Author Topic: Suspension of disbelief in tutorials  (Read 4337 times)

tuturto

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Re: Suspension of disbelief in tutorials
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2014, 06:55:37 AM »
Something that I've been planning on doing for a while (but, like 99% of my ideas, haven't had time to implement in anything and probably never will) is to have a specific character as a tutorial-giver who is a bit 'Deadpool-y' - i.e. they have metafictional awareness and can say and do the kinds of fourth-wall breaking things that are necessary to teach the player how the game works, but in-universe everybody just thinks they're completely wacko.  With some good enough writing and a liberal dose of dramatic irony I think that you could do this in a way that would be fairly entertaining but also wouldn't be too immersion breaking.  For example, having them exclaim:

"'E uses things with E's', 'E does!"

would hopefully communicate to the player that E is the 'use' key but in an ambiguous enough way that their character would just write it off as incoherent ramblings.  I suppose that if you were clever enough you could drop the madness angle altogether and have the tutorial messages make perfect sense in context but with a double-meaning to the player.

"Here, take these keys to the fletcher's storeroom and go over there, would you?  That's right, I want you to move with the arrow keys."

This sounds hilariously good. I for one would like to see something like this being implemented and test how well it works.

I always found tutorial in Metal Gear Solid kinda funny too. There's this special forces member who infiltrates the nuclear waste disposal compound controlled by enemy forces. When he encounters something first time in the game (like a crawl space), the colonel will call in with a radio and explain "Snake, in order to sneak into that crawl space, press the action button". As if he hadn't ever had to crawl before. The game was very campy, so it sort of worked though, when you didn't stop thinking about it too much.
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Zireael

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Re: Suspension of disbelief in tutorials
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2014, 06:56:54 PM »
Something that I've been planning on doing for a while (but, like 99% of my ideas, haven't had time to implement in anything and probably never will) is to have a specific character as a tutorial-giver who is a bit 'Deadpool-y' - i.e. they have metafictional awareness and can say and do the kinds of fourth-wall breaking things that are necessary to teach the player how the game works, but in-universe everybody just thinks they're completely wacko.  With some good enough writing and a liberal dose of dramatic irony I think that you could do this in a way that would be fairly entertaining but also wouldn't be too immersion breaking.  For example, having them exclaim:

"'E uses things with E's', 'E does!"

would hopefully communicate to the player that E is the 'use' key but in an ambiguous enough way that their character would just write it off as incoherent ramblings.  I suppose that if you were clever enough you could drop the madness angle altogether and have the tutorial messages make perfect sense in context but with a double-meaning to the player.

"Here, take these keys to the fletcher's storeroom and go over there, would you?  That's right, I want you to move with the arrow keys."

The mad tutor idea caught my interest - I might make it part of my planned tutorial level. Which I might get around to making real fast!

Endorya

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Re: Suspension of disbelief in tutorials
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2014, 05:07:08 PM »
Nothing annoys me more than in-game characters talking about keyboards.

Funny. I feel exactly the same way about it. It just feels weird to me.

"Quick! Use the 'arrow keys' to move towards the forest to help your men!"
"So, you like this sword hein? Press 'E' to buy it."
"(...) go now and find the Amulet of Despair. And remember, you can recover your health by pressing 'R'"


It just doesn't work for me.
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AgingMinotaur

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Re: Suspension of disbelief in tutorials
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2014, 07:23:47 PM »
Ha ha, I totally agree.

For my own part, I've decided (for now) to put a "How to play"-option in the starting menu, which lists movement keys and how to use a skill or item. In-game, I can let neutral-friendly NPCs provide hints (but rather: "Follow me" or: "Hide behind that rock!" Or something akin to fortune cookies). That seems fairly un-intrusive, and still offering easy access to basic instructions.

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Endorya

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Re: Suspension of disbelief in tutorials
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2014, 08:06:22 PM »
Ha ha, I totally agree.

For my own part, I've decided (for now) to put a "How to play"-option in the starting menu, which lists movement keys and how to use a skill or item. In-game, I can let neutral-friendly NPCs provide hints (but rather: "Follow me" or: "Hide behind that rock!" Or something akin to fortune cookies). That seems fairly un-intrusive, and still offering easy access to basic instructions.

As always,
Minotauros

That feels WAY better IMO.
"You are never alone. Death is always near watching you."

Bear

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Re: Suspension of disbelief in tutorials
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2014, 06:47:58 PM »
Hmmm.  I haven't really considered this, but good help is valuable and deserves some effort.

Maybe it would be cool to have a newbie character accompanied by the ghost of a vanquished adventurer - giving 'helpful' advice along the way. 

You wouldn't have to have the ghost break the fourth wall and talk about keyboards, if you just have a specific tutorial-sensitive help command like '?' give the player the fourth-wall breaking instructions about HOW to do what the ghost just advised.

So the ghost says "Goblins are approaching.  You could draw your sword, or try to talk."  The player hits '?'  and the help popup says:  To draw your sword use 'w' for 'wield'.  To talk, use 'c' for 'chat'.

 

kalaeth

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Re: Suspension of disbelief in tutorials
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2016, 10:01:28 AM »
Using a bit of topic-necromancy here 'cause this post just made me realize I could actually have a good way to do the help in a non-immersion breaking way.
The game I'm currently working on is a retro-sic-fi setting (think tech levels live Alien), and one of the dropables I intend to have are magazines (I'll explian that when I eventually reach the end of the design section of the forum and write down a post explaining my ID-subgame).
 So one idea to have a in-game manual is to have a item, with a 100% chance to drop on the first room or already in the player inventory, that is a game manual.
 "you find a old computer-game manual in the floor. (R)ead? (D)iscard?"
Upon reading it would be a normal manual (sections etc).

 Another thing I might do is use the consoles I'll have spread around the levels (requiring that the player begins the game logged on to a terminal, which would make sense with plot/gameplay mechanics) and have a "type man and press enter to read the manual", but this seems to be more immersion breaking, since that manual would have to explain keys and etc.

 I'll keep thinking about this, but thanks for the ideas!

wire_hall_medic

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Re: Suspension of disbelief in tutorials
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2016, 10:18:07 PM »
I think that it's okay for explicit tutorials to break immersion, because I can't get immersed in a game until I have a reasonable level of control.  That is, the second I have to look up a keybinding, I'm out of immersion.  Just make sure that you can skip the tutorial once you know how to play.

I do prefer implicit tutorials are preferable, though.  They're terrible for teaching keybindings, but great for teaching just about everything else . . . if done well.