Overhead level design

Overhead level design

Postby c_xong » 09 Jan 2014, 11:26

I'd like to bounce a few ideas off people. I've been thinking about improving the random level generator in C-Dogs.

First some background on the C-Dogs level generator

C-Dogs is an overhead run-and-gun game. This is what a typical C-Dogs level might look like:
c-dogs level.jpg
c-dogs level

Basically they are made up of randomly placed:
    Open spaces
And none of those things touch or overlap. Overall it's fine because there's a good variety of spaces, but there's one problem I see: the rooms.

If they are too small, there's very little incentive to enter them, because it's very risky and since they are small and they are surrounded by open space, players can easily go around and ignore the room. It also encourages players to do what I'll call "door scumming", where you stand just outside a door and blindly fire inside.

If the rooms are large, it might make the rooms interesting, but it also makes walking around outside very tedious, as there's all this empty space to navigate.

Basically I'd prefer a level where most parts are interesting, minimising "dead space" that players almost never want to navigate, and give players different choices in how to navigate a level - whether they prefer open spaces or closed spaces, depending on their play style.

I have a few ideas at the moment:
Use a traditional rooms-and-corridors approach, as seen in very many rogue-likes. Because the rooms aren't surrounded by empty space, you pretty much have to go through them to get around the level.

Split apart the open space around rooms with walls, and carve out doors on either side of the walls. This at least gives the rooms one more purpose: as a shortcut around the wall
room shortcut.jpg
room shortcut
room shortcut.jpg (17.22 KiB) Viewed 4238 times

Implement rooms as a sort of "pocket universe", where the interior is bigger than the exterior. This means travelling outside won't be boring (and will also be faster), whilst the rooms can be big and interesting.
pocket room.jpg
pocket room
pocket room.jpg (10.54 KiB) Viewed 4238 times

Thoughts? I'd be interested to hear what level designs you enjoy, why, and how they were laid out.
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Re: Overhead level design

Postby Jastiv » 31 Jan 2019, 19:44

We have something like this in Wograld, and I have debated whether to remove it or not. Basically, you click on buildings (in some instances) and the mini-building is an entrance to the actual building. But than it just seems weird on the over world map that you walk around, and oh, here is a mini-building. I've been wondering if it ruins the immersion experience. So, basically, you can enter a building rather than a hole or stairs (that almost look normal and seem to fit, yet both types are "exits".
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