Keeping Players engaged - Smaller Maps

Black Pagan

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I'm planning a 20 ~ 30 Minute Survival / RPG game, I have most of the Map layouts, Themes and Monsters somewhat planned. I want to keep everything very minimal, I mean the maps are anywhere from 15 x 25 to 25 x 25. The entire Game will have perhaps only 6 such maps. Now here is what i was wondering.

What can I implement to keep the Player engaged in each of these mini maps for a longer duration instead of rushing forward to the next map ?

The reason i ask this is because this game won't be heavy on Story and i want to extend the game to make it feel like an actual Survival game and not a quest - kill - rush kind of game. I want players to spend like 5+ Mins in each map if possible, Not just rush through in 15 seconds. I want to keep encounter at a minimum pace in these maps, like once every few minutes or so, making the encounters actually a challenging aspect of the game.
 
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LostFonDrive

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It won't be easy but you could implement stealth into the maps? Having to hide and sneak past enemies, learn their movement patterns etc. takes time.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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For such a small amount of smaller maps, I would say to make almost everything in them interactable, and maybe consider changing the interactable parts dependent on story conditions. Maybe that's a given with the horror genre? I don't know. But that's what I would focus on. If there is not much area to travel, I think you really need to make the area available very full of life/energy/whatever to make it exciting and meaningful.
 

kairi_key

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An escape room style then?
 

Basileus

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Maybe add secrets to each map so the player needs to use visual clues to find things. The original Legend of Zelda didn't have many screens for its Overworld, but almost all of them had a secret that players spent hours to find. The Zelda series has a bunch of secrets like that with trees you can dash into, bushes you can pull up/burn down, and rocks to lift/blow up. There's also good clues in the dungeons like patterns in the floor indicating secret walls you can bomb, or an array of blocks that looks random at first but make a pattern if the player pushes a misaligned block or two into place.
 

Kes

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Game Mechanics Design is not for feedback on individual, specific games, but for looking at aspects of game play at a more conceptual level.

[MOVE]Game Ideas and Prototypes[/MOVE]
 

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