Game Instructions

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Post: #1
What is the best method of providing instructions and other information for a game during development?

It gets very frustrating when people keep mentioning the same issues which have already been listed as known issues in a readme file that goes with a game just because they have not read it.

So the big question is - do you read the readme or are we just wasting our time writing them?
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Posts: 365
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Post: #2
[Posted after reading your message in the other thread Wink]

Readme files are very important. In some cases I will trash a program if it doesn't come with documentation which adequately describes what it does.

Some people won't ever read your documentation, but that's their problem.

That said, I hate writing documentation. I'm a terrible writer, and it takes me hours to write even a single page, so I sympathise with others who find it difficult.

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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Post: #3
I usually will read the "ReadMe" files for games that have no instructions within the actual application. I hate referring to the readme for that kind of stuff.

The ReadMe should contain a simple synopsis of the game, specific controls/commands, release version changes, and copyright info. It should be simple for users to glance at and have an understanding of what to do.

However, the actual game should incorporate a duplicate or more extensive controls/commands screen for the user to learn or customize the controls.

ProRattaFactor
(Retro-infused games for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac)
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Post: #4
I tend to just skim the readme file to see if it includes any important info about how to play, but then also to go through the game's preferences screen (if it has one).
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Posts: 156
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Post: #5
As you say, for a game in development I would always read the ReadMe before running it.

But for a released game, I almost never read the readme, unless it doesn't work. I would normally look for ingame instructions/control setup.

- Iain
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eekaydee
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Post: #6
Same here.
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Post: #7
Every sensed gamer tries to play without reading the instructions (remember I learned to play Civilisation├┤ without reading a thing! took me quite a lot but I did it!)
If after 5 minutes that I try and don't understand a thing I go, very nervous, to the instructions: if I don't understand very soon how it works I easily quit, forever, WAHAHAHA!Ninja
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Post: #8
Same as najdorf first I game, then I read the instruction (if necessary). There's no such option in the poll, thus i didn't vote Ninja
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Post: #9
I was referring to a game under development and not a finished product.

The reason that the readme is so important in development phase is that it lists the all important known issues and temporary controls.

I would expect a finished title to have in game instructions / training mode. Whether or not anyone reads the in game instructions or not is another poll Wink

One would also hope that if you had problems with a game under development that you would try later builds and not give up on it because an early prototype had problems.
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Post: #10
Actually, I had failed to notice that you said 'while in development', but my point about trashing undocumented programs still stands!

I supplied a list of known problems with my first uDevGame entry release, and I didn't get a load of posts reporting the things I mentioned, so I presume that most people read it. I think you'll generally get better feedback if you tell people what to look out for.

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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