Optimizing Your Tutorial – Simplicity Is Key

On June 23, 2011

You can have 20 million users download you freemium application, but if only 2 of them spend more than 30 seconds in your app you have a problem! This week we will look at important elements for any successful tutorial with the focus on making every action as simple as possible

No one likes to read…

It’s true! For most users, young or old, they don’t want to read through a dissertation on understanding gameplay. Keep your users engaged by visual elements that are predictable and understood by all. Iconography should be introduced early to help users relate game elements and components. Long winded text is a sure killer of any mass appeal freemium game.

Introduce functionality over time

Even if you do not have a traditional tutorial it is highly recommended that functionality is introduced overtime through exploration and gameplay. Use the rate of gameplay to introduce new functions through exploration instead of just talking about it. Text bubbles or animations can be used to provide context to storyline, but introduce the functionality slowly.

Limit functionality

In the same breath, make sure users are doing what they need to be doing to learn the game functions. Locking down other functions until users complete actions ensures that they are learning the necessary actions needed to stay engaged in the game.

The never ending tutorial

Next week we will speak to specific strategies on how to review your data and take meaningful steps to test your theories based on collected data.

Do you have a question about freemium gaming or a topic you’d like us to explore? Let us know in the comments or catch us on twitter @rechargestudios or @w3i.

Freemium Game Blogs are published in partnership with the series on W3i’s corporate blog.

Matt Tubergen heads Recharge Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of W3i that invests in the development and marketing/distribution of freemium mobile games.  W3i is a market leader in distributing and monetizing apps with over 500 million apps distributed for W3i clients. Recharge Studios is actively seeking new investment opportunities, if you have a great idea for a game contact us.