Thursday, 4 August 2011

Example of map area development... choices choices.. hmm...

Developing an event list

I thought it might be useful to take a look at the thought process that leads to a small section of my map.

The setting is simple... a lift shaft..

So how much fun can we have with a lift shaft. Heres several scenarios I've built in test mapping.

1. Player jumps to ladder on far side of shaft. As they climb, combine blow the lift cables and lift falls down shaft past the player. As player nears top of shaft, manhacks are released and combine with SMGs fire down onto player from top of shaft.

Pros: Movie moment with lift hurtling past the player. Combat while on ladder is different and plays quite well. Feels kinda Die Hard!

Cons: Lift never actually is near player so no interaction. Manhacks are rather predictable in these circumstances. Difficult to gate in order to ensure player doesnt just speed up ladder and escape.

2: Player ascends ladder with lift at top of shaft. As player climbs, fast zombie jumps on ladder below them and climbs up towards them. Player jumps off ladder onto lift roof and across to other side. Lift is blocking exit. Player is presented with circular saw blades which, using grav gun can cut lift cables and send lift falling down shaft to kill persuing zombie.

Pros: Love the idea of player seeing zombie jump onto ladder and start coming for them. Love the idea of finishing off zombie area with a final fairwell of crushing them with a lift.

Cons: zombies cant attack player while climbing, its a set animation. So player would have to reach the top of shaft before zombies start climbing. Will player even notice zombies are at bottom of shaft? Will have to be a pretty short shaft...

3: Player climbs ladder of abandoned shaft and reaches beams blocking shaft with prop_physics metal panels on top. Player has to use grav gun to clear the ladder and send prop physics junk falling to bottom of shaft. Once clear player moves to top of shaft and jumps onto lift roof. Lift creaks and one cable snaps and lift descends a little to a point that player can jump off onto second ladder. As player jumps off lift, final cable snaps and lift crashes to bottom of shaft.

Pros: Like the upward grav gun play. Nice movie moment at the top. Also good to have puzzle and movie moment section as this follows a big long combat sequence.

Cons: No combat.

I haven't decided which to go with yet but as you can see, by creating three different test maps for each scenario I can establish which is the most fun and try and judge which players will enjoy the most.

I'm very tempted by number 2 to be honest. Its a nice bit of closure to the zombie section of my map series...

Let me know your thoughts...


Matthew said...

I really like the idea in number two about using the saw blades to cut the cables on the lift, but I think that with this puzzle the player could not get what they are suppose to do. but is really cool puzzle and would be very rewarding for the player

Aazell said...

OK.. so this is where player training comes in.

In an earlier map in the series I introduce the player to the concept that they are able to cut cables with sawblades..

So by the time the reach puzzles like this they should be pretty clear on that new gameplay element.