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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignHow much to charge for SKIPPING THE LEVEL?
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Author Topic: How much to charge for SKIPPING THE LEVEL?  (Read 432 times)
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« on: November 13, 2020, 01:21:42 AM »

Hi Guys,

I'm a bit struggling with SKIPPING the level amount player would need to pay.

At first I was thinking that Watch and Ad would do...
But I have that implemented already in case you want to repeat the level rather than start over.
So Skip a level sounds like should be bit more...

I was thinking 300 coins,
for example you getting 100 coins for every level you PASS,

so that make 3 levels PASSED for 1 Level skipped? Would that be fair amount to you ?

thanks for your thoughts.

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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2020, 08:31:24 AM »

It sounds like you're describing a system where players could pay you to play less of your game. Are you really sure that's an incentive you want to create? The optics of this seem really poor in a lot of ways. Thinking purely in terms of game design, if you would have a level with the purpose of gently introducing a concept that would then be used in more advanced constructions in later levels, someone skipping that level would set them up with a much worse time later in the game. That's not even getting into the problematic business incentives, like the temptation to have an intentional difficulty spike just so that there's a level you'd expect most players to pay to skip. Even if you didn't actually do this (consciously or subconsiciously), the fact that the game works this way creates the perception that this sort of thing will happen.

If I had to watch an ad just to restart a level, then it sounds like this is a game that's already antagonistic enough that I could never imagine actually playing it. Even if there were an option to pay a reasonable up-front price to remove all traces of advertising and microtransactions, I'd have a very hard time trusting that this business ideology hadn't compromised the core design of the game. If you build a machine with the primary purpose of extracting money from people who interact with it, you end up with something very different than one whose primary purpose is to show them a good time.

You mention watching an ad, which is an exchange of a player's time and attention for money paid to you by an advertiser, but then you describe earning coins by clearing levels. (Incidentally, why 300 and 100? Why not 3 and 1? Those two extra digits are doing nothing at all and potentially hinder understanding of the value of coins.) I have to assume that since ads (a transaction involving real money) were mentioned, your system also includes a way to exchange real money for coins - so can I assume that the question you're asking boils down to "how much trouble should a player have with my game before they have to pay me money in order to see new stuff"?

In terms of cleared-to-skipped ratio, 3 to 1 seems REALLY extreme to me - like, in a brutal puzzle game with hundreds of levels that's at the absolute limit of my ability, I can imagine plausibly skipping 1 or 2 levels in the entire game. Skipping 25% of the levels in a game not only sounds like I'd be barely even playing it, but it also severely devalues the level design. Shouldn't I want to see the work you've poured into every individual level, making it something worth engaging with? Shouldn't they be carefully guiding me through a meaningful experience when played in the intended order?

I worry that there may be a gap in ideology here that's too wide to bridge, but maybe some of this perspective will be useful to you somehow.

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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2020, 08:40:16 AM »

I'm not super well versed in this kind of stuff, but I'll do my best.

I think determining the price of skipping a level is pretty context based and depends on why someone would want to skip your level and what the level actually is.

For example, if skipping a level is a convenience thing, like for example if a player might find a specific type of level uninteresting or requires a playstyle they find repulsive (like if they really hate ice levels) I think watching an ad is a good price. Where possible your player should enjoy playing your game, and if they would genuinely rather watch a 15 second ad than play this level, then that's a decision they should be able to make. As for the issue of already using an ad to replay the level, are there different lengths of ad you could use to differ them? If not is it a major issue if you use it for both of them?

But if instead it's a difficulty thing, such as a level just being too hard, I think the coin solution might be better, that way you can't just skip every level, the player has to make a meaningful decision about which levels to skip, and skipping a level would potentially feel more like a strategic decision rather than admitting defeat, which in most cases is a more desirable experience for your player.

If it's somewhere in-between, a combination could would, but idk, when I play the scenario over in my head it feels wrong paying coins and THEN having to watch an ad, it's the kind of thing that might be my breaking point with the game if I was already considering quitting, especially if I didn't know the ad was coming after paying, but it might be palatable to other players so I'd only recommend combining the two if you have a few playtesters available.

Having the option to choose between both instead is also another possibility, but also feels... Messy? Idk if that made sense sorry.

Sorry that was kinda rambly but to summarize: In my opinion, probably an ad if it's a convenience thing, probably coins if it's a difficulty thing, both as either a combination or an option could work but should most definitely be playtested (you should playtest anyway if you can, but those in particular I think need playtesting).
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2020, 08:15:59 PM »

I did a rant on this about the FF games, there was someone grousing that they had lost their FFwhatever save and didn't want to have to grind up again and I thought: If I were making FF I would make it so you could literally just create a character of any level of XP and start at any part of the game.

Would that really ruin FF? You could very much set your character to be overpowered but would that be fun? Similarly you could spawn at the final boss with a weak character and that would not be fun either. Essentially games are the most fun when we are up against a challenge that we chose to engage with that is balanced and reasonable.

So for FF, we could monetize the game by saying "Oh if you want to set your stats and spawn you have to pay a buck." But that has nothing to do with the design of FF really its just a money thing.

Not that I'm against money, on the contrary, I love the stuff. But people don't have fun if they think someone is taking advantage of them. So if you have a shake down in your game people are gonna feel bad. People tend to feel better about spending money if they are getting something in return that is a fair exchange. Right?

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