The Change of FPS Design

An image popped up on Reddit a few days ago, making a point to map out a current first-person shooter level as opposed to say, Doom. There is truth in the image… lots of it actually. Today’s FPS experiences are about glitz and aggressiveness, making a game out of showcase moments, not necessarily map design. Combat is more about object  and enemy placement than multi-floor masterpieces.

Don’t take this the wrong way. To this day, running around something as simple as Wolfenstein is joyous, the satisfaction of blasting away detailed, pixelated Nazis still present. However, the change in that image is one of progression.

When it comes down to it, early FPS titles were nothing more than mazes with keycards placed within their walls. Many of the closed-off confines looked awfully familiar, and the multi-floored maps were barely any help. They seemed to take joy in trapping the player, creating an air of frustration in the process. It wasn’t a challenge (much like regenerating health in modern shooters), just mindless wandering.

Today’s shooters are about pacing. You’re rarely lost. It doesn’t matter how you play games or why. Wandering aimlessly or walking through previously searched areas in a game designed around killing stuff with shotguns is not enjoyable. There is a thirst for blood generated by keeping the game moving and establishing a flow, broken when you’re unable to find a yellow key card.

Say what you will about the wealth of cinematics these days; most of you would say would be true. What they do is keep the violence moving, providing a break in gameplay to reestablish bearings before moving into the next linear section. Irregardless of their flaws, today’s shooters are not boring in comparison, and if anything, that straight line path to the end is the reason for it.


Post-Tribune (IN) March 10, 1993 THIS ELECTRONIC VERSION MAY DIFFER SLIGHTLY FROM THE PRINTED VERSION. EDUCATION Two elementary schools were spared by the Gary School Board Tuesday evening, but three others – Miller, Ambridge and Bethune – will not be around this fall. “It’s always a very difficult decision,” said board President Alfonso D. Holliday. “There’s nothing easy about closing schools.” Pyle and Chase elementaries were taken off a list of five schools that were recommended for closing by a task force formed to make Gary schools more efficient.

The schools will be closed at the end of this school year. The closings are blamed on dwindling enrollment, Holliday said.

More than 100 parents and students attended the meeting, with a majority of those coming to support Pyle and Chase. After the meeting, parents from those schools thanked Superintendent James Hawkins for recommending the board not close those schools. here chase student loans

Emma Bourdeaux, the parent of a Chase student, said she was thrilled. site chase student loans

“I think enough parents were concerned with the distance,” she said. ”We didn’t want our kids going to another school that’s 25 blocks away.” Margaret Hern, secretary of the Pyle Parent-Teacher’s Association, said a high turnout from Pyle parents at recent board meetings strengthened their case.

“My heart is overjoyed,” she said. “I just want to jump up and shout.” But not all parents were satisfied.

Marilyn Mixon, whose son attends Bethune, was upset.

“I just don’t know what the morale of the students is going to be like,” she said. “I’m very unhappy about it.” Students from Miller will attend Marquette School; Ambridge students will go to Chase; and Bethune students will be transferred to Drew School.

Holliday said if other uses can be found for the schools, they will remain standing. If not, they will most likely be razed.

The board also voted to have sixth-graders attend one of the city’s middle schools beginning in the fall. Currently, those students are enrolled in elementary schools. WHAT’S AT STAKE Miller, Ambridge and Bethune are recommended to be closed at school year’s end because of dwindling enrollment.

Pyle and Chase were taken of the death list.