Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tomb Raider: Prototype Puzzle Designs

While we were finishing up Tomb Raider: Underworld, we had some free design time. Some of the systems design team used that time to have fun coming up with puzzles using the TR mechanics. We created some paper maps, specifications and even block meshed and prototyped some of the setups/puzzles.

Below are some of the puzzles I came up with. I enjoyed the grapple puzzles in TR:U and wanted to see more puzzles focusing on the grappling hook, so I chose to focus on that mechanic.

The setup above could be made more difficult and possibly more interesting, by requiring the player to swing and leap to safety over a bed of spikes or bottomless pit, after lower through the hole on the grapple. After lowering through the hole, at the same time pulling the ladder down, the player must then race back up the platforms before the ladder retracts back up into the ceiling.

To solve this puzzle, the player needs to grapple the ring in one of the statue's mouths and then walk in-between the posts, threading their grapple rope between the posts. The player could then slide the posts into the correct position by moving the character while holding the grapple.

For the puzzle to work correctly, the posts would need to begin in offset positions, instead of dead-center as in the drawing.

By pulling the posts into the correct positions with the grapple, a door in front of the puzzle would open.

*To explain the fiction of why the posts need to be moved with the grapple rope, and not pulled by the character's hands, the posts could be blades instead or spiked.

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