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January 23, 2018
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Did we spoil the players?

by Tony Payne on 03/23/12 11:45:00 am   Featured Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutras community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Hello everyone, I'm a designer for an issued webgame.Now I'm trying to improve the game experiences and some in-game guide. But I encountered a problem that how much should the game do for our consumers?Or in other words, how high the simplification of the game guide is suitable?

It puzzles me because I found that no matter how simple or elaborate the guide is,the game is always difficult for many players.The tutorial is useless!

Because they didn’t learn how to play and the reason is just what the designers have done. As a standard we want to ensure the experience fluent in the first 10 minutes, so we clear all the barriers for the new players and make all operations as easy as possible. The strategy continues until the player finds he has a huge asset in the game, gold, level, items for instance, then he’ll stay in the game and we can gain moneyfrom him. That’s the ideal condition.

But the result is not always good. We made the tutorial so easy that they don’t need to think about what they are doing or why they do it! We give them an arrow and tell them 'click here’, Ok they click it. And another arrow on a button then the players follow our guide again. They have been clicking all the time as our wish but no thinking. After the tutorial finished they are still new players and have no idea what they can do in the game.

I know the designers have to be responsible for the circumstance. It emerges in a game sooner or later if the tutorial is not designed well. But on the other hand, is it a duty for the players to learn how to play a game?

I recall the memory with Super Nintendo when we were young. In the past the game tutorial is not as detailed as today but we still enjoyed the games, considering that English is not my native language it’s more difficult. But today the players will blame you if they don’t know what to do even when there is only one button could be clicked on the screen , just because we haven’t drawn an arrow here.

In fact we have taught them most of the things in the tutorial but they refuse to learn it. They become more and more impatient and can’t bear any setback or problem when facing a new game. But in my opinion, you have to be serious even if you’re playing a game. At least you should know how to play it, or else why not go to sleeping?

Did we designers spoil the players? Seems that the condition will keep on existing in the visible future, so will vidio game becomes toy bricks? Sounds possible.

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