Portal

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Description

A portal is any opening through a wall or dimensions through which characters can move. Some portals are always open, such as an archway, and some may be either open or closed.

A portal may provide a chokepoint. If closed, it may be locked, creating a blockade requiring the player to find a key, seek alternate route, or find some other way to open the portal. It may be trapped, either for when it is walked through or when it is opened. A closed portal might only be accessible from one side. A portal often conceals the area behind it from the player.

Some common types of portals are:

  • Archways
  • Doors
  • Portcullises
  • Grates
  • Teleporters
  • Drawbridges

Variables

  • Type: (see above)
  • Connections: which areas the portal connects. Often this is two adjacent rooms, but portals can also magically transport the player across a map.
  • Permanence: if the portal is permanent, and if not what the conditions are for the portal appearing and disappearing
  • State: portals have a number of different states that affect how the player interacts with it
    • Openable, always open, or always closed: some portals can be opened and closed, whereas some are either always open or always closed
    • Hidden or unhidden: if the portal is obvious to the player or if they must search to find it
    • Locked or unlocked: portals can be locked
    • Open or closed: whether or not the portal is open or closed when the player encounters it
    • Trapped or not trapped: some portals have traps on them that can either be disarmed with an appropriate tool or skill check, or set off by the player
    • Blockaded or not blockaded: some portals have objects in front of them that may hide the portal from the player's view. These blockades must be destroyed before the portal can be seen or used.

Examples

  • Baldur's Gate II Shadows of Amn. In Irenicus's Dungeon, Jaheira and Minsc are both locked in cells (connections). In order to release Jaheira, the player must find the key to her cell door (type). In order to release Minsc, the player must enrage Minsc through dialogue so that he breaks the door open. Both portals require the player to do something special to open them. openable, locked, closed, not trapped, not blockaded, permanent
  • Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Oblivion gates open everywhere in the countryside which are portals (type) to another dimension (connection). Once a player travels inside and completes the level, the gate is closed and the player can no longer travel through the portal (impermanent). always open, unlocked, open, not trapped, not blockaded
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance. In Castle Doom, there are two special bookcases (type) that are portals to secret rooms and passageways ((connections). openable, hidden, unlocked, closed, not trapped, not blockaded, permanent

Quest-Level Relationships

  • Defend/Follow - During these quests, the player will often have to travel through all kinds of portals (doors, archways, etc.), often forced into a chokepoint at difficult points in the quest.
patterns/portal.txt ยท Last modified: 2011/06/12 16:53 by Gillian Smith
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