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MattC
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« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2007, 03:27:54 PM »

I really like this idea of a different path (essentially a different level) being created by a some means and having to make your way through it again. Maybe have some sections above you that are visible before the change but inaccessible until everything falls or whatever. It's always tempting to see those gems just out of reach.
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« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2007, 09:39:11 AM »

Ah, the metroid method! Yeah, it's a proven approach.

As well as that, I'd also stress to everyone not to make levels too linear, or over-planned in terms of what players need to do. Try not to think in the sense of "You do this, then you have to do this, then you have to do that" etc.

Give people a bit of space for expression, and leave problems open enough that there's not just one solution for every tiny segment. Now, when people say something's feels a bit linear, often the reaction is to say "let's go multipath".

I don't mean "multipath" either - multipath just tends to mean you're overplanning two/3/4 alternate routes, rather than just one.

No. Instead, think of it in terms of "From every point on this level, what are my choices, and which of them are useful/interesting?". So if you place a block, imagine the possible routes from that block - give people an indeterminate amount of ways from A to B, and leave it up to them to create their own. Item/enemy placement is often what makes the individual choices interesting - i.e. I could just run to the exit, but if i take this route past that monster, i could get a gem! Bottle necking should occur, as it gives the player some structure and therefore guidance, and can also form unintersting (but challenging) set pieces.

Just be sure to mix it up, and get a nice balance - you don't want you entire level to be one bottleneck (unless you're going to try and prove the point that bottlenecks can be fun, too).

Very general level design tips. Just saying. I'm always just saying.
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Caio
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« Reply #42 on: March 27, 2007, 11:09:25 AM »

You are totally right, Bezzy! Based on that, here's my second attempt:


Level elements:

GB is, obviously, Guy Balding (the starting point).
Vine is a vine that behaves like a ladder. It does not swing.
The floating yellow platforms are branches from huge trees.
Quicksand is... quicksand... or perhaps mud. If the player stands on it, he sinks to death (that sounds hellish, doesn't it?).
Dead tree is a weird, contorted tree trunk in the quicksand. It behaves like a platform,
and so do the other trees (except these may have some leaves and something and stuff).
The player does not die if he falls on the water, not matter if he was more than four tiles above it.
The vine net is like a door. It has to be cut by the player using the
Knife, which is like a key.
The weird leafless branch is a weird leafless branch. Smiley It also behaves as a platform.
Goodies are three treasures/game discs/panties/whatever.

Enemies:

The snakes move back and forth to the limits of their platform, and never beyond. The "badger" one (...no, it's a regular snake) (or perhaps it could actually be a badger. That'd be funny Tongue ) moves between the two trees, and can climb that one tile high. The snakes can be stunned and rendered harmless for two seconds if GB steps on their heads. When they are stunned, collisions between them and GB are ignored.

The spiders move swiftly in their webs - and never anywhere else -, chasing Balding as they can. The spiders cannot be defeated.

The level:

The level is very simple. Guy Balding moves between branches in order to collect the knife, cut the vine net and leave through the bottom-right corner (perhaps an exit door or something should be added there to make it obvious that there is not exit above the vine net).

To reach the goodies, he has to climb the rightmost vine and then execute two jumps over three-pixels wide gaps. He then walks on the big platform, beyond the screen limits (like in the path to the Super Mario Bros.' warp zones, in the dungeon levels).

The biggest challenges are to confuse and dodge the spiders, which move very quickly, and to make the jumps.

In the background, huge trees should be shown along with the forest, perhaps shadowed by some kind of fog (so the player know which branches are platforms and which are not).

Extra pictures:

Here is a version without the web and here is a version without the text, perhaps for easier visibility.

Edit.: Typos.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 11:57:35 AM by Akhel » Logged
BMcC
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« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2007, 07:16:19 PM »

Shocked  Awesome awesome awesome!  Grin

Sorry I haven't been posting (in here or on the front page) recently, but it's been a really totally busy week.

I'm gonna take this weekend (or thereabouts) and catch up on all my TIGSourcey stuff, I pwomise.
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« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2007, 07:41:46 PM »

Has anyone mentioned H.E.R.O. as level inspiration yet? (Sorry, haven't been lurking as much as I should of late).
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« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2007, 09:52:14 PM »

Seems like we're starting at the top of Arne's dev map, so I thought i'd go ahead and get started on the house and sorta keep the flow going with Xion's front yard .  This is still a very, very, extremely VERY wip.  I still have to add more details n stuff.








just thought i'd throw this up to see if you guys had any ideas for what direction to head. 

Still wondering about how to put the food in there to make him Supa-fat.

And i'm trying to make it non-linear like Bezzy was saying, but I'll be dang'd it's a little tricky.  I have some ideas though.

Ok.  So what i'm thinking is GB comes in the door and hits the kitchen first.  And sitting at the table will be  a super hungry housemate, munching away, food flying everywhere.  (To table cloth or not to table cloth???)  ehh. ok This is where the flying toast comes in.  Every now and then a slice of toast goes flying in random directions, and GB has to dodge it and get to the living room. 

Once he's in the living room he has to get the key or something over on the TV to open the door to his AnGRy housemate.  But there's a little prob.  laying on the couch is the lazy housemate.  And he's playing video games.  And drinking sodas.  And throwing the cans all over the place.  So you need to get past him somehow.  You can crawl and dodge, but when you get to the Tele you'll see it's too tall for GB to climb.  So then you need to go back to where you started.  Climb on the table, climb on the shelf, climb on the fan, jump on the window top, jump on the other shelf/ledge, and down on the TV.  Then you have to go all the way back. 

Now I'm thinking that the floors might get harder as you go up or something like that. 

Second floor.  I have ideas but so far I just put in the middle.  I'm thinking that the angry housemate is in her room pacing around and stuff, and there could be a bathroom/game room/anything to the right.  And the attic is at the very top.

The only thing that happens in the middle section is that the cat paces back and forth on the railing, sometimes jumping down.  And GB can't touch it, or else.  Should it be a mean cat?? hmmm..

wheww. 

I really like those forest idea's Akhel. I was actually thinking about doing something w/ the forest or temple next.

ArggG that's enough for now....
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Nikica
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« Reply #46 on: March 30, 2007, 01:15:36 AM »

Nice ideas!!! It will be cool when he can be fat like the guy in Metal Slug, and i like the cat(nice job vitaminNewB), and the TV can be a HD Ready Plasma, what you think???
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« Reply #47 on: March 30, 2007, 11:34:47 AM »

VitaminNewB, ever play thief/2? It was a cool game because you could not only explore the interior of things, but also crawl around on the outside - the roofs/walls etc. You could see the context of the building in its surroundings. That house you've got there is shaping up really nice, but if you look at it in terms of map flow, it's extremely constrained - you have that one ladder/staircase, and that's it.

To improve connectivity, I'm not going to suggest having holes in cielings (unless, maybe the bath fills with water and breaks through the floor into the kitchen?). In stead, I'm going to say, why not try having some windows you can get in and out of at the sides of the building, with other ways (window ledge above a trash can) to get into a first storey room?

I also think (judging by other levels) that the overall scale of the rooms can be much smaller. - 3-4 blocks high seems pretty normal for this game, so you could have a lot more space to play with, and get GB running around on the roofs and stuff.

The other tip is to do as others are doing - start with a blockout of a map, play test/get feedback about the layout, and only THEN onto the art. Ofcourse, you do have a very nice style guide going on there! It's nice. I like!
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« Reply #48 on: March 30, 2007, 12:36:23 PM »

Can we get a tile set to work with from Arne? Like Xion, I can not replicate his style.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2007, 02:01:33 PM by Godspeed » Logged
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« Reply #49 on: March 30, 2007, 01:49:32 PM »

I'm glad you like it! Grin
Looking good, vitamin!
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« Reply #50 on: March 30, 2007, 02:21:29 PM »

Nice ideas!!! It will be cool when he can be fat like the guy in Metal Slug ...
Heh, well the fat idea is all Xion and Zaphos.  I take ZERO credit for that idea.  Tongue



To improve connectivity, I'm not going to suggest having holes in ceilings (unless, maybe the bath fills with water and breaks through the floor into the kitchen?). In stead, I'm going to say, why not try having some windows you can get in and out of at the sides of the building, with other ways (window ledge above a trash can) to get into a first storey room?

Cool.  Very Good points.  Never thought about having him crawl out of a window.  That would definitely make things a lot more interesting and open it up a bit.  (now i have to rethink the whole level  Cry jk)  Might have to size the kitchen down a bit too.  Hmmmm.   I'm not to sure about the holes in the floor though.  They could be worked in somehow.



I also think (judging by other levels) that the overall scale of the rooms can be much smaller. - 3-4 blocks high seems pretty normal for this game, so you could have a lot more space to play with, and get GB running around on the roofs and stuff.



Yeah, definitely.  That was one thing that i was working on the most.  I wanted the lower floor to be the largest (at least the living room), but maybe i could shift it down a tile.  Also the attic might be a bit tooooo big.  Playtesting's a good idea.  Still working it out! 
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Xion
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« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2007, 03:09:22 PM »

Nice, Vitamin, but, like Bezzy said, its rooms are a bit too large to actually, like, any more stuff. I think if you cut down the height by, say, 4 tiles, that would give you room for a lot more...rooms. Those windows are huge. The size of the living room is cool, I think, but it just needs more substance to it. For such a big room, "jump, jump, jump, done!" seems a bit short and hazardless, you know?
I think it'd be cool if, somewhere in the house, you had to like, keep vases from getting broken. That could be where the cat comes in, methinks, serving a double role as both hazard and nuisance. Ok, so here's an Idea: GB enters room with lots of vases and paintings on the wall in the background. Walks forward, picks up a pillow, and holds it above his head Zelda style. The cat appears and starts knocking stuff off the wall, out of the BG into the FG. GB has to hurry under the stuff and catch them before they hit the ground. Failing to catch 'em only results in loss of points. But...as you catch the stuff, it disappears in a magical poof (games don't need to make sense) and arranges in a corner so that, when all the stuff is off the wall and the cat disappears, the vases have piled up to make a platform(s) onto which GB can jump to get something that he wouldn't have before. This could also be a way into the attic, and if the stuff breaks and the platforms don't get made, there could be an alternate route(s), like, expanding on Bezzy's idea, go out some windows and climb to the roof, or maybe through a small ventilation space between floors.

Jist an idear, though.
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fish
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« Reply #52 on: March 31, 2007, 11:39:11 AM »

i am paid vast sums of money everyday to design levels for game si hate.
can i make a level for a game that looks cool?
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« Reply #53 on: March 31, 2007, 03:11:53 PM »

...can i make a level for a game that looks cool?

Forum says, "PleeeeeeeeeeZ!"

Nice, Vitamin, but, like Bezzy said, its rooms are a bit too large to actually, like, any more stuff. I think if you cut down the height by, say, 4 tiles, that would give you room for a lot more...rooms. Those windows are huge. The size of the living room is cool, I think, but it just needs more substance to it. For such a big room, "jump, jump, jump, done!" seems a bit short and hazardless, you know?

Thanks Xion.  Grin

hmmm.  I see what you're  saying about the room size.  Was just thinking about that when i was looking over some of Arne's layouts.   One thing that I was thinking about doing was shifting the house to the left a few tiles and down 1 or 2 tiles.  That way you would be able to see a bit of the front yard and that would leave room for some outside action.?   Huh? Buuuuuuuuuutttt i don't know about that.

I think it'd be cool if, somewhere in the house, you had to like, keep vases from getting broken. That could be where the cat comes in, methinks, serving a double role as both hazard and nuisance. Ok, so here's an Idea: GB enters room with lots of vases and paintings on the wall in the background. Walks forward, picks up a pillow, and holds it above his head Zelda style. The cat appears and starts knocking stuff off the wall, out of the BG into the FG. GB has to hurry under the stuff and catch them before they hit the ground. Failing to catch 'em only results in loss of points. But...as you catch the stuff, it disappears in a magical poof (games don't need to make sense) and arranges in a corner so that, when all the stuff is off the wall and the cat disappears, the vases have piled up to make a platform(s) onto which GB can jump to get something that he wouldn't have before. This could also be a way into the attic, and if the stuff breaks and the platforms don't get made, there could be an alternate route(s), like, expanding on Bezzy's idea, go out some windows and climb to the roof, or maybe through a small ventilation space between floors.

Jist an idear, though.

Sweet Jeebees!  Lovn this idea.  Can I borrow your brain?  Having little sort of mini games/puzzles would help change the pace of the game.  But it might only work for certain levels though.  Now I'm thinking that the 2nd floor middle section should be a little bit bigger for some reason.  Don't know why though.  You know what??  I think the mini-games idea would be pretty neat for the barn level.
You read my mind about using ventilation ducts too.

ok.  Brain juices are flowing.

and Some tiles, per Godspeed's request, i used in building the house.   
 
also u spelt some wuds rong. jk.  :D   Cool

house tiles

art

ladder and rail



post up some more later. 

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« Reply #54 on: March 31, 2007, 03:58:32 PM »

Still wondering about how to put the food in there to make him Supa-fat.
Can we do inventory puzzles?
Like what if there's an old, vision-impaired dude in the kitchen who wants to cook but has no meats?
("Who's there?  Gretchen is that you?  Did you bring me my burger meats?")
And then if you kill the cat, and bring it to him -- actually, his vision isn't that bad, and he gets pissed and attacks you.
("This ain't burger meats!  This is my cat!  You're not Gretchen and this is my cat you sick, bald man!")
But if you put the cat through something that it'll chop it up more (ginder? ceiling fan?) or explode it (microwave?) then he'll happily make you some good old American-style burgers, the kind that fatten your right up.  And then, when you eat them, you bloat up and crash through the floor ... on to the next level!  (There should probably be alternative ways to solve the level; I think of this as more a fun secret-ish way than "the solution")

(I like the house art, vitaminNewB!)
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« Reply #55 on: March 31, 2007, 04:21:48 PM »

But if you put the cat through something that it'll chop it up more (ginder? ceiling fan?) or explode it (microwave?) then he'll happily make you some good old American-style burgers, the kind that fatten your right up.

VOTE ZAPHOS FOR PETA PRESIDENT!
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« Reply #56 on: April 02, 2007, 09:55:32 PM »

ur MAD Zaphos Shocked

O tay.  Tis dun.






I'm going to pick and pull at this until it never gets done.  So I QUIT!!!  Angry
for now.

Now that i'm done, seems like I could pull the house in some and go for some outside action.  Cutting down the room size did seem to work out pretty good though. 


**warning**.  I just kind of threw in a sloppy version of the other characters real quick just b/c.  But their purpose is to be annoying.  I'll sweeten it up later.  Or someone else can take a hack it.

I know everyone's going to hate me but KRAP..... i put in keys   Cry
I don't know about the colored doors though.  Guess we can figure out how to make it less linear, but for now this is IT.  You guys can fill in the blanks and hack it up.

hmm...Guess I'll just explain the rooms for now.

explanation for keys:
Ok so they keep the angry character (red door) locked up just b/c.  The angry character stole someone's key (blue door).  The blue door also just happens to have the key to the closet of the angry girl (green door).

room explanations:
Kitchen:  This is where the action starts.  You have the hungry guy throwing food all over the place and GB has to dodge flying toast. 

Living Room: 
This guy plays video games all day long, and throws soda cans and chips everywhere.  GB has to find out how to get on top of the TV

Middle Section:
GB has to watch out for the cat.  I was thinking it could jump all over the place, or maybe even have the vase game Xion was talking about

Left Side:
Angry girl (could be a boy too) and her closet.

Right Side:
Another room and bathroom.  For the bathroom there will be poo fumes that GB has to dodge so that he can get the jewel.

Attic:
Ghosts spiders and scary stuff.  Duct leads to the attic.  The ghost will float around in certain paths.  Spiders will fall in random patterns.

that's it.  i'm not saying anything else. 
Hat's off to Arne where ever he BE, b/c this stuff is CraZEhh.
crits please. colors, ideas, layout, etc....
alright-E B Mc.......  Cool
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« Reply #57 on: April 03, 2007, 08:28:03 AM »

ur MAD Zaphos Shocked
Heard a few too many dead baby jokes as a kid, perhaps ...

Anyway, about the level -- it seems very 'busy' to me?  If you look at Arne's levels, they're mostly black background with relatively sparse, very dim background objects.  I like the way you've drawn a very rich environment, but for platforming (and to match stylistically) it seems better to cut down on the details and make the difference between foreground and background more striking.
The way you've done the attic seems much better in this regard -- although there, actually, the advice is reversed -- a few dim, monochrome background details could perhaps help.

For the central room (with the cat), you appear to have a 3D effect going on, which seems odd because I don't see it in any of the other rooms.

The keys seem to be really there not as a puzzle, but to get the player to walk through the whole house.  It could be achieved without keys by restructuring the house a bit, or just by replacing keys with collectibles and hoping for a motivated player ... or a mixture of both.

Is the poop smell really going to kill him?  I guess it could be a funny death animation ...
Perhaps there's a person in the shower, and if you get close to the fumes, Balding doubles over and starts making involuntary "oh gross!" noises, which prompts the person in the shower to attack?  That's a bit more work, though, so I dunno.

Beyond those comment, hmm, it looks really good.  I like how the new room sizes are working out.
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« Reply #58 on: April 03, 2007, 10:31:34 AM »

Cool Zaphos.  This is verrry Good stuff.   


Anyway, about the level -- it seems very 'busy' to me?  If you look at Arne's levels, they're mostly black background with relatively sparse, very dim background objects.  I like the way you've drawn a very rich environment, but for platforming (and to match stylistically) it seems better to cut down on the details and make the difference between foreground and background more striking.
The way you've done the attic seems much better in this regard -- although there, actually, the advice is reversed -- a few dim, monochrome background details could perhaps help.

Believe it or not that was the 1st thought that came to my mind when I had finally finished. ** might be a little bit busy**.  But I said what the heck and just posted it.  Didn't think anyone would notice.    Cry  I kind of liked the living room huge though.  As for the colors, that was an issue the whole time that I was designing the GB house. 


Quote
For the central room (with the cat), you appear to have a 3D effect going on, which seems odd because I don't see it in any of the other rooms.

The keys seem to be really there not as a puzzle, but to get the player to walk through the whole house.  It could be achieved without keys by restructuring the house a bit, or just by replacing keys with collectibles and hoping for a motivated player ... or a mixture of both.
shhhhh... it's really not totally complete yet.  Attic details and more perspective to be added soon.  Just wanted a little feedback.  and I got tired of picking.  As for the keys, it does take away the non-linear feel a bit.  Hmmm collectibles, like pizza, would be neat.  But now that I've dumped everything from my brain I can see a lot more possibilities.

Quote
Is the poop smell really going to kill him?  I guess it could be a funny death animation ...
Perhaps there's a person in the shower, and if you get close to the fumes, Balding doubles over and starts making involuntary "oh gross!" noises, which prompts the person in the shower to attack?  That's a bit more work, though, so I dunno.

Beyond those comment, hmm, it looks really good.  I like how the new room sizes are working out.

Nope, nope.  Just trying to get across the idea that poo smell is DaNgeROus.  I was thinking that there could at least be steam coming out of the shower.  Maybe someone could peek out from the shower every now and then and throw something?? 

Great feed back!  Keep it coming.  Grin
« Last Edit: April 03, 2007, 11:17:24 AM by vitaminNewB » Logged
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« Reply #59 on: April 05, 2007, 10:27:46 PM »

@vitaminNewB: Looks really good, man!  I balked a little at the idea of keys,  at first.  Maybe we could find away around it... or as long as every level doesn't have keys, I don't mind if this one does (I did use A key for my dungeon level, after all!).  It's okay if the backgrounds are light, but I agree there needs to be more separation between platforms/walls and "thin air."

Great work!  With some tweaking and polishing this should be really good.

@Arkhel: I like your forest level because it's very spacious.  I also like the idea of dodging spiders.  When I get another chunk of free time I'll take a crack at pixelling it.

Updated the first post with the new level mockups. Smiley
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