Good Game Design – Shovel Knight: Teaching Without Teaching November 24, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs CategoryArticles BlogTagsanalysis game analysis game design gaming analysis good game design level design Shovel Knight (Video Game) shovel knight first level shovel knight game shovel knight game design shovel knight gameplay shovel knight good game design shovel knight intro level shovel knight pc shovel knight plains shovel knight strike the earth shovel knight teaching shovel knight yacht club games sunder levelhead sunder shovel knight video game analysis yacht club games 100 Comments Rigorello Trulyworth says: October 14, 2018 at 5:17 am Fuck you. I hate shovel knight. It feels like sitting next to a giant sweaty troll and you’re choosing to breathe its nasty onion chip/barbecue pork rind breath. Fuck that. Reply Narra Ator says: October 15, 2018 at 8:36 pm This is good for people who are “game literate” as they already have a basic idea of how games work. For my nongaming associates, they aren’t as ‘literate ‘ and these kinda things go over their heads. Reply AtomBacon says: October 16, 2018 at 5:02 am If you like this kind of thing Mark Brown did a video on this concept talking about Half Life 2 https://youtu.be/MMggqenxuZc Reply jacobsmash1 says: October 16, 2018 at 5:18 pm Cave Story teaches without teaching. Reply Xaaf says: October 17, 2018 at 10:27 am Super Mario Bros, the original one for the NES. The level design of 1-1 is layed out so that you learn about the powerups and Goombas right from the get-go. Reply Snaps says: October 17, 2018 at 11:05 am I guess im going to play shovelknight Reply BrasilGamer40 says: October 17, 2018 at 1:06 pm Minecraft dont teche you Reply Burps Away says: October 17, 2018 at 5:55 pm Mincrift Reply Mr. Bazwockie says: October 18, 2018 at 3:47 pm Bloodborne Reply stale memes says: October 20, 2018 at 3:55 pm fancy pants man 3 has a skippable tutorial that doesnt teach you much Reply Cyber says: October 21, 2018 at 5:52 am You know what shovel knight absolutely should've doneAt least on 3DS?It should've utilized the buttons instead of waste… Secondary ItemsGive it a dedicated buttonNot this up a up y bullshit Because of that one little short coming any variety it could've had was shot dead Also a couple level teaching points were botched in my opinionPlague Knight for example had these enemies that would fly across the top and drop a projectile that could destroy the blocks belowFirst time going through that area I was hit by the projectile and fell into a pit Point is I might be the only person that doesn't like shovel knight (on 3DS)And it's because it's wasteful… Reply Quartex Games says: October 21, 2018 at 12:11 pm I love Mega Man and Shovel Knight. Actually, the best router was with Plague Knight, more funny and tell a bit about the story. Reply Torin Fu says: October 21, 2018 at 9:53 pm The entire video I was expecting him to bring up BotW, then I checked the upload date… Reply Benlan101 says: October 21, 2018 at 11:48 pm shovel knight isn't the best example of this concept but still a great video. Reply Corwin Schuerch says: October 22, 2018 at 4:44 am My favorite teacher without explination? LifeCause if you didn't learn, you really don't need to anymore! Reply TheRed40 says: October 22, 2018 at 6:43 pm Games that teach without teaching? You mean like pokemon? (What a joke, the first 4 hours are tutorials) Reply John Robson says: October 22, 2018 at 7:35 pm Yeah. Shovel Knight does have a lot of that teaching. Only other game that comes to mind is the second level of Super Mario World where it has a whole bunch of enemies lines up in a row with a shell in front of them. Reply duck 0 says: October 22, 2018 at 8:07 pm The only one of those i played is shovel knight Reply Quentin Müller-Kallweit says: October 23, 2018 at 1:21 pm 6000th like Reply Bobzed 007 says: October 23, 2018 at 7:34 pm Minecraft teaches without teaching Reply blackcuberemote the omni crystal says: October 24, 2018 at 1:30 am Mario Reply Chested Armor says: October 24, 2018 at 5:19 pm Tf2 is a game that doesn't explain you the game (I know there's a "tutorial", but it's as usefull as sims without expansion packs), which is kinda sad, because of the high skill sieling the game has Reply Zac Thilo says: October 24, 2018 at 10:38 pm metroid Reply Jacob Jones says: October 25, 2018 at 9:06 pm Mario brother does well as you jump while testing the controls and the first goomba teaches you that running into an enemy kills you but jumping on it defeats the enemy Reply Torsan says: November 1, 2018 at 10:25 am Hollow knight Reply MagmaMate n’ Stuff says: November 1, 2018 at 2:39 pm celeste Reply K1naku5ana3R1ka says: November 2, 2018 at 3:12 am Honestly, I’ve been pretty tolerant of tutorials, especially if they’re not stuff you’re forced to go through, and if they can easily be referred to in-game; a simple “Press A to jump, B to fire, Y to dash, X to use item, start for the menu” never hurt anyone. But I still agree that games like Shovel Knight do well at creating situations where you can discover mechanics and controls intuitively and experiment with them in safe areas before you’re required to really know them. Granted, I doubt games where you have a lot of possible actions at any time, like the Assassin’s Creed you show early on, could do this well, but it’s still a great idea when you can. Reply SewerScream says: November 5, 2018 at 5:23 am Hollow Knight is my favorite game that teaches you without outright saying what you have to do Reply Blurry Honedge says: November 12, 2018 at 12:45 am Plants vs zombies garden warfare. In the beginning when the game is still downloading in the Xbox one you can play as a peashooter in one of the maps and random zombies come and attack out of nowhere Reply Anonymous Person says: November 12, 2018 at 7:49 am I'm so sorry Reply El chihuahualoco says: November 17, 2018 at 8:56 am Xenoblade chronicles 2 LOL jk Reply soccerdude97 says: November 28, 2018 at 9:32 pm I looove when games teach like this. I notice it right away and think it's great Reply Olivier Dubreuil-Gagnon says: December 1, 2018 at 3:13 am The very first battle in Red/Blue/Green/Yellow for Pokémon. You have a bar oh health and so does the enemy. Attacking moves lower their bar, status moves have other effects. Each move you use it costs a PP. Making enemy reach 0 is good, you reaching 0 is bad. Very basic stuff, but now it feels like we're too dumb to figure that out. Reply FluffYan V says: December 8, 2018 at 1:27 am I don't know if this counts, but VVVVVV. Also, maybe good game design on V6? Reply boonanaman says: December 10, 2018 at 5:49 pm MegaMan x Reply Cthulhu X says: December 10, 2018 at 10:02 pm the angler fish was easy you could just jump on the chest Reply Anthony Malcomson says: December 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm Shovel knight got me into platformers this year im gonna start mega man legacy collection tonight. I never got into them before because I thought the jumping to certain places was too hard but shovel knight gave me the confidence and the passion to find more games like this Reply Lukas Sinkevicius says: December 14, 2018 at 3:40 pm Portal 2 Reply derpy dave says: December 16, 2018 at 2:17 pm That treasure knight anglerfish section is easy bounce off the chest repeatedly and bye bye plaforming tho if you broke the checkpoint you have to do the platforming again but at least no anglerfish Reply Mariann Mariann says: December 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm Super Mario Bros. and Sonic 1 Reply Toxagen ( Disease) says: December 22, 2018 at 5:08 am A good game that teaches without teaching is just shapes and beats Reply Gbdnhb the Yeeter says: December 23, 2018 at 6:09 am FUCK PROPELLER KNIGHT Reply Divinkitty says: December 24, 2018 at 10:27 pm Dark Souls 3 (it's the most fresh in my mind) teaches you a lot of stuff without really telling you it. There's the obvious things it does tell you like how to attack, block, backstab, etc, but something it teaches you without teaching you is that goodies can be found all over the place, you just have to look for them, and that these goodies will actually help you (sometimes) in the boss battle. For example, there's a little side passage along the cliffs that leads to an item, specifically a bunch of fire bombs, which are quite helpful against the coming boss if you don't want to get up close to it in its second form; and going off of that, the boss also teaches you that bosses in this game have multiple phases and that something far more sinister is going on. I also feel like the fact that it starts you off next to the boss also tells you that just touching the boss won't harm you, its the attacks making contact with you that hurts. Reply UnderGamer says: January 2, 2019 at 4:22 am I personally think battle block theater is good at teaching instead of telling, the most it tells you right off the bat is that you need to collect gems to move foward and you learn everything else on your own, whether it's the secret collectible yarn or the way you get and use new weapons Reply Iconia мσтıσп ɢяαρнıcƨ member of BlendAir says: January 8, 2019 at 3:27 pm darksouls XD Reply Tcha says: January 8, 2019 at 6:29 pm that's how school should be Reply Mucus says: January 13, 2019 at 2:38 pm Why didn’t you talk about Hollow Knight!? That game is a great example of this Reply Juan Pablo Arcos Aguado says: January 29, 2019 at 5:51 am hollow knight Reply David Power says: February 4, 2019 at 2:01 am Another good game is Hollow Knight Reply Emily Collicott says: February 5, 2019 at 11:14 am Nier:Automata’s prologue would of done a great job of this if it had put a checkpoint mid way though the HOUR long intro Reply Shiv3r Cubesolver says: February 9, 2019 at 6:26 pm Celeste. Reply Commentur The Great says: February 11, 2019 at 2:28 pm Yes, Portal. There is barely any tutorial dialogue, and the few lines that are meant to teach you are convenient, but not really necessary. It teaches almost all of its mechanics through fantastic level design. Reply Luliby says: February 16, 2019 at 2:44 am This basically goes hand in hand with Egoraptor's Megaman Sequelitis episode. Reply Jaime De la Rosa says: February 16, 2019 at 9:02 pm That intro feels so retro compared to the new one Reply CheckerBoard says: February 19, 2019 at 6:04 am Geometry dash(sorta). You click to jump, or hold to fly. It’s not hard to learn. I do know that it tells you if you don’t jump at the start of stereo madness a few times, but it took me YEARS to actually find that out. It’s so intuitive to tap/click that no tutorial is needed Reply Dahdumbguy says: February 21, 2019 at 3:11 am Half life 2 teaches you really well Reply CheesecakeLasagna says: February 22, 2019 at 3:00 pm It pains me to remember that not all games do this type of tutorial, teaching without teaching. Reply Potato says: February 25, 2019 at 3:56 am Just shapes and beats teaches without teaching really well Reply Polycellpy Toast says: February 27, 2019 at 7:26 pm SNOMAN PREDICTED 140 Reply DragonMaster474 says: March 1, 2019 at 11:49 am I love hollow knight. All it did was tell you the button to attack and the button to use your spells. When you get a new ability it gives you a buttton. No long tutorial Reply MysteriousGrimReaper says: March 3, 2019 at 7:59 pm Just Shapes and Beats is pretty good at this too Reply Weeaboo says: March 6, 2019 at 4:01 pm Son the hedge 2 Reply habbomirror 123 says: March 7, 2019 at 3:11 pm Holy shit. Someone else that knows about 140? Reply Ranhay George says: March 8, 2019 at 4:52 am half life 2 does very good job at this Reply John Tayler says: March 8, 2019 at 10:52 pm Hollow knight does a pretty good job. Reply Haarunen says: March 10, 2019 at 10:40 pm A good game that teaches without teaching is hollow knight. It’s actually my favorite game of all time Reply KirbyCreep says: March 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm You know, the first thing I do in a game without long unskipabble boring tutorials is: Try a few button combinations so I can learn the controls Reply xXAlexanderXx says: March 15, 2019 at 1:01 am I feel pretty fond of undertale (because flowey didn’t really teach you and you encounter a fight before the tutorial) and deltarune (same here) with the teaching without teaching effect Reply Nicolas Viquesney says: March 20, 2019 at 6:47 am Terraria Reply ndflatt says: March 25, 2019 at 3:51 pm I never got into this game any indie game I try to play just reminds me of cave story and no game can compare to cave story Reply b0sse says: March 27, 2019 at 3:35 am FUCK THIS GAME Reply astrOtuba says: April 11, 2019 at 9:19 am Half life 2 Reply Lemlips says: April 18, 2019 at 10:39 am this was really good. thanks for making this! Reply It's time to stop says: April 20, 2019 at 3:34 am So basically just let players be curious and do whatever the heck they want. Reply That Anime Creep _ says: May 5, 2019 at 5:01 pm Celeste kinda does this too. Reply sh4rkk says: May 14, 2019 at 2:31 pm super mario bros Reply Eemi Seppälä says: May 26, 2019 at 5:58 pm Most of Mario games tend to do this as well as Tiny barbarians and Rayman games.And though I agree with you wholeheartedly, not all genres can use this way of teaching i.e. strategy games or certain RPGs would have hard time to teach you everything you need to know, since those games have mechanics within mechanics within icons within abilities. Teaching without teaching principle works best on games with simple mechanics or platformers. Reply Max H says: May 29, 2019 at 10:54 pm The witness. There is no text whatsoever Reply DhaanMaat says: May 31, 2019 at 11:32 am Name of the game at 0:28 ? Reply Evan Romito says: June 3, 2019 at 12:19 am Mega man X is a good one Reply Adam Senzai says: June 4, 2019 at 5:45 am I'm so addicted to this game. One night I literally stayed up until like 4:30 playing it. Reply Champi :v says: June 9, 2019 at 4:42 am MINECRAFT Reply HappyHotdog 722 says: June 25, 2019 at 6:49 pm Cubeq 2 gives you a non tutorial, but some things can get confusing Reply Arty Gor says: June 26, 2019 at 3:30 pm A hat in time does this well Reply whispering crown says: June 27, 2019 at 12:48 pm My favorite is hollow knight. Right at the beginning, before you even get to dirt mouth. there is a hidden geo spot so if you search you'll find it. When you get to the first area, they teach you about hidden walls by having one right next to a thing of geo to the point it is impossible to not hit the wall if you hit the geo Reply AKA Izzy says: June 27, 2019 at 8:06 pm I just found this series…. And I'm in love with it👌💯😍 Reply DanielSong39 says: June 30, 2019 at 11:17 am A throwback to the classic NES era Reply Alex EatDonut says: July 10, 2019 at 9:03 am Team Fortress 2 is a clusterfuck that has a non functional tutorial, meaning it teaches you nothing, and it being a multiplayer game, you learn by experience, not to say that it is good game design (because it's not) but it really shows that the type of game matters. Reply lord waflaginflur says: July 15, 2019 at 12:28 pm I want to play shovel knight but im 13 and my parents wont buy it, to be fair though that probably keeps me un-spoiled Reply mgereluk says: August 9, 2019 at 2:06 am My favourite is hallow knight Reply Lumberjack king the great says: September 26, 2019 at 10:20 am Teaching without teaching is. Natural learning Reply Seth Yosef says: October 3, 2019 at 7:41 pm The Mario series does that greatly too. Reply Tanner Armstrong says: October 7, 2019 at 8:13 am Mega Man! Mega Man! Those are called Hammer Joes! They'll swing their mighty hammer around and then throw it! So you better watch your back! Reply Lior says: October 11, 2019 at 5:55 pm FUCK YOU! Reply dominator games says: October 11, 2019 at 6:50 pm I started playing the game only a few weeks ago and have been enjoying every moment of it. I can't wait for king knights story, showdown, and dig Reply MageBurger says: October 20, 2019 at 2:02 pm Alright, but how about purposefully exploiting the lack of player knowledge to enhance the teaching experience? The only time I've seen it is in Portal, where on Chamber… 11…? GLaDOS tells you the chamber is impossible because most players won't have properly learned about the relationship of boxes and portals and will try to carry the box through the hole. Of course, it's difficult to know how to implement something like that in any other games, but I'm sure at least one other game has done something similar. (Actually, The Last Guardian does something, but that's it) Reply lonelyPorterCH says: October 22, 2019 at 7:42 pm I actually never played it ;P Reply Traveler S&C says: October 23, 2019 at 10:55 pm A link to the past Reply sheepthehack says: November 1, 2019 at 2:42 pm Actually thats HORSE SHIT!!! That first MOUND that looks like a ROCK.. is easy to miss.. I know it glimmers.. but its VERY close to the start.. and the pause between glimmers is quit long.. they COULD have done a better job of demoing this.. PLUS!!! Shovels dont usually SMASH ROCKS!!! Or.. shovel piles of dirt ALREADY dug up!!! I hate to nit pick… but on the flip side.. dont call it the best teaching game since mega man… Reply Ankan5000 says: November 10, 2019 at 2:14 pm I like learning,playing games too.I usually like combinations,but not between these two. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. 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