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Author Topic: Analysis of 2D Platformer levels: an essay that cites VGMaps.com  (Read 3693 times)
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JonLeung
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« on: August 06, 2008, 01:18:30 PM »

http://sokath.com/research/SandboxPaper.pdf



Interesting stuff.  Includes analysis of Super Mario World, Sonic The Hedgehog, and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest.  A bunch of screenshots from the maps we have here on VGMaps.com illustrate the points.



Interesting what Googling can find sometimes.
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marioman
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2008, 07:33:54 PM »

Now there is my kind of research paper.  Nice find Jon.
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Maxim
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2008, 01:48:52 AM »

I can't help wondering if "rhythm groups" aren't more due to the fact that it's easier to design levels by building them out of blocks, than to make them overlapping and complex. A game like Earthworm Jim is much less "modular" and probably harder to analyse in this way than "classic" platformers with a relatively small number of level building blocks joined together.
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vorpal86
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2008, 03:41:02 PM »

That was a pretty nice analysis. I think rhythm groups aren't decided by building blocks, rather, platforms designed in a way that objects can be placed strategically so the player has to more/less use a pattern to complete that group of reward offerings the designer has placed.. A rhythm group seems like an area that holds the most action. Earthworm Jim also has it's rhythm groups. In that game most of the rhythm groups are made using chains to swing from, and the sliding down chains, which allow for the "Avatar Aids".



It all seems logical, and keeping these things in mind if anyone should design a game level to be cool, and fun for the player would be a good point to stress while designing your levels. This is a pretty good paper. I may read it again before I make a new platformer, IF I make a new platformer..



Thanks for the link. I hadn't run across this before.
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JonLeung
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2008, 07:54:58 AM »

I remember when me and my brother loved Super Mario World so much that we used graph paper and designed many of our own Super Mario World-esque platformer stages.  I wonder where all those are, and what kind of memories they would invoke if I tried to "play" through them...



Between that, Mega Man Solid X: Guns Of The Mavericks, and The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Hours (even though that's not a platformer), I certainly did have certain things in mind when I designed game areas.  I never thought of them as rhythm groups, though looking back on it, I did design areas and rooms with particular themes/challenges/obstacles in mind, so I suppose I was aware of the notion of "rhythm groups", even if I never thought to put a name to that concept.



It would be interesting if this paper was for a class where other people wrote about other genres of games.  It would be neat to see if they use the same fancy terms for concepts like "rhythm groups" in, say, FPSes, RTSes, or RPGs.
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