This alternate description of the Wario Land 2-style
Jon Lambert on Wario Land 2-style The first level is the one right under the word Map. That level starts with Wario sleeping (as you could see in one of the videos I posted.) If you wake up and destroy the clock, you go down the map and the first chapter is then based on you following the pirates out of the castle. If you choose not to wake up, the pirates throw you out of the castle and take over, causing you to move to the right on the map and enter Chapter 2, where you must storm your castle and throw the pirates out. On that path, the game ends with 6 levels. Waking up leads you to the next crossroads, where you choose between fighting the giant snake and going right, leading to your chasing them out of the castle and to their pirate ship, or take the regular exit and follow them into the castle cellar. This is an example of a branching path that does not lead to a game ending. Each part of the path following a boss (denoted by a skull) is another chapter and is preceded by a cutscene.
Looking at the Wario Land 2 map again. each polygon divides all the separate levels on the map into the different chapters. The orange is "Save Wario Castle!" where you must storm Wario's castle to regain control. Light brown is "One noisy morning" where Wario must undo all the damage to his castle caused by the pirates. This goes on like this with a cellar chapter, pirate ship chapter, underwater chapter, haunted mansion chapter, forest chapter, city chapter, and enemy castle chapter.
With progress, I'd like it to be like Wario Land 2 where you go through one story first and then once you've beaten a final level, you can use the map to go to any old level and follow different paths. The world would be split into different areas, which would be somewhat like worlds, and each area would have a number of levels with the same theme. However, multiple areas could have similar themes, for example, there could be a forest and a valley, or a city and then the city sewers or a city and an abandoned city.
And this alternate description of Mode #3 (Metroidvania) by aphant
aphant on Metroidvania One of the single biggest obstacles we might have is level design. I like the concept of having levels branch out, but I think that without a lot of levels it won't be as rewarding as we hope. In the diagram for #1, there is a short, 7 block route, an 11 block route, two 14 block routes, and two 18 block routes, all coming to a total of 27 level blocks! It looks like it would work, but think about it again: 27 levels.
Meanwhile, if you were to look at a Metroidvania map, you'll see something like this:
That's 124 grid tiles, but only 34 rooms. 34 rooms sounds like it's more than 27 (mathematically, it is!), but if we were to further break that map down into regions...
We've got 5 different regions. What's special about regions in a Metroidvania gamesis that they share the same basic level design: The dark green area at the bottom for example, focuses primarily on basic running and jumping; The fuschia area to the right puts a heavier focus on jumping, attacking, and falling; The pink area is focused more on having a lot of room to jump upwards and larger enemies, having a focus on defense manuevering; The brown area focuses more on an onslaught of enemies and keeping up a solid offense; The violet area to the top combines everything that the player has come across for the home stretch. Basically, a Metroidvania game can get away with repeated level design within the same region, because it fits the overall theme; A region in a Metroidvania game is essentially a level with multiple rooms!
Let's look at a basic route that the player could take. Green lines indicate an easier path, yellow is slightly more difficult, and red is for the end game:
Where there are dots and a number, the player has to do something. Maybe it's a boss fight, maybe it's just a cutscene. The idea is to guide the player around the entirety of the map, testing their skills as they go in an increasingly difficult manner. But the route doesn't have to be set in stone! Maybe the player is a bit crafty, they know where they're going, and they've got the means to do what should normally be impossible...
They might just get to PoI #2 and then skip to #5, and because of the timing of it, they're able to fight the last boss before they would have had a chance to relocate or whatever.
I do not like the metroidvania style. How does it lend itself to replaying levels? Just backtracking to them?
Also, you can never get away with repeated level design. It's still poor design.
I voted for the wario land 2 style progression, but I'd also like to perhaps include the possibility of progressing by consequence as well.
I want to see a world map because it gives the player a sense of progression and a idea of what's to come.
While I want to see a world map on the first playthrough, the levels and path will not be revealed to the player until after they have completed the game.
I am more in favor of making each level unique from one another and not falling back of repeated design. Let's not settle for that.
I voted on Wario Land 2 style, but i'd like to see a world map also, which would show the new paths as you play and 'unlock' them. Something like you would see the entire map, and theres a island a bit far, there may be, or not, a path leading there.
I voted Wario Land 2, because I am of the opinion that we don't need to care about how the player progresses right now. We have enough ideas for it. Let's just pick one and get started before people start going back to school. We should be focusing more on the actual gameplay than progression at this point, so that we can (again) get started.
I don't know what category it'd fall into, but I like the idea of a player building up his character, getting him some cool weapons and power ups, and then throwing that central character into different stages and letting him use his abilites to solve / shoot through anything that gets in his way.
For example in Diablo for the PS1, you could journey with your character and get them loads of stuff, then save the character only. This character could then be loaded up for another new adventure later and start with everything (s)he already had from last time.
So maybe in the TDC game you could grab medals / badges / accomplishments or whatever say every 10th stage that would be saved to the guy. Then on any new game he'd start with some extra powers or stats or something.
Eh, something like that.
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DXF Games, coming next: Hasslevania 2- This Space for Rent!