What is Lock and Key

What is Lock and Key?

  • Lock and Key requires the player to find a key in order to progress through a door.
  • If used correctly, it aids navigation and can symbolise progression.

Both the keys and doors players can be metaphorical and can take a variety of different forms.

Lock and Key serves two purposes:

1. It partitions space. This can aid navigation and can direct the players movements through a space.
2. It provides symbolic representation of player progress (Rollings and Adams 2003). The player will have a sense of achievement when unlocking a door and will know that s/he is getting closer to the goal.

Lock and Key can cause frustration if used too often as players easily tire of searching for the key.

Given the historical dominance of this technique in videogames, an original approach is necessary to retain player interest (Rollings and Adams 2003).

Rollings, A. and Adams, E. (2003) ‘Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design’
USA: New Riders Publishing

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