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Ammo/health/treasure/secrets
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Adhesive_Boy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:50 am
   Subject: Ammo/health/treasure/secrets
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You know, items that give the player the upper hand and either enable him to beat his enemies or give him a nice point boost. So, how much/how little of each item should you need? Which areas should they be placed in? How obvious should you make their placement to the player?

Once again, I will not say anything until later...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:55 pm
   Subject: Re: Ammo/health/treasure/secrets
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For starters, I think ammo placement is key to the success of a level (even more so than the other artifacts). A little ammo needs to be placed near the start of every level in case the player dies and is left to start again with a measly 8 bullets. If one does not wish to just leave it out in the open outside the elevator, a rather obvious secret room works fine. Having an SS or a machine gun located somewhere near the start is also a good idea if you tend not to be sadistic. Of course, similar caches of firepower should be made available before large rooms of many enemies (especially mutants). As for placement, in clusters makes the most sense, though the random sprinkling of one clip here and there is not a bad idea either. Frequency is another story. Some of the critiques of my levels are that I don't give away enough ammo. I think this comes from personal enjoyment while playing the game of being low in health and bullets and having to use my speed and wits (and usually knife) to stay alive... after all, the challenge is why we're playing the game, right? What I think I'm trying to say is that frequency of ammo placement can be used to achieve a desired effect: do you want your player to have chaingun fun with rounds spent without worry or do you want your player to make efficient use of his ammo supply? Both methods are fun to play with and can create very different gameplay effects.

Placement of health is similar. The dinners work best in kitchen areas, and dog food (not surprisingly) only makes sense where there are (or once were) dogs. First aid kits work pretty much everywhere but are ideal for secret or hard to reach areas. One method I like to use is to place a bunch of healing in one obscure area of a level and make the player keep running back to it from all corners of the level, thus making the experience seem like one of never ending backtracking.

Treasure and secrets go hand in hand, since the former is best left for placement within the latter. Of course, treasure can and should be placed in non-secret areas, too. I usually reserve crowns for secret areas or as rewards for completion of an area that had no other purpose (so as to not make the player too pissed that they just wasted time and health on an area of no significagance). Hiding treasure behind columns works well and may entice the player to find the secret passage that can access the other side of said columns. Secrets and treasure seem to work best in secret levels and the more bizarre regular levels. Officer/Marble/Executive areas are better suited for treasure placement than other areas, just as labyrinths and sprawling levels are tailor made for frequent secret passages.

The placement of the actual secret doors is a topic worthy of its own examination. Cueing the player with decorated wall panels makes logical sense but need not be followed exclusively. Making sure adequate spaces are placed behind the passage has been covered in other guides but cannot be overemphasized, either.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 1:24 pm
   Subject: Re: Ammo/health/treasure/secrets
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Ammo quantity must be placed by the quantity of enemies, the types of enemies and by the hitpoints. I'm like of put a medium quantity in the second level of the game because I'm make my add-ons start with the knife, so you can get a lot of ammo in the first level. Everytime I think that's better have too much ammo that don't have enough. As for the health (and to ammo too), it must be used very well to the player can complete the game in all difficult skills. Different from ammo, put health in big quantities may kill the fun of the level. Doing it, the player will stay entering in every rooms without care about the enemies because "there's a mine of health behind me!". Not Happy

The treasures. Most wolfers use the treasures in secret areas. This is not bad, but put some by the levels is good too. Exists some people that think that the score don't have much importance in the game. But some peoples may playing an good add-on just to get an high-score. I don't try myself to be the great one, but I'm like of make a good score. However, the treasures, mainy the crown can not be used a lot out of the secret areas. I don't have to be in a secret area, but you can put some key and find the door who hide treasures (like in project Vertilgung).

For the secrets it can't be used much times because:
1-Who like of search by secrets will think may don't like of search by 15 secrets every level.
2-Many times the secrets have treasures. Put many of it may make the player tired of search and he/she will not gain a good score. Inside it may have health and ammo items, what can kill the fun if the player find a lot because the health and ammo items must be placed ti the player beat the level OUT of secret areas.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:25 pm
   Subject: Re: Ammo/health/treasure/secrets
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There are a few styles of giving the player weapons.
1.Give him a chaingun at the beginning.
2. Give him a machinegun at the beginning.
3. Give him a chance of getting a chaingun/machinegun, but make him fight hard for it or hide it in some secret passage.
4. Leave him with his pistol as long as possible.

All of them can be OK if used wisely. But I believe one really has to know what he/(she?Smile) is doing when using 1 and 4. And 3 also needs to be thinked-over. 2 is the safest way to make the level balanced.

And about ammo - as for me a bit too little ammo is better than a bit too much of it, but this is just my personal feeling. And indeed it's importat to remember about difficulty levels - and it works both ways. Passable on easy, impassable on hard - that's a rather obvious case. But sometimes when testing the level on Death Incarnate and reducing the number of clips to absolute minimum Smile I forgot that the poor player on Can I Play Daddy won't have all those brown guards to get ammo from and won't be able to kill the big bad boss at the end with his little knife.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2004 9:14 am
   Subject: Re: Ammo/health/treasure/secrets
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Large amounts of ammo should be put before a big fire fight, and large amounts of health should be put after. Not the other way around. This order is important, because a player shouldn't run out of ammo during the fight, but tons of health before the fight isn't going to help them if they are already at full health.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:01 pm
   Subject: Re: Ammo/health/treasure/secrets
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ack wrote:
I think the problem I just mentioned can be alleviated with coding, although I don't think I have seen it in Wolf as of yet.

The original code takes care of things to a point. The guards take less shots to bring down in lower skill levels, and the damage the player takes from attacks is also lower.

Quote:
I trust that it is possible to assign a skill rating to ammo and health. By that I mean having three different kinds of medikits. One that appears on all four skill levels, one that appears on the three lowest skill levels and finally one that only appears on the two lowest skill levels. This would make map design easier.

I've seen this kind of thing implemented in Duke Nukem II, and it worked very well. Since Wolf3D has enough similarities in gameplay, I think your idea here has good possiblities. Thumbs Up

You might also consider having types of medkits and ammo that appear all the time, but the amount of ammo or health given to you is based on what difficulty you're on. For instance, Difficulty 1 has a "Type 2 medical kit" give you 40% health. Difficulty 2 has that same kit give you 30% health. And so on. This approach was used in the Commander Keen sequels, and again - it seemed to work well.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:36 am
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I think theres a few ways to even things out on skill levels without coding.

One way is SS troops, if the level is easy enough you don't need any and you don't have to add the machine gun. Just keep it mostly guards and dogs, but to make it harder add SS's and they give the harder player the advantage of having a machine gun to even things out a bit.

Normal guards can be a great source of extra ammunition for a harder difficulty and you can make the ammo easy to get buy having the normal guards deaf and facing away from the player. Plus on easier difficulties those guards won't be there. Smile

Another way to make a level harder without adding extra guards that require alot of ammo, is dogs. Put a dog patrolling an area where in easier difficulties there would be no body. and have the floor code set so that it activates a room full of guards that is normally there on easier difficulties but the player would be able to open the door and get the guards as they come to the door. In this scenario the dog alerts the guards and the player is forced to fight them in a less strategic area.

And you thought dogs were useles...Smile

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