Over Used Features

28th February 2006

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3

I’m sure we’ve all experienced something similar to this: I’m playing a game or mod and something happens that the first time is quite cool and then from that point forward the level designer thinks I need to see it at almost every turn.

I understand that you and maybe your team have spent a long time getting something working perfectly and want to make the best possible use of it but let me just say on behalf of all SP gamers:

The best possible use may mean it is used only ONCE!

The key is carefully selected use or else the effect will be lost.


I played a mod yesterday where I opened a number of doors with no problem then suddenly one door’s button exploded and caused me to lose 80% of my health. WOW, scared the sh*t out of me and I really appreciated the idea. But the second and third time it happened it just p*ssed me off.

I had to try and open the doors and there was no way to distinguish which button may or may not explode. It was at this point I started saving just before using any door. The effect was completely lost. It actually only interrupted the gameplay and caused slight resentment.

The List

I’m sure you have many other examples and in fact I’d like you to tell me your most hated over use feature. It can be from a game or mod, doesn’t matter. Why don’t we compile a list of worst over use of a feature? Of course it’s purely subjective, what I hate you might love but I think the example above is a little clearer because the gameplay is interrupted and that has a negative efect on my perception of the mod.

Let me start:

  • Headcrabs in ventilation ducts – great at the begining but boring and predictable now.
  • Corridor lights that go off in sequence, either away from or towards you – I first encountered this in Unreal and was really impressed.

I could go on but I prefer if you supplied a few to the list.


While I’m talking about level design I’d like to take this opportunity to say:


How the funk did those crates get in there! That really annoys me. Little details that show the designer is not thinking carefully enough.


  1. Ryan "Quakis" Rouse

    In DooM3, the first few times when hellspawn jumped out of walls and from under grates was a nice idea but it was far too overused and the game just bored me in a way. Shame.

  2. True, I forgot about D£. I remember almost every dark corner contained something nasty. As you say just gets boring after a while.

  3. Mystery8

    Agreed. After so long you come to expect it. How about leaving a healthkit, armor or weapon out in the open. You just KNOW it’s a trap.

    Something else that bugs me are “jumping puzzles”. Arranging the level design so that the player has to do a bunch of sensitive jumps to get to the next area and with the slightest mistake they fall to their death and restart.

  4. dufferx

    While it isn’t overused, doors which open inward, slap you in the kisser and then slam shut bug me to no end.

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