I Love Corridors

19th July 2018

I am going to take you on a short journey.

I love corridors. Perhaps there is some deeper meaning about wanting limits or restrictions in my life. Perhaps I like the linear feel of doing everything in the correct order.
Anyway, a quick search for “corridors as metaphors” produced nothing of interest, so at least I have the title of my new academic research paper I’ll never write. I think I will keep looking though as I honestly feel there is something deeper here.

It contrasts nicely with my general dislike of arena or large empty spaces, at least from a gameplay perspective. That said, the best memories I have of areas in mods, were places where the enemies were all around me, although not at the same time.

Now, a search for “corridors in video games” produces some more interesting results.

The first is a discussion about How Valve took gaming out of corridors. I’ve yet to read it beyond the intro but it does look interesting.

Another results that is very cool is the “http://scificorridorarchive.com/”Sci-Fi Corridor Archive which certainly deserves further exploration.

And finally, for now at least, I searched for “corridors in architecture” hoping for something unusual and I was not disappointed. Obviously, it brings up lots of links about technicalities but it eventually led me to the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture which sounds totally cool and worth reading some more about.

From its website: “The mission of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture is to promote and advance knowledge that links neuroscience research to a growing understanding of human responses to the built environment.”, which totally sounds like code for making better games to me!

So, where are we? Well, I am thinking about how corridors in games represent the “process of change” and how they can be used to greater effect. I’m not planning to write a book or create a tutorial video because I’m not qualified to create either, but I will begin to pay more attention to corridors in games and specifically Half-Life.

Let me know your thoughts.

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1 Comment

  1. Corridors can be used for a lot of things in games. A transition, whether it be from level to level, or building to building. Or perhaps used as a restrictor, forcing you to work with what space you have to solve a problem before you.

    Or sometimes used to build tension or anticipation. A long and dimly lit hallway can certainly raise some alarm bells.

    When it comes to Half-Life, there’s plenty of memorable corridors. From the tight confines of the apartment buildings, antlion-infested mineshafts, or larger variants, such as the clever cart-pushing turret section in Water Hazard, or the layered prison cells of Nova Prospekt.

    They’re everywhere, and like that first article mentions, it’s something the Source Engine does well. I far prefer a detailed corridor to wide-open emptiness any day, and the amount of ways they can appear is large, many not even needing walls or ceilings to still give the impression.

    Overall, corridors are nice, and can be used in tons of scenarios when it comes to maps. Although the pictured example isn’t the best, some have used it brilliantly. The warehouse section with the mine-laying copter in Research & Development comes to mind, or the clever use of space in many maps of the 1 Billion Units EMC.

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