Let’s Hear it For Guide Creators (Yay!)

This week is Creator Appreciation Week (formerly Developer Appreciation Week, but expanded now in scope). Historically, I do focus on a developer but this time I’d like to do something different and send a general thank-you and sense of appreciation out to the people out there who take the time to share their knowledge with the world in the form of guides.

I occasionally get the itch to write a guide of my own, but frankly? They’re hard work. So I appreciate it very much when others do go ahead and put that effort in. Because…

Not every game comes with a good tutorial.

And some games are so frontloaded with complexity that a tutorial in the classic sense might not be of much use anyway.

There are many games out there where, at least personally, I would never recommend to someone without the caveat that they’re best learnt alongside … you guessed it, a guide.

X4: Foundations is one such game that I would struggle to recommend to anyone not willing to follow along with a Let’s Play or Guide of some form while starting out, which is exactly what I did when I picked up X3 successfully for the first time.

I think the earliest example I can recall of learning a game from a guide is Dwarf Fortress. This would’ve been… I don’t even know, but probably over 15 years ago now. Perhaps more.

The linked video here (playlist, actually, if I did this right) is of course not the original one I learnt from, but Nookrium’s series is much more up-to-date (refers to the Steam version, even!) and does a fantastic job of introducing the concepts and teaching enough that you’ll then be able to take off and play on your own.

Definitely not the next one I used a guide for, but in a similar genre vein, RimWorld also benefits hugely from such a starter guide.

I’ve learnt multiple games from Quill18 over the years actually. Not RimWorld specifically despite linking that one here, after learning Dwarf Fortress I was able to pick up RimWorld on my own with some muddling around during the alpha and beta periods. But Quill18 taught me Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV.

I can tell you for a certainty, those are two games I never would’ve penetrated the surface of without his guides!

Hell, sometimes guide makers are useful even for genres you’re more comfortable with!

This was certainly the case for me and Cities: Skylines. I had been playing the SimCity series before it since SimCity Classic sure, but with the additional design potential on offer in Cities, well… I didn’t start out knowing how to build with style, or to properly manage traffic. While a good number of content creators and guide makers helped me out here, I do think T4rget above all others helped me the most.

While video guides have certainly become my most common form of guide content to consume — they’re not the only type. I grew up hunting down the mega FAQs/guides for games in the Final Fantasy series, for example, then printing hundreds of pages in order to have them on hand while playing.

While I might not do that any more — the guides section in Steam for any given game is often a great place to look.

Not every player-created guide is created equal, but it’s not unusual to find a gem or two in there as well.

So… Thank-you all.

You make gaming better for your efforts!


This was posted during Blaugust 2023, the annual blogging event hosted by Belghast. Blaugust is an event aiming to welcome new blogger blood into the fold and revitalise those who’ve been at it a little longer.

The Blaugust Discord is still available to join in, year-round!

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

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