Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Discussion and feedback for Playtonic's debut game, platformer adventure game Yooka-Laylee!
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Taylor
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Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby Taylor » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:10 am

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Exaskryz
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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby Exaskryz » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:14 am

Two expansions per world feels right. You can do a 5/3/2, a 4/3/3, or a 6/2/2 set up for the number of pagies to find in each world. I really like the 5/3/2 set.

If we assume 9 worlds and the hub like BK, 100 pagies total, I'd do it something like the below for number of pagies to unlock and expand worlds. I'll use the notation n.0 for the primary world, n.1 for the first expansion, and n.2 for the second expansion.

1.0: 1 Pagie
1.1: 1 Pagie
1.2: 1 Pagies

2.0: 1 Pagie
2.1: 2 Pagies
2.2: 2 Pagies

3.0: 2 Pagies
3.1: 2 Pagies
3.2: 3 Pagies

4.0: 2 Pagies
4.1: 3 Pagies
4.2: 3 Pagies

5.0: 2 Pagies
5.1: 3 Pagies
5.2: 4 Pagies

6.0: 3 Pagies
6.1: 4 Pagies
6.2: 5 Pagies

7.0: 4 Pagies
7.1: 4 Pagies
7.2: 5 Pagies

8.0: 5 Pagies
8.1: 5 Pagies
8.2: 6 Pagies

9.0: 5 Pagies
9.1: 6 Pagies
9.2: 6 Pagies

You will spend a total of 90 pagies to unlock and expand worlds with that setup. There'd be 10 extra to collect. Maybe that's a bit too steep?

But, you would only need to collect 25 pagies to unlock all of the primary worlds. If we assume there are 5 pagies in each n.0, you could get 45 pagies then - 10 in the hub world and you have 55 pagies. So, that's not a bad set up there.

I would use another collectible - perhaps 27 are available with one in each of the primary worlds and expanding areas... maybe 3 in the hub world? - and require 25 of them to fight your final boss. This will make it so you can still open up the worlds in any order you want, but you'll have to go through many of them before actually beating the game.

I want to touch back on the number of pagies you'd collect as you progressed in the game. I said you could collect 55 without expanding any worlds. I think that's pretty fair honestly. You'd need 35 more from the expanded areas to unlock the rest of the expanded areas, and there's 45 to collect in them. It costs 65 to unlock all of the expanded worlds. Could you softlock yourself in this? I don't think so. Let's say you opened all of the primary worlds for 25 pagies. You have the potential to collect 55, so you're at net 30. If you spent those pagies on the most expensive (later world) expansions, you could unlock 9.2, 9.1, 8.2, 8.1, and 7.2 for 28 pagies. You'd still have a net of 2 pagies. You would gain 2 pages * 3 final expansions and 3 pagies * 2 first expansions, or 12 pagies from those 5 expansions. So now you're at net 14. Spend it on 6.2, 7.1, and 6.1 for 13 pagies. You'd be at a net 1. Those expansions can get you 8 pagies, bringing you back up to a net of 9 pagies. We have completely unlocked worlds 6-9 so far. We just need to expand 1-5. So world 5 requires 7 pagies for full expansion, we're at net 2. We'll get 5 back. We're at net 7. World 4 requires 6 pagies. We're at net 1. We'll get 5 pagies back; net 6. World 3 requires 5 pagies, and so on, and we'll be in the positive.

So, you shouldn't be able to softlock yourself out by expanding the most expensive worlds first. That's good. But if there are moves required from lower-level expanded areas, then yeah, you might be able to softlock yourself.
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Taylor
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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby Taylor » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:53 am

You've almost read my mind with that post, EXASKRYZ. My rough plans look pretty much identical to your layout (90 Pagies in total split into three sections per level), but probably because we both used Banjo-Kazooie as a starting point! :lol:

Opening the worlds in any order is not possible, however. To access new areas of the hub, you need to unlock special moves from the levels. For example, in Banjo-Kazooie you had to go to Mumbo's Mountain to learn Talon Trot before you could make it to Treasure Trove Cove. Likewise, you had to go into Treasure Trove Cove and learn the Shock Spring Jump move to make it to Clanker's Cavern.

No problem though. If the moves are put into the first variation of a world; a player can get in with relatively few Pagies, collect the five or so Pagies that are present, learn the new move and leave for the next world.

5/3/2 Pagies per world variation seems to work well. The last variation of a level could have a boss and maybe the last "Jinjo" equivalent collectible. Of course this format can be adapted to suit specific levels (nobody wants the game to feel predictable), but it could work like this as a general rule of thumb.

I think we've explained the concept of expansion cost and Pagies to collect per expansion quite well, but the maths is too complicated to discuss properly in words alone! :lol:

Not to mention the specific numbers will likely need tweaking depending on context. E.g. if a boss appears in one level, or a certain move needs to be learned, some numbers will probably have to change. We simply cannot predict it, so we'll have to leave the totals/Pagie costs/mathematical stuff to Playtonic!

Maybe the rest of the thread should be devoted to the more practical aspects as the original post talks about. E.g. do you need to leave the level to expand it? How can we stop this process being too time-consuming? So on, so forth.
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polomi
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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby polomi » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:08 am

I just hope that there won't be artificial barriers, like... Well let me think of an example that I'd really dislike: "magical energy barriers".

Instead, I hope that it will be much more natural. Like you can't access this part yet because you can't swim in these dangerous waters with sharks, you need to take the ferry, and it costs this many Pagies. ...That's probably also a crappy example, but you get the idea.

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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby GildasMagnus » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:31 am

I like the visual representation of just white space. You're walking along and you reach the end, and the ground sort of just stops gradually, like splotches of paint in a canvas. You could walk on the white nothingness but there'd be nothing there.
The idea of 3, 4 iterations of a world at most is best I think, as long as each new unlocked world section includes a lot of stuff. I think more than 4 versions of a world would cheapen the experience.
Edit: White Space or, alternatively, words. Perhaps the phrase "And then Uku and Lei-Lei found more Pagies." written over and over. Something to dissuade you from trying to explore the nothingness forever.
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Taylor
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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby Taylor » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:06 am

I'm leaning towards white space, or absolutely nothingness. Adding Pagies should mean adding content, not just making it available by allowing you to ride a ferry etc. as Polomi suggests.

I think ideally the entire level model should be replaced to include the extra parts. I want players to have no idea where the expansions will be, or what they'll do. There could be some high-up areas in the first iteration of a level that are totally unreachable just to tease players into getting the next iteration, but I want to be left guessing as to where exactly the level will expand...

It'll be like expanding Mumbo's Mountain as it is now. Where would it go? Perhaps the fence by Mumbo's Hut will disappear to reveal a huge open field, or the Stone Henge area would gain a tunnel that leads into an underground catacomb. The expansions should be surprising and fun. :)
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Boshi
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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby Boshi » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:37 am

I agree with Taylor, I'm leaning more towards absolutely nothingness, the white spaces would make the worlds very ugly the first few times you visit them. Plus it would make the expansions very expected (by that I mean, you will know where the world will expand into), and would ruin the surprises. Also having white spaces would just ruin the whole atmosphere for me (I want a more realistic approach like BK).
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soulstorm64
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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby soulstorm64 » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:35 am

It would be nice to have a world set up where at first the layout doesn't show any sign of ability to change but once you collect enough of the Pagies and insert them into what would be world unlock spot, and once you go back inside the world a cutscene would happen where it would show off a little snippet of what has been changed.

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Punksthetic
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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby Punksthetic » Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:12 am

Can I just say that I DON'T want there to be a story book type thing in this game? I get that there are "pagies," whatever those are, but they don't have to completely take you out of the world you're exploring. They could just recreate the map of the world by collecting pieces of it around the level. For example, bringing up your menu in the game will show you how much of the world you've explored by the amount of "pagies" you've collected.

Also, I'd rather the pathways just opened up naturally when you've learned new things in future levels. So basically, the moves you learn will have an effect on earlier worlds upon re-exploration, in effect making them "expand," giving you new things to do in them. It would be great if they took the Banjo-Tooie route of interconnectedness in the levels, but it's not a requirement for me. Just so long as each level isn't just "burn it to the ground and move on."

Lastly, I'm not really sure where this overly structured method of divvying up world expansions came from. All the guys at Playtonic said was that the worlds would expand... Can we talk about that in a more natural way?

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Taylor
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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby Taylor » Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:15 am

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dotEXE
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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby dotEXE » Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:02 pm

Gavin already confirmed story-book approach and that the books are found around the hub. So.

He didn't specify if you need to leave a level to expand it, and on that front I don't care either way if you expand a level from within or if you have to exit first.
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Punksthetic
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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby Punksthetic » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:26 pm

Well, what I meant was that the storybook thing was more like the beta build of Conker's Twelve Tails, where you start out from a menu and select your chapter you want to visit from a storybook. If there's that AND a hub world, that's just contradictory... but if the books are sprinkled throughout the hub like portals, that's fine with me. I'm guessing it will be like Banjo-Kazooie where you have to approach a podium and give however many jiggies you want, except this time it'll be pagies, and instead you'll be filling in specific parts of that world... which is cool, I must admit.

I'm guessing the expansion system works something like this: Take Treasure Trove Cove. Perhaps you'll need 2 or 3 pagies to raise Sharkfood Island, except that would be a whole 'nother part of the level. Then maybe another 2 or 3 pagies produces a sinkhole in the middle of the island that has a small underwater part to explore. I'm approaching it kind of like "events," because that's essentially what would be happening in the context of the world.

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Re: Expanding Worlds: How? + How Many Times?

Postby Phineas Q. Phailboat » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:01 am

I think my ideal scenario would be no more than 3 expansions per world, unless some of the earlier ones had less, and the later ones had more. With regards to the magic barrier comment, I agree that this wouldn't be a good idea. Natural barriers like boulders to destroy or bridges to extend would make the most sense.


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