Favorite level design or mapping in a video game

LxCharon

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What video game has your favorite level design or maps? Is it the layered dungeons of Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time? Or do you the love the sprawling fields of Final Fantasy XV? Does the asymmetric levels of Overwatch tickle your fancy? Or the colorful, and puzzle heavy dungeons of Golden Sun?


I know that it's a pretty broad question but when you think about it all twists into itself. I personally am a huge fan of the maps in the LoZ Oracle games, and the design and details in Castlevania Symphony of the Night. All three games show such a great understanding of depth, color, spacial awareness and detail. 


So how about you? 
 

Lantiz

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Yes I'm loving Final Fantasy. No, really, the map is gorgeous.


That said, I like open world maps that let me explore, like, if I see a mountain I want to climb it. Other good examples are Archeage and WoW.


Also, I always dream of being able to explore and discover new things so, I have a love for procedural generation.
 

SheWolf

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The entire mana saga, period.


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There is so much color, so much beauty. The way things contrasts, the cute, yet dramatic style. It conveys how much magical these games really are, and this is what inspires me to make my level designs.
 

Lantiz

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@SheWolf I didn't play all of them but Legend of Mana on PSX is one of my favorite games of all time.


Although I understand your artist look into it, I don't remember it's maps being good, speaking about gameplay.


Maybe I'm just getting old, don't play it in ages hahaha.


By the way, I'm speaking about this one only.


Edit: your freebies are great  :thumbsup-left:
 
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LxCharon

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@Lantiz I know what you mean, there's a beauty and awe I get playing games like minecraft that I don't get playing any other game. That feeling of "I'm the first and only to discover this" is hard to create in any game but procedurally created ones. Though I'm not sure how much design actually goes into those so much as mathematical equations. I haven't played the new ffxv yet, but I'm chomping at the bits to get to it.


@SheWolf The Mana Saga has amazing aesthetic to it. I love the bright colors and the awe and wonder that is often added to their design, that I feel a lot of fantasy games forget to tap into.
 

Lantiz

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@LxCharon exactly my point :D


It's like "wonder what's after that river right there... [kick some chicken]... ok I'll check it out".


I think I'm just too curious haha.


But, I just realized that not every procedural games cause this exact felling.


For instance, I just played Rogue Legacy, and it was more like "What? How can it be here?" and "Oh my God where did this come from?" xD


And there's always the replay value which is more noticeable when the focus of the game is exploration, a good example would be Vagante.


Just for the sake of stop screaming "procedural" all over this forum, I'll add another one which is Destiny.


The graphics are just wonderful and the maps are designed in a way that positioning is very strategic.

Destiny-Beta-Screenshot-01.jpg
 
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SheWolf

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@LxCharon: Yup, exactly, even the 3d level design in dawn of mana still keeps true to the other games of the saga. By the way, your mention of Symphony of the Night is a great choice, everything is pretty unique and elegant, the dark tones and its fine decors, but also the demonic/hellish atmosphere of some levels fits so perfectly with the theme of the game, it's a great choice of visuals that fits flawlessly with the gameplay

@Lantiz: At first I found Legend of Mana's walking system quite blocky and sometimes confusing, but I'm not sure if those were engines limitations or not. Aesthetically I still think it's the most beautiful thing ever, but it's valid to point out that it's troublesome moving the character around (specially in the cities minimaps, it can be a nuisance). Also thanks! The destiny level looks amazing, haven't played it, but the overall designs of the game are great (there's a friend who disagree, but I quite like it)

 
 

Lantiz

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At first I found Legend of Mana's walking system quite blocky and sometimes confusing, but I'm not sure if those were engines limitations or not. Aesthetically I still think it's the most beautiful thing ever, but it's valid to point out that it's troublesome moving the character around (specially in the cities minimaps, it can be a nuisance)

Yes, exactly the kind of problem I thought.

Also thanks!

You're welcome [:

The destiny level looks amazing, haven't played it, but the overall designs of the game are great (there's a friend who disagree, but I quite like it)

Honestly I played just a little, but I'm liking it so far
 

Pierman Walter

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Super Mario Galaxy, especially the levels that are set in space. In most games, the space level is just a fancy repaint of a normal level, with different running speeds, but in Galaxy uses entirely different lighting techniques and crazy gravity and giant space backgrounds.
 

LxCharon

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@Lantiz While I haven't really gotten interested in Destiny, along the same lines Halo 4 has some amazing maps that I love, it's one of the few games that has gotten me to stop and just look around, appreciating how beautiful everything is.


@SheWolf Castlevania SotN really shows off how much detail and grandeur you can put in a few pixels!


@Pierman Walter Super Mario games in general has some great level designs. I mean there are entire papers written on level 1-1 in the first game. But the move to 3D has really made a great improvement to their design.  This video really explains the brilliance of Mario level designs and how it teaches the player to play. (It's about Super mario 3D specifically but these rules can be applied to all mario games really.)
 

pamoire

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Like Lantiz, I love open world maps wherein you can discover secret areas which contain a jumping puzzle or challenge to reach a beautiful view or treasure trove. That makes you feel like an ace explorer :kaopride:
I experienced those in mmos like guildwars2 and ff14.
I love when a game rewards you for exploring (given that exploring would make sense or is forgivable storywise)

I favor games where the dungeons have different themes, not just caves and dark spaces all the time.

I also saw the potential in divinity original sin, where you can use your powers on the environment and solve puzzles in your own way (to an extent) Can't wait for the sequel ^_^
 

Lantiz

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While I haven't really gotten interested in Destiny, along the same lines Halo 4 has some amazing maps that I love, it's one of the few games that has gotten me to stop and just look around, appreciating how beautiful everything is.
Yeah hahaha, I keep stoping to watch the landscapes.

@pamoire That or just for the sake of curiosity

Adding some more: I also love when the game makes ti fun to travel by yourself instead of making use of teleportation.
For instance, in FF XV I always drive around, never teleported. [:
 

Pluto Pluto

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i love love the stealth part where you sneak in the castle in zelda oot and then later in the gerudo fortress, it's fun to not be able to just hack and slash your way through an area...especially with the added mechanics of the hookshot and arrows in the fortress.
 

barnzie8

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The 2d Oddworld games had beautiful backgrounds. From gritty and bloody industrial to untouched wilderness. They are a not as good looking as when it first came out, but it really is a nice alien world to explore.
 

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