Friday, April 7, 2017

Adventure Game Design

Yesterday, I said I've kind of written an adventure game. It's an escape room game, and I tried doing level design, following the casual adventure games that I play a lot.

Generally, these games will made up of a series of areas, which are three to six screens long. Like, the first area is the park, which is three screens. The second area is the hotel, which is four screens. The third area is the school, which is four screens. The final area is the cheese factory, which is six screens.

(Obviously, it varies from game to game. Some companies like having fifteen screens, with two things to do on each, while others would rather have be five screens, with six things to do on each.)

I decided to go with two areas. Area 1 has four screens, while Area 2 has three screens. Each screen has 4-6 items/puzzles. I knew I wanted one overarching puzzle, requiring an item from each screen. I also wanted one item on each screen to be used to solve a puzzle on a different screen.

So I scripted out the game like that. "Screen 1 has items a, b, c and d. Item a is used on item b. Item c is used on screen 2. Item d is used for the overarching puzzle." That worked for about a minute, until I realized the items for the overarching puzzle have to come last, otherwise someone could get them right away and skip everything else. I tried to fix that, and got myself confused as to how the overlapping items/puzzles interacted. In retrospect, I should have made a separate list for that topic, but I tried building it onto my other list, which made things even more confused.

Oh well, at least the game is more complicated now!

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