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Level design

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So I've called "feature freeze" on Orc. It has enough stuff now that can be used in enough different combinations to put a handfull of amusing and progressivley difficult levels togther and the only target was to have 5-10 levels before I call it finished and put it on the showcase.

God, designing levels is boring though. I've just spent half an hour jumping between the game and the level editor and finally got level one finished. I've always come unstuck at this point. I want to write the engine, not design levels. At least this time I've got a level editor and I'm not trying to put the levels together with notepad and my virtual assembler scripts.

I reckon the end is in sight though.

On another subject, as a huge fan of Thief and Thief 2, I went and spent a tenner on Thief: Deadly Shadows yesterday. What a total waste of money. Typical of modern games - the graphics are amazing (seems to use the same engine as Doom 3 if I'm not mistaken) but playability and fun have gone completely out of the window. It all looks very pretty but I've played the first three levels and I've already lost interest.

It was exactly the same with Soul Reaver 2. Original Soul Reaver on the PSOne is still one of my all time favourite games and I got quite excited when I found a PC-based sequel last year. Same story though - looked incredible but the gameplay had been utterly ruined.

Also true, although to a lesser extent, of Tomb Raider. Angel of Darkness was rubbish and I'll not be buying Legends. I'm almost now glad they never made Deus Ex: Invisible War. God alone knows what they would have done with that.

I mean, take Tomb Raider. Good example. If they had kept the original format of regular levels and walk-to-the-edge and jump fun, but used the modern tech to improve the graphics and AI, plus added in carefully thought out features like TR2 and TR3 added to 1, they could have written a fantastic game.

I think they're trying to widen the market personally and make games that appeal to a broader cross-section of people. Shame.

So Thief 3 is back on my bookcase and I've just installed Thief 2 and am thoroughly enjoying playing my way through that again. I've really got to learn to be more selective when spending money on games.
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I have to agree; most games that have really nice graphics have pretty horrible gameplay. Most of them seem more like tech-demos than games [sad].

Another good example is Final Fantasy 7. Considered one of the best RPGs ever by most people (including myself) and it had like 100 poly characters and none of the nice effects (though, it did take advantage of pre-rendered movies everywhere that they could.)

Good luck with Orc!

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I always download the demos before I buy. Too many disappointments like the ones you mentioned to spend such huge sums of money on. On that topic, games are EXPENSIVE nowadays! :-/

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