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1056780 Posts in 42926 Topics- by 34871 Members - Latest Member: radik

October 24, 2014, 12:29:37 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesignLet's discuss traps!!
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Author Topic: Let's discuss traps!!  (Read 3701 times)
Andy Wolff
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« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2012, 06:26:32 PM »

It would be interesting to make a game containing various different types and arrangements of traps. Such a game could be played under some kind of observation, and one could analyze the traps, to come up with the ideal trap

It is perhaps silly to try to break it down into such a list, but the game could explore a number of different issues and how they affect the player alone and in diverse combinations:
  -Sparsity/density of traps
  -Visibility of traps (and other 'fairness'-related ideas)
  -Simplicity/Complexity of trap mechanisms
  -How well the theme of the trap fits that of its surroundings (and other aesthetic issues)
  -Amount of time trap gives players to react once it is activated / appears
  -Severity of trap consequences (both good and bad?)

That's too many variables to deal with mathematically, and probably still too many to deal with academically, but such an experiment could nonetheless be very interesting and valuable experience

Someone with more time than I have should do it. Multiple people should do it, actually, and with different core game mechanics and trap sets.

</pseudoscholarlybullshit>

oh yeah i like traps, but not the kind that tells you he's a woman
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J-Snake
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« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2012, 08:37:51 PM »

The best traps are those you make yourself. Note that a trap is an abstract thing in general, you shall not limit your creativity in defining traps.
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baconman
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« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2012, 11:53:12 AM »

Andy Wolff needs to play I Wanna Be The Guy. Wink
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Andy Wolff
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« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2012, 12:52:12 PM »

@j-snake: yeah, defining traps isn't really a good idea, I guess. You could call any type of danger in a game a trap. I guess I'm just thinking more about general game design with a traps flavor than I am about any specific trap (except maybe the booby trap)

I have played it and watched playthroughs of what I didn't have time to do. I only got through like two or three bosses, and I want to play more of it sometime. It has a lot of interesting traps and it does a good job of subverting normal ideas of how traps ought to be, but it's very specifically geared toward extreme traps which are passed by a combination of memorization and tough execution. That's fine and great, but it'd be interesting to explore other areas of traps as well, like a few of the ones I mentioned
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Herr Schnurrbart
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« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2012, 01:59:03 AM »

A different aspect to traps: Rewarding the player if he manages to detect and not activate them.
It's incredibly fun to lure enemies into traps you have not triggered!
I do this whenever I can. In Oblivion and Skyrim, where traps are generally very weak, I would always take my time and lure enemies into them, knowing it would be much easier to just smash their head with my axe. It adds a certain aspect of slyness and Schadenfreude.
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RAMINATION
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« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2012, 03:36:02 PM »

one of the best traps that comes to memory is in one of those "asshole mario" games.

so there's a hole, and you go and walk towards it and press jump.

but instead of jumping over the hole you bang your head against one of those invisible coin blocks, and fall directly into the hole.

that shit made me laugh the first time, it was completely unexpected and totally unfair.

it strikes me that it might just be the perfect trap because it doesn't need any items other than the level's most basic building blocks.

I recall that happened already in the original Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 (Lost Levels).
Great stuff!
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eigenbom
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« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2012, 05:36:26 PM »

A different aspect to traps: Rewarding the player if he manages to detect and not activate them.
It's incredibly fun to lure enemies into traps you have not triggered!
I do this whenever I can. In Oblivion and Skyrim, where traps are generally very weak, I would always take my time and lure enemies into them, knowing it would be much easier to just smash their head with my axe. It adds a certain aspect of slyness and Schadenfreude.

I didn't read that, but you have the best avatar ever ...
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senorbarborito
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« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2012, 11:16:53 AM »

I recall that happened already in the original Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 (Lost Levels).
Great stuff!

really, shame I'd forgotten!
oh well I guess I'm better off by forgetting since I can be surprised twice  My Word!
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Strkl
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« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2012, 04:34:59 PM »

A different aspect to traps: Rewarding the player if he manages to detect and not activate them.
It's incredibly fun to lure enemies into traps you have not triggered!
I do this whenever I can. In Oblivion and Skyrim, where traps are generally very weak, I would always take my time and lure enemies into them, knowing it would be much easier to just smash their head with my axe. It adds a certain aspect of slyness and Schadenfreude.

I totally agree, those kind of traps feel really rewarding ^^

I think even if there is an infinite number of possible traps variations, it may possible to put them into some categories, like : (All of the following is personnal thoughts, they may be totally wrong  Embarrassed )

-Hidden traps : I think this is the first kind of trap that people think of when they hear the word 'trap', They're mostly not or partially visible, and will (for example)  kill the player, and the next time the player get next to it, he'll have learned the lesson and avoid it...But sometimes the trap could be designed in a way that the player can escape it once it have been triggered (Wich feel much more rewarding and make you feel like you're good :D)

-Exposed/visible traps :  When you cleary expose the trap to the player (it's more an "obstacle" than a "trap" at this point") and the player immediatly sees it on the screen, he begin to think how to avoid it, so the surprise part is gone (But you could change the trap at the last second wich is  a trap in trap !).
That could be handful for creating hard situations without them being frustating (Like in meatboy : Every single obstacle is clear, and never 'trick' you), otherwise, the player may find it unfair

The visual aspect does matter a lot, with bad art the trap can be totally mixed with the backgroud (Or that can be the purpose), or just look at Luigi's mansion fake doors for example (I don't know, just came trough my mind), they used the exactly same models, texture, as the real doors, and even their locations seems legit, no way you can tell if they're fake or not the first time...But it's alway funny  Big Laff )

But I don't like put things in categories, and in the end the right trap is always the one that does not feel unfair

And I realize that the point of the topic was to give example, sorry Tongue
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« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2012, 06:38:59 PM »

I still remember 2 traps in DOOM 3:

One of them is where was a locker with the password written in a paper attached in the same locker. The only thing that i found inside was an Imp jumping to me.

And the other one was in a obscure corridor and i found a light switch in one generator. I said "Nice. A light switch!". I pushed the button...and a horde of monsters appeared behind me. Fuck!! - i shouted. I kill them of course, but until now my sister keeps laughing at me for that (she saw me playing it in that moment) Lips Sealed.
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Painting
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« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2012, 12:07:56 AM »

but instead of jumping over the hole you bang your head against one of those invisible coin blocks, and fall directly into the hole.

that shit made me laugh the first time, it was completely unexpected and totally unfair.

it strikes me that it might just be the perfect trap because it doesn't need any items other than the level's most basic building blocks.

This is true. The whole gamut of masocore Mario hacks has some insanely clever stuff in them, where the whole point isn't even to win it, it's just to see how the author decided to screw you over this time. The best part is that this weird little ad-hoc culture has formed around these sorts of hacks, so the invisible-coin-block trick is considered a classic - so people started making traps based on the expectance of invisible coin blocks.

I wouldn't be able to name any in particular, but there are hacks that pull the coin block trick, set you up for it again, make you screw up jumps until you figure out where they are, and then give up and move on to some other horrible trick. That is, until the very last jump right before the goal, where there'll suddenly be - yeah - another invisible coin block.
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baconman
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« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2012, 04:44:44 AM »

Another great classic. Not even a hack.
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My Escape
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« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2012, 01:50:05 PM »

I love the traps that make you feel like a sucker.  The ones that entice you in out of hopes of riches and then just reveal a chest full of snakes. 

I determine whether a trap works by its delivery and severity. 

If it’s an obvious, in plain sight trap like a swinging pendulum axe in a narrow corridor and I die – bad gamer... 

If it’s hidden and I “out of the blue” die – bad trap design.  Hidden traps or lures should begin a challenge rather than punish in my opinion. 
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« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2012, 05:33:19 PM »

Traps in Skyrim are pretty funny to come around, but not the obvious pressure plates that shoot fire and others like that (that btw, can be used against enemies). I like the simple traps. Like sometimes a chest will be wired to a spiky ball, and you're like "why would someone do that?!" or the dead body surrounded by ice glyphs IN SNOW. I died a loot before I noticed what was killing me
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« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2012, 01:42:48 PM »

Traps in Skyrim are pretty funny to come around, but not the obvious pressure plates that shoot fire and others like that (that btw, can be used against enemies). I like the simple traps. Like sometimes a chest will be wired to a spiky ball, and you're like "why would someone do that?!" or the dead body surrounded by ice glyphs IN SNOW. I died a loot before I noticed what was killing me
I agree, though the convenience of quickload diminished it a bit. I loved how there were actual wires you could see next to chests, if you just took the second to look. Much better than the roguelike diceroll to detect traps.
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DrDerekDoctors
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« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2012, 05:20:02 PM »

All of The Mighty Magus http://piratesportal.cbm8bit.com/a/t/mightymagus/48k/main.html. It's bloody full of the sods. Walls that crush you from the sides. Arrows that fly across the screen. Knives that poke you up the bumhole. And most of them really unfairly positioned by the randomly generated maps. Classic. Smiley
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baconman
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« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2012, 11:05:28 AM »

OOH! :D
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« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2012, 07:11:06 AM »

There are traps in Terraria that work quite well, they're connected to pressure plates with wires you can steal if you evade them and then rebuild them somewhere more useful to help with zombie and Goblin attacks.

If successful evasion of a trap then lets you use it against enemies, it is awesome.
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DrDerekDoctors
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« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2012, 09:25:47 AM »

If successful evasion of a trap then lets you use it against enemies, it is awesome.

Yup! I'm a firm believer that anything that applies to the player should apply to enemies, too (with the exception of sword attacks and non-explosive projectiles). I shall definitely be practising what I preach in my game. Smiley
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« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2012, 03:05:25 AM »

I think in the typical sense of something that is completely hidden and then hurts you right away is poor game design.

It feels cheap to suddenly die to something you can't see, or had no reasonable way to guess without hind sight. Then when they do give you hind sight, they kinda stall the game and become repetitive see a VENT in doom 3? One imp coming out of it for sures, gotta approach all slow.

I feel like my favorite traps in games are not immediately hurtful to the character, and are avoidable after you notice the trap was triggered, think of Indiana Jones style giant rock tumbling towards you, yeah you can see you triggered a trap, but you can then avoid the danger or even with quick thinking use it to turn the tables on a monster/enemy!

Traps should at most apply pressure like that unless they aren't truly 100% hidden or have a elements in the game that allow you to figure out how to find the traps through patterns or dialog etc.

random monster closets = bad
note tells you some guy is hurt and is going to hide from all the zombies in this closet, then you open closet to find him as a monster = good design
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