138 votes
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How can I create borders in an open-world game that don't feel artificial?

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/...
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100 votes
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Dungeons in a 3d space game

Level designers I've spoken with often lament how difficult it is to create interesting challenges & spaces in open areas, so you've definitely set a hard problem for yourself. That said, the ...
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69 votes

How can I create borders in an open-world game that don't feel artificial?

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 ...
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  • 719
56 votes

How can I create borders in an open-world game that don't feel artificial?

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 ...
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  • 828
48 votes

How can I create borders in an open-world game that don't feel artificial?

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 ...
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42 votes
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How can I design the environments in my game to be memorable and unique?

A very simple method to add an unique look and feel to an area without spending a lot of development effort on asset creation is to use a different color palette for each area of the game. In a 2d ...
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40 votes

How can I make my players interested in the game lore of my MMORPG?

Players will mentally filter out any information which doesn't seem to be relevant for reaching the objective of the game. In an MMORPG, the objective is to level up and acquire equipment. All ...
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37 votes
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Best practice for map coordinate system

Most games place the map origin in a corner. The main reason for this is that tilemaps are often internally stored in two-dimensional arrays, and most programming languages don't allow negative array ...
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37 votes
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How to make a 'One Hit and Dead' platformer feel fair

That's the trade-off to this kind of game play design, the player is expected to die many times to learn mechanics and Boss abilities. To make those deaths palatable to the player I have a few ideas: ...
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36 votes

Why do most racing games have tracks that are closed loops?

I'm not sure about your assertion of "most" - many games like GT, DriveClub, etc, have many point-to-point races... But there are two reasons to this: Firstly, many real-life races are lap-based on ...
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31 votes

How can I create borders in an open-world game that don't feel artificial?

Flat Earth The Earth is flat, so why not border the world realistically; A cliff that falls into space.
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28 votes
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How can I make backtracking interesting?

One thing I liked about the backtracking in Super Metroid is how your new powers allowed you to get through the areas faster, but in a more challenging way. Another way is to place items such as ...
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  • 4,843
27 votes

How can I create borders in an open-world game that don't feel artificial?

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.
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27 votes
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Making random spawn points fair?

Let the players pick their start locations themselves. At the beginning of the game, spawn all players in the center of the map, but without any means of harming the other players. They will then ...
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26 votes

Why do most racing games have tracks that are closed loops?

From a design point of view, it's advantageous for new players to learn the placement of powerups, dangers and other landmarks on the track in the first lap so they can focus more on gameplay for the ...
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25 votes
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How can I make my players interested in the game lore of my MMORPG?

While the other answers give you good advice how to achieve your stated goal, I'd like you to consider a different angle. Experience vs. Test of Skill Games can be put on an axis that goes from "...
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22 votes

How to make a 'One Hit and Dead' platformer feel fair

In addition to Patrick's answer: Time it takes to retry needs to be short, borderline instantaneous. Take Super Meat Boy as an example. Compare with Teslagrad's 4 second death animation. Time it ...
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21 votes

How can I create borders in an open-world game that don't feel artificial?

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 ...
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  • 311
21 votes

How can I make my players interested in the game lore of my MMORPG?

The simple answer is: you can't. Some players enjoy lore, reading non-stop about a fantasy adventure and weird scenarios that unfold in front of them. Other players enjoy a hard puzzle that makes ...
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  • 4,218
21 votes

How can I design the environments in my game to be memorable and unique?

Aside from Philipp's suggestions, you can also push your environments in different conceptual directions, and maybe imply a bit of history too. Lifeless, Rocky Landscape/Caves: Dusty rocks can make ...
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16 votes
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Creating a seamlessly looping 2D multiplayer level?

This system with all these triggers sounds a bit too complicated and error prone. You could wrap the position of the player using modulo with something like ...
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  • 667
16 votes

How can I design the environments in my game to be memorable and unique?

The game takes place on a barren, lifeless planet that's being harvested for resources by a sprawling autonomous mining/factory complex. Every building has a background and a history that should be ...
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14 votes

How can I make backtracking interesting?

You said that modifying the level beyond recognition is out of the question, but what about only small, randomized modifications to levels? This can be in form of events which only have a certain ...
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  • 112k
14 votes

How can I create borders in an open-world game that don't feel artificial?

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 ...
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  • 291
14 votes

How can I make my players interested in the game lore of my MMORPG?

Let them choose how much they see Yes, they should be able to skip any dialogue, for those who want that, but that's pretty black and white - it tends to be either skip everything or skip nothing - it'...
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13 votes

Creating a seamlessly looping 2D multiplayer level?

The canonical solution is to use portals. In your example, there is only one level, except there is a portal connecting the left and right ends. Anything moving across that portal will have its ...
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13 votes
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How to calculate players engagement?

This is a very tricky concept to measure for many reasons. DMGregory suggests very common metrics in modern games. I would suggest that these metrics, again very common in the industry, do not ...
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  • 2,169
13 votes

Physics-based marble race: how can you minimize the gap between first and last?

Add some destructible obstacles (e.g. balloons that get popped, glass that gets broken) that will slow down or even temporarily stop the first player to pass through it, but then is gone and won't ...
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  • 1,115
12 votes

Best practice for map coordinate system

In theory the location of the origin doesn't matter. All math operations you do when the map is rendered or when objects move on the map work fine regardless of where the origin actually. However in ...
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