Last year, I spent a couple of weeks working on a map for Unturned called Graveyard. It isn’t finished, and I don’t plan on releasing it, but I recently came across it again and thought it’d be fun to share some highlights of the work I did. Lots of images past the break.
Originally published on Gamasutra 10/10/2017.
This article contains minor spoilers for the first act of Divinity: Original Sin 2, including location and quest names.
As the market for modern role-playing games grows, developers are under increasing pressure to appeal to as many niches as possible. This is a problem endemic to mainstream game development – AAA development in particular – but Western RPGs are arguably the hardest hit by this. In this genre, attempting to accommodate every type of player results in a vast diversity of viable approaches to quests, story, and combat, but can give rise to disparate elements of the game and its narrative clashing with each other, resulting in a final product that feels vague, unfocused, and unguided. This pushes players into feeling bored or frustrated, which can quickly translate into disengagement and unfulfillment.
I was ten when I first sat down to play Metroid Prime. I remember finding it difficult, and opaque. Samus’ struggles were unfamiliar to me, and, I guess, in most ways, they still are. There’s a lot to think about.