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Currently I am creating a puzzle game, and I am finishing all the levels... and then I run into this problem:

From puzzle games that I played, I find that the design of the very last level goes into two distinct categories:

  1. Very hard level, possibly the hardest of all.
  2. A very simple level, like a farewell (e.g. the level is composed of a word "BYE", something like that)

Though in most games I lately played go for the first approach, I would like to ask which is better?


For more information, my levels are divided into 10 sets. Each set consists of 10 levels. Every set introduces a new element. Within each set, the first level is easiest (as well as used to introduce the new element) and last hardest.

However, for the last set, no new element is introduced but consists of hard levels.

Actually, with above design, I would feel that I should go for the first approach, but I would like what others say.

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Hello Luiges90, and welcome. We'll do our best to answer your questions, but keep in mind that this question seems geared to getting other's opinions, something stackexchange isn't really suitable for according to the FAQ –  Timothy Groote Mar 1 '13 at 15:39
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Subjective, discussion-oriented questions like this are not what GDSE is for (consequently, I voted to close it). You're better off asking this kind of question in the Game Development Chat or on a forum like GDNet. –  Josh Petrie Mar 1 '13 at 15:53
    
Portal 1 has an excellent approach for the last level. –  msell Mar 1 '13 at 17:29
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closed as not constructive by Josh Petrie, Byte56, jhocking, Maik Semder, Laurent Couvidou Mar 1 '13 at 18:23

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3 Answers

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I think it should reflect the way the other levels are handled. If the others become sequentially harder, I'd make the last one the hardest. Making it simple feels like it might be a letdown to the player. They are prepared for the level, and then there's nothing much to do.

I guess it's just my opinion that this kind of change ought to be fairly predictable to the player at some point in the game. I suppose you could intersperse easier and harder ones.

At some point, it depends on what hard means for your game.

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If your last level is ridiculously easy, the players will not perceive it as a challenge, or even a "level" per se, but as you already said, like a goodbye message.

Technically speaking, the "last level" isn't the goodbye message, which is just a novel, slightly more engaging way of saying "bye" or "well done".

You could also see it as a reward for finishing a set of levels.

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Well I would say it depends on some factors, if it is just a plain puzzle game it's one thing, but if it's, for example, a game with a story, characters and whatnot you could also make something like: Present something that looks like a near impossible puzzle, but then something happens or everything breaks and then it's just a minimal task to get to the end.

That "something" could be some sort of turn of events, a catastrophe, anything that could fit the story.

If the game is not story based and just pure puzzle solving, I would say that it is a good idea to make a hard puzzle, but easier than before, so that they still get some challenge while getting a breather at the same time and just relaxing while they finish it.

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