At 7/4/13 01:40 PM, exudaz wrote:
Big developers don't care about good level design, new game play mechanics, or story, because they simply don't need to. It's mostly indie developers that bring good things today.
The masses are asses.
Small maps are due to regenerating health. To copy what I posted on another forum... <Wall of Text>
Oldschool FPSs often featured some form of health pack as opposed to the more modern regenerative health over time. Doom being a base model of sorts, many oldschool FPSs featured large, maze-like levels with hidden weapon, ammo, and health caches. The player would be somewhat forced to find these caches to avoid running out of those necessities.
A large level without hidden caches would be an action game with the majority of its gameplay being walking. Fitting these items into the game gives the player an extra reason to explore; once the player has found the keycard/boss/exit, they still need to find more utilities to help them through the next area.
Linear levels do not usually have hidden stockpiles of items. If health packs are to be used, the game designer has to put them out in the open. They are then given two options -
1) Put the health packs close to each other
2) Space the health packs very far apart
If option 1) is taken, difficulty is lost and must be balanced by adding more player damage. More player damage can actually lessen the need for health kits because the player dies too fast regardless of whether or not they take the health pack; more player damage often leads to the player feeling as though they were cheated.
If option 2) is taken, the difficulty feels cheapened due to the player being required to make near flawless runs without being hit; the game becomes a series of checkpoints with health kits marking each piece. The player would need to be given a larger health bar to combat the rarity of health kits which does not fix the elongated checkpoint system. Giving the player more health also removes tension from earlier pieces of the level when they have near invincibility thanks to a large pool of health.
Linear level design creates a much harder to balance health system if health restorative items are being used. The alternative is to have the player's health regenerate automatically after a set amount of time has expired. In response, areas and mechanics must be implemented to allow the system to work - walls and cover mechanics are often introduced to give the player a way to wait out their health regeneration.
The same reasoning applies to weapons and ammo in linear level design. With nowhere to hide them, the game either has the player picking up literal tons of ammo and weaponry, or the weapons and ammo are extremely scarce leaving the player without proper supplies. To counteract those situations, a limit on the amount of weapons forces the player to choose a handful of weapons (often 2) that they feel comfortably with. Adding a limit to the weapons also limits the ammo that the player has thus creating a much more balanced experience.
To fully summarize:
-Large levels with nothing in them is often boring, so they are usually filled with something that the player needs thus forcing exploration.
-Linear levels do not require as much exploration, so the player is given necessities as needed.
-To limit the player from having too much, limits to what the player can carry are included.