Metroidvania pacing chart
This tool was created to improve the world design of a metroidvania game. The tool provides an overview of how the world will be explored by the player. It shows all of the areas in a game and how they are connected. By changing the game state you can see what areas are reachable for the player.
The idea is that you can use the actions to move through your game. This way you can quickly get a feeling of how the pacing of your game is going to be.
On the left you can find an overview of the key variables in your game. These are:
|Areas||Levels or scenes in the game the player can visit.|
|Items||Items can be collected only once.|
|Currencies||Currencies are similar to items. The difference is that you can collect more of them. You can also lose them.|
|Events||Events are states that can be toggled on and off.|
You can add variables by clicking the add button. You can also rename or delete them. You can select an area by clicking on them in this view. You can also toggle the state of items and events by clicking on them.
The main part of the tool is the graph. It shows every area in the game. The connections show how the player can travel from area to area. An arrow means that it is a one way connection.
The current selected area node is blue. If a node is greyed out this means the area can not be reached from the current selected node in the current state of the game. A blue border around a node indicates that there is an action available in the current state.
Below the graph you can see an overview of the currently selected area. An area is defined by several actions a player can do. There are 4 different types of actions:
|Roads||Roads are ways to go from one area to another. To connect two areas, add a road interaction from one area to another. If you want the road to be accessible from both directions you will need to add a road to the other area as well.|
|Items||Will pick up an item.|
|Currencies||Adds (or reduces) a currency.|
|Events||Toggles the event.|
Each action can be locked for the player depending on the current game state. You can add multiple locks to a single action. You can remove a lock by selecting none.
Thoughts for further improvements
This tool is a prototype. There are still a lot of improvements that can be done. The tool does not scale properly and you cannot zoom in or out on the graph. I also think that locks should be more visible on the graph, but I have not found a way to do this without making the graph too complex.
Please leave a comment if you have any other great ideas for this tool!