The application of movement(usually through button presses) in a rendered digital space in order to achieve some goal. Character motion is restricted by a series of colliders which mimic the shape of the world, meaning exploration can be designed to be complex. Motion can be free form or restricted on certain axis'. The two most popular restrictions are:
- Side-Scroller- Player moves character from left to right in a 2D environment. Character's left and right are thus restricted by convention. It is rare to see left to right motion for any long distances unless it's in open world style (e.g. Castlevania, Metroid). Moving the character up and down is usually involved in some sort of damage system. Most games involve pits extending beyond the screen that cause your to die.
- Top-Down- Player sees action from above and moves their character across the terrain. Thus character's up and down motion is restricted unless the game is rendered in 2.5D, and then is usually still restricted to small hops to get over equally small obstacles. Tend to involve exploration of a large map or maps. exceptions include: bullet hell games, in which left and right motion are restricted to the immediate screen space and the map scrolls you forward underneath the character image and a certain kind of 3d platformer which works on a similar basis (character's left and right restricted, action tends to move forward.)
Popular methods of creating urgency for in game movement are: Danger, Discovery and Reward.
Important aspects of movement mechanics include: Health Loss, Collectables, Platforming, Combat, Exploration.
Some quick notes and ideas on this.
- The Double Jump
- Wall Jump
- Wall stall
- Speed Up
- Hook Shot
- Locked Doors / Environment Tree (See Metroidvania and Squidi's explanation)