GameSpot shared a cool video with Motion Twin’s Sebastien Benard, Game Designer behind Dead Cells, that shows some hidden design tricks that developers snuck into the game for the players not to feel unfair.
How did they make a Castlevania-style game with rogue-like elements that makes you replay it again and again… and also die a lot? First, it was a free-to-play, tower defense, multiplayer, co-op game on mobile. Yes, sounds like a boring mix. Then they decided to do something big — an exploration game with combat mechanics that makes you explore and study enemies’ patterns.
An awesome thing about this video is that the designer showed how they added a couple of elements that make players’ lives a little bit easier. There’s this thing with jumping, for example, when you’re falling, but can still hit the jump button and make it to the other side. They call this trick “Just in time jump”.
Then, you can also not make it the other side, but the game will also help you, so you won’t feel angry about it. The designer states that there are about 30-40 such small techniques. The game helps you climb, get to higher grounds. Otherwise, it would feel like there’s unfair, but the thing is that it’s about cheating.
The jumping cheating is just a small example, and the video features a number of other cool tricks including combat mechanics, so make sure to watch the full video.