|Secrets and Yawns (in single-player levels) - 12/13/97|
level for review is robot salient. It's a Descent 2 level
Hm, after reading Jay & Carl, i wanna qualify what i said - my objection is not to the puzzle itself, i don't mind a puzzle, but i object to the loss of realism. For me, realism is the three most important things about a game. (Well, ok, not exactly /realism/, this _is_ scifi, more a "willing suspension of belief" - the less suspended, the better).
Look, anyone can make a level that has things hidden behind walls that aren't there, or in really odd corners. The point is, the level was supposedly designed as a working mine, and engineers don't generally put control panels where they can't be found or erect fake walls. I just hate to spend my valuable Descent time flying along every single wall to find the one cube where the wall is an illusion or a dead-same textured door. Or wandering aimlessly looking for the one random action that will trigger a door to unlock.
There's a place for hidden things & puzzles IMO - look at D1 level 1, there's about 3 hidden doors, but if u look close, u can /see/ them. I'm trynna say there's fun puzzles & there's "duh" puzzles. Ok, here's "Grant's Scale of Secrets" - for rating hidden things - a kinda "Good Housekeeping" magazine-style test.
1) is the secret a natural part of the architecture and game flow? Like a key could have fallen under water, or be behind a grate, u hafta find the way in, that's realistic. Or u hafta solve a maze, all openings are visible, it's just tricky navigating. If yes to any of these, add 3 points.
2) is the secret likely to be stumbled across without too much trouble, just exploring and fighting the bots? (See suggested list below), or will it be revealed in a later action/ambush? If yes, add 2 points.
3) is the secret visible in the normal course of play? Add 1 point.
4) is the secret only visible if u stand on your left ear and hold your tongue /just so/ - add 0 points.
5) is the secret an essential part of defeating the level? Subtract 1 point.
6) is the secret hidden by an opaque illusory wall, or a door texture that looks just like adjacent cube sides? Subtract 2 points. (see definition of "just like" below)
7) does something shoot outta the wall, but there's just no way to get in or shoot in? Subtract 3 points.
If the secret door/ key/ hostage/ powerup scores:
Using this scale, i'd rate finding the control trigger that opens the access to the yellow key in Robot Salient (which started this thread), as (4)not that noticeable->0, and (5)essential to defeat the level -> -1, for a total of -1. Conclusion, mebby add another clue. (BTW no intent to pick on this level, i mostly /liked/ it :)
What's the threshold of door visibility? some examples (D2 texture numbers) -
Clues to help MatDef find the secret door/switch/whatever without being too obvious:
Sigh, another long Grantpost. Just hadta get this stuff off my chest. [...]
taken from Descent Developer's Mailing List
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