Archive for April, 2008


Engagement Distance

One of the key considerations in designing a shooter is engagement distance. This is the distance between the player and their opponents during combat.

Once upon a time (2001), I wrote an arena shooter called Mojotron as a hobby project. It was somewhat similar to Geometry Wars, except that Geometry Wars hadn’t been written yet (I was inspired by Llamatron instead). After I finished it, I worked on a sequel that would take that fast-paced combat and place it into a top-down maze exploration game. Like a combination of Gauntlet and Geometry Wars.

I took the Mojotron combat model, added scrolling and hooked up a random level generator that would produce networks of rooms (DungeonMaker, very cool).

Suddenly the game became noticeably less fun.

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