How detailed do you like game guides to be?

So how detailed do you like game guides to be?

Cliff notes or more deeper?

What about additional information in the guide?

What do you want or don’t want in a guide?


I’m wondering this too! Section at the top for general tips without spoilers, followed by detailed step-by-step walkthrough at the bottom? List of endings and achievements (and how to get them)?

As for me, I like more general guides: like “to romance a character, be sure to do this this and this” but not outlining the actual mechanics of the romance, like:

Alistair: blah blah?
Be kind to him (+5 points)
Be a dick to him (-5 points)

I like guides that are general but not ones that take away the mystery of the game and show “how the sausage is made” so to speak!

That’s a good question.

Personally, I prefer minimal guidance beyond this does that and that effects that, go figure out the rest by yourself guides. I like to work things out, but if there are concepts such as cultural or multiple creature variations I like to have some notes.

Agree with @rinari, so long as it doesn’t take away from the game and I can ignore it if I want, I like a guide.

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A guide should include all the stepping and stumbling stones to get an achievement or a specific ending. Adding some info as to why one did it like this would be a nice bonus.

Just don’t go and say ‘do x and then y’ not mentioning that options j, e and 2 will actually prevent you from picking Y.

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It depends. In a game like Unnatural, where some of the romance options require specific scenes and choices, then being clear is the only way to go.

This becomes even more important if you are making a very stat heavy game like the Lost Heir series, especially by the time you get to part 3. A lot of people did complain they basically have to min-max certain builds to get the ‘good ending’.

Of course, all of this would be prefaced by saying ‘Massive Spoilers to come’


Most of the time, I prefer game guides that do as @rinari said, gives the player a general idea of the choices and stuff they should make to achieve a certain thing: “Being mean to Alistair will get you points with Morrigan every time” as opposed to a complete breakdown of each dialogue option for each conversation.

After I’ve played through a game a few times, then I like to just know flat out what each choice is getting me, but general at that point I just go code diving instead of looking up a guide.

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I agree.

Normally I like more general guidelines, depending on what the guide is for of course, but for romances, I find that a lot of people have specific lines that you need to say in order to trigger it. Thus, for a romance guide, I’d want it very laid out if the developer has made it this way.

But for achievements and things, unless the achievement is hard to get, those can be more general.


Disclaimer - I grew up on MMO web sites that did everything; provided short synapses to step-by-step walk throughs and loot tables data mined … I also modded for some of the more complicated games out there and wrote instruction manuals and tutorials. Expect a lot of words for my answer :wink:

I would start with @Lys’ response - it depends.

1st thing I’d ask you to clarify is: Will this be included within the game or be sold separate? If it is going to be included, I’d further clarify - will it be part of the game or will it be in an appendix or part of the stat lore pages?

If it isn’t going to part of the game but sold separately - then the normal expectation would be to have the guide be multipart with general hints and tips in the front and more details given in the back half of the guide.

Getting back to it being in the game: if it is going to be part of the game structure then how you approach the presentation will be everything. For small tutorial types of guides, in general, the less specific you can be, the more it will appeal to people. If there are specific issues or problems you want to address like: ultra specific, non intuitive steps to take to be awarded the prize, then it would be best to forgo the simple tutorial for more in-depth instructions and hints in a Lore-type of section of the game.

I feel a good person to emulate here at CoG/HG is @Cataphrak. In my experience, his stats layout is awesome for providing most everything needed for success with the exception of some of the climax points in the story arcs. For those, he encourages questions from gamers and helps with those designing walk-throughs for the more extreme needs (Forlorn Hope and the Secret Mission quests being the most awkward)

Of course, you have the classic Sergi Chirper or “helper” dlc for the hero series he does. That is a different type of guide, in a class of its own - with positives and negatives and deserves its own discussion.

tldr - I’d emulate what Cataphrak does in his HG Infinity series if this was for a CoG/HG game.


All I need is dem stats mah, the moar the bettah

In all seriousness though, a good guide should pretty much keep track of all the stats including hidden ones, if they exist or unless they are purely decorative and only add flavor text rather than change the story.

My problem with guides is that are made by meta gamers to metagamers. I am a role-player so Guides for me are totally useless. Because a role-playing charecter acts in a role. Many people don’t understand that and say THE GOOD WAY and that supposed good way is just a mathematical formula to obtain a supposedly better story because just numbers says so. .
What I want in a guide is a great explanation of what the hell the stats are and if a certain path is possible or not. For instance I play unnatural role-playing as someone who wanta be human and despite and denied all power. I want a guide who says Being human is not available. I will still role as someone who wants be human but I know as player that is not possible and don’t try it over and over.

The guide is already on my website for free and it’s a do this do that guide telling you all you need to do in that episode including what not to do to romance characters. I was just wondering if people like simple and to the point or more details. But as guides could be applied to multiple games I thought I’d make the topic here.


I would argue that Sergi’s guides are a good example of good idea for a guide, lackluster execution.

As in the second game one pretty much needed the WS, while afterwards it became superfluous due to the hints not being helpful at all (“make a decision depening on total of X” like thank you, i dont know how high x can be at the point) or outright wrong (in the latest installment some hints tell one to do the opposite of what would result in a success).

So yeah, good idea, bad execution.

It looks like you already worked everything out then.

If you were a new writer, contemplating such a design as you have now, then only the following of my wall of text above applies:

Of course, you guides are sold for free, so that is all the better :slight_smile:

I totally disagree with your first conclusion … in my humble opinion his approach turns off more people than it turns into loyal repeat customers. As I said above, his approach is a discussion in of itself but there are a few major issues (such as being “needed” or compulsory) that detract from the system and cause issues that would otherwise not be there. I’ll leave it here so the thread will not get derailed.

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This is how my guide is currently laid out. I thought it was simple and too the point. Might need to be revised so looks nicer.


I should have elaborated, sorry:

What I meant is that such a feature, if one puts work into it and has it genuinely expand the experience of the game, it would be worth the extra money.

Added info and trivia, fleshed out hints if there’s a battle that kind of stuff.
But what we have in hr is… half-arsed.
And the less said about the character guide in the latest installment the better.

But yes. Back on topic

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I like how you organize it with the RO and the details look very specific - great job in getting the info to the reader … only small formatting details to “pretty it up” is needed in my opinion

I don’t know how the rest of the guide is organized (if you want, I’ll take a look) but what is shown in the screen capture is usually the “more in-depth” portion of gaming guides. :two_hearts:


Yes, i agree even if I say that is not needed pretty. Pretty menus normally are difficult to see on mobile

I think that’s good. Really quick and clear without giving away the game so to speak.

Is it recommended to do a guide?

Nope. However, some people, these days, are more likely going to ask how to get X and Y. As stated above, Heroes Rise is the only one, whilst there’s an ‘unofficial’ one for the Infinity Series.

A guide by nature should include all the stepping stones at some point, because you never know what the player have trouble with (and thus the reason they look up the guide.)

That said you can start by a general overview/guidelines and then go more specific. But if people are looking up the guide it means they want answers.

Most VN’s guides I’ve read generally read something like this:

X like z and y and despise g, click on the spoiler for a step by step guide.

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