Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Mining Super Metroid for Design Lessons

Posted by Rampant Coyote on January 19, 2012

I never really played much Super Metroid. I didn’t own the correct hardware.  While at the time – before I got a job making games for consoles – I disdained consoles for PC games, but mainly I think it was because I didn’t have the money.

But Hugo Bille writes a fascinating article entitled, The Invisible Hand of Super Metroid, discussing all the things done very well in the design of this classic SNES game. There are lessons to be learned here that can be applied to any game – including RPGs. A lot of the discussion is how the designers took a basically linear design and used tricks to encourage particular paths and methods of play, but allowed alternative approaches while still making sure the player encountered the key events (though not necessarily in the “correct” order).

I read these kinds of essays and realize that I have a long way to go as a “game designer.” But it’s good stuff to fill your head with if you have aspirations as a game designer.

Filed Under: Design - Comments: 3 Comments to Read

  • Califer said,

    In the same vein, here is sequeilitis’ review on why Megaman X was so awesome. Lots of cursing, but just as much good game design pointed out that it really made me rethink game design.

  • megabyte said,

    Super Metroid is one of my favorite games of all time. Thanks for posting this analysis!

  • Karry said,

    “In the same vein, here is sequeilitis’ review on why Megaman X was so awesome.”

    And you just know after watching that video, that egoraptor never really played any game with any level of complexity to speak of. God forbid he got his hands on the likes of Civ4. I like complex games more than mindless shooters, so his argument is incredibly lopsided from my point of view. Not every game in the world needs to be made with retard customer in mind.