Well Tom, I've not really heard of or played that tomb rader game you mention (with ledge grabbing it rather sounds like prince of persia), ---- but this is indeed what I'm talking about.

I have been considering this issue ever sinse I first playeed syperliam.

The principle problem is how to show a ledge which is within jumping or falling distance to the right or left, but above or below the characters' initial position, while stil showing what may be horizontally to the right or left simultaniously.

Some sort of verbal mapping might work, ---- but this would not show the initial ledge position, and having to constantly look at verbal maps might become tedius and break up game flow. the best idea I could think of, was having a "ledge indicator" sound similar to the turn indicators in fp games. I thought possibly the sound's pitch could alter higher or lower for higher or lower ledges, and only respond to ledges immediately within jumping range of your character. Thus, for the mario example of three stacked ledges, you are walking to the right and hear a high pitched sound from the right speaker.

You've not recieved a crumble ledge warning, so you know you can continue walking right, however you've just heard the indicator sound, so know there is a ledge above you to jump to. You jump up, ---- and find another ledge above that.

When coming down, the process is the same, but with a lower pitched sound. By limiting the "view" essentially only to those ledges you could jump or fall to, ---- ie, those in your immediate area, you thus limit complexity, ---- afterall, you can find out what's above the current ledge by jumping up there and don't really need it indicated.

The only issue that occurred to me for a game like mota, was how to fit this into the theme of the game. I would suggest utilizing wind sounds of differing pitches as indicators, ----- however wind is already used to indicate pit falls.

Perhaps a beeping sound of various pitches could be used similar to those which indicate weapon pickups (afterall, it'd make sense for dr. carter to have a sonar tracker with her)k, ---- or maybe a creaking sound for the crumbling temple supports.

Alternately, you could change or remove the pit sound, and use wind as ledge indicators.

As for complexity, I think provided that the ledge indicator was limited to only showing one ledge above you and a safe floor below, ie, one high and one low sound, it wouldn't cause too much complexity issues, though would add considderably to the exploration possibilities of the game, ---- not to mention be a nice step in the right direction for future audio side scrollers.

Beware the grue!


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