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Level Ideas For A Puzzle / Platform Game


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#1 daman123125

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 04:55 AM

Hello, I am making a puzzle/platform game called MidgeMen, and I need ideas for how the levels will turn out.
In the game, you have to smash hard-to-reach crates to get the orbs inside. When you get all the orbs, the finish will appear. In some levels a clue(text) in the top-left corner of the screen will give you a hint of how to get to the crates.

Right now I need ideas for the concept all the 35 levels I am going to make. So far I have about 3 levels that I made myself, so I'll need about 32 more level ideas. Use this form for an idea you will post:

Level Design:
Clue(optional):
How to beat the level:

If you put a clue in your level idea, try to make it catchy, like a riddle. :D
If your idea is good enough, I will make the level in my game, and you will be in the credits under 'Level Design and Concept'. I can do all of the programming for the level; I just need your ideas.
Here is a screenshot of one of the levels just so you know how things could look like. It is one of the levels without a clue.
Posted Image
I'm not being strict about this, so feel free to post any ideas you have.

Edited by daman123125, 10 March 2009 - 11:22 PM.

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#2 T. Westendorp

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 07:56 AM

Knowing what gameplay mechanics you have could help.



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#3 Frostblade

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 01:40 PM

Sorry, but why are you making a puzzle game if you're incapable of designing puzzles? There's little point to building a game unless you know what the end product is going to be.

Either way, around 50% of the quality of your levels is going to come from the constituent parts- the Zelda games would be pretty dull without the dozens of items, and Jumper's imaginative levels are one of the reasons the game is so popular. Which items have you come up with so far, other than crates and orbs?
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#4 daman123125

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 06:28 PM

Knowing what gameplay mechanics you have could help.



T

The controls are simple, up to double jump, left to move left, right to move right. Can you explain further what you mean by gameplay mechanics?

Sorry, but why are you making a puzzle game if you're incapable of designing puzzles? There's little point to building a game unless you know what the end product is going to be.

Either way, around 50% of the quality of your levels is going to come from the constituent parts- the Zelda games would be pretty dull without the dozens of items, and Jumper's imaginative levels are one of the reasons the game is so popular. Which items have you come up with so far, other than crates and orbs?

How would I not know what it'll turn out to be?
People will post their ideas here since I can't think of anything good at the moment. I mean, most games aren't only made by one person. So far, the main objects are the crates and orbs, but different levels will have different items.
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#5 T. Westendorp

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 06:33 PM

By gameplay mechanics I mean anything that aids in bringing up the gaming experience through coding, this not only includes the movement, but EVERY object that could take part in a puzzle.





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#6 daman123125

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 06:43 PM

Well, the crates, orbs, orb counter, and orb sockets are the main objects that will be in every puzzle. When you collect a orb from a crate and touch the orb counter, the orb will go into the orb socket. Of course you can collect multiple orbs at a time. When all the orbs are in all the orb sockets, the finish appears. The thing is that the crates are hard to reach, and I need ideas for puzzles in a level to get to the crates.
I am capable of doing the coding; I just need your ideas for puzzles in the game.
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#7 Yal

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 07:58 PM

How about one where you have to push rocks placed in a maze in the exact right order to reach the crate, when you have to be careful not to lock youself in? That one's a classic.
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#8 daman123125

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 08:59 PM

Umm... I think that would only work in a top-down game, and please use the form.
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#9 daman123125

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 02:51 PM

No one has any ideas?

I'm sorry about this bump, but I really need people's ideas. :)
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#10 daman123125

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 11:43 PM

I'm sure someone out there has an idea. :snitch:

Any ideas anyone posts will at a good chance be accepted.
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#11 Obj_Control

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:34 AM

Well, we really need to know what you have right now, to help us.

How about, what Yal said, but you need to drop them from platforms, in an order, to create stairs. The hard part is the order, because many staircases will be needed, and limited block are provided.

I will not use your form.

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#12 Yal

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 07:33 AM

To clear a level, you need Orbs?

Make enemies that releases orbs when you kill them, by dropping stones and stuff on them. Hand out bonus orbs if you kill sereval enemies at once, e.g. by a mine that can blow up sereval enemies at once. Then make areas where you have to time pushing a mine over perfectly, so it drops down and kill a group of enemies to give those orbs needed to go on.

I do not respect the forms of a double poster.
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#13 daman123125

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:23 PM

Well, we really need to know what you have right now, to help us.

How about, what Yal said, but you need to drop them from platforms, in an order, to create stairs. The hard part is the order, because many staircases will be needed, and limited block are provided.

I will not use your form.

-Oc

Thanks for the idea...
:snitch: I was just asking if anyone could use the form, but thanks anyways.
Just think of a regular platform game with crates to smash to get the keys inside them. The game isn't as complicated as it looks in the screenshot. Really, the only items that appear in every level are the crates and orbs.

To clear a level, you need Orbs?

Make enemies that releases orbs when you kill them, by dropping stones and stuff on them. Hand out bonus orbs if you kill sereval enemies at once, e.g. by a mine that can blow up sereval enemies at once. Then make areas where you have to time pushing a mine over perfectly, so it drops down and kill a group of enemies to give those orbs needed to go on.

I do not respect the forms of a double poster.

Good idea for the level.
I had to double post because it was a legal bump and I really needed these ideas.

Edited by daman123125, 14 March 2009 - 03:47 AM.

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#14 T. Westendorp

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:09 PM

Last time I checked the rules said it had to be over a certain period AND had to add something useful to the subject.



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#15 daman123125

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 03:50 AM

Oh well, sorry about that. I guess I overdid the bumping thing, but it's annoying when people ignore topics that is possible for them to help with.

What other info about the game could I add so you could think up good ideas?
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#16 T. Westendorp

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 07:04 AM

You could add a source where there's only the objects, no sounds, no codes, nothing, but objects, then we can place them in the room and create levels for you.


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#17 SenakuJin

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 05:06 PM

Do what T.Westendrop said. The problem is your giving a true lack of information, you see game mechanics are very far reaching, you can't just pick and choose some aspects of your game and say "yeah , that's important, its kinda sorta this" The level designer needs to understand the limitations of everything in your game, from the players ability to move and jump (the arch of jumping, the speed of movement) To the ammo the player has (and thus the speed, movement/arch of the projectile, its ability to interact with various objects, ect.)

You can think of the game mechanics are the problems and tools (problem solvers) of the game.. these problems can be shaped in different ways by a level designer, but still inherit a lot of the same basic characteristics. For example, the ability to jump from one platform to another.. this takes into account the PC's (Player Character) speed and jumping arch, but is also altered by how platform objects are placed.. this consequentially alters the arc of the jump, but not the speed or jumping capacity of the PC. The more you push this to the limits the "harder" it is.. for the player, which brings up the one other thing the level designer is in charge of: pacing.

If your new to game design, it may seem like a great idea to have levels almost fully user generated.. heck.. less people to complain over the game when there are more faces behind the designers chair, `neh? But in reality it wont make a very casual game, which is fine really.. there are plenty hardcore gamers on The GMC.. but if you want to get away from that and make something that will appeal to even more people, having a well thought out level design pacing is something you'll have to consider.

So what is pacing? Well its not so simple to put into elegant words, but i'll try my best.. It is essentially the balance between refining learned techniques and learning new ones. Introducing too much too fast will over whelm the player, for example: say you had the first level introduce jumping, shooting crates, mad ninja monkeys attacking, massive helicopters gunning you down, and a timer with dynamite rushing you forward! *gasp*. Too much too soon, the polar opposite would be to have the first stage teach you to jump over 40 holes about the same size. As you can see, having to much time devoted to learning one technique (like jumping) will get very tedious.. and if the player isn't given something new to do soon, the player will get bored of the game. A good rule to follow is to introduce new game play mechanics every stage or few stages, while somewhat increasing the difficulty of prior learned techniques. Its actually a lot harder to nail down then it may seem.

Well good luck, sorry for the long post, and i hope this gives you another window into the design process of games as you continue your hobby =0)
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#18 T. Westendorp

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 06:23 PM

Do what T. Westendorp said. -the rest of the long post-

Adding that to my counter.. makes.. 7 times. :P


T

Edited by T. Westendorp, 15 March 2009 - 06:24 PM.

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#19 daman123125

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 03:27 AM

T. Westondorp, I don't think I'll take a lot of time deleting all the sounds/codes/etc.

Here is the source.
I think you can just use the room editor to put the objects in, and take a screenshot of it to post it here.
By the way, all objects in the 'misc' folder are objects used for certain puzzles, and aren't the main objects.

To all inexperienced ones downloading the source, go ahead and make an edit of this game if you want, but it'll probably make you look bad.
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#20 Yal

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 10:21 AM

Daman123125, you could check StarEdit's Exodus 5.0 for ideas about puzzles, perhaps?
Also... about the gravity in your game... which sort do you use?

  • No gravity at all (like in Legend of Zelda for NES)
  • Gravity drags everything towards screen's bottom (like in any generic platformer)
  • Gravity does not affect characters, only pushable objects (like in BoulderDash)

I don't remember you telling us that.
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#21 daman123125

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 03:16 AM

Daman123125, you could check StarEdit's Exodus 5.0 for ideas about puzzles, perhaps?
Also... about the gravity in your game... which sort do you use?

  • No gravity at all (like in Legend of Zelda for NES)
  • Gravity drags everything towards screen's bottom (like in any generic platformer)
  • Gravity does not affect characters, only pushable objects (like in BoulderDash)

I don't remember you telling us that.

Umm... telling you what?

Anyways, the gravity is just like any platformer. It pulls everything down.
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