Ways to teach your players to understand the game play of the game

Some people hate the game guides. When buying a new game, they just want to jump straight to experience. They are not interested in moving maps and menus. But you need to know how to play. You need to understand the new rules of the game. Since all games have their own rules.

You need to find out about the game you are playing. How do you interact with the game? What is your goal in this game? What is the world in the game? All of this needs to be directed to the player.

So, how to guide the players quickly but still ensure the above factors? It should be noted that the initial experience is very important. If you are developing a mobile game or web game then you need to put the player in the content of the game as soon as possible to make sure that they do not feel uncomfortable and leave your game.

You need to be a game guide, but do not let the player feel bored about this tutorial … this is a difficult situation. So, I’ll give you a solution. Do not force the player to “learn” the tutorial, turn it into a part of the game for the player to “experience”.

 

 1. Non – interactive

Guides in games of this genre are part of the old game design. You can see the picture below (Infected game).

Link:https://www.kongregate.com/games/djamieson/infected

The “tutorial” in Infected.

The whole game tutorial is a picture. When you look at this picture, you will quickly understand the “rules” of the game, and then you will hit Start to experience it.
George Fan, developer of Plants vs. Zombies, shared that “there should be no more than 8 steps in a screen.” Players only want to understand how to play as fast as possible.

This is the first rule in game design guidelines. If you give the player a list of 200 combo and special skills, they only remember two or three and use them for the whole of your game. However, if you “guide” the player more reasonably, then they will have a better experience.

A long, but very effective guide

If you force the player to complete a task with only one basic weapon, it can reduce their “experience”. But if you let players freely choose tactics, weapons, and operations to complete a mission, then it is definitely a wise decision.

You can add rating systems or rewards to the tutorial. In this way, hardcore players will try to achieve A + to get the highest rewards and normal players will easily pass your tutorial with a “sufficient reward”.

Super Meat Boy is a game with 6 levels in its “guide”. The first is about the fundamentals: move left or right and jump. Level 2 is about jumping on the wall. Level 3 is a fast-paced skill. After the players are instructed on these basic contents, they will be introduced to more advanced skills.

Link:http://supermeatboy.com/

“Level 1” in Super Meat Boy’s guide. Walk and jump.

You should pay attention to the design so that players easily pass these tutorial levels. It is best to design so that the player can not fail. This will help players to understand the mechanism of the game without feeling pressured.

Link:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NoobCaveThe “noob cave” technique is a great way. Example: At low level, there will be no threat for the player. At high level, AI will attack the player. But AI will attack and move randomly.
There are many ways to design “hang noob” in a game, but the most effective way is to create an interactive tutorial: a tutorial with locking mechanism. Players can only perform actions as directed and win.

2. Interactive tutorial in game

This is a great way to design video game guides. Instead of showing an image with step-by-step instructions and letting the player read it, you can turn it into action and force the player to perform the action. The highlight of this method is that it helps players “remember” what they are instructed.

Players need to click on “S” as directed.

The image above is from Highrise Heroes. This is a good example of how interactive tutorials work. Players will be locked all actions except for the click of the letter “S”, and it will help them easily understand how to play the game. It should be noted that: When using this method to guide the player, you must ensure that the player must be “forced” until they complete the tutorial.

Link:http://www.noodlecake.com/games/highrise-heroes/

Limitations of this method: If the player knows about this part, they will feel uncomfortable and bored. So you need to have a “Skip” button so the player can skip this step. However, you should be rewarded for the time spent by the player to complete the tutorial.

One more thing, these guidelines should not be too lengthy, so make it as concise as possible.

3. Tutorials “background” in the game

Background guides allow players to experience the game and understand how to play each section of the game. Here is an example:

A background guide in VVVVV

This is the first part of the VVVVVV, they used a small popup to guide the player how to move. This method is short, easy to understand, easy to communicate for players.

Another background tutorial

4. No instructions in the game

How to get water from a locked faucet? The player will rotate the handle of the tap to the right so water can flow out. How to open the TV? Players will use the remote control or click the “Power” button on the TV. The things I just said are not in the guide. So how do you know?

They will rely on human instinct, based on real life experiences and they will apply to your game. This is a good method. This way of doing it is quite fun, pro players and noob players can easily understand it. It is clear that no one will control their character running straight into the fire or into the poisoned walls.

If you design well, the player will know which objects are good and which ones are bad. And players will not need to “test” with their life. Shigeru Miyamoto talked about the gold coins in Mario: “When we discuss what anyone will aspire to when they see them, and that is the gold coin.”

Plants vs Zombies have also applied this method successfully: the player knows that the trees will not move and that the zombies will move slowly.

A good example of this method

 

With this method, you do not need to explain everything in your game. When you design a game with this method, make sure that the player understands the “rules” in your game. Because the “basic rules” of the game are now very popular, which means that players are very familiar with them.

For Infected, this is really a great method. Their players may not read the guide and still play the game. When you click on an object, blurry tiles appear and you understand that these are the places you can move. The first version does not have this feature, adding this feature makes it easier for gamers to access the game.

The design of the blurry tiles makes it easy for players to understand where they can move

You should not change the “familiar game play” that players already know, this will cause bad effects for your game. If you really want to change the traditional gameplay elements, give the right reasons to convince the gamer. Katamari Damacy did this well. In the game, you need to use both fingers to control, rather than using a finger in the traditional way to control the camera. Although the gamer will have some confusion at the beginning, however, the simplicity of the game has made them approach the game quickly and efficiently.

Link:

http://katamari.wikia.com/wiki/Katamari_DamacyIn a similar game, the Karoshi Suicide Salaryman web game requires players to kill themselves (usually by jumping on spikes). Although this is a weird play (you have to kill yourself to win), but with a clear mission, the player still understands the play game.

5. Continuous learning and testing

There is a very good method (if you apply it wisely): do not give the player clear instructions, you just give some simple suggestions to curious players and they will have to experience your game to explore. In the game Zelda, players will have to constantly search for new items and equipment, and they must also know how they work. Instead of having to make a long tutorial about the item’s features, how to use items … the game will give you a hidden room and say “think about it”.


These rooms are actually basic instructions: it allows the player to explore and explore their new items. So, players will know how these items work in a safe environment.

There is a very good method (if you apply it wisely): do not give the player clear instructions, you just give some simple suggestions to curious players and they will have to experience your game to explore. In the game Zelda, players will have to constantly search for new items and equipment, and they must also know how they work. Instead of having to make a long tutorial about the item’s features, how to use items … the game will give you a hidden room and say “think about it”.

These rooms are actually basic instructions: it allows the player to explore their new items. So, players will know how these items work in a safe environment.

Once the player has understood all the features and the “operation” of the new toy, they will be thrown back into the” real “world of the game. Here, they can continue to use their experience and knowledge to overcome the challenges of the game such as fighting monsters, performing quests … And finally, the player will combine these weapons to solve difficult puzzles in the game. They were really “passionate” about the game.

Zelda also designed their game very well and skillfully: in Zelda, the whole game was the tutorial. Except for the last cave, Zelda almost instructed the player during their game experience. But they do not force players to learn everything at the same time. The information is taught sparsely, the important content will appear in front of the player at the time they need them most. This is one of the biggest advantages of Zelda.

Instead of instructing players on everything from the beginning, they will slowly unlock your game. With this method, players will never be overwhelmed and they will always feel excited when discovering new items, while discovering other interesting information while playing your game.

Plants vs Zombies has also applied this method very well: during the game, players will be able to open new trees (and sometimes new features). When they open them, they will have to learn about their effect to use and defeat the zombie army. Players always find new things in the game (mostly through new trees with their new effects). Because plants are an important weapon in the game, Plants vs Zombies encourage players to choose the most effective “weapons”, instead of looking for some “cute” plants and planting them all the map.

6. Do not scare the player “quit”

All I want to say to you is: Do not be afraid of players leaving your game, and do not let them leave your game. Very clear advice, but very few games can do this. I wonder: why is that?
A common example of this is the registration to activate the account. If you are wanting players to sign up before they enter your game, do not add items like birthdates, IDs, home addresses … you just need to give them a gaming account when they click on the registration form. Make them able to experience your game as quickly as possible. And if they like your game, then you will have plenty of time for players to fill in a “full registration form”.

I take the example of Tagpro, this is an online game. Do you want to create an account to play their games? I do not think it is necessary. First, you choose a host, then you hit Play as Guest and you are in their game.

Link:http://tagpro.gg/

You may have created a very beautiful, detailed, and informative tutorial. But you will realize that players really do not need them. They do not care about them, because they feel “lazy” to read them all. Maybe they need some information and they know they will be in your tutorial. But they do not want to spend time looking for them.

Overview

Try to make your tutorials fun, attractive and not a tedious, lengthy one. Depending on the game genre, you can create a simple and succinct “tutorial” for your players. Or you can let the player discover everything in game as a real life. You can also split scattered tutorials in your game and place them at the most logical moments.

 

 

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