Friday, May 30, 2014

Video: Level/Adventure Pacing

Video: Level/Adventure Pacing (from my "Game Design" YouTube channel, ultimately from my course "How to Design Levels/Adventures for Video and Tabletop Games"

Slide text:

Tension and Relaxation
If a level/adventure is very much “the same”, whether always tense or always relaxed, it’s missing something
Constant tension becomes tedious
Constant relaxation is only for those who play games purely to relax
So for most game levels/adventures, alternation of tension and relaxation is ideal

Writers of fiction of all kinds (including movies) recognize this
So in movies, you have periods of tension followed by periods of relaxation, though the trend overall is upward to the final climax
(This is also called “peaks and valleys”, from the look of it on the chart)
As illustrated on the next page, from Star Wars (original 1977 movie)

Diagram from “Beyond Pacing: Games Aren't Hollywood”  by Jacek Wesolowski

Each level has its own overall rising tension as it goes from peak to valley to peak
This is also true of the game (or campaign in RPGs) as a whole
Also watch Extra credits: Pacing
And I’d read the article the chart came from

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