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  1. #21
    Network Hub DarkNoghri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColOfNature View Post
    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.
    Yeah, that's the first thing I thought of. The portal games have the ability to portal you around, obviously. In the game, this is most often done through the orange and blue portals, but it doesn't have to be. So they have world portals (or whatever they're called), which can invisibly move you from location to location, with no indication that you're in an unnatural space. Valve used them for testing.

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smashbox
    In portal 2, it's the part where you try to open the fake door, which falls in on you. Wheatley's defective killbox.
    *******************spoilers(white text, mouse over to see)********************
    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?
    **************************end spoilers***************************

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    How about the never-ending street in the city of Skara Brae in The Bard's Tale? That's from 1985.
    Additionally, both the Maze of Wandering and the Cosmic Cube in Wizardry IV. The Maze of Wandering is probably the most mind melting level ever designed in a game. You walk into the centre of a room and the room instantly rotates around you in a way that goes unnoticed. You then backtrack out of the room the way you think you came, but the door you end up walking through happens to be a one way door to a "prison" that you can't get out of. Cover the entire level in features like that and you have something that approximates the Maze of Wandering.

  3. #23
    Lesser Hivemind Node Oak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P7uen View Post
    But in terms of level design or geometry it's just long staircase right? Check out the Mario 64 staircase Smashbox mentioned for actual level design tricks.
    Mmm, I see what you mean. I still think it fits as a piece of disorienting world design, though.

  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    The more I think about this philosophy of design (abstracted to "environments designed to confound the player/viewer/mind") the more examples I think of.

    First, Mondo Medicals really extrapolates on the basic premise of that "Paradox Room" in the Portal video

    The second game I'm thinking of I can't remember the title of... It was a first person exploration game with full 6-axis movement (think Descent.) The game was a free download distributed by the artist. The "world" was composed of many cubes, forming interconnected rooms, and the player had to fly around and activate several "artifacts". I got completely lost because there was to indicate which direction was "up," so to speak, and I got so turned around and ended up flying into the same rooms so many times I just closed the game. The designer of the game had made dozens of similar experimental titles, from what I recall, each an exercise in frustration and confusion.

  5. #25
    Lesser Hivemind Node agentorange's Avatar
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    The Diet Building, in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, has a few optical illusions like that. Hallways that would get smaller and smaller as you went down them, or spiral into themselves. Sadly I can't find a single video of the area.

  6. #26
    I think bloodlines had something like that in the tremere chantry.

  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Squiz's Avatar
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    Dammit Benedict! My first thought exactly, and right at the current end of the thread there is you, speeling my dreenk. :) The Tremere Chantry has a short corridor that branches once or twice. Depending on which branch you follow, you can end up at the entrance of this "maze" again.

    Oh well, I need another example then. Zelda: Ocarina of Time had corridors that would twist when you pressed a certain button, making you run along the walls and ceiling in a spiral. I would assume that other Zelda games had changing corridors and/or rooms as well. Another Nintendo title comes to mind: Super Mario Bros. (1). Every 4th level is a castle. Later versions of those castles can only be finished if you choose to enter the different kinds of corridors and pipes in the correct order. I don't know how many times I have died due to the time limit, running and jumping frantically through fiery cellars of a fecking toad.

  8. #28
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    Firstly, isn't it "spatial"?

    Secondly, yeah this does sound like a very interesting idea. I think there's a fine line between disorientation - good disorientation - and frustrating confusion. I guess it really does require the game to contextualize. For example, if you're placed in a macabre, surreal world and you communicate this fact to the player, then it would be acceptable. You could probably also utilize spatial incongruity as a sort of puzzle device so long as there is a clever solution hidden within or a particular formula to the transformation.

  9. #29
    Network Hub GraveyardJimmy's Avatar
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    I think Nightmare house 2 does this, though in a very obvious way. As you walk down a corridor, you realise the door at the other end is locked, you turn around and try to go back and the corridor is getting progressively smaller (as if the doors are sneaking up on you when your backs turned). This type of thing happens a few times, but is not very subtle.

  10. #30
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Moderate spoilers for Batman: Arkham Asylum in this post.

    There's a bit in Batman: Arkham Asylum where you're walking down a corridor that seems very long, and the environment is slowly changing around you. You start off walking down a normal asylum corridor, and by the end it's a dirty back-alley at night in the rain, and if you turn around there's simply darkness following you.
    It was the first time I'd seen such effects in a game, and I was fairly impressed.

  11. #31
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    Nightmare House 2 (HL2 mod) does it a lot, but so blatantly it's not really very effective.

    The game I remember feeling it most strongly with was the original HL actually. There it wasn't done deliberately, but I knew pretty instinctively that if you tried to stitch all the levels together it would make no sense at all.

  12. #32
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    Cactus's Mondo Medicals.

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Was this mentioned? If not, it fits the bill perfectly, I think.
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010...dy-shop-feign/

  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westyfield View Post
    Moderate spoilers for Batman: Arkham Asylum in this post.

    There's a bit in Batman: Arkham Asylum where you're walking down a corridor that seems very long, and the environment is slowly changing around you. You start off walking down a normal asylum corridor, and by the end it's a dirty back-alley at night in the rain, and if you turn around there's simply darkness following you.
    It was the first time I'd seen such effects in a game, and I was fairly impressed.
    This is the first thing I've read about Arkham Asylum that's made me want to play it, heh.

  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkNoghri View Post
    Aren't those two different areas?
    You're right, I misremembered. It's the part with Weatley's six turrets.

  16. #36
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    VVVVVV has a few great sections which involve world-wrapping (the tower!)

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    This is the first thing I've read about Arkham Asylum that's made me want to play it, heh.
    It's actually a rare scripted sequence prefacing *something spoilerish* and not a main thematic element of the game. That being said, the game is v. fun and you should get it anyway. Only problem is there's only a single self overwriting autosave and i'm screwed because the game bugged out at a certain moment stopping me from progressing no matter what i do :(

  18. #38
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    It's actually a rare scripted sequence prefacing *something spoilerish* and not a main thematic element of the game. That being said, the game is v. fun and you should get it anyway.
    Yeah, that's only one little bit in the game. B:AA is bloody brilliant though, if you can find it for £cheap then definitely go for it (though it does have GfWL).

    Edit: And what do you know? it's £3.75 on Steam for the next two days. See the above advice for what to do with this information.
    Last edited by westyfield; 26-07-2011 at 06:33 PM. Reason: usurped Lewie P's authority

  19. #39
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    In The Matrix: Path of Neo you fight ant-people in an area similar to Escher's Relativity litograph. It doesn't make any sense.
    I fucking love that game.

  20. #40
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    The Silent Hill games don't defy euclidean geometry, but they do play with perception of space very, very well.

    Also, you link to a youtube video with the correct spelling.
    It's "spatial".
    Last edited by Cooper; 26-07-2011 at 06:44 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
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