Hypothetical S9

How might you change Knightmare if a new series were to be made?
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Hypothetical S9

Post by Gizensha » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:09 pm

Yeah, I know a revival is extremely unlikely at this point, but still - can be fun to brainstorm, so... Here's my current thoughts on one (The TL;DR version - Basically the riddles of S1-2, the floor puzzles of S5-8, and the presentation of S3 combined into one, while using motion capture for a sort of live puppetteering to allow for more dynamic monsters and less human looking characters if that's technologically feasible)

Overview: Knowledge, navigation, problem solving and quick-wits are the primary things that I feel a revival should test. Possibly 'and interaction' but it's difficult to actually test that as opposed to allowing teams to screw themselves over if they choose to, though stuff like Cheer Up The Gargoyle is a fun, if fairly insignificant in terms of challenge, obstacle.

Riddles: Not necessarially just be in the form of characters asking questions, and certainly shouldn't require as high a percentage as S3 (Nor should there be nearly as many as it felt S4 had). A winning quest should be possible without resorting to luck or exceptional amounts of roleplay with around a 75% success rate across all riddles, though the allowed mistakes should lean towards the early levels. About 8 riddles total - including stuff like scrolls hinting but not stating what should be taken - feels right.

Floor Puzzles: Should be present, and should involve puzzles rather than just the password/solution of the S5 and (occasional) S6 causeways. Can be used for pure navigation tests (Causeways with passwords), and probably for pure problem solving tests.

Life Force: Should exist as a soft clock, that can be used to force teams who made an error causing damage but not death to do something a little challenging to continue (Food in a bomb room, dodging a to get a pie, etcetera, or just navigate an otherwise simple for the level challenge quickly) and to act as a timer for the end game. Tension only comes with peril, so teams should be able to starve to death, but it actually happening should be extremely rare and, outside of using it as a time limit during the end game, only actually possible if a team made a mistake that causes life force damage but not death.

Story Structure: As much as I love Lord Fear as a character, the early year's more exploritory nature rather than defined alliances feels more interesting, and allows for more nuanced characters - Hordriss could be ally or enemy in the early years, but even before he joined the Powers that Be properly once Lord Fear came aboard Treguard had to admit that he usually chose to align himself with the Powers that Be rather than the Opposition, a far removal from his 'Dark Grey' origins. I think either approach is valid, to be honest, but have a slight preference towards the former than the latter.

Look and Feel: You should be able to compromise between the beautiful, hand drawn, environments of S1-3 and the benefits of CGI to change camera angles (Seen, iirc, in S8) via what I've seen referred to as 2.5d matt paintings which I believe is projecting a mat painting onto a rudimentary, simple, 3d archetecture. The eye shield should be absent, it just slowed proceedings down. If it's desired to bring things out of the dungeon more than the Dwarf Tunnel's of S3 did (And even they slowed proceedings down somewhat), just do it by stating that doors and threshholds are magical portals within the dungeon dimension, where you leave from here and wind up... There. Sometimes there is a mere room away, as you would define geography, other times the distance spans what you would view as entire continents, or even further. (This also can be used to 'explain' inconsistencies in the layout of the dungeon)

Difficulty: I'd mainly make Level 1 a series of introductory exercises, warming the team up for the actual challenges of Level 2 and 3, but also test the essentials - An unprompted clueroom with an obvious red herring (possibly a literal one, as some S1-2 teams got, more likely a weapon) here, a slightly tricky navigation challenge such as diagonal gap path in S3. Stuff that's fundamental to a successful journey, but in a way that nothing should result in the death of more than about 10-20% of teams. The bulk (Entirity?) of the allowance of wrongly answered riddles should be here.

I think ideally about half, maybe a slim majority, of dungeoneers should die in Level 2. If there are 13 quests over the course of a season, the difficulty should be catered so that about 7-8 will die in level 2, around 2-3 in level 1 (Which, as I indicated, should basically just be stuff that they should be able to do but which they might slip up on due to the pressures of a studio environment) and of the 3 teams who make it to level 3 only one should win. Don't force the issue on any team via making it particularly hard because there's already been a winner or particularly easy because there hasn't. And select for personality and ability to interact with characters as well as problem solving, some of the early dungeoneers were... Very awkward when interacting with characters. Sometimes painfully so.

Season End: Editing the boring bits but into a coherent view of the game, possibly across a couple of quests (So you just don't show a team who successfully navigated a causeway and then died in the next room of something else crossing the causeway, for example), but showing the entirity of any winning quest, and the vast majority of all quests, to fit the entirity of the final quest into the episode length constraints you have rather than cutting a quest short (S4) or god forbid including short cuts, however brutal the challenge on the short cut is.

Other: I think it's possible to do live motion capture, these days. Virtual puppetteering, if you will. If so, this can and should be used in a revival, to allow more interactive monsters than the giant animals of the past and less human-like characters than the slight bit of monster makeup.

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