Tutorial Design: An Experiment

This post was originally written for the Soshi Games blog, which can be found here

Tutorials in games are often left until the end of development, and are written by someone who has spent months if not years with the game and knows it inside out. Because of this, the tutorial designer can only assume what aspects of the game a new player will understand and what they will need explaining.

The tutorial for Music Festivals was written a month or so before we entered our closed Beta and since then we have added many new features that haven’t been explained anywhere. We have added some in-game missions for a few bits of UI stuff but we get a lot of comments from players who have gone through the tutorial and still don’t understand things.

With this in mind, we have wanted to re-design the tutorial for a long time but have made the implementation of new features and bug fixes a higher priority than the new tutorial (after all, even if the current tutorial isn’t great, it still works to a point).

Graham McAllister, founder of Player Research suggests having someone who hasn’t worked on the game write the tutorial (listen to the relevant Eurogamer.net podcast here).

We’ve decided to take Graham’s advice and are now giving Music Festivals players the opportunity to redesign our tutorial. If you’re interested in taking part in this experiment, what we’d like is for you to play the game (available here) and as you’re working through the tutorial jot down some notes as to what you think works well, what isn’t explained and anything else that you can think of.

If you could then think about ways to improve the tutorial we’d really love to hear your ideas. Perhaps storyboard out your new design or list the steps with bullet points, whatever feels best for you! Of course, the more information you can provide the better we’ll be able to replicate it in the game.

Once your design is finished pleased e-mail it to adam.russell@soshigames.com with the subject:Tutorial Design. We’ll then begin the process of reviewing it and if we like it we’ll work on implementing it in the game! If you like we’ll also add you to the game credits.

If you have any questions you can e-mail me at the address above or send me a tweet at @AdamSRussell

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About Adam

Games designer, Newcastle fan and prolific tea drinker
This entry was posted in Design Discussion, Music Festivals, Social Games and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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