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Posted by SatelliteOfLove

"Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man a fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime."
This, paraphrased for gaming, is what is wrong with hand-holding in games. They TELL you what to do instead of HOW or giving you the insight to decide WHY for yourself. 
Remember Black Ops? Remember so many forum posts and podcasts discussing the oildrum scene? The game had been handholding the entire way there, but let the player go, players whose minds had often soft from disuse up to that point, like astronauts needing help walking after coming back from time in zero gravity. There was NO teaching, only TELLING.
I for a long time thought I hated tutorials, but what I discovered was that I hated bad tutorials from bad devs, or milquetoast devs kowtowing to publishers trying to reach a mythical 8-digit sales figure by treating players like idiots, walling off vast ammounts of gameplay opportunities in the process.

That example of LoZ 1 is a viable method though, like the Souls games and "Buy an Indie game from a non-asshole that shall remain unnamed" do: you teach yourself. I'm glad they exist when done right.

Posted by The_Last_Starfighter
@phrosnite I work as an art director for an ad agency, an industry overflowing with this mentality. While this approach may grant you the largest audience, it's a very destructive path to go down when it comes to creative.

Nothing sucks the creative genius from a piece faster than the idea that the viewer is dumb.

The unfortunate result is a circle of idiocy, art gets dumbed down, we get dumber, we dumb down the art more and on and on it goes.

It may make money but it's no way to create.
Posted by SmilingPig

Don't Assume Players Are Stupid... Know that they are!

Posted by drGiggless

good read

Edited by Manatassi

@whyareyoucrouchingspock said:

@Manatassi said:

The whole PC games have more "intelligent" design is absurd

At no point did I say this or make this argument.

What my actual argument was... console games are not sophisticated in complexity nor designed to assume the player is reasonably intelligent. Feel free to list any AAA console game released last year that matched Empires scope or depth. Hell... knock yourself out, try any game from the entire life-cycle of the Xbox360.

@Manatassi said:

Unfortunately there are extremely few games out there that aren't failing miserably in some extremely important design areas.

Again, missing the point. It's about the target audience and sales. It's fuckall to do with design other than designing a game aimed at the lowest common denominator. Limiting a game, simplifying it and making gratification easyer is perceived increases sales. The majority of pc titles, even those actually designed for children usually give them more intellectual credit than your average console game.

@Manatassi said:

In-fact the PC games you are giving examples of are some of the worst offenders in the area of poorly designed learning and overly complex interfaces.

I only listed one pc game. And you are wrong by wide margin. Every total war game is a sophisticated game designed for mature minds. Yet it's also highly accessible. This isn't because the gameplay itself is dumbed down like console games aiming at the lowest common denominator. It's because both in real-time and turn based, the game has two advisors telling you each and every mechanic. In fact, I would argue the advisor mechanic in total war is fucking genius. Not only does it inform the player, the characters themselfs (female for turn based and male for real time) are characters themselfs interacting with you making quips and using the dialect of each specific area sporting visual asthetics as well making the game more immersing. Aside from this obviously excellent design, the game also uses campaign tutorials that act as stand alone stories. In the case of Empire it's the birth of America itself. Instructing as well as educating the player through narrative.

@Manatassi said:

The nature of the PC keyboard and mouse interface allows PC game designers to not streamline their design methods in the same way many Console games do ending up with a clumsy interface with overly complex Tutorials to go with them. The opposite of the point the article is making.

This is a very narrow point of view I feel, deep dow in my ballsack. It's not just the control scheme. Is a 12 year old more likely to pick up an xbox360 for Christmas or a £700 hand built pc to play a historically based sophicated pc game about the 1700's? Of course not. It's a game designed for mature minds. Aside from children alot of poorer familys than me own a consoles on the basis they cannot afford to have the same excellent pc I use.

@Manatassi said:

@bellmont42 said:

A game should be able to teach you how to play it intuitively, resorting to tutorials as the last resort.

I would agree that most console games don't require a tutorial. The games are usually incredibly simplistic by nature compared to sophisticated pc titles as I factually stated in my original post. When a strategy game has so many variables it will be guess work. when a simulator has over 250 buttons in the cockpit it will be guess work. Console games being very simplistic in comparison designed with a child like mind at the forefront it's not really an issue for the majority of titles.

@Manatassi said:

A lot of developers would benefit from hiring some psychologists or really good teachers to help them understand how to communicate with their players and to understand how people actually learn. .

Developers use focus groups and play-testing. The majority of the time the design is dictated by players saying "I don't know what to do" or "I don't like this".

Contrary to what you or other aspiring game experts say, gamers do dictate design. Alot of them noobs so they know to set the bar low.

Ok for starters you got Reeeeealy defensive on this one didn't you :). If you are going to comment on things I have said quote the whole piece rather than selecting parts out of context.

Also... Read your own post again:

"For sophisticated intelligent games, these are mostly found on the pc."

Read the Article before you decide I'm missing the point that the Article is discussing again as Sales were not the issue the article was about game design methods.

The article certainly was not a damming criticism of console games dumbing down game design as you still seem to insist.

I am aware that Designers use focus testing to give them feedback thus my point that they should be hiring Psychologists to help them understand how to interpret that feedback and learn ways of assisting learning and understand the methods of learning. Oh and BTW I am not an "aspiring Game Expert' I work with communication and learning methods in my career thus I made the comment suggesting Designers could learn something from this field.

Oh and saying things like: "I would agree that most console games don't require a tutorial. The games are usually incredibly simplistic by nature compared to sophisticated pc titles as I factually stated in my original post"

Makes you sound like an elitist Asshole fanboy and is hardly going to support any argument you want to make. Also the use of the term Noob and talking about your ball sack are extremely immature. I prefer to do my thinking with something other than my ball sack personally :P

I'm not going to go through your entire post and pick it apart for you piece by piece, suffice to say there are a lot of problems in there...

Aside from all of that you have simply missed the point of the Article and used it to propagate a completely immature attitude that "noobs" in focus testing are to blame and console games are somehow designed for Dude Bro idiot 13 year olds. Which lead to my statement "He is however perpetuating an unproductive stereotype." which was the overall criticism I levelled at you. Apparently I would have done better to simply join in with the "head up your arse" comments instead as then you wouldn't be fill ing my inbox with re-edits of this pretty immature defensive retaliation that was not required.

Have fun getting pissed off about this reply, I really can't be bothered to write anymore about this now :)

Posted by Snowsprite
Posted by Drebin_893

So that article just...ends?

Posted by DriftSPace


Excellent video, thank you. The level design in Mega Man games is not only a milestone in game design, but it teaches people the satisfaction of getting better at things and, as the video says, "becoming stronger," or honing a skill.

Closure was great; I finished the whole thing (100%) without watching any YouTube videos or reading any guides, and it was because the game gave me all the information I needed through playing the game.

Posted by CustomOtto

@Drebin_893 said:

So that article just...ends?

most of them eventually end

Posted by Slag

“Older games just didn’t explain anything, which ended up being a problem in some situations,” he said. “You end up with games like Zelda 1, which are really, really hard to understand, even though people like that game. I’m not a huge fan of it"


I get what Glaiel is driving at but seriously Zelda was not "hard" at all. It just required a lot of guess & check and persistence. The Lost Woods was the only part that felt truly impenetrable and even that you could find an answer in game. It was a fairly easy game by NES standards.

I beat Zelda without a guide when I was a little kid and I know scores of others who did as well.

Posted by extragingerbrew

A wake up call for sure.

Posted by Johacamigames

@Dawlight said:

To mind comes Portal 1 and 2.

That's actually true, especially for the newcomers

Posted by Battezu

That was kind of hard. But it was worth playing.