Shocktart wrote:Basically how does one ensure people don't drop the scenario at level one?
The first level, like any presentation, needs to capture the audience
. This is best done by a series of short, sharp, energetic episodes. Get the players into the game then tell them what's going on. For example, reasonably large areas to allow a lot of moving around during combat with a limited number of enemies then a short break, then repeat; i.e. episodic not continuous combat. As mentioned above, ASMIY is a good example of this.
Another aspect is ambience
. Ne Cede Malis has this. The place is not just empty, it's desolate. It even sounds desolate.
Ambiance also helps with the weapons problem. For example, start the player (all players already have a sidearm) in a room with two AR's and four shotguns, each accompanied by a dead guy. The corpse is the key. Just the weapons isn't much, but with the dead guys the player not only immediately acquires a powerful weapon in a reasonable manner
but also realizes that it didn't do the previous now dead owner much good. There's a challenge ahead.It shouldn't disappoint
. In Polygonium Opus for example, though it wasn't a first level, you're expecting a real battle with a big bad blue dude, but when the time comes, it's a smurf.
If you provide comrades-in-arms they need to be effective, not comic relief.
His own scenario
philtron wrote: It doesn't have to be tremendously impressive, just some little idea that's new.
, for example, takes place concurrently with Marathon but on the planet. Very little background is needed and at the start it's a simple mission: find out what's going on. You can get right into it, provided you have some imagination, and the story builds a little at a time, like a mystery novel.
Shocktart wrote:Especially with such a low tech game from 1996?
Too much is made of this. It's not really the tech that is so very important, but the game itself. Diminishing returns applies to games too: once you reach a certain tech level, advances only marginally improve the game play. And the play's the thing.
Dugit wrote:Bad examples:
- The Far Side of Nowhere. Wall of text; flat, monotonous architecture; no combat to speak of; exploration yields little if anything. As much as I love Eternal, I don't like this level.
I can understand this but, actually, I like the first level of Eternal. It's old, it's tired, and, like Ne Cede Malis, it's desolate. It's the letdown after the high. Party's over, time to clean up the mess. Then you get to the second level and the party's on again! It's a great contrast.
By the way, there's a spot in TFSON that if'n you step on it, you're trapped and cannot move ever again. And what's worse: your comrades-in-arms will just stand there and watch you starve to death.
I just play 'em; I don't know how they work.