In this episode we talk about how tutorials seem to be “eating” games, becoming a larger and larger part of the experience. I think this is a natural result of a few factors:
- Games being more thorough about teaching mechanics. (Very good change.)
- Action games becoming more complicated. (A neutral change, depending on who you ask.)
- Games getting shorter. (Very bad change).
To be fair, I don’t know how I’d improve Assassin’s Creed 2 with regards to tutorials. It does feel like they go on for a long time, but it’s introducing skills as you need them, as opposed to front-loading them in the opening chapter. It integrates them with the story, showing Ezio transforming from a slightly spoiled, unfocused young man into a grim killing machine. It would be terrible if this happened in a single cutscene, or if he magically began kicking ass without anyone teaching him anything.
I can’t think of how you could cut down on tutorials without sacrificing story coherency, removing gameplay, overloading new players, or leaving newcomers to learn under duress.
Could Have Been Great
Here are four games that could have been much better with just a little more work.
The Strange Evolution of OpenGL
Sometimes software is engineered. Sometimes it grows organically. And sometimes it's thrown together seemingly at random over two decades.
Artless in Alderaan
People were so worried about the boring gameplay of The Old Republic they overlooked just how boring and amateur the art is.
A Lack of Vision and Leadership
People fault EA for being greedy, but their real sin is just how terrible they are at it.
C++ is a wonderful language for making horrible code.