May 23, 2010

The Art of Tomb Raider Contest Week 4

Welcome to the fourth and final week of the Book Bonanza competition. At the end of May, two lucky winners will each receive a copy of The Art of Tomb Raider. This gorgeous, two-volume set is packed with artwork ranging from Toby Gard's early TR1 concept sketches, though the Core Design years, right up to the elaborate storyboards, character and environment designs from Tomb Raider: Underworld.

CompassThe prize itself is a generous slice of gaming history, but this week's topic looks to the future. What direction do you think the Tomb Raider series should take?

A number of players have asked for more remakes of the classic games. Others would love to play the open-world origin story rumored to be in development last summer. Some, myself included, would prefer a brand new adventure with similar gameplay mechanics but all-new challenges and puzzles.

How about you? Describe the game you'd like to play. What new skills will Lara have, and what will the controls be like? What kinds of levels will there be? What locations should Lara visit (or revisit) next? What should her goals be? Who will she encounter along the way? Will these experiences change her and, if so, how?

Please don't feel you have to limit yourself to these topics. Use your imagination. Describe your ideal game. There are no right or wrong answers. And, who knows, maybe someday we'll see some of these wishes come true.

The Art of Tomb Raider

Just to recap, each participant can enter the contest up to 5 times each week, once using each of the following methods:

  • Post a comment on this week's topic below.
  • Become a fan of Stella's Site on Facebook and reply to the Book Bonanza topic under "Discussions".
  • Subscribe and/or post a comment on my YouTube channel. Since other people comment as well, please mention the contest so I'll know you're interested.
  • Send me a message on Xbox LIVE (gamertag: Stellalune) letting me know you'd like to enter.
  • Send me an with "contest" in the subject line.

Entries for this last phase of the contest will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 29. All entries from all four weeks of the competition will be included in the grand prize drawing, and the winners will be announced Sunday, May 30.

Entering this contest implies that you have read and agree with the complete contest rules.

Thanks for participating and good luck to everyone!


  1. Great topic Stella!
    Well new Tomb Raider games are great and I enjoy in Legend,Anniversary and Underworld very much.But I can say that I miss old days and good old Tomb Raider games where you can get lost in level in funny old Winston and Lara's manor or I want to see something like old games,Lara's origins....and I was always thinking about how Lara survived in pyramid in Egypt at the end of Last Revelation,so I think that it would be great to see that in some game:)

  2. I would really love to see the Origin story like in the leaked concepts from last summer. I think the whole survival, horror game-play would be something totally new to TR.

  3. I'm with you, Stella. I would just like to see some new adventures in some different settings. I'm a little leery about another "origin" story, as there have been too many "resets". My 14-year old daughter and I play together (she controls the grapple), so I wouldn't mind some co-op play in a Tomb Raider setting. In any case, I am excited for whatever is coming next!

  4. ok so im going to pretend im working on tombraider 9 my version of tombaider 9 will a a whole new story. lara will look for a very old artifact. a jar perhaps. a jar that the holds power of nature. people back in china the kings a queens would use this jar to create new creatures brought into this earth. some creatures god himself did not creat. so then lara looks up more info about this Jar.
    and said that the chinees people got into a war with villagers from india. so the king of india lanuched the jar itself onto a catupault and the jar broke into four parts. each part is in Four different country`s. Lara is on a journey to find these missing jar pieces to put them back where its safe for the artifact. this will be one of lara`s gratest missions. she will explore the heart of china to the buried mountains of india. lara`s moves will be better than EVER! :D Such as combat fighting,and Knife Stabbing. lara will also have. Her Original 9mm pistoles,Lazer guns,Grenade gun,Bazooka and even a dragon sniper. lara will encounter. Mutated throlls, two headed sharks that can breath outside of water,Goblins,Tigers,Mutated Yetis and Half Human half skeltons. puzzles would be pulling swithes with codes. So yeah. to sum up thats what i would love to see happening :D

  5. I'd love to see a remake of TR II. Most people I know who don't regularly play TR have played TR II. It would be great to play an updated version of Tibetan levels, which were my favorite.

  6. Marta MagalhãesMay 23, 2010, 5:01:00 PM

    Again, great choice of topic for this week's contest!
    I kinda liked the idea of an open world and the other rumored stuff, but maybe it would be better if it wasn't an origins story! I Think TR needs to move forward, why do we have to go back to young Lara?

    So for the next TR game, I would like a brand new adventure. It should be given special attention to the characters and character development (I personally think that is something that has not been done properly!) The story should be thrilling. Personally, I don't have any special location that I would want Lara to go, as long as it makes sense and it's connected to the story.
    One thing I really do NOT want is another artifact that Lara wields and gives her powers, like Excalibur and Mjolnir and the rest of Thor's set! Don't get me wrong, it sure is cool, but I don't think it's what TR is about! Lara never wielded any of the artifacts she found before and by having this powers the combat gets ridiculously easy! Besides, there should be consequences for using this ancient powers!
    The combat needs improvement! Maybe a cover system and manual aim are the way to go! It really needs to change!
    I want to see new characters! No Amanda, no Natla, no Doppleganger... the only one that has to come back besides Lara is Winston!
    M-rated! I want the next TR to be M-rated!!! It needs to be more realistic!
    And I want that atmosphere from the old games, that feeling of not knowing what was comming next that would leave me on the edge of my seat! I want to get lost in huge environments!
    I think that's all! :D

  7. concluding to my game. (of what i thought the next tombraider game should be) New Badguys. Now that most of the badguys from the old games (i think they are all dead?) are gone. so in my version of what i would like to see is a brand new bad guy`s not another freind that turns into a bad guy but a new bad guy that will shock fans. another female badguy. this time she is much smarter than lara. but very stupid in a way. this bad guy would trace lara`s footsteps. then hires men to try to steal the artifact.and the main badguy will take it for herself.

  8. Entry by Jackie Steffen, contact email lovesickrobot AT gmail DOT com

    Before I shoot off my ideas for the future of the series, I'd just like to state that I DO NOT think they should do any more remakes of past Tomb Raider games; instead, I think CD should release an official Level Editor that uses the TR:U game engine so fans can both recreate her past adventures on their own time, as well as create new levels to their heart's content. Fan-created levels and adventures would be an excellent way to show dedicated, long-time fans some love, as well as give new fans some incentive to join in on the phenomenon.

    Now, my idea for a future TR Game:

    I am in love with the TR:U game engine, so that would absolutely stay. Since Crystal Dynamics began running the show, however, the stories and adventures have been a little short, and I think lengthening the game would do a world of wonders to the next title. Here's a short list of things that could be done to help that:

    1.) EXPANDING THE CROFT ESTATE: I LOVE what they did with the manor in TR:L and TR:A, but quite frankly, I want to see more of both Croft Manor and the entirety of the Croft Estate. There have been numerous times when I've caught myself staring longingly out of the gates in the courtyard that leads to the gym, wondering what was out there. Fans should be able to explore EVERY nook and cranny of the Croft Estate, considering we are all temporary residents there! Surely Lara would have a garage filled with awesome vehicles to take out for a spin, a stable with firey stallions in it, and a simulation room to help keep her sharp (like in the first TR movie)? In essence, we should be able to excitedly return to the manor, excited to find something new or beat our high scores!

    2.) SECRET LEVELS: This would get us out of the manor and into the world to accomplish tasks or find artifacts that don't have sweeping stories attached to them. For example, during the main game you could find pieces of an ancient map in each of the levels, and when you piece together the map, it opens up a secret level for you to explore. Or, depending on how many secrets you find, you could be offered one-off contracts from Museams, Universities, and private collectors from around the world to recover additional items. Lara's ALWAYS looking for a challenge, so why would she stop at just one adventure?

    3.) MINI GAMES: Mini games could serve as a look into Lara's recreational life with skydiving, underwater exploration, hang-gliding, base-jumping, and what-have-you, all with ways to collect high scores and give us incentive to play over and over again.

    4.) STORY FLEXIBILITY: I believe that combining the ability to choose locations (as in TR3), interact with NPCs (as in TR:AoD, and ONLY in appropriate locations, such as Universities and urban areas), and keep the action/adventure gameplay style in tact is entirely possible. It would take time, of course, but I think helping fans control Lara as much as possible without having a giant jumbled mess would be excellent. It might also attract players from other genres and pull them in to the franchise more willingly.

    I neglect to make any story suggestions because I have faith in the writers at CD to give me something I can sink my teeth into. TR:U was EXCELLENT, and I want to see more writing like that!

    And there you have it! My idea for a great Tomb Raider game :)

  9. WOW,More New Good things Pop up into my head. also in my version of tombraider lara will need stuff to transport with. such as Jets when she escapes the temple from india. and jeeps you can actually drive. thats one of the most thing that can make a tombraider game FUN ;D who would not want a vehicle for lara to use. how about you stella?

  10. Hey Stella!

    First of all, thanks for the opportunity!

    What I would like/or not like to see in the next Tomb Raider games:

    I would like to see huge environments with lots of room for exploration. This can work best if the game turns to open-world or 'semi-open world' (like Batman Arkham Asylum) in my opinion. It would be great if the whole map wasn't available at the beginning and areas would have to be unlocked in order to progress. Not by upgrading Lara herself (like AOD, let's not do that again), but by finding objects, like a rope to cross a gap or a boat to cross a river. Everything that looks like it can be explored, should be able to be explored. I want to get lost.

    More atmosphere in the environments. I think playing a bit more with light (what I loved in Legend by the way!) could do the trick.

    The element of surprise is totally missing! Enemies and traps should come without a warning, keep me on my toes!

    Talking about enemies. Let's have a bigger variety of them, and make them stronger.

    Talking about traps, we need more traps! Lots of crazy traps, hehe.

    I would love to see harder and more puzzles. I love how Crystal Dynamics implement the puzzles into the environment, they do that really well. They just need to be a bit harder and then we are there. :)

    Combat and enemy A.I. need major improvement.

    Character models need to look more realistic to blend in better with the wonderful environments.

    Lara's animations have to become smoother, they were perfect in TRA. I don't understand what happened in TRU.

    Lara needs to toughen up as a character. I don't want to see weakness in her.

    I would like to see an interesting, fresh story. Something unique and fascinating with new characters. Sort of what AOD did and how Legend started. Please don't make it depressing and let Lara be her witty old self. :)

    Realistic death animations and gore (not over the top). Baddies should be allowed to use swear words (not the whole time though!), but Lara should always refrain from it to underline her classy personality.

    I would love to see a nice collection of weapons and vehicles.

    I could go on and on, but I guess I will stop here, lol!

    Just make the game a hard one, keep it fun, original and stay true to the roots.

  11. What a great question! I would LOVE to see a Tomb Raider game using the old-school mechanics but with new puzzles and new graphics - the whole shebang! Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the new gen games, but the "square" mechanics are what made Tomb Raider so recognizable, fun, and challenging!

  12. Pulse (from Eidos Forums)May 23, 2010, 10:19:00 PM

    Tomb Raider is an instantly recognizable title, so for future installments they should create stand out, instantly recognizable games.

    In more recent yearst games like Uncharted have come into the Tomb Raider genre and raised the bar for action- adventure games.

    I'd love to see more story added into the series. The history and myths have always been fantastic, but the story is harldy worth noting. CD has improved the story from earlier games, but it is not their strength.

    The characters are fantastic, but lack depth. By fleshing existing characters out and introducing new ones, I feel the story would very much improve.

    I'd also like to see the combat rebooted. The combat from the previous eight titles is not bad, but it pales when compared to the video games of the current generation. If the classic combat were to be combined with a newer style, it might be possible to please the "classic" fans and newer gamers alike.

    The design of Underworld was rather dark and bleak. That style worked for the shadowy, serious tone of that game. But in future titles I would love to see massive, colorful environments. By combining lush jungles with dark tombs it would create a nice contrast for players to enjoy.

    Characters in the game stand out compared to realistic environments. I'd love to see the characaters become more realistic and responsive. It'd be nice to see everything sort of blend together so that the graphics do not "jump"

    I would not like to see any changes that would make the series completely different, but rather improvements added to the formula (which is excellent.)

  13. In my opinion, Lara should stay where she is. The graphics in the latest games are amazing, her acrobatic abilities are evident in the moves you can make her do and the environments are much more interactive and interesting. I think, like all games, there is room for improvement. The new story lines are moving farther away from the original idea of using pretty real ideas and treasures. I mean, it's a lot easier to believe that Lara goes to a Tibetan monastery then the underworld. Or that she finds genetically modified creatures then Thor's Hammer. If it went back to exploring tombs in the middle of Egypt, scaling sunken ships and navigating booby-trapped temples then the games would have a more believable story and feel. And, common Edios, can't you find some new puzzles that we haven't seen before. There are classic ones that you like to see in the games again but sometimes, classics become redundant and pretty soon you don't even need to try to get past them, it becomes automatic. So, yea, all in all, I think that the company should keep the look, feel and movements but should look for new treasures, temples and puzzles.

  14. Personally, I'm a fan of remakes of the old games, just because I've always been curious about what they would be like with our present technology. However, I don't think that should be the only direction the games go; remakes would be a cool filler in between new games. I think expanding on the stories presented by the snippets of adventures in TR: Chronicles might be fun, too.

    Much of what I would love to see in a new game has been named already, especially by Jack (right on the nose with what I was thinking, actually!). I think a rebuild of Croft Manor is called for at any rate, don't you? :)

    I would also dearly love to see where the AoD storyline was going, as well as something to explain how Lara survived between The Last Revelation and AoD.

    As for new gameplay elements, I'd like to see more in the way of hand-to-hand combat. In reality, what if some of the situations Lara faced resulted in her losing her weapons, or running out of ammo entirely? What then? Knife combat would be an interesting addition, as would using the environment itself as a weapon. (This could be along the lines of how to defeat the kraken in TR:U, only far less obvious.)

    I have no specific ideas for a new adventure, and since I already love the plot turns the most recent games have taken, I have every expectation that the designers will come up with a perfectly awesome new story at some point. However, I'd like to see some more obscure mythologies pop up (Hungarian, Russian, Native American, things along those lines).

  15. Im not personally looking for a huge change. My fav one was Anniversary. It felt like the right amount of puzzel, running and fighting. The story line wasn't too bad either.

    I think the puzzles need a new think team. The good ones were very few and far between in TRU, which was a shame. but at the same time, the environments were a lot better, and bigger. I liked getting 'lost'

    Adventure and mythology are very important. As long as they keep researching as much as they did for TRU, I think they will be great. And lets hope they dont switch about the controls again.

  16. I fell in love with Tomb Raider all over again when I played Tomb Raider Legend. Some time passed since I played a TR game and I decided to play Legend. First of all, I couldn't believe how beautiful the graphics were, it was a completely new TR! Also, the game finally had a real story I could connect to. I didn't play all TR games, just The Last Revelation, Chronicles and a little bit of Angel of Darkness, I really should get them all... Anyway, I played Legend, Anniversary and Underworld and I love them so much, especially Underworld, it's my favorite. So, what path should the next TR game take? It should change only a couple of things, but basically it shouldn't take a different direction. What I want in the next game is: more difficult puzzles, harder-to-kill enemies, more levels, bigger environment etc. The graphics should stay the same, because they're beautiful, Lara's voice should stay the same, and I know most fans HATE Natla, but I just love her! She's awesome!!! She's Lara's archenemy, like Voldemort is to Harry Potter or Count Olaf to the Baudelaire orphans!!! And I really like Amanda and Doppel, they should definitely be in another TR game!!! Okay, this is all I have to say!!! ;) Good luck to everyone, the grand prize is amazing, I really want it!! XD

  17. Stella, I wish you could have done a question like this every week because I don't know if I can bring all of my ideas out at once. First, though, for those wishing a TR level editor on an Underworld engine, not realistic. It takes MONTHS for a TEAM of people to make these Tomb Raider games. Secondly, I agree with those who said we should just keep moving the series forward, and maybe inf ive years do another remake (I would prefer II or III myself). But where should the Tomb Raider series go next? That is a superb question for I have thought many times about this. If anyone is familar with the Sly Cooper games, you know how you have a base in a free-roaming environment? Well, I'd like to see Tomb Raider go there. For instance, everyone said they loved the Tokyo level of Legend. I personally like seeing Lara in the tombs, but the city level was an unexpected bonus, a little break from the norm. But imagine the Tokyo level, except free-roam. Where I think TR should go is several free-roaming environments in a game. Or have a main hub, Croft Manor or something, where Lara goes out from. But this would open up environment specs, allowing more creativeness and mobility. Who here wants to have a quad again, being able to ride it through an open terrain? Not like in underworld where it was a very linnear terrain. I want to see TR open into wider-environments again. On the other side, that would make our remakes very difficult. Think of the Gangas River level from TR III, if they remade it with the modern engine, still trying to keep the levels looking VERY similar, they wouldn't be able to effectively accomplish this with riding a quad around in such tight spaces. I wouldn't mind co-op myself, but do think it should be a possibilty. When it comes to the new arcade-styled game of Guardian of Light, I think they should contine with this franchise on the side between BIG games. New adventures would be cool on the PC. As for Lara, herself, I'd liek to see a little less goddess in her. I eprsonally think by taking away some of her more-farfetched abilities like jumping from one nook in a pillar to the one four feet higher. These abilities make the games WAY too easy. If you haven't noticed, newer TR games are much easier than the originals. I personally believe this is because we don't have it as hard. It's as if Lara has evolved from ten years ago to better herself in rough environements. That brings us to another topic. TRAPS!

  18. Lara needs some new traps. I get tired of seeing the same swinging axes and gates dropping to seal you into some room where you need to fight some baddies. Boring. I want to see some Lara Croft in fast-paced action, life-or death situations (not necessarily the sequences where you have to press a series of buttons to get through a trap like in the Ghana level of Legend). I want to see Tomb Raider in scenarios like the Great Wall level in II. Lara was pitted against a deadly series of corridors and spike pits and bone-crushing walls. Let's bring that into the new games.
    I guess you could say that to move forward with the Tomb Raider franchise, we really need to move back. Lara Croft shouldn't be all modernized, I think. I liked the transition from magentic grapple in Legend to hook and grapple in Anniversary. I liked the hook and grapple where I got the real Tomb Raider feel. The time period should stay the same though. I enjoy seeing the fancy technology Lara has obtained, the Yache and the computers and such. It's nice to be able to bring her into OUR time period.
    Another topic: baddies. Lara does need some new baddies so let me shout out to the others up there on the blog: I AGREE! Lara's been pitted against Natla in three TR's and Amanda in two. No Larson and Pierre unless it's an arcade game though because Lara needs some breathing air from those people. No wonder she wants to unload a cartridge into them all the time! Winston should remain as he is an important figure in Lara's world. But I am getting off topic. Baddies. Let's not go to extremes as bad as aliens or something. No, I do like human enemies but I also enjoy fighting monsters and myhtical creatures. Let's get rid of mummies and put in creatures of mytH! As far as location, NO MORE EGYPT! Unless it's arcade-styled, Tomb Raider games shouldn't return to Egpyt unless absolutely necessary. I like visiting OTHER places in the world than the same sand dune every week as that can be slightly tedious. Back to environments, Lara should be able to freely roam the streets of Greece, to an extent of course, but give her enough room in each level to be able to use modes of transportation. Like an Assassin's Creed game where you can freely move about and scale any obstacle in the environemtns. With equpitment, I'd like to see Lara with no knives at all because that itsn't our Lara. I don't like the idea of a rated M game too as one wrote above. Teen is good for me. That's all for now! (Don't worry, I'll be back...)

  19. I reckon there are 3 directions they could take with the series.
    1: The survival horror game. I reckon it would fun and interesting to see lara return to her roots, and importantly, it changes from the tradition of instead of searhing for an artifact, or a family matter, it just focuses on pure survival.

    2: A remake of Tomb Raider 2. Now, out of the 3 Crystal Dynamics games, Anniversary was my favourite just becaujse it had so many memories of the original, and it had so much unlockables showing how have times changed, and it also proved that lara was not a cold blooded killer. I reckon a fully fledged remake of Tomb Raider 2: The Dagger of Xian would be awesome. All the weapons, the same game engine (or possibly a different one), grappling hook??? Also, they would have to make it harder as Anniversary was a bit easy. And also, have all levels, don't splics some together.
    3: A TR game that returns to laras roots and just focuses on adventuring to get an artifact (although, if necessary, you can avoid human killings), but you can go back to laras house. More traps, more weapons, more diverse range of traps. From a city in Japan to the catacombs of france (no egypt), to some areas in Africa and England. Another villain (not Natla, Larson/Pierre, Amanda) someone/thing new. You can ride the motorbike, do all the fancy tricks. For those who want it, you can do minigames like shoot the target etc. Some levels should be abouot stealth, some pure action and some just traps and fin gameplay.

    Thanks for reading

  20. Hi, Stella!

    The direction I'd love to see Tomb Raider take is to go for new places, but with older engines. I hated the engine for Underworld (granted, I played on a PS2, which was a nightmare), but loved the one from Anniversary and Legend. I'd be happy to play adventure after adventure like that. If Lara went on in a licensed, serialized format (with excellent story continuity, but third-party DIY-ness), she could stay relevant and exciting for a wider variety of players. One installment could be very puzzle-oriented, while another could be adventure- or action-laden.

  21. I for one would like to see the older games made playable on today's Windows environment, all sharpened up (graphically) but not remade as in Anniversary and Legend.

    There isn't any reason Lara can't seek out new treasures in all new environments around the world. A combination of solo and team quests would be good.

    I do think that a level editor and story/quest writing kit is possible, lots of other games come with them. The Tomb Raider community has a very cooperative nature and they could build some interesting new adventures, I think.

    Something as simple as adding new vehicles, weaponry and even mounts to the game would be great.

    I would hate to lose the problem solving and puzzle solving traditionally involved in the Tomb Raider games, so wherever we go, make sure that is not lost.

  22. I think that in order to go forward, Tomb Raider needs to go back a little. Angel of Darkness was a game written by real writer, someone with a strong concept of plot, characters, and pacing, and Tomb Raider needs that once again. In order to compete with the new crop of adventure games, though, TR either needs to scrap combat completely or really step it up and give it a great combat system. Tight controls are a necessity in a game with so much fiddly puzzling, and something the last few games were lacking.

    Underworld had beautiful graphics. All TR needs now is a strong story with memorable characters and a tight control scheme.

  23. Well, Tomb Raider should move one, be presented with many new things withouth losing it's essence.
    A simply loved the fluence that Underworld had, but I thought that the jumping and swinging was a bit too unhuman. I would really like to see a more human Lara with abilities actually possible in real life. Although Underworld featured a level which had lots of underwater gameplay, I would enjoy going back to Tomb Raider 2 to the water levels, or the Angel of Darkness ones. Wondering in sunken ships or underwater ruins for a big part of any Tomb Raider game, I think, it's a great greate deal. Still speaking about levels, I simply loved the Legend scheme: there were a variety of environments, and I think a next game ought to have lots of environments like tombs, jungles, urban, underwater, snow, desert, mountains, etc.
    Another aspect is really a matter of details that I believe that would give a special touch to any Tomb Raider game: lots of weapons, from pistols to rifles and shotguns, and lots of outfits: like in Legend, the ability to choose the wardrobe of Lara is really a nice touch to the game (except being in t-shirt and shorts in the middle of Nepal).
    Finally, I would like to mention the fact that environments could be made more real, because I get a bit disturbed due to the fact that there's always something to grab on in the most strategic places. If we couldn't reach some place at first, we would try to find other routes, but that were more realistic.

  24. I don't know which I would choose for further Tomb Raider stories. I'd like to see the back ground fleshed out more, I'd love to know how Lara survived the end of Last Revelation...and I'd love to know what's coming next in her story. And there have been so many good suggestions here. I think one thing I'd like to see is for the creators to hire a couple of authors and/or artists to produce a series of books or graphic novels (hey, what about both?) and fill in some of the background information so that they can then focus on Lara's current adventures. The books would be approved by the creators and could be considered "cannon" in regards to Lara's life story. They could even novelize the games and tie in the movies as well (I have the first movie novel and thought it was well done for a tie-in. Why not expand on that market?

  25. This is probably the best question so far :)

    I think that they should first make another level editor (updated).

    Second, i think they should remake tomb raider 2 because the new tomb raider games just don't have that same feel like the classic tomb raider games.

    In the next tomb raider game you should be able to go into diffrent directions and not stick to one route so when you replay the level you can be like "i diddn't go this way last time so lets see what happens down this route". Also i think it would be good if it was a three way battle like tomb raider underworld (lara,natla,amanda) or bigger. I think there should be a range of enviroments like dessert,mountains,jungle,city,cave,underwater. If it is suitable to the stoy line you should be able to choose which location you want to go to like TR3.
    You should have a range of vehicles and weapons or even better choose 3 weapons and 1 vehicle to take with you. melee combat nedds a big improvement. It would be good if there was some side tasks to do like finding and killing a bear and the person will open the door for you.
    Croft manor should be made like the first 3 tomb raider games but obviously alot more realistic. As for traps, there should still be the old traps but new harder traps like the great wall level in tomb raider 2. Last, they should leave the story with a cliffhanger like the last revelation to make us think what happens to lara in the next game.

    Well thats what i would like to see,
    love everyone else's views aswell!!! :D

  26. CD is doin a great job!!! I used to wonder what kind of game TR should turn into. I think the story should change as the new installments of TR are coming. What I want in a new TR is that

    - Besides pistols and guns Lara should also have Melee weapons.

    - There should be two modes which can be changed by just pressing one button and that should be guns mode and martial arts mode, In martial arts mode Lara will fight with her hands and legs using kicks, punches and other moves like a professional martial artist.

    Now here begins the story line of TR.

    - Lara faced many enemies and many creatures but she never faced HERSELF. Another Lara Croft should come into being to fight Lara Croft and that new Lara would kill all her friends and know each and every thing about the real Lara. At the end there should be some surprise about how that Lara came into being.....The title of the game can be, TOMB RAIDER: LARA VS LARA

    - Or In another story Lara goes to Hell, She had a rivalry with a person who is so powerful in black magic that he kills her and send her to HELL but he do not have enough power to keep LARA in HELL so Lara's adventure begins in HELL where she faces the most horrible things ever. And when she will escape she would be in hospital and docs would say that Lara has been in COMA for 5 years but actually those five years were spent by LARA in Hell.

    - Or TR can become a survival horror game in which there is a place where people practice satanism or black magic and something goes wrong and then people becomes cannibals and start eating other people and if they bite you or scratch you then you will become one of them. So the almost whole world is dead and Lara is still fighting them all.

    - OR Lara is goin on a trip and she is crossing a road which is in Texas and then she finds a dead body laying on the road, she stops to check the body but some people comes and take her away. Now these people are maniacs and they like to hitchhike and they like to torture people now Lara got to escape from them and survive the horror before they kill her. Their territory is huge and she cant find POLICE anywhere.

    Thats all I think lol

  27. Wow! You guys are so awesome. What brilliant ideas! I'd play almost all of these if they were available. Some that especially appealed to me were Jackie's ideas of opening up the Croft estate for further exploration and collecting map pieces to open up more levels. Also Simon's idea about changing combat modes on the fly. Lara has used some melee moves, but her skill set could definitely be expanded. Maybe there could be different item drops depending on how you defeated each enemy. So, for example, if you were to defeat a boss using only hand-to-hand combat, you'd get a special relic or something.

    A lot of people suggested more and harder puzzles, and bigger environments, which of course I'd want too. IMO, it's not Tomb Raider if you don't get lost at least a few times in each level. ;)

    I'm thinking if the developers want to attract gamers of varied skill and experience levels—and build in a lot of replay value—there could be multiple paths through each environment. An "easy" path would be obvious, fairly linear, but still include engaging puzzles and platforming sequences. You could beat the entire game by following the easy path, but if you wanted more challenge, there could be "expert" paths leading off into new areas, with more hazards, puzzles, enemies and of course greater rewards. These paths would be harder to spot or maybe require skills that aren't available right away to encourage players to return and explore later on.

  28. Also, they should add a level editor, and add everything, textures, puzzles, enemies, even dialogue and artefacts.

  29. Bigger environments are just what we need in Tomb Raider game,just like you sad Stella...two paths one easy and one very hard that would be in Tomb Raider 4 on the beginning if we found all 8 or 7 I can't remember of golden heads we can go on hard path.I think that would be amazing to see in next Tomb Raider games:)

  30. Dear Stella,
    If there's one thing I'll miss after school, it is truly the wonderful discussions you've conjured. But, on topic anyways. I think the Tomb Raider series should keep going as long as Final Fantasy is around. Not comparing the two, but I think Tomb Raider is a series worth staying around as long as Final Fantasy has. I would like to see more open environemets. I jsut played Underworld on the 360 for the first time two days ago, and I must say it is quite fantastic. The environment technical difficulties should get fixed though, even if I have to wait a month or two longer for a release.

  31. Good question. I would love to have them make the croft manor bigger and more interesting, and much more adventure than just returning the water supply back. Also, going to new places and maybe we could control other vehicles than motor bikes. I don't really know right now, brainstorming is not my thing, ideas just pop. :D

    So, I think that they should just simply expand the game and make it where you have a central hub. i liked the map pieces, but I think the story would be where Amelia Croft had a secret, she knew of a treasure secretly in Richard's possession so she stole it and hid its pieces across the globe as she traveled with him to archaeological sites. I think Lara should have to hunt around Croft Manor for the journal entries her mother left behind, each one leading her to a new place and then once she finds the journal entry, she goes to the next place. That would be awesome.

  33. Nice work, Stella!

    My thoughts about exploring a new realm of Tomb Raider is about the future. So firstly, no more remakes, and secondly, for the person above who wanted to know about how Lara escaped the Temple of Horus, there are three genuine lara croft novels and the answer is in the first one which I got for about ten bucks entitled, Tomb Raider: The Amulet of Power. It's a very good read! Where I want to see the franchise go though is into another game like Underworld. Game designers are always coming out with new programs and consoles to match that enhance gameplay experiences. I think Underworld was the most Tomb Raider I've ever gotten delivered to me at one time. It might not be normal, classic Tomb Raider exploration, but it's still a great amount of fun!

  34. If you've ever played the Assassin's Creed games, you'd know about
    open environments. I want Lara to be placed in mroe free-roaming
    areas. Of course she's in semi-free-roaming areas right now, but large
    cities and ancient temples shouldn't be simply one room to the next,
    it should be wide chambers. I also liked your idea of having a game
    hwre there are two available paths. Hard and easy. That would be
    pretty cool!

    Justin M.

  35. I love these questions. They really get you thinking :). As for the next Tomb Raider... if I was making another Tomb Raider, it wouldn't be a remake of the older ones. Rather, it would be a brand-new adventure. I think more focus should be on Croft Manor. To that effect, I would love to see a TR where the main storyline took place inside of Croft Manor. Say, Natla's final revenge on Lara, taking over her manor and then setting freakish monsters and various henchmen loose around the place. I would like to see a game where Lara had to find an artefact, left behind by her father to defeat Natla. I would also love to see the manor expanded. It would feel like 2 or 3 large levels in one. Mainly:

    1. An intro level in the main and upper parts of the manor.
    2. Another level in the crypt of the house (sort of like Underworld).
    3. A level in some previously undiscovered portion of Lara's house.

    I would also love to see Lara's combat repertoire expanded significantly. It felt like she was always missing the flexibility of the full hand-to-hand we saw in the movies. The final thing I'd like to see is Winston getting involved more. Usually, he is portrayed as an old man who can do nothing but serve Lara. I think Winston should be capable of much more... and that's everything!

  36. I love video games in general, but always at the top of my list, there are two series of games. One, of course, is Tomb Raider. The other is Grand Theft Auto.

    (Yes, I know, odd .. peculiar ... strange, I've heard them all ... ;)

    Anyway, I would love to see Lara Croft in some sort of free roaming world where she could perform "missions" that would be some sort of tasks that she will have to perform in order to achieve the main goal of the game.

    But still she would be able to do a lot without actually commiting to the main mission, gaining experience and abilities, doing side quests, maybe even a job or two to make some extra money to get some important technology for a mission.

    The rumored in development game sound a lot like what I'm trying to describe. Altough I'd rather have a "mature" Lara.

    Oh, and one more thing. I live in Guatemala, home of the Mayan City of Tikal. I'd love Lara to come to Tikal and explore. Who knows, maybe she'll fina another Crystall Skull!!

  37. Still more excellent ideas! I don't know whether the TR developers pay any attention to our little blog, but I think they should take a look and be inspired.

    I'd love to play just about all of these. The entries people have been sending by email are great too. Someone suggested Lara pursuing and fighting Dracula. Talk about survival-horror! ;D

  38. Well, I'm new to TR and a novice - but I've already got a few ideas.

    I'd love Lara to tackle a maritime archaeology mystery and dive on an ancient wreck or sunken city [scuse if this is in other games I haven't played yet] - at least a whole level's worth - maybe more.

    I'd also like to see lots more puzzles and dirt detective work to make the journeys as challenging and meaningful as possible. Maybe a bit of prep in libraries looking for hidden volumes, maps and clues?

    And imagine if we as players had to access resources outside the game [research-general knowledge] to uncover historical facts to unlock levels? WOW!

    I also wonder about linking the stories and gameplay into real world archaeological mysteries and methodologies - dare I say - a little less on the treasure hunting and more on the knowledge-culture-problem solving side of things?

  39. I loved John's idea, one of the best I've heard yet. Eidos/Crystal Dynamics or whoever could open up there own Tomb Raider "Internet" a website styled to look like an Internet where players in the Tomb Raider game would have to reference for extended gameplay. They would have to do research that's all on the "Internet". But since computers aren't a commodity to EVERYONE, they'd probably have to make it for exclusive bonus material only, though because say someone buys the game in question, they'd be halfway through and unable to progress unless they had a computer. So bonus stuff only, but it is an awesome idea!

  40. I would like to see a game that was entirely set in some of the historic locations around the Uk. Yeh, she's been to Cornwall - but Cornwall has so many historic locations, for example all the mines etc. There are also some pretty cool locations in Wales... I have no idea where the story could go.

    I have also mentioned on the Facebook page, that it would be good to see a remake of Angel of Darkness - with the same grand vision that Core had (with the massive scores, sets and story).

    I would also like something to be set in a more urban environment, in a city, with other people around - interacting with the city - trying to gain access to office buildings/museums etc... I suppose we touched this within Angel of Darkness - but that's why I want it remade :P

  41. John, those are great ideas. I'd love to see a bit more puzzle-solving, research, etc. Not to the exclusion of the action aspects, but I think TR players in general are a slightly more cerebral bunch than "typical" gamers. That would add a whole extra layer of gameplay.

    If you haven't already seen yesterday's post "Following in Lara's Footsteps", I'd encourage you to check it out. Guest blogger Mary Goodden wrote a great piece about her travels in Egypt, and Hunter Wolfe, who comments here regularly, mentioned an underwater dig going on now off the coast of Alexandria. Cool stuff!

  42. @Hunter Wolfe

    In regards to a next gen TR level editor, you're absolutely right: it DOES take months (closer to years, likely) for a team of people to build a TR game (or any game, for that matter), but that's working from scratch building models, capturing animations, designing new textures and environments, and developing the physics of the game all at one time. The point of a level editor will be to have all of the components required to build environments already installed, ready for the player to place and arrange. That said, CD opening up their source code could only benefit our community -- it wouldn't take long for teams of people to get together to make or remake a new player-made TR game.

    The Tomb Raider Level Editor community that currently exists is a great example of how well this works. There are massive, sweeping projects at where teams of people from all over the world build brand new adventures for Lara to go on. In addition to building the levels, they make new characters, textures, models, etc and import them into the game, so the knowledge and ability to innovate is there, lurking within the community.

    To sum, I don't think a new level editor would be "unrealistic"... ambitious, perhaps, and a few years in the making, but absolutely possible.

  43. The original TRLE came out in conjunction with TR5. I assume that by that time Angel of Darkness was already in development and it was clear they wouldn't be using the TR4 game engine again in a commercial release. Maybe the same thing will happen with the Legacy of Kain/TR Legend engine. Once it's outlived its usefulness, perhaps the players will get a crack at it.

  44. Arun SomasundaramJun 2, 2010, 1:40:00 AM


    I am pretty much late to the contest. But just like to share my ideas. Time machine is a concept that is still under utilised in most of the gaming series. What Lara needs is an adventurous setting with no limits or boundaries to her raiding capabilities. Any designed level may restrict the developers with new ideas. So atleast for quite number of series, the games can be designed such that Lara travels back to time and explore the Surroundings and characters of that times. For Example, Lara can travel back to Egyptian time itself rather than just exploring the tombs. This will provide infinite options for developers to design the level and a strong story plot can also be crafted.

    Just my small idea for the game.