Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The quandary that is room design

In game design everything is interconnected. Like a meal, you can't have as satisfying an experience if each of the elements on the plate don't compliment each other.

The game's use of Health or end states alter the way players move through the levels and how they approach situations.

And of course what are the objectives? That will determine how the player operates within the space, is there much backtracking? Do they break every crate and check every nicknack before they go? Does the layout give them a clear path, or branching paths? Is the map interesting to navigate, is it memorable, does it present a varied amount of situations, or is it the same stuff different room? There are alot of nuances to consider when designing a level. 

My inspiration for this current project, and a notebook that's now full of scribbled connecting squares, comes from a mental combination of the old choose your own adventure books, the zaniness of Dargon's Lair, the idea of these multi-faceted rooms, and of course a concept for a rpg influenced GUI I want to experiment with before I start coding the big project that will consume my life whole, garnishing olive on a toothpick and all. 

So the general plan is to build a handful of rooms that change over the course of the game, with multiple ways of moving about to reach the trigger for each, optional inventory items and character interaction. I like the idea of the player being able to completely ignore a quest or two because they don't like the character and want to give them the cold shoulder. I'm not going to give to much away, not because I'm worried of spoilers, but because there's not much to give away; but the general plan is to have a cast of misfit magical characters who guard a dungeon. The main character being a -captured and not always good at his job- thief who must now escape the levels of the dungeon. The immortal guards of which have become quite bored and disillusioned with the whole immortal guard gig, made a sort of game of their job in the hopes of keeping it from getting too incredibly dull. Hope to put up some sketches soon. Until then goodnight everyone ^^

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