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Isma Hdez Garcia

Level design idea and flow

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So I had this wild idea some time ago, and I though I would like to share it with the game developing community, so you can give me your opinion, as I am a wannabe game dev, so I lack the experience required to evaluate said idea:

 

First of all, I enjoy driving through cities. Whenever I have to drive to grab some groceries or to visit a friend, I am enjoying the simple act of driving. One day, while coming back home from a friends house, and thinking about how much I love driving, and if I shouldnt be a professional car driver (I am currently studying a degree in Computer Science), and thinking how I only have other true hobbie which is videogames, the idea came to me: "I enjoy driving through the city as much as I love playing videogames because they both provide the same underlying experience of going from A to B, even in a metaphorical sense, while providing a series of challenges, well timed and rather randomized, so you get a timed small dose of enjoyment everytime you overcome said obstacle."

 

Let me explain it with an example. Choose any place in your city, a Burguer Restaurant for example. As you drive there, pay attention to anything that makes you perform any action: traffic lights make you stop, turns make you look and/or stop, crosswalks... If you now take that flow of tasks, and design a level in a videogame to have that same flow, so the time between obstacles is the same, and for every obstacle you found while driving you insert a puzzle/fight/platform sequence, you would have a dinamic and challenging level.

 

Theres also a randomized component, you never know if there will be someone crossing, or if you will arrive at a red light. You can even implement into this "driving/level design" concept the whole idea of branching and decision making: "Do I take Whatevername Road, which is shorter but has lots of traffic lights, or do I take this other route which is longer but more direct?"

 

So thats it. I want you to please tell me if you think this idea is good, if it could be better, etc.. Also you can try this yourself, drive anywhere, with a stopwatch and a friend, and wirte down evry obstacle with its timestamp, then make a small, playable level with it to test results.

 

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There are generally two types of game levels:

 

Random

Pre-planned

 

Random can sometimes come pretty close to being as good as pre-planned in design, as can be seen by random generation.

 

But your idea takes the worst of Pre-planned (adding randomness instead of custom-tailoring) and the worst of Random (no infinite random level generation) and tries to make it into something, the way I see it. No offense.

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There are generally two types of game levels:

 

Random

Pre-planned

 

Random can sometimes come pretty close to being as good as pre-planned in design, as can be seen by random generation.

 

But your idea takes the worst of Pre-planned (adding randomness instead of custom-tailoring) and the worst of Random (no infinite random level generation) and tries to make it into something, the way I see it. No offense.

Im not sure if it is clear but I am obviously talking about pre-planned levels. The idea is not to drive through a city for each level you make, its an approach to level design taking into account how the human mind and the task/reward neurological system works. I am planning to do some math on the subject, taking several paths and writing down whan I encounter, the making some averages based on the total satisfaction of said path, making some averages on how much time passes in between obstacles, so I can have a general idea how much time shall you provide to the player between tasks so he doesnt feel either overwhelmed or bored.

 

Also I want to highlight the fact that the number of different obstacles you may find in a street are no much than 5-6 (roundabouts, pedestrians, traffic lights, stop sign), which I think are more or less the number of skills you want to give a player for any singler player game, so could relate each of that obstacle with the usage of different skills in the game, making levels varied and the player feel like those skills are worth it.

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Im not sure if it is clear but I am obviously talking about pre-planned levels. The idea is not to drive through a city for each level you make, its an approach to level design taking into account how the human mind and the task/reward neurological system works. I am planning to do some math on the subject, taking several paths and writing down whan I encounter, the making some averages based on the total satisfaction of said path, making some averages on how much time passes in between obstacles, so I can have a general idea how much time shall you provide to the player between tasks so he doesnt feel either overwhelmed or bored.



Also I want to highlight the fact that the number of different obstacles you may find in a street are no much than 5-6 (roundabouts, pedestrians, traffic lights, stop sign), which I think are more or less the number of skills you want to give a player for any singler player game, so could relate each of that obstacle with the usage of different skills in the game, making levels varied and the player feel like those skills are worth it.

 

It's an interesting psychology lesson, more interesting than I thought.

 

My only comment was that most game designers design the level based on what they think is fun. My idea is that your method might actually simply add a randomness, which could result in something worse than pre-planned. You seem to be working with a randomness/pre-planned hybrid through your idea, even if that wasn't your intention.

 

I'm just going to step aside and see what others have to say, though.

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sounds like a traffic driving simulator.

 

that which is pre-planned in real life should be pre-planned, that which is random in real life should be random, for an accurate  / realistic / belivable / immersive simulation.

 

but you know the first thing the player will want to do is run over that old lady in the crosswalk , then see if they can get away from the cops! and just like that, they've turned your driving sim into "the driver" or GTA or Carmageddon.

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