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In the late [[TheNineties 90's]], [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames 3D polygons were ready to take over the gaming industry]]. A good chunk of the market at the time consisted of 2D {{Platform Game}}s, so developers had the job to figure out a way for those obstacle courses to properly transition into a 3D space. The answer was to seemingly downplay the "obstacle course" part.

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In the late [[TheNineties 90's]], [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames 3D polygons were ready to take over the gaming industry]]. A good chunk of the market at the time consisted of 2D {{Platform Game}}s, so developers had the job to figure of figuring out a way for those obstacle courses to properly transition into a 3D space. The answer was to seemingly downplay the "obstacle course" part.


Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to some new problems: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality. 3D perspective also made it harder for players to gauge height and distance during jumping sections, which wasn't helped by the camera now being [[FreeRotatingCamera dynamic]] instead of fixed (breaks for camera adjusting were frequent back then). The solution was to downplay the actual platforming and turn exploration into a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), but that also meant having to incentivize the player with some sort reward that could also function as a goal in order to do so; that's were the collection aspect comes in.

to:

Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to some new problems: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality. 3D perspective also made it harder for players to gauge height and distance during jumping sections, which wasn't helped by the camera now being [[FreeRotatingCamera dynamic]] instead of fixed (breaks (player breaks for camera adjusting were frequent back then). The solution was to downplay the actual platforming and turn exploration into a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), but that also meant having to incentivize the player with some sort reward that could also function as a goal in order to do so; that's were the collection aspect comes in.


Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to some new problems: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality. 3D perspective also made it harder for players to gauge height and distance during jumping sections, which wasn't helped by the camera now being [[FreeRotatingCamera dynamic]] instead of fixed. The solution was to downplay the actual platforming and turn exploration into a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), but that also meant having to incentivize the player with some sort reward that could also function as a goal in order to do so; that's were the collection aspect comes in.

to:

Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to some new problems: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality. 3D perspective also made it harder for players to gauge height and distance during jumping sections, which wasn't helped by the camera now being [[FreeRotatingCamera dynamic]] instead of fixed.fixed (breaks for camera adjusting were frequent back then). The solution was to downplay the actual platforming and turn exploration into a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), but that also meant having to incentivize the player with some sort reward that could also function as a goal in order to do so; that's were the collection aspect comes in.


Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to some new problems: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality. 3D perspective also it harder for players to gauge height and distance during jumping sections. The solution was to downplay the actual platforming and turn exploration into a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), but that also meant having to incentivize the player with some sort reward that could also function as a goal in order to do so; that's were the collection aspect comes in.

to:

Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to some new problems: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality. 3D perspective also made it harder for players to gauge height and distance during jumping sections.sections, which wasn't helped by the camera now being [[FreeRotatingCamera dynamic]] instead of fixed. The solution was to downplay the actual platforming and turn exploration into a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), but that also meant having to incentivize the player with some sort reward that could also function as a goal in order to do so; that's were the collection aspect comes in.


Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to a new problem: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality. The solution was to turn exploration into a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), but that also meant having to incentivize the player with some sort reward that could also function as a goal in order to do so; that's were the collection aspect comes in.

to:

Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to a some new problem: problems: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality. 3D perspective also it harder for players to gauge height and distance during jumping sections. The solution was to downplay the actual platforming and turn exploration into a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), but that also meant having to incentivize the player with some sort reward that could also function as a goal in order to do so; that's were the collection aspect comes in.

Added DiffLines:

* ''VideoGame/TheSpongebobMovieGame'' (Console version only. While more linear than its predecessor, it still features optional areas to explore and gated progression in the form of new moves from Mindy, which are needed to finish their respective levels and require collecting a set number of Goofy Goober Tokens.)


The genre would eventually lose popularity somewhere in the early 00's as games like ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'' would expand further on the [[WideOpenSandbox open-world concept]]. That said, the notion of exploring worlds in order to find and collect things was not lost in many modern games. In fact, it still persists even two decades later. 3D Platformers, however, would fall to the wayside by the mid-00's just as 2D ones returned to viability in the market (thanks to the success of ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros'' and other games of the type that thrived on handhelds and even consoles). The term "Collect-A-Thon" itself is relatively recent (back in the 90's, those were just good old Platform Games, except in 3D) and sorta carries a derisive tone to it, but there are many who still utilize it unironically, especially for more modern takes of the genre.

to:

The genre would eventually lose popularity somewhere in the early 00's as games like ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'' would expand further on the [[WideOpenSandbox open-world concept]]. That said, the notion of exploring worlds in order to find and collect things was not lost in many modern games. In fact, it still persists even two decades later. 3D Platformers, however, would fall to the wayside by the mid-00's just as 2D ones returned to viability in the market (thanks thanks to the success of ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros'' and other games of the type that thrived on handhelds and even consoles).consoles. The term "Collect-A-Thon" itself is relatively recent (back in the 90's, those were just good old Platform Games, except in 3D) and sorta carries a derisive tone to it, but there are many who still utilize it unironically, especially for more modern takes of the genre.


Collect-A-Thons are known to fill their worlds with trinkets of various types, [[PickupHierarchy each in their own tiers of importance]]. Primary collectibles are rare and the most important to get, always requiring one or more objectives of relatively moderate-to-hard difficulty to be completed before awarded (they're often shiny and/or gold, to highlight their importance). Secondary and tertiary collectibles, on the other hand, are plentiful and serve to directly or indirectly help the player obtain primary ones, either by outright granting said primary collectibles after enough of them are picked up, [[FollowTheMoney guiding the player]] towards points of interest or being used as "currency" for new moves and weapons that will be necessary in the long run. There are also [[CollectionSidequest "bonus" collectibles]] that are generally optional to a non-HundredPercentCompletion run, meaning they can be either easier or ''harder'' to collect depending on how useful the reward provided is.

to:

Collect-A-Thons are known to fill their worlds with trinkets of various types, [[PickupHierarchy each in their own tiers of importance]]. Primary collectibles are rare and the most important to get, always requiring one or more objectives of relatively moderate-to-hard difficulty to be completed before awarded (they're often shiny and/or gold, to highlight their importance). Secondary and tertiary collectibles, on the other hand, are plentiful and serve to directly or indirectly help the player obtain primary ones, either by outright granting said primary collectibles after enough of them are picked up, [[FollowTheMoney guiding the player]] player towards points of interest interest]] or being used as "currency" for new moves and weapons that will be necessary in the long run. There are also [[CollectionSidequest "bonus" collectibles]] that are generally optional to a non-HundredPercentCompletion run, meaning they can be either easier or ''harder'' to collect depending on how useful the reward provided is.



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[[caption-width-right:350:[[Series/FullHouse Everywhere you look, everywhere you go!]]]]


* ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' (Zigzagged. The game has loads of collectibles, but progress is mostly independent of them. We say "mostly" because there are one or two instances with obstacles requiring abilities only obtainable under a specific rank. Collecting figments and challenge markers is necessary in order to rank up in the first place)

to:

* ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' (Zigzagged. The game has loads of collectibles, but progress is mostly independent of them. We say "mostly" because there are one or two many instances with obstacles requiring abilities only obtainable under a specific rank. Collecting figments and challenge markers is necessary in order to rank up in the first place)


The core formula is as follows: [[GottaCatchThemAll collect X number of Y things to advance further into the game]]. There are barriers, natural or not, that will prevent the player from just moving on to the next level unless they explore and collect enough of the resident {{Plot Coupon}}s; however, very rarely are those conditions unfair (especially in the early game) and having to gather every collectible possible is always never necessary if you just want to finish the game, GoldenEnding aside.

to:

The core formula is as follows: [[GottaCatchThemAll collect X number of Y things to advance further into the game]]. There are barriers, natural or not, that will prevent the player from just moving on to the next level unless they explore and collect enough of the resident {{Plot Coupon}}s; however, very rarely are those conditions unfair (especially in the early game) and having to gather every collectible possible is always never necessary if in case you just want to finish the game, GoldenEnding aside.


Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to a new problem: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality, resulting in exploration suddenly becoming a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), so it naturally had to be incentivized through some sort of reward that could also function as a goal; that's were the collection aspect comes in.

to:

Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to a new problem: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality, resulting in reality. The solution was to turn exploration suddenly becoming into a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), so it naturally had but that also meant having to be incentivized through incentivize the player with some sort of reward that could also function as a goal; goal in order to do so; that's were the collection aspect comes in.


Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to a new problem: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality, resulting in exploration suddenly becoming a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), so it naturally had to be incentivized through rewards; that's were the collection aspect comes in.

to:

Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. This, however, led to a new problem: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of linear paths looked a bit pointless in this new open-world reality, resulting in exploration suddenly becoming a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), so it naturally had to be incentivized through rewards; some sort of reward that could also function as a goal; that's were the collection aspect comes in.


Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. However, now that the levels were non-linear, traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of straightforward paths looked a bit redundant. Exploration suddenly became a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), so it naturally had to be incentivized through rewards; that's were the collection aspect comes in.

to:

Enter the Collect-A-Thon (short for "Collection Marathon"). A style of PlatformGame that was very popular in that era, inspired by the advent of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', which sought to take advantage of the new axis provided by 3D polygons through large, explorable worlds where players could move around freely. However, now that the levels were non-linear, This, however, led to a new problem: traditional {{Level Goal}}s at the end of straightforward linear paths looked a bit redundant. Exploration pointless in this new open-world reality, resulting in exploration suddenly became becoming a major part of the experience (if not, the main attraction), so it naturally had to be incentivized through rewards; that's were the collection aspect comes in.


The core formula is as follows: [[GottaCatchThemAll collect X number of Y things to advance further into the game]]. Collect-A-Thons are known to fill their worlds with trinkets of various types, [[PickupHierarchy each in their own tiers of importance]]. Primary collectibles are rare and [[PlotCoupon essential to progress through the game]], thus they're harder to obtain by default, always needing one or more objectives of relatively moderate-to-hard difficulty to be completed before awarded (they're often shiny and/or gold, to highlight their importance). Secondary and tertiary collectibles, on the other hand, are plentiful and serve to directly or indirectly help the player obtain primary ones, either by outright granting said primary collectibles after enough of them are picked up, [[FollowTheMoney guiding the player]] towards points of interest or being used as "currency" for new moves and weapons that will be necessary in the long run. There are also [[CollectionSidequest "bonus" collectibles]] that are generally optional to a non-HundredPercentCompletion run, meaning they can be either easier or ''harder'' to collect depending on how useful the reward provided is.

to:

The core formula is as follows: [[GottaCatchThemAll collect X number of Y things to advance further into the game]]. There are barriers, natural or not, that will prevent the player from just moving on to the next level unless they explore and collect enough of the resident {{Plot Coupon}}s; however, very rarely are those conditions unfair (especially in the early game) and having to gather every collectible possible is always never necessary if you just want to finish the game, GoldenEnding aside.

Collect-A-Thons are known to fill their worlds with trinkets of various types, [[PickupHierarchy each in their own tiers of importance]]. Primary collectibles are rare and [[PlotCoupon essential to progress through the game]], thus they're harder most important to obtain by default, get, always needing requiring one or more objectives of relatively moderate-to-hard difficulty to be completed before awarded (they're often shiny and/or gold, to highlight their importance). Secondary and tertiary collectibles, on the other hand, are plentiful and serve to directly or indirectly help the player obtain primary ones, either by outright granting said primary collectibles after enough of them are picked up, [[FollowTheMoney guiding the player]] towards points of interest or being used as "currency" for new moves and weapons that will be necessary in the long run. There are also [[CollectionSidequest "bonus" collectibles]] that are generally optional to a non-HundredPercentCompletion run, meaning they can be either easier or ''harder'' to collect depending on how useful the reward provided is.

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