freakin' button to skip 'em.  Nope, you have to halt your gameplay for a significant amount of time to trigger the proper flags on every playthrough in order to even proceed.  At least with a text box I can hold down the button to get the text to immediately pop up or scroll faster... then mash the button to skip the text.  No such luck in a game like Mass Effect 2 or 3.  Nope, you're forced the play the game the way the tutorial dictates on each playthrough.

I'm sorry, but when the options are "Small amount of text that takes all of 12 seconds to read" or "8 minute forced gameplay tutorial that requires the triggering of flags to proceed"...  Well, I'll take my minor bit of text every single time.  I'm sorry, but the text just interrupts the gameplay less than a forced gameplay section.

But, you know what would really be an awesome way to do a tutorial?

Nix tutorials altogether and instead put all that crap back into a game manual that is optional for the player to look at.  I'd support that over any form of tutorial any day of the week.
 

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I've said my piece already about how good the idea of skippable tutoirals is, but since this topic has verged into a discussion of what makes a good tutorial, I think this dev blog from League of Legends (in the notoriously-high-learning-curve MOBA genre) about Onboarding makes some really good points about how to ease a player into a complex game.

I'm tempted to agree with both of you in a lot of ways - if the player can kinesthetically learn everything there is to learn, that's usually the best way.  But sometimes players will misconstrue (or even completely fail to understand) certain game logic if they don't also have something to read or reference.  And then there are some game elements that simply need a few sentences of explanation, but are still worth elements to include in your game.

My biggest piece of advice to people about making tutorials is to not throw too much text out at once.  Break it up with segments where the player gets to try for themselves what they just learned, whether it's in a demo area, a battle, a menu, whatever.  It's not only less intimidating this way - it's more fun.
 

Zoltor

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Know what's a good tutorial setup, the setup Hoshigami(for the PS) has.

First people need to know, Hoshigami is a Tactic/RPG with the hardest learning curve in the history of Tactic/RPG(and probally one of the hardest in games in general) "byfar"

You know how to get tutorials to happen, well the tutorials aren't even actually part of the game, on the title screen, there's a options menu, in the options there are two options, setting, and tutorials, click tutorials lol. Then you have a hole list of tutorials.

In game if you go to the options menu, there's 3 options: Settings, tutorials, and House of Successions.

The House of Successions is a special interactive tutorial on how to use/get use to successions(and you are given a ton of special stages, to help get you use to doing such/thinking in a way) to enable you to utilize the turn order and RAP systems to perfection, so you can set up your units to do succession attack(which not only does more damage to the enemy, but is the only way to steal from the enemy as well), without getting slaughtered.

Nothing is forced on you, there Isn't even as much as a hey, do you want to see the tutorial message lol.

Now that's how tutorials should be done :)
 
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Eschaton

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Esch, you're taking things too personally.  My joke is directed at any human being that exists who cannot be bothered to read a short description.  I'm sorry, but if you're too lazy or cannot be bothered to be interrupted for the twelve seconds it takes to read a short description of how a system works...  You really are too stupid to be playing games and should probably be doing something else (like playing Call of Duty... or setting your house on fire... or learning how the light switch works).
So you're being a troll.  Gotcha.

I think that if you can show how a system works without the words, do it that way.  However, if you have to use words to explain it, you need to trim it down as much as possible.
I'm glad we agree.

You're also a bit off about FFX to begin with.  You see, the game doesn't have a "New Game Plus".  It assumes you're playing the game for the first time each time you select "New Game".  Why?  Because anyone willing to play through it in its entirety again will likely not care about the minor tutorials that you can mostly mash the button to get through.
ASSUMPTION!  THE MOTHER OF ALL F---UPS!!  That assumption is the reason behind by rant.

I've found that even entirely text-less tutorials that require you to trigger certain flags to proceed are actually a bit worse.  Why?  Can't just mash the freakin' button to skip 'em.  Nope, you have to halt your gameplay for a significant amount of time to trigger the proper flags on every playthrough in order to even proceed.  At least with a text box I can hold down the button to get the text to immediately pop up or scroll faster... then mash the button to skip the text.  No such luck in a game like Mass Effect 2 or 3.  Nope, you're forced the play the game the way the tutorial dictates on each playthrough.
That's what I mean by a tutorial being "intrusive."  If the player is aware that they are participating in a tutorial, then it is not only a poorly-designed level, but it also makes for a bad first impression of a game by the player.  Basically, you're describing "the Mega Man X method" gone wrong, although I do prefer to use "kinesthetic learning" as Wavelength described.

The guys at Extra Credit describe a good philosophy behind teaching the player how to play your game.

My final words on tutorials ties in with my words on complexity:  YOU know how your game works.  A new player doesn't.  YOU understand and appreciate the intricacies and effort invested into your designs.   A new player doesn't.  Finally, above all else, you're not making a silent movie.  You're not making a book.  You're making a VIDEO GAME.  Above your "awesome story" and "great characters," your game has to be FUN and it has to be APPROACHABLE.
 

Tai_MT

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The actual question remains...

Why do you need a tutorial at all?  The entire discussion is based on the ASSUMPTION that you need a tutorial to teach in your game.  Why can't you just have a ReadMe file that teaches a player how to do basic things so that the information is always optional and never intrusive?

Remember video game manuals?  Yeah, that was their purpose.  Their purpose was to let you play the game and learn as you go... and if you really wanted to know something, it was in the manual.

So, again, why are you complaining about the assumption of the developers in Final Fantasy X and the way they've done tutorials when you, yourself, are making an assumption that Tutorials need to exist in the first place?

EDIT:  I also resent being called a "troll" just because I make valid points that you aren't willing to accept.  Anyone with any modicum of intelligence would know how to read and would not resent having to do at least a little of it.  My insult is tailor made to those of minor intelligence who are very much bothered by having to read even a single sentence because "It's just too much work".  Reading should be second nature to just about everyone even if they do not enjoy recreational reading of books.  It should still be something anyone can do without even thinking about it being inconvenient (you know, like eating or breathing, though I suppose there are some that find those things annoying).  I'm not asking someone read a novel to figure out what's going on.  I'm saying that someone who cannot be bothered to read four sentences in an RPG (which almost always contain text) does not belong playing those types of games, or even playing games in general (almost every game ever made has reading in it.  If reading is so bothersome, then banging rocks together outside is really all you can do that does not involve reading in terms of entertainment.).

The only people that would be offended by my comment about those who hate reading are admittedly...  Well, those who put themselves in the position I described.  If you find yourself fitting into that description, that's really of your own doing and not of mine.  People who do not fit into my description would not be offended by it as they would believe nobody would fit into that description because of how absolutely silly it is to begin with.

There is seriously no reason to be starting a fight over what is obviously a simple joke that takes a kernel of truth in order to be funny (to be funny, every joke has to have a grain of truth in it, fact of life).  It just looks like to me you want to start a fight over it because you have somehow pigeon-holed yourself into my joke and taken personal offense at it.  How?  Why?  I don't know, I don't care. I just know that I really don't want to start a fight with you over a joke.  Mostly because it accomplishes nothing other than making me angry enough to make personal attacks on you and making you look like you're putting on a "holier than thou" attitude towards me just because you don't agree.

If you don't like text, that's fine.  Play games without the text.  They exist.  They're kind of few and far between, but they're out there.  Most of them also have really terrible voice acting as well.  So... that's really kind of your choice.  Forced to read or forced to endure pretty bad voice acting.

As for tutorials...  I don't often care that they exist or in what format as they're usually only 10 minutes out of my entire play time of a game...  But, if given the choice, I'd rather go back to the days of video game manuals and zero tutorials.  Stop the hand holding altogether.  Let players learn the best way possible:  Experimentation.  Let them mash every button to figure out what they do and let them tinker with the environment to figure out how things work.  Besides, with that method, the devs actually have to do a good job of making their games intuitive because they don't have a tutorial to hand-hold a player through all the really terrible design.
 
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Eschaton

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*sigh...*
 
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Caitlin

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FFVI, actually asked you if you wanted to read the tutorials, but later on, Final Fantasy VII and on started to act as if you were playing for the first time. It never gave you the option of not reading the tutorials.  Megaman battle network always forced you to complete the tutorial in every game, without asking you if you ever played the game before. Of course, I have played games where the tutorial sucks and is practically worthless.  But as games system become more convoluted, you need more tutorials and that means more talking and reading.  A good tutorial is about giving information and teaching you the necessary skills to play the game. If you do not understand how to play a game, it makes it hard to play, but annoying when you're forced to re-read something you already know. 

I think it should be like this.

Do you want to read or watch the tutorial.

yes or no

I think that tutorials are not as easy to do, because you can not assume that the player has played the game before. nor can you assume that they have not played, either.  i am still thinking about this, of course, and will likely come up with an answer some day.
 
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Onomotopoeia

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Like bgillisp said in post #14. But I'd also try to put all the heavy-tutorial stuff to one or two NPC just before each "area" of the game where something new should be learned. Then, have other NPC just before that 'casually mention' that such-and-such person is good at teaching a new combat move or skill, or something like it.


So, for the major hand-holding, it's only whether the player even wants to go to that NPC in the first place; other players will just pass on by, already understanding the gameplay mechanics.
 

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Is the general consensus that "wordy" tutorials are accepted practice?  I disagree...
 

Zoltor

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Is the general consensus that "wordy" tutorials are accepted practice?  I disagree...
It's as bad as story texts, that go on forever(you should be condensing that as much as possible), but that's still better then forced gameplay tutorials.

The only good tutorial, is a tutorial that's not part of the game at all, and you have to go out of your way to access such(like in Hoshigami, the tutorials are accessed from the title screen, and the options link in the menu, in game).
 
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Tai_MT

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I saw it long before the discussion.  However, I don't always agree with Extra Credits.  Much of their content is on the basis of "how can we do this better?" instead of "does this need to exist at all?".  Of course, the assumption that something needs to be "done better" to begin with isn't always correct (even when the solution they propose sounds like it could be interesting).

Here's where you run into problems with any tutorials, even the ones Extra Credits are proposing:  They're assuming players can't read, so avoid text.  Well, gee golly gosh...  A lot of today's gamers actually learned how to read by playing RPGs.  A lot of them even learned how to appreciate stories and books through reading in the game.  They're working with data that they aren't even sure is true...  They're working from an assumption point that having text at all will drive away players.  They're also working from the assumption point that every single game needs a tutorial to begin with.  Even the examples they cite for "good tutorials" are often things that simply don't feel like tutorials because they don't act like tutorials.  They also assume you'll put a game you love playing back on the shelf just because you can't remember how to play it after having not played it for a long time.  Extra Credits are intelligent people, to be sure...  But, they often don't give the watchers or average players enough credit when it comes to talking about design or "how to make things better".

Let's take Portal for example.  It doesn't feel like a tutorial despite being almost entirely a tutorial because...  You are forced to learn through experience.  The game pops up the keys you'll need to use to do things like jump, grab things, and shoot your gun...  But, it only gives you vague hints about how portals actually work or even how to solve the puzzles.  The only part in that gameplay where the game outright tells you how to do something is when GLaDOS tells you "speedy thing go in, speedy thing come out" in reference to how your momentum keeps up despite going through a portal.  The player is left to figure things out for themselves, so it does not feel like a tutorial at all.

I'm in favor of those kinds of tutorials.  The tutorials where the only way to complete them is to have the player figure things out themselves through experimentation.  Why?  Because you won't even notice its a tutorial.  Why won't you notice it's a tutorial?  Because everything is accessible from the word "go".  Older video games used to do that.  They'd make sure everything in the game was accessible from the point the game started and let the player just figure it out as they went.  If something was truly too cryptic...  Well, there were video game manuals to explain a mechanic.  Couldn't figure out why your dog would sniff at areas of a map in Secret of Evermore?  Well, you could go to the manual and see why...  Or you could watch the dog sniffing the "drops" of the monsters and put 2 and 2 together.

I'm in favor of eliminating the hand-holding altogether (after all, how many tutorials have you actually needed in the last 5 years of games?) and if a tutorial must exist in some form, then one which feels like actual gameplay (and not like a tutorial at all) is preferable...  Or, if you really don't need to introduce gameplay sections for what you want to teach, a short text box of four sentences will suffice.  If the player couldn't be bothered to read the 4 sentences for your simple mechanic...  I hate to say it, but...  It's their fault.

Do you know why players skip tutorials?  Extra Credits attempts to explain it by saying "They're not fun" or "they're intrusive and the game grinds to a halt".  What they don't tell you is, "Most tutorials are completely unnecessary pointless padding that simply tell a player something they already know or something they could have figured out easily if you'd just left them alone".  If Tutorials were known for giving truly useful information, there isn't a player alive that would choose to skip them because we'd be conditioned not to skip them on first playthroughs as we'd know it's vital information.  Ideally, you only want players who already know the mechanics to be skipping them.

Think about that for a second.  Seasoned RPG players know there are certain behaviors which become reinforced through fantastic game design.  If you play an RPG you are going to talk to every NPC you come across because we've been conditioned to.  NPCs give information, flavor text, story, items, quests, money, etcetera.  Even if an NPC does absolutely nothing for you, you have no way of knowing that on your first play of the game, so you will still talk to them.  On subsequent plays of the game, you'll talk to them again.  Why?  Players have been conditioned to talk to every NPC.  What other things have we been conditioned to do through play?  Try to beat every monster you come across because levels are valuable.  Explore every nook and cranny of a map because treasures can be hidden anywhere.  Always return to quest givers to "demand satisfaction" because more often than not, they will reward you for completing whatever they asked you to do, even if what they asked simply lets you move forward in the story without having to return to them.

If players had been conditioned that tutorials always contain really useful information you will need, they would not be skipped the first time and only be skipped the second.  However, game devs today feel like tutorials should be absolutely unskippable because of the irrational fear that someone would skip their tutorial on the first run of the game.  Well, stupid devs, you wouldn't have to worry about that if you had simply learned that tutorials should only present information a player could not figure out on their own.  Yes, I know right trigger shoots my gun.  Yes, I know left trigger aims down the sights.  Yes, I know left stick moves and right stick looks.  Yes, I know one of my buttons is going to jump if you've programmed jump into the game.  Same way I know one of my buttons is going to reload, one is going to throw a grenade, one is going to melee, and one will switch weapons.  I know you'll likely throw some functions onto the D-Pad as well.  I do not need tutorials for this crap.  Anyone can figure out what your buttons on your controller do.  Reserve your tutorials for game mechanics players won't figure out on their own.
 

Zoltor

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"Well, stupid devs, you wouldn't have to worry about that if you had simply learned that tutorials should only present information a player could not figure out on their own.  Yes, I know right trigger shoots my gun.  Yes, I know left trigger aims down the sights.  Yes, I know left stick moves and right stick looks.  Yes, I know one of my buttons is going to jump if you've programmed jump into the game.  Same way I know one of my buttons is going to reload, one is going to throw a grenade, one is going to melee, and one will switch weapons.  I know you'll likely throw some functions onto the D-Pad as well.  I do not need tutorials for this crap.  Anyone can figure out what your buttons on your controller do.  Reserve your tutorials for game mechanics players won't figure out on their own."

Just so people don't overlook that part of your post.
 

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Actually, a lot of RPGs have hidden "tutorials" that just come out naturally from the gameplay.  How so?

Well, let's say you want the player to learn "Fire attacks hurt the undead" (in case that wasn't obvious)?  Well, you have a low-level encounter with, say, a weakened mummy who is immune to all attacks except Fire (as Holy attacks aren't available yet).  Normally, a mummy would flatten an unprepared, low-level party, but this one is crippled, providing a challenge and teaching that Fire attacks hurt the undead.

Or, you want the player to be familiar with, say, using attack chains to set up an enemy a certain way?  Same idea --- you have an enemy who really needs the attack chain to be effectively hurt.   

Or, say you have a huge Jobs system?  Well, the first time you gain a new Job, a nearby NPC briefly explains how Jobs work.

Or crafting?  Same idea.  Maybe a friendly blacksmith walks the player through his/her first item crafting.

Final Fantasy IV introduced its ATB system with a battle against a certain boss.  The battle was very easy IF you waited until the right time to launch your attack.  If not, you got badly but not fatally injured.  So that was a quiet, built-in tutorial.

I'm using RPGs as the example here, because the controls to a typical RPG are pretty straightforward.   

My point is, for RPGs, the tutorial can cleverly be built into the actual game itself, without breaking the fourth wall and hence breaking the player's immersion.

That's the kind of tutorial I think is best, for anything in an RPG which isn't immediately obvious.
 

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Sometimes the only way to explain something is to walk the player through it. Not all games are created equal; however, the text crawls, long-winded explanations, and the like are annoying and should not be. At the very least, if something must be pointed out to the player, it should be done in a manner that is both succinct and concise, and they should be able to skip by it if they so desire.

For an RPG example, the Chieftain's house in Chrono Trigger is an excellent example. Hell, I didn't even know it existed until I looked through a guide! Basically, it's sorta some of what whitesphere said, only better, because there's free swag you can grab and run off with without going through too much trouble or text-crawls to get to! But if a player doesn't know certain things, they can "ask" the NPCs in that place and get answers.

Another RPG that does tutorials well is SMT 4; basically, the tutorials are all text, but they're gotten out of the way in the first couple of hours, can be mostly skimmed through if you don't care, and none of them feel like a text wall. Plus, especially if you're just starting out, you'll need them, or you will die. Even with them, you will probably die. And you will die a lot. The game is just... like that XD

Personally, I think annoying tutorials are a sign that the game is not built very well. Anything you put into the game should be easily discoverable and playable by an intuitive and invested player, with or without a tutorial. If something cannot be explained and/or summarized in two paragraphs or less, or be shown in less than 30 seconds, you've probably already lost the average player. That is not the sign of a well-made game :L

As for tutorials...  I don't often care that they exist or in what format as they're usually only 10 minutes out of my entire play time of a game...  But, if given the choice, I'd rather go back to the days of video game manuals and zero tutorials.  Stop the hand holding altogether.  Let players learn the best way possible:  Experimentation.  Let them mash every button to figure out what they do and let them tinker with the environment to figure out how things work.  Besides, with that method, the devs actually have to do a good job of making their games intuitive because they don't have a tutorial to hand-hold a player through all the really terrible design.
Yes... the days when, if you lost your manual, you were frickin' screwed and couldn't play the game!! Or, heaven help you, if you bought it used and it didn't come with a manual! Let's go back to those days!! :D

Honestly, this probably applies more for computer games than console ones; those were generally easy to learn on their own (SMB), or had their own tutorials built in (ala most of the half-decent RPGs). But God forbid you try to play any of the early Ultima games without your precious manual. Or *shivers* the stupid anti-piracy code stuff some games put in. Good grief, I remember finding the manual for NwN and thinking "Holy balls, what in the blue hell I don't even..." when I tried looking through the spells and abilities section without any context XD

Yes, nowadays we have the Internet, but I will seriously take hand-holding over a dayum reading assignment any day of the week.

The only good tutorial, is a tutorial that's not part of the game at all, and you have to go out of your way to access such(like in Hoshigami, the tutorials are accessed from the title screen, and the options link in the menu, in game).
No... no, that's actually worse. The only way the player is going to find it is if A) they look in the manual to find out where it is (which they might or might not have, depending upon whether they got it new or the previous owner decided to lose it), or B} if they get curious and poke at it. I'm betting most people who didn't find that probably quit soon after they started.

Disconnecting the tutorial completely from the rest of the game just means most people won't find it.

It's not intuitive nor helpful - it's just silly :\

PS: Another game that has a "good" tutorial? Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon![[ACKTUNG!!: contains naughty language]]






If only for the satire on bad tutorials :p
 

Wavelength

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No... no, that's actually worse. The only way the player is going to find it is if A) they look in the manual to find out where it is (which they might or might not have, depending upon whether they got it new or the previous owner decided to lose it), or B} if they get curious and poke at it. I'm betting most people who didn't find that probably quit soon after they started.

Disconnecting the tutorial completely from the rest of the game just means most people won't find it.

It's not intuitive nor helpful - it's just silly :\
I agree in general (especially when the main way to get to the tutorial is through the title screen), but there are games that pull off this "menu option tutorial" well.  Dark Cloud 2 ("Dark Chronicle" outside NA) is a really good example.  They give you the barest basics of whatever they want you to know in-game, then let you know that a video (or infograph) has been added to the Guide in the menu.  And the videos themselves are very well done; characters voice-act these tutorial videos and they use actual gameplay video along with helpful text and shapes onscreen to direct your attention.

The feeling is fun and not intrusive, and rarely fails to get any detail across in the two or three minutes that they're teaching you.
 
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Tai_MT

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I actually found most of the Ultima games hard to get into... not because of the lack of a manual...  But because of the lack of a clear goal or objectives.  Sure, you got this ultimate goal you're trying to accomplish...  But you're really not even given vague hints on how to go about accomplishing it.  The first few games were of the Guide Dang It variety, which makes me wonder how anyone ever completed half of that series before the invention of the internet.

Also... I never really bought used games before, so I've never had the "missing manual" issue.  Since the removal of manuals, I've kind of wondered why they went missing.  When they offered a lot of useful information, they were kind of fun and interesting to read through.  Some manuals would contain all the items in the game... some would contain all the enemies... some would contain all the magic spells...  They used to be fairly comprehensive guides if you needed to know something that just wasn't obvious in the game.  They'd partner screenshots with what they were talking about and it was structured in a way that you usually understood what it was they were teaching you.  But, the devs in those days knew that the point of a manual was not really to read it before you play the game.  They included an index because they designed it specifically to be used while you were already playing the game.  As in, you need to know something about the game, look at the Contents, hop to the page you need, read the short paragraph, and now you know what you're doing.

Now, we've got severe hand-holding tutorials that really just dumb down the experience for everyone.  They're often unskippable.  They're often unnecessary (why oh why, in this day and age, do we have tutorials to teach us basic controls? Players should intuit how to use your basic controls.  You should only have tutorials for controls when the player wouldn't figure them out through raw experimentation and use).  They're also often done worse than any manual ever used to be.  They exist purely because game developers think a player is simply too stupid to figure out how to work the controller or the mechanics in the game without being told exactly what to do.

Listen, if I can teach my mother how to use an N64 controller to play a tank video game in about an hour by just playing the game with her...  It's not something you need a tutorial for.

Seriously, in recent years I had to learn how to use two really complicated controllers at the time.  I had never played on anything more complicated than an N64 controller before...  And suddenly I was thrust into the game of Halo in which I had to somehow wrap my brain around the concepts of "move with one joystick and look with the other" when I'd been doing essentially that with a single joystick and five buttons before.  How did I learn it?  My friend let me borrow his console and the game for a week.  After about 10 hours with the thing, I had the controls down pat and they were second nature.  I had learned on the easiest difficulty setting and through a lot of trial and error and development of muscle memory.  The next controller I had issues with was the Gamecube Controller.  It was fine for most games...  But, God help me, I was trying to play Metroid Prime.  Metroid Prime is not the game you play if you want to learn the controller of a Gamecube.  I didn't even have a firm grasp on the controls in the game until something like 4 hours from the end of the game.  But, simply playing and teaching myself, I learned the controls without ever having a tutorial.  The most I ever got in either game was a small pop up that would say "this is how you use this" and then it goes away.  How do I grapple hook?  Short message telling me how it's activated.

We don't need tutorials for controls, unless you controls are more complicated than basic functions.  Even then, you only need the tutorial for the controls if your more complicated functions wouldn't be intuitive. 

Now, if you had a tutorial to explain how the Crafting System works in Final Fantasy 14...  Well, you'd need it there because it's really hard to understand from just experimenting and watching others do it.  I suspect that's what the Questlines for the crafting professions are for in that game (I don't own it or play it, but my friend does, so I know a bit about how it works).  If you have a tutorial for how the Junctioning system in Final Fantasy 8 works...  Well, it's unnecessary.  Here's all they should tell you about that system "Use the Draw command in battle to get magic spells you will never cast.  Click the "Junction" text in the menu and select the magic spell, then select which stat you want it to apply to.  Better spells give better boosts."  Done.  Meanwhile, the actual tutorial is something like 30 text boxes with a lot of random information in them that you just don't need.  The Materia System's Tutorial in Final Fantasy 7 is just as bad.  It's especially noteworthy because most of the information they give you in it doesn't become relevant until much later in the game when you've likely already forgotten the information... and then you figure the system out on your own because the tutorial was pretty unnecessary to begin with.
 

Caustic

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I agree in general (especially when the main way to get to the tutorial is through the title screen), but there are games that pull off this "menu option tutorial" well.  Dark Cloud 2 ("Dark Chronicle" outside NA) is a really good example.  They give you the barest basics of whatever they want you to know in-game, then let you know that a video (or infograph) has been added to the Guide in the menu.  And the videos themselves are very well done; characters voice-act these tutorial videos and they use actual gameplay video along with helpful text and shapes onscreen to direct your attention.

The feeling is fun and not intrusive, and rarely fails to get any detail across in the two or three minutes that they're teaching you.
Well there, they're at least telling you that further examples exist, and at least giving the player something to get started with (I've played that game before as well, but from what I recall it wasn't hard to figure out stuff on one's own after starting anyhow XD). I'm talking about those that just toss the player into the game with zero instruction, guidance, or time to learn the controls on one's own - that's a big no-no. Heck, even super-hard games nowadays give some guidance; games like Dark Souls and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. give you some direction at the beginning, even if it isn't much.

I know I'm having frustrations with tuts right now myself - more specifically Phantasy Star Portable 2 (bloody stupid annoying unskippable tutorials >_< )

mai_Tm said:
Also... I never really bought used games before, so I've never had the "missing manual" issue.  Since the removal of manuals, I've kind of wondered why they went missing.
I think it has more to do with lowering the cost of production than anything else. While paper is cheap to produce, printing out many, many pages on nice paper that will last longer than the average customer will (likely) keep their game is probably not as much. Plus another part is probably that people tend to just lose their manuals (and even the cases - Lord knows how the hell they manage that), and companies just finally threw up their hands and said "Hell with it, we'll just stop printing the damn things if these twits won't even use them!"

They exist purely because game developers think a player is simply too stupid to figure out how to work the controller or the mechanics in the game without being told exactly what to do.
What doesn't help one bit is when devs decide to change the basic known control schemes. WHY. WOULD. YOU. EVER. DO. THAT. (doesn't help that the vast majority of games that do that turn out exceedingly horrible)

I'm sorry, it's just one (of many) thing(s) that bugs the crap out of me. As the prophet Yahtzee stated so succinctly, left stick is for moving, right for camera. Don't need to change what ain't broken! The only time those controls should ever be allowed to change is if your game doesn't use a free-movement camera.

The next controller I had issues with was the Gamecube Controller.  It was fine for most games...  But, God help me, I was trying to play Metroid Prime.  Metroid Prime is not the game you play if you want to learn the controller of a Gamecube.
Honestly... I never had an issue learning how to play Metroid Prime. The controller, God help me, is not designed for hands my size, but I still figured out how to switch visors on-the-fly and how to activate super missiles and such, no problem. Then again, I only had two other games for that system (Tales of Symphonia and  :rock-left:  Eternal Darkness  :rock-right:  ), so maybe it was more a matter of me not being set in the ways of playing a certain way... ^^;

As for FF14... that's an MMO through and through. And MMOs are generally made to be complex, and practically need tutorials for stuff like crafting systems or deeper combat mechanics ( like frickin' parrying... forget which game it was, but good grief -_- ). Plus guides, FAQs, support boards, and so on...

Probably not the best example, to be honest >.>;
 
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bgillisp

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I just started Tales of Xillia 2 today, and one thing that irked me in that game was it constantly giving me pop-ups and such telling me how to do things, even after the game checked for a Tales of Xillia 1 savefile, and saw I had completed the game. I keep finding myself wanting to yell to the game "you can already tell I completed the previous game. There is no need to tell me how to do the basics again."
 

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While I agree that most unskippable tutorial levels are hell incarnate, I wouldn't say that written tutorials are all so horrible.

As I was playing Fallout 2 the introductory tutorial temple was the thing that prevented me from experimenting more with my main character and in a game like that it was a real shame. I twas just so, so boring and after doing it like 10 times I just don't want to play the game anymore, even though it is fun. I just dont wan't to see that temple again.

At the same time when I was playing Europa Universalis 4 I don't know what I would've done without the ridiculously lengthy tutorial. 

It is probably the most complex game I've ever played and the tutorial, while pretty boring, was a life saver. Even with the tutorial I can only say that

I understood the game about 20 hours in. And that's just the basic mechanics.

In the end I'd say that it's a bit harsh to say that all unskippable/boring tutorials are bad.

Especially in MMO PVP games. Please don't let people skip those. I've played so many games where the people on my team had NO CLUE what was going on, be it Smite, LoL or Titanfall. ''But I already played Dota 2 this is the same game with a different perspective!'' Not it's not, play the tutorial you adorable person.

Sorry, getting a bit carried away.

If the game's single player I really don't care if the player is going to skip my tutorial, but if it involves a lot of multiplayer interaction the player should have to play it. If not for him/herself, for the people that will be on the same team.
 

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