Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

how do you balance open areas from a gameplay stand point??

Recommended Posts

Premise: i'm brainstorming right now, something may not make a lot of sense to you.

I've read a lot about gameplay balance regarding ammo/monsters/health ratio and about the use of certain monsters in certain situation, still i found problems balancing areas that are basically bottle-necks between large areas.
Usually ,if left alone, monsters tends to aggregate towards said bottlenecks only to be happily slaughtered by the player(s), the only way to prevent this (that i know) is usually to make the monsters deaf or to make them teleport in or rised up from an illusio-pit or a combination of those and monster closets, with the usage of a mechanism to seal the door until the storm is over, i found auto-closing doors that needed to be activated via a serie of switches or keycards or simply timed doors ( wich are a pain to time properly, often i found timed doors [or elevators for what matters] that took ages and i was just sitting here waiting for them to open); but still you may find a way to condense the monsters around something (may be a couple of pillars or a corridor of sort), don't get me wrong, some kind of cover is necessary to survive certain kind of monsters.

So tl;dr; how do you balance medium to large areas widely interconnected between them without making the gameplay dull or overwelming?

edit: typo, ops.

Share this post

Link to post
Cacowad said:

how do you balance medium to large areas widely interconnected between them without making the gameplay dull or overwelming?


1. Don't allow monsters to freely walk around the large area. Limit them to the sides, or certain positions (raised or not) as turrets, or to a limited part of the whole area.

2. Give up trying to make a challenge out of large open areas, and don't place (almost) any monsters in there - leave them for smaller areas.

3. Use low-tier enemies (maybe with a couple high-tier) in a moderate amount, place them around the area. They should have a potential to kill the player if he just rushes in the middle of them. The player will have to figure out a strategy to deal with them fast and easily. Grouping them in a "bottle-neck" should be accounted for as a legit strategy.

4. Other options (tough monster hordes, random placement, low monster density) can be used too, but they're more likely to lead to that dull or overwhelming gameplay.

Share this post

Link to post

5. Have several openings if possible. More options for monsters, more places for the player to watch.

6. Make natural camping spots inconvenient, by blocking line of sight or by making the ground damaging.

7. Keep corners between two rooms to a minimal so monsters don't get stuck in there. Same goes for 64+ pixel alcoves like so: |_|

Just for fun, tiny map trying to put this in practice: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2qvg0bq07imtcce/morepaths.wad?dl=0

Map01 is the base, and you can camp easily in the top left corner or the bottom right one. Map02 has a few changes to shake things up a bit.

Share this post

Link to post

@Phml: I've found the first map much better, it was more challenging and I couldn't exit as easy as in the 2nd one, so I'm not sure. True, monsters (and player) could move more freely in the latter one, which should generally be a good thing. Anyway, I agree with the points you made, they're indeed good and I didn't think this way at all when replying, I only considered monster placement.

Also the map is a nice little one, it can be taken as a serious map rather than just a test. ;)

Share this post

Link to post

I thought map02 was easier because with many openings you can always approach the arch-viles from some side, while with only one opening they hide behind the monster horde and you can't do much to kill them quickly. But then again I played map01 first so on the next map I was more prepared for the trap.

edit: actually not sure if we are talking about difficulty or what so maybe nevermind.

Share this post

Link to post

Great example wad Phml, it seems that when you have only one entrance monsters tend to not infight with each other resulting in slightly more difficult first encounter, while when the archies showed up it was more or less a easy pick due to the rokets splash damage ability (the archie was too busy trying to resurrect what i just killed to be really a concern).

In the second map instead the first encounter was easier due the massive infighting going on even if you had (even slightly) less space to move around , while the archie encounter was a nigthmare, he was able to go where he pleased (he went unexpectly to the switch area once), alternating sniping with resurrecting so not enabling me to pick him easy time.

This is an interesting monsters behaviour test map, also thank you all for your responses, if you have more keep 'hem coming!

p.s. also it seems that i am the only one who had an easier time with the first one, weird.

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now