View Full Version : Predetermined Path?

10-11-2001, 01:02 PM
Just a thought, brought to my attention in another topic..... about opening doors different ways....

Would you guys prefer to have one set path to follow, or multiple ways to get somewhere?

Thought we might be able to discuss it...

10-11-2001, 01:31 PM
First of all, you can never really have a totally non-linear game, because there will always be an objective to achieve, and a story to follow.

Having said that, I have to say that I dislike having just one linear path between the start point and the objective. It makes me feel a bit like a rat in a maze.

JK did manage to introduce at least one level where you could take one path or another to reach the same objective. Remember the Falling Ship? You could either choose to go through the doors, or through the vent at the start of that level, and I liked having the choice of going one way or the other.

Personally I would prefer at least two paths through each level...and if those paths crossed, it would in effect give you even greater choice, because you could switch paths halfway through.

Different ways of circumventing security measures, including doors, and different routes of approach to an objective would give the SP game especially a greater replay value.

One of the dangers is to have a level that is too open and non-linear, however. You could get lost, or wind up where you started. And there may be issues around scripting events.

A way around that might be to give the player a choice, then close the passage behind them (with a heavy-duty blast door, cave-in, crashed vehicle, etc.). That way, it drives you forward until you come to another choice of pathways, etc. In that way, you can prevent the player from simply running around in circles...and allow them to see something different the next time they play, if they choose the other path.

Of course, there are problems with that model too, because on occasion you might want to go through an entire level, completely clearing it out - especially if you are really low on ammo/health at the end of the level, and need to give yourself a boost.

I guess it means trying to find the right balance, but strictly linear levels with limited choice belong in the past.

10-11-2001, 06:00 PM
This problem could be somewhat adressed in JO.

For instance, they say the way you play a level determines which NPC's will help you, or not. And who knows how else they will incorporate this.

Also, if the saber is as lethal and as realistic as they claim now, we should be able to cut through at least SOME doors, but not all.

This could indeed lead to other ways to complete a level.

[ October 11, 2001: Message edited by: SlowbieOne ]

Krayt Tion
10-11-2001, 08:06 PM
I'm definitely in the multi-approach for level advancement camp, have been ever since Deus Ex. Allow me to quote (http://www.jediknightii.net/cgi-bin/forum/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=10&t=000519)... myself ;) :

To give a good example, you should be able to fight your way to an Imperial Garrison in a city and navigate some surrounding tunnels to blast out the Garrison back door controls. And be able to talk to Jeffrey who can lead you to his father's Metal Bikini HoloMag distribution center in the same city, and sneak you in with a routine shipment of Metal Bikini HoloMag supplies if you so choose. The ability to take truely different approaches to level advancement is quite a blessing to me as a gamer in an FPS.

A single way to advance throughout an entire single player level is has old as the find-the-key-to-advance game play, the two once went hand in hand. Thankfully most FPSes have 'evolved' past the find-the-key gameplay, but the linear level advancement still lingers!

I can't tell you how refreshing it is to play an FPS from a 'What do I think is the best way to approach this part of the level' perspective; this instead of the tired 'What exactly did the designers want me to do here.' The later is trite, more forced and apparent, and after playing DE seems like the cheaper and easier way to approach level design.

Please note I'm not talking about designers assigning you an overall storyline (which can be changed with some finite limitations) or even individual level objectives (which do not have to be met for you to advance/progress in the game), I'm talking about how you get to whatever is bound to happen to you at the end of a certain level/area. Most of you probably know what I mean but for those that don't that is the very important difference.

I'm definitely in agreement with you folks here as to the approach they should take to level advancement- the more 'paths' the merrier, up to a certain point. A few is much better than just one.

[ October 11, 2001: Message edited by: Krayt Tion ]

Krayt Tion
10-12-2001, 05:13 PM
VERY good read (http://www.igda.org/Endeavors/Articles/hsmith_intro.htm)

Deus Ex tried to provide the player with a host of player-expression tools and then turn him loose in an immersive, atmospheric environment. We wanted to do this in a way that did not limit the player to a few predefined choices, but instead allowed the player to come up with his own strategies within the flexible rules of the environment. We wanted to allow the player to approach the game from the direction of his choice, employing his own play-style cobbled together from the options we allowed. Sometimes we succeeded; sometimes we fell back on more traditional (more limited) means of providing interactivity. The desire to give this talk today was largely fueled by seeing both moments in Deus Ex.

Article ripped shamelessly from FS.

Directions I would like to see JK2 and other single player games head in are mentioned at times in the article... hmm... who knows what approach Raven is taking with single player. Open-ended gameplay too big of an undertaking? Too little time with the corporate gorillas on pounding on their backs? Bad way to go about things in their opinion to begin with (my ignorant self would love to debate this)? Who knows, we shall see. :confused: :

Ice Man
10-12-2001, 08:14 PM
I think the game should have a linear plot, but with multiple paths to achieving the objective. Have you heard of the new James Bond game that EA is developing. Well, it allows Bond to achieve his mission objectives by using either stealth or by blasting your way through the level. I think JKII should implement this form of mission structure, although by this time it is likely too late, as I believe the basics for the levels have been laid down.
We'll just have to see what Raven gives us. I wish they'd give us a chat with them!

Millions o' Monkeys
10-12-2001, 09:13 PM
ditto ice man
just think if you had a large map say in a city or something and you could go anywhere you wanted..get lost find lots o cool stuff i believe that that would be tuff

10-13-2001, 12:59 AM
Originally posted by Krayt Tion:
<STRONG>Too little time with the corporate gorillas on pounding on their backs</STRONG>

Corporate gorillas eh?

[ October 12, 2001: Message edited by: GonkH8er ]

10-13-2001, 12:53 PM
I kinda liked the way Hitman gave you non-linear freedom to choose how to carry out your missions... It made game much more challenging, because you needed careful planning before you proceeded and I think that might also work with some of JK2's levels, while others would be more linear and action oriented.

[ October 13, 2001: Message edited by: Lord_FinnSon ]

Krayt Tion
10-13-2001, 06:35 PM
Gorillas, yes. Normally you have the monkey on your back, but their hollar and hoot isn't quite as oppressive, not to mention to chest beating. :p

10-14-2001, 09:35 AM
I just finished max payne 2 days ago, after having it for 2 days :) and I kindof got annoyed with the linear path system. I mean, there were certain areas where you could choose your path, slightly, but most of the time it was corridor by corridor.

It would have really bugged me, but it's such and involving and intense game that I let it slip :)

Oh, and by corporate Gorillas are you referring to LEC? :)