Level: Airship
Level: Blackwall Yard
Level: Embankment
Level: Catacombs

Chapter 9: An Uneasy Alliance

Section  ;1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |  6  | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11


Timeline of the level
  • Galahad and Lakshmi arrive via tunnel

  • They use scaffolding to reach street level

  • Lakshmi climbs over a gate; they get separated

  • Galahad takes out the sniper threatening Lakshmi

  • Galahad protects and reunites with Lakshmi

  • They cross through a ship under construction

  • They finally reach the shipping warehouse

  • Lakshmi reveals the vampires in UIC crates

  • They set fire to the warehouse

  • The warehouse burns; they battle UIC and Lycans


 
Not always the right time

As mentioned on the previous page, putting a special weapon in the player's hands in the right moment can be an empowering experience.  It can be frustrating in equal amount, though, to let the player get a special weapon in the wrong situation.


Timeline-wise, we're back at the Thermite Rifle enemy fight described on the previous page.

After the player defeats the armored guard, he feels rewarded by the opportunity to pick up the dropped special weapon.  However, the brief "clean up" fight after that is against only 4-5 enemies and part of it takes place without a "backboard," making the weapon more difficult to use.



Whether the player uses the weapon on those guards or not, he likely hasn't emptied its cartridge, so he probably keeps it with him in preparation for a big, upcoming fight.

Working his way up some scaffolding and a few climbable ledges, he approaches the sniper who has Lakshmi pinned down in the nearby street!



After taking out the sniper, Galahad takes up his weapon and takes his place, ready to protect Lakshmi and help her move forward.

But, wait!  The player character in The Order is only allowed one "rifle-like" main weapon, and the designers have just forced a sniper rifle into his hands!  Where did the Thermite Rifle he was saving go?

Naturally, it's lost.  As mentioned on the previous page, the Thermite Rifle enemy was a late addition, squeezed into a spot he wasn't originally planned for.



Overall, we designers on The Order: 1886 tried to ensure we never scripted a good weapon—or even a bad one—out of the player's hands.  The weapon choice should be the player's whenever possible.

Certain cases have certain needs, though, and this one just turned into a bummer.



Timeline of the level
  • Galahad and Lakshmi arrive via tunnel

  • They use scaffolding to reach street level

  • Lakshmi climbs over a gate; they get separated

  • Galahad takes out the sniper threatening Lakshmi

  • Galahad protects and reunites with Lakshmi

  • They cross through a ship under construction

  • They finally reach the shipping warehouse

  • Lakshmi reveals the vampires in UIC crates

  • They set fire to the warehouse

  • The warehouse burns; they battle UIC and Lycans


 
Once given, no take-backs

There's a related quirk of development that players usually never see or think about, but designers have to keep in mind.  Once the player has been given a weapon—barring exceptional circumstances like the one described above—that weapon usually can't be taken away from the player.

This means that:

  • any cinematic after a weapon is given may have to account for the player having it

  • the memory budget for a level needs to include all of the weapons in it (even if it's unlikely a player would carry one to the end)

For example, most players would run out of ammo for the Detonator in the ship's "deck" or "lower hull" fights... but there's nothing stopping the player from carrying the weapon to later fights against UIC guards... or even to the last fight of the level, against Lycans.







(Though, in my experience, it's a terrible weapon to use against the Lycans.  I don't recommend trying it.)



Section  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |  6  | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11