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What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:03 am
by sdfgeoff
Well. I'm planning a DEEP Space release in a few weeks, and need to build a level for it.

Planned Environment: Rusty Caves
Situation: Sent to a Mars power station that's output was dropping. (ie robots are stealing energy. Stop them.)

In your opinion what makes the best levels for single player?

1. Lots of vertical movement/shafts?
2. A maze or linear?
3. Desolate or crowded?
4. Huge caves or narrow tunnels?
5. Doors or just corners?
6. Puzzles?

If you're feeling really motivated, you can draw a diagram. If you are feeling amazingly, then model it (sorry, I can't import descent levels yet, so it'll have to be in some other application).
Otherwise, just spout ideas.

In case you're wondering, DEEP Space is currently looking like this:
ImageImageImage

[Added numbers to your above choice for easier reference - karx :)]

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:53 am
by karx11erx
1. Enough vertical movement
2. Maze
3. Something in between? Creating well thought out robot setups yields better gameplay results than simply throwing hordes of bots at the player
4. Both
5. Both
6. Sure (for my taste they shouldn't be too hard to solve though)

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:08 pm
by Alter-Fox
I agree with Karx on 3; I think if enemy placement is done well (which it never is in Descent missions except for the Parallax ones) then the level design can go ahead and be whatever it wants to be. Which still may not be the same as what the designer wants it to be.
I like vertical designs though, in the style of D1's level 19; or even D2's level 22.

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:05 pm
by Sirius
To me the above are mostly just devices. What makes a level great is that it's interesting, memorable and fun - which all sounds very vague, but making things that are good isn't really an exact science. The first two come down to artistic talent, and the last comes down to thoughtful design or sometimes just trial and error.

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:13 pm
by Enzo03
For making a map interesting, memorable and fun, there are simply too many ways to list.

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:15 pm
by sdfgeoff
It'd be nice if you could try!

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:49 am
by darkflamewolf
Awesomeness. That is all. :jump:

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:09 pm
by sdfgeoff
Whew, necrosis!

I did stop work on DEEP Space a little while back when I hit Uni. Plans are in place for upcoming holidays though.

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:19 pm
by karx11erx
Your screenie looks absolutely cool! :omg:

You must finish that mission! :drool:

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:43 am
by bloort
I remember in descent 1 (maybe 2 w afterburner), i was exiting a large room into a tunnel, when i tripped a hidden switch for well camouflaged on-ramp kind of door - which was hard to notice - about 10 steps behind me. I only heard the door open, and thought no big deal, hidden door and goodies. But then the next thing i hear is old red shot a homing missile at me from behind. there was nothing to do but run for it down this long twisty tunnel with many curves and doors that needed opening so as not to slow you down...proximity warning panel is overheating... that missile was inches from my butt the whole way...for what seemed like a month. fumbling away trying to get a proxy bomb into the queue, or finally given some room space to duck it... i don't quite remember. But... nothing like trying to outrun the homing missile, and winning! that was a long time ago, but i sure sticks out in my mind when i think back to my dungeon days. :)

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:59 am
by Weyrman
I remember that mission and what a nasty shock that bot was behind you when you thought you were in the clear :yikes:

Re: What makes a great descent level?

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:53 pm
by Alter-Fox
I don't remember that... sounds like it could have been on map 21 of the first game but I guess I tend to take a different route.
The big thing I remember about that map is a room with a supervisor and a red hulk behind a secret door, you enter the room and the supervisor heads to the door and sets the hulk on you unless you kill it first, which I never managed to do.