Sunday, April 9, 2017

Rearranging the Start of the Game

This week's build is available here!

So I wasn't so happy with the maze-like levels I had in the build previous to now. They were certainly cool, and I could make them impossible to complete without using WASD to move... but I didn't like how different those levels looked compared to the other starter levels. When players move on to a new level they have to understand what they're looking at, and when you make a level look very similar to the level that came before, players only need to worry about understanding the differences, which is helpful when you're trying to make it easy for players to learn something new. So I've changed the starting levels (well, levels 3-7) so that they look like this:

The first picture is level three. Goals and blue walls have already been taught by then. Level three introduces normal walls and getting around them with blue walls. The only difference here is that the level goes horizontally now, like levels 1 and 2.

Level four and five would be the maze levels, where I encourage players to use WASD, then require them to use WASD by introducing kill walls and switches. I decided that one way to teach WASD is to show the player that other things can move. The hope is that when players see other things moving, they'll wonder if they can move too (without charging). Moving obstacles also deserve to be introduced earlier in the game. You still can't solve level four easily without using WASD, and level five still introduces kill walls and switches.

Level six and seven are about expanding knowledge of switches and testing the player on all the things taught so far. For some reason I had these levels go vertical again. I'll probably leave it since these testing levels should feel different from the teaching levels.

That's all for this week. Again, the charging-up noise is by Javier Zumer, and I use and modify it under this license.

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