Roller Derby Dash is not your typical game. Despite the simple game mechanic, there still is an initial “What do I do now?” moment. Believe me, I’ve tested it on a bunch of people.
I hate tutorials. Games should be intuitive.
There are certain things that help it be a bit more intuitive, for example, when selecting a moveable character, a little icon appears above the character. There is, however, only so much that can be done in terms of discovery and action/reaction without making the game overly cumbersome and detracting from what should be a simple game. At some point, for people to enjoy the game, they have to be exposed to the game mechanics.
Enter, the big bad tutorial.
Since I wanted to keep it simple (plus I’m on a shoestring budget here!), I started with a couple screenshots. My loyal test subjects (aka beta testers) noticed this and commented on the comic-like look it added to the game. This led me down the path of making it more fun and engaging by making it into a mini comic book. As well, this allows for a small degree of story telling that I did not expect to be able to expose in the game.
I started with just hardcoding image values in the game.
But then the idea occurred to me that I should be able to evolve the tutorial into a story for future additions to the game.
After game release, look out for future use of these mini comics. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the rest of the tutorial images!