Hidden areas

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by eadgear, Aug 27, 2016.

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  1. eadgear

    eadgear Veteran Veteran

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    Hello, Currently working with the game design and I want to add amazing stuff on it which is "hidden areas". It is normal for an rpg to have hidden areas but I don't know which one is best. The first choice is the overworld hidden areas like pokemon legendary locations maxresdefault.jpg


    way likes correct movement and clicking an object will help to discover the hidden areas. It requires a lot of mapping that's why I came to another option which is the same is FF war of lion.


    565928.jpg


    The area will only be visible to world map if the player triggered an event or meet the requirements. You can't discover it no matter what unlike the first one, unless you meet the requirement to unlock it.


    So guys, which one is the best that makes the game more interesting?


    Btw, the game is all about hidden areas to discover hidden treasures. So you travel most of the time to find those things.
     
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  2. Vance Raehart

    Vance Raehart Story writer/Aspiring Artist Veteran

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    I like the first option better IMO. it brings immersion to the game when discover ancient ruins being all like "what is this place?". what's even better is playing a game with a custom character rather than a preset one. because I like to immerse myself  with not only the game, but my character as well, to think I'm actually there. World map hidden areas are boring and doesn't give the sense of exploration like walking in a dark dungeon or a deep forest etc.
     
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  3. GoodSelf

    GoodSelf Zhu Li! Do the thing! Veteran

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    I agree with Vance - having a hidden area in a dungeon/town to me is way cooler than having one on the world map.
    I also like the "you cant go here, you need this" method. A path is blocked by a large rock or something, and halfway in the game, you get a skill that can break those rocks.
    Then, when the player goes back, they discover a secret area that they couldn't get to before.

    I also like secret areas that require "cunning" to unlock. For example, lets say whenever your character interacts with a paiting, it will descrbe the painting to you.
    But there is one painting somewhere that when you talk to it, transports you to a new area. The player could go through the whole game without ever finding it unless they take the time to interact with the world.
     
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  4. TheZage

    TheZage Villager Member

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    It all boils down to immersion. Which to me means, you shouldn't require a player to collect x amount of crystals to unlock a location. Unlocking it through completing a quest line that is a bit hidden away perhaps? Both of the options is viable to me, but I do lean more towards the first. As GoodSelf said, 

     is a handy tool to control the flow of the game. Only, don't friggin overuse it. When you have 20 identical rocks scattered around the world, whos only purpose is to block off entire areas, it becomes a pain in the butt when you got to track them all down... . Zelda had an ok balance. I know that wasn't what you asked for, but that point cannot be stressed enough. =S


    I usually would ask myself, why would this area be closed off, any immersive reason why it would be? If not, maybe you should just let it stay open. 
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2016
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  5. Dr. Delibird

    Dr. Delibird Veteran Veteran

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    @GoodSelf, I do not agree with you. If a player has to backtrack to experience more content then they are forced to wade through content tailored to an earlier point in the game. Even with scaling levels it becomes a bit of a risk vs reward question to the player, except swap risk with effort. What if they go back and what lies beyond that, newly smashable, rock is something that that particular player just does not care for? Then, from that moment on, the player no longer backtracks because their first experience of doing so was not fun. Adversly if the player backtracks and finds it to be worth it (a really good sword for example) then it become the most optimal way to play the game and now an optional area feels not optional because the reward is too good. Backtracking has to either be done PERFECTLY or not at all or else these and many more undesirable situations pop up.


    I don't think immersion is 100% needed for a "hidden" or secret path design choice. The reason being is a games level of immersion should be a thing decided in a vacuum unrelated to mechanics and then mold the mechanics to fit the level of immersion. 


    OP: I think both would work well, maybe using a mixture or some combination could work out well. The first one makes individual map exploration a little more interesting without overloading a player with things to find/go to (*cough* a buttload of open world games fall into this pitfall). The second one helps with rewarding the player for doing certain/vairious aspects of your game, "oh look I spot a new hidden grotto to plunder! awesome!".
     
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  6. Fudge

    Fudge Veteran Veteran

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    @Dr. Delibird I think you have a very good point there. Backtracking is something a lot of players hate, and if the result of doing that is unsatisfactory to the player, it can dampen their playing experience. However, a good idea in this circumstance would be to have a teleporting skill maybe, or have the player be given a warp item so that even if the player is displeased, they will not have wasted too much time.
     
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  7. Dr. Delibird

    Dr. Delibird Veteran Veteran

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    @Fudge, the teleporting mechanic is a good way of circumventing a lot of issues that arises from backtracking however I wouldn't use it as something to make the player feel less bad if they find the backtracking not worth it. If the player feels not happy about having done something, then that is bad for your games rep. Even if this level of badness is smaller than it could have been. Instead of using a teleport mechanic to hopefully prevent some frustration from players who are dissapointed by the backtracking you should be finding ways to make the backtracking fun.


    A good example for making backtracking fun, or at least less boring, is having things the player can AND wants to do everytime they go to the area in question. If crafting is a big part of your game then have mid to low tier ingredients scattered around maps that are frequently travelled and/or have backtracking ascociated to them. That is just one way to make backtracking feel like less of a chore but there are honestly quite a lot and fair amount of them are better than simple ingredient collecting.
     
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  8. Fudge

    Fudge Veteran Veteran

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    @Dr. Delibird That is a very good way to circumvent the issue, actually. Although what you get from the backtracking is not necessarily something the player wants, they will still enjoy the experience of actually getting there because of the usefulness of things found on the way.
     
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  9. Dr. Delibird

    Dr. Delibird Veteran Veteran

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    @Fudge, It is still important to offer something for players who don't want to partake in a crafting system. Maybe some berries grow on a few bushes that give a buff when consumed, nothing crazy but something useful.
     
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