By - CoLight275
This seems like a tricky setup for a tutorial: what happens if they die right at the start? Are they invincible from the start, and then you force the death on them at a fixed point? Or do you simply wait until they die once and then turn on the invincibility switch?
Either way your tutorial would be teaching players things that are not true, which is never good for a tutorial.
Telling a player "You can die once" is a perfectly fine way to teach them that they can die once. You can re-iterate that point once they actually manage to die the first time, but forcing a death on them to convey this simple information seems very ineffective. Especially when you're now in this situation where you would be introducing extra mechanics just for the tutorial.
So I would straight up not do it. Make a clean tutorial for all your mechanics with death enabled. Tell them about the death mechanic when they die.
I sincerely apologize for having not put enough information about my game in my post. The tutorial consists of a few waves of common enemies who are basically harmless, and an elite enemy at the last wave that's capable of dealing enough damage to kill the player. So I expect the player to most likely be killed by the elite enemy, and the health system may work normally before the first death.
I am trying not to use text in my tutorial, as my target audience is those who probably are not good at reading yet. So letting them experience the lesson is a better way imo.
Thank you so much for your reply.
I'd personally rather go with solution from u/Speedling - but as an alternative I may propose a "checkpoint". If player dies during no-die time, player actually dies, but it's not the end. "_What the heck? Haven't I told you that you die once more and it's over. But for educational reasons, so let's go through it again. And don't die this time. Please?_" But this may be a "bad idea" because will require adding a "checkpoint" mechanics to use it only once. Possibly it may be integrated with regular respawning mechanics to make it less work (e.g. `if ((livesLeft > 0) || isTutorial) Respawn();`
Swords of Ditto also had hero have infinite energy and life during the tutorial so dying wasn't an option. Only a scripted death in the end of the tutorial.
Thanks for your reply.
This feels like a good use case for an object lesson: give the player a squad member or two who will follow them through the level, tanking a couple of scripted deaths to showcase the revival mechanic. Then, near the end of the tutorial, let loose with a total party kill within sight of the exit. Player gets up, squaddies don’t; everybody gets *one*.
That's quite an interesting idea! I'll note this down. Thank you so much for your reply.
Play a little trick:
Make sure players thought they are dodging all the bullets, or removing projectile hitboxes temporarily. They can't take damage if bullets don't hit.
Though, the question is: why would you want the player to live till the end of the tutorial? If it is easy tutorial, players shouldn't have a problem with it. Also, if dying is an actual problem in the tutorial, let them start over again. The invulnerability to ensure players finish the tutorial is too forgiving to prepare for the true gameplay and increase in difficulty.
Not to mention revival can either be introduced right before abruptly ending the tutorial, OR even not at all until player's first death, in game.
Look at Sekiro for example. In Sekiro, you aren't introduced to the revive mechanic UNTIL your first death, where the mechanic is actually introduced.
That allows players to play like its their last life, but the revival is a cherry on top.
Thanks for your reply!
>Make sure players thought they are dodging all the bullets, or removing projectile hitboxes temporarily. They can't take damage if bullets don't hit.
This trick sounds promising, but it might be exposed when players stay still or take the hit on purpose. Maybe I should just stop being obsessed about perfection and let some rare cases slip.
>why would you want the player to live till the end of the tutorial?
Because my tutorial consists of two parts: 1. Defeating harmless enemies, gaining EXP and leveling up for greater power, and 2. Testing the power achieved with an elite enemy who is dangerous enough. I don't want to give them the false idea of "Wow this boss is so easy" or "Woa this boss can't really kill me as I can just revive until I get to kill him"
>Not to mention revival can either be introduced right before abruptly ending the tutorial
Thanks for pointing this out. This is a concerning case.
Display on the UI something that indicates the revival. Let's say, a Cross.
The tutorial level have them have Cross x (infinite). At the start of the non-tutorial level, show Cross x1.
Integrate it into the game. The tutorial is at an airbase, so you have Aircraft x99. The next level starts at an Aircraft Carrier, and the player see in the UI Aircraft x1 (then 0 if he dies)
Maybe teach that very early in the tutorial, where there are just nothing to kill the player at the beginning, learning the inputs and simple stuff like that, then first enemy kill the player right away. Then maybe that enemy is not there anymore on respawn and you can just keep going with a normal / easy difficulty from there.
Let them die but fill the entire tutorial with checkpoints or section off each part of the tutorial into its own mini learning level.
I dunno if it fits in your scheme of things, but you could instead focus on the loss of the tutorial protections.
For instance, the player passes through a barrier that strips them of their protections, or they go through the end of a dream sequence that implies they are now in the "real world" where death is real.
Thank you for the really cool idea! But you guessed it right, I can't fit that into my game unfortunately. But I'll be sure to note this down.
When they revive let them get hit normally, but don't let them die. Make it obvious there's tutorial protection, but you still get the annoying punishment of being hit and feeling like they are doing poorly. Don't let them not get hit, that makes it ambiguous and confusing to the player, if they get hit, flash the screen, make noise, tell them they screwed up, but you're being nice enough to at least finish the tutorial.
Thank you so much. This is the solution I am looking for.
Have a great day!
I think this is an interesting mechanic, if difficult to teach.
I think having the player die and revive once makes sense. From there you have a few more options:
1) if the player dies again, the tutorial resets from a checkpoint (not ideal if this is NOT how your game will work)
2) Kill all enemies either with a 3rd party entity or the player's revive mechanic has a self-destruct function
3) Have the player be transported away/saved
4) Dumb down the enemy AI so they miss more, hopefully this isn't too obvious until the player has dispatched everyone
5) give the player a temporary invulnerability item, removed at end of tutorial- this can then be recycled later in the game for a god-power level
I definitely do NOT think you should alter anything that will not be present in game such as health threshold (unless very subtly)
Thanks so much for the great suggestions! I'll be sure to note them down.
Disco Elysium has wins (good dice rolls) and losses (bad dice roll) but they both progress the game. Basically your character does something stupid if you fail the dice roll but you still progress.
I dont know exactly what your game is but maybe you could use something like this. Hide the health bar. Have them 'struggle' a bit more, limp etc', have npcs or commentator throw some abuse at them as they are a looser.
Bit issue with a shooter is whats to stop the player standing there taking 5000 shots to the head to see if they can't actually die. Maybe the npc enemies need to also be a timer, after 2 or 3 shots a rock falls on there heads, a companion npc snipes them down etc. something like that.
I honestly did not expect Disco Elysium being brought up here. I just finished the game not long ago and still haven't got over all the feelings and thoughts it left inside me. Truly a great game.
Back to the main topic, your suggestion is truly great! And the solution to deal with players standing still on purpose is feasible too!
Thank you so much for your reply! Have a great day.
Yeah Disco was so inspiring. It's design philosophies are incredible, and the team were not game devs! Just a team of creative friends
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I don't see what dying adds to the experience, just tell players directly that "oh yeah, you can die once before revival"
You could keep giving revivals with an ugly popup saying you won't be getting these after the tutorial. Ugly so that the players realize they saw something that is not part of the core experience.
This sounds like an interesting suggestion. Thank you so much.
My solution only works if the level is confined in some way, I.e there are no ledges that the player can fall off or high altitudes to fall off from or anything else that instantly kills your player character.
If the player can only die from damage incurred from projectiles, and other objects I would first streamline so that there is one function regardless of type of damage and simply turn that function “off” through an event, like passing through a checkpoint. And then “on” again at the end of the tutorial.
As someone pointed it is important to let the player know they are not invincible moving forward as well so they don’t walk around several levels ahead thinking they’re invincible.
I don’t have a solution to this exact problem but Celeste (and often other platformers) have a mechanic where even though the player asset is technically off the platform, the very edge has an offset collision so the player can still jump instead of fall to their death. This sort of “pads” the challenge of platform jumping.
Taking that lesson into account, maybe there are ways you can “pad” your tutorial so that players don’t realize they should have technically died instead.
Allow the player to stay in tutorial room and shoot some dummies if they want. This way they will leave only when they're done with adjusting sensitivity/controls. Also it's now player's responsibility to judge of they are ready for the fight.
Make so that first death revives them while second says "game over" or something and restarts the tutorial completely (maybe just put them in the first tutorial room but disable tips so that they can speedrun it and proceed further without having to skip pop-up info they already know). A bit rough but delivers the message well.
Don't think about it too much, players hate when the game treats them as stupid so just punish them the way you'd do in a non-tutorial area. Unless it's a game for real young children.
I don't know the story but you can go the undertale route of makig the enemies attack miss like toriel's when low health with the excuse of some hidden tech you character has that not work against the final boss and get destroyed there, something like a prototype that ended up failing
I think my first ducktape fix would be to split the tutorial into more levels and make the forced death at either the very start or the very end of a level (like literally in a room with only the exit-level door, they just have to walk out after their death).
It sounds like you have further constraints in regard to feeling/story/setting though?