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Posts posted by 0kelvin

  1. I'm going to apply all those 20 lessons to level design. I already read it on wizards site years ago. But now I was looking at it and realized that it very much applies to level design.

    For ex:

    Lessons 17 is about adding too much which is more or less the same concept of Negative space of another talk, from Epic Games, about level design.

    Lesson 16 is about boring the player and how many games out there are too repetitive? I played a few in the last months that were just that, excessively repetitive.

    Lesson 2 is about asthetics and how a card generates complains because it has a lot of number 7s with a number 8 standing out. This very much relates to level design because a lot of times the design can be symmetrical / assymetrical and sometimes, assymmetry hurts.

  2. One of the most crucial aspects of mental health is vocabulary. I learned that by watching some videos about neurosciences and some experts in borderline personality. The first thing that often comes is: what do you feel? how do you describe it?

    Speaking of borderline. After watching some experts talk about it I changed my view on crimes. The press is very quick at labelling criminals psychopaths, borderline, cruel and the like. But you can't blame the disorder for it. In some cases yes, but more often not. I've seen a case where schizophrenia was given as an excuse for racism. Hmm.. no, really no.

  3. I was researching some material to add to my level design site when I stumbled upon a curious condition. Some people are unable to memorize routes and get lost. While I was reading about level design I've accidentaly found about a condition that leaves a person unable to memorize a route. Level design has many sub-areas and one of them is giving the player directions. In some games the level design is poor and the player is lost with no clear indication of where to go. I've found out that the same can happen in real life and in some extreme cases it can be disorienting for a person to go to the bathroom in a school. They just can't memorize the route from class to bathroom and from bathroom to class.

    In Shadow Warrior 2013 they made the mistake of putting strong lights in dead ends or in the background, missguiding the player. In Alan Wake it's the opposite, light is very well used and you can trust light to guide yourself. It seems that some people are unable to recognize clues to follow a path. That or they have memorie issues that prevent them from memorizing a map.


  4. I wasn't suggesting self-diagnose. I was saying that reading about emotions and how they relate to mental health. The diseases are often missunderstood because ppl have missconceptions and understanding the missconception helps to have a better understanding of emotions in general.

    Everyone can have obsessions, lack of focus, bad mood, bad days, etc. They are naturally occuring in most cases. Diseases happen when those are in extreme levels, both high or low.

  5. One thing that you can do is follow podcasts or read about specific things such as:

    - Ego defense mechanisms
    - Emotions from the point of view of neuroscientists

    OCD, ADHD, Depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia. If you go beyond the lists of symptoms and look for environmental causes you are likely to find one or more little details that may sound familiar to you.

  6. Played half of Wolfenstein and then dropped it. The levels are great and it has some Bioshock vibes due its design. It's semi open world with a city that you can freely go from one area to another, with loadins due to RAM restrictions at the time. The supernatural powers seem to be inspired by Jedi Knight 2, they work the same way. Except that you recharge at specific spots that are everywhere. The Black sun dimension is more or less the same idea used in Prey's spirit walk. I'd say that Wolfenstein is Prey 2006 with everything wrong done right. At least in terms of level design, game mechanics and a plot that isn't some random sh.... pulled from one's ass.

    The bad side about Wolfenstein is that it's repetitive. The same nazis from start to finish. It gets boring fast.

    The good side are the levels. Whoever made the hospital and the castle are very good. The level design does guide the player in the right direction.

    I was going to try RTCW but I decided to not to. I just watched the gameplay and the game is exactly the same old wolfenstein 3D with newer tech. The level design looks good but plays bad. Whoever was playing it spent 50% of the time lost in the levels and shooting at things that do nothing.

  7. Reordered the site now as follows:

    Readability and contrast

    Good examples
    Excess / Lack

    Pointing out paths

    Absence of landmarks
    Paths that are properly highlighted
    Paths that aren't properly highlighted

    Challanges and obstacles

    Randomness (this page contains no screenshots, it's a rant about how excessive randomness as in Path of Exile leads to frustration)
    Good challenges
    Challenges that are badly presented

    Architecture and design

    Form and functions that are non recognizable
    Lack of coherence
    Examples of nonsensical design choices
    Exploring the environment
    Good examples of coherence
    Problems with collision


    Good examples
    Bad examples

    Long essays on main category page. Screenshots and comments on subpages.


  8. So I wrote 10 pages and plan to translate to english later. Now I have to do some cleaning up and choose a better structure for the text. I didn't wrote much, it's mostly screenshots and commentary. Currently it is as follows:

    - Readability and contrast. I choose FEAR 2, Diablo 2, Path of Exile, Prey 2006, a map of mine and Unreal Tournament's Outpost 23 to talk about how having too much / little contrast is a bad thing.

    - Poorly highlighted paths. I choose Shadow Warrior, Unreal Tournament 1, Jedi Knight 1, Prey 2006, as examples of paths that the player have a hard time finding.

    - Well highlighted paths. Max Payne 1, Alan Wake, Jedi Knight 2, Shadow Warrior, as examples of paths are are clearly visible nad the player can easly follow.

    - Bad puzzles. Prey 2006 is a lesson on how to make puzzles that are both too easy and too confuse because the player have no idea of what to do.

    - Good puzzles. Prey 2006 and Jedi Knight 2. Interestnly, the ideas in Prey 2006 are creative. It's the execution of the puzzles that is poor.

    - Exploration. Doom SIGIL, Bioshock Infinite and Alan Wake as examples of what you can do to engage the player to explore. In the case of Bioshock I criticized how they place a locked chest in one place and the key very far away in a way that forces you to backtrack a long journey for little gain.

    - Landmarks. Discovery Channel, doom 1993, Alan Wake and Jedi Knight 2 as examples of how landmarks are a good thing.

    - Lack of landmarks. UT1 and GoldenEye, as examples of how a map with no landmarks at all, assymetric design and the same lights and textures reused everywhere create a map that is very hard to navigate.

    - Coherence and cohesion. I use Shadow Warrior and Prey 2006 as examples of how things in the game world are out of place or lack any logic behind it.

    - Form and function. I use Prey 2006 as an example of objects that you just can't tell what they are and levels that you can't tell where you are. It's just nonsense. That and how you have to make good use of the mechanics that you have. For ex: in the same space you have a regular bridge to cross and an anti-grav bridge that makes you corss the same chasm walking upside down.

  9. After reading the comments @Minos made about Resident Evil 2's lighting in his blog I decided to write about that too.

    Prey 2006 was such a bad experience in terms of leveldesign that I'm taking it as a lesson. They clearly made this game with no sense of direction at all. They place lights on doors that are so small and so weak that you can barely notice them. Even worse, they place strong lights on things that serve no purpose at all. They just thought that it looks cool and that's it. You are constantly driven in the wrong direction because the strong lights are leading to nowhere.

  10. I'm playing John Romero's Sigil. Things that I noticed:

    - Romero knows how to make the game hard. It's not quantity of monsters, but quality. It's the placement combined with the leveldesign that makes it hard.

    - The music perfectly matches doom

    - There are clever tricks such as presenting the player with a cyberdemon but you don't have enough ammo or weapons to kill it. What do you do? if you look closely there is another way to frag it that doesn't require weapons at all.

    - The secrets are well hidden. It's never obvious.

    - Romero really liked the hell's theme. Each map has a sense of being a living nightmare and there are scary moments

    - Doom does not render true 3D space but the levels are designed in a way that you have heights and you can freely explore the locations in a non linear way.

    - There is a steady player's progression. There are mechanics that once you learn it, the same procedure happens in the next levels.

    - Sometimes Romero places a deco representing death and there is some ammo next to it. A few steps further and there is a sharp turn. It's not just random placement or deco that is just that, a deco. It's a warning sing, very subtle indeed.

  11. "This does not bode well, for it confirms my darkest fears. While I did not allow myself to believe the Ancient Legends, I cannot deny them now. Perhaps the time has come to reveal who I am. My true name is Deckard Cain the Elder, and I am the last descendant of an Ancient Brotherhood that was dedicated to safeguarding the secrets of a timeless Evil. An Evil that quite obviously has now been released."

    Deckard Kain in Diablo 1.

    (I'm not making a joke)

  12. I decided to start writing about leveldesign. The idea came after so many maps that I made for unreal and being frustrated by how bad the levels in Prey 2006 were. Shadow Warrior also has some confusing levels. F.E.A.R. in contrast has great leveldesign.


    In Prey 2006 they placed a slot machine with a pipe next to a door. I spent almost a minute trying to open that door. They placed the machine in a way that you are tempted to use it because it really feels as if the machine would unlock the door.

  13. I played the first up to level 7. Having to fight horde after horde is tiring and boring.

    The second game I read some negative reviews in steam and decided to skip it.

    The third game seems to be in the right direction except for their art. They are relying on oversaturated graphics for some reason. Compare it to Doom / Doom Eternal, SW3's lighting and colors are pushed in a way that makes the screen hard to focus on the important things.

  14. I'm playing bioshock 2's Minerva's Den. The storyline is better than bioshock 2. But bioshock game is such an unstable game, it crashes way too often. In infinite the game would almost crash, minimizing itself and pausing for no reason. Right now bioshock 2 crashed and refuses to open, something is corrupted.

    Levine made a self contained game in bioshock 1. The storyline ends there. Columbia is also self contained. But Columbia suffered from a creativity crisis somehow. The last levels are all at night, with a thunderstorm, snow and the only explanation for it is that you crossed into another dimension. That ghost boss and the white boys are clearly a throwback to Rapture City. They even placed bath tubes in that dark research lab, mimicking Rapture's setting.

    Finished Burial at Sea and they forcibly connected both bioshock's worlds for no reason. It creates a paradox where you can't tell which city came first.

    For the next game they should keep upgrades, powers and weapons. But make the weapons and the powers meaningful, with tech that is part of the game's world and is required in different scenarios. In infinite you could skip almost all powers and weapons due to their redundant nature.

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