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Rampant Games - Game Design: Mazes Suck

by Dhruin, 2009-12-04 20:27:09

Jay Barnson writes some tips for designers to make mazes suck less:

Game Design: Seven Ways to Make Mazes Suck Less
Maze (n): A confusing intricate network of passages.

The maze is a popular old-school gaming standard. It's a gameplay device that sounds awesome on paper, especially for adventures and RPGs. It's a navigational challenge, requiring problem-solving and memory skills. It's alternative gameplay to supplement existing mechanics, and most importantly it is EASY to implement! What's not to like?

The first maze appearance in a video game that I'm familiar with was in the original Colossal Cave Adventure by Will Crowther and Don Woods. There were two mazes: the little twisty maze of passages all alike were created by Crowther, and Woods created the maze where all the passages were different. It was then, in the 1970s, that players first began experiencing the joy of mazes in computer games. And I believe it was then, in the 1970s, that players discovered the truth about mazes in computer games:

Mazes suck.

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