Creating great software, one line at a time


Level structure in Axe of Kings

Posted by Rowan Powell on October 8, 2016 at 2:35 PM

During early playtesting for Axe Of Kings, I was looking out for how the players engaged with the various elements of the gameplay and given that I had revised the level layout before (As seen in an earlier blog post) I thought the maps were in a good spot and I could focus on the other parts of the game during testing. As it turns out, this was not the case.


The levels were now much more compact and meaningful to navigate given the pace of the turns and interacting with the movement mechanics of enemies was much more meaningful due to the constrained movement, but it was the same set of interactions over and over again, even worse was that it was now hard to work out where you were in the dungeon!


So the dungeon generation needed to be revised again;

  • Maintaining the pace through the dungeon
  • Maintaining the rate of interactions
  • Improving the number of novel situations
  • Improving the considerations of interaction with terrain

The pace of the dungeon is generally the same, though a little faster in open areas and slower in cramped areas, the interactions tend to follow the same pace, though a little faster overall due to some new additions in map objects that spawn. The number of novel situations is vastly improved and the terrain now plays a much bigger part in how the player chooses where to go. The solution I came up with are very simple and solve the main problems I was having, though I think it can be improved further, fortunately this is very easy for me to do with this new system as I can just add new room structures.


The game now generates some slightly different room structures but also will merge open or dougnut rooms together to further mix up the structure of the levels.




I've also added a few extra objects such as locked chests and floor traps that turn out to be useful for orientating the player in the level as well as mixing up the pace of the game a little. You can see all of the new structures in the image below and how each room now tends to have something fairly identifying.



If all else fails, the game now has a map in the menu, with icons to show which rooms contain at least one of the main party members.

Categories: Autumn 2016

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