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Author Topic: Instruction Booklets  (Read 2414 times)
John
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« on: July 31, 2006, 04:46:10 PM »

I know, I know, this is a topic I bring up every time there's a new something done by Sid Meier, but deal with it.

What has Electronic Arts done to video gaming?  I loved taking out an instruction booklet and mowing down 200 pages while a game installs.  But no, Electronic Arts has done everything they could to crush that to save themselves $.03 a game on paper.

NFL Head Coach, a game I recieved for free the other day, has an instruction booklet of exactly seven pages.  SEVEN.

Civilization IV: Warlords, an expansion to a game, has an instruction booklet of 149 pages.  What the hell, EA?  It's not as if NFL Head Coach is a simple game like Contra or TMNT, either, it's got a significant chunk of menus, options, etc.

Is anyone else saddened by the turn that the industry's instruction booklets seem to be taking, following in the footsteps of EA, or am I the only person who misses having a hugeass spiral bound instruction booklets like Interplay always did?
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Eusis
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2006, 04:52:49 PM »

I half expect it's also because of CD/DVD cases versus boxes like in the 16-bit days/on PCs. Even EA apparantly actually takes the time to put effort into those on the PC (by their standards at least), as I heard the PC version of BfME2 had a /60 page/ manual, while the X360 version apparantly just had a small piece of crap like any other EA game.

However, this could easily be avoided on consoles: Just make another case type with the manual pins stuck out further. Freedom Force for the Mac does this, and it's the same exact size as any other DVD case - therefore, this can partially be blamed on SCE, Microsoft, and probably Nintendo for not creating cases for all manual sizes, and if the PS3 takes the blu-ray cases, I can't see this getting any better.
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daschrier
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2006, 06:21:05 PM »

Yes, I am saddened.

Game manuals are perfect to read when you first get home from the mall and have to go to the John.
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Dade
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2006, 06:48:02 PM »

I'm with ya, John. I still fucking pull out my GuildWars and Neverwinter Nights instruction booklets to read for fun while I wait for something to finish installing or downloading. Shit....I havent had either of those games on my computer in over a year and I still look at them.
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006, 07:01:47 PM »

Damn dipshits always keep them when it comes to renting... sadly, they are tempting to keep with all 'em pretty pictures and all.
Anyways, instruction books are the best fun before the game, they get you all psyched up when youre coming home from EBGames/Gamestop (or where ever), and yeah they prevent the making of pointless n00bie topics.

I jsut wish in-game tutorials could tell you to "read the instruction book" rather than waste time.
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006, 07:44:10 PM »

Don't buy EA products.

Problem solved!
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Eusis
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2006, 07:45:18 PM »

Quote from: "Parn"
Don't buy EA products.

Problem solved!

That doesn't solve the problem of other manuals sucking. :(
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Parn
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2006, 08:23:55 PM »

Still plenty of games out there with large manuals.
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Eusis
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2006, 08:38:22 PM »

Quote from: "Parn"
Still plenty of games out there with large manuals.
I'm curious as to which one... And probably more imporantly, what you consider large.

To be fair, console RPG manuals have been fairly consistant. While SE should definitely make those that come with the boxed games bigger, otherwise the only reason they're smaller is because the strategy guides have been taken out... And with how much games hold your hand anymore, those weren't that necessary, heh. Still though, I miss silly extras like maps and stuff, and whether you get color manuals or not is pretty spotty.

PC games have kinda gone between extremes really - games like Guild Wars and NWN have great manuals, but budget re-releases pretty much remove them, and games like HL2 and SiN Episodes come with some shitty /sheet/ to serve as a manual. But then the retail version of those two are distributed by EA, so I guess that's not the best example.
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2006, 12:15:48 AM »

I'm sure Teh John wants to buy games for the huge manuals instead of being displeased that the games he wants to play don't come with them.
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2006, 12:45:47 AM »

I love game manuals. The bigger and more filled with tables and statitics the better. Bioware and Firaxis games usually have pretty awesome instruction booklets, but it does seem like less and less effort is being put into booklets and packaged in extras these days. Remember when you almost always used to get a fold-up map and/or some sort of poster in your game boxes?

Hell, that was one of the reason I liked the Working Designs games so much - all the extra effort they put into the packaging.
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2006, 01:43:05 PM »

I miss the old school Sierra game instruction booklets.  Like Will Beamish's Notebook from "The Adventures of Willy Beamish", the Adventurer's Correspondence School Field Booklet from "Quest for Glory 1", and of course all the Leisure Suit Larry booklets.  Another good one was Ultima 7, you got "The Book of the Fellowship" which was a holy book of the people in the game.  

Man I wish stuff was like that now. =/
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2006, 08:08:01 PM »

The manuals for Fallout 1+2 were the best. They were a great way to get you into the feel of a game. I miss things like that. They rely too much on in game tutorials now. Some games still include items to get you into the setting, but now they cost $10-$20 more as special editions. Sometimes even when you pay the extra the documentation still sucks though. Of course, the Fallout games were for PC... consoles have always had the short end of the stick when it comes to documentation. I still remember when I used to get a new NES game I would look at the piddley little manuals for hours; this was before I got my subscription to nintendo power ;). I also think that the proliferation of things like FAQs have contributed to the shrinking manuals too, as you can find at least a minimum of info about almost any game on the internets

Edit: Stupid spelling mistakes FTW
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