The New Player Experience – Hooks, Tutorials, Rewards – Extra Credits

June 27, 2020

A good new player experience consists of three pieces: the hook, the tutorial, and the reward. Spider-Man (2018) is an example that gets this right, by giving players an amazing experience right off the bat and not waiting until the second act.
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♪ Intro Music: “Penguin Cap” by CarboHydroM

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  • So many great games never get noticed because they’re great 10 or 20 hours in. With literally hundreds of games coming out every day, we can’t afford that. In the first 10 minutes, games have to grab the player, teach them how to play, and get them wanting to come back.
    Sound off in the comments with other examples of games you've seen that do (or horribly don't) get the new player experience right!

    Extra Credits June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • you know, you can make the entire game or a book or movie with that formula. Engage the audience, teach audience something that you will need them to know to the future, and them give a reward. In fact, that process should be the process of school as well. In school we have the short time reword of grades and the long time of you know, the future, and knowing the stuff, you have a very long tutorial porly designed, but you don't have enough hooks and shortime rewords. Like, people sometimes needs to think that "would be so cool to learn that thing". like making a tree of abiliies

    Jose Luis P. C. Rocha June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • The worst part of any good game is the bad mecanic. That just doesn't work.

    Jesus Romero June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Golden sun The lost age 🥰
    Love this game!

    Illien Galene June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • I think my best starting level was for a D&d game for Saltmarsh. I had them all n a ship that got attack by a ghost kraken. After narrowly surviving (one character started combat by diving in the water because they where a sea elf and hoping back out) they landed on a mysterious island.

    Turns out some unseat people had killed a lot of people and set up a shrine to turn them into undead. They fought the zombies through some ruins and them broke the shrine.

    Discovered a stone that was important to the shrine that identified didn’t work with and had a close run in with the law when their captain was arrested and executed.

    All and all a good game.

    Lichkings Vault June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • And then there's the Metroid Prime tutorial, which is concurrent with an exploration hook and immediately followed by an action sequence.

    octet33 June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Tf2: Get an actual tutorial
    Warframe: Why am I visiting the wiki every 10 minutes

    Rudol von Stroheim June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • I found minecraft most fun when I first got to play it

    Nerfcraft 01 June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • So that is how I wanted to play Rome 2 total war

    Spaceknight105 June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • I had a game where they just dumped every thing change my mind
    Team Yoshi Clash

    Kinric Internal June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • I love this channel it is informational and has been a huge boost to me and my script writing and inspired my channel I think that this channels videos should get a oscar it is awesome

    I hooked you to this channel

    MDU Underwood June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • So q hook is like the intro in the dawn of war games

    the pink Deadpool lll June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • 2:00 yes,after stepping out of the shrine of Resurrection for the first (and second) time in The legend of Zelda breath of the wild

    Spencer MacDougall June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Persona 5

    BlitzGamerJasper YT June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • One thing that I find a lot of games do that just kinda puts me off is not allowing you to do things that dont make sense for you not to be able to do just because it hasn't been introduced in its multiple levels later tutorial on a second play through because it's always kinda off putting when I'm aware I can do something and should be able to and just cant. It always makes everything up until I get that thing one big slog waiting for me to be able to do it

    Cephalon Orcan June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Mechanical hooks are one of my favorites- I think my favorite type of them are Stat-based rather than combat based though! Let me level up as soon as I'm in the world so I know what stats I'll be building and I'll instantly wanna build those stats! (DA2's combat/narrative hook is really engaging imo though :>)

    Qoi Pond June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Borderlands 2 was the game that hooked me onto the whole series. I wasn't even playing it, instead I was watching a friend play it while I was visiting her. Plot hook, check. Mechanics hook, check. Fun tutorial and characters? Big check.

    Gregory Bivona June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • And the award for the best tutorial goes to: MINECRAFT

    Karotte 007 June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • How do you handle hooking players for slower, tactical experiences? How to you make an interesting strategic puzzle before they have much knowledge/context to work with?

    neversparky June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. Walking out and having the starting cut scene play

    ToxicWaffle183 June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • I think one of the best hook/reward combos for tutorials is in Breath of the Wild. When you wake up, you hear someone asking you for help, and as soon as you leave the Shrine of Resurrection you see this HUGE vista spread out before you – with Death Mountain and the Hyrule plains and everything – but you can't GET to any of it because you're on a plateau and there's no safe way to get down. (Bonus points for this part if you're played LoZ games before and recognize the landmarks when you leave the Shrine.) The reward is the glider, so now you get to go explore that tantalizing world that has been surrounding you every step of the tutorial, and your main quest.

    Red Petzen June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • A visual hook doesn't just have to be ingame, it could just be the icon or the trailer showing off a nice artstyle

    PokeShan June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Just remember, 1/5 of Undertale is the tutorial, the Ruins, where Toriel (tu-Toriel) helps you get through the Ruins with all the puzzles and enemies. Then you fight her and then she refuses to fight and the bullets move so it's impossible to get hit halfway through.

    Bavarian Mapper June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • 2:41 If that ever happens, it wouldn’t be the dev’s fault what so ever.

    Robert Anca June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • I think games shouldn't give players rewards right after the tutorial that they don't know what the rewards do. Like if you recieve a cool rare object that upgrades something, but you don't know that yet so it has no value to you yet.

    Necrago June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • It's funny because 2 of my favorite JRPG franchises (also my favorite genre) both usually have either boring/overly long/unskippable tutorials. Pokemon and Final Fantasy

    Pokemon tutorials are pretty dang short…BUT JESUS CHRIST GAME FREAK, "EVERYONE" HAS PLAYED POKEMON BEFORE. LET US SKIP THE "This is how you catch a pokemon" TUTORIAL! I'm not saying take it out, there ARE new players. But, my dudes, This franchise is over 20 years old and the catching mechanics have only changed ONE time (the lets go pikachu/evee games using the pokemon go catching style). Tutorials should be skippable no matter what, but ESPECIALLY in a game franchise using 20 year old mechanics that everyone on the planet has played.

    Final Fantasy X specifically. It's teaching you some new mechanics for like the first 5-10~ hours of the game, but in small chunks. Auron teaches us combat basics in the very beginning and about overdrives. Then one section later, Rikku teaches us about the sphere grid and how to actually level up. Then in the next section Wakka/Lulu/Yuna teach us about using different tactics for different fiend types (using Wakkas accuracy for the flying enemies, Tidus for the fast dudes, Lulu for things with elemental weaknesses, and Yunas summons when you need to bring out the big guns). Then one section after that we learn how Kimahri's blue magic works. Then 2 sections later we learn about enemies with protective armor and how piercing weapons (like Auron and Kimahri's weapons by default) take care of them. then 3 sections later we get a tutorial on adding abilities to Aeons and get Rikku re-added to the party and get a tutorial on her overdrive. Then 1 (more like 1/4 considering we get Rikku so late on the previous section) section later Rikku teaches us how to customize equipment. And I think there might be a couple more, but essentially anytime we get a new character, we get a new tutorial teaching us how combat is different now.

    I'm torn because the tutorials aren't long and are pretty diegetic, but as someone who's played the game a million times, having the game still trying to teach me how to play when I'm halfway through the story is a tad annoying.

    Hahonryuu June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • I really feel like Hollow Knight massively delivers on this;
    Mysterious beginning cutscene that intrigues you to continue? Check.
    Intuitive tutorial? Check
    And getting to Dirtmouth just feels like a reward within itself.

    daneeko June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • The reward for Banjo Kazooie’s tutorial is great. Do it right and you get an extra section of your life bar.

    Joshua Ridgway June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Unless you the mong… Uh I mean Dark Souls.

    Jacksonian Sonex June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Pandemics Starwars Battlefront 2 Tutorial on Geonosis with the journal introduction to classes and which are good for certain situations and intro to vehicles and capturing command post. Oh and don't forget playing as your first hero Mace Windu against Dooku. The reward seeing VICTORY for the first time.

    Calvin Pittman June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • KOTOR has one of my favorites. So your hook? Your characters wakes up and your ship is being attacked. In enters walking-turorial Trask Ulgo. He teaches you the game IF you need it. By the game's standards it's pretty fast. By the end you level up, have a nice cache of aupplies, some good early game gear, and a new companion who as a female character can become a possible romance

    Haberak June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Of couse make sure the tutorial actually ends, FF13 for example is considered a 20 hour tutorial.

    ArtofthePossible June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • a great one i have seen in fallout 4 i dident even know the game was showing me the machanics of the game.

    Chicken of Justice June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • I know I am super late on this one but one of the most complete tutorials I have seen for a game comes from Path of Exile. By the time you leave the first area, you know how to use skills, you know potions refill as you kill enemies, and you see the possibilities of customization with the massive skill tree when you level up. It's all I could ask for in an opening, and it has all 3 elements discussed in this video

    ShockwaveZephyr June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • * goes to mine * uses pickaxe as a flute

    Galaxy Gamers June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • I thought Hollow Knight's approach to tutorial was very good. They didn't slow you down if you already knew how to move around, but they didn't make it super dangerous right off the bat.

    Meganopteryx June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • For me one of the best first experiences is breath of the wild because was like “that’s how you swing and etc, when your done on the “cave” it just explode by the pure beautifulness of the plains

    Ziyvar Yt June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Ever played Subnautica? PERFECT Story driven mechanical Hook. Survive, don't drown, don't starve. But why do you have to in the First place. Why are you alone? What Destroyed the ship. Oh you can Harvest by left clicking these rocks. Purrffect

    Daddy Masamune June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • My best is defiantly the intro to Infamous 2. just watch a video on infamous 2 and you'll see why

    Kuper Brink June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • skyrims opening the visuals could have been better but that might just be me

    david snyder June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply
  • Oneshot (yes, that thing we've been pestering you about to slam on Games You Might Not Have Tried) has a hook, before the game is even bought by just looking close at the Steam description and putting together a couple pieces. If you liked that small puzzle/break thing, get Oneshot, as it's one of the most immersive experiences I've ever had.

    Mambodog 532 June 27, 2020 2:05 am Reply

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