Designing Better Levels Through Human Survival Instinct

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Designing Better Levels Through Human Survival Instinct

GodlyPerfection
RP Founder
Irrelephancy
GodlyPerfection
This post was moved from a deleted location by noklu on .
This post was updated on .

Designing Better Levels Through Human Survival Instinct


A bit later than I was hoping, but it has been a rather dull, depressing day. Regardless, this article is actually pretty awesome and not something that I ever took into consideration prior to reading this article. I'm still taking time to fully grasp it and apply it, but right now it is a great read. :)

No questions to start you off... I'm gonna be lazy today. :P lol...


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Re: Resource #15 [10/21]

Gnappy As5A5sin
Gnappy As5A5sin
The narrow and prospect spaces here are something that I always experience on maps that are incomplete. That's not to say that these ideas are not fantastic, it's just that half the time they get ironed out in the process. A great many people will alter them without ever realizing that it creates a gameplay experience that can be interesting. I was talking to Atlas about that on Simulacra, his teleporter room. How open it used to be made me hate setting foot in there. It's fantastic. I hated it. :)

I hear it's moved mow, should be interesting.

I'm going for some really heavy prospect space on Provenance in regard to the speed of flag routes. It'll be good stuff.
On Skype Wolfpack Dragon wrote
"i came on the radio so I had to mention it"
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Re: Resource #15 [10/21]

Dr D04K
Hmmm.  I've never really thought about inducing emotional responses from my geometry.  Its an interesting idea, but I would be hesitant to let it override other gameplay considerations.  A narrow hall or an open space is good or bad for gameplay in its own right based on risk reward, outside of the emotion it induces, and potentially the reason it induces those evolved emotions are the same reasons it is good or bad for gameplay.  It seems like a well designed map would induce these as a side effect of successful immersion of the player in the map.
Gamer tag: "Dr D04K" (thats a zero and a four)
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Re: Resource #15 [10/21]

SmartAlec13
Intimate Spaces are one thing I LOVE in maps and games. Its one of the reasons I whored the Jetpack in Reach; because with it I could use or reach anything on the map, allowing me to fully utilize a peice. A floating platform not only becomes something I can get to and stand on, but also a LOS-blocker I can use against my enemies. Even withought Jetpack, this sort of thing makes me love jump-maps, as in maps that have a lot of different paths, jumping spots, etc.

Prospect Spaces scare me, especially as a shotgun lover.
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Re: Resource #15 [10/21]

Valiant Outcast
Valiant Outcast
I enjoy using (and building) intimate spaces that make the player feel clever. For instance, I like to include areas that, while I intend for the player to figure something out, like a jump from the ground to a pillar to an "unreachable" ledge, that makes the player think (at least subconsciously), that they outwitted the map design.
I am neither the Judge or His jury; only His witness.
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Re: Resource #15 [10/21]

Nitro
Think of it like this, Zombieland. I forget the rule number, but know your way out of a sticky situation will always come in handy.I try to picture myself in shitty situations or 1v2 battles, I need to a quick escape route to put myself in a better situation and hopefully win the battle. So when I forge those situations in mind, I feel the players have a better chance of survival. Thus giving a player a more likability of the map. Thus giving yourself better a rating of the map. A minimum of three exit routes of a room, give this feeling of survival.
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Re: Resource #15 [10/21]

AtlasisShruggin
AtlasIsShruggin
This was a good read, and throughout his article I could only think that as designers of multiplayer levels, we need to keep a ratio between the two spaces at all times. If a player has too much control over his environment, the area is probably unbalanced or over powered. But if the player feels he has no control in another area, that area will most likely never be used, and the design is flawed. As designers we have to constantly keep ratios in our heads, and this is not a bad way to think about it. If a position seems to overpowered we can allow for it to give less control to players.

I also like how he described the concepts of refuge and to encourage players to move out of those areas. This could be implemented a lot more to keep the flow of combat moving and encourage player movement as a whole.
"This dread born of risk is not the opposite of joy, or even of quiet activity and calm enjoyment. It transcends such oppositions and lives in secret communion with the serene and gentle yearnings of creativity."
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Re: Resource #15 [10/21]

ForgedExodus
ForgedExodus
Balance,Balance,Balance. With balance comes flow. I see where the puzzle is ocming together ;)Atlas had the right idea, Too much CQB areas will make it easier to defend with the proper weapons, but with Wide Open areas, you will find that that area will be marked as a "No way in hell would I be silly enough to cross that death trap" zone.When I build a map, I try (And somewhat succeed, though I'm still relatively new to the professional forging) to appeal to most types of player, the sniper, the CQB, the rusher and the moderate mid-longe DMR player. Even with weapon placement, If i put a rifle somewhere, it is probably near grenades to help you with the CQB areas, if you pick up a shotgun, there is probably a lift or corridor near by that can give you easy access to other parts of the map.

Excellent Read.
Breaking the Limits, Without Breaking the Rules.
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Re: Resource #15 [10/21]

P1 Mario
P1 Mario
Another fantatastic article.  So glad I decided to do this contest.  Narrow space is kind of a no brainer, but initimate space finally puts a name on the thing I love about my favorite maps... And now I have a map idea where intimate space is used as a vantage point over large, prospect space... but to take advantage of that space, you have to drop into the prospect space... making you the prey now.

Tagline of the map?  Everybody gets to feel like Batman.
~Ask not why I get to be Player 1.
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Re: Resource #15 [10/21]

Spiteful Crow
Spiteful Crow
Loved this article, and it's a great way to think about it.  I always like to think of how it "feels" to play a map, and I don't just mean "is it fun?" but the emotional responses to areas.  In a good map you'll have a lot of different emotions -- power, helplessness, fear, aggression, etc.  You want to make your map enable those emotions because those are what I believe are the actually "addictive" aspects of a map.

SmartAlec13 wrote
Intimate Spaces are one thing I LOVE in maps and games. Its one of the reasons I whored the Jetpack in Reach; because with it I could use or reach anything on the map, allowing me to fully utilize a peice. A floating platform not only becomes something I can get to and stand on, but also a LOS-blocker I can use against my enemies. Even withought Jetpack, this sort of thing makes me love jump-maps, as in maps that have a lot of different paths, jumping spots, etc.

Prospect Spaces scare me, especially as a shotgun lover.
This is why I hate jetpacks, as a map creator :P  Too easy for somebody to turn your "prospect spaces" and things into "intimate spaces."  It ruins what I was going for!  :P
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Re: Resource #15 [10/21]

external memory
External Memory
Ah, cool, one more geared towards overall game design.  Let's start with the player character.

The problem of the protagonist: this has been approached in different ways in PvP Halo over every game. In the first installment, we got the God-Magnum, and the high capacity, face-melting AR to start. Then in 2, it was SMGs and magnums: far more vulnerable, and more about initial procurement in a dog-eat dog, cannibalistic mentality. On top of the already cannibalistic mentality of Slayer already in place as a deathmatch game. Very appropriate for its first foray into online matchmaking, but consider how this makes the player feel: absolutely opportunistic, baiting and getting the drop on others in close quarters, until BR starts once again reaffirm a more secure sense of survival in a wider range of encounters. In Halo 3, the return of AR as a starting weapon, this time with less of a clip, and a weaker magnum made procuring weapons on the map a higher priority than procuring a second weapon to dual wield from an enemy. And in Reach, the AA and loadouts introduce some roles into the equation, while still keeping map procurement an important factor.

In Halo 4, we see the importance of the cannibalistic element returning from Halo 2 in a major way, with ammo for primaries and secondaries not on map but limited to what the enemy gives up either as what they carry or in the form of personal ordnance awarded for kills in Infinity Slayer, along with the widened ecology of roles with personal loadouts. Map procurement is still in play, but suddenly there's many dimensions here.

Space: In PvP Halo, map spaces fall into all the above categories, narrow, intimate and prospect spaces. We find the intimate spaces are the paths between the narrow and prospect, typically, and the rewards of map procurement fought over in prospect spaces. In more cannibalistic terms with starting weapons and enemy procurement, this happens more likely in the intimate spaces, but when there's a fight over superior map procurement it's likely to happen more in the prospect spaces. The refuges should always be seen as only temporary in PvP, while in campaign settings they are permanent at start and as secondary refuges. That is, your home is always assailable in PvP. The only exception to this in Halo PvP in matchmaking were Reach's Invasion spawn hives, often where vehicles would spawn in later phases. Definitely permanent secondary refuges until dropping down or moving through that shield door.

Moving on to the Hero's Journey as it applies in PvP Halo:

The Call to Adventure would obviously be the start of the experience, maybe even in the lobby, but it also recurs on each spawn within each game. You've got a gametype and a map, and a screenshot of that map. The loadout camera also reinforces this, as does the point of view off spawn, but that's getting a little ahead of ourselves.

Since Reach, the supernatural aid has come from selecting the loadout: it's dangerous to go alone. take this (pick one)! The threshold guardian, then is the view off spawn. The paths and sightlines are the helpers and mentors, leading the hero toward the abyss, the encounter with the enemy. The challenge might be finding one's way to that encounter, and navigating the map and which weapons to go for are the temptations and helpers as well. In the macro, the abyss is also the end struggle and goal.

In the micro, the result of the encounter, survive or die and respawn, is transformative either way, but atonement definitely comes with defeat or with simply reassessing the situation. Still in the micro, either returning to spawn to select a loadout or surveying what is available to aid in the next encounter, the cycle repeats itself again at supernatural (situational/conditional in this case or by gametype) aid.

In the macro, the results of the match affect the player's takeaway from how they would improve their performance in that gametype and on that map, if they would even want to play either again. The postgame stats serve as the atonement and return, or even whether players "party up" or stay in the lobby for the next game.
EXEM
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