Game Design and Programming
| Posted on June 13, 2012, 5:51 p.m.
In-game notifications can offer players great help, however it can be a hindrance to some. When is one to many notifications too much and do you think that these tutorial /notifications are helpful?
| Posted on June 16, 2012, 11:03 p.m.
Personally, I think a minimalist approach to tutorial text would work best. It's usually not a good idea to dump a bunch of text onto a player at the beginning. Ideally, the first few moments of a game should gradually introduce the gameplay mechanics one piece at a time. Perhaps the UI elements should be initially hidden until they become relevant to gameplay for the first time, at which point they would appear on the screen with much fanfare.
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| Posted on June 17, 2012, 3:10 a.m.
I'd put the basics in text that shows up without stopping the action. (Though you should probably make the action calm enough that if the player won't lose the game if he wants to stop for reading it.) Then put some tips on the load screen plus some detailed text somewhere in the menu where it can be accessed at any time.
Generally, I don't like conversation tutorials. You know those ones where you have another character teaching your character how to use the game's feature? Those are almost always way too long-winded, especially for certain combinations of character personalities. (Have you played Sequence? "My strength is a 5? Why 5? That is so arbitrary.")
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| Posted on June 18, 2012, 5:03 p.m.
It also depends on what kind of notifications you want to do too. Goals can be some small unnoticed line at the bottom of the screen unless you really want to gamer to see it. While events or parts of a tutorial might be shown near the center of the screen. It also depends on your style too so there are several things that can change what you do.
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| Posted on June 18, 2012, 6:34 p.m.
As long as you can skip them easily but not accidentally, access them at your leisure, and even turn them off by default, they shouldn't be a problem. Some other guidelines I'd add to that list would be that they should be unobtrusive but understandable and easy to find (typically through consistent styling and method of placement relative to what you're being taught), and pithy simplifications of complex mechanics (usually in the form of either directives like "Hit question mark blocks to get mushrooms,.coins, and other surprises and powerups." or qualitative associations like "Strength increases your damage." and "Using a dodge makes you harder to hit, but breaks your combo.").
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