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Old 06-11-20, 01:11   #1
DaroRaider
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Question Secret difficulty.

Hello dear community.

I just have released one level one week ago and after some comments I have decided to open a thread asking for something that is fluttering in my head.

How "much hard" must be a Secret?

I understand that a secret must have a certain degree of difficulty by definition itself. But it also has to keep something realistic in its implementation.

For example, in my last level, I implemented the secrets taking into account that being a snowy type level, the search for them in underwater conditions contains a greater degree of difficulty because searching under frozen water is to die several times until exploring everything.
But that is precisely the challenge.
However, in this case I liked to give some clues showing the secret area (Crystal Savegame) behind a fence, or a wall of ice.

I know that this is something very subjective. Some designers are too cryptic with their projects, and some other are more like intuitive for the average player perspective.
And some players are really skilled, and some others not too much.

I have speaked to Marcos ( ) about this and he finally made me decide to open the thread.
I listen you all.
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Old 06-11-20, 04:35   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaroRaider View Post
Hello dear community.

I just have released one level one week ago and after some comments I have decided to open a thread asking for something that is fluttering in my head.

How "much hard" must be a Secret?

I understand that a secret must have a certain degree of difficulty by definition itself. But it also has to keep something realistic in its implementation.

For example, in my last level, I implemented the secrets taking into account that being a snowy type level, the search for them in underwater conditions contains a greater degree of difficulty because searching under frozen water is to die several times until exploring everything.
But that is precisely the challenge.
However, in this case I liked to give some clues showing the secret area (Crystal Savegame) behind a fence, or a wall of ice.

I know that this is something very subjective. Some designers are too cryptic with their projects, and some other are more like intuitive for the average player perspective.
And some players are really skilled, and some others not too much.

I have speaked to Marcos ( ) about this and he finally made me decide to open the thread.
I listen you all.
Well for the definition of hard secrets. It depends. After playing your level, I realized this is what original TR3 what to give the players. You can skip some of the area and it doesn't affect the whole progress in a level. You just lose the chance to go back to search for the rest secrets.

To me I think the hard secrets should be :

1. We are not able to return to specific area to search for the rest secrets (unless reloading any savegames)
2. any secrets that is hidden behind any plants or environments.
3. the door to secrets will be triggered right after picking up last key or something vital to the next level. Which is really can easily miss.
4. maybe requiring the players to be skillful to reach somewhere to get the secrets ? (some of the people might complain it's too difficult)
5. maybe taking the extra challenge. Like shooting something or collecting enough something to open the door to the secrets

Here is my opinion. I believe everyone here got better idea than I do
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Old 06-11-20, 12:23   #3
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Because custom levels are often quite hard, it happened to me a few times I've found a secret while searching for the path to continue. IMO this is not how it should be. I think a level should always tell you what to do or where to go and it's up to the player to execute how.

Secrets should be found when you go off this path. Eg: you pull a lever to open a door and behind it is a hallway to the next area. The player is enthusiastic to explore this new area, so a secret hallway just behind the door would be the perfect place for a secret.

What I also like is when you can actually see the secret, but really have to figure out how to reach it. This way you can encourage the player to search extra for that hidden lever that they otherwise would never find. It's more rewarding than having to search every lityle corner in the level for said lever.

My favorite secrets are those that are not just some hidden item, but actually reward you with an extra room and gameplay. The 'leap of faith' in TR2 Ice Palace jumps to mind.
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Old 07-11-20, 04:09   #4
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Thank you both for answer.
Steven, your video guides are really excellent. A pleasure that you have managed to play the level in a record time for which I, knowing the route, I estimated as optimal.

I certainly really like listening to the opinions of others, which added to the observations of the reviews help to improve the creative experience of the designer.
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Old 07-11-20, 12:39   #5
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Further thinking of it, I believe TR2 had the best secrets (at least from the classics).

Going into a level you knew exactly how many secrets there were and collecting a special dragon item felt a lot more rewarding than just random ammo or medikits. The designers in TR2 really knew how to tease players to hunt for them. Take for example the first level:

Silver: Near the beginning, so it's assumed the player is a beginner. Player quickly figures out they have to climb out of the cave and make their way to the tower on top, yet if the player would break this tunnel vison and turn around they could relatively easily spot the silver dragon. Great introduction into secrets as well.

Jade: You literally walk over it! Only have to stop and grab it. Then again... player is probably already stressed and timing has to be perfect.

Gold: Easy to see where player needs to go. Just grab zipline and finish the level. However, that huge pit does look tempting to explore and that exploration is rewarded with a secret (and two T-rexes).

A lot of thought went into these secrets. They are more than just a random spot somewhere in the level. TR2 has a lot of those clever secrets.
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Old 10-11-20, 04:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaroRaider View Post
Thank you both for answer.
Steven, your video guides are really excellent. A pleasure that you have managed to play the level in a record time for which I, knowing the route, I estimated as optimal.

I certainly really like listening to the opinions of others, which added to the observations of the reviews help to improve the creative experience of the designer.
Thank you I never upload the video if I am not satisfied with my movement and statistics. I remember I recorded over and over again for at least 4 times
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