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Thread: A theory about player flow in map design

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      Altrunchen is offline
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    Question A theory about player flow in map design

    Hello there I'm Altrunchen and you do not know me. >.<;;

    But regardless of that I have an idea that I wanted to discuss with you guys. It's a map idea that is supposed to reflect and draw attention to the flow of players through an environment. One aspect of flow is through the concept of a circuit aka. a loop. So I made this diagram:



    Basically this map concept would work as follows:

    -Each color refers to it's own level of the structure.
    -Where each circle overlaps or intersects with another circle, there would be a room that somehow connects all intersecting circles (shown by the transparent yellow circles).
    -The hallways would not be circular but would instead be divided into three linear rooms that would connect together at angled doorways that when added together would equal the total arc of the circle's segment's path.

    And this map concept implies:

    -Continuous movement (like in an fps)
    -Team objectives (like CTF)
    -Multiple team stations (Like in multi-flag CTF)

    When making this diagram it occurred to me, maybe this would make for a decent Halo map or some such design?

    The hope is that the nature of the diagram would provide the following:

    -numerous options of map navigation
    -numerous angles to check and fortify
    -multiple levels of terrain to traverse
    -the ability to direct player flow while providing numerous contact points between objectives so that the map can feel larger.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited by Altrunchen; 09-11-2013 at 01:23 PM.

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    It's an interesting way to visualize an environment's concept. I think I'd have to see how you translate the information to an actual map in order to really understand and comment on the approach. I do like that it's abstract so that it could refer not only to a physical space but also a circular decision-making space, and possibly even the interface between the two kinds of spaces.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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      Altrunchen is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    It's an interesting way to visualize an environment's concept. I think I'd have to see how you translate the information to an actual map in order to really understand and comment on the approach. I do like that it's abstract so that it could refer not only to a physical space but also a circular decision-making space, and possibly even the interface between the two kinds of spaces.
    Well I got the idea after seeing a professional architect's creative process being displayed in a building. In the display, the architect started by drawing some large bubbles and labeling what they were supposed to be. Then they worked from roughly sketched areas into a basic shape given the landscape and from there they started developing room size and shape. So I just used a similar idea here with a representation of relative size and location without presenting the specifics. But thanks for the compliments :3.

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      su_liam is offline
    Guild Artisan su_liam's Avatar
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    I think I need to show this to my wife, the architect. It looks like you've got a beautiful example of a parti diagram there("You can't really explain it, but you know it when you see it.").

    Seems well suited to creating, say, a Halo level or a dungeon crawl, or, you know any kind of floor plan. It also seems like a good mandala to contemplate whilst writing up an RPG scenario or an insane story plot. Sadly, I'm buggered if I can figure out how to apply it to my own forte, planetary maps...

    Still pretty broadly useful. As Midgard says, a useful abstraction. I, too, would like to see some examples of its application to maps before registering a judgement.

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    Guild Artisan Jacktannery's Avatar
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    Interesting idea. Like the others, I'm not sure exactly how I could apply this to a structure/dungeon map but I am interested in your further work on this.

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      Altrunchen is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by su_liam View Post
    I think I need to show this to my wife, the architect. It looks like you've got a beautiful example of a parti diagram there("You can't really explain it, but you know it when you see it.").

    Seems well suited to creating, say, a Halo level or a dungeon crawl, or, you know any kind of floor plan. It also seems like a good mandala to contemplate whilst writing up an RPG scenario or an insane story plot. Sadly, I'm buggered if I can figure out how to apply it to my own forte, planetary maps...

    Still pretty broadly useful. As Midgard says, a useful abstraction. I, too, would like to see some examples of its application to maps before registering a judgement.
    A mandala huh? I guess I can see that. And thanks for the compliments too !

    Personally, what I think is the hardest part of implementing this design is the fact that it requires junctions that blend each level where each yellow dot is located. D&D seems kind of allergic to multiple-level dungeons and gameplay given how it's birds-eye viewpoint lends itself to a map for each floor (and this one would have several).

    I'm currently thinking, though, that maybe trying out this map in Google Sketchup would help to visualize the whole thing. The only trouble is that once I have a map in Sketchup, then what? I don't know of anything that would accept the model's file-type and thus expand the usefulness of the design.

    For reasons unknown, the symmetry of the design was born out of me thinking of a multi-player Halo map or something. Perhaps because symmetry tends to bring location balance? I don't know how Bungie does it with their maps, but from what I've heard, they don't usually since the maps generally have points in them that everyone strives to take even if it's not the current objective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacktannery View Post
    Interesting idea. Like the others, I'm not sure exactly how I could apply this to a structure/dungeon map but I am interested in your further work on this.
    I think i may have an idea of how to apply this, the bigger problem for me is how to engage the players with a multi-level dungeon so that it doesn't seem too long or too complex for them. Something I kind-of lament since I personally love intricate and challenging dungeon design, but well that's just me >.<.

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