Post news RSS Venery Day and an insight on game design.

A discussion on game design, and presenting BDOP´s first level.

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Here at MindKill, we were breaking our heads, trying to figure out a way to make a seamless way to introduce the player to the world, be it a 7 second intro, a 2 minute cutscene, or a 5 minute level, and we have decided to do the 5 minute level that will introduce the player to everything he will do troughout the entire mod.
Venery Day´s first five minutes reminds the player what Half-Life is, Run. Think. Shoot. Live., you start in a gas station in the middle of nowhere, you wake up, you hear shooting, and you already have something to do in your first seconds, you need to find your way to the source of the sound, and for that, you will have to think, because quite inconviniently, a door is locked, and you have to find a way to open it, and what i just said is basecally the mission structure of BDOP.
In BDOP, and basecally every single game that has some sense of design, always gives two things to the player: a main goal, and a secondary goal.
The main goal is the player´s objective, like get to a location, or track down a sound, the secondary goal is either told to the player directly, or when your game is well designed, the player doesen´t even notice it, the secondary goal are the hoops the player has to jump to arrive at the main goal, like finding a cinderblock to break a lock with so you can open a door, they are the really small things that matter.
Now, why am i wasting your time telling you something that maybe is obvious to you?, that´s because it is a proccess to unconscious when you first look at it, that even i don´t notice i´m doing it when designing a level, and that´s something that as obvious as it is, still matters, when the player isn´t given a good main goal, and when the secondary goals become the main goal itself, there is no incentive to continue the experience because at the same time you will still be progressing, you won´t know what you are doing, and the player will never feel accomplished, no matter how many areas they clear or how many secrets their find, because a secondary goal never cuts it as the main goal, the player will still question what he is doing most of the times, and if you don´t have an intended one in the first place, then your experience is actually mild phsycological torture.
A weak main goal also doesen´t cut it, you can spend one entire day overthinking it, but the simplest solution is actually the best one, and that´s why we chose to just stick to a gunshot sound as one of the temporary main goals for BDOP, it is something that gets the player´s curiosity, they want to see what is happening.
This is OUR main goal in making BDOP´s first mission, to not overthink, and to find a simple but effective, and an obvious but genious way to get the player´s attention, and to get the game going.
Stay tuned for more reveals on the new mission, the next article will focus on the mission itself and our progress on it and some of our designs.
-With love from MindKill games.

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