1. Good stuff. I’m not sure if Plants Vs Zombies predated Portal 1 or not, but those principles are exactly the ones Valve followed in designing the tutorial into the actual gameplay. To me — mostly because I’m a first-person gamer all the way — Portal is still the gold standard in ingame tutorial design. So elegant, and so gently and progressively introduced that things that would have broken your brain when you first started playing seem utterly intuitive by the time the game has taught you how to do them.

  2. stavrosthewonderchicken said : I’m not sure if Plants Vs Zombies predated Portal 1 or not, but those principles are exactly the ones Valve followed in designing the tutorial into the actual gameplay.

    Portal 1: 2007 (has it really been five years?)
    Plants Vs Zombies: 2009

    It’s kind of shocking how badly most games handle tutorials, and I think part of that — as implied by both Portal’s and PvZ’s handling of things — is that many games treat the ‘tutorial section’ as a separate, walled entity, apart from the main game. “Play in this garden for a while and figure out stuff, then you can play the real game!” they say, while Portal/PvZ has you playing the game as a way to play the game, by making the start of the game as slow build.

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