You pass the stone gateway into the dungeon. Rounding the first turn, you come face to snout with a giant rat.
In most RPGs, digital or table-top, an encounter with a giant rat or three is a pretty standard introduction to combat. Remember Fallout? I don’t have anything against giant rats, I’ve used them, but good design happens when there’s a why.
Fallout again. Those giant rats were the neon sign, reminding you why Vault 13 was such a great place to live through a nuclear holocaust.
One of my favorite movies is Hot Fuzz, written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. Everything in the movie has a reason, everything is connected, and nothing is wasted. That’s great design.
Good adventure design, good game design, uses every opportunity to tell a bigger story.
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