Fraser & Video Game Controls

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Sylian 2 years ago.

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    First off this may sound like I’m confrontational and want to start a fight but I’m not. This is my best way of putting this question out there. Please don’t take what I’m about to say the wrong way. Anyways the question is below.

    I’m curious about something. Why doesn’t Fraser do research before he plays a game to find out the controls before playing? I was watching the Friday the 13th show yesterday and Fraser was having a hard time with the controls so he asked the chat for them. If he found them out beforehand by looking them up online before the show, there wouldn’t be any conflicts, thus a happier show. I just would like to know why Fraser doesn’t look up controls for video games that he would like to play before staring a show. It leads to less stress for everyone involved if he takes the extra few minutes to look up the controls before starting a game. Thanks for taking the time to read this and reply!


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    I haven’t seen the show so I don’t know what happened, but I’ll just say you shouldn’t have to look up controls in advance of playing the game. The game should just do a good job of teaching you.


    The game has an in game tutorial you can choose to do in the menu. Fraser didn’t choose to do that at all.



    Fraser’s first impressions of a game are supposed to be what a player that just bought the game with no knowledge of the control scheme’s would be. He isn’t going into the game with the idea to immediately be fluent and be great at it. The idea that you should have to look up controls online before playing a game doesn’t make any sense.



    Yea he probably should’ve taken a look at that, but maybe he didn’t know about it or something. As well as that sometimes he probably expects the chat to fill him in on some of these details so that he can jump right into a game rather than have to go through tutorials. Again I haven’t seen the show but regardless it’s not really that much of an issue though I could see why it would bother some people.



    I don’t own the game, but is there a tutorial besides the info dump Frasher read halfway through that explained the game but didn’t give any buttons for anything?



    So allow me to explain what happened as I was in the chat pre-show, Because of how private lobbies work it was decided to streamline what Fraser needed to do to start a game with Turbo’s by preparing the lobby in advance so all he would have to do is just start the game and join to begin. While it did take away any difficulties that might be had by trying to set up during the show it did ultimately just throw Fraser directly into the game. If anything I’m actually kind of surprised you can just jump right in when starting the game for the first time without needing to go through a tutorial of any kind, I’ll take the blame for not having controls for the PS4 at the start of the show to assist him. Unfortunately although I did later try to find the PS4 controls I could only find PC and Xbox controls for it.



    Hmm, this is actually an intriguing topic to me. Thanks for bringing this up! Now, I haven’t watch the show either, but I always like how Fraser approaches the game as a true casual player. As oidicso put it, generally speaking, if a game needs a manual or a separate tutorial to play, I’d consider it a failure. This is especially true when the game advertises itself as a “casual” one (nobody expect you to play Dwarf Fortress without reading gigabytes of documents, though). Fraser has a rather high standard for user interface and I always love to hear his reasoning about why a certain UI element is good/bad for users. I can relate to him because I’m very picky to UI too (like if the game uses a proper font size / if the game can be windowed / if the splash screen is skippable, etc. etc.) For people like me, a bad UI is a huge letdown even before the game starts, and it just ruins the whole experience regardless of its content. This could also be a bit of occupational disease (because a part of my job is to develop user interface) and a bad control tends to upset me as a professional. I kinda feel that Fraser has a similar tendency too.



    Nowadays it’s just bad game design if you have to look up controls online or even if a game needs an extra tutorial.
    Either easy controls or a good and adaptive UI should be the norm, and I totally understand fraser’s frustration with games that don’t feature that.

    I wouldn’t call this a “high standard” or “picky”. Good UIs and features like you mentioned should be (and are) totally normal nowadays.
    You and Fraser are totally in the right here :)

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by  damauci.


    Also adding to bundro’s and euske’s point about Fraser being a casual player in the show, one of the themes behind Video Games Awesome is to re-experience gaming like during your childhood days (thus the couch setup facing a TV screen with light rays). While it’s true the old days of gaming had instruction manuals, not everybody read them and preferred to learn as you go. Having a dedicated tutorial means you need to wait until you learn everything before you can have fun, rather than have fun while learning in a DISGUISED tutorial. If the tutorial was disguised enough to not be seen as a tutorial, then casual players can get into the game without anything holding them back from “the real fun.” So the discovery of the game’s mechanics and design is part of the fun in Video Games Awesome because that’s what you did during your childhood gaming (unless you were one of those who read the manual in detail). While basic controls can be literally explained, advanced controls that are context sensitive or something should be carefully designed to feel intuitive, rather than require additional documentation slowing the flow of the game down.



    lol the fanboys



    Right, so… The first thing I do when playing a new game is to go to Settings/Options and fix all that. Graphics, sound, controls, etc. And they’d usually tell you there what the controls are. Fraser could spend 5 minutes setting up and he wouldn’t have to ask the chat.

    During my childhood I’d still do settings/options first (at least once I’ve learned English). Many games were simpler back then, too.

    I personally find it annoying when Fraser doesn’t know the basics of the game. Sure, he wants to go in “blind”, but at least spend 2 minutes learning how the controls work.



    aaand someone is turning this into yet another complaint thread.



    This is why we can’t have nice things.



    In an age where games don’t come with manuals, the game really should do more than just have it in an options menu. It’d recognise a first time player so should give prompts properly as it plays. Not game-interrupting pop-ups but a message to the side. These things are easy to remember so it’d take just the once. Makes more sense to read it in game as you go because after looking in options it can all slip your mind.

    Over a year on with Overwatch I have to click on the D-Pad to remind myself of abilities of characters I barely play, ha.



    At the very least I would wish that if Fraser doesn’t get proper answers from the chat about the controls in a fair time into the show, he could sneak a peak into the options>controls menu or help menu or if both fail, then even a dedicated section for “okay, let’s check how this thing really works”. Yes, this does happen at times, but personally I would prefer it to be the norm, rather than the exception.

    I do agree that modern games should teach or remind control mechanics while playing (if one so wishes), but since every game don’t follow these practices, I think it’s unnecessary to go with self-flagellation as a protest to the game mechanics.

    This direction of “let’s just dive in” is the modern VGA way, but it wasn’t always so and I think it’s something good to keep in mind. Perhaps the future question to the chat could be “does the game offer good tutorials?”, rather than “tell me how the game works”.



    What UrbanBanner said. I don’t necessarily agree that hidden tutorials are good either. Hidden tutorials are nice for new players, but they tend to slow the game down upon replaying it. Having a dedicated tutorial option removes this issue and lets experienced players jump right into the game. Some games don’t even have any kind of tutorial like all (like Mario Kart).

    Nothing wrong with tutorial-pop ups on the side, though, especially if you can disable them in the options menu. I think that’s the way Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2 handles the “tutorials”.

    A lot of the time, it would be faster to just look up the controls instead of asking the chat. Most games let you check the controls in game, so he wouldn’t even have to search online in order to figure out the controls.



    I find there is also the issue of people on youtube or streamers not having enough time at their hands to put up with things. So if a game explains the controls badly, streamers might think the game is stupid and toss it aside. There’s always that risk, even if the game is awesome. It’s just that there is so much stuff to play, you don’t wanna put up with a bad game. And a bad tutorial can get a bad first impression of the game.

    And this is something a regular consumer might not experience. As a regular consumer you buy a game and wanna stick with your purchase. You put up with bad tutorials, since you spent money on this game. Especially when you don’t have as much money to put into video games.

    Those are 2 seperate experiences. That is however another topic to discuss. Especially Game Reviewers face the problems of being too far away with their opinions on games from their consumer-base.



    You make a good point, however… Streaming and Let’s Playing isn’t primarily about the game being fun for the streamer/Let’s Player, but about providing an enjoyable viewing experience. Bad controls generally don’t hurt the audience too much, and it can sometimes be amusing to watch the player fail due to the controls (though not if it happens too frequently). Of course, watching the player fail because they don’t use every button can be frustrating (Imagine if someone is playing a fighting game and doesn’t know how to grab/dodge!).

    So playing a bad game isn’t necessarily bad. Playing a mediocre game is often worse for Let’s Playing/streaming than playing a bad game. However, few games released today are truly bad, and a lot of them are mediocre and bland instead… Which generally isn’t too much fun to watch. A game with a review average of 30% could be amusing to watch. 60%? Probably not so much.

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