#1 Edited by Metalisticpain (71 posts) -

Anyone else really sick of in game tutorials that last hours? Some games need them, aka resonance of fate! but they did it right and made it optional.This generation some of the worst offenders were FFXIII, Ni No Kuni and Zelda TP/SS.

Are we collectively dumber now then in the 90'sand 80's? Its strange to think that outside of gaming, the youngest generation are considered some of the most tech savvy people around. They can pick up technology and systems very easily, yet gaming tutorials get longer and longer as if they are too brain dead to know the analogue sticks move your character and camera!

What other games pissed you off when it came to forced tutorials? I am all for having them in, but just make the damn things optional! especially when you try to play the game a 2nd time.

#2 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

This is actually the main reason I fell out with the jrpg genre.

I liked how the tutorial was handled in XCOM a lot. It's there if you want it but entirely optional with a toggle for it right next to the difficulty setting.

I think the place where tutorializing went wrong this gen was the attempt by many developers to make the tutorial a seamless part of the story and, in so doing, an unskippable and mandatory portion of the game. But it's never seamless. It's always an extended waiting period between the time you get how to play the damned game and the time the game actually let's you play the damned game. That sucks and developers need to stop it. Especially Ubisoft, cause jesus fucking christ.

#3 Edited by Dauthi693 (130 posts) -

Practically every RTS & 4x game tutorial not only long and tedious but usually full of long ass unskippable voiceovers before it bothers to tell you what to do next.

#4 Posted by Dauthi693 (130 posts) -

@herbiebug: ROFL Ubisoft.. its not just the begining of the game that has an extended waiting period they do it at the end as well with their extended credits. Especally annoying for games like Assassins creed and Farcry that you are waiting to be dropped back into for side quests etc.

#5 Edited by Soapy86 (2620 posts) -

Every game needs an "I've played video games before" toggle in the options menu that skips all the tutorializing. It's incredibly rare that a tutorial teaches me, A: Something I didn't already know, or B: Something I couldn't have figured out on my own in a fraction of the time it takes to go through a tutorial.

Also, the way Gears of War handled the tutorial is one of the smartest things Epic did with that game, and it's such a shame no one else has thought to copy it.

#6 Posted by MildMolasses (3218 posts) -

This is actually the main reason I fell out with the jrpg genre.

I liked how the tutorial was handled in XCOM a lot. It's there if you want it but entirely optional with a toggle for it right next to the difficulty setting.

I think the place where tutorializing went wrong this gen was the attempt by many developers to make the tutorial a seamless part of the story and, in so doing, an unskippable and mandatory portion of the game. But it's never seamless. It's always an extended waiting period between the time you get how to play the damned game and the time the game actually let's you play the damned game. That sucks and developers need to stop it. Especially Ubisoft, cause jesus fucking christ.

I think one of the best handlings of the incorporated tutorial was Gears of War 1/2, where they just flat out gave you a separate objective at the start to cover tutorials, or you could skip it if you wanted. They made a story relevant reason for choosing either option. (For the life of me, I can't remember if they did that in 3)

#7 Posted by Humanity (9025 posts) -

@metalisticpain: it's not that we are dumber but more about games trying to reach a wider audience meaning people that may have not played a lot of games in the past - hence the necessity for spelling out things that most of us know by heart.

#8 Posted by Nightriff (4979 posts) -

Tutorials are fine, stop complaining, sure they could be better but I ain't gonna fall over and die because they want to explain this or that about the game.

#9 Edited by Jay_Ray (1076 posts) -

We are at an interesting point where most games are sold to non-hard core gamers so a lot of people need tutorials to enjoy the experience especially given how complicated controllers can be for some. The industry is learning some smart ways to sneak in tutorials or allow people to skip them. Hell I was talking to a non-gamer who played Mario on a SNES back n the day and that's about it, they were shocked at the story detail and how connected they felt with the characters after watching her boyfriend play a modern game.

Edit: I should also say she wants to try some modern games now but feels like they maybe to complex or hard to get a feel of the controller and memorze button placement. She is an example of why these tutorials are there. And it is always better to get more people playing games.

#10 Posted by Metalisticpain (71 posts) -

@humanity: I'm all for tutorials. But they need to be optional or be able to be fast tracked! .

Agree with everyone on gears of war. Perfect. Do you know how to play a shooter? yes , this way then. No? ok this way and we will show you the ropes.

I think you can reach the wider audience without embedded unskippable lengthy tutes.

Ocarina of time is a good example of an embedded tute done well. If you are experienced, you can blow through it in minutes. Grab the sword, collect some rupees, buy the shielf and your done. If you are new though, you can spend the hour z targeting signs, throwing rocks, cutting grass and doing back-flips.

#11 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@soapy86 said:

Every game needs an "I've played video games before" toggle in the options menu that skips all the tutorializing. It's incredibly rare that a tutorial teaches me, A: Something I didn't already know, or B: Something I couldn't have figured out on my own in a fraction of the time it takes to go through a tutorial.

I've been playing the HD remake of Ico recently. Now that game is quite a shock to experience after years of playing through the hand holding extended tutorials of current gen. Ico does not even have button prompts for switches. At no point does it ever tell you what to do or what button to press to do it. Pretty refreshing. Although I admit I got a little annoyed by the totally unclear notion that the interact/action button must be held, as opposed to quickly pressed, in order to do anything.

#12 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

This was one of the things I realized while watching a speedrun of Dark Souls. The guy knows the game by heart already, so he just runs past the tutorial markers and the game is completely fine with that. Then compare that with a lot of new games where you literally cannot skip it in the beginning. I replay a lot of the games I love and having to sit and mash enter or X just to move past that tedious bit is enough to make me put the game down and not continue beyond that bit.

#13 Posted by DaMisterChief (628 posts) -

I dislike tutorials too

#14 Edited by Pr1mus (3858 posts) -

Excessive tutorials makes people dumber. I often find myself at a lost for what to do just sitting there waiting for the game to tell me when i go back to play an old game i've spent hours playing and never had any problems with when i was 10.

Excessive tutorials are always bad imo. They ultimately create a disservice to the people they're trying to teach to. Even when done properly there should always be toggles to switch them off if they are not based on actual gameplay. And even then, i liked how XCOM didn't force you to play the tutorial mission even if they integrated it in the story if you do play it. Gears of War is another good example.

#15 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I blame used games for them. It's just a theory, but before you could buy games used, you'd have a guarantee that the consumer would get instructions in the manual. Used games killed that guarantee, so developers had to figure out other ways to explain their mechanics, and tutorials happened to be the first solution on the scene. Plus when you're trying to appeal to wider audiences, it helps to explain just how the hell you use the product you're selling.

#16 Posted by Metalisticpain (71 posts) -

@video_game_king: That and they don't like printing awesome manuals anymore :(

#17 Posted by Ducksworth (660 posts) -

@soapy86 said:

Every game needs an "I've played video games before" toggle in the options menu that skips all the tutorializing. It's incredibly rare that a tutorial teaches me, A: Something I didn't already know, or B: Something I couldn't have figured out on my own in a fraction of the time it takes to go through a tutorial.

Also, the way Gears of War handled the tutorial is one of the smartest things Epic did with that game, and it's such a shame no one else has thought to copy it.

I'm not familiar with it, what did they do?

#18 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

I thought manuels fell out of fashion because they are expensive to make and very few people actually read them.

#19 Posted by primalmaster (87 posts) -

poorly done tutorials and excessive handholding throughout the game are some of the most annoying things from this generation. As Pr1mus said it makes people dumber. Figuring out things on your own is so much more rewarding. The handholding issue is most apperent in MMO's, where they tell you exactly where to go with a map marker and then make the item you need to pick up glow. For me it takes away the sense of immersion that I had with older MMO's, where you had to explore the world and figure out what to do.

#20 Posted by Humanity (9025 posts) -

@metalisticpain: Oh yah certainly some games go about it way better than others. I think the new Batman games are pretty good at that stuff as well.

#21 Edited by JCGamer (663 posts) -

I think that tutorials can be a bit too long and boring. The thing is that game systems are pretty damn complicated nowadays and we need to balance introducing new features into a game and sitting around and being told what to do. Valve does this really well--Nintendo and Square does it poorly.

#22 Posted by shivermetimbers (763 posts) -

The problem is that if a game has many elements, like an open world game, teaching them all at once in an optional tutorial would just be counter-intuitive. Spreading them out and still challenging that player while teaching them would be best.

#23 Posted by animathias (1180 posts) -

Tutorials only bother me if they draw it out far too long, especially if they prattle on about things that have been in games for decades - like double jumping for instance. I don't even remember what game it was, but it was recent, and it spent like 5 minutes on the concept of the double jump. I get it, you press the jump button twice and you can go higher.

Even so, I don't think we're "collectively dumber" now than in the 80's and 90's. There were plenty of games, especially on the Atari, Intellivision, and NES that were nearly impenetrable without reading the instruction manual. I remember getting games like Solstice without a manual and banging my young head against it for hours before sussing out what to do. In cases like that, I would've welcomed a tutorial.

#24 Posted by Slag (4225 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

I blame used games for them. It's just a theory, but before you could buy games used, you'd have a guarantee that the consumer would get instructions in the manual. Used games killed that guarantee, so developers had to figure out other ways to explain their mechanics, and tutorials happened to be the first solution on the scene. Plus when you're trying to appeal to wider audiences, it helps to explain just how the hell you use the product you're selling.

Really?

Used games have been around a long long time. True the used game market exploded when games moved to discs, but it's not like people weren't buying NES, Master System and Atari used games in large quantities back in the day.

That being said that's as good of a guess as any I've heard.

I just assumed that that pre-N64/PS1 tech limitations prevented in-game tutorials from existing earlier. I've always felt the industry alwasy preferred to do it that way but couldn't easily. If memory serves old Arcade games used to have basic tutorials playing in the screens that would cycle in between plays. (e.g. don't let Pac-man get hit by ghosts, eat fruit for points, eat power pellets to gain ghost eating power...etc etc)

realistically I suppose there's probably several reasons way they explode in prevalence when they did.

#25 Edited by believer258 (11776 posts) -

In-game tutorials are much more prevalent these days because less and less manuals are being printed and it's a whole lot more popular to have games downloaded on your console or PC, in which case there often isn't a manual of any sort. That and the fact that there are a lot of people around who are only just now digging into video games at all, and may not catch onto a lot of mechanics and systems that we just assume are going to be there in the first place. Like, for instance, do people that have never played a video game before know how a "use" button works, or do they understand how to pick up a different gun, or how to equip, unequip, and drop stuff?

I agree that there should be an "I've played games before" tutorial for those of us that already know the ins and outs of most genre conventions, though.

#26 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#27 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4672 posts) -

Think of this: every video game is somebody's first video game (credit to Stan Lee).

I really don't think more needs to be said.

#28 Posted by Metalisticpain (71 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: so that justifies being spoon fed tiny increments in systems over 10 hours? aka FFXIII?

Again this is about slow, excessive handholding. Sure newbies need tutorials. But as someone said, 5 minutes on the concept of a double jump is too long.

#29 Posted by spiceninja (3056 posts) -

I hate them too. I hate them most of all when it's the second or third game in a series and it's teaching me basic game mechanics that are a staple of the series. Games should just be more intuitive.

#30 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4672 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: so that justifies being spoon fed tiny increments in systems over 10 hours? aka FFXIII?

Again this is about slow, excessive handholding. Sure newbies need tutorials. But as someone said, 5 minutes on the concept of a double jump is too long.

one super shitty final fantasy game does not ruin the entire concept of tutorials or providing in-game context for those tutorials.

#31 Posted by LiquidPrince (15902 posts) -

I think a game does it best when it asks you at the beginning of a new game whether you want tutorials or not.

#32 Posted by Aetheldod (3542 posts) -

Separated tutorials a la Half Life / Red Faction / System Shock 2 are best ..... you want them you go to that submenu ... you wish to play the game just go at it. Or simple fast pop ups a la Dark Souls / Halo works well too.

#33 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (567 posts) -

Twilight Princess is the worst

#34 Posted by Morningstar (2149 posts) -

Never mind the tutorials, it's the hand holding throughout the whole game that bothers me. You'd think after 30 hours with a game I wouldn't need to be reminded what buttons to press.

#35 Posted by Metalisticpain (71 posts) -

@morningstar: skyward sword is really bad at this. Every time you turn it on and pickup a bug, it gives you the first encounter bug info. So annoying. And Fi's comments can be so obvious.

#36 Posted by rentacop (107 posts) -

My worst tutorial experiences are always the unskippable ones where they make you sit through shitty plot introductions between showing you how to play the game. Like Resident Evil 6.

#37 Edited by Jimbo (9799 posts) -

Fucking seriously. Especially anything on PC that spends 10 minutes telling me how the camera works, and then making me prove that I can do it. Fuck you, games.

#38 Posted by gkhan (419 posts) -

I think tutorials are fine, even non-optional ones at the beginning of the game, but the thing that rubs me the wrong way is when they are integrated into like the first 10 hours of a game. First off all, it's annoying that the game doesn't trust me enough to be able to handle the controls, but even worse is that it's holding back features because it thinks I haven't mastered the previous ones yet. Ni No Kuni is the perfect example, I was playing that game for the longest time thinking "Oh, for fuck's sake, when are you giving me a damn pokeball so I can capture these damn things?!"

As for tutorials done right, see Mass Effect 2 and 3. They are very good at teaching you the controls gently, they are relatively short, and also fun and action-packed in their own right (especially ME3).

#39 Posted by charlie_victor_bravo (983 posts) -

They are shitty. Usually you can't skip them and are bad at what they are supposed to do (for example "hold R2+L2+square" does not say you have to hold square first, than R2+L2.).

#40 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

Tutorials can be bad or good as mentioned here. Assassin's Creed 3 has a horrible one while Gears of war does not. I don't think there is any example of a game where the hand holding some game give was a positive quality. Games like Skyward Sword and Ninja Gaiden 3 just make me feel like i'm being talked down to.

#41 Edited by Gladiator_Games (444 posts) -

Zork as part of that Infocom bundle on iOS had a really long one.. Enraged me

#42 Posted by CRiTE (38 posts) -

Im tired of tutorials being framed in a way that if you skip it you miss cool stuff you wouldnt otherwise see.

#43 Posted by Slag (4225 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

I would say you are 100% correct about that. Cinematics (cut scenes etc) have long been used as marketing weapon in the never ending graphics arms-race from what I can recall.

#44 Posted by Getz (2996 posts) -

Been playing Tales of Vesperia and it seems like 15 hours in the game was STILL trying to tutorialize, though in relatively minor ways. Sometimes games are just so damn feature-packed (I'm looking at you JRPGs) that the only way to design your game is with a shit-ton of dry tutorials or just leave a lot of things obtuse or flat out hidden. I miss the days when games just gave you a fucking text book and threw your ass in the deep end. At least then you could learn the game while you were on the toilet.

#45 Edited by dropabombonit (1489 posts) -

Yeah I went back and played Halo 1 recently and man that tutorial sucks. I don't mind tutorials when developers blend it in with the gameplay and story in a way you don't notice. Dead Space 2 is a great example of this style of tutorial

#46 Posted by Davvyk (694 posts) -

I know what you mean in regards to tutorials being a major bummer but to be honest i think developers are getting better at handling them.

XCOM was an overly long but well integrated tutorial and although the opening of AC3 had its pacing issues i did think they integrated the tutorials into that world quite well.

Then again maybe that's the issue? Intergrated tutorials naturally last longer so they can fit into the games world.

#47 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

But on the flip-side, if games don't have a good tutorial they complain (see Brad in Resident Evil 6)

#48 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Assassin Creed is the worst. 8 hour tutorials.