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117

Just some quick additional suggestions, that sometimes complement what others have already said. 1) water solution: I never understood why killing the player with a shark or something. Just let him/her swim infinitely (like with a proceduraly generated infinite ocean). That alone would closer resemble the idea of how distant it would be in real life to ...


59

Different games have different requirements in how realistic they are to their genre, e.g. FPS games can constrain to a building, whereas RPG games like Rust / DayZ / Skyrim have larger and more open world maps to suit their style. Some common ones across games (and examples) include: Constrain to an Island and: Ruin the only bridge out (GTA 3, Vice ...


54

Well now - what a simple but interesting question to tackle. When reloading a level there are so many factors that need to be taken into account that the answer can go many ways. If your level state contains a large list of assets it can be more practical to start from a clean slate when reloading a level back to a save/mission state as this maintains the ...


52

Make use of "arenas"--confined spaces where the player must solve some puzzle, fight some enemy, etc to move on. This is often referred to as "gating" the player, ie barring their progress until they have completed their task. This helps to create a sense of accomplishment when the player is allowed to continue, and makes for easy save/retry loops. The ...


50

I am a bit hesitant to add this option, but it could work. Torus. When seen in 2D (neglect height for a moment) the inside AND the outside of a torus are endless. They simply wrap around on both axes. Placing your characters on a shape like that could be tricky. You could always go easy on yourself and get a less exact torus. (source) Now we're ...


44

Players never look up -- Avoid putting enemies or solutions to problems above the top of the screen when player is looking straight out. Unless, of course, you've taught the player that it's necessary to do so (i.e. Portal). Use lighting to highlight important features or the way to go. Players are very receptive to going down a path if there's a light in ...


43

Depends on the game. In a obstacle course/parkour type game against a time limit it's common to add checkpoints that add to a time limit which is tight enough to that a big mistake will cause failure. In a puzzle game however like your example then just letting the time run out is a better idea. It's probably also a good idea to let them undo actions that ...


40

Basically, you just need to put something at the edge of the world that the player can't move past for some reason. Anything will work, as long as it stops the player from going any further in a particular direction while using the actions allowed by your game. You seem to be looking for a comprehensive list, so here you go; I think this covers all the ...


31

When working out the maths and solving for the Level conditional on experience XP, we obtain: Formula: Level = (1 + sqrt(1+8*XP/50))/2 Where sqrt() is the square root. For example, what is the player's level for XP = 300? (1 + sqrt(1+8*300/50))/2 = (1+7)/2 = Level 4 As requested. Or, what is the level for XP = 100000? (1 + sqrt(1+8*100000/50))/2 ...


30

Don't make a bunch of "jump" puzzles. There is nothing more frustrating than having to do the same jump about ten times until you get it perfectly right (or you have to redo previous jumps because you missed the Xth jump and have to start over).


28

The term you're looking for is signal processing/analysis There are lots of techniques involved but the fundamental one that those games make use of is Beat Detection. This tries to calculate the tempo of the song and where the beats in a measure are and hence place the obstacles the appropriate distance apart to coincide with each beat. The way that the ...


27

Flat Earth The Earth is flat, so why not border the world realistically; A cliff that falls into space.


26

Caves. No start, no end, no invisible walls. There will be no obvious 'walls designed to keep the player from leaving the playing area', since you're in a cave. All walls are the same.


22

To briefly answer your main question first, the main advantages of a procedurally generated game world are that: The world can be huge, much larger than any manually designed game world could possibly be. The world (or at least parts of it) can be regenerated for each game, potentially increasing replay value, since the player will always have something ...


22

The simple and generic solution, if you don't need to repeat this calculation millions of times per second (and if you do, you're probably doing something wrong), is just to use a loop: expLeft = playerExp level = 1 while level < levelCap and expLeft >= 0: expLeft = expLeft - expToAdvanceFrom(level) level = level + 1 if expLeft < 0: level ...


21

No water levels please. You can generalize this to a few good tips: Don't make the levels frustrating -- Don't make the player needlessly backtrack around the level. Don't make the level dependent on some split second timing to get right (and screwed if you don't). Play through the level a few times. Get others to play through it as well. Make sure ...


21

Whatever format you use for your save games, for goodness sake put a version number in. You'll be able to have backwards-compatiable loads by branching on the version number, or you'll be able to safely recognise saves that are too old to load. You'll regret it if you don't.


21

Kill the player Death is an easy way to tell the player they have made a big mistake. And you save them the trouble of restarting by restarting for them. An easy way to retro-fit death into a scenario is to introduce a deadly time-constraint, like water flooding, or walls closing-in. Your imagination is the limit!


19

Presumably all you need to save is the random seed, which is generally just an int. You could encode the int to base64 if you wanted to make it a bit more opaque, but thats probably not needed.


19

A very interesting example is in the first scene of Fallout 4 : You are in your normal house during a normal day and suddenly there are news reports and alerts of nuclear bombs (the beginning of the nuclear war of 2077). You are then tasked to go to the nearby vault as soon as possible. But you can take a long time to do so if you wish. The relevant part is ...


18

Build your art in modular pieces that can be reused throughout the level (or multiple levels) Create "Hero" or detail pieces that really stand out and can act as a point of reference for the player. Use dirtmaps/detail maps that can overlay your modular pieces to break up any tiling effects. Be conscious of your far plane and draw distance. Find ways to ...


14

Valve's games with developer commentary (particularly: Half Life 2: Lost Coast, Episode 1 and Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal) are well worth checking out for some good tips on level design. (L4D also has commentry, but I can't remember if it had much about level design in it.)


14

To clarify the existing answers against your question about consoles: they don't have enough memory to store both the starting state and current state for larger complex games. A game could store the level and initial state separately so that just the state could be restreamed in, and this is very likely what many games do. Even streaming just that is ...


14

Include leaving the game area in your story. Perhaps those pesky guards wont let you leave the city. Perhaps the front door or gate is blocked/locked. It might not all be impossible, but still hard to leave the game area. What happens when the player does leave? You win the game! (but perhaps there is another better ending?) The point is the player need ...


12

A "you have no chance" message can be a pretty jarring break of immersion. If the user is really trying to figure out how to beat the level, his/her mind is deep in their mental model of what is going on. Such a message would be interrupting. If you do want to do this my advice would be one of: Bring the message up slowly, perhaps as just a warning blip ...


11

There's no standard, nor is there actually any reason for there to be. People seem to like the exponential growth as it makes them feel like they're getting more powerful and being faced with proportionately more challenge each time, but in fact that is only true if the way you collect points doesn't also change proportionately as well. If the ...


11

There are many terms for "level" nowadays, depending on the genre of the game and also the preference of its designer(s). Level typically means a secluded, in itself complete portion of the game, mostly independent of the rest; when I hear level, I think of 2D platformers exclusively. For the first or third person shooter genre, levels are more typically ...


11

The question has been answered with code, but I think it should be answered with math. Someone might want to understand instead of just copy and paste. Your system is easily described by a recurrence relation: Which offers a nice simple closed form solution for XP: Which we can solve for Level: (truncate to integer, because the player needs all the ...


11

Tell the player, then save them. A good example how to do this well is the Portal series. Despite the very well thought out puzzle designs where most mistakes can either be fixed or results in immediate death, there are a few situations in the game where the players can trap themselves or screw up the puzzle in a way that it can not be solved. The ...


11

A neat trick I've seen in a game from the past (Ultima 7): make the entire world map seamless, namely once the player has reached an edge, (s)he gets teleported to the opposite side. This technique could work pretty well also if your map is surrounded by water, without the need of blocking the player o killing him/her.



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