I came up with a basic core gameplay / progression idea while leaving all the ideas open and flexible enough so that a story (which still needs to be developed) can be applied over the games core idea/progression with ease. I've also thought this out so that from my point of view its flexible for me to make the game with interactivity or non-interactivy depending on what my ability with the scripting / kismet or lack of, or if I get some help with that end of things.
So first of all this is an example of a large mazeTaint.org
Its worth noting that the game wont necessarily start in the corner of the maze, nor in fact will the entire maze be square or have such formally drawn out corridors, the above image, and subsequent images based on it, is only an example of a typical traditional maze that I am simply using as reference / to help me plan out the logical progression of the game. This will also help demonstrate to others what the core idea of the game is even tho the maze shown in these screenshots wont necessarily look anything like the maze layout of the game itself.
Here is an example of a zoomed in tiny corner region of the much large image above. Basically the player will have to make their way from the entrance of the maze right through to the exit of the maze. At its core , thats what the game will be.
You can also note that the maze isn't all corridors and junctions, there are parts that open up.
Looking at this small region with a little more detail, I have filled in the possible routes, The red here represents the primary route, the blue an example of an alternative route and the purple represents an example of a route that came from a non-primary route but leads back to the primary route. Its important to note that each alternative possible route cannot at any point lead back to another possible route unless it passes through an open area that is key to the gameplay or story.
Stripping the maze walls out and looking again in a little more detail here we see the red A open area in this example is an open area that has 3 possible routes off it. One of these routes leads back to the primary route that ultimately leads to the exit of the maze, while the other routes will lead to dead ends or player
The small green rectangles here represent gates or key junctions. The gates may be locked and require the player to solve a puzzle to open them, while other gates might be permanently locked as to avoid the
player back tracking from a certain area. In the case of them being unlocked gates or simply junctions then the player based on a puzzle or clue in that open area has to work out the correct route.
AN EXAMPLE OF A SMALL SCALE GAME PROGRESSION MAP
(LEFT TO RIGHT)
Zooming out on what I have already mentioned above, this is an example of a small scale "start to finish" game progression map. You`ll note in this example Im using 5 colors alternative routes, where as the game will really contain many many more then that, but just to demonstrate the progression of the gameplay this is a small example.
These are areas that open out into bigger areas. These open areas have key importance to the gameplay and may incorporate elements from the story. For example these open areas will have possible routes off them, so the content of that open area will be relevant to choosing the right route by either solving a puzzle to unlock a door, or solving a puzzle to work out the correct way out. These open areas would be ideal to tell parts of the story in some way through visual content, inscriptions on the walls for example, audio or onscreen text narration or cinematic cut scenes.
In addition to the above these open areas will also serve as checkpoints within the maze giving the player the opportunity to save their progress.
The player will not be able to re-enter an open area once they have chosen their route out also meaning that previous regions of the maze will no longer become back-trackable.
Smaller open areas not important to the main goal (finding the exit to the maze) that will break up the standard corridors and junctions. These smaller open areas may contain curiosities, elements to the story or act as junction areas to other routes.
The primary route is simply the default route, one of many possible routes to the exit of the maze, but from a game development point of view will contain the core story.
The alternative routes are other possible routes to the exit of the maze that give the player the opportunity choose an alternative way and control the story to a small degree. These alternative routes/storylines will also help with the re-playablity of the game.
These routes are routes that simply re-join the primary route.
These routes will eventfully lead to a dead end of the maze meaning the player will have to back-track, or these routes will lead to a player death. The player would re-spawn at the last checkpoint. A player death might involve a trap of some sort, a bad ending to the story/game, or simply a teleportation to the last checkpoint, or in some cases have a hidden route to a bonus area of the maze.
Different maze themes mean that the look and atmosphere of the maze will be of slightly different style or look.For example some areas of the maze might have the appearance of being less maintained so will have moss and vines growing all over the walls, while other areas of the maze might have slightly different style walls, paving, colors,.. be a different season like autumn, winter..etc. Some of these areas might gradually blend into each other and key the atmospheric music or sounds to change into a different mood to match the look.
Labyrinth Theme Zone Ideas
The Maze theme zones as briefly described in previous posts will be areas of the maze that differ in looks and atmosphere but has to be in keeping and realistic to a Victorian classical formal garden/architecture. This period brought in alot of influence from ancient civilizations, it was an ear of exploration, archeology, and people of high standing wanted these influences in their homes, and gardens.
We see Egyptian influence, roman and Greek, Chinese, Persian, Indian. The themes have to fit into that era, so what the player sees in the maze would have not been un-usual to see in a formal walled garden at that time.
Along with the influence from other geographical locations and cultures, the maze will feature other themed zones that would be in fitting with this era.
Zones may gradually change between each other or suddenly change depending on the situation, for example the player is walk for a while and gradually sees Celtic influenced things, the further the player walks toward that "Celtic" Zone the more the look of the maze will reflect that theme. Or in other cases the player might come to a locked gate or door while being in one zone.. then opening the door will suddenly be into a different zone.
So here are a few possible zones I was thinking that are in keeping to the specific era/style
Japanese / Eastern Zone
Things you might see in a traditional formal Japanese garden, and other general Japanese influences.
- Walls, Archways, Pillar sections will be of a traditional Japanese style
- Wood arch bridges over calming streams
- Raked pebble beds with traditional spirals
- Granite Japanese ornaments
- Potted bonsai trees
- Larger traditional garden trees such as cherry blossoms, acer`s, various reads.
- Water pools / swimming giant gold fish
- Atmospheric traditional ambient classical Japanese music
- General Japanese inscriptions, symbols used to theme the clues or puzzles of the game in this particular zone.
- Walls, Archways, Pillar sections will have a Celtic look about them
- Prop objects might include standing stones, pots, rune posts, spiral etched stones
- Walls and objects might include Celtic symbols as clues or part of puzzles.
- Suitable music and atmospherics
- Egyptian Zone
- Walls, Archways, Pillar sections will be in the style of ancient Egypt
- Zone prop objects might include obelisks, pyramids, god statues
- Parts of walls and other objects might have hryaglphys as part of puzzles
- Patches of sand replacing the moss of the default maze
- Suitable music for that zone
This zone could be similar to the default theme, but has an extremely overgrown and never maintained look to it.
- Walls, Archways, Pillar sections will have think moss all over them
- Creepers, Vines, Ivy growing over walls
- Wall/Floor textures will show much more cracks, missing bricks..etc
- Broken and cracked prop objects, such as vases, pots, statues...etc
Winter / Fall Zone
A zone of the maze where it will look and feel like winter/fall.
- Walls, Archways, Pillar sections will reflect the theme style, such as snow accumulated on the tops, and sides will have a frosty look
- Snow drifts accumulated in certain areas
- frozen puddles
- Accumulated dead leaves
- Bare trees
- Cold sky / lighting shader
- Ice sculptures, that may be key to clues or puzzles.
Neo Classical Roman Zone
- The same idea as the previous zones i described but using neo classical roman influence set into a formal Victorian style walled garden context
Neo Classical Greek Zone
- The same idea as the previous zones i described but using neo classical ancient Greek influence set into a formal Victorian style walled garden context
Chess / Playing Card Zone
- Think Alice in wonderland here.
- Checkerboard paving
- Topiary plants of chess characters
- Statues, of dice, playing cards, kings queens, knights,..etc etc
- Hearts, spades, clubs, diamonds, joker, royal symbology