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Are you growing weary of ice worlds, lava levels, water dungeons, etc. [roundtable]
Now, I understand why game designers utilize these tried and true settings: They're what we've got in the planet Earth of ours. But it gets a little tiring knowing that every Mario game, every Metroid game, every Sonic game from here until eternity will have this stuff.

I haven't really formulated full thoughts on this but that shouldn't stop me from posting and see what other people say to get things started.

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Posted: 12/07/11, 23:17:29
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In regards to Zelda, I don't mind if the areas are all thematic, because that's just how our world is (snowy areas, forest areas, etc). I think I'd like to see them adhere to these tropes less in dungeons though. Instead of a fire temple, maybe a dungeon could be some sort of dam that prevents lava from spilling into the town below. Maybe a water temple isn't just a water temple but is more of a basin of water that two factions are fighting over. If there's an "ice" level, I want my brain to be focused more on its purpose and context, and less on the fact that "Well, I guess it's time to go to the ice level." I thought The Snowpeak Ruins did a really cool job of that.
Posted: 12/08/11, 07:07:32
That's pretty much what I meant. A forest temple that isn't just a generic forest temple, but something else. Every Zelda since and including OOT has done a good job of throwing some twists in their thematic temples, and I'm more than fine with it.

Some like Jabu Jabu, Snowpeak Ruins, and Palace of Twilight/City In The Sky were just incredible. They were all unique/twists. Love those kinda temples. But I still love my forest and fire temples from OOT and TP too!!
Posted: 12/08/11, 10:38:06
I don't mind variety in the environments, it's just that it's too often presented as:

* Ice world to the north
* Water world to the south
* Lava world to the east
* Desert to the west.

You know what you're getting into when you first set foot in one of these areas.
Posted: 12/08/11, 14:25:06
The desert in Skyward Sword is more unique than the one in TP too. In terms of purpose and context it's defined by the timeshift stones, the fact that it used to have a safe foundation that you can still use, an ocean area, ancient technology... it's memorable and every part of that translates into gameplay ideas.

It's all in the execution. : )
Posted: 12/08/11, 14:36:01
I am only tired of elemental levels if they are homogenous in design (i.e. earth temple, fire temple, water temple, etc). I do like a mix of element types in different over world areas as long as they make sense. I also like exploration of hazardous environments after you get a suit/item, Metroid style. The underlying element here is that of surprise and variety. (I.e. underwater volcano, city in the sky, jabu jabu belly, etc).
Posted: 12/08/11, 22:58:48
I'm just entering this post thinking..."well, what the hell is left?" Space? As far as I'm concerned, everything is pretty much done already. Unless you have one stage that is fire ice and water all in one level
Posted: 12/09/11, 07:08:35
Wellsy529 said:
I'm just entering this post thinking..."well, what the hell is left?" Space? As far as I'm concerned, everything is pretty much done already. Unless you have one stage that is fire ice and water all in one level

Posted: 12/09/11, 07:52:36
The possibilities are pretty much unlimited.

I mean, Earthworm Jim had a level in an office drowning in paperwork.
Posted: 12/09/11, 08:18:32
Stuff like Zelda and Metroid need to rely on certain things though. What you said could work for Mario, but not the other 2. Zelda is the most restricted though, it has to deal with a medieval/fantasy setting. And Metroid has to be sci-fi planets or ships/stations. I suppose they could do stuff for Metroid like churches, cities, etc, it that'd be really different and approaching something more like Dead Space (which I'm more than fine with actually).
Posted: 12/09/11, 12:25:18
Yea, I like them. Like others have said, what really else is left?!?!! That was one of my gripes with Mario Sunshine. Everything was green and blue. The amusement park was level was kindof cool..

Problem is people will say, base them on different themes instead of these simple elements, but those people never offer up any different themes to their argument.

When you really come down to it, there really isn't anything else. Like Mustache said, you'd have a bunch of boring shit to look at. Kindof like fps's, its like there are 3 different fps games that developers keep making over and over again. Hell, buy one or two of these games and you never really need to buy another one ever again. But they are sortof like Madden games, you get the same boring shit every year, but people are like mindless drones going out and buying the next one cause there might be a few new names for each team's roster.

Come on people, its football. I could understand buying a new one when the next gen systems come out, but after that, you will be good to go until the next gen. Football, is football. I can't believe there are so many idiots supporing a new Madden every year. I can hear em now, "Man, the rain never looked this good in a Madden game before!" or 'Thank God I got Madden 2012, now I can have big Jimbo Simbo as my quarterback!" Really? WTF?!

What the Madden games are missing are the lava levels. Maybe that is next years main pull!

-End Rant.
Posted: 12/09/11, 13:15:40  - Edited by 
 on: 12/09/11, 13:18:09
Sports games piss me off to no end. With you there.
Posted: 12/09/11, 13:22:30

You seem to have a good handle on all of this stuff (apparently).
What are some of your suggestions for "themes" or whatever?

Lets hear, oh, I dunno; how about 8?


"Paperwork Level" isn't going to work in Hyrule. Maybe a Dungeon comprised ENTIRELY of Bottles? Yeah, thats WAY better than a boring old been-there-done-that Ice Fortress..


XBOB disagrees. You and I aren't thinking outside the box (apparently).

Xbob42 said:

Talk about stuck thinking inside the box!

See? He's got some great ideas though, and I hope we get to hear them.



People don't buy sports games for the new features, usually (and people buying/playing Sports games aren't "videogame players" so much as "sports fans." Does this surprise you guys? Very rarely does a sports title break through and appeal to the other side a la Tecmo Bowl, Baseball Stars, Blades of Steel, or NBA Jam..and some of those are a stretch). There are licensing issues with players that you absolutely have to have, or else you're playing an outdated game. You guys wouldn't understand (because you're not sports fans, duh), but playing with LAST YEAR'S ROSTER is balls. Nobody wants to do that. (SIDEBAR: EA dropped the largest ball possible this year, so much so that I want to explode into a profanity-laced tirade right now; I'm playing with LAST YEAR'S UNIFORMS for the Bills in my game -- totally different helmet and jersey colors -- while every other team is up to date...AND on the other consoles, XBOX/PS3, every team -- including the Bills -- are 100% accurate. Now I'm going to bed angry!). Guys get traded to / from your favorite team, and you've got a whole new crop of rookies and retirements that swept through. If you're playing without the hottest players on your team/game, you're either quite unfortunate, or you simply don't care. Those who don't care are not sports fans. I mean, there ARE some new features that are sprinkled throughout the game from year to year, but thats not really why most people get it. If you're content playing with ONE roster forever, hey, thats your deal, and like I said "probably not a sports fan." I mean, I STILL play Tecmo Super Bowl III, and thats using the 1995 roster with NO change (no in game Draft or Retirements; just guys getting pushed around forever, and ever). That game is the boobs. Hella-boobs.

As for a game just called "NFL" or whatever with a simple yearly Roster Download(s), I had talked to Peter Moore about that and the NASCAR games specifically, and it simply won't work. For NASCAR, each driver / sponsor / team / track has an INDIVIDUAL contract with EA (so, like, hundreds of contracts..). Thats why you'll have 96% of the drivers or cars, but be missing one or two guys and wonder why, not to mention sponsors that aren't kid friendly (alcohol, Viagra a few years ago, Hooters probably..). For some awful reason, the Nascar 2005 game was missing the track at Pocono...and they didn't even give us make up courses. The schedule in our game was only 34 races, not the authentic 36. What the heck? As for football, like I said, guys have contracts with the NFLPA (Players Association), and that works with the rosters, but their deals are only good so long. They can't just magically put Dan Marino in the next game and be like "ta-da!" Its a year-to-year thing.

--Sports fans are fine with this stuff (for the most part), I don't know why you guys are so bent out of shape.
I mean, its not like we're buying the same War games over and over again.
There is no real-life soldier roster that you need to mirror.
Posted: 12/09/11, 13:24:03  - Edited by 
 on: 12/09/11, 13:43:02

It's not really that hard to have ideas for themes of dungeons honestly, the problem is making them compelling. Elemental dungeons are well trodden ground at this point so it's easier to make them interesting.
Posted: 12/09/11, 13:33:48

Well, out with 'em! I'm in "answers mode." I want answers here, and there, and everywhere this week.

You and XBOB; lets hear some fresh themes that aren't elemental or stale. Should be fun!
Posted: 12/09/11, 13:44:10

-A dungeon that is suspended over a canyon chandelier style
-A surrealist dungeon (MC Escher style)
-A lighthouse
-An industrial dungeon (ie an enemy production line or something)
-A common area turning in to a dungeon like setting (ie A village)
-An Airship

Those are off the top of my head at 4 in the morning, I'm sure a group of designers with much more time and sleep would be able to come up with dozens of appropriate settings.
Posted: 12/09/11, 14:01:54  - Edited by 
 on: 12/09/11, 14:02:27

If you ever get the opportunity, you should look into FIFA '12 or NHL '11. They're so good, you don't even have to be a sports game fan to enjoy them.

I think they have free demos on HD platforms if you have access.
Posted: 12/09/11, 16:49:01
They could even have a dungeon that takes place in Link's head, not unlike the Scarecrow sections in Arkham Asylum. The entrance to a dungeon could simply be Link taking a drink of some weird concoction and then going into a dreamworlds where everything is fucked up.
Posted: 12/09/11, 16:55:57

Metroid definitely does NOT need to limit itself to certain things. She's on completely different planets! Hell, I'm sure you could find some shit that they've seen with the Hubble space telescope and come up with some ideas. Some sort of noxious gas planet, some sort of mercury level where the platforms change between solid and liquid, I dunno this is off the top of my head. The point is Metroid of all games shouldn't feel constrained to earthly ideas.

The entire reason I made this thread was playing Other M and just saying "ugh ice world".
Posted: 12/09/11, 17:02:57
To be fair to Zelda, the temples aren't always just element-based, they also sometimes incorporate other cultural elements, for instance some might have an Eastern look to them, or Middle Eastern, etc. You Zelda nuts could probably say more accurately which dungeon is what.

Why not play that up? Or maybe that's still too familiar. It would be nice to feel in a completely strange land when playing Zelda.
Posted: 12/09/11, 17:09:37
I agree. I think some games have made good efforts in that area but I think it could and should be pushed way further.
Posted: 12/09/11, 18:01:50
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