Think back on your most memorable gaming moments and there’s a good chance you’ll recognize the themes of exploration and discovery running through many fond memories. From The Legend of Zelda’s iconic secret passageways to the camouflaged nooks of today’s open worlds, hidden but discoverable content is something that savvy designers strive to create, both as a form of reward and as a mechanism for deepening engagement. Yet there is an important conundrum at the heart of this design motif: how do you create meaningful exploration and genuine discovery for some of your players without frustrating others? On Episode 40 of Vertical Slice we’re tinkering with this fascinating puzzle, and offering our principles for guiding players towards fruitful exploration and the thrill of the unexpected.
- In honor of today’s discussion of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, here is a fascinating Rolling Stone article detailing how this iconic Zelda iteration came to be.
Image credit: Nintendo