Like the opening credits of a film, the tutorial is often a wasted opportunity. Regardless of how easy you think your game is, the tutorial is the player’s first experience with your game, and it counts. 75% of mobile users who download a game only open it once. Here are four ways to put your game in the other 25%.

Show, Don’t Tell

  • Don’t teach your players, let them teach themselves.
  • Tangential Learning: People will educate themselves on a topic if it is presented to them in a context they already enjoy.

Maintain Player’s Flow

  • Build your tutorial with flow in mind by:
    • Giving clear objectives.
    • Limiting the array of stimuli.
    • Giving instant feedback.
    • Keeping pace with the player’s skill level.

Consider Styles of Learning

  • The VARK model covers four basic learning styles: visual, auditory, physical, and social.

    • To accommodate these styles:
      • Represent ideas as images.
      • Use audio feedback.
      • Let players learn through trial and error and the examples of others.
    • Make the most important information easily accessible throughout the game.

Balance Their Experience

  • Game dev Asher Vollmer believes every tutorial must:
    • Comfort players by keeping things simple, clear, and letting them experiment.
    • Excite players by showing them the possibilities of the game.
    • Respect players by asking instead of telling.

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