“Game Tutorials — Making Technology Accessible”

Sheri Graner Ray
Senior Game Designer, Schell Games

Sheri Graner Ray

Tuesday, January 5, 2010
5:45 p.m. – Networking Reception
6:30 p.m. – Presentation

Tutorial on Game Tutorials:

  • Game tutorials can’t be written until the end of production.
  • The team has been working on the project so long that breaking the game down to the basics is nearly impossible.
  • Game tutorials usually end up being produced by the junior programmer or even the intern.

And yet the tutorial is usually the first contact a new player has with the game and where the first impression occurs. In this discussion, Sheri Graner Ray will talk about learning acquisition styles and how the game industry has harnessed this information to improve player acceptance from their first interaction with the game.

This discussion will also cover:

  • Good and bad examples of tutorials and why they fail or succeed.
  • What a tutorial should cover and what it shouldn’t.
  • The need for tutorials in different genres from the massive MMOs to quick-to-play casual games.
  • How to present information so that specific learning acquisition styles can be addressed, and how addressing these needs can lead to a higher adoption rate.


Sheri Graner Ray is a senior game designer with Schell Games and manages their Austin studios. Currently, she is working with major publishers on the emerging markets of online games and how to design for the new business models these markets present. Sheri is the game industry’s leading expert on gender and computer games and authored the book “Gender Inclusive Game Design—Expanding the Market.” Since 1989, she has worked for such companies as Electronic Arts, Origin Systems, Sony Online Entertainment, and the Cartoon Network.

In 2005, Sheri was awarded the International Game Developer’s Association “Game Developer’s Choice Award” for her work in gender and games. She currently serves as the chair of Women In Games International, an organization she co-founded to help address the issues surrounding women working in a male dominated industry as well as providing a place for women to network, find mentors, and socialize with their peers.