Design Blog 07 – It’s a trap!*
Sorry for lack of design blogs recently but we’ve been busy working on some important mechanics for the game, which may or may not involve new and interesting monster behaviours. As we’ve said before monsters won’t be the only threats to the player aboard the ship, so in the meantime here’s a look at a couple of the traps and hazards we’ve been working on.
Currently In Game:
First up we have the Cameras, which if you are familiar with stealth games should be fairly self explanatory. When the player is spotted by a camera they have a few seconds to move out of its view or the camera will sound an alarm, giving away the player’s location and attracting any monsters to the origin of the sound.
Security cameras, a video game must
If the player manages to avoid being seen by any more cameras, then after a short while the alarm will time out and stop. However, if the alarm is still playing and they are spotted by another camera then the alarm will immediately begin emanating from that camera’s position and the alarm timer will be reset.
Cameras appear commonly throughout the whole ship.
The pit trap is a heavily rusted and damaged area of floor on the verge of collapse. The player may walk over it safely but should they run over it or jump on it the rusted section of floor will collapse into a small pit. This makes a loud noise and trips the player, knocking them prone. This can be a minor inconvenience while exploring the ship, but becomes far more dangerous during a chase sequence, where the loss of a few seconds can be fatal. It can be leaped over, which is a preferable tactic while being chased as slowing to a walk can be as dangerous as triggering the trap.
Pit traps are also common throughout the whole ship.
The ship also has some more lethal hazards in store for players. For example in the lower decks there are broken pipes which intermittently blast out pressurised jets of hot steam. If the player touches the edge of the steam they will be damaged, warning them of the danger. Should they ignore this and attempt to run through the steam they will find themselves in an unfortunate situation (e.g. a game over.) The steam may be avoided either by crouching under it or waiting for the intermittent period where nothing comes out the pipe. For each broken pipe there will also be a corresponding nearby valve that can be used to turn off the flow of steam to it.
Fun Exercise: Do you know how hard it is to find images of video game steam on google? Try it.
Steam pipes appear uncommonly in the lower decks.
Tripwire traps are man made obstacles set up by prior inhabitants of the ship in an attempt to take out the monster. Unfortunately they can take out the player much more easily. The traps take the form of a heavy object suspended from the ceiling, which will drop upon the tripwire beneath it being broken. The heavy object itself will be procedurally generated, e.g. an engine part, a TV, etc. Like the steam pipes, this trap is deadly, but its lethality is offset by its visibility. It’s hard not to notice a TV hanging from the roof, so the likelihood of accidentally triggering it is lower. The player can either activate the wire themselves by crouching next to it and breaking it, or they can attempt to throw something at the tripwire from afar (the latter more useful in case of chases).
Tripwire traps appear rarely throughout the ship
The drop trap is similar to the pit trap but instead of knocking the player prone the floor collapses completely, dropping the player to the floor below or – if they’re really unfortunate – onto another drop trap, with possibly hilarious but most definitely fatal results.