Streamlined the start of the game, added two new maps
So, I changed what items you find right away in the start of the game (when the player wakes up between the standing stones). It went from being a boomerang bone and a bow and arrow, to being a boomerang bone and a lantern. I did this on purpose, to try and lead the player a certain way in the game, and also to get them used to using other weapons besides the bow and arrow. I also realized that I gave the player the lantern in a way that would come after needing the lantern in the first place, and it was too hidden and obscure, and it just didn't work flow wise for the game.
After doing this, and moving the bow to a new location, I realized that the bow was now really hidden and obscure. So I decided to kind of lead the players without them knowing it. I took two basic paths that they would take at the start of the game, and placed items and obstacles in such a way that they would make the player find the bow, but without spelling it out for them. This way, they feel like they are discovering it themselves, and that they're coming across it organically.
One of the best ones was how a bridge collapses early in the game, that leads you right to the bow. This was important, I think, I just needed to make the strength of this one bridge weaker than the rest, so that you fall and you're like "oh, these bridges break and can lead me to new areas where I won't die" and then "oh, what's that right over there? Is that a bow?".
There is another way to get to it that involves going through an underground cavern and using a lantern, and this way too is set up in such a way that the player feels like they're discovering things on their own, but really I'm gently leading them to this one part. The nice thing is, the game is fully explorable at the start. You can still wander about and find all the areas. But the way it's set up, you are gently led to discover things in certain orders, which will open up other areas.
I really like this kind of narrative design and level design. it feels organic, and yet gives me a good level of control on the flow and layout. But I've also added in a few other tricks for people wishing to speedrun. Shortcuts, if you will, to getting past certain areas in the game.
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