Sunday, 8 April 2012

Allowing the player to play... more...

Hi...

A while back I added a post about some prefabs I had created that I added to my map pack Daylight. They didn't have a huge amount of purpose but were added as oddities that the player could interact with and simply made the player experiences a little more fulfilling (or at least that was my intention).

Continuing this theme I think it's really important to make as much as possible in a map, a game for the player. So what do I mean by that?

Consider a standard item pickup. You can add an item anywhere in a level and the player simply has to walk over to it in order to obtain it. Not much fun really.
Why not add a little challenge? Place the item inside something, behind a pane of glass or a fence or something that requires the player to just go that extra step in order to obtain it.

This kind of mini-game challenge is great in an area that has no bad guys in it. The player can take their time and simply enjoy playing with the mini challenge you have set them. These mini puzzles don't have to be complex at all. Just fun...

The best examples of these are the weapon cache items in HL2 Episode 2. Each cache had a mini puzzle or challenge associated to it, short, simple and fun.

Next time you want to add a pick up, think about how you could make it just a little less simple for them. It will add greater playing time to your map and the player will feel that they received a far more detailed experience.

Jim

3 comments:

TheJulius said...

You could also place a supply crate just under the ceiling, maybe on top of some pipes or a vent. Just let the edge show, and you have yourself a reward to the people who enjoy scavenging and searching virtually all over a level for easter eggs and hidden goodies.

Its just an easy way to quickly cater an extra niche of gamers.

Aazell said...

Agreed! And thanks for pointing it out.

I've done this with my maps in the past.

Once the map is complete, go back through it and see if you can find any sneaky places to add pickups. Especially where it requires some lateral thinking to reach them (i.e. up high, box stacking etc..).

I've got a whole bunch of these mini puzzles in my prefabs folder ready to sling into a map if it needs it. Must remember they are there lol...

Aazell said...

I ended up using a number of mini puzzle pickups and loads of hidden areas in Deep Down.

My particular favorite was the vent near the floor turret challenge. The frag weapon crate allows the player an unlimited supply of grenades that they can throw into the vent. The explosion then sends the goodies inside, flying out for the player to catch.