This past decade has given me a chance to play more unique and interesting titles than ever before. With that said, it has also exposed one of the major failings I see from indie developers, and that is about onboarding the player to their game. Part playtesting, tutorial, and UI design, this is an important concept for any developer to learn.
On stream, I had a chance to try and fail to learn Stellaris, even with the help of people who have played and beaten it in the past. Experiencing a game from the new player’s perspective is an invaluable resource for when it comes to building a tutorial, and where game designers tend to fail the most on.
For today’s Industry Insight, I’m taking a look at the recent discussion from the Venturebeat demo of Cuphead. Is this a case of someone not qualified to play the game, or is the tutorial and design at fault? For the first part, I did a play-by-play breakdown of tutorial design and where Cuphead could use some improvements. After that, I talked about the problems with the presentation and play from Venturebeat.
Recently, I’ve been playing Zachtronic’s latest game SHENZHEN I/O. The game is about using assembly level programming to create programs by using circuitry and CPUs. To help, the game features a 41 page manual that reads like the company manual you get at work. Despite the manual, I had to turn to outside help to learn the basics of the game.
Trying to learn the game, I started to think about how we learn things both in and outside of a class setting, and that games might hold a better solution.