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The team tackes decisions on kill volumes and their use in the game to transport or punish the player.

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Do We Kill Them?

This may seem a little harsh, but you must realize that the term "killing the player" has changed in the last 30 years. No longer are games just killing players for punishment, but they're killing them for a hidden reward.

Our main source for this has been Super Meat Boy; the creators of Meat Boy kill the player and send them to start of the level but do it so fast and so seamless that you don't feel like you've been punished. In fact, after you beat the level, you get to see all of your previous attempts at beating the level play through it as tens (or hundreds in my case) of meat boy characters run and get slaughtered by saws and spikes. A cinematic reward for failure.

Our solution was to put the re-spawn points right before the difficult sections of the levels (not at the very beginning), and minimize the time of the death animation to let the player jump right back into the game where they failed and try again. It teaches the player to learn our early mechanics and doesn't make them restart the level. Also whenever a player overcomes the challenge that they've failed so many times on it still gives them a rewarding sense of success.

More design insights coming tomorrow morning in Player Freedom, Gated.

Kramer, out.

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