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Some concept art for the intro stage to Ashes of Babel.
Since the game's primary theme is "climbing", the intro area begins by placing the player in a hole. Hopefully the single light at the top is enough for players to instinctively seek it. The partially collapsed bits will need to be carefully arranged to force players to utilize all the basic climbing and platforming mechanics, but the intro area will at least provide a safe place for the player to experiment with the controls.
I really want to avoid "set piece" areas like this, but I feel that it's necessary to have a little control over the player's experience at least in the first few moments. Once players step outside; they'll be in the harsh world and need to figure out the rest on their own.
I'll have to also put in a "skip tutorial" feature for multiple playthroughs/restarts, but players should go through the intro at least once without feeling as if the game is "preaching" to them. The goal with this section is primarily to teach the player the controls as intuitively as possible and secondarily to provide a contrast with the harsher outside environment.