Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Risk and Reward Scenarios
In the second level, I introduce the first hazards (red
dots), as shown in Fig. 15.14 . These red dots will reset
the player to the start of the level if they collide. The
most direct path for the player to take through the
level involves navigating around these red dots in very
close proximity. However, you
ll also notice that there
is also a secondary path along the left and bottom of
the level. This path has no hazards but is much more
out of the way and will take longer to navigate, assum-
ing the player doesn
t hit a hazard on the more direct
path. This is known as a risk/reward scenario; a player
is presented with the option to take a calculated risk
in order to reap a benefit. In this case, the reward for
navigating the hazards successfully is more time left
on the clock and a higher score. It is important to
think about scenarios like this in level design because
it provides a much richer experience for a broader
range of players. More conservative gamers who are
more interested in getting to the end might take the
safe path, whereas the user interested only in leader-
board rank will always want to risk being reset to
achieve the highest possible score.
Figure 15.14 The second level of Marble
Runner, where hazards are introduced.
Where to Take It
This engine provides a solid base on which many hundreds of
levels could be built with variety of artworks. However, there are a
number of enhancements that should be considered before you
could consider this a great game. Here are a few to ponder.
This example features extremely basic scoring principles. For every
second left on the clock, 150 points are awarded. It doesn
t get much
more straightforward than that. To make it more interesting for
players, though, it would be a good idea to introduce other ways to
earn points. Maybe every level has a base score value that you receive
automatically for completing it. Maybe there is an additional bonus
that can be earned for completing a level without restarting it because
of a hazard.
Although it would require modifying the base engine, a feature that
would be very welcome would be the idea of pickups. These would
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