SOOZ'S PROFILE

Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
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Hi I do art mostly but also do games.

Please read my comic, Patchwork and Lace. It's about a Lovecraftian Disney Princess dark mage and her superpowered undead partner hunting monsters and being bad at communication.
Yume Wheeky
What do guinea pigs dream about? Probably not this, but just roll with it.

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Hub vs Adventure

I was thinking the latter, mostly. I think a Zelda-style setup could work in an action game, but for the turn-based battle system setup of most RPGs, plodding over the same old terrain just to use the key item/skill to open up slightly new terrain (while dealing with constant anklebiters you've leveled past already) is more annoying than fun. (I can see a slight exception if you're letting the player see how far they've come, but that's also something to use sparingly, as the novelty wears off darn quickly.)

If you're having to revisit a level in an RPG, there should be a narrative reason for it, and a narrative payoff for it, both gamewise and plotwise.

The changes don't necessarily have to be drastic, just noticeable and complementary of the PCs' growth. (And the plot development.) This goes triple if the PCs are doing some kind of quest that affects the area over time. We're no longer living in a time of major memory limits, it's not as viable to just tell the player that the village is rich now!

May the Stats be with you

Meh. They're fine.

Are we doing an NHL Playoff pool this year or what

Like, it's a lot harder to throw a punch underwater.

Are we doing an NHL Playoff pool this year or what

I feel like it'd be hard to play ice hockey in a swimming pool

May the Stats be with you

I support reviews, especially when they are of games I have done! :V

except bad reviews I don't want those

Hub vs Adventure

For me, it all comes down to what the narrative calls for, at least as a player. What kind of atmosphere does a particular format lend to the story?

A hub offers a sense of home turf, somewhere safe(ish) that the player can go back to for R&R, and a stable location that's definitely the characters'. No matter where they go, how far afield, there'll always be this one familiar sanctuary they can return to. Things may change over the course of the game, but there will (usually) always be one place where the player can rely on on saving, refreshing health, and/or restocking.

A world map offers the feel of the traditional knight-errant- no place is home, or every place is. The world is filled with danger, but also with new sanctuaries, and the player can expect to find safety in settlements wherever they may go. It's a fairly optimistic view of the world overall, the idea that one can expect to get help (or at least find supplies) just about anywhere (that isn't a dungeon).

In an open world, the best narrative comes from watching different places change and develop over time, in response to the player's involvement. This is a pretty tricky needle to thread, since it essentially requires the dev to write multiple different stories that may or may not correspond to the main plot, while bearing in mind that the player may drop a story partway through or even skip it altogether. This difficulty level is why a lot of open world games have rather basic, blah plots.

With an open world, there's a less-focused sense of things- the characters may be looking to do a particular task or solve a mystery, but it's not really a big priority. There's a lot of exploration, and little distractions to check out, and overall there isn't a lot of tension, even if the story claims it's there. If you can put off fighting the King of All Darkness to help a kid find his lost dog, or see what's in those mysterious ruins, well, clearly he's not that important of a threat, is he?

A linear world is the easiest to write for, and the most focused-feeling style. Want to go back and check that first dungeon? TOO BAD! We've got shit to do! It's in the rear view and we're gonna go kick that Kind of All Darkness's ass! I personally prefer this from a narrative standpoint for most games- the "world's got its schedule, I've got mine" sense of open worlds never worked for me, even though it's fun to explore. Honestly, I feel that most RPGs would work best narratively with a completely linear layout, no world map, even if it means players might miss an achievement or piece of equipment.

The original Pokemon Rescue Team games did an interesting variation on this: Most of the games were a hub setup, but during one sequence of the characters being on the run, the hub was completely cut off, making the game almost completely linear and closed for several dungeons. It wasn't pulled off super gracefully, but it did give a fabulous sense of the change in dynamics and the tension of only having one way to go.

(Also, I love the idea of fucking with the player's sense of safety and permanence- what if that sanctuary you've been relying on suddenly disappears? WHAT THEN??? Good stuff.)

author=EtherPenguin
The always going forward linear style can often become exhausting if it starts to feel too much like "go here do this, now go here and fight this battle!" and your sort of just running from cutscene to cutscene. Still, I can see the appeal for player who really just want to experience the plot. Of course, the other extreme can become exhausting if it asks the player to tediously travel back and forth over the same areas. That can be relieved a bit with some form of fast travel.


Both those cases are more a problem of bad design, IMO. The former sounds like a writer relying on "this happened, then this happened" instead of "this happened, so this happened," and probably not allowing sequences to breathe. The latter seems like just bad layout and/or not enough changes. IMO, a good open world is basically a lot of levels that replace each other over time, rather than a set of levels that you revisit occasionally.

How can Designers Create Levels to deal with Unflexable Players?

OK so like what further discussion on the topic "How can designers design levels for unflexible players?" are you hoping for? Because what I've gotten from your posts is primarily "It's hard to play well and talk at the same time," "Put in extra signposting," and "Don't design bad," none of which are especially new territory in the discussion.

How can Designers Create Levels to deal with Unflexable Players?

I mean I'm not commenting on this specific case so much as the fact that, generally, there are player-based issues you can't control for.

I also think if you're not good at video gaming and talking at the same time you might not be cut out for LP but again, that's not on the dev to work around.

It's a lot more pleasant to work on creative things without treating the audience as increasingly difficult hurdles to leap. Obviously don't ignore them altogether (unless you're not planning to publish lol) but honestly, what kind of level design could one reasonably do to make up for the issue of "player is bad at multitasking but insists on a blind LP anyway"?

How can Designers Create Levels to deal with Unflexable Players?

Given that she apparently did this repeatedly I'm gonna guess this was more an issue on the player. Sometimes players get weirdly stubborn about the dumbest shit, and there's not a lot you can do to work around it. It's just one of those things about dev, where you need to accept that there's a fraction of players who will, for whatever reason, play your game Wrong, and there's nothing to prevent it.

(If you're encountering the same issue in multiple different players, it's on you, though.)

May the Stats be with you

author=Backwards_Cowboy
I made it into the top 500 for post count?

My days as a lurker are over.

Thanks, COVID-19-induced social isolation.


You've really made the grade.