Let’s consider a square maze structure.
Square maze consists of two types of bricks: beams (walls) and joints. Both brick types have it’s length and width, and even being related, they still can be represented using 4 linearly independent variables. So in total we have 16 optional maze structures == (2 options: long/short)^(4 variables)
Let’s see how game language expressiveness is changing with the variables:
- large rooms connected with tiny Alien-style air shafts,
- anthill – small corridors, tiny walls,
- classic platformer with wide walls and tiny platforms,
- “aztec temples” – huge vertical rooms and tiny secret tunnels in between
Also it is important to mention that tunnel sizes affect player’s impression of the game dynamics. For example, combining tiny corridors with big rooms will suggest frequent stops to rest, “aztec temples” bring some discomfort, no rooms at all provoke claustrophobia.
Here you are welcome to see all the 16 options, find the interesting ones among them, and try to describe your deep reactions. The player’s character is pink, btw.
Finally, the most amazing part is that we have these strong effects even with no game graphics at all. Now imagine what is going to happen when we have some.