A dungeon has a branching path, one path will keep going to progress the level while the other is a small room.
Is there a way to design the level so the player doesn't have to backtrack and remember where they didn't explore? Checking the map constantly for missed rooms isn't fun. This can be especially problematic if the player accidentally goes past a one-way barrier. If it's too linear it's not fun and if too many passages it's too complex.
Should it just be a lot of locked doors so exploration is easier?
Oh fuck I hate this. I always feel compelled to go down every path and see everything
Also, I think if the game had multiple ways to get to the same place it might alleviate these problems
Souls games and their fog gates help with that. They don't hinder progression, but they can be used as an indication of progression. That's why I skipped all the tutorials behind fog doors in DaS2.
Dungeons are out o place in this day and age. Nothing takes me out of the immersion faster than seeing a dungeon. Take the OP, for example. This room serves no purpose. Nobody would just build a series of hallways for no reason. This is too video-gamey and needs to be remedied in today's games. There should only be a dungeon if it's actually practical in terms of map layout and design.
Are you concerned that the player won't know which was is progression and which way is optional? You could do a yellow-brick-road type thing where the main path has a particular design and the optional paths have their own design.
It works for your pic because all the branches just end in a dead end. But if you want to the player to explore and get lost, it's not a good idea.
>Is there a way to design the level so the player doesn't have to backtrack and remember where they didn't explore?
Yes, by making the end of each alternative path clearly visible, so the player will see which one of the branches contains the bonus item, and which one is the path forward.
... then make the longer path lead to a normal sized dungeon with normal amount of chests, hidden and obvious ones, but no boss and no loop, only a dead end. The chest you saw at the second or third detour is the one actually leading to the end of the level, after which you get cutscene warped to your home castle, quarter of the map away.
Mini map with marked exits, alternatively what some PSX FF games did by having marks over every exit. Not putting one way exits and missable rooms and items in the first place also helps.
back in the old days, you had a pad of graph paper and you mapped out those dungeons on paper before getting so worn out from encounters that you teleported back out to rest at the Inn AND YOU DAMN WELL LIKED IT
AND WHEN THEY MADE THE DUNGEONS ON A 3D PLANE SO YOU HAD TO BEGIN ANNOTATING YOUR MAP WITH STAIRWELL CONNECTIONS THEN YOU LIKED IT EVEN MOAR.
AND YOUR COCK GOT SWOLE WHEN YOU HIT A MAGIC TELEPORTER THAT JUST SENT YOU FUCK KNOWS WHERE.
>We will never have manly game review threads ever again.
WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU PLAY TODAY /V/?
I HAVEN'T PLAYED SHIT YET BUT IMMA BOOT UP SOME FF7 SOON. AT THE TEMPLE OF ANCIENTS AND THAT SHIT FUCKING SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS.
just make it loop around. you won't feel like you're backtracking and wasting time
>choose one path, ignoring the other thinking it will be available when you come back
>next room you enter is a boss fight, and after the fight the dungeon is unavailable
>you miss all that loot in the rooms you didn't explore
This type of thing always happens to me
Just make any points of no return exceedingly obvious (i.e. save point before a boss or something) so the player can explore as much as they want before moving ahead.
And if there is a point in the dungeon where like a bridge collapses or something, let the player easily return to explore it instead of blocking it off forever. Or dump any missable items in a new location.
Vanilla WOW's Temple of Atal'Hakkar/Sunken Temple was pretty painful when it came to back tracking.
First off, this place is fucking massive.
First you had to clear to the botom a bottom circular pit, then run back up to the base level to activate 6 statues in a specific order to unlock a boss. Keep in mind there are tons, and tons, and tons of enemies - dragon whelps, dragonoids, zombie trolls, regular trolls, flying snakes, a flying snake god, and really big dragons - more on that later.
Then you had to proceed to 3 separate corridors that led to dead ends with a boss. Right before you fight the last boss you have to fight 4 dragons that looooove to knock back.
Then the last boss loves to sleep the tank and any unsuspecting melee can get one-shot and can lead to a wipe.
Through a gameplay mechanic, have it function as a kind of breadcrumb trail built in. Lighting torches, for instance. They could be as simple as providing illumination or give them advanced functionality like different colored flames for getting near certain things. Or do that Metro 2033 thing where the flame 'leans' in the direction of your objective.
Action Clicker RPGs like Diablo and what not also have minor loot caches in the form of crates, allowing the player to smash them leaves a trail of where you've been.
Design every building like you would design them in real life. It's a house? Have bedrooms, kitchen, dining rooms and so on. It's a military base? Have dormitories, training areas... with logical interiors.
That way, when the players board the big bad's flying fortress/death star, they'll think to themselves: "Wait, this place must have an armory with cool items." Or "I bet the captain's personal storage must have some sweet stuff in it."
Soups games are good at this because usually alternate branching paths drop you off back to the main path.
If I made a dungeon rpg I would make it so the player could leave stuff like bread crumbs wherever they wanted to show where they have already been. Or just make it so once you visit the rooms they disappear.
That map is poorly designed though.
If it is a mine shaft, there's very little to show that it is. No tools, mine carts, wall supports, boxes of ore, etc.
Now what you could do in the case of a mine style dungeon to deal with the problem the OP brings up, is make the main path follow a mine cart track, and have optional paths branch off from that. This gives the player a clear indication of what direction to go without being too much of a handhold.
My most favorite thing about Dark Souls was the map design. The way the whole map is so interconnected with shortcuts and vistas looking out onto areas you've been or will travel to eventually.
Even if they had to shoehorn in some crazy long elevators or tunnels, the fact you could die in the forest and see your blood stain from Solaire's first vista is the mark of a well crafted map.
I've been seeing some pretty zen posts around today. Someone on /k/ posted in favor of manually reloading magazines rather than using a loading device because it gave them time to reflect on their groupings. I'm liking it.
Honestly, side routes should always lead somewhere, rather than dead-ending in a loot chest, unless it's a hidden path behind a wall or some shit.
Even if it just leads to a transition for a 1 room storage area, at least then it makes sense.
Also never put mandatory items too far off the main path. Or exceptionally good shit unless it's meant to be a SOOPER SECRET BONUS.
Just to further show how great and interconnected the first areas of Dark Souls were, I triedd doodling in this.
The red line is the main paths you can take, and blue is main path when going underground. The green are the alternate paths which usually loop back to the main path. I didn't even finish marking everything.
Playing it for about 22 hours over two days.
The Vita isn't as ergonomic as I used to think.
The RSI is also work-related but I've never had playing games cause it to flare up before.
It's the 1000. The thing with OA is that once you get used to all the menus playing it is constantly hitting something on the D-pad or the faces buttons, and the buttons on the Vita are actually kind of hard, which is probably the biggest issue with it ergonomically. Playing the game for so long ended up becoming painful.
The Vita is for the most part quite comfortable but with extended play times it wears on you. Though I suppose the only thing I haven't had that problem with is the dualshock 2/3 due to the soft buttons. The DS4 is worse due to the patterned back half.
I don't get when people like "exploring" so much when it always ends up being such a headache with shit like
happening all the time. instead of exploring vs not exploring it's more like "spending an hour backtracking" vs "knowing you missed out on loot"
THE WORST I EVER KILLED MY HANDS WAS WHEN I PLAYED BAYO 1 FOR THE FIRST TIME AND BEAT IT IN ONE SITTING
WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN THAT BAD IF IT WASN'T THE PS3 VERSION PROBABLY BUT GOOD LORD MY HANDS HURT FOR LIKE TWO DAYS
I WAS COMPLAINING ABOUT THE DUALSHOCK 3, FLIMSY PIECE OF SHIT. THOSE TRIGGERS WERE NEVER DESIGNED TO BE USED FUCKING CONSTANTLY LIKE WITH BAYO EITHER
NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH A 360 CONTROLLER BESIDES THE D PAD BEING GARBAGE, IT'S PRETTY COMFY
>I hate exploration in video games, it's too time-consuming and tedious!
>I hate hallway simulators, they are too linear!
>I know, let's have a bunch of locked doors so you can't explore everything, but also have to wander around aimlessly and backtrack to find and use keys!
You get a D- in level design, OP.