Does the learn to play go section need more explanations?

Does the interactive tutorial need more of an introduction, some text to explain the rules for instance.

If we compare as usual to the interactive way to go http://playgo.to/iwtg/en/ it gives a mini rules section in the intro.


" Before you begin, please remember just 3 rules below.

  • Two players (black and white) take turns, placing one stone on the board at a time.
  • A stone must be placed on the intersection of the vertical and horizontal lines.
  • Once a stone is placed, you can’t move it, although under some conditions it may be removed.

They are just too easy, aren’t they?

Now, you understand half the rules of Go!"


Then it does a walkthrough example of capturing a stone - I suppose even this could be prefaced by showing the ideas of counting liberties - a mini explanation of capturing or something.

At the moment the interactivity of it is great but it is kind of ‘figure it out yourself’. Even the concept of eyes isn’t explained unless I’m missing it? It just says create two eyes. Again the interactive way to go also has a mini section explaining briefly eyes and un-capturable groups.

I know others are doing a more modern/updated version of the interactive way to go. Someone just mentioned this to me that there’s not much explanation in the tutorials.

That and given there was something like 13k people watching Michael Redmond and Chris Garlock recently on twitch, (where a very small fraction probably clicked the link to the OGS tutorial), it feels like if this is going to be the first intro beginners see it could have a small bit more explanation.

I’m also curious to hear opinions of new(ish) players as well, how they feel about it?

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It should probably just be replaced with a link to this: https://www.learn-go.net/

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Again I kind of like the current tutorial, it would just be nice with a few small additions of explanations.

Actually the best of both worlds solution, I believe, would be to keep the current tutorial, add in some new text/diagrams explanations (minimal work hopefully).
Then for instance at the end of the tutorial link to other resources for more in depth treatments, explanations etc - like the learn-go website etc.

Like link to some further beginner friendly materials at the end - like the way the link to playing and puzzles are now.

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Today there was a noob in chat who couldn’t solve “Capture-5”, the one with eyes.

That’s justification enough for me that it needs a bit more explanation :slight_smile:

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The thing is that (I am afraid) many people nowadays get quickly discouraged by long explanations. The tutorial is minimalistic explaining the very basic of rules on purpose I believe. Does it prepare you well for being a good player? No. Not at all. But it does not drive people away and prepares them as quickly as possible to be more or less able to play. But perhaps a link to some of the more thorough tutorials for those interested would be nice.

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Yeah but to be fair it needs some explanation.

It doesn’t have to be a long explanation, literally even the first picture used here https://www.learn-go.net/lessons/02/ in the website linked by @Kaworu_Nagisa already says as much as a paragraph for explaining the idea of liberties.

Put that or the second picture beside the problems and you’ve already improved it somewhat. Put the single word “lives” (maybe easier to interpret than liberties) beside the image and it’s already improved.

You could do the same thing, put a picture of groups that have eyes - number or mark the eyes - write the word “eye” beside them, and say two-eyes are can’t be captured.

It’s already a minor improvement and it doesn’t involve long explanations.

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In general I find the tutorial section very well presented and I agree with and like the minimalist approach. The issue I find with it is, if you take the very first tutorial as an example, it says “Capture the white stone”. But for someone who doesn’t know the rules, it doesn’t explain what capturing is or how to do it. A simple line explaining how to capture I feel is necessary. Something like “To capture a stone you must have a stone on all four of its surrounding intersections. Capture the white stone.”. No long paragraph, just a simple explainer.

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