Week 9: Tutorial

This week, the group and I have worked on a possible tutorial for our game. We did not want it to be something the player has to go through and repeat every time they restart the game, but instead something that feels more optional to the player, or something they can simply ignore in case they already know how to play.

 

We already have a separate part of the level which is dedicated to teaching the player things – it consists of two rooms where our main enemy Otto can't reach, and it has objects to pick up, items to carry, keys to find and doors to unlock with them. It also contains the drop-off point (which is the balcony) so that the player gets to practise the core loop of the game – pick up and drop off. Now we just needed to make the controls clear to the player, so that they know which buttons to use, and explain to them what to do. In particular, we need to explain that the balcony works as a drop-off point for loot.
 
One alternative for this was to make a pop-up window with simple illustrations for each thing, and a short, explanatory text. This would be quite clear for the player, but it would also be annoying the second time they play it, as they would have to click through a couple of these windows.
 
Another thought we discussed was to show all the controls like buttons surrounding the avatar, and that they would disappear as they were being used in the game. This would be quite clear when it comes to the WASD keys, and it would work with a possible explanatory text for the Sprint, Pick up, and Drop off buttons too. However, since the boomerang requires a bit more of an explaination, it would be difficult to get the purpose of it through this way. The same goes for the balcony function.
 
At last we decided to put a third character into the game. This character, the badger, would function as a bit of a guide, explaining things to the player using voicelines. The bader will stand on the grass outside the mansion, below the balcony drop-off point, and shout instructions to the player. Story-wise, he will be the character that buys the stuff that the fox steals from the mansion, generating money / score. The placement of the badger, together with his voicelines, will help make the player understand that the balcony is to be used as a drop-off point. A portrait of the badger will be shown in the HUD so that the player can see and hear him even when not on the balcony, and accompanying every voice line will be a cartoon bubble from the HUD portrait. This is to make it easier for the player, in case they can't hear what he is saying.
 
In conclusion, this solution will help the player if they need it, and will not be too distracting for a player who has previously played the game and already knows the objective and the controls.

Cheers!

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