User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:22 pm

Case in Point: The Demise of Manuals

Mon May 16, 2016 7:46 pm

To be sure, we can embrace Slitherine’s hard copies of manuals for a handful of their meatier games but a quick glance at other games reveals that manuals are an...

http://www.wargamer.com/news/case-in-point-the-demise-of-manuals/

User avatar
Alex Connolly
Moderator
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:26 pm

Mon May 16, 2016 9:47 pm

A good read, Jim. Great stuff. Especially poignant that it's informed tutorial design and game flow. Maybe the oft-maligned and patronising 'now move the camera left and right...good!' wouldn't exist in the way it does if the paper manual was still a thing.

When the disc itself is an endangered species for better or worse, the manual never stood a chance.

It's also a loss for the lore and ancillary information that used to be packed in.

User avatar
Private Prinny
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:46 am

Tue May 17, 2016 3:45 pm

It's also a loss for the lore and ancillary information that used to be packed in.


This!
Homeworld 1 comes to mind (2 was barebones already in regards to Manual size)
Also back then when Nintendo released Secret of Mana with the Din A4 sized Strategy guide in full color....or my personal highlight the Manual, Unit List and Lore Books (each their on seperate book) of the Battle Isle Series....good old times...

Seriously...when I opened my Homeworld 1 Box I got a manualgasm...followed by a loregasm....it was already rare back then.

Bismarck
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu May 31, 2001 8:00 am
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Case in Point: The Demise of Manuals

Tue May 17, 2016 3:48 pm

Thanks, Alex. I've been thinking about doing a retrospective on manuals for some time but my recent experience dropping big bucks on Battlefleet Gothic and Stellaris only to spend hours trying to figure out the UI lit a fire in my belly. I play to figure out how to win, not how to figure out the the controls.
Jim Cobb

Mobeer1
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 9:10 pm

Re: Case in Point: The Demise of Manuals

Tue May 17, 2016 4:56 pm

I don't think there's any psychology part to the answer - it's purely a matter of economics.

I think you should also have considered the emergence of DVD cases as the preferred box. When games came in cassette cases there were no big manuals. Only when big cardboard boxes came around did big manuals emerge (or perhaps manuals encouraged big boxes?). Then when PS2 DVD-style boxes replaced big boxes to take up less shelf space in store, the paper manual became the quick start leaflet and PDF. Any sort of manual seems to have been in decline once it stopped being a physical thing.

The Fox
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 9:46 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Case in Point: The Demise of Manuals

Wed May 18, 2016 8:00 am

I have no need for printed manuals. After a couple game updates they are obsolete (I don't understand why Matrix offered 'upgrades' - pay 14 € and get a printed but outdated manual for WITPae and other games).

A pdf manual gives you the advantage that you can search in it (CTRL F) to find what you are looking for, and if you really want you can still print it.
Maybe after a few updates someone makes a new manual (I know : wishfull thinking).

I own and like Stellaris but I think they took it a step too far : no manual, no quick start but only an incomplete wiki.
I watched let's plays before release so I didn't have any problems starting to play the game but after a while little annoyances start popping up.
E.g. : you can't build X on this tile because you need Y. OK but what is Y, is it an edict, a research tech, a policy, ...

Let's see if they do the same thing with Hearts of iron IV or it they release the manual as part of a paid DLC ;) .

User avatar
Alex Connolly
Moderator
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:26 pm

Re: Case in Point: The Demise of Manuals

Wed May 18, 2016 12:25 pm

You reckon there's a market for manuals via ebook? They could be updated as need be, feature better annotation than a bundled PDF etc.

Maybe this is already a thing. I dunno.

Bismarck
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu May 31, 2001 8:00 am
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Case in Point: The Demise of Manuals

Wed May 18, 2016 2:21 pm

Ebooks would be fine although the difference between them and PDFs seem small.

For the record, I'm not advocating print manuals only; I'm just saying give us some sort of manual.
Jim Cobb

The Fox
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 9:46 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Case in Point: The Demise of Manuals

Thu May 19, 2016 5:12 pm

How it could (should ?) be : http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4078887

Thanks to the efforts of a few members of the WitW community, we can provide you with a pdf living manual . We have reviewed all of the New Features and Rule Change items in the readme notes and placed those that impact the manual at the end of the relevant sections of the manual. In addition there is an addendum (new section 28) with all the New Feature and Rule Change items listed. We are not able to provide screenshots within this manual, but it does have a TOC with jump links to each of the items in the TOC. You can use this living manual as a reference if you have a question about whether a particular rule has changed.

This manual is up to date through the most recent Public Beta 1.01.31.

Return to “Wargamer Front Page Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests