One of the most important metrics to us when developing a new feature is how malleable it may be; That is, whether the feature is able to support multiple styles of play based on changing a few key rules. It is the foundation of what we think of as strong game design, and we’ve spent a large amount of design time considering these possibilities.
Take the node based Curated locomotion system, for example. We create an “On-Rails” style experience using this method, where we take the player from one position to the next. It is a refined component of our game,works reliably, and our players are familiar with it.
Then, in the second level, we introduce the Multi-node experience, based off the single node experience described above. By changing the node’s next destination from one node to multiple nodes, we create a more free form, yet still controlled experience that plays differently.
With Act 2, we are adding an optional but potentially interesting style of play; Stealth missions. Equipped with a silenced weapon, players have a limited amount of time during encounters to engage and defeat the unaware enemies, or end up fighting against a more aggressive, alert group instead. Players can still go in guns-blazing, but for the more tactical minded, these missions offer an easier path for those who take on the challenge.
This is once again made possible by simply rearranging the nodes into a different structure, this time, two parallel and interconnected lines, with each line representing a different alert level. This creates a simple but radical change to the gameplay, and serves to offer something that plays a little differently.
We’ll have more to show on the missions in the coming weeks, stay tuned!