As in almost any other game, it would quite unwise of us to give the player all abilities at once, leaving him bedazzled with all the stuff he has to deal with. Confused at first, the player will die too many times before he figures out how to use all of this toolkit, then he will become bored, and that’s not cool. Not cool at all. That’s why we don’t give him all the abilities at once.
Player experience is a very delicate matter. Some abilities you will have used many times, some – seen for the first time. We understand, that trying to learn something new in the face of imminent danger could be quite hilarious (in a Stewie Griffin voice), but we’re higher than that. That’s why we give you… safe rooms!
Safe room – a room that has automatically closing doors which prevent the enemy from coming in and hurting you. Player gets new abilities whilst inside the room and is able to learn them on the spot. When player leaves the safe room, the chase IS ON.
These rooms also kinda solve our pacing problems. After many rooms of action and unstoppable running the player can finally relax, get some rest and… progress with the story via chatting with NPCs, or interacting with the items on the walls.
Difficulty with the Spikes.
So, the player starts with some basic abilities and gets more on his way up. But wouldn’t that mean that the game is hard in the beginning and gets progressively easier? No. And that’s why:
- Let’s make the enemy faster! – Done.
- Let’s place coins in hard-to-reach places! – Done. (Don’t do it in real life)
- Let’s place spikes on the walls! – Done.
- Let’s rename spikes to lava! – What the… whatever, done.
Difficulty with the Lava Walls.
So, variating the difficulty via lava walls, eh? That one’s a little harder to do, because we need to keep the rooms as random as we can (means potentially more lava walls), but also have some non-random elements (means less lava walls in essential places). So, if one room has ten walls marked for lava, each of the walls could be marked with a difficulty level and connected to nearby lava walls to prevent spawning more lava walls, etc., etc.. But that’s basically how it all works – a lot of rules for each wall, combinations, all that stuff. Was quite difficult to make – let’s hope it will be difficult to play, too. 😉
The game works as such: player starts with essential abilities and gains more as he climbs up. The enemy speeds up to the player forcing him to hide in the Safe Room, where said abilities are received and difficulty is raised. Unreachable coins, dangerous walls, faster enemy, a running player and that… is Our Way Up!