Author Topic: What makes a level rewarding to you?  (Read 321 times)

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Offline Strato Incendus

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What makes a level rewarding to you?
« on: September 24, 2018, 04:35:42 pm »
We've already discussions about "What makes a level fun?", but this, I think, is still a little different. A level can be fun without being particularly challenging or tight on resources ("resources" includes time and lemming count itself here). That's kind of what happens while you're playing the level; I'm talking about the moment right after the level.

For me, this pretty much comes down to "I don't like having excess skills" :D . Nothing is more rewarding in my view than using the last skill on the panel in any given level and seeing how the path is completed and everything has fallen into place. That's kind of the idea of the "puzzle", isn't it? :)

Who would want a puzzle where, after completing the entire picture, you still had some leftover pieces? What's the use in finding the corner stones first if there are additional corner stones so that you don't need to use these particular ones? Why should there be a crossword riddle where you'd have some extra words remaining unused at the end, or some rows empty?

The main reason for my repeatedly uttered grievances with 10-of-everything levels therefore is not the level type per se - but the fact that this type of level produces excess skills more than others. This, in turn, also explains my obsession with Final Frustration-style levels - because here, everything has to fall into place despite the seemingly "open" nature of the level.

The result is that I like to make my own levels as tight on resources as possible (where time is the resource I use least): You usually have to save everyone, and if not, those you may lose are exactly accounted for (including cloners, I've learned after Pit Lems :D !). And you usually have to use every skill, except perhaps when there are certain gaps which cannot be bridged by a specific number of constructive skills. In that case, there may be an occasional leftover builder or platformer. But I always try to avoid it.

So perhaps I should give designing Lemmings 2: The Tribes levels a try some time in the future (because these are usually "save everyone" levels)? :D
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Lemmings World Tour, my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
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Offline namida

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Re: What makes a level rewarding to you?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 10:15:19 pm »
There can be good reasons to give excess skills - your example with constructive skills is one. Another is as decoys - the idea is to make the player think they need these skills, to distract them from the intended solution that doesn't use them at all. The main issue there is it's very easy to open up backroutes doing this, which is why - while I do do this - I don't do it often.
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