Design thoughts

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Design thoughts

Post  Solarsail on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:57 am

Every stage has an environment theme, obviously.

From that, you agree on a new concept (let's say, springboards) that you're introducing to the player and that fits with that theme. Make the level progress from having one of them in front of the player so they can find out what he does, gradually increasing in difficulty and varying in use throughout the stage in conjunction with previously seen obstacles. At the end, the player should feel like they have mastered that concept and feel confident about seeing it in future stages.

Enemy design for the level should be functional first. Describe what the enemy does (and works with the level concept, for example an enemy that flies back and forth obstructing springboard paths), and the actual form of the enemy (bird, fish, whatever) should come later because it doesn't affect the level design.

Are there going to be midpoints? There is a balance between how long the player goes without progress being saved, and difficulty of that section. For a speed game which relies more upon learning the layout and upcoming traps I'd assume much shorter segments than a platformer.

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Re: Design thoughts

Post  Okamikurainya on Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:07 pm

Solarsail wrote:
Enemy design for the level should be functional first. Describe what the enemy does (and works with the level concept, for example an enemy that flies back and forth obstructing springboard paths), and the actual form of the enemy (bird, fish, whatever) should come later because it doesn't affect the level design.

^This is a very good idea, I've started using balls with question marks in the center in place of enemies that have yet to be introduced.

Solarsail wrote:
Are there going to be midpoints? There is a balance between how long the player goes without progress being saved, and difficulty of that section. For a speed game which relies more upon learning the layout and upcoming traps I'd assume much shorter segments than a platformer.

There will be midpoints, as the levels are around the approximate size of 2 Acts in the Sonic the Hedgehog games. These have been implemented and we're experimenting with making them better
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Re: Design thoughts

Post  Okamikurainya on Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:26 pm

So far level design could go in three directions...

First we have the simple but unrealistic:
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This mode is quite fun to play on, challenges the player to use all of the gameplay elements in order to get the most out of the level and can be fairly fast paced. Though these levels can be fun, they lack depth and they'll clash with certain terrain types in a way that will make some players think "this should have been a cave" or some such.

Second is the "realistic" design:
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These, whilst looking really nice and having plenty of space for exhilarating speed, are unfortunately too easy. Rainbow Dash is a pegasus, and true to her race, she can easily say "screw it!" to the ground and fly straight over the entire level at mach speeds. This can be averted by forcing the "ceiling" to be lower, which does work really nicely in some cases, or by forcing the player underground or into an enclosed area for most of the level (though doing this can change it easily into the first category).

The third is the straight "race track":
These are VERY easy to create, they can have some form of depth and challenge though this is limited to gimmicks and doesn't allow the player to explore or really put any of Rainbow Dash's stock abilities to any use. The cloud dodging minigame falls into this category.

What I was wondering is if there was anyway to combine these 3 categories into one for a fuller gameplay experience? Is there a fourth type combining the best elements while negating the worst?
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Re: Design thoughts

Post  punkypie on Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:36 pm

Solarsail wrote:Every stage has an environment theme, obviously.

From that, you agree on a new concept (let's say, springboards) that you're introducing to the player and that fits with that theme. Make the level progress from having one of them in front of the player so they can find out what he does, gradually increasing in difficulty and varying in use throughout the stage in conjunction with previously seen obstacles. At the end, the player should feel like they have mastered that concept and feel confident about seeing it in future stages.

Enemy design for the level should be functional first. Describe what the enemy does (and works with the level concept, for example an enemy that flies back and forth obstructing springboard paths), and the actual form of the enemy (bird, fish, whatever) should come later because it doesn't affect the level design.

Are there going to be midpoints? There is a balance between how long the player goes without progress being saved, and difficulty of that section. For a speed game which relies more upon learning the layout and upcoming traps I'd assume much shorter segments than a platformer.

1000% agree with you, gameplay is the most important part of the game i'm ok with all of this
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Re: Design thoughts

Post  punkypie on Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:48 pm

Okamikurainya wrote:So far level design could go in three directions...

First we have the simple but unrealistic:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
This mode is quite fun to play on, challenges the player to use all of the gameplay elements in order to get the most out of the level and can be fairly fast paced. Though these levels can be fun, they lack depth and they'll clash with certain terrain types in a way that will make some players think "this should have been a cave" or some such.

Second is the "realistic" design:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
These, whilst looking really nice and having plenty of space for exhilarating speed, are unfortunately too easy. Rainbow Dash is a pegasus, and true to her race, she can easily say "screw it!" to the ground and fly straight over the entire level at mach speeds. This can be averted by forcing the "ceiling" to be lower, which does work really nicely in some cases, or by forcing the player underground or into an enclosed area for most of the level (though doing this can change it easily into the first category).

The third is the straight "race track":
These are VERY easy to create, they can have some form of depth and challenge though this is limited to gimmicks and doesn't allow the player to explore or really put any of Rainbow Dash's stock abilities to any use. The cloud dodging minigame falls into this category.

What I was wondering is if there was anyway to combine these 3 categories into one for a fuller gameplay experience? Is there a fourth type combining the best elements while negating the worst?


my response to this question is simple: Sonic1 stages

a correct and perfect balance betwen the two styles, having space for speed and traps and gameplay variety are not incompatible, we need more movile traps: movile spikes (sonic 1 morning star trap), intermitent spikes(sonic 1 marble zone spikes), moving platforms (up down, left right, diagonal movement, like mario games), intermitent platforms (like megaman games), circular movement traps(like fire sticks in bownser castle or sonic 1 game),some deadly zones (like lava, poison lake...)
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Re: Design thoughts

Post  Okamikurainya on Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:42 pm

From the Skype chat:

[02:29:36 PM] Okamikurainya: We need to talk gimmicks.
[02:30:41 PM | Edited 02:31:02 PM] Okamikurainya: I find that this holds very true:
[08:07:55 AM] Seb: I'm already pushing what I can do with the given objects and gameplay
[08:08:12 AM] Seb: there's only so many combinations of blocks I can place
[02:32:55 PM] Okamikurainya: So that means we need to think up ways to make every stage feel new. On expanding Whitetail Mountain I think the air currents idea is very good, maybe have a section over one large bottomless pit before reaching a second mountain area?
[02:34:26 PM] Okamikurainya: For Dream Castle I'm thinking the idea for having orbs that get filled with Dash Power is a good idea, these would then activate an object in the area, maybe even teleportation platforms?
[02:35:29 PM] Okamikurainya: I think that Unicorn Range is pretty much fine the way it is, it's the first level and we don't need gimmicks to muddy the issue. Maybe a few extra hidden areas?
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