1. Introduction
2. Vocabulary: Zone
3. Background
4. Structure
5. Target audience
6. Development strategy
7. Game components
8. Software architecture
9. Hardware architecture
10. Hacks and bugs
11. Design considerations
12. Flexibility
13. Future entertainment
Site: Utrecht
Metamorphosis of Zone
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Zone Exploration


Flexibility.

From the world of computer games we learn that the most successive virtual environments are non fixed, randomly generated sites that are being composed from pre-designed elements. This makes the game "new" every time a player starts it. From the other side, the recent history of the Disneyland teaches us that at a certain point people get bored from visiting the same attraction, no matter how good it is. Disneyland looses money not because it is badly designed but because there's no way to refresh or renew the old attractions. The only way is building new attractions, but that's not economical.

Our Game complex may not generate random mazes because the environment is fixed. Instead, it is possible to rearrange the path through the maze, change traps, activate certain devices and disable others. Some portable elements may be relocated. A player may receive a different mission every time he enters the maze. The Maze may contain many multifunctional interfaces and their function should change randomly. It is possible to create a couple of traps and activate only one of them during one game, so the player will not be able to experience all the traps at once. There might be a certain device that is rarely being activated and makes the game similar to a lottery, and it may be very easy or very hard to pass the same corridor during different games. The mission, functions for multifunctional devices, activation and disabling of machinery, all the possible changes should be randomly generated by the server computer which maintains the game.

The most important part of the complex should be the Research lab. The research crew should develop new elements, interfaces and devices for the game. It may even be a small prop which does a minor function in the Maze, but after a certain device is developed it may be implemented at the other sites as well, it could be added to the game database so the mission generated adds a new function to the scenario. The computer model of the game should be a flexible skeleton so when a new element is added to the database it may be (or may be not) featured in the next scenario.

It should become the feature of the Maze that new things appear from time to time and a player who enters the Maze may not have a clue what awaits him. New functions should not be advertised but secretly added to the system.





Prague, Karlin - Zizkov, underground pedestrian tunnel.





Utrecht, Railway museum, vehicle detail.





Zone Exploration game - the final level, Nataly Gorodetsky-Engel, 2007.




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