Chapter 19Instructions, Tutorials, Scaffolding, and In-Game Help

In a perfect world, no game would require instructions. A child would simply pick it up and know intuitively how to play it. Unfortunately, we’re not living in that perfect world!

Tutorials and instructions explain how to play the game and generally happen automatically in the first levels of the game (or the first play experience) and then are available for the player to reference as needed. Some games also add in-game hints and support to help the player throughout the gameplay experience.

The wide range of children’s abilities also means that the game itself must be playable by users at many different skill levels. Usability can take many forms depending on the type of game you’re ...

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