For my conference project I decided to continue working with my hider seeker group game. The main reason I did this was that given this was my first experience with programming I felt that my most recent work was my best. However there was still work to be done to improve the overall experience of the game.
The first thing I knew I had to add to improve the the game was adding an extra obstacle. I knew that simply racing against the clock wasn’t the most fun mechanic and I needed something else, a new choice for the player. So I toyed around with a couple of ideas for an extra obstacle in my game.
The first idea I had was to have a door that opened and shut so you would have to time when the students would cross, but you couldn’t take too long because the teacher was coming.
I liked this idea because it really put the timer in the players hands. If they chose to rush through the door they ran the risk of getting caught and losing, but if they made it they would have more than enough time left on the timer to reach the desks. On the other side if the player is too cautious at the door they run the risk of not getting to the desks in time. The downside of this design was that even though it added some player choice, it was still pretty one dimensional choice, “go” or “don’t go”.
While I liked the opening and closing door idea, it fell short of really substantive player choice. So I went back to the drawing board to try and come up with an idea that would add even more choice to my game. The idea I had was a principle who wanders the halls attempting to catch tardy students. So I gave the idea a rough sketch
I really liked the idea of not just the teacher but the whole school trying to catch these students being late. That concept was definitely the take away from this sketch it added a great game feel of an us against the world mentality. My only concern with this design was that it was too easy to just dodge one obstacle, even if it had free movement.
I know that more doesn’t mean better, its one of the basic rules of design. But for this specific game I really wanted to bring out this us against the world feel in the player. So i think in this circumstance having more did improve the overall feel of the game
So here I added multiple obstacles and changed the name from principle to hall monitors. This I think was the perfect obstacle for this game, it provided the player with multiple pathways to victory and a go don’t go decision as the timed the monitors movements. I really think that this design allows players to say “oh that didn’t work let me try this way”. Which I think is what every game designer should want their player to say while playing their game.
Here is a screenshot of the game with the hall monitors