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September 20, 2021, 01:11:59 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignBalance
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michaelplzno
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« on: January 27, 2021, 05:17:38 PM »

I just finished balancing some game levels in a difficult game and it was very stressful. Essentially I'm deciding how much pain to inflict on the player and it doesn't feel good to do that. Does anyone else feel that way? How do you cope?
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pagurus
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2021, 05:59:53 PM »

Think like this: did I help him become a hero, or not?
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ThemsAllTook
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2021, 07:28:52 PM »

I find it useful to think of game difficulty in terms of encouraging the player to use the tools available to them to the fullest. If it's a matter of inflicting pain, maybe something has gone wrong? The right obstacle can make an uninteresting approach to a problem nonviable, encouraging exploration of alternatives. Aggressively removing tedious parts of the process can help a game feel gentle while preserving the most interesting core of its challenge.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2021, 07:46:18 PM »

I mean its semantics: struggle, conflict, difficulty, challenges, there are a lot of different words for the pain of an advanced level, making it seem just possibly beatable but then not quite so you have to try again. Some would even call that bliss. I was once working with a dev who said "micro-transactions are all about removing pain" He was German. I still can't bring myself to do micro-transactions after that.

I see things from a different perspective: some tedious (or more boring stretches) might make things less stressful? I still remember the post on here about the desert golf cactus, that moment of ecstasy just for the tiniest thing.

When I was a kid I was told a bit of an Aesop where a family goes to their priest to complain that they don't have enough room in their house and the priest says "take your chicken and move it inside" so the family complies and they go back to the priest and tell him its even worse so the priest says "take your cow and move it inside" and this goes on for some time, escalating the animals added to the house till the priest finally says "Ok, take all the animals outside, see doesn't it feel roomy now?" Which always pissed me off.

I'm just venting after some tough decisions about game design, at least I have a top notch Manhattan.
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OneSketchyGuy
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2021, 09:58:35 PM »

When I have to hurt the player I do it to teach them that sometimes to progress you have to get hurt  Shrug
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2021, 03:33:00 AM »

when I get hurt I lash out:



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michaelplzno
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2021, 11:28:51 AM »

Also relevant?



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Lance of Longinus
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2021, 02:03:34 PM »

Some types of games are like rollercoasters or very spicy food; in such cases the player plays the game to get hurt. So you are giving the player what he wants, maximizing the thrill like the architect of a rollercoaster or a cook creating an especially spicy dish.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2021, 08:23:21 AM »

yes, it is likely what the player wants, but its tough from my point of view, I'm deciding how much struggle the audience will have and I know they want to be punished for making mistakes but who said I like punishing people?
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Foxwarrior
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2021, 09:19:06 AM »

You're punishing them to make them feel good though, and you do like making players feel good IIRC.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2021, 11:44:28 AM »

yes, a technicality that is correct, perhaps another chapter for my Pizza Semantics book.

That's sort of the end of Evangelion: Shinji decides there must be pain for reality to be a thing. I always say reality is an overrated concept, but people do seem wedded to it.

I suppose another angle to look at it is that its painful for me, not for the audience, and that gets into the Van Gogh territory: do we make games out of a pound of flesh? I could afford to lose a few pounds its true but seriously.
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Foxwarrior
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 03:08:54 PM »

The thing about artistic pursuits is that while art is an act of self-expression, if you want anyone to listen to you, you need to self-express something they want to hear. Usually what an artist wants to say isn't quite what other people want to hear though, because artists are such deviants, so there need to be artistic sacrifices made. Yeah, start losing that weight!
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2021, 09:50:12 AM »

As the dawn began to break, I had to surrender, the universe will have its way, too powerful to master.





I surely wouldn't have liked this tune were it not for the musical virtuosity going with it. Lenin (sp?) always bragged about coating his sour messages in honey.

Makes me barf.
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