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Old 07-18-2013, 05:48 AM
Kamaeru Kamaeru is offline
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Zelda-style overworlds

A few days ago, I got this in the mail:



I have sat down and played it three times so far, and I'm on Dungeon 3 in the Dark World (Dungeon 6 really). Why am I doing this? I mean of course I have played through A Link to the Past a few times before. But the times I played through before were not spent examining the level designs. I have found it advantageous to play it in Japanese because I can spend my time investigating and examining the entire game. Also, you will quickly note that the game is hardly unplayable (the game does an excellent job of presenting the narrative with the smallest amount of text feasible).
My goal was already to create an overworld, and although I feel like I understand the structure of Zelda and the approach of the designers toward gameplay, let's face it. When I play this game, I quickly realize that no one on Graal has presented this skill in any way. I have decided that it will be more necessary to investigate, inspect, examine, and then attempt to emulate this style than I had even previously expected. I urge all level designers to go check it out for themselves.

Once I play through this game and begin creating my overworld, I will likely use this thread to update progress.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:37 AM
Fulg0reSama Fulg0reSama is offline
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Congratulations Kamaeru, you are on the right path designing your world with studying games in their design.
If you try to comprehend and understand games, you can too also learn to apply what you've learned

Looking forward to your updates.

Realistically, if you're making a game as a whole or even just a specific portion in mind as a role you play, I highly believe that you need to truly study games as well as play them.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:50 AM
Draenin Draenin is offline
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The dungeon designs of Zelda: A Link to the Past are pretty good, but Zelda: Parallel Worlds (An insanely brutal-but-playable romhack by Euclid) is vastly superior.

Play all the way through it, as tough as it might be. Took me a few weeks to beat it, but the dungeon and overworld map designs are worth studying.

Here are a few of my favorites.


Castle Guardhouse

The first dungeon, which you must do SWORDLESS for the first half on only three hearts. Pretty rough for an intro dungeon, as it's basically on the size scale of a Dark World dungeon in LttP.



Shiek's Hideout

Probably the most sinister dungeon design ever. Seriously, just watch this madness. So many eye lasers. SO MANY. Not to mention disappearing floors, fire bars, blade traps, wallmasters, spike blocks, and dozens of fake cracked walls.



The Parallel Tower

Featuring false doors that appear locked, hidden passages through walls, and a final floor (8F) that splits into two paths and locks the doors behind you, forcing you to re-enter the dungeon several times.

Oh, and there's a light world and dark world version too, for a total of four trips and 32 floors. Fun times.



Last edited by Draenin; 07-18-2013 at 08:29 AM..
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:16 PM
Kamaeru Kamaeru is offline
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I kind of feel like Parallel Worlds is a somewhat broken game. I was able to beat the first dungeon when I attemted about 500 times. It really seemed disorganized (the town I walked around in was organized more like a Final Fantasy town), quite similar to many Graal servers I have played. The challenge is really cool and I like it. But my reasoning is to try to elevate my level design skills to try and match the style of cliffing used in Zelda 3.

One thing I have noticed in Zelda 3 is that some of the dungeons are designed in very different manners. The overworld builds up a structuralist theme, and the dungeons each try to break different separate rules that the theme presents.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:44 PM
Draenin Draenin is offline
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I've actually played the whole way through, and I can tell you that there is some organization to the dungeons. A lot of them involve backtracking, which you can probably notice more easily in the first dungeon, since it's a bit less complicated than the others. If you aren't terribly good at keeping certain things in mind (room layouts, floor numbers, items needed to bypass certain traps, etc) it can be a very tough game.

It's not broken. Just hard. If it were broken, Euclid could have just made a bunch of dungeons that trap you in there or make lots of instances where enemies are unkillable. It's just a hack that makes you think and try harder than most every other official Zelda game. Don't mistake difficulty for the game being totally unplayable, because you're missing out on a worthwhile challenge that way.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:14 PM
Fulg0reSama Fulg0reSama is offline
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Euclid only broke the flow of a Legend of Zelda game, not the game itself with too much backtracking for low challenge reward.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:36 PM
DustyPorViva DustyPorViva is offline
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There's a bit of a difference between designing an overworld for a single-player campaign and one for an online environment, and that's kind of the problem with Graal. In Zelda, you can design a world that opens up progressively as you play. Yet in an online game that can be a sort of a cripple on the actual online experience. Suddenly you're locking out the player from the majority of the other players, and a community is very important in an online game. Not to mention the fact that a single-player campaign as a beginning, middle and end... you typically want to avoid that sort of design online because you want players to come back.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but it takes a lot of effort and sometimes it pays to focus more on things that benefit an online experience rather than a single-player one. Not that that has ever stopped me from designing my overworlds with progression and exploration/questing in mind.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:38 AM
Kamaeru Kamaeru is offline
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I agree with everything you said, and have put all of this into consideration. I have spent a whole lot of time contemplating on this, and like you said, I come to the conclusion that this sort of hybrid can be accomplished. Funny thing is, I'm hard pressed to think of an example where it has been done masterfully in such a manner as could be considered proportional to measures used in Zelda 3.
What I mean by saying that is that we're simply paving new ground here, literally. This concept, while trapped in a German prison, is something that has never been done. Like all things that have never been done or never been accomplished, a lot of notoriety may come to whoever succeeds.

In my recent playthrough (on dungeon 6 now), one of the greatest things I have noted so far is the exposing of binaries and subsequent breaking down of said binaries. Nintendo seems to have taken a closer look at the binary I might call "overworld/dungeon", and taken steps in the game to break down that binary. Especially in Dungeon 3, where the entrance to the dungeon is actually holes spread all over the Dark Woods, and the stereotypical "dungeon entrance" that players are used to seeing actually only contains an entryway to the Boss, requiring a special offensive item (which also breaks down another binary by existing) to enter.

Nintendo knows about these binaries and broke them down even further in future Zelda games, and is also very public about the fact that they wish to do more of this with the next Zelda game.
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:50 PM
Torankusu Torankusu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyPorViva View Post
There's a bit of a difference between designing an overworld for a single-player campaign and one for an online environment, and that's kind of the problem with Graal. In Zelda, you can design a world that opens up progressively as you play. Yet in an online game that can be a sort of a cripple on the actual online experience. Suddenly you're locking out the player from the majority of the other players, and a community is very important in an online game. Not to mention the fact that a single-player campaign as a beginning, middle and end... you typically want to avoid that sort of design online because you want players to come back.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but it takes a lot of effort and sometimes it pays to focus more on things that benefit an online experience rather than a single-player one. Not that that has ever stopped me from designing my overworlds with progression and exploration/questing in mind.
Classic was actually this way initially (and pretty successful pre npc-server, mind you).

Several locations could not be reached without a hammer or a certain level of gloves (white or black rocks..)

You are underestimating the player / community mentality; most will not congregate where there are not a large following (Hence why outside of Burger Refuge was the spot...)


edit//also,

Back in 2005-06ish, I had started tiling an overworld with this same progressive theme in mind.

Attached is a screenshot of that map, but the main MMORPG/community experience would have centralized on the center island, every other island would have to have access granted via quest progression.

I still have a lot of resources (mind you the Scripting language was about 1-1.5 versions younger then...) if someone decides they want to put together a team for a project like this.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:12 PM
Shaun Shaun is offline
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Main server (Classic/GTA), specifically under Tyhm, tried to be this way (as much as we could when 200-300 players would be all scrambling to make the same quests at a time). I know myself, I specifically replayed ALttP many times just to draw inspiration and imitate tiling methods (which I still consider vastly superior to the artsy NewMain houses which make no sense).
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:23 AM
Torankusu Torankusu is offline
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Main server (Classic/GTA), specifically under Tyhm, tried to be this way (as much as we could when 200-300 players would be all scrambling to make the same quests at a time). I know myself, I specifically replayed ALttP many times just to draw inspiration and imitate tiling methods (which I still consider vastly superior to the artsy NewMain houses which make no sense).
With scripting advances, instances would allow for the possibility of multiple users to do the same quest at once without bothering one another.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:34 AM
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That game reminds me of something Dusty has made. He should be working on it
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:42 AM
DustyPorViva DustyPorViva is offline
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That game reminds me of something Dusty has made. He should be working on it
They're fun to design but I don't have much interest in putting too much effort into doing them for online servers. There are some things that work, like progressively-expansive overworld, but I just don't think it's worth the effort to go all-out Zelda for a multiplayer experience.
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:57 AM
Kamaeru Kamaeru is offline
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On the other hand, I love that idea.
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