Stronghold

Description

A stronghold is a room or area that must be defended from attackers. The space often has multiple entrances to cover, but gives some degree of advantage to the player like height, reinforcements, or special abilities the room grants. These rooms coincide well with scripted events, but can be used without them. The player can turn any room into a psuedo-stronghold by aggro-ing enemies and retreating inside, limiting their points of attack.

Having a stronghold places importance on the area for the player, given the time spent defending it. This is a very combat oriented room, so it can be good for adding tension between lulls. The stronghold differs from the arena in that a player will have some reason to remain in the room after combat has ended.

Variables and Affordances

  • Size of space: space changes the combat tactics involved.
  • Player advantages (None, Traps, Reinforcements): traps give players the upper hand on the encounters, while reinforcements assist the player in defending the room. No advantages increases the challenge.
  • Number of entrances to defend: one entrance means the enemies encounters are predictable, while multiple entrances makes the defense harder.

Examples

  • Dragon Age: Origins. The Attack at Nightfall quest at Redcliffe Village. The quest has the player prepare the town with reinforcements and traps before zombie attack at dusk. During the attack, the player spends most of his or her time preventing the zombies from getting to town below. This is also an instance of an area that fulfills both the stronghold pattern and another pattern (city).

In Worked Examples

  • Fallout 3. Big Trouble in Big Town quest. At the end of the quest, the player must help defend the town from another supermutant assault. Big Trouble In Big Town

Quest-Level Relationship

  • Defend. Strongholds, by definition, must be defended.

Acknowledgments

This pattern is inspired by Ken Hullett's level design patterns project.

patterns/stronghold.txt ยท Last modified: 2011/06/13 12:30 by Gillian Smith
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