It’s been about a week since the launch of our first title, The Torus Syndicate. We’ve thoroughly appreciated watching so many people enjoy the game. One of the little details that we think contributed to the positive responses we’ve seen is how the game adapts to the each player’s individual setup and adjusts for each task they’re trying to achieve. Curated Locomotion (the game’s teleportation system, about which I’ve talked about in a series of posts) is a perfect example. It uses the play area’s shape and size to fine-tune each destination so that the player can best take advantage of the environment to accomplish their goal.
When players move into a firefight, Curated Locomotion ensures they’ll have ready access to cover.
When breaching a door, Curated Locomotion ensures that players have plenty of play space in the room ahead.
The fine-tuning mechanism is baked into the process through which we design each level. The process starts out pretty standard with laying out the map and populating it with scenery, much of which our players duck behind as cover while they fight through the world. We also configure the NODE AI Director, giving it an idea of what kind of challenge we want to throw at the player. Each playthrough might be different, but the broad strokes are locked down enough that we can tell which locations provide the most tactical advantages. In fact, that’s exactly what we do. As we install each locomotion site, we place a few different prototype play areas of varying dimensions. When a site becomes available for teleport, the game finds the prototype that best fits the actual play area and adjusts the site accordingly.
For this street fight, prototype play areas are arranged so that small ones don’t waste any space with solid objects, like the phone booth and mailbox, while still providing adequate access to cover.
These adjustments allow us to hand-craft each situation and accommodate a wide range of VR setups. Whether a player is peeking out from behind a car to take down bad guys or breaching a hotel room, we’ve made sure that everything they need is always readily available. And that definitely helps make for a seamless — and frustration-free — experience.