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Making Traversal More Interesting


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#1 Beefster

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:22 PM

In (platforming) Metroidvanias, traversal is pretty easy to make interesting just because of the need for platforming, but I'm finding that is not exactly the case for top-down styles. It feels a bit like a lot of screens are filler and yet it doesn't feel right to cram things too close together. Putting in rocks and trees to get in your way only goes so far toward making things interesting. Enemies can help I suppose, but only to a certain point. I almost feel as if enemy selection/quantity is a polish thing rather than an core aspect of design.

 

In my (still unannounced) quest, one of my major pillars of design is exploration and the joy of discovery. This leads me to leave the world quite open. I have a plan for "natural item progression", but that doesn't require a whole lot of gating. I feel like this just ends with me making labyrinths rather than interesting worlds.

 

Anyway. There's some background. I just want to get some thoughts on my problem and some ideas of how to solve it. Or ways to approach my map design so that it doesn't feel so empty and boring.

 

I suppose this also gives me a direction for my undecided "script item 1"



#2 Naru

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 11:41 PM

I like it a lot if the overworld is a bit more like a labyrinth/dungeon. This can be done easily with simple tilesets like classic, koten or instrumentally. Especially with rocks, water and bushes as simple borders. With more complex tilesets I don't find it as easy and for them I prefer small areas similiar to a dungeon without a big overworld in mind. One big map always has the issue that you might be limited by missing free/unused screens to add a new idea or by needing to fill left over screens just to fill them.

Another problem is the purpose of discovery. Often enough there are countless bomb/quiver-upgrades and minor items like peril rings. Useful but there aren't all that many of them and some of them feel kinda uuseless. Not to mention high amount of rupees that you often don't need. I think it's one of the main issues that can make discovery pointless.

#3 Beefster

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 08:07 PM

I'm still figuring out what I want to do with rupees. I'm going to put in a few tollgates, but that's about all I've figured out so far. I'm not sure how shops are going to fit into the mix.



#4 Anthus

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 12:22 AM

I'm still figuring out what I want to do with rupees. I'm going to put in a few tollgates, but that's about all I've figured out so far. I'm not sure how shops are going to fit into the mix.

I wouldn't do toll gates personally, it sounds cheap (ironically) and like it could be grindy. I'm taking this literally though so I don't know what you have in mind exactly.

My philosophy is, if you can't find a use for excess rupees, then make them more scarce. Give players a reason to be excited about finding them and make spending them worth it.

#5 Beefster

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 09:28 AM

The toll gates are all going to be optional. Good point though. I should definitely have shops then. Or at least potion vending machines or something.


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