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"Don't Assume Players Are Stupid"

JyiigaJyiiga Seneca, SCPosts: 1,042Member Uncommon

I stumbled into this article today and I think it has some application and relevance when it comes to Guild Wars 2.

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"Super Metroid is mighty impressive in ways you may not notice, especially if you only played it as a teenager.

Before entering the room containing the destructive Plasma Beam, there’s a pile of goo requiring several shots. Samus--well, the player--enters the room, and finds the Plasma Beam waiting for them in the corner. Like almost everything in Super Metroid, once you’ve acquired the Plasma Beam, that’s it--triumphant music, and you’re back in the world. There’s no tutorial explaining why it’s useful, but the moment you leave the room, the pile of goo is back, but with a twist. The first shot from Plasma Beam freezes it, and the second one blows the whole thing up. Voila.

Today, that moment would have several minutes making totally sure players know what the Plasma Beam does.

"Lots of people applauding closure for not assuming the player is stupid,” wrote designer Tyler Glaiel on Twitter a few days after the launch of Closure, the game he’d been working on for the past three years.

The comment struck me, and I connected with him on Skype, and asked Glaiel to elaborate.

“That’s a comment that shouldn’t even need to be a comment,” he said. “It’s just sad that so many other games don’t do that, but it’s become a plus for games when it should just be expected out of them.”

Glaiel pointed to Super Metroid as an inspiration for Closure’s own design philosophy, a game that goes out of its way to avoid holding the player’s hand, while also ensuring they are completely informed."

Read on: http://www.giantbomb.com/news/dont-assume-players-are-stupid/4121/

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This is how I personally feel things should work in GW2. It already does a good job in the first few minutues of the game. The elemental that everyone fights in the opening minutes of the human area isn't designed to be a threat like later encounters. It is designed to show the players how these encounters "may" work. It almost always forces you into a "downed" state and then you learn how that works in a trial by fire sort of way.

More systems imo should be done this way. I don't wish or need my hand held with every little detail of the game and neither should anyone else. Put players into situations where you introduce them to new mechanics without spelling it out (literally) for them. There doesn't need to be a dozen tooltips and on screen text for every system in the game.

Ultimately I bring all this up because I see threads asking for tutorials and tooltips. IMO people ask for the wrong things. The learning process for a game doesn't need to read like a manual. Developers need to have some fun with it and gamers will feel more of an accomplishment if they aren't walked through everything step by step.

2cents

 

 

 

Comments

  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon

           Not trolling..but I think its best to Assume they are....

          There is a certain game out there that shows the level of success you can achieve when you are inclusive to your entire client base, some might not have liked it but they really really were the Vocal MINORITY

          Just saying...i perfer smarter games as well...but a brain dead hack and slash is fun too

        

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • IPolygonIPolygon ViennaPosts: 707Member Uncommon

    I don't think tutorials are missing, but tooltips actually are. You need to know how attributes and traits change your skills without having 2 windows open all the time. They need to add sources for additional damage and effects on the weapon skills, so you can optimise the experience. On the other hand, I think you have to give players time to adjust. They are not stupid, but trained by previous games.

    In another note: Dying is the best way to show people they did wrong. And people die a lot in GW2 in the first couple of hours. My brother played GW2 for the first time in the beta and told me he got killed a lot in the tutorial and the first hour overall. Then he got a grip of what you can do in GW2 and what you have to do.

  • NaeviusNaevius Houston, TXPosts: 334Member Uncommon

    Games don't need to spoon-feed me information, but if I look for it I want it to be readily available.

    The worst case is games that waste your time explaining simple stuff, but then hide the answers to more detailed questions. (like actual numbers and combat equations.)

  • FrostWyrmFrostWyrm Tempe, AZPosts: 1,036Member

    I cant speak for GW2 specifically, but for games in general, I think a big reason there are ingame tutorials for everything and anything nowadays is partially due to the lack of instruction manuals being included with today's games.

    I find this a bit on the annoying side because, while it lowers the overall cost of the end product, games themselves haven't dropped in price at all. Similarly, digital downloads are typically the same price as boxed product as well, despite cutting out a lot of middle-men from the cost equasion.

    The fact that so many gamers tend not to notice this, and instead prefer digital downloads, makes me think maybe there are a lot of stupid people out there after all.

  • The_KorriganThe_Korrigan EastPosts: 2,630Member

    While I agree with you as a veteran MMO player who played way before games like WoW when you actually had to search for stuff instead of having it handed to you by icons over NPC heads, don't underestimate the "stupidity" and the lazyness of the self entitlement driven player generation.

    When you have witnessed things like players asking where the bank is in a town while standing right in front of the building which had a huge sign with gold bags on it, you really have doubts about the average player intelligence. For those of us who played games like AC1 or UO, things like that are beyond pathetic...

    If you wonder why I don't answer your posts, it's most likely because you are on my block list - so don't waste your time.

    image

  • OldManFunkOldManFunk BFE, KSPosts: 894Member

    Beta was a lot of fun for me because figuring stuff out is fun... anyone remember playing the original Zelda? It felt amazing when you found a hidden entrance to a level or figured out a puzzle all on your own and without any guidance.

     

    Unfortunately people have been dumbed down by disney shows, public schools and fluoride so we all need a lot more hand holding than we use to.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    You know why Super Metroid didn't explain how to use the new weapon?  Two reasons:

    1)  When you have to fit the entire game (graphics, AI, etc.) into 1 MB (or possibly 2 MB, though SNES games from that era were rarely larger than that), you cut back everywhere that you possibly can.  Abundant tooltips that would barely amount to a rounding error in the size of a modern computer game would have taken up so much space as to be impractical back then.

    2)  The game didn't have any terribly complicated mechanics.  The run-squat-super jump was tricky, but when you learned that, the game trapped you until you used it properly to escape.

  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread PshPosts: 5,503Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    You know why Super Metroid didn't explain how to use the new weapon?  Two reasons:

    1)  When you have to fit the entire game (graphics, AI, etc.) into 1 MB (or possibly 2 MB, though SNES games from that era were rarely larger than that), you cut back everywhere that you possibly can.  Abundant tooltips that would barely amount to a rounding error in the size of a modern computer game would have taken up so much space as to be impractical back then.

    2)  The game didn't have any terribly complicated mechanics.  The run-squat-super jump was tricky, but when you learned that, the game trapped you until you used it properly to escape.

    Super Metroid was the largest game on SNES when it came out, weighing in at a whopping 24 MB.

     

    But I still agree with you.

  • GuelyGuely Palo Alto, CAPosts: 114Member

    Every dev should watch this video.

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM

  • silvermembersilvermember saint paul, MNPosts: 531Member

    players are stupid THE END.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by colddog04

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    You know why Super Metroid didn't explain how to use the new weapon?  Two reasons:

    1)  When you have to fit the entire game (graphics, AI, etc.) into 1 MB (or possibly 2 MB, though SNES games from that era were rarely larger than that), you cut back everywhere that you possibly can.  Abundant tooltips that would barely amount to a rounding error in the size of a modern computer game would have taken up so much space as to be impractical back then.

    2)  The game didn't have any terribly complicated mechanics.  The run-squat-super jump was tricky, but when you learned that, the game trapped you until you used it properly to escape.

    Super Metroid was the largest game on SNES when it came out, weighing in at a whopping 24 MB.

     

    But I still agree with you.

    Nintendo liked to report game sizes in megabits, not megabytes, to make the numbers larger.  So it might have been 3 MB, but it surely wasn't 24 MB.  But that's still not enough to make using a few hundred KB on tutorial information inconsequential.

  • kaltahnkaltahn Virginia Beach, VAPosts: 31Member

    Tutorials that spell everything out aren't meant for veteran players; they're meant for their wives/husbands/bfs/gfs who are non-gamers and want to "spend more time together" doing things the gamer-SO enjoy.

    Even with the tutorials and spoon-feeding, the uninitiated remain lost causes.  At least in my own experience - your mileage may vary.

  • XirikXirik Yorkton, SKPosts: 1,699Member

    I thought this thread was going to be about the GW2 community here believing everyone that played WoW or any other themepark mmo are stupid. With such comments as "Hurdur those people will leave the game quickly because they dont and will never learn that there is a dodge."

     

    It wasn't image

     

    Carry on.

    "You have some serious mental issues you may need to seek some help for. There are others who post things, but do not post them in the way you do. Out of every person who posts crazy shit in this forum, you have some of the craziest and scariest" -FarReach

  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread PshPosts: 5,503Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by colddog04


    Originally posted by Quizzical

    You know why Super Metroid didn't explain how to use the new weapon?  Two reasons:

    1)  When you have to fit the entire game (graphics, AI, etc.) into 1 MB (or possibly 2 MB, though SNES games from that era were rarely larger than that), you cut back everywhere that you possibly can.  Abundant tooltips that would barely amount to a rounding error in the size of a modern computer game would have taken up so much space as to be impractical back then.

    2)  The game didn't have any terribly complicated mechanics.  The run-squat-super jump was tricky, but when you learned that, the game trapped you until you used it properly to escape.

    Super Metroid was the largest game on SNES when it came out, weighing in at a whopping 24 MB.

     

    But I still agree with you.

    Nintendo liked to report game sizes in megabits, not megabytes, to make the numbers larger.  So it might have been 3 MB, but it surely wasn't 24 MB.  But that's still not enough to make using a few hundred KB on tutorial information inconsequential.

    Oh, you know what? You're right. They advertised it as 24 Megs on the box, but it was never megabytes, it was megabits.

     

    I think that makes it 8 times smaller, which is about 3 megabytes. IT's crazy that it seems so ancient now.

     

    Edit: here's a pic

    http://www.giantbomb.com/super-metroid/61-8292/all-images/52-182042/588741_49897_back/51-826101/

     

  • DredphyreDredphyre Los Angeles, CAPosts: 601Member

    "Don't assume players are stupid"...nope, just wait for them to post in the forums to remove all doubt. (to bastardize an old saying).

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