Arranging player-navigable space is crucial in games that are more dependent on action and exploration than puzzle solving. If the player has to fend off enemies, then the way the space is designed as well as the vastness of it can have an impact on player enjoyment and experience. Not only is space important for varying the difficulty of general stand-offs with enemies, but it is also crucial in determining the ease and accessibility of certain items and/or parts of the game.
Enclosed spaces are often common in games that are dependent on level-type design. Here, the roaming room is limited and the player is usually forced to fight enemies with the possibility of being cornered. Items necessary to the player’s progress may be placed in the room, but they may be absent to force the player to return to a previous room or to quickly complete a room in order to get them. The enemies, however, cannot be too large for this will give the foes too much of an advantage to overwhelm the player.
Space with Traps
In the above scene, we see the player surrounded by water which, when stepped on, will instantly drown the player and force them to restart the level. Such a scene is an example of a space laden with traps or, generally, a space where the boundaries of the walkable path carry certain punishable characteristics that do not just block the player from getting to their destination like a simple wall does. Here, the player is forced to move more carefully which reduces the speed of the gameplay but at the same time can enhance the tension depending on what enemies and other factors are thrown into the game.
Mazes often serve as the ultimate show-stopper for anyone who wants to try to get through a part of the game quickly, as their often intricate nature disallows the player from getting from one point to another with any ease and speed, plus mazes can also test the memory and spatial-cognitive skills of a player. However, without any discretion mazes can often serve more as an irritation and annoyance than anything else. Other than slowing down the player, mazes can also be used to surprise the player with enemy attacks or with other things as, if a maze is large enough, a lot of things can be hidden within the winding pathways.
Such a category can be found in more the exploration type games, where the playable field is vast and the player has to walk a long distance to get from one point to another. In such games, the player is usually provided with the option to obtain faster transportation, usually after some exploring or trials, to make the game at later stages more navigable and fun. However, vast space tends to demand more level design and aesthetics to make the long distances more bearable to pass through or even interesting. Nobody wants to walk a mile across a bare plan. Vast distances tend to make enemy encounters easier, as depending on the severity of the surroundings, there are fewer chances for the player to get cornered by an enemy or a group of enemies. Plus, the player can have the possibility to run away if need be.