Airscape the Fall of Gravity attempts to one up the challenging platforming of Super Meat Boy with a game built around numerous deathtraps and no such thing as a dedicated floor. However in an attempt at making something different, the developers of Airscape messed with some core fundamentals of both platformer and camera design, to create a game that I literally can’t play anymore.
Today’s post should be interesting, as I’m going to talk about another often overlooked area of making a great game — level design. As we’ve talked about on podcasts, it’s one of those topics where we can talk about what we liked or disliked about a level, but actually talking about what makes it good or bad is another story because you’re not just talking about one part of your game but every aspect that is playable to the player.
Recently I’ve been looking at two games that were designed as a remembrance of old school games: Volgarr the Viking and 1001 Spikes. From graphics to gameplay, these titles look like they could have been released in the mid 80s- early 90s. The allure of old school game design is something that we hear from a lot of developers and gamers and is even used as a tagline for some games. But having grown up playing these “old school” titles is old school design really a good thing?
The 2D platformer genre is one of the purest when it comes to game difficulty thanks to a complete reliance on player skill above all else and in return the genre features a huge variety of difficulty. From simple casual titles, to Super Meat Boy and I Wanna Be The Guy.
With Giana Sisters, people complained that the difficulty of the game was over the top, but having played it, the difficulty wasn’t the problem for me.