I firmly believe that a game is as good as its starting areas. This is most users’ first experience with your game, and where they’re going to get a sense of what they can expect as far as play mechanics and game design for the rest of the game. A good starting area:
- Introduces core game mechanics, teaching the user how to interact with the game world;
- Establishes the basics of the game’s story and setting;
- Sets the player up for success.
The starting areas for Final Fantasy XIV manage to pull this off quite well. Let’s take a moment to walk through Ul’dah, one of the primary cities in the game, and the starting area for three of the game’s classes. Continue reading “Starting Area Design (part 1)”