Your preferred tutorial?

Your preferred tutorial?

  • I want it to run me through every little thing

    Votes: 2 7.1%
  • I want it to explain all the major features

    Votes: 12 42.9%
  • I want to know only the basics

    Votes: 8 28.6%
  • I want to figure out everything on my own

    Votes: 6 21.4%

  • Total voters
    28

Milennin

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Talking about RPG Maker games here, and what kind of tutorial you like to see in the RPG Maker games you play. Do you want the game to tell you everything, including the controls, or do you like it when the game lets you figure out things on your own? For those wanting a tutorial, how do you prefer the information to be presented to you? In a simple textbox, or do you want to be taken through a gameplay section?
What are instances of RPG Maker games that you found that had a great tutorial, or lacking one and were designed to be easy to figure out through gameplay? Taking that into account, do you try to emulate that kind of tutorial experience in your own game(s), or do you choose to take another path with them?

This thread isn't about what is generally the best way to do a tutorial, but more about your own personal preferences and experiences with tutorials in RPG Maker games.
 

TheoAllen

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Talking strictly about the RPG Maker game, personally, I want the game to teach me about what makes it different than the standard RPG Maker game. Do you use extra stat? Do you have an extra battle mechanic? What kind of turn order that you use if it isn't using a default/TPB?

As for the tutorial presentation, I prefer something that is not intrusive. That includes a tooltip such as "Press X to do something" somewhere on the screen all time, or well-designed user interaction (if something glow, you can interact), a separate menu dedicated to explaining the game (can be just a menu that shows a serial of pictures), or a separate tutorial session that is not mixed with the actual gameplay focusing on showcasing the mechanic.

Unfortunately, I don't have a specific title in mind that I think has a great tutorial.
 

Oddball

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None of the above. I prefer tutorials with a show don't tell approach or that silently lead the player through the tutorial. Think Super metroid and mega man X
 

Ket

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I feel like tutorials should always be optional to the player.
Many already know the basics of RPGs, but in case a newcomer stumbles upon your project, it's always good to let them know the basic controls and how the game works.

When it comes to tutorials, it's important to show off a major feature or mechanic that makes the game different. Playing the game without knowing something like "all magic drains health in this game" or "when you press these buttons in this order, you can perform a combo" or even something more critical and complex that could leave the player confused in some instances, if not explained.

For presentation, I prefer the tutorial to tie into the story rather than just a simple rundown of mechanics and have the game begin. Many RPGs have done this. Like the tutorial plays out in the prologue where a legendary battle takes place, and you learn the game's mechanics while learning the world's history.
 

Milennin

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None of the above. I prefer tutorials with a show don't tell approach or that silently lead the player through the tutorial. Think Super metroid and mega man X
Those games still came with a printed manual that covered the basics. That was the staple with games from that time.

I prefer an out of game instruction manual.
Is that what you're going with for your own game?
 

TheoAllen

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I'm not against the game manual, it is also a part of a "non-intrusive" tutorial, which is fine by me. And actually, I do it on my own game. Because I simply can not make a tutorial except if I'm being too intrusive to every detail. So it is best for them to learn at their own pace by reading the manual or just by trial and error.
 

Ellie Jane

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The tutorial I prefer is one where you play the game as normal, but get prompts at the bottom of the screen as you play. These don't require you to close any windows or pay attention at all, and don't impede on gameplay.

For example you start the game and come across a monster. Your general players will get straight in and battle it, but you might get a prompt at the bottom telling you that you can fight enemies, where you can find a sword, how to fight, etc.
 

freakytapir

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My favorite style would be the smart tutorial, that's as unobtrusive as possible.
If you start moving in the first three seconds of the game, great, no pop-up. You're standing still? Pop-up time.
Same for Things like interactions. You're inside the room with a door where you need to push "Enter" to advance, and you don't make it out of the room after X seconds, small pop-up saying "Enter to interact with objects."
First enemy (on map) encounter? It runs straight for you. Now you know that if an enemy touches you, you get into combat.
Player selects the enemy weakness on the first go? Well, he probably knows about weaknesses then, better not bother him. Player keeps casting earthquake at a flying enemy? Maybe a gentle reminder.
Character physically attacking a ghost? Have a party member speak up. Once.

Basically, allow the player the chance to show he can figure it out on his own before telling him.

Other ideas. First piece of equipment gained? Require the Player to equip it before letting him advance, prompting him with the tutorial if he didn't equip it.

This is for basic game stuff which you don't need to tutorialize in most cases, seeing as these are standard for most RPG's.

Now, your in-depth Materia/Esper/Class System?
That's what needs a tutorial.
Bit by bit.
And optional.
The best way, i find, for these complex things I find is to have some 'instructor character' stand at the ready in an easily accessible location, that's willing to teach you the basics if you ask, but if you already know, or would rather fiddle with it yourself, you can do so too.

To come back to my 'Weapon Equip' Idea from above, do the same for your 'Materia' system ( or whatever you're using). Give the player some Esper/Materia/DoodadYouNeedtoTutorialize, and require them to equip it to advance. The experienced player will know what to do, so he's out of there in seconds, and the newbie who needs help can just be told, while the guy who likes to fiddle with everything gets to do so too.

Combat mechanics? Low pressure combats where the thing being taught is required to actually finish the battle, where as the turns go on, your NPC's teammates start throwing out hints of you're not figuring it out yourself.

So In short: A tutorial that tells me only what I don't already know, when I need to know it. No use explaining your Esper/GF/Persona system in the first ten minutes if it's not coming into play for another fife hours.
 

Mr. Detective

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Tales, Persona, Final Fantasy games all have easy to understand tutorials. But for an RPG Maker game, I'd use screenshots and pictures, then explain to the players with in-game texts.
 

Oddball

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Or maybe like a journal or something that the player can choose to read or try to figure it out on their own. Make the tutorial optinal and accessable at any time
 

freakytapir

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Tales, Persona, Final Fantasy games all have easy to understand tutorials. But for an RPG Maker game, I'd use screenshots and pictures, then explain to the players with in-game texts.
Funny you should mention Persona, as the Tutorial there is quite easy to understand, but it also lasts for hours.
I mean, third dungeon (30 hours) in and they're still tutorializing new stuff. For the first ten hours of the game nearly everything out of Morgana's mouth is a tutorial of some kind.

That said, I do love those games.
 

Aesica

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E. I want the tutorial to gradually teach me about more and more things in a non-intrusive way as I progress, all while also being part of the actual story flow instead of being some obnoxious infodump sandbox area that I just want to break out of as quickly as possible.

Edit: Having a reference manual, accessible somewhere (in game menu, inventory if you're lazy, etc) is also great.
 

Basileus

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I think it depends on the kind of game you are making. If there are absolutely no special mechanics and the player is just selecting attacks from the menu to see what does more damage, then you can just throw the player into a fight against a harmless enemy and let them try things out for a few turns. But if you are doing anything beyond that - stagger meter, knockdown, extra turns/actions, special resources, etc. - then there should be actual in-game tutorials to explain things.

Tutorials don't need to be long. A few textboxes that explain just the basics should be fine. For example, if you have a Limit Gauge that lets a player use Limit Break attacks, then there should be a point where the player is told how to build the gauge and if there are any secondary effects of using Limit Breaks.

In my experience on various forums, there are a lot of players that want some kind of structure. If there is some kind of loop - building and expending resources mid-battle, finding and exploiting weaknesses, etc. - then a lot of people would appreciate a simple explanation of how the basic loop works. You can't rely on the average player to notice every little thing about your game. We may not need tutorials, but we aren't exactly normal players. A lot of people here would prefer a complete lack of handholding, but as devs we should be making games for normal players and a lot of normal players will need at least a little handholding in the beginning until all the major mechanics have been introduced and used a few times. A compilation of battle system info in the menu and a training/practice mode would also go a long way.
 

Azurose

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I like to have a very small bit of text explaining a feature or mechanic right as the player starts first interacting with it or experiencing it, instead of having an entire tutorial explaining everything in the game at once. Not only is the info given out in a more digestive manner, you can immediately get some hands on experience, which makes it stick. Plus, it helps with the ''game'' part of your video game, because the player gets to actually do something immediately and the tutorial isn't a few pages long.
 

Tai_MT

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Honestly, I prefer no tutorials unless you've got some mechanic or something in your game that I don't know/can't figure out on my own.

The first thing I typically do with every video game is, "let's see what all the buttons do". I can figure out jumping, running, camera, movement, picking up items, and a myriad of other things by just checking what each of the buttons does. Now, if you have really silly controls like, "Hey, if you hold A and then hit Tab 3 times and then mash spacebar, you'll perform a special attack!", then have a tutorial for that.

Likewise, unless you've got really weird or convoluted mechanics that might be pretty counter-intuitive... I see no reason for a tutorial on that either. So, unless you've got a crafting system like, "Hey, you need to do X, Y, and Z in order to move this meter up! This increases quality of the item!", you don't have to tell me anything like that.

Strictly speaking, a tutorial should be something the player doesn't realize is a tutorial.

The minute you give me control in an RPG, I'm probably going to check your menu to explore what all the options do. What's the best thing you can do here? No, not show me and tell me how everything in your menus work... It's give me something to play around with the moment I can open the menu. You don't have to explain to me how Materia works. Just give me two chunks of materia to play with the minute I can open the menu so I can play around with it. You don't have to explain to me how to craft from the menu, you just need to give me enough materials to actually craft several things (perhaps even a choice of what I can craft with the limited materials, so I can't craft everything, but I can craft some things).

The best experiences I've had with RPG's are in just discovering the nuances of the game because the game let me explore them at my own pace and used gameplay to teach me things rather than shoving me into a tutorial. I don't need/want a scripted fight. I don't need/want a "safe" section of the game to gradually walk me through things.

I prefer a tutorial exist purely to walk me through things I would never, in a million years, figure out on my own. That is, if I have no idea that I can parry in the game, you should have a tutorial that not only teaches me I can, but then puts me up against enemies that will make me an EXPERT at doing it.

Let's go through one of my favorite (recent) examples of a tutorial done well. Now, Factorio does have a "campaign" mode, which will teach you the basics of how a lot of stuff works. You can go into this, but I didn't when it first came out. The game said "freeplay" or whatever it was and it said "recommended way to play, this is the intended experience". Okay, I jumped right in.

I was given a couple tooltips for all the basic controls and told nothing else other than my mission was to launch a rocket to win.

So, I explored what few tools I was given. Pickaxe thing. Gun. Ammo. A few basic refined materials. A burner drill. I wandered around a little to find something to put the drill on (it was stone) and it didn't run. It flashed the "empty fuel" signal at me. I opened it up to check the interface. Okay, gotta burn something. What am I burning? Eh, there's some trees here, can I chop those down? I can? Okay, is wood a valid fuel source? Yes it is. Looks like it burns really super fast though. So, probably not that great. Also, the drill stops working after producing 1 ore on the ground in front of it. Can I store this or something? Oh, hey, I can craft a box. What if I put the box right next to the arrow for output on this drill? Oh, hey, it outputs directly into the box. Cool. Okay, so next goal is better fuel. Let me look around a little. Neat, there's some coal nearby, but I already placed my burner drill, how do I mine this? Can I build another drill? I can, but I need iron. Okay, I haven't seen any iron immediately here, so let me move this first drill over to the coal so I can stockpile that.

Okay, now that fuel is sorted, what do I do? I found some iron, but mining this by hand is a pain. Also, how do I turn this into plates so I can make more drills? Looks like I can build a furnace for smelting. Costs rocks. Okay, I got rocks. Oh, furnace needs fuel too. Can I put the furnace next to the drill the same way I did with the box? Oh, it works! I can automatically fill the furnace with coal! Let me dump my iron ore into this thing. Oh, nice, output is stored in the furnace here. So, all I gotta do is grab the plates when they finish and reload ore into it.

Okay, running back and forth here kind of sucks, and I've got like a dozen drills here. There's gotta be a way to make this easier. Oh, hey, there's a tech thingie in the upper right-hand corner. What's in there? Oh, neat, I can make conveyer belts in here. What's that cost? Red vials? How do I make those? I need copper? Okay, now I got red vials, but how do I use them? Oh, hey, research facility in here to build, let me get that. Huh, it's flashing a lightning bolt. Needs power. What can I make for power? Steam generators. Okay, how does that work? Here's a water pump and some boilers. Looks like they got arrows on them when I place them, so line that up. Steam generator thingie on this end? Oh, no, wrong end, has to go on this end, this is the output. Why is the generator flashing? It's getting steam to work, I can see that in the interface when I click it. Does it need power lines or something? Let me craft a few. Oh, hey, the powerlines made the thing go away. I'll chain these over to the research station and plonk these red vials in so I can get conveyer belts.

And that was the entire game. I need X, how do I get X? Experiment with Y until it worked.

That's a pretty great tutorial. No information given to me except the bare minimum of an objective and what my controls were (so I could open my inventory and do a few other essential things) and then I was turned loose to do whatever.

Now, this was about two hours of my playtime as a tutorial, but it never FELT like a tutorial. I was learning on my own through experimentation and minor "flags" like output arrows on the machinery, errors that told me why things weren't working (no fuel, no power), and glancing through the options for things I could build.

I prefer the game not tell me, "Hey, get rid of status ailments quickly". I prefer it show me why I don't want to have status ailments on me at all by them being punitive enough that I care.

Tutorials work best when they work in this way.
 

gabrieldiastche

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So, right now that I know a lot of RPG Maker I wanna see only some parts, but when I started I wanna learn everything, and now that I now exactly how the program works I fell I can do a lot!

But I loved the tutorials of Echo, Driftywood and a lot of Brazilian tutorials, and of course Yanfly and SumRndDude too with their plugins!
 

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