Tutorial levels – Part 1

This post is part of our devblog and consists of multiple posts. See part 2 and part 3.

Every game with new or unusual elements, mechanics or features requires an instruction to make it accessible for players. The dilemma here is that most people do not like tutorials, just as they do not like to be overwhelmed or to get stuck in a game. Possible solutions are:

  • Number of tutorial levels as low as possible
  • Simple challenges to get started
  • Should be fun and challenging – even for experienced players

We tried the following implementation in Prototype 1:

Level design:
Two levels with simple challenges like:

  • Player 1 throws Player 2 ⇒ Player 1 catches Player 2
  • Player 1 throws crate ⇒ Player 2 catches crate

Message boxes:

  • The boxes appear when the players approach a more complicated situation
  • The messages in the boxes display videos of the actions that are required and the keys that need to be pressed by the players

Message box in prototype 1 of the game

Wall drawings:
Simplified solutions to more complex puzzles are displayed in the background

Wall drawing in prototype 1 of the game

Play test results 1:

  • Occasional and less experienced players are barely able to cope with the puzzles and obstacles without the assistance of the game developers
  • Hints are misunderstood or ignored
  • Players get stuck in the strangest situations
  • „Simple puzzles“ are unsolvable – even for advanced players
  • The boxes are often perceived as a nuisance
  • The message boxes cannot be unambiguously assigned to a situation
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