Oates_ Posted July 27, 2014 Share Posted July 27, 2014 Greetings, my fellow tenno, Today I will primarily be discussing the future of level design in Warframe. I say primarily because, level design in a given video game is foundational to almost every other aspect of that game. I will go into more detail about that later, but first, I'd like to explain why I made this post. As I have played warframe, I have noticed a peculiar phenomenon on the forums. There are no megathreads about level design. It's like there is some sort of taboo associated with even bringing the topic up. This strikes me as peculiar because most of the complaints that people consistently bring up are almost all directly tied to the level design of the game. Take for example the game's AI. I often see people complain on the forums about the AI programming of warframe, but as was mentioned on the AI livestream a few weeks ago, the AI is severely limited by the proceedurally generated level design. And another example, navigation while in mission. Many new players have difficulty finding their way around even the most linear of levels, and yet everyone calls fault to the UI team and not the levels themselves. Now don't misunderstand me. I think that the level design team has done a great job with the tools that they have. In many ways they have made the concept art come to life, but they cannot overcome certain weaknesses inherent to the proceedurally generated tile system. "But Oates!" as many would be defenders are quick to say, "without proceedurally generated levels, the gameplay would become repetitive and boring!" I hate to break this to you, but the tile system does not solve that problem. Adding new tiles merely delays the problem. Not that the tile system is bad, it just comes with very specific costs and benefits. "So what's your point?", you may ask. My point is that we need to take a step back and reconsider why we are using tile sets and not another system from the perspective of where warframe is now, rather than from the perspective of what warframe was. Realize that when the tile set system was chosen as the way to produce levels for warframe, the game was not even half as big as it is now. For what warframe was to conceivably be at that point, the tile system was, in my opinion, an excellent choice. Is the tile system still an excellent choice? That isn't my call. From a human resources perspective, the very thought of changing the way levels are made is laughable. (If you need an example; imagine a house filled with fine china. Now imagine moving that house completely off of its foundations and onto a completely new foundation. To put it bluntly, stuff breaks.) From a gameplay perspective, I think that a more wholistic approach to level design could have tangible benefits down the road. A lot of work up front, but allowing for a more immersive experience for the player especially in terms of mission design and enemy AI. In conclucsion, I would remind you that level design is foundational to gameplay. Changes come with great cost, but there are still many benefits that can result from those changes. Thank you for your time. TL;DR :You cannot wallrun without walls. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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