Miyamoto: Get to the Point of Fun More Quickly

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Miyamoto on doing away with length tutorials

Recently, Shigeru Miyamato was questioned about the long tutorial times in the Zelda series as well as some Mario titles. His reply:

This is actually a topic that has been a big discussion internally for us lately. I think there a couple of things going on. One is that, often times we're creating games where you're doing a lot of different actions. Zelda is an example of one of those. And, particularly with these types of games, you have to first learn the action and then you have to master the action and then you have to have more actions added in and master those. Then, when you have a lot of actions you can do all at once is when the game really becomes fun. And with a game like Zelda, on top of that, you have the story elements that also take additional time to tell.

So one of the things we're talking about internally is how can we get people to that point of fun more quickly, and 'How do we balance the need to teach them how to do something with the need for them to be able to master it and feel they can do it well?'—and also tell the story—and 'What is that overall balance and how we approach it?' That's one of the key things we're talking about with Zelda right now. It used to be that actions [in older games] were very simple and you could do them very quickly and easily. Now we're making games that have so many more actions that you have to learn how to do them.

I think back and actually was discussing Super Mario World with Tezuka-san and how that was a game where, for the first time, you would run along and hit blocks and these text messages would pop up and they would have a little bit of tutorial information in them. That worked very well for that game and we thought that was a great idea, and then, gradually, that type of tutorial sort of became rather commonplace and now we're starting to have these games where it is taking longer and longer to sort of get to that core fun. So that's precisely what we've been having discussions about.

Having a Zelda game without a lengthy tutorial sounds like an amazing idea - I always loved figuring things out on my own. What about you?


About the Author: Austin Dickson

Austin Dickson has been around the Zelda fandom for years. He started Link's Hideaway as a small personal project, which later turned into something of which he never thought possible. He enjoys writing articles, guides, walkthroughs, and developing the different Concealed Gaming network sites.

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