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Predictability Vs Unpredictably Im Gameplay Design
There are different "types" of gameplay in Q1SP maps.
I have always been interested in what makes "good" or better gameplay, and how exactly to define gameplay.

gameplay seems to be made up of a number factors which can be applied or created in a given map to a certain degree, for example the main 2 might be:


etc (i am sure they are are others? suggestions?).

Difficulty is fairly obvious, but what about predictability?

When you design a map do you think much about how predictable or unpredictable the gameplay will be? or is it unimportant?
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Good Point 
I'd think you want the player's direct effect on the environment to be pretty predictable. It's another element of the player having to recognize the control he has so he can use it.

In fact, it's usually pretty hard to ensure that his actions are predictable. Unpredictable is easy that way. If the player has to hit a button which opens a door he couldn't get through ten minutes prior, the designer better make damn sure the player is going to know the button will do that as soon as he sees it. Making the button a key with a particular color tends to help in that regard. :)

But, buttons aside, if your game involves you using your environment at all (which it better), the player's gotta have a handle on that to use it same as he does with the monster behavior. That'd be an area I'd regard as more sacred, where the designer shouldn't pull unexpected stuff.

There was a fake exit room in the first Doom that had the same door and exit sign as every other exit but was actually a rather heinous ambush. ha ha, clever, but, I wouldn't rely on shit like that too much. It's dirty, and an intentional lie by the designer to take advantage of the trust he's developed in the player by making all the exits look the same. Remember the first time you played Doom what a beacon of happiness and joy seeing that damned exit door was?

Like, imagine if your HUD lied to you about how much health you had. it might be tense at first because you'd always have to regard every situation as if you were inches from death, because you very well could be, but after a couple of moments of that you'd be mad as hell. Fuck you, game, just tell me how much health I have. 
If the player has to hit a button which opens a door he couldn't get through ten minutes prior the designer better make damn sure the player is going to know the button will do that as soon as he sees it

Confuse the player with some nice sparkly particle effects and a hoard ambush and he'll lose track of the logic sequence.

Which brings up the question: Level designer -- Illusionist or Engineer? 
First, in contrast to the fake exit in doom, I thought the exit at the end of Jawbreaker was a good example of a suprise that wasn't unfair or dirty, but fun.

Second, there was an article I read a while ago about Donkey Kong Country which discussed the fact that you can always trust the bananas in the game:

In order to create this feeling, the game established and religiously followed a few unwritten rules. First, bananas (the common items littered everywhere on every level) are always helpful. If they spell out a letter or an arrow, it�s always a genuine clue, never a trick. If a single banana is placed in some precarious, seemingly impossible to reach spot, it�s always pointing to a secret. If a banana is over a pit, it always signifies that jumping in the pit will not kill you. In effect, the bananas themselves are a character�an entity�trying to help you at all times.

The whole article is a recommended read: 
let's put bananas in quake levels =) 
Now that looks like a cool site. I've got it bookmarked, and hopefully I'll get to read some of it later. 
wrote to sirlin a while back. He said, "I like your aerowalk [whatever that is] guide, you should buy my new book!" But, yeah, he's got some good insights into competitive gaming. 
I heard the book is better. 
My insinuation was that he shamelessly promoted his book to the detriment of a possibly interesting exchange of ideas. 
My insinuation was that the book is always better than the movie. 
but what if the movie was filmed in joequake? 
Not True 
My insinuation was that the book is always better than the movie.

Godfather -- movie is, well, the Godfather, but the novel is trash. It reads as a pretty intense story, but because the publishers took the rough draft from Puzo and published it as is, it contains lurid and weird material that Puzo never intended to see the light of day. Like a mobster moll with a super sized vagina that only Sonny has a big enough dick to please. Later, she is sent off to Vegas, and gets it stitched to a normal sized Caucazoid female by a doctor who lost his license for performing abortions so he winds up working for the Corleone family. 
metlslime: I dunno. Are film directors who use JoeQuake immediately elevated to the level of Hitchcock? Somebody better tell Paul Anderson before he decides to make a sequel to Alien Vs Predator.

headthump: you're entitled to your own insinuation. 
I'm Just Saying 
the part should be played by Christi Canyon in a Godfather remake, and Ron Jeremy can be Moe Green. 
39 of the DK coins are hidden somewhere inside a level. Exactly 1 DK coin is hidden in a bonus room inside a level. A secret within a secret. The game has trained the player to assume that no secrets will be in a bonus room, so what better place to hide something?

Exactly. Exactly.

If your game has design tools like 'bananas' you can use like that, you're golden.

Discuss: What bananas does Quake have? Other games? 
<lunaran> should I put armor shards/+1 health packs in Coriolis Force?
<metlslime> yes. It's fun to pick things up.
<lunaran> it IS fun to pick things up.
Finishing Your Mod 
... is a carrot on a stick.

also, you just grepped your logs for "coriolis force" didn't you? 
ah, you missed my point. shards/stimpacks serve a similar purpose to coins/bananas in that they are relatively worthless but plentiful, and make a nice sound when you pick them up. They are FUN to pick up, so people go out of their way to collect them anyway.

Perhaps they don't serve the secondary purpose of bananas, which is to provide hints or clues to the player. But they are at least relevant for the first reason.

also, i couldn't find that quote on google, so i just wrote it from memory. 
Quake Bananas 
= health packs, easy!

Come on, they are fullbright so you can spot them easy, they are sometimes in places you cant get to imediately, but you know you CAN get there or why would there be a health pack there. They are sometimes in dark areas, so you know its safe to go in there to get it, etc. 
They are sometimes in dark areas, so you know its safe to go in there to get it, etc.

If there happens to be a hole in the floor, or a trigger that springs a fiend in the players face, that health banana won't have such a sweet taste.

Actually, I'd argue with myself that it makes the taste of the banana even better when you kill the beast and get a little health boost.

You're a twat, than.

No, YOU are a twat. 
you could argue that putting a hidden trap in a very dark area with a health pack as bait is very bad design =)

Unless you are a bastard level designer like, ooh I dunno, me :) 
So you can use items like that.

Has anyone ever actually attempted that? Solved the problem of showing the player where to go by luring him with an item? I frankly had never considered that, since often FPS maps just aren't that navigable - you don't need an item to show the way because the way is usually bleeding obvious.

Am I wrong? 
i mainly use architecture and lighting to call attention to the important features of a room, such as exits.

however... in Breakthrough I did use bad guys to guide the player, becuase the levels were more open. So you'd have player walking through a forest, and if a group of nazis started shooting at you from the top of a hill, that would naturally lead the player towards where they emerged. It was a pretty common MoH thing.

I bet that could be helpful in quake too, especially in levels with a lot of criss-crossing through the same rooms. 
Actually, as a player, I picked that up many years ago. If I'm wandering around in a non-linear level and don't know where to go, I just try to go everywhere until some enemy attacks me, and then see where he came from.

Not quite the same overall appeal as bananas since enemies are usually considered bad. Except for grunts. Grunts are easy to kill and generally give you far more ammo than you expended to dispense with them. 
I guess enemies draw the player to the extent that he is healthy/armed enough to fight them. If he's weak, they repel the player of course, but otherwise, they draw the player becuase in quake, the main gameplay is fighting monsters, so people who play quake want to fight monsters. 
I think that thing with monsters showing the player where to go may be called monster trail type of gameplay in complex levels.

And about bananas in quake I think that any useful item (not only health) can be easily used as "banana". If an item is placed in any place, that means that this place is reachable for the player. The other type of banana can be a specific for one level thing (sign, special item, unique lighting, model or maybe even special peaceful monster/npc that guides you) that repeates thru the whole level. 
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