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C30N9

Which Non-Linear type you'd rather?

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I'm talking about 2 types of Non-Linearity:

1- Multi choices and ways. By this I mean is that you reach a place then you find 2 or more ways, one maybe optional... So now you choose which place you'd like to go, and at last you would find something cool or a locked door etc...

2- Connected maze. By this I mean is that several ways will take you to the same place, maze-like.

So which one you like more?

I'm mapping a CC4 map and trying to get Non-Linearity. However, I'd stick to (1).

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Forks in the road (Option 1) are kind of cool. For option 1 you mean depending which way you go you get taken to different levels? If so that would be pretty awesome

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Whenever I think of perfect non-linear gameplay, I think of E1M7. While the player does have to achieve each of the map's objectives in a set order, the map doesn't funnel the player through a series of tightly coordinated obstacles to get to the goal. Rather, it presents itself as a living, breathing complex of hallways, computer banks, secret rooms, sprawling (for the time) outdoor areas and a massive, mysterious poison area chock full of forbidden goodies.

So while the gameplay isn't actually non-linear in the sense that it allows the player to complete its objectives in whichever order he/she wills, it presents itself as an environment to be explored and plundered.

that's just me though.

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I like alternate routes between main areas best, especially when combined with a key or switch puzzle. So you have 2 or more optional ways to get to the key location, and then 2 or more ways to get back to the locked door.

MAP05 Waste Tunnels from Doom II would be an example for this, with the two ways to get from the red door to the red key and back.

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MAP10 is nearly a great example, but IMHO the secret passage between the blue & yellow keys is a serious flaw, because it places them very close to each other (making the level a lot easier) if you know the secret.

I prefer a limited form of #1, spurs leading to optional rooms with battles that result in a net loss of ammo, in exchange for the opportunity for 100% kills (e.g. the room full of imps/armor bonuss in MAP03 or the barons in E4M1.)

Even better is levels that appear linear at first but allow more subtle variations on the obvious plan, e.g. E4M2 (not counting the blue door-dodging straferun.)

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I'd say that Polygon Base and Phobus' Godforsaken Hole in Community Chest 3 (can't remember the map number, probably 18 or 19) are two great examples of non-linearity done right.

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So anyway, I have just recently finished a non-linear vanilla map, and it is so awesome that when it is released it will receive unprecedented critical acclaim and will set an entirely new benchmark for awesome non-linear vanilla gameplay.

True story. Honest.

On Topic, Map 10 from Doom2 was always one of my favorites. I always loved the concept of exploration in Doom maps, as long as it didn't involve annoying switch hunts. E1M7 was another great level in this regard, though it is probably closer to being linear with options on the side than it is truly non-linear. Non linearity is a tough art.

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Dragonsbrethren said:

Option 1. I'm sure maze-like design is part of the reason why modern games are so linear. Running around lost for an hour isn't fun.


What he described wasn't really a maze where you get lost for hours, he was talking about several alternate routes between areas. Like at the start of e1m4, there are several routes to take between the courtyard at the start and the circular room in the middle of the map.


The main reason why todays games are so linear is simply because creating non-linear levels requires much more time and testing and many designers focus on cinemetatic elements instead of actual gameplay.

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Interconnected 'maze', of course. Anything that allows for multiple routes between map sections will be great for demo recording. Without going into PWADs, e1m4, e1m7, e2m5, e2m7, e3m3, e4m5, e4m7, map10. Open maps can be good too, like e3m6 and map15.

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Tetzlaff said:

What he described wasn't really a maze where you get lost for hours, he was talking about several alternate routes between areas. Like at the start of e1m4, there are several routes to take between the courtyard at the start and the circular room in the middle of the map.


Yup!

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I like some freedom on which order to go through areas (the areas themselves can be linear) or alternate routes. But whatever way it is, I want to go through every place.

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Interconnected maze. Because these have high replay value, and speedruns are fun to watch with these kinds of maps.

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