Hi everyone,

Here is a little something I've been thinking about for a while now,
but have been to occupied building the Genesis Engine to really think
about Mysteries of the Ancients specifically. So now that the engine
is pretty much squared away at this point I can now focus my full
attention on designing Mysteries of the Ancients. Which is precisely
what I am going to be doing over the next few weeks.

In brief my ideas and thoughts have been surrounding the level maps. I
don't know about you personally, but I can't help but think that the
current levels, levels 1 and 2, are just a tad too simplistic for my
liking. Basically, what we have currently is a simple split level map
with an upper and lower level, and about 20 rooms in a 20 by 300 grid.
Otherwise it is just your basic side-scroller starting from the left
side of the screen and ending on the right side of the screen.

However, yesterday when I picked up my game pad to test and play
Mysteries of the Ancients it brought to mind all of the classic
side-scrollers I use to play when I was sighted. One of the big ones
is puzzle elements. Montezuma's Revenge is a great case in point.

One of the things that made Montezuma's Revenge such a great game is
that there were 11 2d mazes the player had to solve in order to beat
the game. Each maze had 25 rooms spread out over five floors. There
were various other puzzle elements throughout like vanishing
platforms, color coded keys required to unlock doors, burning torches
to light dark rooms, force fields, and so on. Plus there were traps
like fire pits, chasms, burning ropes, etc to jump over/avoid. In
short, in terms of the level maps alone games like Montezuma's Revenge
is far more complex and I can't help but feel as though MOTA doesn't
quite live up to its full potential as a treasure hunting game.

Another game that strikes me as another good example is Tomb Raider
Prophecy for the Nintendo Gameboy. While the levels themselves were
not as complex as Montezuma's Revenge in design they were more
difficult in terms of traps and puzzle elements. For example, there
were trick doors that when you pulled a lever they would open and
after a couple of seconds they would close again. That made it a real
challenge to run through the door before it smashes  you flat or locks
you out of that chamber.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I know I can do a lot more to make
Mysteries of the Ancients a much better game. Add more puzzle
elements, add a better maze design to the levels, and add more traps,
etc to the game. All of these would be over all improvements to the
game itself in my book.

However, my worry is that if I take a little time perhaps an extra
month to really redo the game and add these new revisions I'm going to
take a lot of unnecessary heat from the community. I've already taken
enough heat for various things like switching programming languages in
the middle of development, attempting to add cross-platform support,
and other things like that. I really don't want to make people any
more upset or frustrated with me than I absolutely have too.  So it is
up to you if you really think these revisions or worth it, or you want
me to just complete the game without them.

Finally, if we do decide to go with the more complex level maps we
have a couple of ways of going about it. We could base them off of a
game like Montezuma's Revenge, which is what this game started out as
to begin with, or we could just create some all new original maps. Let
me know what you think.


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