Thursday, 26 April 2012

The button dilemma

Dev_Ice is no longuer Dev_ice, now it’s going to be Interactive Landscape. And the player will have to solve puzzles with macrochanging the landscape (fog, night, rain, etc, and you can also combine them). The other day I had an “eureka” moment and it helped me a lot to solve a lot of conceptual gameplay mechanics. As Valve would say: we assume stuff that we think it’s true but it’s not and that limits us. The core of this games is; the player has to transport objects in order to activate events for macrochanging the scenario. My mind automatically associates do something change with and object > Button pressed, ergo, I need buttons (you can see them in those screens, the blue shapes in the floor). Well, I discovered that this was a huge limitation because the levels are big natural desolated landscapes (not apocalyptic) with diffuse limits of the map. Why? It just doesn’t make sence that the player has to puto those interactive cubes or balls in exact places of the scenario. Doing a button means to create a whole infrastructure near the button so the button makes sense there, and that is not cool. My solucion? Goodbye buttons.

Now the players needs to put those interactive cubes or balls in areas (defined by ruins, natural stones suspiciously in circle, etc, but big areas, not buttons. Also, this creates “good” mechanics because the player also triggers the event when entering in the area and that is awesome to feed the exploration. If the player seens something natural strange him will go there. And even more than that! It also helps me to create new puzzles. Imagine one of this areas in a hill and our interactive object is a ball (ball>hill>balls slides>ball doesn’t trigger the event). Time to think!

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