21 October 2010

How to Do Hidden in Games - by Matt Christian

      Posted 10/19/10 03:20:00 pm  

As I reflect over the years and years I've spent gaming, I started realizing there was a recurring theme between most of the games I played.  A game always seemed incredibly immersive to me when I felt like any corner of the game could hide a secret.  Whether it's a treasure chest holding a blue rupee or a small smiling face of a rogue programmer embedded in a texture, each of these sparks my desire for adventure and makes me continue on for more.

But sometimes games take it too far, sometimes things that are needed to coplete the game are a little too hidden.  Required items that are impossibly hidden lead to aggrivation from you players.  Here are some suggestions to implement the concept of hidden in your game without making your game annoying or aggrivating.

The Offenders

The best way to figure out how not to implement hidden items is to look at games that do it, well, just plain wrong.

I don't want to start by pointing out problems with early home game consoles like the Odyssey or the Atari, mostly because those consoles did what they could to guide the player.  Sure there were completely random hidden areas required to finish most games, but in-game text wasn't really used at that time so it really was hard to guide a player somewhere without the use of an instruction manual or guide.

Many games for the Nintendo Entertainment System really brought out hidden things in games, one of the poster child for a hidden item offender.

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