Rabid Lion Games

Design-time: first area map

July 28th, 2011


It’s been a while since my last update for one reason or another. I took some time out from working on Sphero to start-up a small side project. I won’t elaborate on it here now, as I’m not sure if its going to go anywhere. If it does then I’ll be sure to post an update 🙂

I started back on Sphero a bit over a week ago, and I’ve finally turned my hand to designing the map/ puzzles for the game.

The game is essentially a cross between a Metroidvania and a puzzle platformer. The world is split into 5 areas: the Forest, the Ice Wastelands, the Mine, the City, and the Core. In each of the first four areas there are one of the 4 totems which unlock one of the gameplay mechanics (double-jumping, turbo speed, wall-crawling and er, being on fire!).

The two images below show what I’ve designed so far. The first is a general guide for the 5 areas, and the second is the detailed design for the Forest area. The overlay with arrows/ words etc is just a guide so that I know when I need to design the puzzles in such a way that the player will need a certain ability to proceed:

You may have noticed the little yellow section marked ‘ship’ in the first image. You’ll just have to wait and see what that’s all about… 😉

The map might not look like much, but it’s taken a lot, lot longer to design these puzzles than I’d ever expected. I seem to be saying this a lot lately, but design is hard! Given that a puzzle platformer lives or dies by the quality of its puzzles, its balance between being challenging enough and not being frustrating, and its learning curve, there’s a lot to conisder, and I’d be very surprised it I don’t have to make significant changes to all of the puzzles I’ve designed so far before I’m through, but its a start.

Anywho, that’s all for now, I’ll post again when I have the map for the next area finished.

Catch you next time.

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