• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

Growing/Shrinking in games

This topic is 3618 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I came up with a random idea of a platform game where you could grow and shrink at will. My question is, how can you stop players from storming the game? I mean, if they can choose to be small enough to sneak past the guards or big enough to crush them, where's the challenge? (Just an example btw)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Limiting the amount of time the person has to stay in that form is one way. Also being large makes you a bigger target, and being small means you might get stepped on. So those are several ways things can balance out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't rely on the guards to provide the challenge. Provide other obstacles like puzzles that will challenge the player. Design the game so it takes into consideration the fact that the player can be of any size at any time, or however you choose to limit this ability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting concept. I can see a few situation where thinking could take you to the next level.

An example (albeit a bad one): the passage you must take is filled with rats. Shrinking to their size to fit in the passage would put your life at risk. To avoid this you become a giant and punch a water reservoir which breaks it and floods the tunnel. After waiting a few seconds the tunnel is completely drained and the rats were all washed out.

So like the others have mentioned, make it more like a puzzler than a simple platformer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think that's a fantastic idea, and I'd hate to see it mangled with stuff like "a time limit for how long you can be big".

You stop players from storming the game through quality level design. Limit the amount of space a player has to work in if you want them to remain small, while creating large open spaces to encourage players to remain big. Make guards that are different sizes (from tiny ant-guards to giant dinosaur-guards), and consider areas that can be played very differently depending on which size you choose (allowing the player to improvise and play it their own way).

I once had a concept for a tag-team platformer (change characters at will) where you play as both a huge hulking giant and a small sidekick that rides on the giants shoulder. If you jumped little-guy to the giants shoulder and then switched to controlling the giant, you'd ride him around. While this was interesting to me, your idea gives me the impression that you can be any size, from tiny to huge and all sizes in-between... I think this is fantastic and could lead to some very unique levels.

I hope you follow this idea a bit further, possibly with a prototype, because I'd love to see it in action! [smile]

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by JBourrie
I think that's a fantastic idea, and I'd hate to see it mangled with stuff like "a time limit for how long you can be big".

You stop players from storming the game through quality level design. Limit the amount of space a player has to work in if you want them to remain small, while creating large open spaces to encourage players to remain big. Make guards that are different sizes (from tiny ant-guards to giant dinosaur-guards), and consider areas that can be played very differently depending on which size you choose (allowing the player to improvise and play it their own way).



That's be a much better route to go, and would give the player more options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love games with size changes. A long time ago, I made a Duke Nukem level once where it was a miniature city that looked normal size when you got hit with the shrink gun.

Do you really have the will to change size at any time, or do you go the Alice in Wonderland route with consumables? (Potions, mushrooms, cakes, and so on.) There is probably a lot of different puzzle situations that would require a size change, like being small enough to fit through a pipe or big enough to step over something.

I too would like to see this game if you decide to make it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I imagine that 7-Meter Mario will be able to jump to higher places than 2-Inch Mario.

That being said, you could make some really interesting situations in which the player may have to change sizes in mid-jump... how about a high-up space that can only be reached when large, but once your feet are above it you must shrink to fit the space.

Or a tiny hole situated above a second tiny hole, under both is a lava pit. You have to shrink to fall through the first one but then grow while falling to avoid falling through the second hole and into the pit.

Lots of fun situations, if you let them change sizes at any time. [grin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This sounds like a great idea.

Quote:
Limiting the amount of time the person has to stay in that form is one way.

I don't agree with this. Just putting a timer on it removes a choice form the player (I advocate not taking away choices from players unless it is necessary).

What you need to do is to make each size have disadvantages and advantages. As a simple one, the large character could defeat enemies but be unable to fit through many gaps, where as the small character could fit through the gaps but they are vulnerable to enemies.

It means a lot more though has to go into level design, but good level designs should be aimed for anyway.

Quote:
So like the others have mentioned, make it more like a puzzler than a simple platformer.

Don't neglect that puzzles in games can have multiple solutions. Maybe there is a way to solve the puzzle as the large characer, but there might also be a solution for the puzzle as a small characters.

Example: There is an enemy guarding a section of the level. As the large character you could just stomp him into goo, but there might be a small passage that lets you by pass the enemy altogether without fighing but as the large character you can't fit into the space.

This give the player a choice as to how they solve the puzzle.

Another puzzle aspect could be that when you are large you weigh more. You might then include weighted floors that crumble when you are large but if you are small you can cross them. Sometimes this might be necessary to solve the level and sometime it might eb a trap (but make sure that the player can see it is a trap, don't just have random kill zones/traps - that frustrates players).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
what if there were other dynamics, such as switching between being armour plated and very slow, and being fast but unarmoured? or, being fire resistant but vulnerable to water, or vice versa. then, require that the player jump from one platform to another, whereby one platform passed through a waterfall, and the next through a fireball, etc.

Quote:

Another puzzle aspect could be that when you are large you weigh more. You might then include weighted floors that crumble when you are large but if you are small you can cross them.


Or, some platforms are chained to the roof, and can sustain a lot of weight, whereas others have ropes that are visibly frayed, and will break. or oyu could have sleeping giants who you could fight as a large player, or sneak past as a small player.

the possibilities are endless, especially when you combine different armours, different classical elements, and different weights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Having completely arbitrary height to deal with (between X and Y) would maybe make levels hard to design, so I would consider having distinct states that the player can transform up or down from (maybe the transition takes some time).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Boder
Having completely arbitrary height to deal with (between X and Y) would maybe make levels hard to design, so I would consider having distinct states that the player can transform up or down from (maybe the transition takes some time).

I would agree that any arbitrary height would make level design harder, but since it's a platformer I don't think it should take much time to change sizes (so you can do changes in mid-air, mid-run).

Actually that would be another argument for having pre-set sizes... a single button press to change sizes would let you do so quicker than having to hold it for arbitrary size-change.

If for some reason you did decide to go with any arbitrary size, possibly map it to the right analog stick's Y axis, so that flicking UP will make you full size, DOWN will make you tiniest, and somewhere in-between (right or left) is mapped to the middle range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JellyCar does something similar. I think it takes the route where it limits the time that you can be big. As mentioned, it also uses the mechanic as a way to solve puzzles. Kinda cool that it's one of the first games being released through the XNA community arcade as well.

JellyCar video:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you had in sandbox type environment (thinking of some werido gta) you could have different missions depending on "size". If you go too large then the whole city will come after you (ala king kong). Regular size you will do the ordinary missions. Tiny and you can battle with hobbits

Though I do like the idea of doing an Alice in wonderland mushrooms and so forth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Take a look at portal. They probably had a horrific time making sure you went where you were supposed to.

Also, the flash game SHIFT demonstrates how to design a good level for strange abilities.
http://www.kongregate.com/games/ArmorGames/shift

-Humble Hobo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow! I didn't expect so much support for this project. :)

Also I like this idea:

Quote:
Original post by speciesUnknown
what if there were other dynamics, such as switching between being armour plated and very slow, and being fast but unarmoured? or, being fire resistant but vulnerable to water, or vice versa. then, require that the player jump from one platform to another, whereby one platform passed through a waterfall, and the next through a fireball, etc.


Maybe the hero could acquire more and more of these skills throughout the game.
Another thing to consider is how the hero gets his abilities. Maybe a sidekick, 'cause no hero should save the world alone.

Currently doing PyWeek though so this project will go on hold for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement