Hey everyone. No need to worry, I’m still around. I’ve spent the last couple of days working on an article about navigation in video games. It’ll be done soon and then I’ll try and submit it to Gamasutra and possibly also post it here. It’s gonna be good.
And just to tease you guys a little, here’s the introduction:
Alright my dear readers, today I’m going to talk about navigation through the spaces of video games and the different tools that help us with that. This is mostly going to be relevant for 3d environments but much can be applied to 2d graphics as well. Also please bear with me, this is going to get quite long.
With the ever increasing complexity of our games and our game spaces, the need for some support has increased just as well. The earliest games often consisted of only one screen. All the action of the game was immediately visible at a glance. Think of Space Invaders or Pac Man. There are no hidden corners, no secret objectives. Nothing. These games are games of (almost) perfect information: You can see all there is to the game. All pieces are on the board, so to speak.
Nowadays it’s a lot different. The ability to display the entirety of the gameworld on one screen was quickly abandoned in favor of larger environments. Be this through scrolling or through leaving one screen and entering the next. The step to immersive, open worlds in 3d has just emphasized this even more. And that’s before we add the increasing complexity of the gameplay on top of it. Don’t fret it though, there’s help.