It is the introductory part of the game where you are explicitly and thoroughly taught it’s mechanics, controls and eventually an introduction to the narrative of the game.
This week, with the team “Very Good Games”, we are working on the tutorial of our soon-to-be-released game, and so I decided to reference a game where the tutorial is well rounded and satisfying in explaining a game ’s mechanics and rules whilst also keeping things interesting.
The game I want to talk about is Fallout 3.
Why? Two reasons: firstly, the game itself is one of the most immersive gaming experience I have ever enjoyed and secondly, its tutorial was simply memorable.
In Fallout 3, you begin as a little baby, as little as roughly a year old. The setting is the underground vault where your family lives with a community of people trying to protects themselves from the dangers of the post-nuclear world. Your dad leaves your room to let you play with your toys and with the elementary movements of a baby you soon discover an adorable baby-book that will allow you to set your stats for the future “you”. Soon after, with a jump few years in the future, you find yourself with a BB-Gun, and your father teaches you how to kill … cockroaches. You also get to experience one of your birthday parties where you learn how to interact with people, having conversations and manipulating the outcomes with the dialogue choices. Finally, few years again in the future, all grown up, you sit for the "GOAT test” where you get to finalise the creation of your character.
Fallout 3 tutorial definitely makes great work explaining the core mechanics of the game (character development, dialogue and combat) while unfolding the introduction to the great adventure and nasty world waiting for you beyond the vault gate.