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Thread: Spacial paradoxes in games
26-07-2011, 01:59 AM #1
Spacial paradoxes in games
Just watched this analysis of deliberate spacial anomalies that Kubrick put throughout The Shining... I'm curious as to whether this warped sense of space has ever been utilized in a game, particularly a horror one. I found it interesting that the Duke Nukem map was limited by the engine and the impossibility of the Overlook's blueprint, and it got me thinking about an engine that allowed for such a blueprint to be rendered in full.
While the subtleties of such a layout would probably be all but lost on most players, I was particularly intrigued by the disorienting, shifting nature of the hedge maze (watch part 2.) Can anyone think of a game that deliberately fucks with the player by (subtly) changing the map layout completely?
26-07-2011, 02:30 AM #2
It's a brilliant idea but I can't think of any examples of it.
The map changes behind your back, or is laid out in a way that'd be impossible in the real world. It'd be great way to make a corridor shooter - where you keep going back the way you came, but yet you never quite retrace your steps; each time there's some new wall, or door, or room, that shouldn't be there, it hadn't before.
26-07-2011, 11:08 PM #3
27-07-2011, 05:48 AM #4
I can remember a few old Text Adventures that deliberately used this trick, to make the f**kers impossible to map out properly on grid paper. I can't remember which ones in particular, (At least a couple of the Infocom ones, if I recall correctly) but but the worst offenders either completely wrapped in on themselves, or used a nasty trick whereby you'd leave one room by a particular compass heading, and enter the next from a completely different direction.
26-07-2011, 02:36 AM #5
I've seen it done in Neverwinter Nights modules, but I think it was being done on the fly the DM.
26-07-2011, 02:43 AM #6
From a Youtube comment (oh lawd has it come to that?):
Continuity errors and set design fails =/= extra genius points to Kubrick.
On topic: It would be good to mess with the player in such a way, and my brain is trying to tell me that it has happened to me in something like Korsakovia but I can't put my finger on it. (Edit: But of course, I remember now, Metro 2033!)
Meanwhile RPS has featured this before.
Trouble is, anything other than a quick headfuck and you risk your game being un-navigable, then you player won't know what to do in real life, rather than sort-of-in-character-disorientation, unless you have already communicated rules to them like in the game above.
Last edited by P7uen; 26-07-2011 at 02:45 AM. Reason: Metro 2033333!
26-07-2011, 03:22 AM #7
This is worth checking out for the unbelievable obsessively-detailed attention that guy paid to even the tiniest elements in his movies. Given who we're dealing with, it really doesn't seem possible this was due to oversight.
26-07-2011, 03:52 AM #8
In portal 2, it's the part where you try to open the fake door, which falls in on you. Wheatley's defective killbox.
26-07-2011, 02:46 AM #9
Alan Wake had a few scenes that touched on this idea; specifically in the DLCs. Very disorienting and very impossible to have actually existed. Quiet interesting though. Shame it wasn't on PC. Fuck.
26-07-2011, 02:51 AM #10
That was neat.
A few examples come to mind. If I remember correctly, Silent Hill 2 featured rooms that shouldn't exist, buildings which were larger inside than they were outside, and several weirder but more overtly supernatural things that I won't spoil. What stuck with me most vividly was a basement that could only be reached after traveling down a staircase for what seemed like a mile.
Prey did this too, though it called attention to it. Doors leading to a room on the other side of the ship. A corridor in which you existed in two places at once, for lack of a more elegant explanation. And though I haven't played it, I remember hearing or reading about an infinitely long hallway in Stalker. That might have been on the RPS podcast.
26-07-2011, 02:59 AM #11
26-07-2011, 03:57 AM #12
26-07-2011, 05:05 AM #13
26-07-2011, 06:10 AM #14
26-07-2011, 04:28 AM #15
There is a trick to navigating it though, and it is possible to actually reach the end.
There were some user-made levels for Descent that abused geometry in interesting ways. Like a huge room containing a floating cube where each face of the cube has a door that opens into a different room, each many times larger than the cube. Or a long hallway with a pole at the end. Fly around the pole once, and the hallway you just came from is gone. Go around a few more times and it opens back up -- into a different hallway. Fly around the same number of times in the opposite direction to get back where you started. So to get to the exit, you had to remember which way to spin around, and how many times in order to end up at the correct corridor :)
26-07-2011, 03:12 AM #16
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
There's actually quite a lot of them in old-school dungeon crawlers to make mapping them difficult. I'm not sure if it's what you're after, though.
26-07-2011, 03:48 AM #17
When they were designing Portal 2 apparently they built the levels as collections of "modules" and had invisible portals stitching them together, which they then removed when they built the final levels by joining the sections together. If I remember correctly there is only one "impossible" space in Portal 2, but I don't know where it is. (I think this is all said in the commentary). Anyway, portals would allow a designer to build Escheresque levels - endless staircases that loop back on themselves, moebius waterfalls, that sort of thing. That would be cool - in fact, I'd be surprised if it hasn't been done already. Someone needs to make this level.
26-07-2011, 05:08 AM #18
Originally, every time Valve modified a puzzle, they had to make sure that all their entrances/exits lined up, and none of the areas ran into each other, as they have to exist on the map. So during playtesting, that syncing up of different areas was soaking up large amounts of time. So they added in world portals, allowing them to attach puzzles together that weren't actually contiguous. When they finalized all the puzzles after playtesting, they stitched the levels together in a way that actually worked.
This is the first instance that I know of in which a modder got ahold of world portals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGjfA2YllVA
Skip to 45 seconds if you don't care about the puzzle.
The second thing I thought of was one of the castle mazes from Super Mario Bros. The original. If you didn't follow a completely arbitrary route, you kept looping.
Originally Posted by Smashbox
Aren't those two different areas? The first is (I'm assuming) where GladOS recaptures you and then you have to fight her. The second seems to be where Wheatley tries to kill you. So which is it? Or am I completely misremembering?
26-07-2011, 02:37 PM #19
26-07-2011, 03:49 AM #20
Marathon had a multiplayer map in which several hallways shared the same space accessible by going east to west or north to south. That was one of the cool things about those pseudo-3D engines of the time. Something like that would be much harder in a real 3D engine I think. Portal 2 has an impossible space, mentioned in the dev commentary, but the "world portal" tech is built into the game engine, for obvious reasons.
Edit: The Marathon map
Last edited by Smashbox; 26-07-2011 at 03:57 AM.