Joined: Mar 2012
RE: Open-ended discussion on creation and design
(04-06-2012 07:11 PM)Adrianis Wrote: Amnesia had level hub's, but it was still what I would call a linear design. To me, linearity is in the guiding of the player. Take the first level hub in Amnesia, where you need to get through past the growth thing blocking the door leading down, but to do it you need to go to the archives, wine cellar and laboratory first. I guess you could get the parts for the chemical mix first going through those areas in any particular order, but the game guides you along that path, one room to the next, collecting the parts in order to progress along the next path. There is still only one way to progress, which is perfectly great for kind of experience Frictional were creating.
To me, non-linearity in game design requires there to be no set path at all, not just a variety of paths with set goals. Free-roaming games like the Elder Scrolls series still have linearity in their quest and dungeon design. There arn't many truly non-linear games I can think of, and most of the ones I can are in situations where linearity would be irrelevant, like strategy or simulation games. For first person games, shooters or otherwise, I may be wrong but I can't think of an example where it has been consistently non-linear. I'm trying to make an entirely non-linear experience for my FC, the end of the game will likely be in sight from the outset, leaving curiosity the sole guiding force for the player, and leaving the player to decide exactly where to go, how much to explore and when to bring it all to an end.
Like you Kreekakon I find non-linearity far more immersive. For others, it can just means they end up not knowing what to do or where to go, breaking the experience.
That would be an interesting way to split the ending Cranky Old Man, but since the majority of the solid information you get about the story behind the game comes from reading the diary notes, if the player viewed it as being 'punished' for being inquisitive about the storyline, you'd get some pissed off players. Its a bad perspective to take, feeling like an ending wasn't as good as another you could have gotten, I far prefer taking the consequences of whatever actions as simply the way it has to be, but some players just don't view Game narratives in that way sadly.
The only problem with using level hubs is most CS creators don't know to make each individual part come together with the rest at the end. It usually ends up not giving enough information and having players wander around, picking up items that seem pointless until justified by another level in the hub. Although in TDD, the player didn't immediately know the elevator was broken and that he needed the parts to fix it, the other levels at least had some other justifiable purpose (telling the story, for example). I've seen some very poorly designed hub levels in custom stories because the creators do not take these things into consideration.
Timorem and Friends are Hungry™
|04-07-2012 05:22 AM