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Layout - room size/shape
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Adhesive_Boy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:29 am
   Subject: Layout - room size/shape
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Figured I should start making these topics now.

Right now, I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on the physical layout of the levels (the size and shape of rooms and how they connect). Should you use smaller rooms? Big rooms with a bunch of connecting hallways? Should a linear/non-linear? Should it be mazy? How about symmetry? My personal belief is that it's good to have a mix of everything for variety's sake. But, I'll hold back on any more of my thoughts until you guys contribute stuff.

Post away!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:46 pm
   Subject: Re: Layout - room size/shape
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I believe in variation in accordance with whatever storyline you have. Each episode of Wolf3D had its own unique design...Episode 1 had a lot of long, brightly lit hallways, Episode 2 was sort of mazey, Episode 3 had a lot of smaller, interconnected rooms, etc. Each episode's layout varied with their storyline, be it a large prison castle, an ancient castle with many tunnel systems or Hitler's underground bunker.

However, if you're just designing without any storyline and just want to make some fun levels, then I personally believe in sticking with about two main types of design and swapping them up every now and then. For example, small tunnels which connect to small rooms, or long hallways which connect to big, grand palace-type areas, etc. I'm not keen on levels that are too wildly varied, though...Eg., starting the player out in a big maze that takes 20 minutes to beat and then going into big, huge halls and THEN go into just weirdly shaped rooms. If you find this happens while you're designing, just break up the level into other levels if you really like the ideas that much. An occasional oddly shaped room is ok, and little nooks and crannies can be essential to the player's survival, but just don't swap things up *too* much. The occasional surprise or change in design is good, but too much of it is just nuts...

I'll post a few more comments later regarding room shapes / sizes / styles I like after I get some work done, but there's a few comments for you...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2004 9:38 am
   Subject: Re: Layout - room size/shape
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Well I think most rooms should have a sensible design since most were man made structures, but when it comes to the rocky areas, like the purple boulders or that sandy rock texture they should be kind of random to look cave like. Secret passages can be mazy, but I personally think that you should avoid mazy at all costs unless it leads to or is part of a secret, and you should also find a way to designate to a player that a mazy area is about to begin. Texture usage helps with this. This way they can save before hand and whip out some scratch paper to map the maze out before they get lost.

Sewer areas should be mostly long tunnels while prison areas would be hallways with rooms connected at the sides. Castle areas can be small jointed rooms but with some kind of central hallway that connects most of them.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:55 pm
   Subject: Re: Layout - room size/shape
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Well, the layout and the map's shape will partly depend on how big you want the map to feel. The way you make a map "feel" big is simply by increasing the amount of time it takes the player to go from one end of the room to the other.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:33 am
   Subject: Re: Layout - room size/shape
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You can increase the time a player takes to get through a map by adding some well placed doors...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:22 pm
   Subject: Re: Layout - room size/shape
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This would be an approach I doubt I'm familiar with. Could you give an example? Thanks. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:23 am
   Subject: Re: Layout - room size/shape
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.....


Last edited by Thomas on Wed May 25, 2011 9:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:26 am
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I agree, rooms with odd numbers of wall tiles are good as you can put the lights in the direct middle of a pair of opposite walls.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:01 am
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Sorry to be late on the reply here (I have no clue how late) but to increase the time by adding well placed doors, I mean simply put doors in rooms that give the players alot of choices on where to go, further more have one room be connected to other rooms through doors, possibly causing the player to loop back where he came from. I like to keep most of my rooms inter connected giving the player the opportunity to choose how he/she wants to play the level. This keeps it from being linear, but misusing this can cause maziness (which would increase the time it takes the player to make it through the level.)

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 6:01 pm
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*This post was months in the making...it took many hours to pick the precise words, lettering and font to make this post perfect...*

Well said ringman. I agree

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 6:31 pm
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Ringman wrote:
Sorry to be late on the reply here (I have no clue how late) but to increase the time by adding well placed doors, I mean simply put doors in rooms that give the players alot of choices on where to go, further more have one room be connected to other rooms through doors, possibly causing the player to loop back where he came from. I like to keep most of my rooms inter connected giving the player the opportunity to choose how he/she wants to play the level. This keeps it from being linear, but misusing this can cause maziness (which would increase the time it takes the player to make it through the level.)

Ah, so I *have* used this approach before. Did so in most of my earlier levels.

In doing this method, I even had one level (this was before the source code was available) that had the maximum 64 doors, 399 objects, and 149 guards, and the level wasn't even 50% complete! The level sucked though, so I just made notes of what I liked, and re-started from scratch.

It's gotten to the point now though, I can do this sort of thing when hardly using any doors at all. I do this so automatically nowadays, I'm going to have to look over these new maps to figure out what exactly I'm doing now, since I always forget the details of my methods every time I think about them. Sort of like tying your shoelaces, I guess ... Shrug
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 11:59 am
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.....


Last edited by Thomas on Sat May 28, 2011 3:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 6:06 pm
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Thomas wrote:
64 doors used in a level? It's by impossible to make something with that... Unless you're a good placer.

Oh, that's simple - You have several doors leading to Hall #1, several doors leading to Hall #2, and so on. You can take several paths that all lead to the same halls, but since they're different *parts* of the hall, the player doesn't realize he's been to that particular area before, and you easily have the player wander around in circles for hours, even days.

It's an old, old trick of mine, but I gave it up years ago because it kept eating up too many free spots in the list for Static Objects and Doors. Might be good to go back to that method sometime soon though, since the Static Objects and Doors limit isn't a problem any longer, and I have six Boss Levels to design from scratch for my upcoming TC, and I want all of them to seem *very* big. Cool
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