1. Lesson 9: Perspective Variance

      written by Ray Benefield
      Welcome to another forge lesson. Many of you are new readers so before moving on I highly suggest you take the time to read all the previous lessons as they all build upon each other and reference each other back and forth. I welcome all of you with open arms and I look forward to learning, teaching, and studying with all of you as level designers in the field. Welcome to the world of level design my friends. Today I present a more in depth look of a concept in my style of Perspectives. I hope you enjoy this. Keep in mind that this is something new to me as well and I taught most of you very little about this as I was studying it. If you feel that you may have found more to the theory and more connecting theories feel free to speak your mind so we can all learn together. Next lesson comes out Saturday. See you then.




      Well I have taught you the concept of drawing attention to important parts of your map by using Eye Catching techniques. And before I teach you these various techniques I must first introduce you to the concept of Perspective Variance. What good are eye catching techniques if a player only sees them for a split second in time? In order to draw attention to something you must give the player the chance and time to notice it.


      Perspectives over time


      The concept of a Perspective is just a single moment in time. One play through of a map consists of millions of perspectives. While taking the time to study single important perspectives it is important to study them in batches or groups as well. To simplify this concept imagine watching a replay of a game and taking a single screenshot of the player’s perspective every second or half-second. The idea behind perspective variance is observing the changes between perspectives that occur one after the other. The player’s perspective is always changing and this must always be taken into account. Just because you use eye catching in one perspective doesn’t mean that it will catch the player’s attention in that instance in time. Your eye catching techniques must exist in multiple perspectives over time in order to give the player a chance to notice what you have laid out before them.


      Repetition is key


      Once again… anything you want your player to notice has to exist from one perspective to another in order to have more effect. A simplified real life example is when you are trying to read subtitles or captions for a movie but they do not stay on screen long enough for you to read. What’s the point of those subtitles or captions if you never get their full meaning? The same case is true here. If that light in the corner is only visible by the player for a split second then it will most likely never catch his eye. Remember that the player is always alert and always moving and looking around and constantly changing his perspective. All of the things around him are fighting for his attention and he is observing everything that he notices. Humans always over look things when they have a goal like capturing the flag ahead of them. How are you going to show them that the rocket launcher in the corner is going to help them if it just barely passes them by as they turn the corner?


      Tying it to movement


      So while eye catching is an extremely important aspect when thinking about perspective variance, it is not the only factor. Path Manipulation is also very important in that moving a player around changes the player’s perspective. Consider how perspectives vary from each other when a player is traveling in a straight line. Things that are close will eventually disappear from the perspective while things farther away stay for longer. What about when a player is rounding a corner? The things that are on the side of the perspective that the player is turning away from will disappear sooner than those on the side that the player is turning towards. The sharper the turn is the faster objects disappear from a player’s perspective. Meaning sharp turns result in a massive amount of variance between perspectives. Is this good or bad? Well that is up to you as a designer. 


      12 comments:

      Cerberus Beast said...

      Ray, would you mind if I wrote a small follow-up to this article? It's basically perspective induction/inference, if you understand what I mean. Just reply here if you would like me to do the write-up and send you a draft. It will be your final decision on whether to publish it, send it back to me for edits, or scrap it.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Yeah I always welcome other level designers to write up theory own theories and thoughts. Feel free to write it up and send it to me bro. I'm interested in seeing your thoughts.

      Spaceman said...

      Hey Man whats up dont forget my shootouts i got to videos with ur name on it

      GodlyPerfection said...

      I don't do shout outs in Forge lessons and I already did a shout out in shout outs galore spaceman. Look at it.

      Immortal6 said...

      Great post on perspective Godly, I enjoyed reading it, and I'll catch ya next time you're on H3. I'd like to start sending you my thoughts/ideas on certain forging subjects as well.

      Joachim said...

      I would think that The Pit failed at this with the sword room.

      I mean, when you are running for, let's say, the Flag, you aren't going to notice it unless you already know that it's there. You would have to sidestep inside the hallway next to the sword room and look around in order to notice it.

      I know that it has a very Eye Catching pedestal and everything, but you still have to enter the room first, and if this was your first time playing The Pit, it might not give the same First Expression as if yhe player had picked up the Energy Sword before running off to capture the Flag.

      Wouldn't you agree?

      GodlyPerfection said...

      YES!!! Very good analysis Joachim. You are really starting to catch on. I am quite impressed. Now what could be changed in order to encourage people to turn into that room? Maybe a little more eye catching on the doorway? One of the main ways people go into that room is when they are suffering from a deterrent and need cover, and then they are like "OH LOOK A SWORD!". However if that is the only main way that you would find the sword then a player might not be able to find it on their first impression and because of their lack of knowledge they do not enjoy the map and then it fails.

      Very good observation and I hope you pay special attention to how the lessons tie together. Keep it up Joachim.

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