Finding Your Objective – A Navigation Arrow

My second project of this trimesters study is a game about, as an egg, you need to find your way back to your nest in an open world. This is intended to be a short experience game so what I don’t want when people play it is for them to be spending more than 2 minutes finding the way to the end of the game. Yet, if they want to explore the world, they are more than welcome to. There are a few games that come to mind that face similar issues and they seem to find solace in the use of a Navigation Arrow.

I will stick to one game though that I feel fits the closest to my short experience game I’m currently developing. This is the 24th level of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped “Mad Bombers“. This level is about finding the 5 large bomber planes and shooting them down to finish the level. It doesn’t directly share the same message as my game but does contain a key design mechanic that my project, as many others, will benefit from.

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The game uses a large yellow navigation arrow to point to the players next closest target. As the game has a large open map, its easy to lose your sense of direction and where the next target plane is. The arrow is a necessary part of the level in order for fast completion. The player here though is not forced to complete the level within any sort of time frame, as long as they can fend off the smaller Bi-planes that come for them they can cruise around the level as they please, much like the game I am currently making (minus the enemies).

My game “House of Heavens” will utilize a similar feature in order for the egg to find it’s way back to the nest. As the game will feature free camera movement, I feel the best way to implement it will be to have the arrow appear directly above the egg in world space, not screen space like the example.

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