Weekly Rant - Instructions

Weekly Rant - Instructions

Some games take longer to learn than they do to play. If you're reviewing a game, you have a deadline. You get paid to play the damn game, not to spend three days reading a manual.

Complex games require plenty of instructions. I get that. But the way in which that information is disseminated can be a nightmare. I know there are some free-wheeling, cavalier types who eschew the instructions and dive right into the game to learn from experience. Try that on an economic sim, war game, or a helicopter flight simulator and watch your personality go from Ghandi to Gacy in a few minutes.

Weekly Rant - Instructions

It's agreed most of us prefer an in-game tutorial to reading a manual. There are exceptions, especially in complex board-style games (including RPGs) where it's handy to have the rules in hand. Classic games such as Max Payne, and Spider-Man with Bruce Campbell narrating, got it right. These tutorials got you up and running, with time to practice your moves before using up all your lives just crossing the street.

I didn't buy a video game because I like to read, the same way I don't need a DVD to teach me how to read a novel. There's a time and a place for reading. Like right now, for instance. You're reading this rant. I would like to know why you're reading this? Is there nothing good on TV? Did you come to this link by accident? Do you have a girlfriend?

A good game works you in gradually, from beginning to end. We should always be challenged by learning new moves, handling with new weapons and gadgets, and battling a variety of enemies. Too often this balance is never realized. The gentle learning curve becomes an impenetrable skyscraper. Or we end up with every ability and accessory we're ever going to have in the first section of the game.

Worser than worser is translation bad donely. Understand making more hard for words meaning in error. Germany, Russia, China, and Japan speaka' no good English. How I play gonna?

How is it that a country that can build a nuclear reactor find it impossible to instruct me on how to use a slingshot?

Weekly Rant - Instructions

The problem is the person creating the instructions, or tutorial, already knows how to play the game. That person just doesn't necessarily know how to properly instruct others how to play it. A wordy and lengthy instructional manual is not a great first impression for a game. Developers should keep this in mind: If I can beat you to death with your manual…I would like to.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Contributing Writer

*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*

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