One of the Level Designers and I were going over the plan for the opening tutorial the other day with a Gameplay Programmer. We needed him to add some functionality in order to do exactly what we needed and getting the exact plan across was crucial for minimal rework. During the conversation, he was asking the usual "what if this, then what?" questions and it got me to thinking that a State Machine could have really come in handy here.
In the case of our opening tutorial I had a very clear picture in my head of how I needed the flow to happen. The Player will be in various states until he does the appropriate action that allows him to move into the next state of the tutorial. Had I thought to create a simple State Machine diagram like above, I could have saved an hour long meeting where I had to describe everything. In addition, anyone could have looked at the diagram and known exactly what the finished tutorial would look like.
This is something I need to put more thought into and figure out additional uses in Game Design where it will help out with communication. I imagine there will be several uses in Pre-Production that I will want to try out next project. Any suggestions you can think of?