What Is Tutorials By Design?

It has become accepted that modern video games should have some form of in-game tutorial, in order to teach the player how to the play the game. In the past, video games shipped with extensive manuals to provide gameplay information, and in some cases, even provided a narrative context for these games.

As hardware limitations have lifted and digital downloads have increased, the use of these physical manuals has dwindled both on the console and PC platforms.

Tutorials, whether in-game or via a manual, are normally the first interaction a player will see or experience when starting to play a game. However, very little time is dedicated to the design of these segments. Even industry-standard game design textbooks overlook the existence of tutorial levels, with either only a short sentence being dedicated to them, or being omitted from these textbooks altogether. The Fundamentals of Game Design (First Edition, 2006) by Ernest Adams only allocated two sentences to tutorial levels. In the Second Edition of The Fundamentals of Game Design (2010), Adams expands upon this slightly. None of the design suggestions by Adams references research or previous studies to back up these tutorial design tips. This is much the same with a vast selection of game design books.

The aim of Tutorials By Design is to aid and advise developers on the best way to go about implementing and designing tutorials. The services provided include anything from a verbal consultation (via email, Skype or in-person), to being brought in at the initial design phase of game development. The tutorial designer at Tutorials By Design has a track record of working in engines as Unity, UDK, Construct 2 as well as a number of in-house tools.

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