Video Game Design - Part 2
Let's continue on with this game and see what other design elements we have added to make the game challenging and more playable.
Fifth Challenge: Reward the Players Ingenuity
The next room the player enters only has one way out. It is through a hole in the floor and there is no way back up. This means that once the player commits to dropping down he cannot change his mind. So a player is rewarded if he exercises caution and looks around a bit. Looking down into the hole he sees that the room below has four suspicious looking doors. hmmm.... might mean trouble.
So, taking a look around the room he is currently in reveals a switch. This switch opens the four doors below and low and behold....
There are zombies behind the doors. Being still on the level above it is quite easy to pick these zombies off in relative safety. Hah! The player is given the feeling of having accomplished something extra by being suspicious and cautious. Good Job and he pats himself on the back. Now he can jump down and continue on. In this lower area another switch is discovered that opens and closes these doors and a key is found inside the room with the zombies. So it was necessary to confront and kill them but because the player was cautious he gets a feeling of accomplishment having done it in a more personally rewarding - and safer way.
Sixth Design Challenge: Building and preparation for upcoming task
The next room gives a change to the player in a couple of different ways. And this speaks to the layout and design of the game too. The player finds a lot of bazooka rounds on the floor of this room and this, while a reward, is also a caution. There must be something big coming up. But the design of this room is also psychologically important. Notice all the red? This is a subconscious indicator of danger and it will heighten your players sensitivity and awareness. Something big is definitely coming up!! The look of the room is also different than anything we have encountered so far. Everthing else was steel and concrete and this room is wood and carpet. This switch in atmosphere is also an indicator to the player to be more aware of change. The door out of this room is unlocked and the player can open it and walk through but.....
When the threshold is passed an animation is triggered. It shows an intimidating model walking up to the player and it has some dramatic music. This is a movie of the final boss. And it is another piece of suspense building that brings the players awareness to full height. Now something big is going to happen.
Seventh Design Challenge: Orientation as a tool
Now the player is faced with a maze, and this maze leads up to the final boss. Up until now all of the navigating choices have been reasonably straight-forward. How do I get through the next door? Is the players question. Now a sense of being lost is imposed on the player and he has to try to navigate through a maze. This is the final build up after all the other psychological tricks used until now. Once navigating the maze the players comes to his final reward....
Eight Design Challenge: Escalating things or "Big Tasks for big rewards"
We have lots of bazooka rounds and we have faced the psychological torture up until now and finally we come to the final boss and we just know it is going to be a challenge! And it sure it. It takes quite a bit of firing, dodging and maneuvering to get this guy down but we do it! You can see a little bit of our reward behind him. It is the green grass of outside and escape from this world. It was very easy to change his health so it was very high and I had to play the game several times and manipulate his health to get it so it was a good challenge- not too easy but not too hard.
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial about designing video games and I do have this whole tutorial in a youtube video that walks you right through the game as I play it. I describe the various challenges and why I did them in the game. There are also some other pointers that I have.
About the Game:
I created this game in FPS Creator and it took me somewhere around 5 or 6 hours to make. I own the purchase version of the game so I have created a stand-alone executable file that can be passed around and played. I am currently trying to get it to a file download service so you can have it and play it for free. But it is a whopping 260 megabytes so will take a while to download. I will post a notice on this website when the game is available to you for free.
ENTERACTIVE FPS Creator ( Windows ) - With FPS Creator you can create your own shooter game with pixel-perfect precision. Create your game instantly with the intuitive 3D editor -- drag and drop walls, lights, doors, enemies, ammo, weapons and more. When you've got things placed where you want them you can drop in weapons, enemies, objectives, trigger zones, customise the loading screens, create your own AI scripts and everything else that makes a great shooter game. Once you're done, you can play your game with a click!
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